For many of us, deadlines are a way of life. Projects need to be finished and delivered, e-mails need to be responded to, and bills need to be paid – all by a certain date and time. But what if we decided to forego creative deadlines? What could we achieve?
In a recent article from The 99 Percent, brand strategist Carmel Hagen explores 10 great achievements that took time. Hagan says, “In an ideal world, the road from idea to reality is proven and predictable, with a distance made fathomable by visible benchmarks. But more frequently – especially in pursuit of less linear concepts like art, drastic innovation, or even paradigm shifts – time is mutable and you can’t project when completion will come.”
We’ve highlighted three of our favorite achievements that tested the limitations of time – including one we were happy to be a part of, Avatar.
Blu: MUTO animation – one summer daily
Italian street artist Blu spent nearly every day of a summer painting (and re-painting and re-painting) a large-scale mural across the public walls and buildings of Buenos Aires, capturing each “frame” in succession. The resulting short animation film, MUTO – a real-life flip book sharing a story spread over city surfaces – has since gotten over 10 million views on YouTube, and extended Blu’s own artistic footprint to institutes like the Tate Modern in London.
Scott Weaver: Rolling Through the Bay – 34 years
I always had a dream that I would build the world’s largest toothpick sculpture,” says Scott Weaver, the mad scientist behind “Rolling Through the Bay” – a 9 feet tall, 7 feet wide and 2 feet deep model of San Francisco made entirely of toothpicks. Half art, half “out-of-hand ping pong ball experiment,” the rollercoaster-like sculpture took over 3,000 hours and 34 years to complete. It’s a fascinating study in the power of setting lofty goals and pursuing them no matter what it takes.
James Cameron: Avatar – 15 years
In 1994, James Cameron drew on “every science fiction book he had read” to pen an 80-page treatment of Avatar. Two years later, he announced his intention to begin filming the movie after the completion of Titanic. Though 1999 was the year originally intended for Avatar’s release, Cameron soon rolled back the deadline, blaming underdeveloped technology. It wasn’t until 2005 that Cameron finally began working closely with artists and designers to visualize the characters and settings of the film. Four years and over $400 million later, Avatar went on to capture over two billion in box office sales and nine academy award nominations.
Do you have any favorites we didn’t cover? Comment below to let us know!