Merlin Nation
Merlin Nation
MY STORY

I’VE BEEN A DESIGNER AND CREATIVE DIRECTOR PROFESSIONALLY FOR NEARLY 20 YEARS. BUT I’VE BEEN A HUMAN BEING ALL MY LIFE! I’VE ALWAYS BELIEVED IN CREATIVITY AND DESIGN AS A POWERFUL TOOL FOR COMMUNICATION AND TO FACILITATE CHANGE. AND THAT ANIMATION HAS A UNIQUE WAY OF TELLING STORIES IMPOSSIBLE BY OTHER MEANS.

Becoming increasingly disillusioned with working in what was essentially product marketing for much of this time, I had been looking for ways to demonstrate my beliefs through my work. This coupled with a growing frustration that my skills should be used for the benefit of causes I felt were important meant I was looking for ways to put this evolving perspective into practice.

So when I saw a Meet-up group was calling for digital creatives to explore how we could use our skills to help the refugee crisis, it immediately struck a chord. I went along to the next meeting not knowing where this might take me.

At the time I knew very little about the crisis beyond what I had seen in the media, but I was moved by the human tragedy as well as being disappointed by the political spin surrounding it. I had a desire to help but no idea what form that might take.

I liked the idea of working with people with different skill-sets that I’d not yet met. Collaboration is an overused word in the creative industries but this was collaborating in its truest sense. Could a group of total strangers come together to create something worthwhile? The possible difficulties were obvious but the potential was more exiting.

Since the first meeting at the end of 2015 I am now setting up a new studio called Working Progress, dedicated to using design and animation to facilitate positive change for people and the planet. The Us & Them project has been a big influence in the shaping of the ethos and vision of the studio and the new direction my work is now taking. I’m a big believer in learning through doing, getting stuck in and trying to make things happen incrementally. Without this attitude there will never be change.

I animated the story of Star and Ana and their journey from Afghanistan to the Calais Jungle camp. And I was involved in the shared creative direction of the project and coming up with its name. I found it difficult to feel like I was doing justice to these people’s experiences. Experiences so far removed from my own, and that of my family and friends, that they were difficult to comprehend.

PROJECTS
sultana and sitara story
FILM
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habibi_story
FILM
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