05 Nicer Tuesdays: What would the world look like if we did exactly what we want to?

By Carrie Ellis, PR Account Executive

We’re constantly under social pressures – with brands, bosses and society all influencing what we do and how we act. But what would the world look like if we did exactly what we want to?

French filmmaker Anna Malin Mantzaris showed us just what this would look like with the help of her cast of hand-made puppets in her short film ‘Enough’ at this month’s Nicer Tuesdays event, curated by It’s Nice That.

The two-minute stop-motion film explores a series of irritating situations that many of us face daily, from feeling stressed at work to walking down a crowded flight of stairs at an underground station.

The puppets’ reactions to these seemingly mundane events, however, bear little resemblance to how most of us would act. They do what we want to do – or would do if there were no social implications.

Have you ever had to listen to someone screeching into their mobile on the bus? Anna’s puppet does, but instead of pretending to ignore it, she slaps the phone out of the passenger’s hand…haven’t we all wished we could do that at some point?

Whilst much of Anna’s film was met with joy and laughter, there was an uncomfortable underlying message: most of us feel oppressed in some way. And unlike her puppets, we don’t break social codes and boundaries, and we don’t do what we really want to do.

Anna’s film isn’t about encouraging us to slap peoples’ phones out of their hands, but it does make us face the reality that in society, we often have to suppress our desires – good or bad.

South London-based illustrator Alex Jenkins’s work is also inspired by the everyday, but rather than show us what we want to do, his work shows us the grotesque things that we already do.

Alex shared many gruesome illustrations with us. One of which was a symbolic representation of the act of spot-popping featuring a spot bursting to release two puss-filled dancers.

So why were 300 of London’s budding creatives crammed into Oval Space to watch a film signifying oppression, and view illustrations showcasing our most disgusting habits?

Firstly – we’re fascinated by the creative process.

Anna talked us through how she built each puppet around an internal wire frame to enable flexibility of the limbs, which are moved slightly to create each frame.

While Alex created a short film to show us his illustration process. Unlike many illustrators he creates his work digitally after a quick sketch.

Secondly – it’s helpful to see the world in a different way. Both Alex and Anna use their creativity to give us another lens through which to view our fears, bad habits and most abhorrent desires.

Their work shows that we don’t need to go searching creative inspiration – it’s all around us.

From all corners of the creative world, from filmmaking to illustration to design, it reminded us that it’s important to look at the world around us from a fresh perspective and to use our daily experiences as a source for creative inspiration.

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