THE AIRSHIP - STAYING CREATIVE THROUGH TIMES OF HARDSHIP
This is a story of being human, by owner of Move Foundry, Edison Lee.
Late one night at my home office, I hunched over my computer, lighting up menu boxes and pushing amorphous polygons across the screen. It was 2012, the beginnings of some of the most difficult years of my life. At the time my wife was going through postpartum depression after the birth of Avery, our first child. Avery had colic, which to me sounds very mild for a word that describes inconsolable medieval wailing at 3 am. Inevitably my wife had quit her job, at a time when the crash of 2008 was still rippling through the economy. With skyrocketing medical bills we blazed through our savings, and as options ran sparse we eventually moved to my parents' house. Sleep deprived and battered by our financial setback I found myself slouching over Maya in a ritual of escapist busywork.
Waking up each morning to a dichotomous state of elation as a new father yet failed provider clouded my will to hustle. Getting a job was in the cards, but again, this was the aftermath of 2008. Creative colleagues in my field were barely hanging by a thread to maintain their under-compensated jobs. My wife still struggled through months, with no improvement in sight. Avery’s colic persisted. Worse yet I was “winging it” with no specifically outlined goals. I had even volunteered to work at a deli with an insane idea of opening one of my own, despite the fact that I couldn’t care less about food.
Days into weeks, and weeks into months I retreated into my work station, casually modeling the airship while falling into deep contemplation or listening to business podcasts. There's a popular 10,000-hour rule coined by journalist Malcom Gladwell: If you spend 10,000 hours on anything, you get really good at it. I wasn't counting the hours, but in the wake of defeat and self-doubt my airship evolved into a beautiful model and began to rise from the ashes as a shrine of self-worth. Slowly but surely my side hustle helped me respark my sense of purpose and motivation.
THE COMEBACK YEARS
Upon this spark I was able to parlay actionable energy towards my family so we could move back out and reclaim our lives as independent adults. Eventually Avery outgrew her colic, my wife recovered, and I opened Move Foundry in 2014. Two years later we pivoted slowly back to a forward trajectory, unbeknownst to me though, at the cost of my airship not seeing the light of day. Lack of adversity led to a complacent attitude, and slowly the airship lay dormant for weeks to months. Its ghost haunted me each day I turned my back on it for an affair with client work.
On a night in October of 2017 I unearthed the airship file once again and tumbled its unfinished body rediscovering all the work I've put into it. Like a diary I recalled memories of escalating bills, wife in disarray, and Avery crying through sleepless nights, all coded into the meticulously crafted floorboards, mast, and turbines. Though the struggles had gone faint behind us the airship was still as emotionally charged as the day I last left it. It bore the badge of resilience and my calling as a creative through an indelible chapter of my life. Abandoning it would have been a tougher choice than seeing it to its end.
"THE CREATIVE ADULT IS THE CHILD WHO SURVIVED"
Resigning to that youthful creative momentum seemed easier through dark hours for reasons I can’t describe. It probably explains a lot why artists are often times seen as the grumpy eccentric type. But with laser focus resolve I utilized all the pockets of time I could find to go back to that creative state and manifest the airship into fruition.
Finally in the summer of 2018 the film was completed.