For many creatives (including myself), the idea of working alongside various forms of government seems stifling. Stories of red tape, bureaucracy, inflexibility – all of it acting as a wall that prevents artists from exploring opportunities. All of these concerns were in my head when the city of St. Catharines approached me to produce an animated video for the Mayor’s State of the City Address this year, and I admit it made me nervous.

However, I couldn’t have been more wrong. From the very beginning, the City’s staff were friendly, approachable and open to all the ideas I brought to the table. They valued my opinions, and my artistic expertise. Although the scope of the project was risky and many of the ideas difficult to visualize and articulate, the staff’s incredible flexibility gave us plenty of space to discuss, then incorporate ideas everyone would be proud of.

Example storyboard of the Mayor's State of the City Video

Example storyboard of the Mayor’s State of the City Video

The end result was a sharp, exciting 3D video showing all the economic change happening in St. Catharines over the past year. We were invited to attend the State of the City Address, and were excited to see our work on display for the city’s business community. The feedback was overwhelmingly positive.

City of St. Catharines – Mayor’s State of the City Address from Sandra Tournemille on Vimeo.

One thing I continue to learn over and over when working with new clients, is I can’t allow preconceived notions to set the tone of a project. I must always approach every project with an open mind and meet people where they are. I am always delighted to connect with different clients and work with their ideas and personalities. With the right attitude we can create something amazing and have some fun in the process.