Learning How Not To Think

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Often people ask me how italk Studios started. I believe it started when I was about five years old. The very first day of school my mother put my new glasses on my head and said ‘Don’t forget your glasses.’ I had not forgotten my glasses. I hated my glasses!  

As soon as I left the house and walked around the corner, I took my glasses off and put them in my pocket. I had just got them. They were National Health glasses which meant you were poor and also people tease you. I didn’t want to be teased. I don’t know if it was pride, or fear, or what it was, but I kept those glasses safely in my pocket from that very first day of primary school.

I was short sighted, so could not see things far away. I sat at the back of the classroom and people would try to teach me on a blackboard at the front of the classroom, writing words. Not only could I not read, I could not see these letters or writing. I remember I used to copy surreptitiously from my friend, sitting next to me, when we had to write things down.  

Anyway, my glasses went in my top pocket and that is where they stayed until the very first day of high school. A couple of my friends said ‘Oh My Goodness! You wear glasses?’ because nobody knew. People at home knew, my family knew I wore glasses, but at school I never wore them a single moment and nobody asked, which was fine. That meant all through those years, all of this reading thing, I kind of missed it.

I do believe during those early years, when everyone was learning things, I learnt one thing. I learned how not to think. In reflection, not seeing the blackboard gave me some space from being taught ‘how’ to think. Time to work out my own ways of thinking, innate within me. Thinking visually and in story form, without letters or writing. This really was the early formation of italk Studios – as you’ll begin to see if you look at the animation The Flower Story.


Director, italk Studios

Christopher Brocklebank, italk Studios Director
Photographer: Jacob Moore