Once a successful stand-up comedian and half of the radio duo Merrick & Rosso, Tim Ross is now pursuing a very different dream – and he thinks you should too.
As a comedian, I came pretty much straight from university and performed until my mid-twenties. I never had anything to fall back on. I don’t believe in having something to fall back on because then you don’t do anything.
I was interested in architecture and design from the start. It was pretty much the sole persecution for me for many years. I really didn’t have any friends who were so interested in the things I was interested in.
I met people along the way, and then social media – Instagram in particular – opened up a whole community of like-minded people here and overseas. This was a great way not only to roll around in passion but also to let people know about things I wanted to do. A world was created in which I could do what I wanted to do.
The concept of social media can be malicious, but it is and continues to be extraordinary from a creative standpoint.
It’s nice to have a second act [after comedy and radio]. We live in a world where the concept of sideline is pretty well established. So if you’d rather do something, you can easily start it off in small steps while you’re still on your existing path.
Don’t put too much pressure on yourself to go straight into it. You have to do it in small steps. And then if you really want to do something and are really passionate about it, it will always happen for you. I think people want to help people.
If your friends don’t encourage you to do something else, make new friends!
I remember this guy who was a cameraman. We sat together and ate a sandwich and he says he’s a writer and he’s going to write a novel. And my god, did he write a novel – it was fantastic. It remains one of my favorite books.
All of these things come into play, you know – there are those who want to and those who are not brave enough to take that risk. And it’s not always a risk when you’re ready to jump.
I got to the point where I could do it when my sideline was too big for me to keep my normal job. Then you say goodbye.
If there is something that inspires me and is interesting to me, and there are some other people who find it interesting, I firmly believe in it [in going for it] – no matter how crazy it is … if it doesn’t make sense to a lot of people then I’m probably on the right track [laughs]. And then I just hope it works.
Nine times out of ten, it works, and if it doesn’t, it doesn’t matter, it’s not the end of the world.
There is a quote I like [US designer] Charles Eames, who “Take Your Pleasure Seriously.” In essence, it means that we give so much to our normal everyday jobs that we don’t show the same respect for the things we love.
I always meet people who say, “I used to play the piano” or “I used to ski” or “I used to paint” and they just stop.
But they will give everything for their work. So I really live by that motto; I take the things I love and love passionately very seriously and make these things a part of my life.
Tim Ross’ documentary Designing A Legacy will air on February 2nd at 8:30 p.m. on ABC and ABC iview.
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