Being relatively new to the Australian creative community I was admitedly unaware until recently of the Semi-Permanent Creative Conferences, now into their 10th year and still going strong with a series of two-day events in Sydney, Auckland, Brisbane and Melbourne this year. As with many things in life, having no pre-conceived ideas about something before you experience it is often the best way to go, and so it proved to be true for me during our time at the Sydney Convention Centre last month.
The 14 sessions spread over two days were presented by an unexpectedly diverse, international array of talented individuals and companies, all making their own waves in print and digital design, photography, advertising, illustration, publishing, animation and yes… even paper engineering! Although the event was relaxed and the presentations were just informal talks, the end feeling was that I was in the middle of an intensely ‘creative soup’, just the thing needed to stimulate your mind a little bit more than usual. It also reminds you that when you hold a passion for your industry, what you ultimately want to achieve is to push the boundaries whenever possible, always looking for new, interesting and highly effective ways to interpret and tackle a brief. For me there were no better two examples of this than the brilliant, quirky independent designer and artist Kelli Anderson from New York, and some of the things that Meirion Pritchard, Art Director at Wallpaper Magazine back in my native London, had been up to. This of course isn’t the place to detail the specifics of their projects but I’d highly recommend having a look over at www.kellianderson.com and www.wallpaper.com sometime.
There were plenty of other personal highlights too, Typographer Luca Ionescu, Sydney-based creative agencies The Monkeys and Where There’s Smoke, as well as Magnum photographer David Alan Harvey were all stimulating, engaging and thought-provoking. Most importantly what they had in common was a reminder that dedication to excellence, without compromise, really does make all the difference between a good piece of work and something great.
Oh, and the after party in Darlinghurst that Brett and I attended wasn’t too bad either!
We will all be back soon enough…