for some unknown reason, the blog's been offline for a few days - but now that we're back in business i can give you a bit of a rundown on the conference.
i had a great time, very cool being in that creative environment for a day. the event was sold-out and about 1200 people were there.
first up was genevieve gauckler from france. she has a very quirky style involving collage and recurring cartoon characters. her design process involves pain-stakingly cutting out photos in photoshop to compile on her works. needless to say, she takes loads of photos everywhere she goes. when she spoke she apologised from the start for not being able to speak english expertly, but she endeared herself to the audience. very cool stuff. here you see a cover that she did for 'flaunt' magazine. in this picture, the background is photographic with her trademark characters overlaid on top.
then it was tokyo plastic from uk. i won't bother trying to sum them up with an image. if you've never seen their website then head there now, by clicking on the link above. it was the website that launched the careers of the two man team. it is an incredible piece of flash animation - possibly the best on the internet. anyway, since then they have gone on to do a number of commercial projects, including ads for microsoft and animation work for guy ritchie. they are way out of my class and do things that i will probably never even attempt to do, but it was interesting to hear the story, and the guy who spoke was funny and well-prepared. some nice dry english humour in there.
after lunch, it was nz's own huffer. these guys have done an amazing job creating nz-designed and manufactured clothing. their stuff is often painfully cool. in fact anna and i were looking at their summer range today - very 80s, but people will lap it up no doubt. i've always been a fan and managed to score myself a rather nice huffer hoodie just the other day. as for the actual presentation at the conference, the two founders presented something which seemed to be pretty off the cuff - a style that didn't always come off. nevermind, they earn respect for doing what they've done with their company in nz. and it sounds like it would be a pretty cool place to work.
next up, michael c place. this guy was the highlight of the day for me. aesthetically i liked his style the best. he uses a lot of symbols and his work is very clean - almost like a medical label at times. he was terrified on stage but also very honest - the same tactic (if you can call it that, because it is natural) as michael leunig used the time i saw him speak. it comes from dragging creatives who are used to working alone out onto a stage in front of 1200 people in a two level auditorium. in the end he seemed reluctant to finish his slot and showed us heaps of work - all very good. have a look at his website to get an idea of his aesthetic.
after the afternoon tea break was abake. i really have no idea how to explain these guys - two french, one welsh and one japanese who live in london. they seemed (from what i could gather) to be as into performance art as design. one of their projects involves an old band rotunda in london somewhere - they are trying to restore it and hold regular community events there. their presentation was interesting as they all took turns standing in a spot light to tell us about various projects. at the end they took a video of everyone firing off their camera flashes in the darkness of the auditorium.
and then finally for the day, was taika waititi. he's the bloke responsible for the award-winning nz short film 'two cars one night'. he began his slot by showing us an incredibly funny low budget movie that involved him running around and shooting at things followed by a trademark smirk and thumbs up into the camera. his segment was like a one-man stand up comedy show and was really brilliant. including doing live drawings to illustrate his points on a wacom tablet attached to the big screen. he also showed us some of his drawings and paintings - showing that he really is an all-round creative guy. brilliant way to end the conference and keep us all awake as the day wore into early evening.
all good - i plan to be back next year.
on the headphones: 'who needs forever? (theivery corporation remix)' by astrud gilberto, from the album 'verve remixed'.