I'm a Christian, a designer, and a gadget fan who lives in Cheltenham, UK.

This is my blog, a creative outlet to mess around and play with as well as a place that logs my thoughts and inspirations.

My First Conference (Part Two)

I’ve been try­ing to work a seem­ing­ly ran­dom col­lec­tion of thoughts into a fol­low up post about New Adven­tures con­fer­ence. It’s not real­ly hap­pened so I’ve cho­sen to just throw them out there to any­one who is interested.
Over­all I enjoyed the day, it was fun, infor­ma­tive and pushed me out of my com­fort zone, teach­ing me things about design and myself that are valu­able and I am pro­cess­ing in order to improve.
Most enjoy­able was Bren­dan’s talk. He was the most enter­tain­ing in deliv­ery and engaged the audi­ence excel­lent­ly. His pas­sion for design is infec­tious, but some­thing I felt myself iden­ti­fy­ing with straight away. I don’t obsess over using the right pen­cil, but my friends can attest that I do obsess over oth­er seem­ing­ly point­less items.
Most dis­ap­point­ing was Veer­le Pieter’s talk about inspi­ra­tion. I real­ly enjoy Veer­le’s blog, and so was look­ing for­ward to hear­ing her talk but, for me, it had too much exam­ple and not enough insight. I was hop­ing for some process­es which peo­ple could adopt or adapt to make their own and use as trig­gers in the cre­ative process. I know we all work dif­fer­ent­ly, but hear­ing how some­one goes about find­ing inspi­ra­tion when all they are hit­ting is brick wall after brick wall can be inspir­ing in itself. Veer­le also seemed to con­tra­dict some of the talks from the morn­ing, with a theme of doing some­thing a cer­tain way because you like it rather than for a par­tic­u­lar rea­son. Whilst design is sub­jec­tive and some­times we go with our gut, there’s usu­al­ly rea­son for doing it beyond “I like it”.
Most thought pro­vok­ing was Dan Rubin’s talk on matur­ing the indus­try by devel­op­ing a lan­guage that has mean­ing and that every­one can under­stand. Hav­ing moved to a new job around 3 months ago and hav­ing had the oppor­tu­ni­ty to work on a cou­ple of web jobs, this struck a cord. The things I mean when I refer to some­thing and the things they mean when my new col­leagues refer to some­thing are eas­i­ly con­fused on these jobs, how­ev­er, when it comes to a print job every­one knows exact­ly what the oth­er per­son means.
Elliot’s talk, Andy Clarke’s, Jon Tan’s and Mark Boul­ton’s were also some of the most infor­ma­tive, inter­est­ing and thought pro­vok­ing talks that left me feel­ing inspired and moti­vat­ed. Good stuff that I have already noticed is inform­ing the way I work.
New Adven­tures was a real­ly good day, which I thor­ough­ly enjoyed, hope­ful­ly I’ll get to a few more in the future and I’m cer­tain­ly hop­ing that I can make it to New Adven­tures 2.

My First Conference (Part One)

This week I’m head­ing to my first design con­fer­ence in the form of New Adven­tures in my home town ((Well 25 min­utes out­side of the city is tech­ni­cal­ly my home town, but I was born in Not­ting­ham so close enough.)). In the past I’ve always looked in on con­fer­ences from the out­side, so when I heard about naconf I fig­ured it was time to take the leap.
As some­one who works pri­mar­i­ly in print but has a real fas­ci­na­tion with the web I’m hop­ing to learn a lot and fig­ure out where my lay­out skills can cross over to the screen. I’ve heard it said many a time that print design­ers should­n’t switch to the web, but equal­ly I’ve seen many high pro­file design­ers achieve great things in both formats.
I’m most look­ing for­ward to hear­ing some of the best in the busi­ness share some valu­able insights into the var­i­ous top­ics. In par­tic­u­lar I’m look­ing for­ward to hear­ing Veer­le Pieters share some thoughts on trig­ger­ing inspi­ra­tion and how we can break through the block we all suf­fer from time to time. One of the things I find hard­est when I’m design­ing for the web is inspi­ra­tion. When you use the web so reg­u­lar­ly it’s very easy to let your­self fall in to a pat­tern of “this goes here, that there…” and before you know it you have a very insipid run of the mill web­site. I’m hop­ing I may pick up a few tech­niques to help me use my expe­ri­ence in design­ing for print be the inspi­ra­tion for design­ing for the web. ((I was going to go on here high­light­ing all the things I’m look­ing for­ward to, but, as I began writ­ing I realised I’d be high­light­ing all the talks in the sched­ule. It seems, unsur­pris­ing­ly, that they all com­pli­ment one anoth­er nicely.))
Since it’s my first con­fer­ence I know I won’t be able to soak every­thing up all in one go, but I’m going armed with a brand new Mole­sk­ine and I’m hop­ing the notes I make will com­pli­ment the slides when they are released. The whole day will be a learn­ing expe­ri­ence, but the learn­ing does­n’t just stop once I’ve left the venue. It con­tin­ues in the fol­low up and, most impor­tant­ly, in my efforts to put what’s been said into practise.
Beyond the talks, I’m look­ing for­ward to hope­ful­ly meet­ing a few of the peo­ple I’ve come across on the web. Be it via blogs, twit­ter or some oth­er means it’d be great to meet some new faces in the indus­try. So if you read this, or fol­low me on Twit­ter do come and say Hi!