I went, I saw, I drew some flowers
I’m writing a slightly more involved post about Semi-permanent for the Lushai blog at the moment but here is a brain dump of a couple of my (more bitchy) takeaways and notes that won’t be part of that post.
The advertising and fashion guys at Semi-permanent (they were all guys in this case) didn’t actually seem to have that many really great ideas but what they did have was the ability to make their ideas happen. The ability to convince people their ideas were great and the conviction to see the ideas through to the end. Although a lot of the designers talked about how important working hard and being creative was if you want to be successful I think this confidence and conviction is possibly more important, particularly if your goal is to be commercially successful.
There must be some middle ground though between the self confidence required to put your ideas out there (instead of endless tinkering and self-doubt) and the self critique required to make your work actually good (as opposed to being easily satisfied with generic work). It’s genuinely tricky to do though since both over confidence and under confidence and the are the product of personality rather than any strategic plan.
I was also surprised at the casual sexism on display with the advertising and fashion speakers, but it didn’t seem to bother very many actual woman so maybe I was being over-sensitive. It did seem sort weirdly old fashioned though for people so obsessed with being Zeitgeisty. Almost as if they existed outside the conversations, debates and thinking that go on in the world around them.
For the record, my favorite speakers were Alex Trochut and Kelly Anderson. Both for the intimidatingly high quality of their work and their ability to talk intelligently about it. They found that great balance between instinct and intellect. They understand design (as much as you can understand such an amorphous thing) and their position as designers and applied that to their work. At the same time they managed to be imaginative and creative. They were able to talk about their actual work as opposed to just talking about how good their work was. A lot of designers know how to make it sounds like they are talking intelligently about their work (‘exploring the spaces between …’ is always a good one) but it was nice to actually see it for real for a change.
My notebook follows, which may clarify some of the things I have been taking about: