Wow! One day down, one day to go… This year’s Design Conference (TDC) is being held in our hometown, Brisbane and we sent along two Salty designers to marvel in the exceptional line-up of national and international guest speakers – making for one impressive design event! **insert squeals of excitement!**
Finding your way to awesomeness!
There was a feeling of excitement and anticipation as well-over 700 people entered the Brisbane Powerhouse main auditorium. A huge screen flashing the TDC branding and pumping tunes greeted us to kick-off the conference.
(Image profiles below from TDC Website)
Feature Talk #1
Jessica Hische, Letterer
Jessica Hische is a lettering artist, illustrator, author, and self-described “avid internetter” working in San Francisco and Brooklyn.
Read her full profile on TDC website or visit her website. (Images above far right from Jessica’s Website)
As one of our all-time favourite creatives, Jessica was one speaker we couldn’t wait to see! And her presentation did not disappoint!
Stemming from the idea ‘More about the letterform, less about the decoration’, Jessica told her journey from earlier works to where she is now, going into detail of the process and production behind the end result. Her lettering is about substance and style, and really knowing the story behind what you are creating. Creating her Penguin Drop Caps Cover series certainly meant she needed to value the content and perspective of the readers.
Jessica continued discussing her process through a number of examples including those for Starbucks, MailChimp, Eventbrite, Penguin and Johanna Basford. We agree with her, that client’s love to see the process work or reasons behind things you changed on their existing design and it’s important to be sensitive to a client’s existing brand (who knows the client may have created it in the first place!!).
She also acknowledged that while we can all be immersed in and experiment with different creative paths, it’s imperative to have a trustworthy relationship with other creative people to help you when you need it. Her historical-feel café wall design was a good example, where she created the Illustrator file but left it up to a production team to bring it to life on the wall.
We loved her honest, funny and intelligent talk, which also highlighted how ‘you have to love the day to day, not just the end result’. It’s not a race to the finish line, as you discover more about yourself, improve your process and find your style… your awesomeness!
Feature Talk #2
I’m a storytelling photographer with really goofy hair. I used to think my dream was to be a photographer. Sure, that’s my job, but I’ll let you in on a secret: My dream isn’t to be a photographer anymore. Right now I’m telling stories with a camera, and that’s fulfilling for me. But I’ve got a couple tricks up my sleeve. And in 10 years, I hope to have a few more.
Read his full profile on TDC Website or visit his website.
Branden focussed on ‘pivoting’ through life to become a better you. While it’s important to have goals, it’s also fantastic to experiment and build on who you are. He spoke about writing down your top five inspirational people and finding ways you can take a piece from each of them, to pave your journey.
Don’t try to mimic someone else’s journey – choose your legacy.
Wow! Branden’s presentation left us full of good vibes and inspired to make a positive contribution to our community through our work.
Feature Talk #3
Emily Woollett, Creative Director – Paper Stone Scissors
Emily loves to create powerful brand stories that engage, resonate and inspire a response. It’s not just the story of the product, place or service, but uncovering the juicy bits, the ideals, the personality that captures the true essence of the brand.
Read her full profile on TDC Website or visit the Paper Stone Scrissors website.
‘Superawesomeness’ was the first slide of Emily’s presentation which delved into taking her approach to building brand stories and applying this to real life. We could resonate with the stage of life Emily is in and how looking back on her processes and life values was important to shape what she is doing now. That is, we all get busy with life and sometimes forget to take time for ourselves.
She gave us her top ten tips:
- Dare to begin (little and often)
- Make friends with fear (versus excitement)
- Value your values
- Phone home
- Focus on your super strengths (collaborate)
- Find your story
- Understand your process
- Don’t blame others
- Make work you love (even if it’s on the side)
- Work it out by doing.
Feature Talk #4
Kitiya Palaskas, Artist & Designer
Kitiya Palaskas is a designer specialising in the creation of props, installations, sets, and artwork using craft-based techniques.
TDC profile sums her up well. Check out more of her work online.
Now she is one rad chick! And we’re not just talking about her fabulous outfit today, or when she was a rapper!
Kitiya’s vibrant, fun personality shines not only through her work but her presentation today, showing how she embraces creativity and turns her limited experience into a dream job!
She’s a jill-of-all-trades, not necessarily fitting into the proverbial ‘box’, but that’s quite ok with her (and us!!).
She wasn’t afraid to mention all the things she didn’t know at first and how she googled her way through some questions in client meetings. Explaining her approach and process provided us with an insight into finding your craft and knowing how to rock it!
Her final statement was ‘success through gratitude’ and we couldn’t agree more!
Feature Talk #5
Lisa King, Visual Artist
Lisa King is a self-taught designer and artist based in Adelaide. Her imaginative and stylish portraiture crosses mediums – oil, acrylic, aerosol and computer-generated imagery.
Read her full profile on TDC Website or visit her website.
Art is life. It was great to see photos of Lisa’s exterior and interior murals, however, perhaps the most intriguing part to her talk was the time lapse of her Photoshop process. Her technique was amazing and watching the video provided insight into how she creates her digital pieces. The tone and detail in her work is impressive.
Feature Talk #6
Timba Smits, Art Director / Illustrator
Timba Smits is an award-winning designer, visual artist, illustrator and part-time crime fighter living in East London.
Read his full profile on TDC Website or visit his website.
This is one cracking illustrator and creative dude. His talk titled ‘Paddle against the flow’ covered illustration and its integration with typography and layout… oh and his love for Arnold Schwarzenegger!
Who remembers Wooden Toy magazine?! We certainly do! Hunting down a free printed copy whenever they were released was a must! Well it was actually some of Timba’s first works.
He is passionate about editorial layouts and creating a typographic headline to match each featured artwork.
We were shown a detailed illustration of a ‘made-up’ cityscape produced for an Amazon campaign, promoting that they deliver anywhere. And what made it even more awesome, was how he included many hidden elements such as the Ghostbuster building, a DeLorean – even himself with his girlfriend! Best of all – his client was totally cool with it!
While he is well recognised for his retro style illustration, Timba has taken new directions to further his style. One aspect he’s been working on is “taming the beast” – don’t go overboard with the design – strip it back and keep it simple.
Timba had the opportunity to move to London and now works for The Church of London as Creative Director, working on iconic magazine Little White Lies and Huck Magazine. His creative process to produce the cover illustrations is incredible!
If you live in Melbourne, be sure to check out Timba’s solo exhibition ‘Role Models’, inspired by cinema and movie culture, which reference his magazine covers.
T’s number one top tip ‘Good things take time. Great things take a lifetime.’
Cheers for awesome presentation Timba!
Feature Talk #7
Jonathan Calugi, Artist
(Note to all readers – this bio is to be read with a deliciously gorgeous Italian accent!)
It all starts with two dots and a line •• –
Jonathan Calugi is an illustrator from Italy and it is from his self-proclaimed chaotic workspace, that he creates clean illustration and pattern works. Each piece is a take on his quirky child-like doodles with minimal lines and simple, uncomplicated colours.
Read his full profile on TDC Website or view his work on Behance.
We loved how he introduced himself through his gradual illustration of his two cats, to which he then added his parents, then himself and his partner – this was his story in a way only he could portray so creatively!
It’s the energy he creates with a single line that makes Jonathan’s work so fascinating! His ability to create many viewpoints through the telling of a story from one perspective through to another in an array of patterning – all with a single line was awesome!
He was very passionate in his talk about taking his doodles (which he said we may think are ugly, but he simply loves) and turning them into stylised artworks.
Jonathan’s work for Nike and his development of typography by a continuous line were but a select few of our favourite works from his presentation. Truly exquisite!
Cheers TDC for a truly awesome day one!
Because everything is better with a sprinkle of salt!