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Semi-Permanent day two was filled with 6 more enthusiastic professionals speaking about design and there creative works. Here is a quick brief;

The speakers:

We Buy Your Kids
Illustration, design and screen-printing: Website.
I love the name, I must admit, it sticks to my brain. I have heard of them before, seen their website, but didn’t really know what they were about until this speech. We Buy Your Kids started out doing a lot of screen printing, posters mostly, then album artwork for local musicians. Have moved more into digital images, created in the same style, limited color palette and a screen printed look. Uses a lot of textures in photo-shop to complement the illustrative works. Also did an animation for Megan Washington for the Clementine video clip and plays with animating their illustrations using after effects, gif format.
Quotes: I like it when people cannot tell how an image is made. Like people to take it in as a whole rather than get distracted by the process.
If anyone wants to give us a job drawing food, we’d totally be up for that.
Never paint the walls of a gallery totally black. Its going to take you a week just to paint over that. Just don’t do it.

Alt Group
A New Zealand group of creatives with lots of ideas. Manifesto: Do Disturb. Influenced by surrealism, Salvador Dali, Grid Systems by Josef Muller (book). Created the Hudson Gavin Martin identity, recently released a book, This over That: Website.
Quote: Your ideas don’t have to be great, they just have to change the world.
Two wrongs don’t make a right but three lefts do.
Sometimes asks himself – how would a cartoon do it?
Individuals come up with ideas, but groups come up with concepts.

Kayt Jones
Was surrounded by photography from an early age. Likes the concept of imperfect beauty. Website.
Quote: Do things that scare you
Crank the music really loud
See obstacles as opportunities
Its nice sometimes to break up the rhythm and do something different.

Gemma O’Brien

Typography and illustrator.
Works for animal logic, educated through COFA. Runs a blog ‘for the love of type’, website. Loves Hoefler text.
Quote: Never give a pretty girl a hand grenade (from poster).
Gemma spoke very well, she is very enthusiastic and passionate about typography. She really lightens up typography and makes it all very glamorous and exciting. I am a bit jealous of her passion for type and illustration as I cannot seem to decide which direction I want to take my own design and you can tell she has been all-consumed in typography to get where she is with it today.

Michael Leon
Graphic designer. Stacks Boards. Website.
One of his slides had a constantina style photograph / photo-montage – a 360 view of his studio/apartment. I quite like this style of portraying a large space using this style of perspective. All his little videos are all really great promos that help sell his artwork.
Quote: I never really have a thing or a style, I kind of approach everything differently.
Make videos. It works. They eat it up.

Fuel VFX
50% films / 50% TVCs
Website. Created effects for Thor, and created the scenery for the Frank Miller / Gucci TVC.
Gucci TVC design process: Researched early 20th century architecture. Identify with the brand. Looked at old perfume bottles to model the buildings from. 3d texture mapping structures. Then introduce the color and feel.
Quote: Don’t take no for an answer, it doesn’t mean your out of the game.

Overall it was a good couple of days. Very involved, quite intense, all the speakers were so passionate. It was nice to see people within the industry and how they came to be. It shows that anyone from any background can make it, provided they are passionate and keep pushing their own boundaries. There was a lot of motivational advice each creative brought to the conference.


Being a student in a distance education capacity, sometimes I feel alone in the world of design. I very rarely have any interaction with real designers and creatives through my educational institution. There are some things you just cannot learn in books and online. My frustration with having little contact with the local design community in Sydney spurred my interest in going to Semi-Permanent, a two day conference showcasing creatives from around the world. Here is a quick summary of how Day One went down.

The speakers:

The brains of magazine Demo.
Supports the fusion of art and music at the Mart Gallery.
Quote: If you do nothing, nothing happens.
Self-less promotion – promote someone else
To be interesting, get interested.
Creativity = Power. These days knowledge is easy to obtain, so knowledge doesn’t hold as greater power as it used to. Creativity cannot be googled. creativity is more powerful as it is harder to come by.

Kelly Thompson
Illustration and photography: website.
I love how she demonstrated her passion for illustration and photography through giving us an understanding on her thoughts and process with each design. She talked about how she draws her illustrations on paper, scans them in, then finishes off the job in photoshop. She also mentioned that she always uses her photographs as a reference. I loved how she broke down her design process and made it sound so easy. I really feel I could employ this same process to my own works. I have learned from Kelly and other speakers that the best way to illustrate a design is to use traditional pencil and paper.

Corey Arnold
Have you seen this cat?
Fish Photographer: Website.
Corey explained the circumstances which lead to some of his curious and random photographs.

Annie Sperling
Production Designer
Her showreel says it all.
Annie spoke to us about set design. Work is a struggle between Time, Money and Creativity. Hopefully in most circumstances, creativity comes out on top.

Created the closing sequence for ‘Tomorrow when the war began’
Check out the Semi-Permanent opening sequence on their website. Very awesome.
Quotes: Ability should not dictate the execution.
Keep doing work for the soul
Bring more stylized work to Australia
We give credit to those we work with
Always Artisitic ability over Techical ability
Celebrate being proven wrong – always keep learning
Stand up for yourself
Undercutting the competition hurts the industry – it devalues the work
Best/most used program/application: a pencil and paper

Rej Mombassa
Icon / artist / musician: Website.
Created the $19 Note – to keep people thinking, has a whole ‘Australian Jesus’ series, like the image below.
Preferred mediums: Charcoal / Colored pencils (chalky)
Draws a lot of inspiration from impressionist painters such as Monet. Is a proud New Zealander. Made the audience laugh every two minutes almost consistently. Art is quite political and humorous.
Quote: Cant tell the truth without being a hypocrite
I don’t like going to the edge of the paper. It is disturbing. I try to avoid that.

After day one, my head hurts, I neglected to stay hydrated in favor of spending the maximum amount of time listening to the speakers. I got a free yo-yo and a chupa chup! I came out of it almost jumping out of my skin, wanting to go home and start illustrating and creating random designs that just come to my head. I went by myself, and met Mariana, a young design student about to start up at Shillington College. I have mixed feelings about Shillington. Their course is quick, expensive but does get you into the workforce sooner, and realistically, most learning is by doing. However, I don’t believe the course gives you a deep understanding of design as a whole which, in the end, will pay off in better design and in making the right choices for yourself. I’m happy chipping away at my 6 year distance education university course, which seems like a lot now, but will be nothing in a couple of years once done. I totally recommend distance education. If you can make it work, it shows initiative, self discipline, and a passion for design exceeding any other because it is all done on your own time.

Secret Wars
An event held regularly where illustrative artists go against each other and battle for supremacy. Looks like fun? I dont know, never been, have you?
– Carly

New season trends are painted on to naked models for the launch of Westfield’s Style Tour featuring How To Look Good Naked host Gok Wan.

This is a different way to get attention for a launch. Still, I think its pretty cool having the designs painted on them. Its a fresh approach.
Found on:  SMH

Vivid Sydney
27th May – 13th June
Around Sydney

Every year I hear about it, and every year I forget to go. Why? Maybe I need to gather a group of friends this year…

The pitch:

Vivid Sydney will colour the city with creativity and inspiration, featuring breathtaking immersive light projections on the iconic Sydney Opera House sails, performances from local and international musicians as part of Vivid LIVE and a free outdoor exhibition of interactive light sculptures.

The website:

– Carly

Semi-Permanent Sydney
13th & 14th May 2011
Sydney Convention & Exhibition Centre

Semi-Permanent is a world leading creative conference that to date has hosted 26 events in 8 cities covering 5 countries, with 164 speakers and over 42,000 attendees. It covers all disciplines of design, including graphic design, film, fine art, illustration, web design, interactive design, photography, visual effects, animation, graffiti, motion graphics, stop motion, architecture, and much more….. more

Should I stay or should I go? Thats the dilemma I have being a student. Is the conference going to be worthwhile for me? Even if its for networking? Maybe its not good for networking if its full of snobbery? Maybe its good to see whats generating interest in the design ‘world’ at the moment… Though at $140 per ticket, will I get more out of it than I get from my current online subscriptions? The online subscriptions are free….. rss feeds and emails…. It shows the designers that are to be speaking, but I have never been to this before, do you get to listen to all speakers as apart of the ticket price? Anyway I have asked this question to the person behind their contact form, and await a response. I also asked my uni lecturer if she has heard of this conference before and if she recommends going and why…. this was a week ago, haven’t received a response. I think I would just go anyway, looks interesting, and may as well make the most of the student rates…

– Carly

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