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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.

The Human Spirograph
It always intrigues me when people take ideas like the Spirograph, and turn them into something huge. I love how this artist has incorporated something we have all done as a kid (using one of those little plastic Spirograph sets and lots of colorful pens)  and made it personal, into a work of art. There is a huge amount of concentration that goes into making both sides exact opposites for a long period of time.
Artist Tony Orrico’s Website.
Found on:  SwissMiss.
– Carly

Cantilever Website
This website makes me hungry. Hungry for fish and chips and hungry for a nicely illustrated website background. I love how the background changes with each menu option. And the food menu looks awesome!!!
Found on: WDL.

Steedicons Website
Check this website out! Its a nice crisp design using hand drawn icons and boarders. I love how they have added texture in the background, this really adds to the overall feel of the design.
Found on: WDL.

Typographical Map of Australia Poster.
I have been enjoying staring at this poster for a long period of time appreciating the typography and trying to visualize all the places I have been to. It would make a great feature to any Aussie wall!
Found on: Desktop Mag.
Can purchase on Kindred Gifts.

“Alex Steinweiss: The Inventor of the Modern Album Cover” Book

Esquire UK turns of onto the historical importance of Alex Steinweiss through this new book from Taschen. “Compiled by artist Kevin Reagan, Alex Steinweiss: The Inventor of the Modern Album Cover Alex Steinweiss: The Inventor of the Modern Album Cover Book explores the work of the man who, upon being appointed Columbia Records’ 23-year-old art director in 1940, had a light bulb moment. All those brown paper packaged albums are a bit ugly, he thought, so why not jazz them up?… A few months after designing the world’s first album art (for Smash Song Hits by songwriting duo Rodgers and Hart), Steinweiss had increased Columbia’s record sales by over 800%. The bigwigs thought he might be onto something.” Selectism.

Found on: Selectism.

Some awesome magasine cover designs from Uppercase. I LOVE the retro look!
Uppercase website.
Found on: SwissMiss.

Mercedes Benz Left Brain Right Brain print ads.
Found on: Commarts.

The Fox and the

A beautiful illustration by Emma SanCartier.

Emma is a freelance artist and childrens books illustrator in San Francisco.

To view more of her work click here.

– Carly

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