Semi-Permanent - Sydney 2011
Posted: May 16th 2011
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Last weekend Sydney-side creatives were once again invited to listen to the stories of some of the industries finest at Semi-Permanent. This annual conference started in Sydney and has been going for 9 years and has now spread to Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Auckland and Hong Kong and has also included New York and London in previous years.
This year's speakers included local boys, Moffitt Moffitt and I was really interested to hear more of the background to their publication 'Demo', something they'd skipped on in previous talks of theirs I'd been to, including their guest lecture at the college. New Zealander, Kelly Thompson, was up next and she's certainly someone who I'm sure inspired a few people, myself included, to stay home, pick up the paint brush and just practice, practice, practice. If you're in New Zealand you may have seen some of her illustrations featured in this Telecom NZ TV commerical.
The tales of Alaskan photographer and fisherman, Corey Arnold, were insightful, inspiring and pretty darn funny, and the weird and wonderful world of LA Production Designer, Annie Sperling, made me realise that your career path can be anything but linear. What I certainly got from her talk was how you never know what opportunities might arise when you just give something a go. I particularly got the feeling that a lot of these opportunities arose through relationships she'd built with people along the way so 'get interested' in people and you never know what could be around the corner.
The last part of day one was made up of Sydney-based duo, Supervixen. Their work varies from awesome Elan board design to the super-cute food characters in the Wrigleys ads. They also did the promo movie for Semi-Permanent so check that out. However, the highlight for me had to be Reg Mombassa. Originally from New Zealand, Reg is a mucisian and an artist and is most well known for his work for Mambo. Although I was aware of some of his art I'd never taken the time to appreciate the off-the-wall humour in the majority of his pieces. His dry wit and quirky way of looking at the world and genuine humility made for a very entertaining hour.
Unfortunately I missed the greater part of day two due to babysitting duties but was assured that Sydney artists, Webuyyourkids, and London/LA photographer, Kayt Jones, were all fantastic and I heard many singing the praises of Dean from New Zealand's, Alt Group. By all accounts his talk was very inspiring and, judging by the amount of awards they've won (over 250), they must be doing something right! I managed to catch the beautiful and bubbly Gemma O'Brien, an experimental typographer ('letterer' for those who want to be pedantic), designer, illustrator and blogger. I loved her energy and her work.
To wrap up the event there was LA-based artist, designer, skater and lover of his pet dogs, Michael Leon and Sydney-based visual effects studio, FuelVFX. They had a great tale of 'if at first you don't succeed, harrass the client and don't take no for an answer' with their work on movie 'Thor'.
All in all it was a great few days (and a superb after party) and everyone who went walked away feeling newly inspired and motivated. You can see the Sydney 2011 montage on vimeo here. The next Semi-Permanent will be in Brisbane on August 5 and more of these fabulous images of the speakers by Blue Murder Studios can be seen via Semi-Permanent's facebook page.