Reasons to be creative 2013

I was lucky enough to attend reasons to be creative during the last three days. Having not been to any of the previous events I wasn’t sure what to expect. The conference was multi-track and I ended up seeing a number of talks. Here are a few highlights:

Eva-Lotta Lamm - Kickstarting your Sketching and Visual Thinking skills:

One of my favourite talks from the conference. Eva is an entertaining and engaging speaker. She took the audience through some simple sketches and helped me realise a little practice can improve sketching greatly.

My key takeaway was her story about trying new things. At first you have the initial excitement of learning something new, you start and enjoy your new hobby until you realise that you completely suck! This is where most people give up. If you stick with it the frustration will subside and things will become easier. Then you will get better.

Amit Pitaru - Learning Curves:

Amit went through his journey from musician to coder. He learnt to code so that he could use it artistically and after some time realised he knew enough to start building things.

The theme throughout the talk was learning. The learning curve is not linear, in order to learn you have to make each step along the learning curve fun. Those people who know more than you make things look simple but in reality it takes a lot of patience and persistence to get good.

Aaron Gustafson - Designing with Empathy:

I was interested to see how Aaron would cover design as I had considered him more of a developer prior to the talk. He outlined a number of good points but the one that stood out was that design is not art, it is intended to communicate, it is not for showing off either.

Brad Frost - Death to Bullshit:

It felt a little wasteful to watch this talk again but I wanted to see it live! I’m glad I did. Brad went through the noise that we have to work through every day on the web. I have gotten used to pop-ups, terrible mobile experiences, distracting ads etc.

Royal Bandit - The word for work is play:

One of the great things about conferences is you get to hear from interesting people you have never heard of. Julien Valee Vallee and Eve Duhamel were endearing, they went through their different image and video productions for various companies and the funny stories along the way.

Elliot Jay Stocks - Where we are now, and from where have we come?

I was looking forward to this and Elliot gave a really good talk. He went through his career and how his work, and the web, has changed in the past decade. The highlight of the talk were his early websites e.g. Flash site for Atomic Kitten with auto-playing music.

Hellicar Lewis - White Cyclosa:

This was my favourite talk. Pete and Joel went through the digital experiences they create. Their work with autistic children made me realise how software can make a positive impact in people’s lives. Their general philosophy and approach to business is inspiring.

All in all it was a great conference and I am excited about creating things!