Semi-Permanent Sydney 2007

Semi-Permanent 2007This Friday, Saturday I went to Sydney's Semi-Permanent 07 with the Soap crew and my girlfriend. For those who don't know it's a conference on design in any medium. I have been to the last 2 years events and often they have some inspiring speakers, I especially like it when they talk about either there business or technical process. My previous expectations of the first days speakers wasn't quite met, don't get me wrong there work was good, but a majority of them were fine artists rather than designers. I also think the order of the speakers could of been changed so that the content differed more through out the day. The second day was alot better a wider selection of speakers with mostly better work than the first, no disappointments.

The speakers for SP07 were as follows

Day 1 Friday

Sophie Howarth
She promoted her Big Day Out Photography with her recent book 'Peace Love and Brown Rice'. I hadn't heard of her before and I was hoping she would deliver more stories on her experiences and punters of the Big Day Out rather than just the photo montage we recieved. She described her self as a people photographer, most the people shots of the BDO were the rock stars. She also revealed during QA her favourite BDO was this years 2007, rationalle being since the release of her book she has since privaledged back stage passes and intends to release a new book of this years BDO.

Eva and Michael provided us with an interesting overview mostly of a large selection of various billboard posters mostly for music events. They started there story with a humorous camparison of the differences between the Nederlands and Australia because of there recent relocatation to Australia. Then continued with Michael presenting most the content and Eva controlling the arrow key. There typographic sills were good, often building there own typefaces - which I like doing also. I was particularly interested in the annual report which they took some creative license on the graphs making them 'sexy', but I couldn't clearly see where I was sitting.

Si Scott
Si's ornate typographic skills by using a inked and penned technique was pretty impressive especially seeing he said he did it all by hand, must take forever. I really felt sorry for this guy nerves got the better of him pretty bad in the beginning but luckily found his stride later on. It was also cool Si has managed to coin and develop his graphic look and make alot of money out of it, though he did say - 'lately he's trying to develop something new'.

Tiffany Bozic
Her unique canvas of maple wood combined with a honed realistic painting style of animals in a sureal environment, best summed up her work. You can tell with Tiffany she loves what she does and has travelled to lengths to do so even cmaping in the back of machine shops. She also has a relentless pursuit for working closely with biologists to better understand her subject, the crazy geek she is even married one. She later let us know she is working on her first artistic installation at a museum in San Francisco, again getting the opportunity to work closely with biologists.

James Jean
James illustration work was awesome. He mostly presented work for the comic Fables, which he has done the cover for 50+ titles. The volume of work for these titles was nicely overviewed in a mosiac grid layout. I particularly liked seeing the drawing process that James used rather than just talking about it. He also really loves to use the invert blendmode, I think he must of said 'then i just inverted it' about 20 times. Something else that also interested me was that James said he worked as a Flash designer in NY during the .com boom and I was wondering wether he still tinkers in Flash today?

Motion Theory
This LA based VFX company gave us a process overview of a project they did for a music clip. It was good to focus on a single project like that and try and get across your process in your team, this is so often over looked at these events. The work was good but not the best VFX I have seen I was more inspired by companies like Qube Konstruct and my favourite Pysop when they presented in the last few SP's.

Day 2 Saturday

Jonathan Zawada
Jonathon's graphic design and art direction work was great. I especially appreciated the concise way he presented his work even including his reference examples. The main project presented was a series of the Preset covers he did. He also dabbles in doing online design from which he quickly showed us the Presets site.

Mike O'Meally
Mike's showed us his skate boarding photos and insights into the stories behind them for Slam magazine. He explained his story of following your dream regardless of what people or your lecturers may say.

BLK/MRKT - Dave Kinsey
Dave showed us a collection of his commercial and fine artist work. His commercial work included mostly brand ID and advertising design to target youth culture through a graphic street style look. Dave also runs a small gallery to house about a dozen artists work in San Fransisco and explained a little about the background of this and the artists work involved.

Nash Edgerton
Nash is a movies and music clips stunt man and also directs his own self funded films. Cool eh. His drive to do his own self written films while also working on stunts to pay the bills was inspiring in the strangest way. I had seen his work previously with the film 'Lucky' at Tropfest years ago and was great to meet the guy behind it all.

Marmalade is a magazine for smart good looking people. Marmalade's unqiue approach to design for this magazine was cool, they actually build the magazine raising titles and content with foam core then photographing it. They also don't follow some of the normal traditions of high volume magazines having set sections month on end. Marmalade has a main article with interdispersed related abstract articles which results in exploratory reading. As well alot of the direction they took in the magazine was from self motivated market research tailoring the magazine to there readers rather than double guessing.

Method Studios
Method Studios is a visual effects company with an impressive reel again not quite as good as Pysop or Qube Konstruct my SP faves but good none the less. The work presented on Seers was great as some how they managed to convince a cardigan brand to do the impossible - take a chance and do something unique. They also discussed the artistic/creative process for some of the work they had done on the movie 'the ring', some of the process resulted from a new phrase I have pocketed 'happy accidents'.

The Verdict
I really wished this years Semi-Permanent had at least 1 presenter primarily from the web, interactive or game design industry, pretty disappointing. As well next year only include commercial designers/artists - no fine artists. And a more diverse range of speakers over the first day would of been better. All this said my highlights for the show were TOKO, James Jean and Jonathon Zawanda for me.