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Reasons to be Creative 2018 (London)

10 March 2018

Reasons to be Creative 2018

Reasons To Be Creative gathers the very best international creatives and developers to inform, inspire, entertain, thrill and educate designers and coders that attend from all over the world. With a festival atmosphere and impressive venue, this conference is unlike anything else.

Reasons To Be Creative has been running for more than a decade and includes the annual 2 day conference in Brighton in September, a 1 day conference in London in March and occasionally events in the US. I have attended and worked at ‘Reasons Toʼ for many years. This post will cover a few personal takeaways from the London event that took place on 9th March 2018. Iʼll also mention why I think this type of event is so important for creatives and developers working in agencies, studios and freelance.

Jonathan Barnbrook

Renowned designer and typographer, Barnbrook has worked for longer than some of us have been alive. This experience in subversive design has given him an ability to craft meaningful communications for clients as well as activist causes. His talk focused on his recent work with David Bowie and the creation of artwork for Bowies last 4 album. He revealed insights into working with such a high profile client and the methods he used to win cover executives who were apprehensive about the challenging output.

Takeaway Even with the most established of clients, a great budget and a famous designer, there is no automatic clear path to success. Worthwhile work requires championing. Its that skill, gained for years of experience, that allows this level of work to make it out the door.

Juno Calypso

A photographer and risk taker, Juno tells a fantastic story of the events leading up to, and the process of capturing her self portraits: From a reverse image search of a heart shaped bath tube to a trip to Las Vegas to meet a, soon to be cryogenically frozen, gun owner who lived in an underground ‘bunkerʼ.

Takeaway Her adventurous approach to work illustrates the many ways there are to an end result and sometimes, the joinery informs and changes the outcome.

Lizzie Mary Cullen

A wonderful illustrator and story teller. Her stripped down illustrations detailing her encounter with a wild bear was brilliant. This raw approach is in contrast to her commercial book covers and murals which are painstaking and detailed.

Takeaway creative talent manifests itself in the approach and the process as well as the end result. Focusing on the former means you arenʼt beholden to the style or look of the later.

Rob Draper

Designer, artist, typography based illustrator, Draper is a talented and interesting creative. On the surface, it might seem like his work is produced entirely for attention on Instagram: nothing could be further from the reality. Often ‘internet famousʼ creatives tell a dull story of how they drew one thing, it got a million likes in a week and then live from the profits of their instant success. These stories are never very interesting and often skip the struggles and self doubt (and how thats overcome) in the creative process...

Rob Draper told a different story: with great power and dignity, he described his work and life, how they weaved into, and often crashed into, each other. He talked about how he, his son and his work survived several life events and how one affected and informed the other. It was a fantastic breath of fresh air.

Takeaway Own your journey. We are human, we try, we fall, we get back up: theres no reason to hide that. Social media in 2018 still demands your story to be flawless and perfect. But we are cheating ourselves out of something more genuine and real. Draper has found a way through that by revealing not just his great work, but him as a real person.

Why your employees and colleagues should attend Reasons To Brighton in 2018? Multi day conferences like Reasons To give you the opportunity to make connections with people, talk in depth about projects new and old, learn and reflect on what you have seen and heard. The cathartic process of going to a 3 day conference even though the content might be similar: Time away from work is really important. After doing many many of these events. With new techniques, ways of working and connections, I feel confident in saying that, as a business, you always get back the productivity lost from people being out of the office. Well worth letting a few employees go for a few days.