Analogue Digital Creative Conference
Brisbane’s creatives go on a first date
I must admit, I was a little nervous when I first popped the question.
‘Er, um, what do you think about…er, next Friday…um…me taking out…er…the entire creative department?’
‘What for?’ came the reply.
‘Analogue Digital – an event to inspire creative minds to step outside their comfort zone and think bigger and brighter’, I said, in a highly professional manner.
‘Sure, just make sure you all have a few beers too!’
Good point. As a newly expanded creative team, it was the perfect time to do a bit of bonding. And so it was that a couple of weeks ago, we headed down to the Power House, on the banks of the Brisbane River.
As venues go, the Power House is pretty impressive. Built to power trams in the 1920s, it was decommissioned before the Ministry of Defence used it for target practice in the war. Decades later, it became a hang out for the homeless, as well as local kids who made their mark with rattle cans. It underwent a $3.5 million reno in 2006, but the bullet holes and graffiti proudly remain.
After dispatching a few jobs in the morning, Daniele, Ezza, Em, Krisso, Phil and I left the office to arrive fashionably late at the event. The 536-seat theatre was packed as we crept in to see the first presenters in full flight up on stage.
They were ‘Bardo’ a Spanish couple who manage to live, love and work together, flying all over the world to tackle diverse design briefs. They’ve developed a level of authority that allows them to present clients with just a single concept. One they truly believe is right. How many agencies achieve that?
Next we met ‘Does’, a Dutch footballer who was destined for greatness before injury ended his career on the field. That’s when his secret ‘second life’ as a graffiti artist came to the fore. Now he flies all around the world, spraying buildings for money, with the owners’ permission.
As well as these international names, we met Dale Begini and Georgia Hill, two independent illustrators from Sydney. Heavily influenced by tattoo, skate and punk, Dale’s mantra is ‘Work Smart, Hustle Hard’. Georgia is more into tactile textures across print and video.
I guess they were there to showcase diversity of approach and style. As in, you can stay true to yourself and still find work.
But by far the most entertaining and generally out there of the speakers was local boy, Joel Birch. A member of ‘post-hardcore’ band Amity Affliction, he’s done it all. Graffiti writer, designer, photographer, musician, he embodies the true spirit of creativity. He was even homeless for a while as he suffered for his art.
One thing that was notably missing from Analogue Digital was anything digital. But it was still a highly valuable outing for the whole team.
It reminded us that creativity can come from anywhere, and lead to anything. The main message of the day was ‘Trust yourself, back yourself, be yourself’.
Sure, digital tech gives us amazing creative opportunities, but it takes a human hand to turn them into magic. Now, where’s that can of spray paint?
For more on this year’s speakers and their stuff, head here.
… by Phil Nobay