Day two saw myself and Gerry head on into the Brighton based creative hub that is Reasons to be Creative.
The morning was kicked off with a keynote from Microsoft’s Andrew Spooner and Amy Nicholson cheerfully entitled “Welcome to 2017. This is the current level of human happiness. And this is the date and time you will die.” With wearable sensors for collecting human data becoming more prolific, and the unlimited amount of storage space that is now available through cloud storage, and the general availability of complex machine learning algorithms it has become relatively easy to process this massive amount of data and extrapolate meaningful and hopefully useful conclusions.
After this, we attended David Lenaerts’ “A Peek at the Future of 3D on the Web“. Which provided a fascinating look into how 3D engines work behind the scenes and what WebGL is currently capable of and what it will hopefully be able to achieve in the near future.
Before lunch I attended Dan Hett’s “How to destroy your work (and why you should)“. A loud and colourful journey through some of the work, thoughts and ‘processes’ of someone whose working practice is currently centred around live-coding techniques and performance. He also explained that he tends to do rapid – often disposable – prototyping and experimentation.
In the meantime, Gerry went along to Ros Horner’s “Get **it done!“. Which was a great talk on how we can pick ourselves – and our lives – up without setting ourselves up for failure. She focused mainly around “soft” goals and on avoiding notions about having to be the best. She encouraged everyone to make a promise to do one thing personal in the next year and then share it.
After lunch, we were treated to Jon Hick’s talk “Retreat to the Shed!” in which he explained how important it is that we all have somewhere that we can escape to for experimentation, relaxation and the freedom to be creative – be it playing with power tools, fixing up old bikes or just ‘pottering’. It was an exploration of the little things we can do to introduce creativity into our lives without overhauling our daily routine, and how these small things can lead to new avenues. A good example was how he used the five minutes he had as his son prepared for school to draw cartoon creatures for his lunch bag. He gained a weight of personal doodles and his son got more enthusiastic about eating his packed lunch.
Up next was “Power to the (handy) people” a wonderful presentation by Jane ni Dhulchaointigh – the inventor of Sugru (an innovative product that has been described as ’21st Century Duct Tape’ by Forbes.com and was named alongside the iPad by TIME magazine as one of the top 50 Inventions of 2010). Jane took us on the journey of how she got the idea for her product and the hard 6 years it took to get the idea to market. A very inspirational story about sticking to your vision, going with gut instinct, and how the journey transformed and went from creating a product to bringing the opportunity of being creative to others. Now go and buy some Sugru!
Finishing up the day was Yuko Shimizu‘s “You are never too old to achieve your dream“. Yuko, up to the age of 30, worked on the business side of the ad industry. She worked on the business side because her parents had told her it was the better thing to do. By 33 she was on a plane to New York to study at the school of visual arts to study illustration (where she is now a tutor). She took us on a journey through her work and the lessons she’s learnt since making the decision to pursue her dreams.