Blab 14

Last Monday we made our way down to Manchester for Blab 14, an evening consisting of 2 talks by speakers invited to Manchester by Northern Digitals. This time it was Matt Wagerfield of Fantasy Interactive and Gavin Strange of Aardman Digital.

We hadn’t been to a Blab before, so we’re excited to see what it was like. Both talks were really good and very different from each other so I’m very glad we made the trip.

Matt spoke about WebGL, what you can do with it and what FI have been using it to build recently. There was a lot of technical information to take in, so my mind was blown a few times during his talk. I’m really impressed with WebGL though and there were just enough cat slides to break up the heavy developer sections 🙂

Matt’s way of speaking was great, somehow staying fun even when talking about things I struggled to get my head around. For a first go at public speaking I was really impressed!

Gavin Strange (AKA Jam Factory) is someone I’ve been following around the internet for a while now and I was eager to see his talk. He’s always come across as one of those people bubbling with ideas and somehow finds the time to work as the senior designer at Aardman Digital and still create loads of cool stuff outside of work.

A small selection of cool stuff includes his Droplet toys, BÖIKZMÖIND, #goprofosho and that Hello Sailor print I bought a while ago at the Squiddles exhibition.

In person he was exactly how you’d expect him to be – lively, happy and very fun to listen to. His talk was really inspiring, after which I’ve been super eager to start doing all cool things in my spare time.

Some of the things I took away from his talk are that there’s no harm in trying, and if you really want to get somewhere or do something that’s just what you have to do. It doesn’t matter if you’re the most talented designer or just a mediocre one (as Gav tried to tell us he once was), you won’t get anywhere if you don’t show people what you can do.

Be eager, be childlike, make the most of your time and enjoy yourself.

I’d have loved to stay behind for a little while and say hello to both Matt and Gav, but we had to run to the train station and get the last train back to Liverpool. Maybe next time!

We also picked up a copy of the print made especially for the evening, which I’ll take a photo of and post later.

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