Oh, wow. What an amazing three days this week started with!
If you’ve not heard of Reasons to be Creative, it’s a 3 day, 3 track conference held in Brighton on the first Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of September and it is excellent. Not only is it run by a man who pours his heart and soul into it, it’s also full of attendees share the same love for what they do.
Over the past few days I’ve met a bunch of great people and was even able to approach the speakers and thank them for taking the time to share their work, inspiring me to make more of mine.
I also attended the Advanced Front-End Development workshop run by Ben Bodien, which reaffirmed the good and bad ways to do my job, whilst allowing me to ask questions that have been bugging me about building websites.
One of the running themes in the talks I saw were that you should make things you love, regardless of whether someone has hired you to do it. You should also take time to create the kind of work you’d like to be hired for or clients aren’t likely to choose you for those jobs.
From Form told us to believe in what you want to make. They showed us that you should make fun while you have no work and work hard when you make anything. The Reasons to be Creative opening titles that From Form made were great and I loved seeing the props they used in the video on stage. I’m also in love with their work and all the hands on making they do.
Another labour of love advocate is Tom Muller. His often unpaid side projects created work opportunities for him doing the things he loves, similar to GMUNK whom he shared a studio with for a while. Tom told us to ‘carve out your niche’ and put as much love into the details as the big picture.
There were speakers I’ve seen a few times and was excited to see again such as James White, Sara Blake, Mr Bingo and the explosion of enthusiasm that is Gavin Strange. There were also others I hadn’t seen before but were both inspiring and entertaining such as Rachel Max, Lizzie Mary Cullen and Cyriak Harris.
In the particular, lies the universal.
My favourite talk of Reasons To Be Creative was definitely by James Victore. James’ talk focused on the idea that you don’t have to make anything up because all the good stuff lies within and we should use our past, personal experiences to create our work. This really helped settle my mind about my own work as I’ve been concerned no one else will enjoy my odd streak but making work simply to please other people serves no one!
Finally, let’s not forget the Elevator Pitches. An hour packed with fresh faces, really interesting topics and 20 nervous speakers hoping they get everything right. I really admire anyone who is brave enough to get up in front of an audience and speak about anything and it’s not going to be easy choosing my favourite 3 from this year’s bunch!
If you’re looking to attend a conference next year and need to pick one to convince your boss to pay for (or like me, just need to convince yourself it’s worth the ticket price) I highly recommend you choose Reasons to be Creative. Both this year and last I’ve left brimming with enthusiasm and a desire to just make things and improve my craft. I’ve met loads of interesting people and can’t wait to do it all over again next year.
Bring on Reasons to be Creative 2015!