I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again - the role of an artist is a complex and often challenging one. Every artist, no matter what stage you’re at in your career, will struggle with diminishing motivation and inspiration. It’s incredibly easy to slip into this state as we work ourselves into the ground, letting the pot of ideas run empty. But you are not alone! I know this because last week I spent three days at Reasons to be Creative in Brighton and was surrounded by artists and developers from across the creative industries, all looking for a fix of something that would get their creative juices flowing…
And that’s what we got; an inspiring range of presentations and talks from talented individuals from every corner of the digital art spectrum. From Flash animation and game development to experimental motion graphics inside Cinema 4D, this event was for anyone who likes to explore the relationships between art, science and technology.
For the full list of speakers at this event, take a look here. And here’s a list of my favourites from the 3-day event:
Amit Pitaru - Designer and coder, Amit’s work spans across experimental art, research, education, and entrepreneurial projects. A recurring theme in his work is the extreme attention to user-experience, specifically how technology can promote (or destroy) curiosity, literacy, and creativity.
Memo Akten - A visual artist, musician and engineer based in London and has produced some incredible effects work with Cinema 4D. Memo is inspired by the processes that shape nature, exploring the space between art and science, between the abstract and figurative; to extract and amplify the unseen relationships within images, space, movement, sound and time. His work is driven by the urge to make the seemingly impossible possible and to awaken our childlike instincts to explore and discover.
James Paterson – An artist / weirdness engineer moonlighting as a software engineer. Based in Montreal, he believes that making a crappy game can be more fun than playing a good one.
Dominic Wilcox - A British artist and designer whose work takes an alternative perspective on the banalities of everyday life. His innovative and diverse creations range from objects, installations, live performances and invention drawings. Recently he designed a pair of shoes to guide the wearer home with inbuilt GPS, raced against a 3D printer at the V&A and nibbled Jaffa Cakes into British icons.
Jon Burgerman - One of the prominent key artists in the recent boom of modern day practitioners who effortlessly traverse the disciplines of urban art, design, illustration and entrepreneurism. His award winning work can be seen globally from gallery and bedroom walls to cinema and iPhone screens. A sense of British self-deprecation, dry humour and modern-day anxiety imbues his work along with an enthusiasm for salad. Burgerman exhibits internationally and has shown work alongside contemporary artists such as Banksy, Damien Hirst, Vivienne Westwood and Gerald Scarfe.
Luke Whittaker - Established an indie games company called State of Play in 2008 and specialises in the design and animation of hand-crafted games, often using pencils, papercraft and laser cutting to create game art. At State of Play he developed the IGF-nominated puzzle adventure game Lume, as well as the forthcoming sequel Lumino City, which involved the creation of a miniature city out of paper and cardboard, including working lights and electric motors. He also creates handmade animations for clients including Oxfam and Macmillan, and makes illustrated screenprints with Print Club London.
Stefan Sagmeister - Formed the New York based Sagmeister Inc. in 1993 and has since designed for clients as diverse as the Rolling Stones, HBO, and the Guggenheim Museum. His talk was particularly amusing, leaving us all with a lot to think about. I urge you to check out his Happy Film.
If you’re reading this with a sense of disappointment having missed it, fear not! The dates for next year’s event are already set for the 1st, 2nd and 3rd September 2013, so block them out in your diary and get on their mailing list (scroll to the bottom of that page & subscribe) for ticket sale announcements. There’s a rumour that GMUNK will be presenting at the next one which I'm particularly psyched about.