05 April 2007

AGIdeas 2007

So. There's this big big big annual design conference in Melbourne called AGIdeas. Went there last year, twas all wonderful and amazing, so I thought I'd go again this year.

So I did.

Since I thought I was not going to Italy, I decided to use the money to buy the (frikkin) expensive tix. Even more expensive since not only I bought the normal conference tix, but also the Interact and Extend tix. With the Interact tix, you can go to a design studio of your preference. With the Extend tix, you can go to a design workshop.

I went to R-Co for Interact night – which was a bit stupid, really, since a good friend of mine works there and I can just ask her whatever I want to ask. But it was worth it in the end, it wasn't as good as my visit to Round last year definitely, but I learned something. I realized just how much I like creating corporate identity and branding and those sides of design.. which most designers that I know of despise. Which might be a good thing.

The conference itself was held for 3 days, in which about 40 designers talked - including Paul Davis, Paula Scher, Chip Kidd, David Tartakover, Andy Stevens from Graphic Thought Facility... the first three I mentioned were my faves. Paul Davis was just hilarious! (in a good way) I heard that for his workshop he's taking his group to this lounge/cafe in the city to create a mural made of food and wine. Now THAT should be good. I'm going to check it out with my friends at around 7 tonight. Paula Scher was.. well, Paula Scher. I mean, it's Paula Scher. She gave us this lecture about NYC - which was really good. I'm still so envious with that girl from Swinburne who gets an internship at Pentagram NY. Damn, I want THAT. Chip Kidd... Well. Chip Kidd belongs to a new paragraph.

Chip Kidd was very dramatic. In the funniest way. His lecture made me a bit worried because I was going to do a workshop with him (which I did this morning). I remember thinking ‘oh god, he's insane and i'm doing a workshop with him and i'm going to redesign the book jacket of his novel which he designed AND wrote!’ But he turns out okay, rather shy in real life, really. Maybe that's because he was extremely hungover and in pain (in his exact words). But anyway, his lecture was really fun and funny and apart from Big Nozzo, the only thing I can remember is ‘BLUE SKY, BLUE SKYYY?’ *amused* The workshop itself was okay, it started late, and after lunch we pinned up our assignments on the wall. I was a bit.. panicky. Anxious and no way near confident, really. Most people were doing it by the computer and to tell the truth, me, I'm a very hands-on person. If things can be done without the computer, I'll do so. I love using cut paper in my work, so I brought some with me, and ended up using the yellow paper. So there it was, hanging on the wall, my rather small (A4) bookjacket with my crude cut paper technique, surrounded by the computerised, A3, black and white book jackets (some of which have AWFUL typography. ugh.). We were asked to explain our works, Chip was giving out critiques to the first book jacket, and I was taking notes frantically, until about two minutes later when he said, “I really love this one, this is the best one out of all these.”

And he was pointing at my work.

Now. I am so used to being the one who gets criticised A LOT, and being confident isn't exactly my forte. Honestly. And there he was, one of my design heroes, loving my concept and execution. If good thing comes to those who wait, I sure have waited for it to come my way for a long, long time. And that compliment, it paid everything off. Every self-doubt that I've ever had, every tear I shed, every bit of frustration. Everything.

So he talked and talked and talked about how he likes it, and how it can be better, for about five minutes. And referring back to it again and again and again for every other book jacket. I felt as if I died and went to a design heaven. I'm not conceited, I swear, I'm just so.. happy. I didn't have to explain my idea, he got it, he loved it. And I'm SO happy. It was like an epiphany. That I would turn out okay. And that I might not be the most talented person but I would get by. That's more than enough for me.

We finished the workshop at around 3.30-ish and he took us to Metropolis. By tram. For which he had to buy the tix. Some journalists in the US reviewed him ‘the closest thing to a rockstar’, but a rockstar doesn't go around by a packed, stuffy, public transport, does he? He's just so down to earth, to tell the truth. Nothing snobby or anything. He never said no to us asking his autographs and taking his photographs and whatnots.

The conclusion, is that AGIdeas 2007 was Awesome. Chip Kidd was Awesome. and I'm Happy.

SO happy, you have no idea. :)

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