So we sent our Studio Manager Lou back to Dublin for the amazing OFFSET 2012. It's a creative festival curated by Peter O’Dwyer, Bren Byrne and Richard Seabrooke. Each year they've gotten a line-up to cause some serious drooling, and this year was no different with Seymour Chwast, Friends With You, Stefan Segmeister, Evan Hecox, Michael Bierut and Paula Scher from Pentagram, Shaepard Fairey (OBEY), Jessica Hische, Johnny Kelly, Olly Moss, Kyle Cooper just to name a few! Here's her report!
The younger speakers talked about their inspiration and how it is reflected in their work, past failures and current works in progress. The speakers with a few more years in the industry under their belt talked about their more personal work and the future of the design and illustration industry. Regardless of the area of the creative industry they were in or how long they'd been working, everyone seemed to have simularities in what they were saying. You've got to do the commercial work in order to do the personal work that you really want to do, finding the balance and making the time for yourself is what matters. It's your life and your own prolonged happiness is the goal that we seem to forget quite quickly once the jobs start coming in.
What I was most impressed with was the amount of speakers that had or were currently working in screen print. Evan Hecox is known for his work on skateboards and for the music industry but he focused solely on his personal pieces, many of which were screen printed to perfection! Seymour Chwast (PushPin) was just a dream! Humble despite his massive body of work I particularly liked the series where he defiled a mans face through screen print becuase he's hair was too shiney. This sparked a little show idea brain storm between myself and Serge Seidlitz! The wonderful Olly Moss was very funny showing us all the crap tee graphics he started off with and how that evolved into his extremely honed sense of style saying "You've got to respect your audience, I hate the idea in graphic design that you must spoon feed everyone" and the confidence to direct exacly where he is going in his career. "It's always a two way relationship and you've got to think what they can do for you".
Of course then there was Shepard Fairey (OBEY) who early in his street art career started a screen printing business in order to cheaply reproduce a lot of his work and get as much of it into the public sphere as possible. "I fell in love with screeprinting because rather then having one precious original you, you could create multiples that are still a hand made art piece...and it was cheap so I could get a lot out there". He also describe how working in screen print made his style evolve. "It forces you to think about limited colour and changed my style to a much simpler one". When I look at his screen printed and stencil work now I'd say it's anything but simple but I guess that's just a further progression as you work with the medium. Growing up in the time of iconic (for better or worse) Presidents Reagon, Bush and Obama his political posters remind me of Dada artist extraordinaire John Heartfield.
As each speaker compiled there presentation, stopped and looked back on their own work it dawned on all of them what exactly their inspiration was. Von said it brilliantly, " True inspiration is something inbedded in you over time as you grow up rather then the inspiration you feel from your peers and icons". The general gist was, happiness is key, even in this difficult economic climate you're work is all you'll leave behind you so make time for yourself and do what matters to you. @iamloubones
@printclublondon @weloveoffset www.iloveoffset.com