Last weekend Semi-Permanent hosted a series of great talks at Carriage Works. A few of the artists (I heard) included: Ben Quilty, Reese Gorgol, Beci Orpin, Bjark Ingles, Murray Frediricks, Dav Rauch, Patrick Claire and Anna Wili. The calibre of their works were inspiring. It was also extremely interesting to notice common threads amongst the practitioners speaking there that underlies their great works.

Uncomfortable. One of the strongest themes was working outside one’s comfort zone and having the crazy perseverance to see it through. People should say the idea is insane when told - Ingles.

Failure. Many almost failed, and some did fail, at school and elsewhere. That’s expected. It’s worth it to be pushing the boundaries.

Self. Being comfortable with oneself, and discovering oneself were common themes. The self-confidence to work against tradition and your peers is essential. Dav Rauch had a good tip about putting in earphones and talking out loud to himself - bouncing ideas with his schizophrenic selves. A strong work ethic is important when valuing one’s own work, persevering through any blocks. Reese Gorgol had a great anecdote on how his personal search of his Design Taste transformed from ‘the aesthetic’ too ‘the process’ - and having self-confidence in ‘the process’ to determine the right decisions (aesthetic or otherwise) for projects.

Socialise. Many had naturally established a great network and wealth of experience over time through travelling, work experience, and the sharing of ideas and works. (It was also interesting to note that many had more than one tertiary degree.)

Dialogue. Design is a dialogue. As such, the brief is constantly changing and requires consideration at all levels (e.g. governmental all the way too local).

Out there. One has to have fun and think futuristically sometimes, yet keep things simply intuitive.

  • “Most iconic ideas can be summed up in a single line” - Patrick Claire.

  • “The surprising truth: It’s often easier to make something 10 times better than it is to make it 10 percent better.” - Astro Teller at Google X.

  • “A good idea and a good joke are similar because in each case the listener immediately ‘gets’ it. The punch line is something one hasn’t heard before, yet despite that it comes across as inevitable.” - Bjark Ingles

Perhaps by putting oneself in uncomfortable situations, persevering through them - even through failure, having confidence in ones self, sharing, keeping up a dialogue, and just having fun - are some of the precursors to better works that build on-top of one another until they’re great.

Thanks to Tom and the Creative Lab for the opportunity to go to Semi-Permanent.