This time last week I was in Barcelona and it was the start of three days of OFFF, a design conference/festival which was boasting a line up I couldn't turn down this year. The three days were pretty overwhelming with an abundance of advice and inspiration, so I'm going to cut it down to the top 3 pieces of advice and thoughts I'm taking away.
Lesson 1. Learn calligraphy. This piece of advice I took from Seb Lester, his stunning lettering was a intimidatingly good. From the way he spoke it seemed you can develop a real appreciation for letterforms and type design through the the process of calligraphy, not to mention the value of craftsmanship
Action: take a calligraphy course, or get online/books/reading and start self-teach this.
2) "Everything starts in a sketchbook" says children's illustrator and author Oliver Jeffers, as he spoke about his process and work it was more than apparent how vital a sketchbook is. This was also reiterated by a few other talks from speakers. I feel I've become more absentminded about sketchbooks recently, especially whilst freelancing so this thought really resonated.
Action: Invest in a sketchbook you'll love and don't be afraid to scribble and make a mess, this is part of the design process. I also bought a copy One Sketch a Day from one of the stalls at the festival, which pretty much does what it says on the tin. So far I've done one a day to get me in flow of things, (but it's only been week yet!)
3) Don't be lazy. Kate Moross's final slide pretty much summed up a work ethic which I'm slowly internalising. Don't be lazy, don't do things half-arsed, over-deliver if you have to; sometimes that can feel amazing.
Action: Get into the habit of over-delivering and learn new skills. Don't waste 'free' time, there is no such thing by using every second and throwing yourself into immerse yourself through learning new skills it can stop your from feeling or being lazy.
That's a very, very brief round up, overall the conference was brilliant, my only criticism would be the ridiculously over sexualised branding they had this year, it was verging on cringe-y at times. Aside from that there were thousands of attendees and the entire vibe oozed creativity and design, I loved it. I really recommend a visit next year: the location and time of year is perfect for breakfasts on the beach and topping up that tan too!