Category Archives: fotb10

Festival/Conference Titles

Most recently I spoke at FITC Toronto 2011. Very fortunate to be included in MK12’s titles.

FITC Toronto 2011 Titles from MK12 on Vimeo.

I have been super lucky to be included in FlashontheBeach’s conference titles (being a speaker and all) in 2009 and 2010. After watching Buck’s F5 titles, I realized I never give more than a passing “good titles” comment. However a ton of work goes into them and I need to give them their due.

First off is Artillery’s titles for FOTB ’09

Flash On The Beach 2009 Titles from Artillerystudio on Vimeo.

Wonderfully done. Quiet, delightful and fun. I loved seeing my name in these.

Next up are Nando Costa’s magnetized FOTB ’10 titles.

Flash On The Beach 2010 Titles from Süperfad on Vimeo.

Just amazing. Thank you to John Davey for having me at his events. It’s been a real honour.

My 2010 In Review

2010 was a strange year for me.

Freelance
Unintentionally I did less client work than I should have. When I started working on a portfolio, I had to wonder how I managed to pay my mortgage with how little work I did. Heck, I even griped about not working in April. You know that feeling that maybe it’s you? Yeah…

Moviesinhaiku – Watches, Prints, You know…
On the other side of things my self-directed personal project, Moviesinhaiku, started taking off. I was given some interesting opportunities involving my love of movies and haiku.

Firstly, Scott Wilk invited me to design a watch! That’s pretty much the coolest thing ever. I cannot wait for it to be finished. And I think we’ll continue the collaboration as I enjoy designing watches. I can’t vouch for Scott, but I am totally into it. And if anyone else wants me to design a timepiece, hellz ya is all I can say to that.


The casing from render to silver casting


The face from render to silver casting

I’ve been working on the second watch for a little while now. Very excited about that.

Secondly, Dana Brunetti from Trigger Street asked me to design a larger version of one of my prints and I opted for doing a brand-new triptych of their latest production, The Social Network. My first commission, as it were. Very exciting! Anyone wants a custom Moviesinhaiku original, let me know, I am down.


The Social Network tripych

Public Speaking
I was also truly lucky to speak 3 times this year at events. The Flashbelt conference, Flashonthebeach and FiTC Edmonton. I wrote about them individually before, so let’s just say I really love public speaking and my intended session for 2011 ought to be awesome. So far my only confirmed speaking engagement is for FiTC Toronto. This should be an amazing conference and I am truly excited about it. Any other conference organizers want me to speak at their events, let me know, I simultaneously love and hate public speaking, but I am getting a knack for it.

The Future
What’s on the horizon for 2011? Man, I know one thing, I am going to be working on a documentary film I am calling Influential – The Age of Digital. I blogged recently on how to create a wordmark and that was meant as a teaser to this project. Stay tuned, I am crazy excited about this project.


My upcoming documentary film project

If you know something about the film industry, man I can use some help. So far, I am stoked to know that the fine folk at Influxis will be involved and potentially FiTC. I don’t want to speak out of turn, so I’ll leave it there. Anyone want to throw money into a totally interesting project for a production credit, you need to let me know. Or however that works. I am hoping to find out soon.

Finally, I quit smoking. Feel really good about that.

Flash on the Beach 2010

This was my second year speaking at Flash on the Beach. For six years, John Davey has consistently put on a great conference. His three days of speakers, pitches, networking and inspiration are a huge draw and I spend them in a heady mix of nerves and excitement.

The speakers
I’ve been told point blank that I’m fortunate to be a speaker. So true. I am truly lucky that organizers trust my mouth to fill seats. I get a ringside seat to the genius that is the other speakers. In no way can I be compared to the likes of Grant Skinner, Robert Hodgin or Stefan Sagmeister. I look up to these guys. The fact that I get a microphone and pace on stage too means nothing compared to having a quiet chat with some of my oldest (read: longest) heros. Some of whom I also count as close friends.

Something that is missing from the normal conference experience that I think John Davey has well grasped is the speakers are people; they typically don’t like talking about themselves and have the same insecurities as everyone else. Don’t get me wrong, speakers love talking about their work. Because they love their work. A speaker is a speaker because they are inspired by what they do. Their inspiration is our inspiration when they speak. Seeing Mario Klingemann get excited about a discovery is like watching a kid open a present on Christmas morning. It’s that kind of excitement that drives audience members to go out and “TRY”. But I digress. Get a speaker one on one with an attendee and that’s why you go to Flash on the Beach. At least in my experience. Nothing is better to me than speaking directly with attendees.

Flash on the beach is the one conference where you will see speakers lining the first few rows in session. We are as turned on by what other speakers say as the average conference-goer. It’s a testament to the quality of speakers at Flash on the Beach, myself notwithstanding. I see more sessions at Flash on the Beach than at any other conference and apologize to the speakers who’s session I might miss; I’m looking at you, Seb Lee-Delisle, Hoss Gifford, Brendan Dawes and Ralph Hauwert

My name-dropping is officially exhausted.

My Session
My official session was titled The Art of [Mis]Communication. However, after presenting at Flashbelt in June, I fine-tuned it and renamed it to Things I Learned in Preschool. I have been freelancing for a year and have unofficially become the child-shuttle due to proximity to preschool and kindergarten. In the last year, I have observed behaviour lessons and punishment that we as adults could truly learn from. So I made an effort to dial back the corp speak and dial up the kid speak. Hopefully those that attended my session understood what I hoping to get at.

Secondly, I added in a half-session on my side project; Movies in Haiku. I have been engrossed in this little project for over six months and just had to co-opt my session with it. I apologize if anyone thought I should not have. In my defence, I gave away an entire set of prints, cleverly hidden under the seats by my wife, Elizabeth. Seeing a roomful of people bend over to look under their seat then some come up triumphantly with a print just made me smile. I felt like Willy Wonka. A little. Without the big hat. The prints are for sale on my Etsy shop.

Summary
Thank you so much to John, his family, his volunteers and staff for making my stay in Brighton and my Flash on the Beach experience one to remember!

Public Speaking

I am booked to speak at two events in the next few months; FlashBelt in Minneapolis and Flash on the Beach in Brighton, UK.

FlashBelt is first. As in five weeks away! I’m super stoked about speaking at FlashBelt as it’s in its seventh year and I really respect what Dave Schroeder has done with FlashBelt.

Next up is the awesome Flash on the Beach! I was invited to speak there for the first time last year and had such a blast! Fortunately John asked me back and I can’t even begin to say how much fun I have in Brighton.

At both events, I’ll be presenting my 2010 session.

The Art of (Mis)Communication

Consider your past projects. Tight timeline? An art director or a technical lead with a huge ego? A project manager that neglects to disclose specific details? While these things directly impact your project you’ll find, more often than not, they can be more easily dealt with when you provide and receive proper, effective communication.

Let’s delve into how we deal with the people we deal with. Let’s look at how we speak to the people we speak to. Ins and outs of conversation. Lengthy meetings that test everyone’s patience. Email forwarding and why a few minutes of editing can save hours of time. Setting alerts. The little things, the big things and everything in the middle. Nothing should be overlooked. Taken in perspective, every project starts with a 50/50 chance of success. It’s how we as a team communicate that pushes that ratio one way or the other.

If you’re in either locale, I invite you to come and enjoy my stress of standing on stage!

My 2010 Session

Now that FlashBelt 2010, happening June 13-16, has opened registration, I feel okay with talking about my intended 2010 session. I also got the thumbs up from John Davey to say I am confirmed for Flash on the Beach 2010, September 26-29, as well! They’ll both be super fun and I highly recommend checking them out!

Here’s the session description:

Consider your past projects. Tight timeline? An art director or a technical lead with a huge ego? A project manager that neglects to disclose specific details? While these things directly impact your project you’ll find, more often than not, they can be more easily dealt with when you provide and receive proper, effective communication.

Let’s delve into how we deal with the people we deal with. Let’s look at how we speak to the people we speak to. Ins and outs of conversation. Lengthy meetings that test everyone’s patience. Email forwarding and why a few minutes of editing can save hours of time. Setting alerts. The little things, the big things and everything in the middle. Nothing should be overlooked. Taken in perspective, every project starts with a 50/50 chance of success. It’s how we as a team communicate that pushes that ratio one way or the other.

I’ve been doing this (making stuff in Flash) for over 10 years, working at large and small agencies, owning my own boutique flash shop, and as a freelancer. It’s been an interesting path to follow.

I was surprised by the reaction to my session at Flash on the Beach last fall. It felt like something out of fiction. However, all I did was point out things that could help a person get to work. Gratifying is not a strong enough word for the encouragement I received by my friends and the people that attended my little session on the last day of the conference with my broken voice and punctuated by timely(?) cursing.

I spent the next few months wondering how I could follow The 10 Best Things to NOT do Amazing Work up. Then a light bulb went off.

As a freelancer, I am graced with the ability to work on many different projects for many different agencies for many different clients. Since leaving my last full-time position, I’ve worked for OLG, Subaru, Nokia, Pedigree and Gillette. That’s exciting for me. After two years of one client, this potpourri of clients is like manna from heaven. It gives me pause to think how lucky I am.

Here’s the crux; I now work in one position for many different team dynamics. I see good and bad, exceptional and accepted. There is something to be said for effective communication that goes beyond simply doing your job and hoping everyone else is doing theirs. Of course, I like to turn that notion on its head and talk about a lack of effectiveness. Que sera sera.

Anyway, here’s my pitch. Come to my talk. Sit back, sit forward, stand up. However you like to watch and participate in sessions. I can promise it won’t be boring.

Dear conference or festival organizers, if you like the sound of this session, you too can have a lifesized Hugh at your event! Just ask and, as long as I agree with the premise of the event, I will totally be on board.