Words: Paula Torres Moneu
Photos: Craig Allan
Back in June the Square Club in Clifton opened its doors once again to welcome Bristol’s agencies, freelancers and all-round creative community to the 2nd Edition of Glug Bristol: Doing Things Differently.
With a fantastic line-up of speakers celebrating collaboration, digital activism and not being afraid of doing you, the event encouraged attendees to approach creative work from unexpected angles, throwing away convention and embracing the advances of technology to complement the creative process.
‘Notworking’ with Microsoft Surface
The evening kicked-off at the bar by the hands of the lovely guys at Microsoft Surface UK – who brought along their new Surface Studio & Surface Book 2 for us to play around with over some free drinks and a healthy dose of ‘notworking’.
First to open the stage was Sean Buchan, whose digital agency If Not Now was behind that Trump & Boris mural.
Sean and his team are all for digital activism, having worked hard to encourage people to vote and engage in politics during the EU referendum and the last general election.
Working on a very tight budget but with the heartfelt passion and enthusiasm that comes with doing something you believe in, If Not Now may have not managed to bag a win for #remain but they certainly made a big splash resulting in a record-high attendance at the polls.
On next was Konichiwa’s founder and creative director Ursula Hutchinson, along with copywriter Danielle Styles and assistant to creative director Sophie Filomena, who continued on with the ‘doing things differently’ theme by introducing their unique, collaborative agency built on a big family of freelancers.
The team talked us through some of the agency’s best work and explained to us their shared mission of supporting Bristol’s indies by producing great and affordable creative work aimed at local start-ups and small businesses.
They identified Bristol as being the perfect platform for art to thrive, as the city’s unique and diverse environment makes it great for championing new ideas and exploring creativity.
Above all, founder and creative director Ursula Hutchinson reminded attendees of the value of collaboration, explaining that one of the reasons for her agency’s success is their ability to draw from a diverse pool of talent, which allows them to identify each team member’s strength and match it to a brief.
Following a small break to refill our drinks at the bar came Andy Buchan and Mark Lundin, creative partners at digital art and experience design studio Kuva.
Getting deep by exploring the philosophical arguments behind what makes art valuable, the pair of passionate digital artists chatted to us about the wonders of new and developing technology and what that means for the future of art and design.
They encouraged us to view digital development in a whole new light and made us ponder on the true meaning of authenticity – all the while by showing us some mind-blowing new tech!
Closing the stage with a high-speed talk was self-confessed realistic idealist Gavin Strange, senior designer and director at Aardman Animations and the man behind Jam Factory.
Demonstrating that opportunities come from passions, Gavin talked us through his journey from designing music posters as a hobby when he was younger to having bagged his dream job at Aardman Animations, and everything in-between.
With a truly infectious enthusiasm that seemed to engulf the room, he identified one of the enablers for his success to be his systematic approach to managing his time – which in his case meant oft-times sacrificing sleep to be able to juggle work, passion projects and some well-deserved family time.
At the end of his talk, there was one clear message that resonated above all others: à Make time for what you love!
And with that the night’s speaker line-up finally came to an end, but with an open bar in full swing that didn’t stop our talented and inspiring speakers from staying behind to chat to us for a little longer – giving us some invaluable advice that we’ve rounded up below!
Tips for aspiring creatives
• Be curious and open to new ideas
• Do what you’re into – embrace your weirdness!
• Get your ideas out there
• Collaborate as much as possible
• Make things up – give yourself briefs
• Don’t be afraid to make mistakes
• Find your strengths – be confident!
• Make a bit of noise – think outside the box to get people to notice you
Less thinkering – more tinkering!