Diary: Reasons to be Creative Day 2 & 3

15th September 2015

Here’s our Day Two & Three diary from the jam-packed Reasons to be Creative conference in Brighton.

Our diary from Day One can be found here!


Day Two

Get Sh&t Done!

Ros Horner

Ros is an interactive Design Director based in London who has become preoccupied with our very modern obsession of setting goals and “getting shit done”. Her presentation highlighted the minefield that is inspirational quotes; for example, should I ‘know when to stop’ or ‘never, never, never give up’? The key is to be prepared for opportunities when they happen and focus on progress, not perfection.

The presentation had an interactive element where everyone was asked to write down a goal, idea, experiment or something else they wanted to get done. Ros is giving us all 1 year exactly to do this thing and will be checking up on us!



Retreat to the Shed

Jon Hicks

Jon is a graphic designer based in Oxfordshire and is most widely known as the logo designer for Firefox, Thunderbird, Silverback and Mailchimp, as well as recent icon projects for Spotify and Skype. This talk looked at how to squeeze time and space for experiments and challenge ourselves. Creativity is a muscle that needs to be flexed!

shed crop

One idea to combat ‘designer fatigue’ included incorporating a day every few months to get the team get together to work on whatever they want with whomever they want. What is produced by each participant (or ‘sub-team’) is then presented, discussed and shared with the whole company. Something we could try perhaps?



Power to the (Handy) People

Jane ni Dhulchaointigh

Jane is the inventor of Sugru (inspired by the Irish word for play), an innovative product that has been described as ’21st Century Duct Tape’ by Forbes and was named alongside the iPad by TIME magazine as one of the top 50 Inventions of 2010.

Jane was studying product design at the Royal College of Art in London in 2003, when she had a big idea. What if, instead of having to buy new things all the time, people could fix and improve the things they already had to work better for them? From that initial spark of an idea, she led a long and dedicated scientific development process involving a small team of material scientists, designers and business people to develop an entirely new material that could make the idea a reality.


Jane is passionate about promoting a culture of fixing, creativity and resourcefulness, and sees it as an antidote to the throwaway mind set. Her passion is hitting a chord with the growing number of people looking to live more sustainably and five years after launch there are now over a million people around the world using Sugru, many of whom are sharing their fixes online to inspire others to have a go too.

People are amazing problem solvers, but most are just out of the habit of it.

Key things we learned from Jane:

  1. You don’t need to already be an expert, you can learn new skills all the time.
  2. User testing is like time travel in the amount of time, energy and cost it can save you.
  3. Start small and make it good.
  4. Always learn how your customers feel about you.
  5. You can never improve something that doesn’t work in the first place.
  6. Good things take time.
  7. Launch and learn from your users.



Day Three

Elevator Pitches

The Elevator Pitch is exactly what the title suggests – 16 people get 3 minutes each to show their best work, a new idea, live coding, live drawing, etc. It is fast paced, exciting, and fresh. Not only is a lot of fun, but you get to decide your favourite three pitches, and those speakers then get invited back next year to give full sessions.

Our favourites:

  • Adam Butler – He made a drone controlled by his phone! You can see his presentation here.
  • Martin Hollywood – Programming play.
  • Matt Gibson – Great advice for working with clients.
  • Geri Reid – Volunteering your time and skills to help kids learn code.
  • Tammy Lister – Leveraging UI Pattern Libraries


crop stage



Make, Do and Learn

Gareth James

Gareth is a creative director and coder based in Brighton who works on award winning advertising and hacked-at-home internet connected taxidermy projects. His Commercial work as Chief Creative Officer of Global Creative Agency TMW Unlimited includes the #ArriveAwesome re-boot of Virgin Trains in the UK, the Billion+ viewed #TurnOffToTurnOn Durex campaign and the European launch of Infiniti Luxury Cars with a series of interactive CGI experiences.

His non-commercial work explores a new language of interactivity that is being created as more and more physical stuff becomes digital. Projects discussed include:

Things we learned from Gareth:

  • Make things quickly – if it’s a good idea then add to it and refine it
  • Spot pain points and use these for project ideas



Title Design

Danny Yount

Danny is an American graphic designer / director who has a diverse visual style and unique range of depth in motion arts and film.
As a leading title designer, he has collaborated with top film directors and producers – designing some of the most recognized sequences of the last decade, like Iron Man 1-3, Six Feet Under, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, Rocknrolla, Sherlock Holmes, Tron Legacy, Tyrant, Oblivion and many others.

Key things we learned from Danny:

  • Danny didn’t go to school and went through 35 jobs before realising what he should do for a living
  • Start anywhere
  • Failing while trying something different is better than not trying
  • Hard work overtakes lazy talent
  • Say yes as much as possible
  • Chasing acceptance is an unhealthy waste of time
  • Be humble and stay hungry