When You're Smiling... from David OReilly on Vimeo.
My Girlfriend and I attended the third pictoplasma conference this year and it really has been a blast for us. Unlike other conferences, this character-, animation and design- and art fest hosted a vast number of exibitions, parties, and workshops that framed the actual conference made up of speaker's lectures, smyposium panels and screenings. The non-elitist, family vibe that took over the "Haus der Kulturen der Welt" for three days was something that we really enjoyed. During the conference you always had families with little kids playing within the exibition and playground spaces, and even strollers and tourists, that would otherwise have no interest in the matter, would show up and enjoy the event. If not the exibitions throughout Berlin, this shows the interest in promoting the love for character design to the general public rather than making a class gathering of a handful of mates.
The conference audience was mainly made up of artists, students, fans, designers and journalists. There was no V.I.P. launch for the speakers so if they stuck around, fans and students could get in touch with them, ask them questions or show some artwork if they felt like it. This constant dialogue was also encouraged by the workshops and the so called "breakfast pitch" hosted by Fons Schiedon. Here, upcoming artists could share their projects with the audience.
I did not partake in any workshop activity but tried to follow all the presentations and panel discussions. Boris Hoppek had a nice presentation where six people talked about his work while he took care the pictures were shown in the right order. Gaston Caba presented his rich body of work and finished the presentation with a song performance. That was something. Marc Craste of Studio A.K.A did a very firm and adept presentation that mirrored his experience. I find it interesting to see that a company that I really look up to for its awesome film and design work, has similar problems with clients and budgets and the urge for self expression as small one (wo)man freelancers. Only on other levels of professionality of course.
AJ Fosik just blew me away with his stunning artwork/installation pieces and probably the best structured and on point presentation of all artist speakers. I realised then, a well structured presentation and rhetoric skills really help me stay foussed as a listener. As much as I appreciate the pure entertainment value of whimsical ill-English presentations of Akinori Oishi, or Eboy , after a day of listening and talking and concentrating, it can be hard to follow a presentation that takes much deciphering on the audience side. Accordingly, I fell asleep at the presentation by Protey Temen from Russia. But Dany said his work was really astonishing.
James Jarvis, best known for his designs for collectable toys, held a really honest and interesting presentation. He pointed out that even a well established artist of almost 40 years can still be on the search for his artistic identity and unsatisfied with his achievements despite of his success. He is also a runner an finished the marathon in 2 hours 32min. He is probably the fastest character designer on the planet.
Tying in to the theme of dissatisfaction in the arts was recent Golden Bear winner and animation boy wonder David O'Reilly. He made a chart explaining his idea finding process which according his outlines is a circulus vitiosus of pain, ideas, exposition and humiliation. Very nice. David also paid his due respect to the masters by showing a clip of the Imagination Land episode.
Fons Schiedon showed some recent animation work and paintings while Wayne Horse probably produced the biggest laughs, showing off work like Schweinemann, his shorts "ponzo", "flying cars", "telltales" or the "Adrian Falk" music video. And yes, you can find all that stuff on his site, but his presentation and mild punk attitude just rocked the house. Finnish illustrator Klaus Haapaniemi concludes the list of my favorite presentations. He presented with the help of his wife (I think) and it really felt like they were having a private conversation which just so happened to be in front of some hundred people. He is a unbelievably skilled and productive illustrator.
The full list of prentations can be found here. My favorite symposium panel was called "Shaping Global Media -Character Creation" and featured Geoffrey Long, Ken Belson and Frenchy Lunning. They talked about transmedia branding and story telling, Hello Kitty, and the japanese Shojo culture Very interesting.
Friends with You". He adopted to life in his new environment really good and here you can see him exploring the Pictopia place.
Mr TTT @ Pictopia from Gellnerism on Vimeo.
Here are some more impressions
All in all, it has been a wonderful event and I am looking forward to preparing for the next pictoevent in the future. In times of constant media availability (interwebs and such), the worth of actually attending an event and experiencing something first hand even rises. That's how I feel about going out versus looking shit up on the computer. Joel Gethin Lewis, genius artist in his own right, said something similar at the Tocame Design conference this year.
picto Photostream by Allerleirei
picto Phpotostream by Visual Orgasm