Tuesday night was an interesting experience for me… I was asked to contribute to the debate at Creative Republic‘s Creative Masterclass event at Fazeley Studios, just round the corner from my studio here in Digbeth. Unfortunately, due to illness the host, Michael Wolff, was unable to attend, so Creative Republic’s Stef Lewandowski stepped in at the last minute with his Ambient Creativity Audit of Birmingham (you might even hear me mumbling in the background in that clip), culminating in a call for a Creative Director for Birmingham. This was followed by an opportunity for the assembled audience to split off into groups, discuss what had been said and present their findings to the room.
So what was my role in all this? Well, I was asked to provide a running cartoon commentary of proceedings on a flip-chart at the front of the room, drawing what is being discussed and throwing the odd gag in here or there. Now, understandably, this was a little daunting – I’ve been vaguely approached about doing scribing or graphic facilitation in the past, and of course I’ve been doing live caricaturing for many years now, but this was a little different, drawing in front of a live audience without a safety net. On the other hand, I could see the potential of offering this as a service in the future, so a little freebie here would be good practice. Though I was a little nervous at first (the wine helped this this though), I soon got into the swing of things and, to my surprise, actually rather enjoyed the experience, feeling rather energised by the end. Certainly judging by the number of people who came up to me after the event, it was well recieved, and I’ve been asked to come back for the re-scheduled event with Michael Wolff later in the year.
Anyway, Stef has a full report here (argh – with more photos), and my illustrations from the event are here. I’ve made the decision to step back from the content of the debate and merely reflect on my contribution for sake of this post, but it is an important debate, and it looks like this event has kicked off a good deal of discussion in the city’s corner of the blogosphere – there’s commentary on the event and it’s conclusions by Paul Groves, Graphiquillan and Dave Harte, and a report at Created in Birmingham.