Bruises are Semi-Permanent too: the Brisbane conference

Semi-Permanent 09 Brisbane

Yesterday I attended Semi-Permanent 2009 in Brisbane at the Convention Centre. I left feeling overwhelmed, inspired, intimidated and SORE… my head was so full of ideas that I was a little scared, truth be told. I guess if you are scared of ideas, you shouldn’t go to these things :P

The highlights of the day for me:

Semi-Permanent 09 Brisbane Timba Smits is a co-founder of Wooden Toy magazine, a marvelous publication that I’ve only just heard about this year in the backwaters of Brisbane! So much of what he talked about I could relate to: working obsessively, being anally retentive about certain projects, hand lettering, going the long way around instead of using shortcuts… seriously, the guy is doing exactly what I want to be doing!

Semi-Permanent 09 Brisbane Ron English was inspiring because he has balls. I would be too nervous to go paste up my own versions of billboards but the guy has nerves of steel! I have a terrible memory for names, so I didn’t realise exactly how much of his work I was familiar with either. Most of the anti-theistic/ atheistic billboards I had seen before, not to mention the fat Ronald McDonald and Obama Lincoln!

I was looking forward to the session from XYZ Studios because I’d seen several of their advertisements before and was way into it because of all the hand drawn animation. I loved seeing just how much effort the guys put into their projects, and I was surprised to hear that Tim Kently, the founder of the studio, taught himself animation! Self taught people always seem more approachable and down to earth, and they give me hope :P

Semi-Permanent 09 Brisbane It was also awesome to listen to Scott Dadich from Wired talk about their typographic systems at the magazine, mostly everyone was scribbling furiously when he reeled off the font families the publication uses! Also filed under “What an Awesome Freaking Job” was The Glue Society – a collective of creatives that do cool shizz. They’ve done said cool shizz for “The Chaser’s War on Everything”, ESPN, 42 Below vodka, Virgin Mobile etc etc etc. When I grow up I want to make money from ideas!

Unfortunately, I can’t speak rapturously of the venue. The seats at the Brisbane Convention Centre are not for people with hips! I’m keenly anticipating a bruise on my right hip… I know I’m fat, but I have never encountered stingier seating! I was seriously uncomfortable about 70% of the time, and I couldn’t get up and move around because people were stealing seats and there was never enough time! Debbie Downer also reports that the breaks were too short, there weren’t any activities that fostered participation or networking, food and drink stuff was too far away, our lunch break was too short, etc etc etc. I think Semi-Permanent events can be more than just talking heads, and I’m hopeful that the organisers will see just how awesome the scope is for the conference!


  1. I must agree about the seats. my leg kept going numb and i became one of those annoying fidgeters.

    it definately was inspiration overload though! i left with a bit of a headache afterwards.

  2. i was at the sydney show! and i have to say, it was amazing!

    timba was definately my main highlight! such a rad dude…

    i am doing profiles of al the sydney speakers over the coming weeks on my site, timba smits and kris moyes are already up, and the rest will go up in the coming weeks

    glad you enjoyed the conference!

    so i’m not the only one whose head was about to explode1:P hahah it was amazing!

  3. he started off a bit shakey, but i was too distracted by his work on the escreen to notice!!! hahaha.. i was writing so many notes, i think i did more there than during the whole last year of uni!!! is that bad?? ahaha

    i got tickets to the melb sp as well! were they on offer to you guys?

  4. I think it’s a sign that uni is the worst place to be inspired :PP

    They told us about the Melbourne conference, but I didn’t see tickets being made available! I don’t know how well I’d handle a two day event, sitting down the whole time yannow… I don’t know how you guys in Sydney do it!

  5. Great rundown on all the speakers qwux! I really enjoyed Timba’s presentation and it makes me just want to start making zines again! ha ha!

    But I think i most enjoyed Ian Francis, just i love it when artists are not afraid to reveal their processes and how they get their ideas (kinda like the way Natalie shows videos of her doing a drawing – i love that!). The colours in his work too are totally mesmerising!

    @Natalie – thanks for the birthday wishes. :)

  6. thanks kasia, there are many more to come! just realised how far behind schedule i am now! hahah was meant to do 1 a day! ahh well….

    i know, i did 1 issue of a zine last year, and totally keen to make it even better this year.. was gonna come out in march, but was delayed, and now i need to rework the whole thing!

    ian francis really did reveal a lot about his work process, i loved it too.. but i think timba was my highlight!

  7. I did a guest post on, about the Semi-Permanent Brisbane conference. I’ve gone into more detail than I did in my own recap of the event, raving about the good stuff and ranting about, I mean suggesting fixes for some of the bugs.


  8. YOU SAID IT, i fel in love with Timba as soon as he showed his hand drawn page of contents… i was like woah.

    inspiration overload…and yup fidgeting way too much.

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