Kate Moross was a highlight for me for sure. A 26 year old designer from London, who has worked on videos for Jessie Ware, Simian Mobile Disco and created hand drawn illustrative type for Nike, The Guardian and Nokia.
I loved her talk for many reasons, but mainly for the fact that it is the first talk that I have listened to of a designer of my age, using the same reference points that I can truly relate to. Listening to her brief history, she talked about being jolted to the love of music by the Spice Girls (the Here talk referenced the Spice Girls THREE seperate times by different people - its a yes from me!), spending time in Our Price buying 99p singles and then discovering Lime Wire, where her love of music grew, I thought, hey! This is me too! Then she went on to talk about how she shared this love on music on Myspace, learnt how to code website from wanting to change her generic Myspace to something more individual, and then shared these codes with her friend on MSN messenger.
She had me at Myspace.
The point of this being that she kind of started learning her career and passions from an early age, music being a massive influence and it really struck a cord with me. Don't get me wrong I love hearing inspiration and advice from designers that I have heard speak before such as Stefan Sagmeister, David Hillman, Steve Edge and the aforementioned Wayne Hemingway who was also at Here. But the way they gained their experiences and successes seems like a different world, and since then there has been the birth of so much more technology, and it feels like there are so many less chances out there than before. You hear about these stories back in the day where jobs and oppurtunities and money was everywhere. I see my generation as the kids who are struggling to catch a break in the recession, where it seems to get the best experience you have to go and work for free on internships (how do people live who do these?!) and there is more and more technology coming out to trick us and make us feel so inadequate. Kate Moross' There Is No Wall speech about DIY (Design It Yourself) talk has totally snapped me out of all of that.
She talked about how thorugh Limewire, she got to hear music that she would not normally get to listen to from just the Top 20 on the radio. She discovered Riot Grrrl an underground feminist punk rock movement that originally started in the early to mid-1990s . All about empowerment and feminism, she gleaned from it that you can basically do whatever the fuck you want (direct quote). I am going to look more into Riot Grrl for sure, sounds right up my street!
Basically, her talk was about how there is no wall. If you don't know how to do it, learn it. Art school isn't going to teach you the things you need to know, so bullshit and improvise and you will only succeed. It's all about Design It Yourself - Hack your life, hack your career and keep things simple. Another direct quote - Keep things simple - I don't have time for that shit! I could totally take a leaf out her book, I spend way too much time putting things off as I don't think I can do them, or don't think I am good enough or don't know what I am doing. Again, just do it!
And clearly it has worked for her. She has art directed videos for Jessie Ware and Simian Mobile Disco, some having hardly any budget at all, and using props from around her studio and off ebay. She will come up with concepts there and then on the phone to her clients bullshitting and improvising as she goes, keeping it simple and then just does it. Her hand drawn type makes me green with envy, and at the age of 26 she has just started up her own business Studio Moross. I am ridiculously jealous yet also have a very strong admiration for her, and I really need to get off my arse and do something already! A portfolio of some of her work can be found here and below is some of Kate's work that I love love love.