As the first day of Leeds Digital Festival 2019 drew to a close, an excited crowd descended on Leeds’ digital agency Stickyeyes for ‘40×40’ – the sold out event featuring 40 inspiring speed talks from 40 of the regions most talented designers.
Specialising in everything from UX to motion graphics, the designers each took to the stage for just two minutes to share their single best tip, whether that be a creative insight, new technique or general career advice. With our very own Digital Designer Frazer Sparham in the line-up, our Head of Design Phil Millward went along with his team to cheer him on, and – naturally – enjoy some of the complimentary pizza and beer!
Stickyeyes’ Head of Design & Development, Andy Duke, opened the night with a great tip for aspiring creatives and seasoned vets alike: “Everyone else isn’t quite as good as you think they are.” He outlined the importance of acknowledging your own achievements, and talked about the confidence issues that everyone struggles with from time to time.
One of our favourite tips of the night came from Dave Ellis of Epiphany: “Try something new on every project.” If you stay in your comfort zone, he reasoned, you might feel good but you won’t progress and grow in your field. If you’re churning out the same thing over and over, you may become complacent or even bored; you need to constantly challenge and surprise yourself…
Over the course of the evening, the quick-fire advice continued until it was finally time for our Frazer to take to the stage and close out the night. Somewhat fittingly, Frazer’s top tip bookended Andy’s opening comments nicely – it doesn’t matter if it’s in your nature or not, you need to be bold and confident to win new work, so put yourself out there.
“Shy ducks get no bread.”
Frazer told the story of how, fresh from university, he took the plunge and asked Parallax if he could join the team as an intern, which in turn led to a permanent position. Realising his tip was perhaps most useful for those yet to crack the industry, he said he’d been hoping there’d be more “young” designers in the room to take advantage of his advice – only to be met by playful jeers! You can check out the full series of talks in the video above, or scroll through the slides below, courtesy of Stickyeyes.