Flash on the Beach 2009
The first part of this week was spent in Brighton attending the 2009 edition of Flash on the Beach. I had heard good things about it and I was not disappointed. I have come away feeling injected with inspiration, something that had been replaced by fatigue after some demanding deadlines recently. This is filed under 'Work'. I am not sure it should be, it was way too much fun.

Code vs Design vs Inspire

There were two main things I came away with this year. I seemed to spend more time listening to inspiration talks from people doing slightly different things to me, sometimes not even Flash. This made me think about the people in the web industry in general. Usually this comes down to 'are you a developer?' or 'are you a designer?' type conversation but what I was experiencing here was ideas, images and concepts that were appealling to both sets of folk. This has left me with a great sense of warmth towards the people in the web. The nerds are really cool and the cool designer types are really nerdy about things like type faces. We all love a good adventure or a wonderfully communicated story. Our heroes are people you can walk up to and talk to and every hour or so I had a new hero to add to the list.


The second thing I came away with was everything we are trying to do has been done before. Even before there was digital, people were messing with big blocks of colour, injecting a sense of movement into their art and skewing text so it fitted into 3D landscapes. Even if it we are not intentionally not trying to copy something many of the ideas explored in modern art in the last century have already covered many things that you see on the web. Perhaps this fits in with the fact the Flash can still not do some of the things Director could years ago? Then again, tools aren't ideas. Tools are tools.

Perhaps it was for this reason that I came away with so many images of nature in my head. There were many of them presented to us, on big screens or as part of an idea, over the 3 days. Molecular shapes of water, 3D modeling of sound with sand, balls, even fire so that it ended up looking just like the shapes in the water. Spiral maps of prime numbers that looked like geometry found in ancient tiling art. The people talking to us, those at the top of their game, seemed to share this inspiration found in faces, horizons, the weather and the joy of playing.


Here is a list of people that I saw at the conference and their work or the club houses they hang out in online.