Design Chats: An Evening with Smith Journal and Frankie

Wednesday November 20, 2019 Written by Smith

Creative types – like the sensitive, doubt-ridden souls we are – are always up for a little encouragement and inspiration. That’s true whether you’re a student hoping to kickstart a creative career or an established graphic designer with a killer portfolio.

So, we joined our mates at frankie magazine and MSI to host last week’s ‘design chats’, a night of nibbles, drinks and conversation at Firecracker HQ in Northcote. Hosted by former frankie editor Jo Walker, our esteemed panel included frankie designer Caitlin Wynne, book designer Stuart Geddes and photographer Anu Kumar.

The panellists talked about everything from financing a freelance career to their design pet peeves. If you couldn’t make it down on the night, rad illustrator Sarah Firth was on hand to create a live graphic recording of the panel, which you can check out below.

We also jotted down a few key takeaways from the discussion, which may come in handy when you're balancing a creative venture:

– Don’t stop working for yourself when work is slow. There will always be times when no one is hiring you to create, but that doesn’t mean you should stop creating. Anu is always snapping photos, if only to keep herself from getting into an emotional slump. And you never know when personal projects will turn into a paid opportunity down the road.

– Balance is important, but try to take as many gigs as you can. Stuart always says yes to jobs. The more work you do, the more work you’ll get.

– For creatives just starting out, Anu, Caitlin and Stuart want you to go easier on yourself. Imposter syndrome never goes away, and you’re always learning, so you might as well have a good time. And don't forget to experiment!

Thank you to everyone who popped in on the night. We hope you enjoyed the drinks from the fine folks at Garage Project and the food from Firecracker Event (how about that hummus?). We also loved playing around with the new Prestige 15 laptops from MSI.

Photos by Jay Wennington 

We hosted 'design chats' in collaboration with the folks at MSI, who launched the MSI Prestige 15 laptop earlier this year. It’s super-lightweight, has 16 hours of battery charge and can be optimised for design work via the MSI Creator Centre. Check it out here.