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How Design Live, Chicago 2017

It's been a few weeks now since we returned from How Design Live in Chicago, one of the world's largest and most ecclectic design conferences. Spread over 3 days How Design Live welcomes over 4000 attendees from all over the globe.One of the best things about How is that it isn't just Designers talking to designers about their portfolio's of work. Sure that's there if you want it but with speakers like Journalist Malcolm Gladwell and Social Psychologist Amy Cuddy attendees are reated to a far broader picture of our industry and culture.

We won't bore you with a detailed run down on every speaker so if you want the full list then just visit That said, it would be remiss not to touch on a few of the highlights. The already metioned Gladwell and Cuddy were fantastic as was the truly inspirational David Carson who closed the event, but it was Gemma O'Brien (an Australian artist specializing in lettering, illustration and typography) and Brian Collins (a NY based Chief Creative Officer and Co-Founder of COLLINS) who really shone, but we'll talk about Collins in another post.

Gemma only spoke briefly in one of the short Spark Sessions preceeding a keynote speaker (who she utterly eclipsed) but the depth and quality of her work was absolutely breathtaking. As a designer, throughout our careers we are fortunate enough to meet many talented and driven people, but for most of creatives they have to work damn hard at it. Every once in a blue moon you come across a "generator", someone who just cannot help but create because that creativity oozes from every pore. Gemma O'Brien is one such person. To the extent that even when in transit on flights, at a time when most of us are watching movies and eating tepid food, Gemma is creating works of art on the sick bags (which she has turned into a blog by the way

Here's a few examples of this amazing creatives work but if you want to see more we urge you to check out her Instagram feed, truly inspirational.

Author Potting Shed