Design Twelve / Sii Cockerill

Online Business Consultant, Designer & Developer. 2013

For 3 days at the beginning of September, a whole bunch of people get together to be inspired.

It’s the second time that I’ve taken the end of Summer trip to Brighton to breathe in the sea air and bathe in the sunshine, only to spend most of the daylight hours cooped up in a darkened room.

But not just any darkened room; one of three rooms in Brighton where, for 3 days, magic happens.

Reasons to be Creative is easily the best designer / developer event that I’ve been to. The days are long, but perfectly paced. The company is second to none and the laughter and frivolity flow at a rate of knots.

If you’re a web designer, graphic designer, animator, coder, illustrator or artist, you would do well to treat yourself to a ticket (or even better, convince your boss to pay!).

What to expect

If you’re expecting to learn how to do your job at this event, you’ll be disappointed – there are plenty of books you can buy to help you with that* – but if you pay enough attention, you’re bound to uncover a few shiny gems of information or details of amazing tools.

What you’ll get most though from is inspiration, motivation and a whole head-full of great memories.

*Visit Five Simple Steps or A Book Apart.


There are so many things to say about the event, I don’t want to just repeat what everyone else has already written. So, here are just a few of my highlights…

Dominic Wilcox

Dominic Wilcox I love lateral humour.

I love play-on-words.

I love Dominic Wilcox because he seems to love them two.

His dry observational sense of humour pokes fun at everyday life and by turning everyday things on their conceptual heads, he turns the ordinary into less ordinary and inspires me to sketch more of the things I think up in my head.

Square peas are a personal favourite.

Stefan Sagmeister

Stefan SagmeisterIt’s not often that the people who talk to you about being ‘out of your comfort zone’ are actually prepared to walk the walk they talk.

Stefan is a very naked exception.

We all use Google Analytics, but Stefan tracks visitors to The Happy Show in a much more innovative way – he gets a percentage of the visitors to text a joke to his mobile phone and he extrapolates the data from that ;-)

Nicolas Barradeau

Nicolas BarradeauTen years ago, I was playing in Flash – generating art. Nicolas is still doing it and he re-ignited my passion for computer-generated visual delights.

If you fancy learning the difference between your hyperbolic and cylindrical spaces, you should check out his slides because well, blah blah blah – you know why already.

Erik Spiekermann

Erik SpiekermannIf ever there was a legend to see at an event, Erik would be him. He’s a fantastic speaker, understands English grammar better than most Brits and doesn’t put up with any bullshit.

I’ve known of Erik since I saw him speak on video about typography and his process for creating original work. The way he runs his agency, edenspiekermann_ is an inspiration to us all.

Oh, and it’s very cold in Berlin.

Bruce Lawson

Bruce LawsonBruce is a man who looks very comfortable walking on stage barefoot. He knows a lot, he’s funny and it’s people like him who give me faith that one day soon, there will be a resolution to the responsive images problem.

Bruce works for Opera, cares about web standards and has a real understanding of the bigger <picture>.

Dan Rubin

Dan RubinI met Dan at the speaker hotel on Monday night, his talk wasn’t finished, but he wasn’t worried. After all, what’s the point in worrying?

If you’re not happy doing what you’re doing, even if you love what you do, maybe it’s time to take a leap?

And yes, I was trying to get a picture of Dan with a Mickey Mouse head ;-)

What’s next?

Well, I’m back to work now. I’m full of ideas for creating some awesome new work. I hope that some of it will be good for business but I also hope to make time to take a step back from the work and take a deep and contemplative breath.

Running a business in Website Design & Development takes a lot of effort. As professionals, we are never going to run out of new things to learn and while we’re busy using every last new bit of technology, learning about our client’s businesses and producing the best work we can, life is ticking on by.

Ultimately, Reasons to be Creative teaches us that we should love what we do and live our lives happy, content and smiling.

Dates for your diary

September 1, 2, 3 – 2014 – Brighton – buy your tickets and you too could take a photo of the wheel at the end of this street.

Brighton Wheel