I had debated for a couple of days whether to venture down to Brighton for my first ever Glug event and, thanks to a friend, I was easily convinced. Talks, pop-up shops and some friendly drinks? What more could I ask for!
One Church was buzzing with creatives with glasses in hand, chatting away to one another and admiring the pop-up shops on show. Live letterpress prints were being created by the Wooden Truth which became a spectacle for each newcomer to goggle at in pure admiration. Further along, there were stalls containing all sorts of illustrations and odd bits. Another stand in the middle housed beautifully made books called “Return of the Rudeboy” (more on this later). However, amongst the chitter chatter, the interestingly dressed people and the relatively hipster beverages, nothing screams “I am a creative” more than getting your hands stuck into some paint and to start doodling/colouring/shading. I guess, in a way, the fun of design is sharing and adding to each others work, so what better way to do that than on a series of pre-drawn canvases by the likes of Will Scobie.
After venturing to the toilets, we soon discovered that the talks we were so keen to see were hidden away in the basements with the “Toilets this way” sign. Unfortunately, we arrived too late for Future Deluxe, but my favourite talk of the night was about to commence. We (over eagerly) dashed in, secured two central seats and waited with wide eyes like children waiting for their birthday cake.
I mentioned the books that were on show in the main room, well “Return of the Rudeboy” was a fascinating talk by Dean Chalkley on subcultures. They work in film and photography to capture the swagger of the modern day Rudeboy with only small references to the past to create context. For those of you unfamiliar with Rudeboys, they originate from 1950s Kingston, Jamaica, where they were seen as “juvenile trouble makers”. No one is styled, but rather, presented as they are. In fact, the intriguing factor is that, despite the heavy emphasis on clothing, this is a cultural project, not a fashion one. Personality, music and their way of life is what is captured in Dean’s work.
Immersed in visuals, music and film, this talk opened my eyes to an extensive and intricate cultural insight of the 21st century Rudeboy. I can only hope these “well-dressed [individuals that] know what [they] want” will exhibit again in Somerset House soon. Swagger and all!
Refusing to lose our seats, we waited in the half hour interval for Seb Lester’s “Adventures in Calligraphy” talk. Known for his logos, calligraphy and branding – including NASA and British Airways – Seb delivered a highly comical, but informative presentation on his journey as a calligrapher. Besides, quickly learning how powerful 10 second Instagram videos are (he presents his calligraphy stunningly this way) and laughing so hard throughout his talk that I shed a few tears, he definitely taught us one vital lesson. Seb Lester landed a job at NASA indirectly. During an interview with a magazine, he was asked who he would want to work for. He stated NASA and the rest is history. Lesson learnt: “If you don’t ask, you don’t get and that’s how you hear from NASA!”
We chatted for a bit with freelancers we had met at The Farm on a previous excursion to Brighton and decided to call it a day. All in all, a highly enjoyable evening that I would recommend to any creative. I can’t wait for the next Glug event!
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