Creative conference Field Trip that pegs itself as the bastard child of an outdoor music festival and a live cooking demonstration is landing in Sydney on December 7, followed by a stop in Melbourne in April 2013. The impressive lineup of presenting artists for the upcoming Sydney show are from the Jacky Winter Group‘s internationally acclaimed stable of Australian-bred talent, each of whom we are featuring in the next week.
So far we have profiled the work of paper wrangling genius Benja Harney and embroidery/animator sisters Maricor/Maricar, and today we shine a light on type and letterform artist Gemma O’Brien who isn’t exactly a stranger to the spotlight, having worked for clients like The New York Times and Canon, as well as exhibiting work in galleries all over the country.  Ticketing and event details for Field Trip follow below.
1. Your name, where you are from and where you are based. Gemma Louise O’Brien, from Brisbane, based in Sydney.
2. Describe your style of art in the way you’d explain it to an art noob. I work mainly with typography, hand drawn lettering and illustration. While I have soft spot for scripts and lettering with swashes and flourishes, it’s not limited to this alone. The great thing about typography is that the alphabet becomes the constraints, then within that you can explore a variety of styles and mediums. A client could say create a piece of lettering that looks “youthful”, “energetic” or “androgynous” …then it’s over to me to convert these ideas into a style of typography that has the right tone and feel.

3. With Field Trip you have to convert your medium into an engaging live performance. How are you going to do it? And what are the challenges involved in the process? It’s a pretty rad concept and I’m super excited about it. I am always keen to see how artists work and their process so I imagine a lot of other creatives are also interested. I am hoping to share elements from idea-generation and concept phase right through to the finished artwork… and hopefully make it entertaining as well. One of the biggest challenges is sharing all the relevant stages in a process in such a short amount of time (45 minutes).

4. What is the most important piece of knowledge you’ve acquired that has helped you as a professional working artist? Take risks.
5. Do you have any advice to share with up and coming artists who want to make it their full time profession? Just go for it. If you know you enjoy a particular creative field spend every little second doing it… create what you love, hone your skills, work bloody hard, be enthusiastic about what you’re doing… and then everything should fall in place.

6. In 25 words or less describe your working space. In an attic, crazy, usually messy, piles of papers, flowers, typography books, a million black pens, notebook sketches, computer, scanner, lightbox, 7 staplers, peace lilies.
Field Trip takes place on Friday December 7th at the York Theatre in the Seymour Centre, Chippendale. Ticket prices start at $75.00 for a full day, which also includes entry into the after-party at Marmalade at The Rose. It also includes an enviable goody bag to add to your creative bounty. For more info head to the Field Trip website.
Images supplied