Saturday was a great day at Artbound's ArtFair at the Townhall, followed by a 5pm showing of the recently made film about creativity in the digital age - Made You Look.
The flier for it was great. The graphic image of a creative's tool kit first made me feel like I HAD to see the film and a touch of the recycled card between my fingertips confirmed this first thought.
The film was full of many of my graphic art and illustrative heroes, from Jon Burgerman to the creators of Okido magazine, so it was wonderful to hear them talk about their lives and passions and the creative processes behind their imagery. The camera work was beautiful and the simple structure of asking a series of questions, from "What was their first creative memory?" to "How would their lives be different without the internet?", to everyone in turn flowed brilliantly.
I was struck by the fact that about 75% of the people interviewed had beards and how few women were featured. This question (about the gender balance not the beards) was the first question asked in the Q&A afterwards of the film makers. They answered (slightly unsatisfactorily) that the imbalance was representative of a largely male dominated profession, they had tried to get more women but they were less willing to be featured and that they had "set out to make a film about creativity not diversity".
So, it is symptomatic of a deeper issue that men are often more confident at stepping into the limelight and talking about themselves and their opinions. This is part of an ingrained inequality in our society that has roots in thousands of years of male dominancy. I feel I fight this conditioning in myself daily. (There are of course other factors for this confidence: class, race, tallness etc...)
I am glad to say that the illustrative world includes many incredibly talented women as well as men, who provide a great inspiration to me. It was wonderful to hear from Hannah Nunn and Louise Lockhart on the panel for the Q&A after the film.
The amount of talent in the film was almost overwhelming but I realise that although I am inspired by all these people, I have to turn inside myself to develop in my own way without comparison.
So well done to the film makers for making an amazing film and contribution to showing what is possible in life, for inspiring great discussions afterwards at the Hebden Bridge Picture House including how we encourage young people to follow creative lives and professions (because that is good for people and the world) and for inspiring me.