Look Hear Newcastle! Week 2 Review: FINSBURY GREEN & Beci Orpin

Beci Orpin spoke at look hear

By Beci Orpin

On first impression, week two’s Look Hear speakers, Scott Burgess from FINSBURY GREEN and Beci Orpin, couldn’t have been more different. The former represents a key player of the printing industry while the latter is a freelance designer and artist who works from home. Beneath the surface though, they could have more in common than meets the eye, and both possess an understanding of the deep connection between individuals and the bigger picture.

As individuals concerned about climate change, it is our duty to support our industries while they transition towards responsible practices and in turn, it is their responsibility to respond quickly and efficiently to their consumers’ deepening concerns.

As designers, we must challenge the notion that working for or with large corporations is the same as selling our soul. The best way to change the system is still to engage with it, offer skills and experience to improve it, making good design more visible and accessible. The connection exists either way but with dialogue, changes can happen and benefit us all.

Scott Burgess - FINSBURY GREEN


When you think about the last 2000 years, it’s fair to say paper has stood the test of time. Long gone are the days when one needed a chisel to send their special one a love note but, at a time when offices around the world are going paper-free and newspapers struggle to compete with their own online news, the paper industry needs a shake up if it hopes to survive.

The best way to address a problem, climate change for instance, is to become a part of the solution and FINSBURY GREEN, “Australia’s leading sustainable communication solutions company,” seems to be doing just that.

Consumers’ and legislation demands for ‘green’ practices are increasing, in all areas, so it is only logical that some significant changes should occur within the major industries. Furthermore, it is their responsibility and in their interest to lead the way.

FINSBURY GREEN is doing a remarkable job of setting a great precedent. Far from reluctantly planting a few trees, it is defining the way major industries can operate to satisfy consumers’ demands for sustainability, setting benchmarks, using resources responsibly and reducing the industry’s carbon footprint whilst still delivering a product of high quality.

Because in the end, it should still be about the product and being ‘green’ should not be what defines whether something is good or bad. Beauty, functionality and quality should. Being ‘green’ should go without saying but until FINSBURY GREEN can be renamed FINSBURY, we should remind ourselves that often, it’s not what we do but how we do it that matters.

.Beci Orpin

There is a saying in France for people who are easily overwhelmed. We say that “they could drown in a glass of water.” Well, I reckon that if you gave Beci Orpin a tub of vaseline and some flippers, she could swim across the Tasman Sea and back with a smile on her face. This incredibly talented and resourceful woman redefines the word ‘busy’ and she makes it look fantastic.

Interestingly, she doesn’t make it look easy and as someone who has been asked many times how she does it, her answer comes even before the question and it is simple, she works her a… off, passionately, furiously and through the night if she needs to. It’s not magic but her work, on the other hand, is a little bit.

This Melbourne-based designer and illustrator is a slashie through and through. For those not familiar with this term, it refers to someone who might be a designer slash illustrator slash artist slash mother of two. You get the idea and yes, Beci is all of these things are more.

Her work is quirky and fun, colorful, sensitive and clever (I have a feeling all of these adjectives could apply to Beci as well). Her style is versatile but distinctive which means that she has been able to successfully adapt to a broad range of clients, from ultra corporate to edgy streetwear, while never compromising her unique touch. As a result, she is in the rare but incredibly desirable position of being hired to “do her thing.”

Last night, Beci guided us through the story of her life, drawing connections between people and places, making no distinction between her life and work, one thing leading to another and everything leading somewhere.

Beci’s journey is quite extraordinary but as I reflect, I am left with an image of her traveling through life pushing a large ball of wool (like the Melbourne ad) tracing a long windy line, getting all tangled up with other people’s yarn. Everything that happens to us is connected to the other events in our life and I feel that if I just followed the thread in the opposite direction, I would find her as a child, barefoot and happy in the Australian outback, and it would all make perfect sense.

Look Hear is a weekly series of Art and Design talks presented on every Wednesday of August at the Newcastle Regional Gallery. The next talks will be on the 17th (TONIGHT!) & 24th of August.

Look Hear is presented in association with Look See which exhibits the work of Australian artists and designers at the WATT space Gallery from 3-21 August.

You can stay up to date with all the latest announcement by checking the Look Hear website.

After studying and working as a Graduate Architect in Sydney, Laure has recently moved to Newcastle and is focusing on creating her dream job which involves lots of writing, taking her laptop to cafes and getting involved within the local creative community. In 2010, she launched Aloud., a blog dedicated to presenting the work and life of women who have taken action to live the life they want, with some risks, maybe a bit of fear but no excuses and great rewards.

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This exciting account of the two talks does a splendid job of capturing the essentials and sprinkling them with a touch of magic as well.

We can hope that based on examples of success, more and more companies will strive to modify manufacturing methods, whether gently or drastically, to treat our planet with greater care and that there will always be a spot for cheerful and imaginative designers to make the journey toward significant improvement more fun!

Bravo to the very engaged Novocastrians who make educational and enjoyable events such as these possible and to Urban Insider for allowing readers oceans away to keep up with you by reading superb coverage.

Jane

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