Last night I saw Charles Anderson speak at the Belcourt. He was surprisingly soft-spoken, but very witty and very entertaining. His relationship with Jerry French and Jesse Williamson was very interesting as well.
Charles Anderson speaking was wonderful, but the whole event was a little odd. The entire theater was near capacity with guests, which surprised me a bit. I was a little miffed that AIGA got things started nearly an hour late, considering the deadlines and time management designers have to deal with every day. The weirdest thing was advertising Jerry French and Jesse Williamson as special guests on the invite, but they never said a single word to the audience. I was really looking forward to hearing them speak. Maybe like a panel discussion event? Apparently they just follow Charles Anderson around to his speaking gigs? For the free food perhaps? The most astonishing moment came at the end when it was time for the audience to ask questions. Not a single person had a single question to ask. A theater full of designers with the chance to ask one of their most successful peers any question under the sun, and it was just silence. I felt really bad about that. Of course I didn't ask anything, either. I wish I had been able to think of something just to get things going.
All in all it was worth attending. The talk was great, French paper handed out a bunch of goodies, and I won a copy of Happy Kitty Bunny Pony. I would say the lesson learned from this particular talk was to just have fun. Have fun with what you're designing, and try to design for things that interest you. Charles' work was all very humorous, and it was very obvious that he enjoyed producing the work that he showed us.