PechaKucha St Neots
PechaKucha (or chitchat in Japanese) is a creative style of presenting that was created by two architects from Tokyo in 2003 who were fed up with lengthy presentations. Since then the concept has grown and PechaKucha talks now run in over 800 cities around the world bringing together people from all creative backgrounds.
PechaKucha St Neots started in 2015 and has featured a wide range of speakers from many different disciplines including science, art, design, photography, fashion, architecture, mental health and sport.
In the true spirit of collaboration of art and sport events are held at St Neots Rowing Club. You can listen to all the previous presentations, find out when the next event is or volunteer to present on our dedicated city page on the PechaKucha website.
Neotists who have presented
Clair Slade has a background in radio, sound engineering, marketing, graphic design, health and childcare and is fired-up by learning new skills. She currently volunteers with local charities and is working as a marketing coordinator for an international telecoms company.
Sammi Sparke has been working for seven years as a portrait photographer after making the decision to return to university to ensure she knew enough about the photography industry to take her hobby of photography to a functioning business. She graduated from University, Blackpool and the Fylde photography school with a 1st class honours degree and moved to Sheffield where she set up her business.
Sammi Sparke Photography is split between family/wedding and corporate/business photography. Her family work is inspired by nostalgia and the desire to capture beautiful, honest, relaxed photos of babies and children at home.
Sammi’s first History of Art based degree has greatly inspired both the family and corporate photography side of things. More specifically her knowledge of semiotics and how audiences read and interpret images has lead Sammi to work successfully with small businesses for the last two years. Sammi employs her understanding of semiotics to create powerful corporate headshots for clients designed to help them stand out from their competitors.
Sammi has been commended in the LPA awards, has had work exhibited in Blackpool, Manchester and London and was recently featured in Marie Claire Magazine.
Mitchell Harris is a film editor by day and night with a passion for editing that can be seen across his portfolio, which shows a journey from editing short, somewhat crazy films with friends, to working for clients such as 10 Downing Street and more recently his first feature film – Art Ache, which premiered December 2015 at the Bahamas International Film Festival.
Mitchell, collaborating with Carla Steinberg, picked up his first film award at the Living British Film Festival 2014 for Word on the Water a short documentary about London’s stunning book barge. More recently, Mitchell’s work has been selected by the British Film Institute Love Shorts in collaboration with the Cornwall Film Festival and HyneSight Films – Silentville (2015).
Mitchell now works primarily as a freelance film editor based in London, but also consults and provides editing + social media training (and does the odd voiceover). Almost complete is his second feature film, Asphodel with a third in pre-production. His international client base includes St Neots own Pix and Mix, Queen Mary, University of London and HyneSight Films.
Andrew Poodle’s background is in online infrastructure and web application development and he has spent much of his career as a specialist in MySQL databases. Andrew is now more interested and involved in online business development and online strategy than being a hands-on techie, but his technical background serves him well in understanding what’s feasible and practical.
In a nutshell, Andrew is a serial entrepreneur with a focus on developing products and business strategy for the mobile and web markets. In recent years Andrew co-founded ski blog PowPowPow, online dating website Plenty More Fish, and tech-company Craftspeed
Marc Bax runs two businesses through Panchromos Limited. He undertakes product design and development projects for and with clients. His design philosophy is that looks and style take a backseat to function, user experience, and manufacturability. His portfolio includes medical devices, laboratory instruments and security/defense detection systems.
Marc also runs the UK office of Bax and Willems Consulting Venturing where he occupies himself with European Commission innovation programs – somewhat less creative.
Prior to setting up his own businesses Marc was active both in product design and development, and in sales and marketing. He is also a fanatic archer still hunting for that so far elusive six-gold-end at 100 yards.
Jennifer Nesbitt graduated in 2007 with a BA in Graphic Arts & Design, followed by an MA in Contemporary Art Theory from Goldsmiths in 2012 and is currently a graphic designer working in London on both print and web, with a particular interest in illustration and animation.
With an essence of light heartedness at times in her work, Jennifer finds it important (if possible) to incorporate the need to create a smile, even if it’s small. The problem is not there to just solve, but to enhance. Remove the self for a split second in time – catch a moment of innocence and core pleasure.
Bernadette Vong, or Berna has established herself as a photographer since graduated with a BA in Designs & Interior Design in 2008. Berna has a background worked as a motion capture and facial capture technician for three years in a west London 3D digital facility.
Outside her own photography work, Berna has an extensive work experience in both film, TV and the commercial industry working for the BBC, Vogue, Net-A-Porter, The Observer, Nokia, the prestigious British designer Hussein Chalayan, and on films 47 Ronin, Give It A Year, Skyfall and Shanghai, just to name a few.
Since her recent start in photography, she was soon acknowledged with her skills and her eyes for beauty, and has several works published in the UK and Asia.
Berna is currently setting up her business focused on product and commercial photography, and in wedding photography is officially opening in January 2016.
Her work is heavily inspired by shapes, simplicity, and her personal work embodies the female’s nature in sensuality and emotion complexity. You can see more on Berna’s blog.
Jo Mansfield graduated from Lincoln School of Art & Design in 2008 with a first class honours degree in Graphic Design. Since then she has been commuting to London, where she works as a designer and art director. Jo has worked predominantly across fashion, beauty, fragrance and retail sectors and has had the fortune of exposure to a wide variety of projects. The best, or possibly worst, description of Jo’s portfolio to date was ‘random’. She has a keen interest in photography and through her roles in art direction, Jo has been improving her knowledge, understanding and skills.
Andrew Kelly is a freelance calligrapher and hand lettering artist. Specialising in custom type logo design, calligraphy and hand lettering commissions he also has a background in design and photography. A husband and father of two amazing children. Andrew once drove a 3,300 mile mercy run in 66 hours non-stop (UK to Estonia) with his brother to get medication for his eldest daughter.
Christian Payne specialise in creative technology and communications. Working with multimedia creation, social media documenting and amplification. He also consults. Working with large and small businesses, news agencies, charities, NGO’s and the arts and corporate sector.
He likes to travel light and share stories and interactions in realtime and blogs as @Documentally and occasionally writes about technology for The Guardian.
Some of the workshops he delivers focus on documenting and sharing stories with networked devices. From getting to grips with Twitter to Mobile Video Production.
Ann Hawkins qualified as a Fellow of the Institute of Personnel Management studying psychology and economics, she helped to implement the first major set of equal opportunities legislation in the UK. Ann started her first business in 1986 and has been advising other business owners since 2005.
She publishes information and ideas for business owners on her blog and in many guest posts and interviews.
Melina La Firenze is an artist living and working in St Neots. Born in Italy and brought up in London. She is self-taught and has been a painter all her life. She has been making jewellery since 2000. Her paintings have been exhibited in London and Barcelona and are now available as prints.
Her work is inspired by nature and the forms found in nature. The use of colour echoes a Mediterranean vibrancy and warmth such as in the deep blue skies and earthy tones. This passion for combining colours and textures is carried forth into the jewellery, hand-selecting semi-precious and precious stones and metals.
Paul Muir is an artist and drama therapist, living and working in St Neots. Professionally trained at Newcastle Polytechnic, Leeds University and St Albans College of Art and Design. Paul now dedicates his time to portraying the beauty and meaning we experience in the people and landscapes we encounter.
His history is in applying drama therapy theory with groups and individuals with children of all ages. Believing that play leads to an enriched understanding of ourselves and others. His work has largely been in schools and colleges in Yorkshire, Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire.
Presently his art studio is a Narrowboat on The Great Ouse where he draws his inspiration.
Richard Slade has over 20 years experience in the design industry working in the public, private and charity sectors with some of the top names in design.
He produces highly creative work for brands and organisations across the UK and his work covers a wide range of disciplines, including web, print and corporate identity. As well as extending his skills in to both marketing and project management, Richard is also a highly capable photographer and illustrator.
A huge advocate of design and creativity Richard formed Neotists in 2013 as a way to promote local freelance talent and community engagement. How he finds time to also row nationally with St Neots Rowing Club we don’t know.