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Exploiting the creativity that’s right here in Malta

Michael Azzopardi is organising an informal networking event on Friday aimed at bringing together Malta’s creative people. Photo: Chris Sant FournierMichael Azzopardi is organising an informal networking event on Friday aimed at bringing together Malta’s creative people. Photo: Chris Sant Fournier

As he listened to famed graphic designer Neville Brody speak at a networking event in London, Michael Azzopardi got the necessary dose of inspiration and encouragement to take the plunge and create his digital design company.

The benefits he reaped from attending numerous networking events proved to be so valuable that the 27-year-old decided to bring together Malta’s creative talent in a similar event today, mixing industry talks with informal networking.

‘Meet the local creatives’ will provide the opportunity to become inspired, pick up a new contact or even meet your new collaborator, employer or business partner, according to Mr Azzopardi.

The event will feature three short talks by three individuals who are all “self-started and incredibly inspiring” – BrndWgn CEO Peter Grech, Hotjar.com CEO David Darmanin and Rochelle Dancel, a producer, designer and brand strategist based in London.

“Such events are great for making contacts while enjoying a friendly drink,” Mr Azzopardi says.

Malta is sitting on a golden opportunity to make a creative hub happen

“Having a group of like-minded people in one room is a very powerful experience. I hope people will take away with them some creative fuel and a good dose of inspiration and enthusiasm that will enable them to have a brilliant idea and bring it to life.”

The event will be open to all creative individuals, whom Mr Azzopardi defines as “visionary people” who use their imagination and originality to give tangible form to their ideas and offer people pleasure or entertainment. Such people range from designers, architects and developers to artists, crafters and chefs.

“Even an accountant who saves his company from bankruptcy can be creative. We also aim to draw in people on the fringe of things, such as those who are not sure whether they have what it takes.

“It’s a little bit of what I went through. I wasn’t a designer eight years ago – I only made that leap and co-founded my company with business partner Sebastian Hefel thanks to the support and encouragement I received from people in the industry.”

Mr Azzopardi believes Malta is sitting on a golden opportunity to make a creative hub happen. Asked what he believed was keeping people back, Mr Azzopardi says that while there are a number of talented people, a sense of fragmentation pervades the creative community.

The relaxed, Mediterranean lifestyle did not necessarily always foster steely determination and motivation, he notes: “The opportunity and will are there but, sometimes, we tend to be discouraged by our families and by society from really thinking outside the box. I took the easy way out and left the country. I’ve been living in London for the past five years.

I hope this will be the first of many such events which will bring the creative community together and allow us to benefit from each other’s talents.”

‘Meet the local creatives’, which is supported by the Valetta 2018 Foundation, will take place tonight at 7pm at Blitz, St Lucy Street, Valletta.

Entrance is free but registration is necessary.

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