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In 2019, I wanted to grow. Mentally, physically, professionally, etc. I just wanted Growth. 2018 was rough and I felt like I lost a lot of me. As part of my growth for 2019, I wanted to go to a conference. I couldn’t go to a few festival/conferences due to work but I was able to attend the Creative Works Conference. CWC6 was held in Memphis, TN on October 3-5 and I wish it were longer. Please make it longer. Josh Horton, if you read this… the world needs the Creative Works Conference.

Okay soooo why do we need Creative Works Conference? Thanks for asking. *back to this blog post*

It’s taken me a month to write this blog post because it’s finally sinking in. Over the course of three days, I met some amazing people and have been challenged more than I’d like to admit. For some odd reason, people think I have my life together and I don’t. AT ALL.

But this conference made me feel like it’s okay to not have everything “together” because I’ll forever be a learner who is creating and getting my things together. 

Say this out loud and repeat it three times.

I will never stop learning and never fully have my stuff  *insert expletive here* together. It’s okay to allow myself grace to get my stuff together. 

Note: When I started writing this blog post, it wasn’t long. As I finished writing my notes from the first day, it became clear that this would be a LONG post. So I consolidated as much as I could and wrote about my top 5 speakers. If you really want to know what happened, check out the Creative Works website and grab your ticket for next year so you’re not reading my long blog post.


Why We Should All Be Quitters, Good Snake

Kayla and Hannah, the great ladies at Good Snake, presented on being a quitter. When they mentioned quitters, I instantly knew that they were talking to me. I’ve quit a job and a city. I feel that when people talk about quitting, it’s often viewed negatively. But sometimes we need to quit. Why continue to sit and work on something that isn’t working? Changing strategies is often called “pivoting” but is it fair to say that pivoting is a form of quitting? #FoodForThought These are the two takeaways I wrote from their talk. 

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Perspective Collective Live Podcast with Scotty Russell, Rogie, and Maggie of Little Patterns

“Leverage your day job to fuel your dream job”

SO MANY JEWELS. There are few things in my 27 years of life that I can say have impacted, resonated, and changed my life. I’m pretty sure hearing this podcast is one of them. The others are concerts I’ve attended (it’s my thing… oh well). These are the top things I gained from it. If you missed it, here’s the Youtube video/podcast link. 

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The Middle by Tina Essmaker

Disclaimer: I’m sure I messed up the title of her presentation but it focused on the beginning, middle, and end.

Tina’s talk really resonated with me but also gave practical advice and actionable steps that anyone can take in their creative career. PAY ATTENTION PUH LEASE. I’m not going to fluff it and just list everything.

Lessons in the beginning

  1. Simplify what is the essence of this project?
  2. Be Consistent.
  3. Know Your Strengths.
  4. Find Complimentary Partners.
  5. Have a Plan but Be Open

The Middle : Years 2-6 will have a lot of output, huge growth, and brand equity.
Lessons in the Middle

  1. Accept Awkwardness
  2. Tend to all Areas in Your Life
  3. Don’t Decide Out of Fear
  4. Do the Heavy Lifting
  5. But Delegate if Possible
  6. Adjust Course if Needed

The End is when your growth has plateaued and you might find yourself misaligned with your values and it’s not sustainable.

Lessons in Endings

  1. Endings are Transformative
  2. Be Patient with Yourself
  3. Leave Room for Not Knowing
  4. It Doesn’t Have to Last Forever to be ______(good, valuable, etc).

Lessons In Partnership

  1. Talk about the end at the start.
  2. Establish clear boundaries.
  3. Nurture all aspects of the relationship.

Endings are opportunities for reinvention
What can I control? What can I learn from this? What opportunities exist? How will I move forward?

Love the Work Embrace the Luck by Thomas Wimberly III

Remember your roots. – Whatever you do, make sure it’s fulfilling so that you don’t only live on nights and weekends.
^^ This hit me HARD. HARD people. So many of us live
Search and Destroy
Comparison kills. and let it.- Thomas found himself jealous of other people who were taking risks and putting their work out there. Sound familiar? YEP. It’s me. He is me and I am him. Literally, whyyyyy do we careeee about other peopleeeee and their workkkkk? He also mentioned “cannibal creatives” (creatives who tear others down) and I chuckled.
Wear Out Your Inspiration.- His biggest driver for his art was to not look like his heroes. He hijacked nostalgia- took known ideas, icons, and figures then made it his own. Do whatever you want and then deal with it.
Don’t Rob Yourself of Your Own Journey.
Love the Work, Embrace the Luck.
“I’m not going to take time away from my journey because I’m sensitive about what people say.”

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Started From the Bottom, Now She’s Here by Mina Markham

Okay Mina Markham is a force. A force and I was so pleased to listen to her. She built Hilary Clinton’s design system and is a bada**.

  1. Create Your Own Luck
    • When In Doubt, Say Yes
    • It’s okay to be scared
    • Fake it!
  2. Create Passively
  3. Create Inclusively
    • Make sure you’re creating with others in mind.
    • Pair designing (being paired with another designer)
  4. Create an Impact
    • But still be humble
  5. Create a Commotion
  6. Create Defiantly
    • It takes a village
  7. Create Without Regrets

As life goes on, I’ll probably write more on each of the sessions and my takeaways but for now, this works. 


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