It was the first sunny, beautiful day in Chicago—Saturday at 7:45 A.M. and I walked into a day-long creative conference. You might think, “YAWN” or “I wanna play outside today”. But you’d be wrong. So wrong. This was a “conference to inspire confident creatives” and it definitely did. I was blown away by the variety of speakers, the creative fields they were from and how they all managed to really make me think.
Aside from brilliant Illustrator, Lisa Congdon, the list of speakers didn’t mean much to me before I heard them speak but they all left quite an impression on me. Designer and illustrator, Elle Luna, was memorable with her poetically, blunt style. She made me laugh, made me think and I will always remember that distractions threaten us daily—“every time you say yes to one of them, you say no to yourself”. The speakers were refreshing, easy-going, smart, forthright, honest, funny, witty, entertaining and so incredibly passionate. There was a common theme of taking the jump off that cliff, quitting your job and start doing what it is you really want to do. I think the eloquent illustrator and fine artist, Lisa Congdon, said it best “Be you. Make the work you love and embrace your path”.
It is a rare chance that you get to feel and experience the true creative passion of others. All creatives have the passion that drives them, fuels them, feeds them but to get inside some true creative genius is a gift. It was fantastic to see the rich, creative community here in Chicago in one room. There was so much to take away but mostly I walked away with many words of wisdom to share:
“Find your MUST. What do you burn for? What moves you?” —Elle Luna, designer & artist
“Safety & comfort obstruct your dreams.” —Rob Loukotka, designer
“Mistakes are so beautiful, lets go paint a million mistakes.” —in the words of a little boy to Elle Luna
“Be you. Make the work you love & embrace your path.” —Lisa Congdon, Illustrator & Fine Artist
“The original Kick Starter.“ —Max Temkin referring to Mr. Rodgers defending PBS in the senate in 1969
“Your haters are really good at pointing out your strengths.” —Ann Friedman, Editor & Writer
“We are all writers, we are all storytellers.” —Susan Betteridge. Group Creative Director
“Always have a business card.” —Mare Swallow, Speaker, Consultant, Author
“It would be better to fail than to suck.” —Max Temkin, Designer & Gamer
“Be prolific. Be brave. Be communal. Be adaptable. Be firm. Be adventurous. Be dependable. Be gracious. Be (occasionally) disentangled. ” —Lisa Congdon, Illustrator & Fine Artist