Creative South 2017 had a lot to live up to. Last year was my first year at this design conference, and it could not have been a better experience…or so I thought.

This year lived up to last year’s Creative South and more. I knew what to expect this year and prepared accordingly. I knew that workshops were out of the question because of the price, so a part of our group decided to explore downtown Columbus and hangout at our favorite local coffee shop, Iron Bank Coffee, on the first day. The weather was GORGEOUS. A bit windy, but still gorgeous. We spent a good bit of our day along the Chattahoochee river walk just enjoying the view. That night, the kick off party was full of good friends, food, drinks, music, and ink wars of course! You can check out all the fun we had this first day on the Creative Clique Vlog.

The next two days were full of speakers that spoke about success, failure, and our value as designers.

Here are some highlights I took from what these awesome people had to say.

Adé Hogue

It was really nice to hear his story of how he started out going to school for something totally different and then ended up becoming a designer. It reminded me of my own story of starting out going to school for dental hygiene, and then realizing graphic design was actually what I wanted to do. I also really loved his style of tackling his doubts. He wrote his doubts on paper and then crumbled the paper. I thought this was a pretty cool exercise and would like to try it myself!

Alicja Colon

Alicia was again, someone I could relate to. She talked about balancing family and work life, which is something I’m always trying to figure out. One of the things she said that really stuck with me was “If we don’t define our success, it’ll never be attainable” Instead, we’ll end up basing our success off of other people, and we don’t want to compare ourselves to other people.

Erik Reagan

Speaking of failure, that was the theme of Erik’s talk. He got really down to earth with us and even read from his journal about the hardships he’s gone through with Focus Lab. This was eye opening and brought to light that everyone has their ups and downs, even amazing creative agencies like Focus Lab. My favorite quote from him was “Failure is an event, not a person”. You can’t be a failure because failure is not a person. It’s an event that you can learn and recover from.

Nikki Villagomez

It’s always really awesome and inspiring when you have a designer that just radiates passion on stage. That’s what Nikki gave us. Her talk was on How Culture Affects Typography. It was so interesting to see the differences in typographic style between different countries and even different states here in the U.S. It’s something that’s always in front of our face, but we don’t always pay attention to it. Nikki really opened my eyes to recognizing and appreciating the way culture affects typography. I’ll have my eye open for those manhole covers 

Jason Blumer

Oh man. I think his talk might have been my favorite. Jason addressed a topic many of us designers have so many questions about, and that’s pricing. I can’t even begin to talk about all of the tips he gave us. It was too much. I’m so glad Tony recorded his talk, so I can do back and listen to it!

Bob Ewing

I think Bob’s talk was an inspiration to us all. Seeing his persistence and growth with his 365 days of type project just goes to show you where that kind of dedication can land you. His work resonates with me because he likes to get his kids involved. His monthly hand lettered updates of his son were so adorable! He’s also a co-founder of Inch x Inch, a nonprofit button club that supports youth art education. After his talk, we went straight to their table in the vendor hall and got some swag. They even had toddler size shirts, so we got Declan one

Creative South Round 2