Creative South 2017 – Another Conference, Another Journey

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Another year, another great conference. I can’t believe another year of Creative South has already come and gone. I got so much out of this year’s Creative South. The theme this year was Explore, and we got some awesome swag to go along with it. We got a rad, one of a kind bag, a camping cup, tee shirt, stickers, and so much more.

Another big theme and topic of discussion was failure. Multiple speakers talked about their failures as designers and business owners, but all of them ended on a positive note. They talked about facing your fears, making a difference, and reclaiming why you do what you do.

Erik Reagan of Focus Lab is one of the talks that stood out to me the most. He talked about the struggles he and his business went through. It was extremely encouraging hear that one of the agencies I look up to and admire has gone through problems. He said some great stuff, but one of my favorite things he said was “Failure Does Not Define You”. 
Now don’t get me wrong, it’s not like I’ve never heard this statement before, but for some reason it just seemed to really stick out to me. So often we find ourselves comparing our work or successes to others, especially when we see people’s work and accomplishments on social media. Often it’s hard for us to remember that social media is just everyone’s highlight reel. It doesn’t show their struggles and failures.

Erik wasn’t the only one that spoke about failure and doubts. Adé had a great talk about confronting and crushing your doubts. He did a great exercise where he hand lettered his doubts on a piece of paper and then literally crumbled them up. He said that doing this gave him the opportunity to really sit down and think about what his doubts are, and figure out why he had them.

Alicja Colon, who’s also from Focus Lab, talked about reclaiming your who. She said how our passions, perspectives, and priorities were all unique to us and we need to take time to determine each of them for ourselves. If we don’t determine what success means to us, someone else will determine it for us, and that’s not what we want. Hearing that got me thinking – what am I passionate about? Are my priorities in line? And how can I use my talents to make a difference? 
This year’s Creative South was extremely eye opening for me, and I’m already looking forward to next year! If you’re interested, Danielle and Naomi vlogged our adventure, and you can check it out below!