This weekend I attended Made in the Middle, a creative conference in Kansas City founded by Tad and Jessica Carpenter of Carpenter Collective. I wasn’t able to attend their first conference two years ago so I was thrilled it worked out to go this year! The conference started with a day of workshops on Friday (I attended a live recording of Andy J. Miller’s Creative Pep Talk Podcast!) and continued with an opening party at Messenger Coffee.
Saturday was a day full of lectures, and below are a few of my key takeaways from each of the six talented artists/designers/engineers who spoke. To say the weekend was inspiring is an understatement, and I’m truly proud to be a creative working in the Midwest.
Defining myself loosely opens doors for me.
If I put out the work I want it comes back to me.
My creativity comes in seasons.
Taking time to reflect is an important part of my process.
Amber took time to audit her work and pursue styles that she wanted to work on, even if it was different from work she was known for.
Lift each other up.
100% of perfectionists think they are imposters.
The more you put projects out into the world the more they come back to you.
Take the risks.
Hire people who are smarter than you who truly give a damn.
It’s okay not to be okay.
The first in-house graphic designer at Herman Miller, Inc.
If you have what you believe is an original, creative, terrific idea but you get timid and wonder what your client might think ... present it anyway.
You must disrupt the status quo.
We are all extraordinary.
There can always be a first time.
Just say yes, it is okay to be scared.
Collaboration breeds creativity.
Visibility has consequences.
Create without regrets.
Communicate your place in the market, know your unique value proposition and build connectivity into your business.
Andy J. Miller
The key to your creative career path is waiting for you to say yes.
Life is hard, but it doesn’t mean it’s bad. Hard and bad aren’t the same thing. (Andy’s Dad)
You have to go through all the levels, the maze is the key.
A creative path can be rocky.
You don’t know what dark places your creative work might pull people out of.
Be grateful for seasons where you can learn and grow in anonymity.
Who is flourishing because of the time, resources and skills you possess?
Relearn what you thought you already knew.
Seek out and plan those teachable moments, have a willingness to learn (teachability).
Write down your 5 year/10 year/20 year goals.