Made in the Middle 2018

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.

Letters Are Lovely | Made in the Middle

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.

Letters Are Lovely | Made in the Middle

Amber Goodvin

  • 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.

Dawn Hancock

  • 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.

Steve Frykholm

  • 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.

Mina Markham

  • Purposely Lucky

  • 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.

Dana Tanamachi

  • 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.


Hallmarket Artists

Friends, if you live in KC you need to stop by Hallmarket on September 15th! Here are just a few of my talented friends who will be selling their artwork at Crown Center:

Lisa Hadley @friendsofhadley
Chloe Daven @positivepennants
Meredith Cox @meredith.e.cox
Alyissa Johnson @alyissaj
Kelly Castor @kellcastor
Lynn Giunta @lynn_giunta
Barb Mizik @barb_mizik
Megan Reed @meganleighletters

Letters Are Lovely | Hallmarket 2018 Artists

Hallmark Elementary School Mural

I had the opportunity to help paint this amazing mural at a local elementary school close to Hallmark! Lynn Giunta, Barb Mizik, and Livy long had the idea to paint a mural somewhere in the community and Livy designed the mural based off the ideas of the fifth graders at the school. Lots of us were then able to help bring the mural to life! Take a look at the time lapse Hallmark's Union Hill Studio captured over the few days of painting and learn more about the project over on Think.Make.Share. 

Letters Are Lovely | Longfellow Elementary School Mural

July Around The Web

Hello, friends! This month has been especially busy at work, I filmed a segment for KCTV5's Better KC sharing how to wrap baby gifts using the adorable Hallmark Baby product designed by my friend Amber Goodvin, I filmed a segment for the Hallmark Channel that will air this Christmas, and I traveled to LA for a work trip. It was a whirlwind but really exciting too! Dale and I are also settling in to his new work schedule, and I've loved getting through all of our photos from our Europe trip. Here are my favorite finds around the web: 

Letters Are Lovely | July Around The Web

Enjoy the rest of your summer!