Reflecting on the Creative Conference Experience

Reflecting on the Creative Conference Experience - Creative South 2014

I’m collaborating on a bigger post on what Creative South meant to Sevenality as an agency with thoughts from my husband and I so I would stay tuned for that via our blog tomorrow. If you didn’t know, almost two weeks ago I was in Columbus, GA for the Creative South conference—which was my first ever design/creative conference experience. I have three pages of notes (mostly random lettering of phrases) so I just want to focus on my personal thoughts after connecting with other creatives in a positive space. I talked about it a bit in this Monday’s mail drop so this is a bit of a continuation of that.

Why Creative South?

In the past few years design and blogging conferences have been popping up all over the place. I’ve always been very hesitant to invest in conferences after hearing horror stories and seeing the expenses associated with these events. Some of my wishlist conferences have ticket prices upwards of $2,000 so you can see why I stayed away from the conference scene, until late last year. Hearing about Brooklyn Beta via the Happy Monday podcast and having a great experience with the first year of the One Spark festival, I decided to stay on the lookout for any close design conferences.

Once I received an e-mail from Peter Deltondo (who is amazing) about sharing the Design VS Cancer Kickstarter campaign on the blog, I went down the Internet rabbit hole which led me to the 2013 Creative South page. The speakers from last year looked cool and it seemed pretty awesome for a conference in its first year. After refreshing the page, the 2014 page was up and I was immediately sold. I got David intrigued. I immediately chatted about via Twitter. After seeing all of my favorite Orlando designers and illustrators talk about attending, I bought tickets for Creative South at the end of the week.

Creative South’s branding and message were enough to keep me interested. However, just about the conference via  social media, I was instantly connected with Adam GrasonShauna Lynn Panczyszyn, and Mike Jones (the mastermind behind the conference).

Columbus GA

Planning to Connect

I think one of the things that made my conference experience wonderful is going in with an open mind. My mindset early on was to connect with other creatives, especially my local designer friends. I wanted to really take in the information each speaker was sharing and just staying connected, mentally. Although I work with my husband, I’ve never held a typical creative 9-5 job. I’ve always been the only designer in any position I’ve held. Being able to just connect about creativity, goals, the pressure of social competition, and perfection really helped me see beyond my internal bubble. One of the notes I have lettered in big words is “Fear in context of creativity is wholly illegitimate.

I also had the challenge of doing this in a shorter time span than most of the other conference goers. I was also fitting family time, a baby shower, and the fact that we were staying over 90 minutes away from Columbus didn’t help. I had to create a mental space for my creative life, my work life, and my family life which isn’t the typical conference experience. However, it helped me really appreciate the time I had with the people I met.

Iron Bank Coffee

Creative Conference Connections

I always laugh when I hear people talk about the ascendance of plaid, glasses, and beards on towns that are hosting design conferences and it couldn’t be more true. We were a bit of a plaid/button down army and it was awesome.  The connections I made were wonderful. Meeting people as far as Oklahoma and people who are just a few hours away in Tallahassee really kept me engaged. Chatting with Danielle Evans in the coffee line about family and her work was something I probably wouldn’t have been able to experience without Creative South. Being able to have a conversation with Peter about Design vs Cancer and how this project has really helped him and so many others is a moment I’ll always cherish. I had the tiniest part in the grand scheme of the project but it felt good to be a part of something.

It was also great to see how we were connected. My husband had a lot of those moments, being an agency alumni. He was probably eight degrees of separation from almost everyone from Orlando. I’m not saying everything about the conference was perfect but the imperfections made it exactly what it was.  There’s nothing I regret other than staying ninety minutes away. I had a great time and I’m making notes to consider attending another creative conference or so.

Mary Kate McDevitt - Typefight

Yes that’s Mary Kate McDevitt in a live Typefight. Where else could I have possibly seen this if it weren’t for Creative South? So I will be basking in the Creative South afterglow for a bit. I’m a bit on creative overdrive. That’s all thanks to spending 72 hours in an opera hall with other creatives and it was awesome.

I’m also checking out the conferences as potentials so:

Circles Conference

Yellow Conference

Brooklyn Beta

In case you’re interested in hanging out with me, Kelly is putting together When Creatives Meet in Orlando this August. I’ll be here, hopefully!

All photography copyright – Sevenality.

What have your conference experiences been like?

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Blogging 101: April Tips Roundup

April - Blogging Tips Roundup

Happy Monday! I started the day off with a pretty rad honest newsletter, an 8 am meeting with two of my favorite clients, and now as I look at my to-do list I know I’m killing precious time by putting together this blog. However, you guys deserve it because there were great articles out this month and I just wanted to share!

A Grammar Guide for Bloggers – Chasing Happy

A Grammar Guide for Blogging - The Chasing Happy Blog

If you’re writing often, you sometimes question your proper grammar usage. How often have your typed or written a word and thought it looked as if it was spelled incorrectly?  It happens to me at least once a week, and it happens with grammar rules as well. Kenzie’s list is compiled of common mistakes I see often out and about the web. Let’s work on having great grammar!

5 Ways to Kick Creatives Bloggers Block – Melissa Creates

5 Ways to Kick Creative Bloggers Blog - Melissa Creates

You’re going to read a lot about blogger’s block during this month’s roundup. The new year resolutions have started to wear thin. If your Feedly is like mine, bloggers are blogging a lot less these days. With a very long winter (and cold temperatures still lingering), we are creating less content. I love Melissa’s tips about going into different mediums to find new ways to create blog content. It’s a great post so take a listen.

How To Launch Your Blog with a Bang – ByRegina

How to Launch Your Blog with a Bang - ByRegina

Regina’s blog is one of my new favorites. She posted three articles this month that I wanted to share; however, I chose this one, which is a guest post from Deidre of WifeMomSuperwoman. Launching a new blog can be scary, especially with so many horror stories lingering on the web. Deidre covered some great points from keeping the end in mind to just keep going. Having a blog is wonderful and it’s definitely changed my relationships on the web and in real life.

6 Critical Blog Content Components – Hello Brio

6 Critical Blog Content Components - Hello Brio

Jennifer shared some great ideas on critical blog content components that you may have not been thinking of. Does your blog have a proper introduction? I think we focus on the actual content in each blog post that we forget about the content that’s standard around our blogs, which is equally important.

The Blogging Advice I Refuse to Follow – Free Borboleta 

The Blogging Advice  I Refuse to Follow - Free Borboleta

This isn’t advice so to say but a reminder that not all advice can apply to you! Fran shared a post on what advice she doesn’t take because it can’t apply to her and how she’s not really putting her blog in a niche. Having a niche isn’t always important, especially when your blog is just something you’re wanting to do for fun. The overwhelming amount of advice around the web needs to be taken with a grain of salt and just learn what works for you.

Refresh & Revitalize Your Blog – And Yes To Joy

Spring Cleaning - Refresh & Revitalize Your Blog - And Yes To Joy

Spring cleaning is a big theme this month as we look for ways to make your current blog anew. Amber shared some great tips and ideas on getting everything organized in great detail. Her tips on filling gaps in your editorial calendar are great and I can’t wait to use some of these in my upcoming scheduling. The whole Spring Cleaning series is pretty neat so be sure to read the other posts in the series.

Clean Your Blog – Noor Alqahtani

Clean Your Blog - Noor Alqahtani

You can never have enough cleaning tips and Noor’s post is a great post to follow up with after you visit Amber’s blog. Noor is really great at keeping her blog clean and her content fresh so I always appreciate her thoughts on blogging. When was the last time you checked out your widgets? Exactly.

Keeping Your Readers Suckered into Your Blog – Clear The Way

Keeping Readers Sucked into Your Blog - Clear The Way

Bethany shared some great tips on keeping your bounce rate down on Kate’s blog this month. We want our readers to stay and read all of the content we’ve created and keeping a visitor’s attention can be hard to do. Everything from site loading time to how your links are opened have a lot to do with how your visitors navigate your blog and its content.

Disclosing Advertisements & Paid Endorsements on Your Blog - The Well

Disclosing Advertisements & Paid Endoresements on Your Blog - The Well

Hey bloggers, a couple of years ago the FTC set up some guidelines on how we must disclose paid advertisements and paid endorsements on our blogs. Unfortunately, a lot of the how to make money from your blog posts don’t mention this tiny fact, probably due to the age of them or the lack of shared knowledge on the rule. Blogging advertisements have changed in the past few years and sponsored content is know one of the bigger ways to make money via your blog. I think it’s great so let’s try to stay legal in the way we share this content.

50 Ways to Kick Bloggers Block – Gala Darling

50 Ways to Kick Bloggers Block - Gala Darling

This article is also properly known as “Got Blogger’s Block? Here’s 50 Ways to Kick Its Ass!” but I figured you probably didn’t want that in big red letters while scrolling down at work or something. Gala shares some great ways to get out of blogger’s block and get back to blogging. There’s no reason to have blogger’s block you guys! I’ve already shared fifty-five ideas to help you but just in case this isn’t enough…

32 Types of Creative Blog Posts You Can Write About – Twelve Skip

32 Creative Types of Blog Posts - Twelve Skip

…here are thirty-two more ideas to help you out with that can possibly get you kicking! You’re welcome.

Share any other helpful blogging tip posts below!


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Links I Love: 4.18.14

Links I Love

TGIF! This week flew by, mainly because I only got to work three and a half days after coming back from Columbus. It’s Good Friday which means there needs to be good inspiration for you to enjoy during your Easter Weekend. So let’s get started with this week’s Links I Love.

La Latina Map & Pocket Guide - We and the Color

I’m in love with the icon illustration for the La Latina Map Pocket Guide. The colors are bright and friendly and the icons are straight to the point. As I start to expand my illustration work (YIKES), I’m being as inspired as possible!


Tom Froese Stationery - Good Design Makes Me Happy

I love the calling cards for designer and illustrator Tom Ferose. The bright colors and beautiful letterpress printing is divine! Tom’s illustrations get the point across in a unique way while still being well done. Someday, I hope to have calling cards as cool as these.

Read Feather Menu - Art of the Menu

I dream of designing a menu for a local restaurant which is why the Red Feather menu design caught my eye. The clean lines and easy to read type is wonderful. Menus are often crowded with information you may or may not need so stripping them down is always a great design move.

Super Easy Egg Sharpie DIY - Paper N Stitch

As the super official lazy Easter participant, these simple Sharpie DIY eggs are right up my alley. Drawing a few scribbles here and there is perfect for the lazy childless twenty-something.

Gaylin & Alastair - Andria Lindquist

These photographs of Gaylin and Alastair’s wedding by Andria Lindquist are absolutely divine. Not only did the couple have a beautiful wedding but Andria, like she always does, did a beautiful job capturing the small moments. The shot above is one of my absolutely favorites in any wedding shoot I’ve seen. I mean those eyebrows alone give me so much envy.

Garden by Todd McClellan - Going Home to Roost

Speaking of beautiful photography, Todd McClellan’s shot of the above garden items is wonderful. I love shots of organized items and I’ve never seen garden items organized. I thought it be a great addition to this list!

 Pizza Vinoteca - The Dieline

This packaging has everything I’ve ever wanted—black and white stripes with bold type. I don’t think I need to say anything else. Just enjoy it.

Wonderhand - MyFonts

This new typeface, Wonderhand, is a beautiful hand-written script by Martina Flor. As more hand-written scripts are released, it’s hard not to purchase all of the great ones. The loops and curves in this typeface are everything.

California House Tour - A Cup of Jo

Joanna Goddard shared the beautiful Californian home of her friends on A Cup of Jo this week. This home has been all over my Pinterest feed and for good reason. This couple has fantastic decor taste and this snapshot of the kitchen is only a small look into what they’re capable of.

I Woke Up Like This Mug - ABD

Ashley Brooke is an Orlando favorite and this mug she previewed on her Facebook page last night is just a small reason why. I was just planning an I Woke Up Like This print—no lie. This mug is clearly an indication that I have to do this.

PS – I’m talking about a lot of things on Monday’s Mail Drop so you should probably subscribe! Thanks to all of the subscribers I’ve gotten this week. You guys rock!

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