Creative Works Conference 2017 Takeaways | Speak Creative

Creative Works Conference 2017: What We Took Away

Our creative team just returned from the Creative Works Conference here in Memphis and we wanted to share some insights from the conference. This blog differs from our other expositions. Here you’ll find some inspiration as a creator. You’ll also find encouragement to break free of the mold.

We hope you join us in challenging our routines and beliefs of what creating is like and how we create.

Get Up Off the Floor

Creative Works Andy Miller“You can’t just lay on the floor.” - Andy Miller

If we’re honest with ourselves, we’ve all fallen flat in some endeavor big or small. Failure has a way of keeping us down. It has a way of knocking us to the floor and then keeping us comfortable on the floor.

If we stand up, we might have to face the reality of our failure and determine how to overcome it. We might have to exert more energy. We might fail again and wind up flat on our face yet again. So it certainly feels comfortable to stay down and not try.

But in Andy’s words, “you can’t just lay on the floor.” We need you. We need what you’ll bring to this world, big or small. We need your energy and your talent. We need you to create whatever it is you can create. We need you to get off the floor and try again.

Make Friends, Not Networks

In an age where we’re followed or following others on social media, these relationships can easily become surface-level relationship. We connect on LinkedIn or Instagram just for professional reasons – maybe to leverage someone’s network to build our own – but we’ve sort of lost the art of friendship. We think we’re connected, but we’re not really connected as humans.

Creative Works Panel“You have to get comfy with discomfort.” - Rogie King

And much of this is due to the nature of hiding behind profiles. It’s easier to hide out online. It’s more comfortable. But true friendships and even professional relationships come at the expense of discomfort. We each have to climb over the wall of our own profiles and engage one another.

Once we engage and build friendships, we can start to communicate differently. If we’re not friends then we cannot be honest. In any professional role, we need honest dialogue and critique so we can all get better and do better work. But without friendship, we’ll probably just nod and say “yeah, it looks great” even when it’s not great.

It’s Not About Me, It’s About We

Creative Works Table Talks“I wasn’t doing it for the good of the bank account.” - Austin Dunbar

The temptation in business and creative work is to make solely for the purpose of the bank account. And for a business to remain profitable and alive we can’t neglect the bank account. However, it can easily become all about our bank account and less about the people we serve.

It’s a mentality shift. It becomes less about me, or less about my business, and more about producing great work. Then, the bank account will be okay.

The reality is… if we’re always focused on me and my bank account, then we don’t produce our best work. We only produce work that will fill the bank account. And no one likes working with an individual or company that is only focused on the bottom line. You get treated like a transaction.

Let’s go beyond transactional work. Let’s focus on we, and not me. And let’s produce great work that affects all of us right here in our communities because at the end of the day that’s what we need.

Make it about “we.”

You Can’t Extinguish Our Curiosity

Curiosity makes creativity happen. We are most creative when we are most curious, and no one can take away or extinguish our curiosity. It is always available to us.

We always have an opportunity to be curious. Whether it’s with a website or video or branding, we have the chance to be curious about how we communicate and how we affect an audience. The brands that don’t communicate well and don’t affect anyone or anything are the ones that are least curious. The brands that are curious… well...

Creative Works Glass Logo“It’s this curiosity that sets the course of change.” - Erik Marinovich

It seems very philosophical. Curiosity guides change. Why? Because curiosity asks questions. It questions norms. It questions assumptions. Curiosity gets outside the box and then looks at the box and questions why the box even exists. Then curiosity breaks down the box.

If we want to see change—even if it’s as small as seeing a change in our marketing—we must arm ourselves with great curiosity.

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