I tell you what, I did not think my experience at Creative South 2014 could be topped. Boy, was I wrong! I really don’t know where to begin. Let’s start with I had so much fun I lost my voice for a few days. This was probably caused by a combination of talks over music, karaoke, laughter and Michael McDonald impersonations with my conference buddies Fraser and Adam. Thankfully, it is getting better – sounding less like Weezy Jefferson everyday.
If you read my recap from last year, you know what Creative South is all about. Yes, it is a design conference on the surface. Once you attend, you realize it is SO much more. The speakers, workshops, attendees and especially the hosts, make this conference really stand out from others. While I do enjoy all the conference I attend, CS is the one I look forward to the most. Last year I was watching my design heroes – Todd, Joe, TJ, Faser and Skye on stage discussing the sports design industry. This year, I was hanging out with them and other awesome designers in sports, sharing laughs and stories over great BBQ, sweet tea and other beverages 🙂 They even took the time to give me feedback on my thesis project and sketches. I had the chance to share my sketchbook with the best of the best at a pub in Columbus, GA! How many people can say they have had that opportunity! In addition to being talented designers, they do some pretty spot on impersonation of entertainers and each other. I am still trying to process all the information and tips I picked up hanging around this group.
In addition to reconnecting with my CS14 friends – Seth, Holly, Emily and Veronica, I made some new friends. I finally met Matt Walker and Adam Eargle – who I have been following and chatting with via social media for sometime; Adam Martin, another sports designer and the voice behind Makers of Sport Podcast (definitely check out the recap episode and rate it!), Jimmy Parker, Josh Ash, Tim Frame, Donovan Moore and Von Glitschka. I also met Bill Frederick of Fanbrandz! He shared some of the brand guides used for their event logos and the behind-the-scene look at managing all the design content for these events. Everyone is so willing to share and offer support to grow this particular design community.
I leave other conferences inspired and pumped up with new creative energy, but Creative South fills my spirit. On the last day of CS, before hitting the highway, I attended a session called “Creative by Design“. The session is a study on how faith contributes to and influences creativity. Hearing other Christian creatives share their stories and journeys in design was really refreshing. We work in a pretty demanding field and can forget to take care of ourselves physically and spiritually. That’s just one of the components that make this conference so special. CS does not stop when we all return to our homes and jobs. The inspiration and energy keep going beyond those few days in Columbus.
Top 5 favorite moments and takeaways:
- Having the coolest boss join me as an attendee! Lyndsay and I had a great drive there and back with lots of conversation and sing-alongs to Awesome Mix Vol. 1.
- The Badge Building workshop with Nick Slater! This was perfect as I am designing one for my thesis. I was able to take a lot of the tips and techniques he shared to apply to my own project. The workshops are a great way to get hands-on experience with some of the best in the industry.
- The opening party. IT. WAS. EPIC! First of all, the party was on a bridge over the Chattahoochee River connecting Georgia and Alabama. We needed 2 states to handle the party! There was great food, drinks, snow cones, music, InkWars and a fireworks show that would make you want to just bust out singing the national anthem. Here’s a great video recap!
- Reconnecting with my peeps! I was so happy to see so many people return, and even more excited cheering for Emily, Holly and Veronica during TypeFight!
- Hanging out with a great group of sports designers! I really felt like part of the team and their support means so much!
Special thank you to the Makers of Sport Podcast for the shout out! Give it a listen below while you check out the pictures.