When I joined the Caddis team five months ago, I was excited to finally apply what I'd learned in my college design program. Immediately I felt a sense of creative freedom in my job and a collaborative nature in the office. I've had the stereotypical jobs in the past where your boss is literally breathing down your neck. For a kid who grew up drawing and creating things constantly, that felt crippling. So to have some desk space, my own computer and an endless amount of coffee, it felt like a warm welcome.
This feeling didn't end at 5 p.m. though. It continued throughout my evenings and the city as I started to connect with other designers, photographers, stylists, craftsmen and more. I was making new friends on Instagram and Twitter who shared a passion for creating things and collaborating. Coming from a small town in the midwest where Dollar General is king, this new "creative community" felt like Mars.
Still in the honeymoon phase, I was sitting at work one morning when, Evan, our Senior Designer sent me a link and said, "You'd better go ahead and sign up for this." I took him for his word, followed the link and signed up for something called CreativeMornings. I sized up the CreativeMornings website and gathered it was some kind of lecture. Then I noticed a name: Ruthie Lindsey. I knew this name from somewhere, and then realized that I had started following Ruthie on Instagram about a week prior. Come to find out, she was going to be the speaker at Nashville's first CreativeMornings, a lecture-based gathering every month held in 86 cities around the world. Reading Ruthie's bio and hearing what she'd been through had me so anxious to be there for this first talk. If that weren’t enough, there would be free coffee and donuts.
I started following CreativeMornings Nashville on Twitter shortly after and immediately saw a tweet from them asking for a last-minute videographer for Friday's lecture. I replied to the call-out as fast as I could, and asked if I could help out. Long story short, I got one of our development interns, Coy, to jump on board with me (Coy has a passion for video and a broadcasting background...score). We combined our knowledge and equipment to shoot the first lecture held at Fort Houston among a standing room only crowd listening to Ruthie's story of heartbreak and creative perseverance.
I met so many different people through that first talk, which led to multiple conversations, coffee dates and collaborations in a short amount of time. As a designer representing an interactive agency, I met other designers, programmers, writers and research specialists. I've met creative directors, urban designers and architects. As a photographer, I've met other photography professionals, beauticians, stylists and studio assistants. Let's not forget that 50% of these people are musicians as well. The lectures have ranged from an interior designer who lives with chronic pain, to a boudoir photographer finding beauty in all people, to a man who learned how to paint while serving 30 years in prison for a murder he didn't commit.
These once-a-month talks are not only informative, but they bring people together. They promote creativity and give you a sense of culture. Above all, they have an emotional impact that resonates long after the morning is over and you’re back at work creating.
You can sign up for the next Creative Mornings on their website (signups open on July 21st). Next month's lecture will be held by Jim Sherraden and Celene Aubry of Hatch Show Print. The 135 year old letterpress shop is responsible for some of the best show posters and promo materials in town. For example: Hatch Show Print was making show posters back when Hank Williams was playing Nashville. Sounds like Music City to me.