This past weekend, two of us (Morgan and Hillery) headed up to Columbus, Georgia for Creative South. The goal of the weekend was to send everyone home with a bunch of new friends and motivated to make stuff. It worked.

We spent two days sitting in a beautiful opera house filled to the brim with creatives and listened to talks from the likes of DKNGBethany HeckAaron Draplin, and Anton and Irene. Here are some inspiring tidbits from the weekend.


1. Orlando's creative community is growing and people know about it.

Creative South is a relatively small conference, but there were still a ton of Orlandoans there. Every time someone shook our hands and asked where we were from, we got the response, "Everyone here is from Orlando! There must be so many creatives there."

2. Find the sweet spot.

You are gifted with talents. You are also gifted with a passion and a greater purpose in life. It is your job to figure out how to make these two things work together. The area in your life and work where your passion overlaps with your purpose is the sweet spot. Find the sweet spot.

3. Cut the crap.

If you can afford to, turn down jobs you don't want. Stop spending time and energy on work you couldn't care less about and focus on what fuels your passion and motivation. You are doing not just yourself, but the world a disservice when you are not focused on your true purpose. Stop wasting time and get to it. 

4. You should just ask. The worst answer you can get is "no."

Irene of Anton and Irene talked about a documentary she was working on, and how she found some relevant footage online taken by a famous videographer. She assumed she'd never be able to use the footage, but she asked anyway. She got a yes.

5. If you really, really like something, you should probably do that.

The guys at DKNG Studios liked making band posters. They didn't think that could be a job, but they started making dozens of posters for free and eventually got hired to make posters for bands like Phish and Bon Iver.

6. Don't just dream. Do.

Know how many people on this planet have beautiful imaginations? Literally everyone. But how many people do anything about it? Imagination is worthless without execution. Don't confuse success for significance and dreaming for doing. 

7. Set goals. Duh. But seriously, just set goals.

This seems like a no brainier. But how often do you actually sit down and write out your goals? There are different tiers of goal setting. You should simultaneously set big, lofty, seemingly impossible goals, and goals for small, everyday tasks. Always keep the big picture in mind. And if you don't have a big picture, formulate it out into writing and look at it everyday.

Work by Aaron Draplin of  Draplin Design Co.

Work by Aaron Draplin of Draplin Design Co.

8. Kill the time vampires.

Time is not on our side. There are an infinite amount of distractions in the world, all vying for our attention. Time vampires are the pesky little things we encounter on a daily basis that suck our time and energy. Time vampires can range anywhere from Facebook to client work that winds up just not not being profitable. All of these things add up and suck invaluable time that we should be spending on what is important. Seek out the time vampires and slay them.

9. Refuel.

Everything can be a tool for your creativity. Draw inspiration from everything you do in life, including interests and hobbies. It is important to take breaks and spend time to refuel so you don't burn out. 

10. Love what you do so much that it doesn't feel like work.

The goal is to enjoy what you're doing now, rather than waiting until you're 65 and can retire. Find what you love and start doing it now.