Thursday September 14, I'll be presenting at the first ever Creatives Meet Business Experience. I am (for lack of a more articulate sentiment) PUMPED.
CMBXP is the brainchild of Creatives Meet Business founder, Ashland Viscosi. I sat down with Ashland a few weeks ago to hear more about her story. Her birthday happened not long after, and her only birthday request, was for people to share CMBXP with friends. Here ya go Ashland... Happy Birthday!
Ashland never planned on a creative career when she fell into film and production a few years back. She had some success with a short film that won the Special Jury Prize at Sundance in 2014. During that time she witnessed an interesting component of the industry that would later become one of the inspirations for CMB: Support in the film scene only came from fellow filmmakers. She was surprised. Why didn't art industries support one another? Why was it so cliquish?
She began to wonder if she could create space for cross-pollination among different creative industries, giving local makers a platform to share ideas, resources, and support. Through this shared space she wondered, could creatives gain more confidence and comfort navigating difficult waters? Things like pricing, marketing, social media, and above all... the difficulty of simply asking for help.
And thus, CMB was born. Ashland had concerns about the "sage on the stage" mentality. Rather than have lecturers talk to passive audiences, CMB began as small group, round table discussions for 42 people. While intimate in attendance, each round table was also podcasted via iTune for the public online. Round table topics covered important issues for creatives: financial planning, social media, taxes and accounting, websites, PR, digital marketing, managing professional relationships, and branding (to name a few).
As word of the round tables and podcast grew, Ashland began to ponder: "Why not create a "conference" for creatives? One that brings more of the community into the conversation and shows that the sandbox is big enough for everyone." She conceived of a "Choose Your Own Adventure" series of sessions encouraging active participation in real time. Creatives could literally see the fruits of their labor at conference-end. Oh yeah... and it would be affordable.
In order to create the robust and interactive experience she envisioned, Ashland knew she needed partners. Enter stage left: Austin Learnshop (how I came on board), General Assembly, and Story Bar. Each organization brought with them industry and creative leaders across so many disciplines... it quite honestly made my head spin with excitement.
Accountants, yogis, marketers, actors, digital strategists, story-tellers, financial advisors, street artists, retailers, designers, social media experts, ceramicists, poets and SO MANY MORE.
Oh and me... a sign painter.
What will I be doing at the event? I'll be sharing how hand-painted letters and signage are totally back in vogue. We'll be talking about WHY handmade lettering has made a comeback, and how creatives can incorporate hand-made signs in their own industries.
The best part: Each attendee will learn seven user-friendly techniques (for all skill levels) and create engaging chalkboard signs for their home/ work space environments. We were pretty pumped (there's that word again) that the people at CMBXP invested in professional sign painting materials, many of which I used while painting signs at the funky, small/big grocer Trader Joe's.
If I haven't made it abundantly clear, I am...
Are you pumped now too??