My First Design Conference

Last weekend I attended my first design conference. I didn’t really know what to expect. I had heard different things from different people about Creative South. I now realize why this is the case: everyone has their own experience there and take away something that is personal to them. I’d like to share with all of you the things that impacted me the most.
During the day there were about 6 speakers that gave an hour talk, each very different, as they highlighted their personality and perspectives on the industry. There were however a few common themes in pretty much every single talk. Failure, Passion, Fear, and Perseverance.

I’m going to be 100% honest with you — I went in with the assumption each talk would be around how awesome that person’s work is and how they got where they are today and what you need to do to be like them. While that is great for some, that is not what I’d find to be inspiring for myself.

I was pleasantly surprised that a lot of these talks went into some very real and personal topics. Hearing these designers, who are well known and respected, on the stage being, honest and vulnerable was what I found to be inspiring.

Knowing someone who has it all together goes through doubts is…refreshing.

Another theme and talk that stood out to me was by Antionette Carroll. She spoke about her organization, Reaction Labs. Hearing her speak about this with such passion made me feel like doing more with design and making a difference. She posed the question:

Are you putting something out in the world that is going to make it better?

I think we forget sometimes what a great responsibility we have. Our work can impact our community, but we take that for granted, and don’t use it to its full potential. Antionette made me think back to when I was a kid and how important things like Nickelodeon’s Big Help was to me and how I wanted to save all the whales. So why not use my skills to do more things that have an impact and are important to me? That is what I will be challenge myself on this year.
One of the other themes I picked up on was about your passion — why you wanted to become a designer in the first place. Getting back to your roots. Charles S. Anderson’s talk reminded me of when I was little, how much I loved helping my dad collect plastic toys, B movies, and going through his record collection. I now realize that was the first time I was interested in design.

Design is more than pretty pictures and type. It’s movies, architecture, fashion, toys, hiking trails. Finding inspiration from everything and everywhere, not just browsing Pinterest and dribbble (which is still awesome to do).

This realization really energized me and made me excited to search out more unique areas for inspiration.
Creative South ended up being a great experience and I’m happy I was able to attend with my friend and co-worker, Diane. 10/10, would attend again!


If you liked this post, please take a second to click the green heart and recommend it. Every heart means a lot. You should also check out my other blog,
Like what you read? Give Sarah Hall a round of applause.

From a quick cheer to a standing ovation, clap to show how much you enjoyed this story.