WORDS BY ERIN CORSTIAANS
IMAGES COURTESY OF CREATIVEMORNINGS
Do you like mornings? Do you like to be creative?
If you said ‘yes’ to both questions, then you need to get your butt to CreativeMornings. You’ve probably been already. You probably go every month. You can probably stop reading because you already know how damn cool it is.
If you said ‘yes’ to one question, then you need to get your butt to CreativeMornings. You like mornings? This is a fun thing to do in the morning with other people who like mornings. You like being creative? This is an opportunity for you to be creative with other people who like being creative.
If you said ‘no’ to both questions, then you need to get your butt to CreativeMornings. You probably won’t like it. But you might. As Dr. Seuss would say, “If you never did you should. These things are fun and fun is good.”
If you haven’t heard of CreativeMornings, allow me to enlighten you. As a regular CreativeMornings volunteer, I think I have a pretty fair wrap on it. CreativeMornings is a free breakfast lecture series for the creative community, which takes place once a month. It was established internationally in 2008, and launched in Brisbane in April 2016 by Jacinta Conza. Each month a new speaker is invited to represent Brisbane in the local chapter and share their insights and musings on a global theme. The lectures are recorded and uploaded to the CreativeMornings website to form a global network of information and inspiration that the creative community can tap into at any time. Although the majority of attendees at CreativeMornings are connected to the creative industries by some extension, CreativeMornings welcomes attendees of all backgrounds. Speakers can approach the theme in any way they choose, and in most cases the ideas raised and advice offered can be applied to a wide breadth of people and circumstances.
Every city or ‘chapter’ has a host who volunteers their time to organise and host CreativeMornings each month. For three years Jacinta was Brisbane’s host (an incredible effort, considering each event takes on average 40 hours to organise!) until she passed the reins to Brisbane’s newest host, Hillary Wall, in February this year.
Hillary is the Creative Director of Cork & Chroma, co-owner of the restaurant Naïm, USA expat, partner to B.J., and mama to Sunny. She was a guest speaker for CreativeMornings in May 2017, speaking on the theme ‘Serendipity’ (check it out), and regularly attended as a guest. I met with Hillary for coffee recently and asked her what it was about CreativeMornings that kept her coming back each month. “I just love it,” Hillary said. “I love the little injection of inspo every month. It’s always a great way to supercharge my day and get exposed to people in the same city with similar values and desires for creative connection.”
When I asked Hillary what inspired her to volunteer as host for CreativeMornings, she said that her reaction felt involuntary. “I just knew that I could do my best to lead the community and maintain what J.C. (Jacinta) had already built,” Hillary said. “I knew the other resources I had in place in my life could help the community and be very complementary.” On a more personal side, Hillary liked that she could meet and chat with cool creative people and explore different venues around Brisbane. “I wouldn’t have thought when I got off the aeroplane seven years ago that I would be able to seven years later feel so connected. CreativeMornings was a nice portal for facilitating that connection.”
One of Hillary’s major goals for CreativeMornings is to be able to accommodate more people. At present CreativeMornings can host between 80 and 200 people depending on the venue, but Hillary would love to see that number increase to 500. “Everyone should be there. Everyone who wants to be there should be there,” she said.
CreativeMornings is called ‘an engine of generosity’ as it wholly relies on volunteers to run. As well as Hillary, there is Sarah, who works with Hillary behind the scenes, and a whole host of volunteers who show up each month to help, whether it be to greet guests at the door, cater for breakfast (thanks Naïm!), or take photos, videos, or digital drawings of the event. Hillary is leading the charge, but CreativeMornings could not exist without collaboration and the generosity of its volunteers. In order to accommodate more people, CreativeMornings will need bigger venues and more volunteer support. If you know of any venues or have the capacity to volunteer, whether it be as a one-off or on a regular basis, we would love to hear from you at [email protected]. Maybe you’re handy with a camera or video, maybe you make the best scones in Brisbane. Maybe you have a killer morning smile. Tell us whatcha got.
The CreativeMornings manifesto states that ‘Everyone is creative. Everyone is welcome.’ So come and join us! You only need to do two things. First, you need to book your free spot on the CreativeMornings website. Follow us on Instagram or Facebook (links below) to find out when the tickets will be released, and be quick—last month’s first release of tickets were snapped up in less than four minutes! Second, you need to BYO coffee cup if you want some delicious artisan coffee. If you forget, you can always tip some in your hat, or lie on the floor and let Alex or Tyler from The Monday pour it directly into your mouth. I’m kidding. I’m not kidding. Whatever it takes to spark up your morning, you do that.
CreativeMornings: Website | Instagram | Facebook
CM BNE: Website | Instagram | Facebook
Cork & Chroma: Website | Instagram | Facebook
Naïm Restaurant: Website | Instagram | Facebook
The Monday: Website | Instagram | Facebook