The HOW Conference

October 19, 2016 • Posted in Design

When my chiefs asked me if I wanted to attend the How Design Live Conference in Atlanta this past May, my first question was, “the what?” Quickly, I read up on the 5 day long gathering of designers and creative leaders, and thought, “this is a thing? YES!” Why didn’t I know about this before? I was psyched! All of the sudden, May couldn’t come soon enough — I had an amazing time! I came back super excited to get back to work; creatively amped and ready to go, go, go!

Many months later, the post-conference high has mellowed a bit, but some really great lessons remain with me as I work on new projects. One, it’s my job to understand the client, but it’s also my job to work collaboratively with my team and not expect my way or the highway. As a freelancer for many years, it was just me and the client. But now I work with a fantastic team of talented designers. Collaboration is key and I’m not BS-ing you. Seeking and taking advice does not equate failure, just compromise and ultimately, success.

More food for thought was provided by speaker Sagi Haviv. “The computer will not help you connect with your creative impulses. A pencil will.” I have to say, that’s pretty much what Jen keeps telling us creatives. Get off the computer and sketch. She even sent us new red sketch books a few months ago with the order to “use them!”. And she’s right. Taking time to unplug and spill your brain out on paper is a great way to recharge.

The biggest lesson I took away from the conference was more of a reminder: Be true to your own brand. Own your identity and personality. Work to achieve the goals you set for yourself and understand your fears so you can break free of them. Your work is the best reflection of your creative self, so make it great.

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