November 14, 2012

Recap: The One Show Creative unConference in Chicago

The 4 principles of the unConference, the DIY session board, and session-in-progress by Big Cartel

You may be wondering: what the heck is the Creative unConference? It’s a conference with a theme, but without any agendas. The day’s sessions are created by the participants. Someone has a session idea, they write it down and post it on the session board.

Hosted by The One Club (a New York organization that promotes excellence in advertising), I happened to stumble upon Creative unConference through a twitter mention. I was hooked once I found out my alma mater Columbia College Chicago was hosting.

Thinking like a start-up.

This year’s theme was “Thinking like a start-up.” Being a first-timer, I wasn’t quite ready to lead a session (though I would consider it next year) but I found the sessions to be relaxed and open. It was easy to ask questions or chime in.

A recap of the sessions I attended:

  • Kevin Willer of 1871 gave an overview of how their co-working space helps digital start-ups.
  • Jim Coudal of Coudal Partners spoke about how their business grew and evolved to include products (Field Notes) and a premier ad network (The Deck).
  • Dave Reidy from closer look gave a lunchtime session to a variety of aspiring book-creators about writing your book.
  • Leo Burnett Farmhouse led an interactive idea session that resulted in an audience-created idea.
  • Dan Kristofferson of Big Cartel gave an inspiring session that made me want to follow all of my creative aspirations—and open up a Big Cartel shop!

My former stomping grounds: the Art & Design Department at Columbia College. Some of my professors are still there!

I left the Creative unConference with a notebook full of ideas for my design business, as well as my new “start-up” (my baby goods business).

Reminiscing…and seeing the future

It’s been, ahem, a few years since I attended Columbia College. So after the conference, a fellow CCC alumna and I took the opportunity to tour the Art & Design floors and reminisce about how much had changed.

I also browsed ShopColumbia, the fantastic student art store on campus. A great opportunity to see “what the kids are making” and get some cool art. I applaud Columbia for helping these up-and-coming artists get their work out there, even before graduation.

Did you attend the Creative unConference? What did you think?

April 10, 2009

Step away from the computer…

lvbookAre you in a blog-Tweet-Facebook coma? Staring at spreadsheets all day? The remedy: detach yourself from the computer and head to the Columbia College Chicago Center for Book & Paper Arts to sign up for a summer workshop. As a CCCCBPA alumna (that’s my handiwork at right), I can attest to the transformative feeling that comes along with making a book by hand. Plus all that sewing and gluing will help to uncramp your keyboard-weary fingers. In addition to bookbinding, you can also take a class in papermaking or printing.