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Michael Lakeman

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March 29, 8:00am • Studio One Toi Tū • part of a series on Water

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CreativeMornings with Leonie Hayden
March 11, 8.00-9.30am
The Idea Collective - MOTAT

The world around us is always in flux. We’re in a constant state of evolution, as we learn and grow each day. Luckily change is something that we’ve learned to be comfortable with. Change challenges our thinking, and helps us see new possibilities and opportunities. Einstein says it best: “The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking.”

We, whether as individuals or as communities, have the power to affect how, why, when and where we push for change. As creatives and entrepreneurs, makers and doers, we have the opportunity to reshape and redefine the world around us. Our speaker for the month of March 2016 is using her creative talents to do just that.

Leonie Hayden is the editor of Mana magazine—a current affairs, culture and lifestyle magazine for Māori.

Leonie clung to the craggy rockface of New Zealand’s music industry for many years, flogging records in a shop, on the radio, at a record label and as the editor of two music magazines, before moving on to more meaningful contributions at Mana. She is also the co-editor of The Cry of a Morepork, a collection of her grandmother’s writing. Leonie is passionate about creating platforms for conversation about what it means to be a bicultural nation, and using media to build bridges between Māori and non-Māori audiences, culture and art forms.

At CreativeMornings, Leonie will be talking about the distinctions between Māori and mainstream media, why it’s important for creative industries to understand both and what the two can learn from each other.

Registrations open here on Monday 7 March at 11am. Join us for a stimulating conversation around how we can all work to create positive change.

CreativeMornings w/ Toby Morris
Friday 19 February, 8.00-9.30am
Studio One Toi Tū

We navigate the muddy waters of ethics every day. They’re present in everything from the values we define for our identities to how we interact with clients to the principals of engaging with other creative work on the internet. How have ethics, particularly in the creative world, evolved since their philosophical conception? Why do we create these codes of ethics in the first place? When should we examine what dictates our conscience? And what really makes up a solid, moral value system, anyway?

Diving into this very complex topic is the incredibly talented Toby Morris, a cartoonist, designer and illustrator who currently draws the social issues comic series The Pencilsword forthewireless.co.nz and a weekly current affairs column in collaboration with Toby Manhire for Radio New Zealand.

Over the years his career has jumped between music, magazine design and art direction for advertising, while at the same time, often on the side, he has produced comics, gig posters, commercial illustration and books including ‘Don’t Puke On Your Dad: A Year in the Life of a New Father’. These days though Toby has left the comfort of the advertising day job to make the drawing projects into the main gig.

Join us on Friday 19th February for CreativeMornings, where Toby will speak about balancing career paths and personal values, and where ethics insects both. As someone who has worked on both large scale corporate creative jobs and highly personal and political works, Toby has a unique insight into the eternal question: “Am I being a dick?”

Tickets will be released here on Monday 15 Feb at 11am

February Is Ethics

We navigate the muddy waters of ethics every day. They’re present in everything from the values we define for our identities to how we interact with clients to the principals of engaging with other creative work on the internet. How have ethics, particularly in the creative world, evolved since their philosophical conception? Why do we create these codes of ethics in the first place? When should we examine what dictates our conscience? And what really makes up a solid, moral value system, anyway?

This month, 133 CreativeMornings chapters are exploring questions like these — and what their various and complex answers might be.

The theme was chosen by our Madrid chapter and illustrated by the Madrid-based CESS (César Cid). Gear up to have your perceptions challenged at events with speakers like:

  • Felecia Hatcher, a White House Award winning social entrepreneur and Founder of Code Fever and BlackTechWeek (Ft. Lauderdale)
  • Adam Fletcher, a comedy writer interested in how technology might be contributing to lower wages and temporary employment (Berlin)
  • Brandy Burdeniuk, a collaborator, teacher and troublemaker who works with her team to help get people excited about sustainable buildings (Edmonton)
  • Kylie Walters, a dancer, actress and choreographer curious about how we navigate ethical questions linked to cultural appropriation in an increasingly interconnected world (Geneva)

Find an event near you! Chapters continue adding events on this page throughout the month, so we recommend signing up for your city’s local newsletter and/or following your city’s chapter on Twitter for up-to-the-minute information.

Follow this month’s conversation on Twitter and Instagram with #CMethics and @creativemorning!

PS: curious about our values? Check out our manifesto!

CreativeMornings with Courtney Sina Meredith

Friday 29 January, 8-9.30am
Lot 23

Communities are built on common ground and sustained by human connection. That connection is driven by communication, and communication is achieved with language. Yet our CreativeMornings community shares many more languages than the 40+ we speak. There are so many languages of CreativeMornings: generosity, love, hugs, high-fives, passion, excitement, creativity — the list goes on. Really, language boils down to expression. And isn’t that what creativity is really about?

Our first speaker for 2016 is well versed in the language of creativity. Courtney Sina Meredith is a poet, playwright, fiction writer and musician. Her play Rushing Dolls (2010) won a number of awards and was published by Playmarket in 2012. She launched her first book of poetry, Brown Girls in Bright Red Lipstick (Beatnik), at the 2012 Frankfurt Book Fair. Meredith was the Bleibtreu Berlin writer in residence 2011, she has an upcoming residency in Sylt (Northern Germany) in 2016 before she launches her new book of short stories Tail of the Taniwha later in the year. In 2014 she was a guest of the BBC to the House of Lords and in 2015 she represented New Zealand at the Mexico City Poetry Festival.

Meredith is the Partnerships Manager for the Faculty of Creative Arts MIT, her role is to lead on the development and implementation of commercial and industry opportunities. The role builds on her previous experience in commercial partnerships management in London and her time as an Arts Advisor for Auckland Council.

The power of her work is evident in performance and on the page. Meredith’s neologism for the energetic, urban, polygot culture of contemporary Auckland that brings the island and the city into profound collision, and acts as the crucible of new global identities.’

Join us on Friday 29 January at LOT23, for breakfast and inspiration from Courtney. Registrations open on Monday 25th January from 11am.

Photo Credit: Jane Ussher

Meet the Artists: The Infographers

In October we celebrated our 4th Birthday, and launched a series of art prints inspired by the wise words of a few of our past CreativeMorning/AKL speakers. A selection of talented artists & designers from our community have taken these quotes and crafted a stunning collection of art prints.

We want to introduce you to these talented individuals, and point you to the talks from which they gained their inspiration.

This week: Imogen Parry of The Infographers!

For our SHOCKtober exhibition The Infographers took the words of street artist AskewOne aka Elliot O’Donnell, who spoke at one of our first CreativeMornings in 2011. Watch the talk that inspired this poster here!

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“Embrace Your Points of Difference” by The Infographers

The Infographers are a husband and wife information design team who transform complex ideas, processes, and data into easy to understand visuals, and luscious infographics. They’ve worked with politicians, a PR agency, a chain of greengrocers, a software company, a Texan coffee shop, a boutique consulting firm, and a Taiwanese Sausage museum (which is a real, and very, very, awesome thing). Together they have more than 20 years experience in graphic design, information design, learning design, design thinking, marketing, and user-experience. 

We dug a bit deeper into what make Imogen, a past speaker at CreativeMornings herself, tick.

Who are you?
Hi! I’m Imogen – the wifely side of The Infographers, a husband and wife information design and infographics team.

What gets you up in the morning?
If it’s a sensible time: General excitement about Life. If it’s stupidly early: iPhone crickets.

Explain what you do in five words or less…
We simplify and visualise information.

What’s a surprising fact about you?
I can’t click my fingers on my left hand. That’s not a very interesting fact, but that’s all I’ve got right now. #CreativeDisappointment

Tell us about your creative community:
I think of my creative community as so much more than just those who work in particular industries or have certain job titles. They are the people in my life who make me feel more heard, more understood, more whole, more brave. They are the people who are creating their own lives in ways that inspire me to do more with mine.

Best piece of advice you’ve received?
Argh! This question! I am constantly challenged and encouraged by the words of others, and so in trying to answer this I am filled with the most enormous sense of anxiety that I will leave out The One Best Piece of Advice.

So, because I am creative professional and I can, I’m breaking the brief…

Some great pieces of advice I have received, in no particular order: Get clear on how you most want to feel – it is the most powerful form of clarity you can have. It’s not important whether our beliefs are true, it is whether they are useful to us. Choose easy. Everything is figure-out-able. Joy is What It Is All About. Just be nice to yourself.

(Not a complete list. I will almost certainly remember a whole lot of much better advice after I submit this.)

Who would you love to hear speak, alive or dead?
Danielle LaPorte, Elizabeth Gilbert, Brené Brown, Tara Mohr. If they all got together and came to New Zealand for a speaking tour, I might very well die.

When you get stuck creatively, what is the first thing you do to get unstuck?  
Remind myself, kindly, that whatever I am working on is just a draft. It doesn’t have to be perfect. It doesn’t even have to be good. This seems to help me work through Phase One: Self Doubt – also known as my ‘I-have-no-idea-what-I-am-doing-and-all-my-ideas-are-bullshit’ phase. I’ve never managed to avoid this part of my creative process altogether, but I’ve got so much better at recognising it when it shows up. I now realise that, for me, it’s probably just part of the deal. If I want to make things and try stuff out, I’m going to have acknowledge the part of myself that is terrified, and then go ahead anyway.

What’s your Secret Superpower?
I make chocolate hazelnut bliss balls. They are very, very good. And I’m quite sure some of my friends only hang out with me because I feed them these, get them thoroughly hooked, and then refuse to share the recipe. 

What’s the most recent thing you learned?
Together with a friend, I have recently started a new side project. We are currently in the research phase – which involves sitting and listening as others share their stories with us. This has helped me relearn two things: Firstly side projects are brilliant for helping me practice creative curiosity in fresh ways. And secondly, humans are amazing – complex, powerful, kind. Resilient. I’ll be happy to relearn these lessons many, many more times.

What shocks you the most about the creative process?
The uncertainty. I both love and HATE the uncertainty. Mostly hate. I always want things to take shape a lot faster than they do, and I am happiest when I’m out the other side of the exploration and ambiguity, and can lock things down and get all Project Managery on it. But I know that sitting with the greyness for a while is incredibly important, and helps me make interesting creative connections and discoveries. So I try to be ok with it. *Sigh*

Find The Infographers on Twitter or at their website.

Imogen’s print is available for purchase from Endemic World. By buying this print you’ll be supporting CreativeMornings/AKL, helping us to continue providing you with breakfast and inspiration. Plus you’ll get a rad piece of art for your wall! Chur.

Morning Person: Hannah McMenamin

At our 4th Birthday Party in October we were treated to G & Teas, thanks to Forage and Bloom Teas and Rogue Society Gin. Forage and Blooms roots are embedded within herbal medicine, holistic philosophy, and the synergy between people and plants. Quality and sustainability matters to them. Their organic herbs are hand blended in small batches to ensure optimal freshness and potency. No sweeteners or flavourings are added.

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Forage and Bloom will be joining us at this month’s CreativeMornings talk  with a fresh brew, and we’re looking forward to seeing and tasting their teas at more CreativeMornings in the future, but until then we thought it was time you met the person behind Forage and Bloom, Hannah McMenamin.

Who are you?
I am Hannah. Naturopath and Herbalist - passionate about people and plants.

What gets you up in the morning?
Coffee, then tea - and all of the things that must get done!

Explain what you do in five words or less…
Bring herbs to the people.

What’s a surprising fact about you?
I’m really good at perfectly folding sheets, strategically packing cars, and I speak Italian.

Tell us about your creative community:
It’s an eclectic mix of thinkers and do-ers with never a dull moment and plenty of ideas to go around.

Best piece of advice you’ve received?
A good friend once advised me to think of all the things I need to do as a pack of cards. There is no way you can look at all the cards at once, just take the top card, look at it, deal with it, move on to the next.

Who would you love to hear speak, alive or dead?
Albert Eintstein - because of his perspective on the synergy between philosophy and science.

When you get stuck creatively, what is the first thing you do to get unstuck?
Go for a long brisk walk in nature – this always clears my mind and revitalises me.

What’s your Secret Superpower?
I have a sixth sense when formulating herbal blends.

What’s the most recent thing you learned?
If you put your phone on flight mode overnight, your alarm still goes off, its saves your battery, and you don’t get the wifi vibes in your sleep.

What shocks you the most about Auckland?
Its diverse natural beauty.

Check out Forage and Bloom at http://forageandbloom.co.nz/

Meet the Artists: Jess Holdaway

In October we celebrated our 4th Birthday, and launched a series of art prints inspired by the wise words of a few of our past CreativeMorning/AKL speakers. A selection of talented artists & designers from our community have taken these quotes and crafted a stunning collection of art prints.

We’re introducing you to these talented individuals, and pointing you to the talks from which they gained their inspiration.

This week: the dope Jess Holdaway

For our SHOCKtober exhibition Jess took the words of Sarah Longbottom from Nga Rangitahi Toa, who spoke to the theme of Failure in August 2014. Watch the talk that inspired this poster here!

“Failure only exists in doing, and has nothing to do with being” by Jess Holdaway.

Jess Holdaway is a Graphic Designer who works at Curative, and co founder of social business Frank Stationary, which is helping children in need in New Zealand. Passionate about making connections and thinking about the world differently, she hopes to contribute to culture through creative design thinking. Eager to learn and passionate about people, Jess dreams of applying her Graphic Design skills to make the world a better place.

Who are you?
Jessica Holdaway

What gets you up in the morning?
My Alarm on my iPhone, and the sometimes annoying but lovely birds that sing by my window.

Oh and the thought of hot cup of tea. Yum!

Explain what you do in five words or less…
I make things all day.

What’s a surprising fact about you?
Some of my childhood was spent in South Africa, where I would frequently bring home snakes and insects to show my parents.

They bought me hiking boots and taught me to stomp my feet loudly (to scare away the snakes) so that I could keep going on a little adventures in the bush.

Tell us about your creative community:
The creative I am a part of is wonderful!

Creative Mornings, Design Assembly, and a drawing club of about 4 of us that meet to draw/watch youtube clips together.

I will also claim that Gemma O'brien, Jessica Hische and Erik Marinovich are part of my creative community even though they don’t know that, because I am a fan girl.

Best piece of advice you’ve received?
If something is worth doing, its worth doing it badly until I can get good at it.

Don’t avoid the ‘ugly’.

Who would you love to hear speak, alive or dead?
Ted talks are a dream to me because I get to hear so many amazing people talk. I’m sure that I haven’t yet discovered my ultimate 'speaker’ yet. They are out there somewhere.

When you get stuck creatively, what is the first thing you do to get unstuck?  
Go on a quest to learn something new. Anything at all. Learning something new and having fresh information in my brain seems to kick start my creativity.

What’s your Secret Superpower?
I can do the “ahh ahh ahh ahh ahh” voice that Eminem does in his song “Just lose it”

What’s the most recent thing you learned?
I just recently learnt how much the army controls what is on our super market shelves.

What shocks you the most about the creative process?
How easily it can either inflate and deflate your ego.If I’m feeling stuck creatively, I always have to be aware that it’s not about my identity as a designer, it’s just a moment of being stuck.Your level of creativity is not a measure of your worth, but rather a gift that you give to others. The more you give, the more you have.

Jess’ print is available for purchase from Endemic World. By buying this print you’ll be supporting CreativeMornings/AKL, helping us to continue providing you with breakfast and inspiration. Plus you’ll get a rad piece of art for your wall! Chur.

CreativeMornings with Jonah Merchant
8.00am-9.30am, Friday 27 November
Neck of the Woods

The CreativeMornings community is full of people and projects who are putting in the work—the good work, the hard work, the unpopular work—to improve their communities. Whether that work is done online, in collaboration, with partners, in solitude; with hands, love, sweat, or grit—we are celebrating the workers and the makers; the work and the creations.

Talking in Auckland this November is Jonah Merchant, the co-founder and CEO of the co-working and collaboration network - BizDojo. With a mission to unleash peoples potential, BizDojo creates environments, events, programs and projects that promote an active, experimental and collaborative culture that helps peoples passions thrive.

This dynamic kind of work suits Jonah well, channeling over 15 years of experience in digital production and innovation management into the strategic vision (and everyday randomness) that makes BizDojo tick.With a passion for design-led user-focussed projects, Jonah is interested in solutions that help people create, collaborate and work better. This has seen him instrumental in the creation of everything from an avenue for designers to access Kickstarter before crowdfunding platforms were available in NZ to establishing a maker-space, and a litany of art exhibitions, 3D printing adventures and more all under the BizDojo umbrella.

Today Jonah, co-founder Nick and the BizDojo crew operate the GridAKL Innovation Precinct in Auckland, The Wellington Tech Hub - Collider Wgtn, and their own spaces BizDojo Auckland and Wellington. BizDojo also dabbles in its own experiments, such as venue and late night hang out Neck of The Woods and Dakai, who support innovative NZ companies with a view to working in China. And that’s not all, the Dojo Crew have more plans for expansion tucked under their hats…

Join us on Friday 27 November to hear Jonah talk about his adventures and experiments. Tickets will be released Monday 23 November from 11am.

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