Meet Rob Alderson

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For our April event we have invited journalist Rob Alderson to talk about this month’s global theme ‘Beyond’. But before he takes the stage at OBA, we’ve asked Rob to tell us a bit about himself and what we can expect from his talk on Friday:

What is your creative profession?

I am the Editor-in-Chief and VP Content at WeTransfer. But basically, I’m a journalist. 

What will you be sharing with the CreativeMornings community on Friday 21 April? 

I will be talking about some of the things I have learned interviewing artists and designers and how difficult it can be to write about the creative process. I will also talk about how both WeTransfer and It’s Nice That (where I used to be EIC) look to push themselves beyond (hello!) what they might be known for.

How is Amsterdam and its creative scene special to you?

London has this sprawling creative energy which can either be exhilarating or overwhelming. I like that Amsterdam has all these talented creative minds, but with less mad intensity.  

If stuck in a creative rut, what’s your trick to get free and let loose?

Push on through. When I worked as a newspaper journalist, creative block was not an option because you had to meet the deadline. I prefer to get something – anything – down on paper and take it from there.

Thank you Rob for this interview! We look forward to your talk next week at OBA (Oosterdokskade 143, just minutes away from Central Station). For more information on the event and how to get your (free!) ticket, visit the event page. Tickets go live on Monday, April 17 at 9:00 sharp. Seating is limited, so make sure to register early!

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For our November event we have invited freelance director and all-round paper craft master Mandy Smith to talk about this month’s global theme ‘Fantasy’. But before we all get to meet her at TQ, we’ve asked Mandy to answer a few questions about herself and what we can expect from her talk on Friday, November 25th:

What is your creative profession?

I suppose the clearest answer is “I’m an artist” for it covers a lot! However, I work a lot in film and stop motion so I am also an art director and director. I execute most of my work with one material - paper!

What will you be sharing with the CreativeMornings community on Friday 25 November?

I work with a material that everybody knows, or thinks they do, and this is where I like to have some fun. By taking something so ordinary and everyday as your starting point you can surprise people by the structures it forms or the stories you tell with it.

I’ve been lucky enough to constantly keep learning through new collaborations. From submerging a paper sculpture into fluid, to sending a sculpture off into space, paper has lead to some interesting adventures and so I hope to share some tales of what I’ve seen along the way. Things that I didn’t even think were possible!

How is Amsterdam and its creative scene special to you?

Amsterdam is special to me for it was the first place that inspired the creative journey I am on now. When I moved here I was initially working for an advertising agency and I loved how so many people had other interests and passions outside of work, like creating their own artwork, so they inspired me to find my passion. I think as this city has creative people from so many different countries you can always learn a new way of thinking or opinion by talking to people and that’s very inspiring. 

If stuck in a creative rut, what’s your trick to get free and let loose?

I’ve learnt that being busy on something else sparks creativity for future projects. So when I am on a job I use these creative thoughts to try and trigger new ideas for personal projects I can move on to after.

Is fantasy important to you?

Totally. When I first started to build my twisted paper buildings, I watched so many fantasy movies, and pretty much only fantasy movies, to keep inspiring myself that if other people are making a living off creating weird and wonderful things then maybe I can one day do so too. I think, when I left advertising to follow my paper dreams, if I hadn’t kept brainwashing myself with these dream big movies I might not have had the energy to do so.

How would you describe your ideal fantasy world?

I’d say I like fantasy worlds that play around with the world we’re in now and create a version of it where gravity isn’t the same or doesn’t exist like we know it. The most recent example of this being the production design of Dr Strange. I love seeing our world bend and distort to become something unbelievable.

Thank you Mandy for this interview! We look forward to your talk next week at TQ (Singel  542). For more information on the event and how to grab your (free!) ticket, visit the event page. Tickets go live on Monday the 21st at 9am. 

Venue update!

As you may or may not know, CreativeMornings is all about finding new ways to spark creativity. Whether it’s by examining weirdness with Ramin Bahari or through personal development with Petra Benach, helping us find our glitter


After these two very inspiring events (and our two biggest so far!) at Zoku, it’s time for this creative caravan to move forward. Luckily, we’ve found a wonderful next destination to set up our camp!

A new curated tech space
For our next set of events, CreativeMornings/AMS will be held at TQ, Amsterdam’s newest kid on the block. Founded by The Next Web, this new curated tech space is located right in the heart of the city centre. 

Inspiring surroundings
TQ aims to provide startups not only with the space to grow, but also with all the inspiration they need to build great products: an incredible location, being surrounded by passionate talent, insightful events to attend and a diverse community to tap into.

CreativeMornings x TQ

We’re overly excited to have CreativeMornings be a part of this platform, hosting our next couple of events at this brand new creative epicenter. If you want to stay in the loop regarding our events, sign up for our newsletter and keep an eye on our social channels!

TQ will officially open its doors tomorrow.

This month we’ve invited self-taught artist and arts consultant Petra Benach to talk about the global theme ‘Magic’. But before she takes the stage at Zoku, we asked Petra to answer a few questions about herself and what we can expect from her talk on Thursday, September 29th:

What is your creative profession?

I am an artist and arts consultant here in Amsterdam.​

What will you be sharing with the CreativeMornings community on Thursday 29 September?

This month’s talk is about Magic, which makes me really excited because I love Unicorns, fairies and Minerva McGonagall.​ I am going to share we can use magic to increase wonder and creativity in our lives.

How is Amsterdam and its creative scene special to you?

I wasn’t until ​I moved to Amsterdam ​that I really committed myself to the arts​. I’ve been able to meet and engage with a lot of artists and professionals here that have been incredibly supportive to my creative process. I consider it to be a very open environment in that way, which makes it very special.

If stuck in a creative rut, what’s your trick to get free and let loose?

When I get stuck I do something completely unstructured and messy. Another great trick I like is singing - singing really seems to help me re-center and move through sticky moments.

And lastly, do you believe in magic?

​Oh absolutely! I think life is all about magic.

Thank you Petra for this interview! We look forward to your talk next week at Zoku (Weesperstraat 105). For more information on the event and how to grab your (free!) ticket, visit the event pageTickets go live on Monday the 26th at 9am.

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Independent creative Ramin Bahari will be taking the stage to talk all things weird during this month’s talk at Zoku. But before we all get the chance to meet him, we asked Ramin to answer a few questions about himself and what we can expect from his talk:

What is your creative profession?

Wikipedia calls me “a person who is employed for the extraction of skills in creative endeavours”. Basically I’m an advertising creative & art director. I spend about 70% of my time on commissioned work and 70% on personal projects.

What will you be sharing with the CreativeMornings community on Friday 2 September?  

We’re going to practice the fun of discovering our discomforts. I know, it sounds kinda sexual, but it’s not (per se).

How is Amsterdam and its creative scene special to you?

Everyone speaks the same language - figuratively. Amsterdam is the city with the most nationalities in the world and well on it’s way to becoming the creative capital of Europe. But because of it’s small size and relaxed culture it’s effortless to connect to different minded people.

If stuck in a creative rut, what’s your trick to get free and let loose?

Stop working, start playing. Life is a game, not a task. If you approach anything like that, you won’t mind if something is ‘hard’ and see it as a challenge.

What’s the weirdest place you’ve ever worked from?

A few weeks ago I caught myself emailing about some upcoming projects on the border of Thailand and Cambodia. We had just got our passport stamps and were trying to cross the road while dodging ‘Tuk-Tuks’ and scooters that we’re dragging carts about 200x their size. Everyones face was covered with masks as dust was everywhere. We jumped on a 60 year old bus - that would take us to the next city. When I told my girlfriend “I still have 4G here!” And then we ordered some tickets to an upcoming Little Dicky show in Paradiso. Isn’t the future amazing?

What’s the weirdest proposal you’ve ever sent to a client?

Me: -“Hey, here is a crazy idea we made up. We thought about it while watching youtube videos, playing ping-pong and cracking jokes for 3 days. What do you think?”

Client: “Awesome, here is a million dollars!”

We really do work in an amazing industry.

Thanks Ramin for this interview! We look forward to your talk on Friday, September 2nd at Zoku (Weesperstraat 105). Tickets go live on Monday the 29th at 9am - so get those alarm clocks ready and make sure to grab your (free!) ticket for the event!.

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Visual artist Sanne Kabalt is our speaker for Friday’s talk on the global theme ‘Reality’. But before we all get the chance to meet her at Spring House, we asked Sanne to answer a few questions about herself and what we can expect from her talk:

CreativeMornings: What is your creative profession? 

Sanne Kabalt: Sometimes I introduce myself as a photographer, sometimes as a visual artist. When you say ‘photographer’ many people think of commissioned work, yet I focus on my own autonomous projects. Therefore ‘artist’ feels more accurate, though I do like to emphasise the medium of photography, which is vital to my work.  

CM: What will you be sharing with the CreativeMornings community on Friday 20 May?

SK: I will give an insight in my work and talk about (in)visibility in the medium of photography. My work is about psychological themes such as memory, sanity and empathy. The places or people that are shown in the photographs are never the actual subject of the work. This month’s global CreativeMornings theme ‘Reality’ provides an interesting angle to analyse what I do.

CM: How is Amsterdam and its creative scene special to you?

SK: I admire the sheer beauty of this city, the sense of history, the fact that you criss-cross it by bicycle. The unforeseen meetings with people you know, or don’t. All the beautiful small movie theaters. The art around every corner.  

CM: If stuck in a creative rut, what’s your trick to get free and let loose?

SK: At first I usually struggle to get out of this phase by force; I work very hard and rest very little. Then at some point I surrender and I start to do something else altogether: Take a walk. Lie down in the grass somewhere. Take a shower. Anything. And then at some point in these moments of emptiness and space, new ideas will pop into my mind, when I least expected them.

Thanks Sanne for this interview! We look forward to your talk!

The event will take place on Friday, May 20th at Spring House, the home for radical innovators at De Ruijterkade. For more information on the event and how to sign up for the waitlist (unfortunately, this event is already sold out), visit the event page.

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Credits: Saffron Pape Photography

This month we’ve invited creative entrepreneur and Young Collectors Circle founder Nienke van der Wal to talk about the global theme ‘Change’. But before she takes the stage at Foam, we asked Nienke to answer a few questions about herself and what we can expect from her talk this Friday:

CreativeMornings: What is your creative profession? 

Nienke van der Wal: I call myself creative entrepreneur because I do so many different things. One of the main things I do now is being what a good friend once described as being an ‘art broker’: I work freelance as an international programmer in the arts, researching and creating exhibitions and educational programs for Dutch museums. I feel incredibly lucky to be able to travel all over the world and meet so many amazing young artists and visit great institutions. Besides this, I also develop and manage other cultural projects in the Netherlands. My personal love for the arts was also the motivation to start the Young Collectors Circle, an ever growing community of art enthusiasts and novice collectors. 

CM: What will you be sharing with the CreativeMornings community on Friday 25 March?

NvdW: I will talk about change in relation to art and collecting - and about why collecting art is important, fun, and not as expensive or difficult as you may think.

CM: How is Amsterdam and its creative scene special to you?

NvdW: I love that cycling through any part of the city can create 'wow’ moments, whether it’s a beautiful building or an exotically dressed Amsterdammer. Besides that, there’s always tons going on in town. People are not afraid to create new things and when they do, there are always people that are interested in it. 

CM: If stuck in a creative rut, what’s your trick to get free and let loose?

NvdW: To create headspace I tend to bingeshop online, only to clear out my basket after 30 minutes - most of the time anyway. When I need inspiration, I visit a museum or gallery.

Thanks Nienke for this interview! We look forward to your talk!

The event will take place on Friday, March 25th at photography museum Foam. For more information on the event and how to sign up for the waitlist (unfortunately, this event is already sold out), visit the event page.

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February’s speaker and first of 2016 is multimedia artist Roos Groothuizen. Roos, who is interested in visual information filters and the way these alter and manipulate our world perspective, will talk on the global theme “Ethics” on Friday, February 26th at Foam. But before that, get to know her a little bit in this short interview:

CreativeMornings: What is your creative profession?

Roos Groothuizen: I am a multimedia artist and also a freelance graphic designer. I don’t really have a name for that combination yet, though. Currently, I’m studying a Masters in Design at the Sandberg Institute in Amsterdam.

CM: What will you be sharing with the CreativeMornings community on Friday 26 February?  

RG: I will talk about my research, which is about manipulating information on the web and unethical algorithms. Next to that, I will talk a bit about the Consulate of Google, an art installation I created in the summer of 2015.

CM: How is Amsterdam and its creative scene special to you?

RG: It is different from other cities I’ve worked in (Den Haag and Rotterdam) and really has its own established art scene. I’m living here since September and so far it has been very nice. As I’m also studying, I constantly find myself in an environment with very inspiring and ambitious people, where I can still experiment and am also allowed to fail sometimes.

CM: If stuck in a creative rut, what’s your trick to get free and let loose?

RG: I go to lectures and expos, or I read a book that is relevant to my research topic. Looking at old pictures I took with my phone also works sometimes. And so does eating healthy and getting enough sleep.

Thank you Roos for this interview! We look forward to your talk next week at our new location Foam. Tickets go live on Monday the 22nd at 9am - so get those alarm clocks ready and make sure to grab your (free!) ticket for the event!

August’s speaker is Marta Veludo, designer slash visual wizard inspired by the pop-culture, folk art, pound shops and tumblr, and fascinated by inventions, colour, movement and compositions. Get to know her before our next talk on Friday 28 August:


1. What is your creative profession?

I consider myself a visual wizard. I do work as a graphic designer, but I shake my magic wand in illustration and I do have some assignments as an art director. So as you can see, visual wizard is a short and not compromising definition.

2. What will you be sharing with the CreativeMornings community on Friday 28 August?
I will be sharing my story, my way of working, my magical chaos and how random actions help creativity.

3. How is Amsterdam and its creative scene special to you?
Amsterdam for me transmits the sensation that everything is possible to happen and to be built. That’s what I find special and unique about it.

4. If stuck in a creative rut, what’s your trick to get free and let loose?
Dunno yet for sure. To be in a good mood helps definitely to prevent creative blocks, and to save me from them, I try to do something else rather being in the project. I tend to think a lot and get stuck, in a vicious cycle. So I go outside, take a piercing, eat an icecream, check tumblr feed, check the new movie trailers and try out the new Skype emoticons. Procrastination, I think that’s what it’s called!


Thank you, Marta, for your answers! We can’t wait to hear more about your work on Friday 28 August at WeWork Weteringschans. Tickets for the event go live on Monday the 24th at 9am – see you then!

Portrait by Debbie Trouerbach.

August = ACTION!

This month’s global theme was chosen by our Bogotá chapter and illustrated by Jose Berrio. The event is presented by FreshBooks, a new addition to our Official Partners team.

We look forward to welcoming you at WeWork Weteringschans on August 28. Speaker announcement is on its way!

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