December’s global theme is SILENCE. It was chosen by our Montevideo chapter and illustrated by Dani Scharf. 

Please use the hashtags #CMsilence & #CMATX quietly.

As the end of the year draws near, life can get humorously hectic. We rush to finish up projects, try to squeeze in appointments with loved ones, and can easily lose track of ourselves in the process.

Is this inevitable? Or can we find ways to ground ourselves amid all the chaos? In this busy season, create moments of stillness where you can.

When silence is intentional, it is valuable and restorative. It brings us back to our senses and is essential to our holistic well-being. Acoustic ecologist Gordon Hempton defines quiet as a ‘presence’ and ‘think tank of the soul.’ Silence is a powerful tool that allows us to take a step back from the atmosphere around us and realign with our intentions, our hopes, and ourselves.

This December, set aside time to tune out the noise. You can go for a walk outdoors, find a cozy corner, or simply close your eyes. The magic of silence is that we can access it wherever we are.
Your beacon is the light that blazes within you, a signal made up of your values, dreams, and priorities.

The essayist Anaïs Nin put it best when she wrote: “The unknown was my compass. The unknown was my encyclopedia. The unnamed was my science and progress.”

Shine your light. Ask for help and let go of the idea that you have to make a perfect choice. You may feel lost, but you are not alone.

Let’s go on a field trip!
We’ve got one special #CMfieldtrips planned for you this Friday 11/22:

TEMPO Convergence Public Art Tour

As part of EAST, Austin Art in Public Spaces has invited us on a private tour of the TEMPO Convergence artist installation! We’ll be guided on an exploration of temporary artworks by local artists that express many aspects of Austin life. RSVP here


I’m Adam Norwood, the Director of Web and Digital Strategy at the University of Texas School of Law and my background is in web design and development, user experience, and higher education. When I’m not at work, I enjoy reading, hanging out with my four-year-old daughter and my wife who is an artist. I also have a fine arts background so I have a bit of a split personality between design, fine art, and more technical work.

What’s one thing that you’ve been inspired by lately?

Activists and whistleblowers. People who are willing to stand up for justice, from Greta Thunberg on the global stage to Chas Moore of the Austin Justice Coalition who spoke at Creative Mornings recently. It’s inspiring to see that ordinary people can make a difference in addressing injustice. For me, as an introvert, it means a lot to see that anyone can work to correct something they see in the world that needs to change.

What’s one way you feel like you’re weird and how does that inspire you?

My reading list is all over the place. I bounce between computer science-y technical documentation one moment and then 16th-century French essays and then get lost down a rabbit hole about bad Hanna-Barbera cartoons the next. It’s not that I’m well-versed in any of those things but I enjoy learning about what’s in the zeitgeist and hopefully I can synthesize those things together into something that’s interesting. The thing that ties all of these interests together seems to be language. I love thinking about the language of comics or hip-hop or programming or design, or how those are all forms of communication.

Where do you go to get inspired?

I love to go into nature — someplace that’s completely not-digital is very refreshing, and it’s important to experience the infinite wonder of the world. On a more mundane level, I also really love bookstores because there’s this combination of visual inputs and browsing ability. I have a four-year-old who loves books so we go bookstores or the library frequently. You may find something on the shelf next to you that you weren’t expecting — there’s this great opportunity for discovery.


November’s global theme LOST will be discussed by Susan McDowell. 

This talk is being presented in partnership with Austin Design Week and their 2019 theme of “Make Space.”

Say thanks to our partner this month: The “It’s Worth Doing Right” podcast series by Accomplice. 

And cheers to our beverage partners: Cuvée Coffee & Big Swig Water.

Hosted at Trinity Hall on Friday, 11/8. Details here.

Use these hashtags to find your tribe: #CMATX & #CMlost

Do you want to see your business featured among these amazing companies - and feel the love of our creative community?
Our Partnership Drive will fund our monthly talks through 2020. See why your company should help Fund The Love here.

November’s global theme is LOST. It was chosen by our Milwaukee chapter chapter and illustrated by Melissa Lee Johnson. 

Find your tribe with the hashtags #CMlost and #CMATX

When you’re wading through the unknown, it can feel scary and risky. You float around wondering if you’re going in the right direction and want to know what’s next.

Being lost is a collaboration between possibility and uncertainty. It’s an excuse to get one step closer to a more fulfilling life.
What you were comfortable with may not be there anymore, but you will have the remarkable opportunity to reconnect with yourself and embrace discovery.

In these “in-between” moments, turn to your inner beacon and pay close attention to where it’s guiding you. Your beacon is the light that blazes within you, a signal made up of your values, dreams, and priorities.

The essayist Anaïs Nin put it best when she wrote: “The unknown was my compass. The unknown was my encyclopedia. The unnamed was my science and progress.”

Shine your light. Ask for help and let go of the idea that you have to make a perfect choice. You may feel lost, but you are not alone.

Let’s go on a field trip!
We’ve got four #CMfieldtrips planned for you this Friday 11/1:

Ever wondered what goes on “behind the scenes”? Or just want to relive your high school musical days? Join us at Austin’s venerable ZACH Theatre for a peek behind the curtain of their current show, Dracula. RSVP

We will be among the first to tour the second annual Fortlandia installation at The Wildflower Center. Interact with the forts and let your imagination soar. Some of the designers will be on-hand to talk about their designs with us! RSVP

Take a beautiful drive and meet us at Desert Door, a craft distiller of Texas sotol. We’ll get a tour of the distillery and learn how to brand a new spirit, market a new category to consumers, and make sotol. RSVP

Noelle Hoffman, founder of Spare Time and Moment to Make, will help us explore what community means to us and how we can create a sustainable culture of community in the workplace and in our daily lives. Special thanks to our venue, BlackboardRSVP

This FieldTrip with Noelle Hoffman was made possible through a partnership with AIGA Austin. It’s the fourth of four events we’re co-producing in 2019. We’re excited to bring our fellow creatives from both communities together to learn new skills.

Big thanks to our #CMfieldtrips coffee partner: Chameleon Cold Brew.


Want to be one of the first to find out about next month’s FieldTrips? You should subscribe to our newsletter. (Look for the “Austin Newsletter” signup button on the right hand side of the page.)


#CMfieldtrips are a monthly series of small group discussions, tours, or workshops held to spread the creative magic happening around Austin. Space is limited to facilitate open conversation and new connections, so you must RSVP via our site to attend. Most of our FieldTrips are free, but we may ask for a suggested donation to cover materials for some of them.

(Each month, we give folks who were on the waitlist of our most recent talk a two-hour head start to register. And then they open up to the rest of our #CMATX community.)

An open letter from China Smith


I am still aglow with the energy you all bathed me in on Friday.

As creatives, I know you can relate to making the first step with a new project out of your head and into the world. I have been cooking up Woke Families in the safety of my own space for months now, and I’ve never been more energized and convicted about a project. I’ve also never had this level of fear about revealing my work. I usually go into a speaking engagement with a few options in mind and let the energy of the room determine the direction I take. You guys gave me so much life by BEING THERE energetically for my real shit, and my appreciation for you is limitless. I’ve been reflecting all weekend and have laughed out loud about the fact that you guys came to hear a dancer talk about the creative life, and got a Black Panther baby spilling her guts instead!

I would be so honored to have any of you along on this journey with me. The Woke Families course starts November 4th and registration is here.  

I am sending out an S.O.S. to the universe to bring me a multitude of people who identify as white to be the founding members of this community; if this speaks to you I’d love your help spreading the word. My big dream is to eventually get this into schools! Imagine the difference it could make in one generation.

I do hope our paths cross again!

- China

Photo by Manny Pandya

October’s global theme FLOW will be discussed by China Smith, founder of Ballet Afrique. 

Hosted at The Riveter on Friday, 10/25. Details here.

Use these hashtags to get into your flow state: #CMATX & #CMflow

Say thanks to our partner this month: The Creative Executive

And cheers to our beverage partners: Cuvée Coffee and Big Swig water 

Do you want to see your business featured among these amazing companies - and feel the love of our creative community?

Our Partnership Drive will fund our monthly talks through 2020. See how your company can help Fund The Love here!

Creativity is good for business, bad for robots

Welcome to the Fourth Industrial Revolution. With AI, machine learning, autonomous cars, and advanced robotics upon us, it may feel like humans are headed for redundancy. Creativity is our saving grace. And it’s a limitless resource. We can nurture it, grow it, and sharpen it as a tool.

Our ability to be creative helps us thrive. What is creativity? The dictionary defines it as ‘the use of the imagination or original ideas, especially in the production of artistic work.’ At CreativeMornings, we think that’s outdated.
Creativity is not just the domain of artists and designers. It lives at the heart of engineering, math, science, marketing, teaching, politicking, medicine, parenthood—in short, just about anything that humans endeavor to do well.

Creativity propels us to ask, 'what if?’ and 'why not?“

Creativity pushes society forward with new ways of thinking and solving big problems.

Creativity greases the wheel of innovation and profitability.

We’re likely preaching to the choir. Creativity has become the biggest buzzword in business over the last decade. But unlike your boss’s favorite corporate-speak-lingo, creativity has weight. 

In the World Economic Forum’s reporting on the future of work, creativity is a consistent thread for many of the top job skills needed in 2020 and beyond.

An IBM study of CEOs, ranked creativity as the number one factor for business success—winning out over management discipline, integrity, and vision. But, even while waxing philosophical about the future, many CEOs don’t believe their companies are “creative” enough.

Unfortunately, most companies have trouble embracing creativity as an operating principle. The sad fact is that our day-to-day working lives don’t always allow us to exercise our innate creativity. (Even those of us in traditionally “creative” fields experience this.) We’re too busy adhering to protocols, drowning in administrivia, or struggling to find time for deep work between meetings-about-meetings.

What are well-meaning leaders supposed to do? One of the significant ways to start walking the creative talk is to offer your people opportunities for flexibility and inspiration outside the four walls of the office. Ingenuity requires space, both physical and mental. Releasing your people into the wild to bounce ideas off of others, learn something new, hear about other industries, or be exposed to art and music is good for business. This exploration not only makes for happy employees, but it also greases the wheel of creativity.

That’s the philosophy behind CreativeMornings. Everyone is creative. Everyone is welcome. These free, monthly events offer a twenty-minute talk by a local speaker plus coffee and breakfast. Organized by volunteers, these events bring together the most supportive folks in town. They come to get inspired but leave feeling a deeper connection to their city’s creative community. Who comes to these magical talks? Your future clients, most influential collaborators, and happiest employees.

Ready to infuse more creativity into your company? The robots don’t want you to watch this two-minute video.