Next Austin speaker

Brandon Berdoll

More info

May 24, 8:00am • Wolf House • part of a series on Preserve

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This month’s theme of “crossover” will be discussed by Jen Spencer


Jen is founder of The Creative Executive—a coaching and consulting practice focused on helping creative executives be more successful and successful executives be more creative.

She is equal parts insightful entrepreneur and nurturing dynamo. Born in Texas. Made in Alaska. An obsessive planner and a gypsy-at-heart. 

Like many Boston College grads with sociology degrees, Jen first headed west to California where she repped directors and animators in advertising. 

She moved to Austin back in the pre-high-rise condo days of 2005, and in 2007, she started Jen Spencer Coaches, her ever-evolving legacy dedicated to coaching and championing those who think and create for a living. 

She is also proud to have been Executive Producer of the first years of TEDxAustin, bringing “ideas worth spreading” to the city she now calls home.

Her proudest production to date: Leo Maxwell Spencer Maki, a chip-off-the-old-block who is currently taking toddlerhood by storm.


This month’s theme of “color” will be discussed by Briks.


Founding member of the Blue Dozen collective, and original member of Spratx collectiveBriks, has spent his lifetime flooding the streets of Houston and Austin, TX with artwork. Whether it be found in sticker, wheat paste, spray paint, or acrylics, Briks has been expressing his unique take on the experience of “life” via whimsical illustrations, reminiscent of Saturday morning cartoons, and Sunday comic strips, with a penchant for sarcasm, and occasional pessimism. An ever evolving array of characters, he is most known for the saber toothed Briks Bear, sharing a message of love, and strength in character.


This month’s theme of “failure” will be discussed by Andy Crouch.

Andy Crouch is the Director of Education of the Hideout Theatre and organizer of the 2014 Applied Improvisation World Conference. He fell in love with improv in 2001 because it was scary and cool and seemed like it might change his life forever. More than a decade later he makes his living sharing the secrets of improv with students at the Hideout Theater, with companies across Central Texas and most recently at a non-English-speaking theater in Athens, Greece. He gets to invent and direct new improv shows every year, including Fakespeare, the Big Bash and the award-winning Live Nude Improv.



This month’s theme might be Failure, but it’ll be anything but a flop. Chosen by our Singapore chapter, we were excited to have photographer Bill Wadman depict it in his conceptual, narrative style (above).

To make sure your month is an epic success (not a failure), be sure to find an event near you by checking upcoming events here and find out more about the lineup here.

We’ll be posting event details for this month’s talk, with the theme of “Failure” soon.

 July’s theme of “heritage” will be explored by DJ Stout. 


DJ Stout is a sixth generation Texan, born in the small West Texas town of Alpine.

Currently, DJ is a graphic designer and art director at Pentagram, the world’s largest independent design consultancy with offices in Austin, London, New York, San Francisco, and Berlin. He joined the firm as a partner in 2000, where he and his team specialize in the creation of brand identity and strategy, publication design, packaging and interactive solutions. 

He studied graphic design at Texas Tech University and began his career in 1981, working for Robert A. Wilson Associates in Dallas. In 1987, he moved to Austin, where he was the award-winning art director of the nationally respected and critically acclaimed magazine, Texas Monthly.

He has received many accolades and awards over the last three decades. In a special 1998 issue, American Photo magazine selected him as one of the “100 most important people in photography.”

In 2004 I.D. (International Design) magazine selected him for “The I.D. Fifty,” it’s annual listing of design innovators. The Society of Illustrators also honored him with the national Richard Gangel Art Director Award in 2010.

Also in 2010, DJ Stout was recognized as an American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA) Fellow award recipient for his exceptional contributions to the field of graphic design.



We’ll be gathering in a place usually reserved for ACL Live’s performers: the green room. This unique opportunity will keep seating even more limited than usual. Please be sure to release your ticket if you cannot attend.

Click here for parking information.

July's theme is Heritage:

We’re getting back to our roots this month as we talk about Heritage across 85+ CreativeMornings cities around the world. The theme was chosen by our organizer our Cape Town, South Africa team and…

The May theme was Freedom.
Our fearless leader.
Nick & Paige set the stage with their emotional, soulful music.
Collecting gratuities for our band.
Our location was delicious. And caffeinated.
It was such an idyllic morning.
Katie Ford, our May speaker
Our very first speaker, Austin Kleon, is also an audience member. Writers supporting writers!

Thanks to Callie Richmond for the beautiful shots of Katie Ford’s “Freedom” talk at Tom’s Coffee Roasters. You can see more great photos from the talk here.

Every month, we rely on local photographers to volunteer their talents to capture the vibe of CreativeMornings/Austin. In May, we were in for a treat with Callie Richmond, who took the beautiful shots you see here. Callie answered a few questions about working in Austin, traveling out of Austin, and the joy of returning.


1. On, there are beautiful shots across several genres, including journalistic, live music, and beautifully lit portraits. You even have a site specifically for your wedding photography.  If money were no object, what kind of photography would you be shooting all the time? 

Hey thanks! You know, I just love shooting! I’m truly happy in all settings as long as I have a camera in hand and am creating content with lasting value. I love getting dropped into, and adapting to, extremely different worlds, witnessing people and events from all parts of all spectrums of life. My camera has been a golden ticket to many eye-opening scenes and I am grateful. Plus, because I currently shoot such a wide array of subjects, I feel like I’m beefing up toward the often referenced (and sometimes disputed), 10,000-hour rule of becoming a master of one’s craft. So that’s neat, too.

2. Why is Austin such a great place to be a creative person?

I’m the biggest fan-girl of Austin. I travel quite a bit and I look forward to the big hug Austin gives me as my airport taxi drives over the flyover from 71 to I35 to showcase the downtown skyline. I am so lucky to come home to a city that offers an extra long season of basting on the grass of Barton Springs, Texan friendliness, and a huge population of creatives to brainstorm, work, and party with. Austin, for the time being, is still a small laid-back city where chatting up people often results in a close degree of separation, and therefore a greater likelihood of working together or referring one another for future gigs. Ten years of talking to people at coffee shops, dive/juice bars and music festivals have been incredibly beneficial. We value connection to each other and our places. Plus, as everyone knows, it’s always taco time.

3. What are your impressions of CreativeMornings?

First, I’m impressed with all these spunky morning people — it’s inspiring to start the day at 730. Second, as a freelancer who works from home, I look forward to meet-ups where I can actually talk to other people instead of the one-sided conversations my podcast voices provide. Third, there are so many talented folks in Austin and I want to learn about as many of them and their paths as possible. 

4. Are there any projects you want to tell us about?

Hmmm, stay tuned. I’ve got several on back burners, but like our Freedom speaker Katie Ford discussed, I’ve got to make time for rewarding personal projects.


This month’s theme of “minimal” will be discussed by Dr. Jeff Wilson.

Dr. Jeff Wilson aka ‘Professor Dumpster’ is Dean of the University College and Associate Professor of Biological Sciences at Huston-Tillotson University.

Dr. Wilson is also Executive Director of The Dumpster Project, a non-profit based in Austin, Texas that is transforming a trash dumpster into a home with a focus on K-12 STEM and sustainability education. As part of the educational mission of The Dumpster Project, Dr. Wilson plays a character named ‘Professor Dumpster’ who has been described as the love child of Bill Nye, Oscar the Grouch and Thoreau. In his spare time, Dr. Wilson enjoys traveling – he has lived, worked and ‘couch surfed’ through over 60 countries on six continents.

Dr. Wilson did his post-doctoral work at the Harvard School of Public Health and holds a PhD in Environmental Science from the University of Canterbury.



Enter through the Chalmers Street Gate & turn left into the Agard-Lovinggood Administration Building. The lecture hall will be on your left.

Parking is available on Chalmers Street and in the Chalmers Street parking lot. Click here for a campus map.