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April’s CreativeMornings/Austin is being hosted at The Umlauf Sculpture Garden & Museum. 

Lovers I (Amanti)

This beautiful space is home to dozens of bronze and stone pieces given to the city of Austin by noted 20th century American sculptor Charles Umlauf.


The museum also hosts unique exhibitions and special programs. (They’ve generously invited any CreativeMornings attendees to stay after our talk to participate in their yoga class at 10 a.m. for a discounted $10 member price. Just bring your own mat.)

You can see why we choose this inspiring location for this month’s theme of “sex.” If you fall in love with The Umlauf as we have, become a member and follow @umlaufsculpture on Twitter.

Lovers V

This month’s theme of “Sex” will be explored by Suzy Spencer.

Suzy is a New York Times bestselling author of four true crime books, all of which have been featured in national media including Good Morning America, Dateline, ABC World News, and numerous shows on CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC.

But after nearly 10 years of writing about real life murder, Suzy desperately needed to laugh. For God knows why, she thought writing about real life sex would help her do that. So in December 2004, she began a journalistic investigation into Americans’ alternative sex practices. The result was her most emotionally challenging book yet – Secret Sex Lives: A Year on the Fringes of American Sexuality.

Secret Sex Lives, Suzy’s first memoir, was featured on Katie Couric’s talk show, Katie, on NPR’s Radio Times with Marty Moss-Coane and The Faith Middleton Show, and in the pages of the New York Times, the Huffington Post, and Salon. It was named a Publishers Weekly fall 2012 pick in the memoir category, a Barnes & Noble editor’s recommendation, and a Creative Loafing, Tampa Bay, Top 10 Most Provocative Books of 2012.

Suzy has freelanced for ABC News, Salon, People, Los Angeles magazine, and the Texas Observer. She holds a Master of Professional Writing and a Master of Business Administration, both from the University of Southern California, and a Bachelor of Arts from Baylor University.


Real HQ 
Real HQ sponsors CreativeMornings because they believe that everybody should spend time making useful and beautiful things. They also believe in coffee paired with inspirational talks.


Join us at the UMLAUF Sculpture Garden on Friday, April 11, 8amClick here for more details at creativemornings.com.

Part of what makes CreativeMornings Austin special is the ability to share the experience with people who couldn’t be there in person. We rely on talented volunteer photographers to document the event.

So it’s our pleasure to get to know Patrick Lu, a writer, computer scientist, blogger, and – oh, yeah – photographer for this March’s CreativeMornings/Austin. 


1. It seems like you use your blog betterwithpesto.com to combine several interests, with photography, writing, travel, and food among them. Do you think having passions outside of photography makes you a better photographer? Why?

I believe photography is about conveying emotions from the photographer to the viewer. In order to take a good photo, which displays such emotions and feeling, a photographer needs to invest time in his subjects. I liked taking pictures of food, and through a stroke of luck, some of the best chefs in town went to the same pub where I’m a regular (Draught House Pub). So I got to know them, hang out with them, and dive farther into their world. I use all the helpful hints I learn from these service industry folk and apply them to travel and dining in other places. A camera is a fantastic tool for diving further into your passions.

2. What are your impressions of CreativeMornings?

This was my first time, and so far I think it’s an amazing event. It seems to draw in most of Austin’s most energetic and creative people. The subjects of talks are tasteful and exciting. I can’t wait to go to more. Coffee and tacos are a plus too.

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

I would describe Austin a wide and open canvas. Most people you meet have moved here recently and are trying to start something. This creates an amazing sense of energy and humility since we’re all on equal footing.

What I find amazing are these “loops” in local business relationships. If you take the restaurant Qui for example, their produce is sourced locally, they had woodwork done by Griffon Ramsey on the East Side, their bike racks were made from Windmill Bikes on Manor, and their plates were made by Keith Kreeger over on Springdale.

4. How does a computer science major at UT become such a prolific photographer?

I worked for the campus newspaper, The Daily Texan, and it opened my eyes to all of the wonderful people, locations, and events that spanned outside the bounds of campus. For anyone interested in photography, UT has a lot of amazing resources such as the Magnum archives at the Harry Ransom Center, and Eli Reed, the head of the photojournalism department.

With just a bike you can get from campus to downtown in 10 minutes. Park it anywhere, walk around, and bike back. That’s how I got the proposal photo that blew up on reddit

5. You also teach photography? Tell us more.

I’m using the classroom to start some local photography classes and workshops. I’ve already had one and it was awesome (with a tough class featuring Josh Baer), so I’m doing more. The next ones are on April 5 and 6 (this upcoming weekend). Please checkout http://snapfocus.photography (yes, .photography is a new domain).

Thanks Patrick.
You can see the rest of his photos from CreativeMornings here.

This month’s theme of “Hidden” will be explored by Laurie Frick.
Laurie is a data artist. She uses self-tracking data to construct hand-built works and installations to imagine a time when sensors track and predict our behavior. She holds an MFA from the New York Studio School, an MBA from the University of Southern California and studies at New York University’s (arts & technology) ITP program. Using her background in engineering and high-technology she explores the future of the quantified-self where iPhones and gadgets gather and present patterns of how we feel, stress level, mood and bio-function digitally recorded and physically produced as intelligent wallpaper.
Venue, Registration & Details
Join us at Rocket Mobile’s new home on Friday, March 28, 8am. Registrations begins on Monday, March 24 at 11am. Click here for more details at creativemornings.com.

Rebel is the theme for our talk on Friday, February 21st.


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Steve Sisson is a coach and entrepreneur who uses the sport of running to challenge the principle of perceived limits. With over forty years of personal running experience and twenty years of coaching runners from rank beginners to All-Americans and Olympic Trials qualifiers, Steve approaches life and sport with an unconventional, uncompromising vision.

In 2004, Steve founded Rogue Running, a training and retail community developed introduce elite level training concepts to the everyday runner in group settings that encourage accountability and community.

From 2006 to 2013, Steve coached at the University of Texas at Austin guiding the distance runners in track and field and cross country to over ten All-American & Big 12 Championship titles. In 2009, Rogue began Rogue Athletic Club, a post-collegiate, professional track and field team that is sponsored by adidas. This group has already qualified two athletes to the 2016 Olympic Trials. An accomplished distance runner in his own right, Steve was a Texas high school state champion, a three-time All-American while at the University of Texas at Austin and represented the United States internationally.


Real HQ 

Real HQ sponsors CreativeMornings because they believe that everybody should spend time making useful and beautiful things. They also believe in coffee paired with inspirational talks.


This month’s talk will take place at the new Rogue Running location at 410 Pressler Street.


Registration begins on on Monday, February 17 at 11:00 a.m. CST on our site. It’s easier and faster to get tickets if you have a CreativeMornings profile.