Next Austin speaker

Kelly & Jefe Greenheart

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May 25, 8:00am • KC Grey Home • part of a series on Commitment

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(Photo by Manny Pandya)

Meet our most recent August #CMugshot, Taichi Kozaki! Having volunteered with our chapter in the past and with two years as one of the main organizers at CreativeMornings/London under his belt, this friend of ours isn’t new to the scene. 

When he’s not working hard as a Senior Experience Designer at R/GA, you can spot him cycling around the east side or catch him at Fast Folks Cyclery & Cafe on east Cesar Chavez. To get on his good side, you may want to come bearing gifts: specifically in the form of tacos involving migas, bacon, avocado, or really… anything.

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

Simone Biles’s quote: “I’m not the next Usain Bolt or Michael Phelps. I’m the first Simone Biles.”  

What’s one way you feel like you are “weird”, and how does that inspire you?

When I meet someone new, one of the first things they try to do (besides trying to pronounce my name correctly…) is to guess where I am from. And people often have a hard time getting it right. It is mainly because I speak American English with a thick Japanese accent and occasionally say British things like “flatmates” “lift” and “jumper." 

I’ve moved from a city to a city quite a lot for the past 10 years. At each place that I lived in, I have met so many amazing people, they introduced me to the new culture, music, art, food, and all other wonderful things. These years definitely shaped me to become who I am now, and I think my weird accent is the reflection of my life story. And all of these experiences remind me that there’s so much potential in our life and inspire me to work hard, play hard and make my life more interesting every day.

Where’s one place in the world that is "weird”, and what do you love about it?

It would be Granada in Southern Spain. I felt that the city was kind of similar to Austin, actually. There’s live music everywhere you go, people are super friendly, and AMAZING food. But the most interesting thing about Granada is it’s unique cultural backgrounds. You can experience Arabic-influenced architecture, gypsies-inhabited caves, and thick Iberian culture, and cool evening breeze from the Sierra Nevada, all in one day.

Connect with Taichi!

CreativeMornings profile | Twitter | Instagram

August’s global theme WEIRD will be discussed by Christopher Locke.

Hosted at Esther’s Follies on Friday, August 19. Registration and other details here.

Thanks to our partners for this month: Vitamin T and Cuvée Coffee.

Jess Warren likes to start her day drinking coffee, exploring her neighborhood, and/or joining creative meetups (like yours truly!). As a full-time freelance graphic designer/consultant and July’s #CMugshot, Jess creates logos, menus, marketing materials, wedding invitations, and games. When she’s not designing, she’s out and about Austin, enjoying a run around Lady Bird Lake or exploring the beautiful gardens and patios this city’s restaurants have to offer. 

What place (in the world) do you love the most? 

I want to say the southern coast of Spain (it’s definitely up there!), but it’s probably the Frank Melville Park on Long Island, NY. Only a short walk from my childhood home, the park has a pond full of geese, swans and turtles. There is a beautiful bridge, a marsh, a bird sanctuary, and a water mill. It’s where we would take family photos, where I learned to enjoy running, and where I discovered photography. This park has meant a lot to me over the years.

What are some of the favorite, random things you love?

While I am in love with beaches and their salty skies, I also adore the character of mountains and the vastness of deserts. I love the beauty of street art, abandoned buildings, and alleyways. I also love hosting people, dancing for no reason, and that feeling just before you fall asleep.

Connect with Jess!

CreativeMornings Profile | Twitter | Instagram | Blog | Portfolio

Photo by Callie Richmond

Each month, a different CreativeMornings chapter from around the world picks our global theme. Can you guess who chose WEIRD for August?

So all month, we’re celebrating the people, places, and organizations who are doing their part to “Keep Austin Weird." 

Tell us who we should celebrate next here

We’ll feature one nominee each day on Twitter @CM_Austin

This month’s theme is presented globally by MailChimp – we couldn’t do this without them! And a big thank you to Will Bryant for the illustration that all 152 chapters are using this month! (Do us a favor and show them both some love on Twitter.)

So who do you think is keeping Austin weird

July’s global theme LOVE will be discussed by Jessica and Michael Sanders.

Hosted at the South Congress Hotel on Friday, July 29. Registration and other details here.

Thanks to our partners for this month: Vitamin T and Cuvée Coffee.

Before Nat Wittstruck reaches for a chorizo, potato, and queso fresco taco, it’s coffee first (and cold brew at that). This design director for GPJ Experience Marketing is our June #CMugshot and no stranger to the beloved Austin haunts: you can find him at Waterloo Records (without dogs) or the fantastic Contigo (with dogs).

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

The possibilities of MagicLeap mixed reality technology. TV. Internet. Smart Phones. ML is next and its awesome to ideate it’s ramifications.

What in your life is more beautiful/whole when broken?

In experience design, I’m constantly working to get people to break out of their comfort zone - to have an unguarded, immersive experience. Call these ‘wet’ experiences, where it’s that moment when you’re out in the rain when you stop caring that you’re getting wet – you just are, and in that acceptance, have broken into a new mental state. On the flipside of this, I am passionate about delivering work to break client expectations. Experience design is the intersection of architecture, behavioral psychology, sculpture, graphic design, language, live events, interior design, and so many other creative mediums, all with their own instruments and techniques. Taking your client to unconventional combinations of these mediums pushes your partnership forward, alongside the industry, where I am continuously inspired by the work of those daring to break from what is expected of a brand or company.

Connect with Nat!

CreativeMornings Profile | LinkedIn

Photo by Manny Pandya