May’s Theme is Commitment
A commitment is a promise to show up whether you’re having a good or bad day.
It’s a behavior and mindset that signifies the posture of a professional. It’s about saying yes with your whole heart.
A creative life is built on the commitments you make to projects and people. It can feel like a leap of faith. But is that not the very essence of leading a creative life?
This month’s global exploration of Commitment was chosen by our Vienna chapter and illustrated by Florine Glück. Thank you to our global partners MailChimp, Adobe, and WordPress.com for their ongoing support of the CreativeMornings community.
April’s Theme is Game
Throughout human history, games were about winning or losing.Author James P. Carse extends this concept beautifully in Finite and Infinite Games: “A finite game is played for the purpose of winning, an infinite game for the purpose of continuing the play.”Which game are you playing with your art?It’s a question worth asking everyday. Is this decision, this attitude, sending you down a short game or long game? The same energy that we spend chasing rewards and likes can be refocused to loving our craft and shipping our best work.Keep your eyes on the journey, not the prize.This month’s global exploration of Game was chosen by our Liège chapter, illustrated by Jeffrey Phillips, and presented globally by MailChimp.
March’s Theme is Courage
When researching or writing about courage, other traits fall into the mix: risk, vulnerability, curiosity, empathy, and action.
It seems, then, that courage has nothing to do with your title or level of expertise. It’s not for the few or the gifted. It’s an act of humanity, of choosing to take an action that is risky because it demands vulnerability and curiosity.
Courage has no specific form and knows no bounds. From starting a side project to the act of listening when you would rather interject, every day we are wrapped in opportunities to exercise courage.
We need your courage. It’s going to be risky and will require vulnerability. A posture of empathy and curiosity will empower you. And above all, you must take action.
This month is presented by our global partner WordPress.com This month’s global exploration of Courage was chosen by our Oakland chapter and illustrated by Annie Wong.
February’s Theme is Curiosity
Curiosity is many things—a trait, a mindset, and a skill. To wonder about the things you don’t know and to actively fill those gaps with knowledge is to consciously enrich your life.
It’s also the secret sauce for creativity. Curiosity silences ego and encourages us to ask why. By constantly asking why we keep the channel open, allowing inspiration, perspectives, and ideas to mold our work and ourselves.
The more you practice being curious the more opportunities abound. Sometimes all it takes is tilting your head up and just marveling at this thing called life.
This month’s global exploration of Curiosity was chosen by our Malmö chapter and illustrated by Oelwein.
January’s Theme is Anxiety
Imagine for a second that you have to write an email that goes out to 200,000 people. You spend all week on it, making sure there are no typos or broken links. You schedule the email. You walk into the office and the first thing you hear is, “The most important link is broken.” It’s too late, the email is registered by the servers; it’s now a beam of light carrying information through fiber glass under our oceans. Imagine that feeling of failure—sweaty palms, concerned looks by colleagues, heart rate thumping. Or better yet, what if you stopped imagining? Anxiety is a story that we tell ourselves; it’s a magnification of possible failures paired with self-talk that undermines our chances of success. Anxiety is created from within, not outside. Self-sabotage may always be part of the creative process and the sooner we can accept that the clearer we can be in the decision we need to make to move forward. This month’s global exploration of Anxiety was chosen by our Bucharest chapter and illustrated by Evelin Bundur. Thank you to our global partners — MailChimp, Adobe, and WordPress.com — for their generous support.
December's Theme is Context
Imagine your typical morning coffee or tea, how it tastes and the way it makes you feel. Now imagine being on a remote island, sun rising, with your drink in hand. That sip is unlike anything you’ve ever tasted—that’s context.When we feel something is out of context, it’s because there’s a mismatch in the intention, behavior, and environment. Looking at the Mona Lisa in a dark basement versus The Louvre surrounded by people taking photos creates two different memories.
This month’s global exploration of Context was chosen by our Minneapolis chapter and illustrated by David Schwen. Thank you to our global partners — Adobe, MailChimp, WordPress.com, and Shutterstock — for their support.Find your upcoming December event ➜ bit.ly/cmcontext
November’s Theme is Death
Death has inspired humanity since time immemorial, influencing ideologies and storytelling to our understanding of life and how we live it. To our ancient ancestors, the fear of death was a palpable and daily motivator. Although our world is infinitely safer than it was centuries ago, we are still driven by the fear of death and we expertly attribute it to even the smallest events: traffic, deadlines, a mistake, public speaking, your boss’s name on your caller ID on a Saturday.
What we have done well as a species is leverage the fear of death to inspire achievements that seemed impossible, to create work that needed to be made, and to discover insights that help us live well.
This month’s global exploration of Death was chosen by our Miami chapter and illustrated by 2016 Adobe Creative Resident Syd Weiler. Thank you to our global partners — Adobe, MailChimp, WordPress.com, and Shutterstock — for their support.
October’s Theme is Pioneer
Pioneers shatter expectations, widen boundaries, and reveal new possibilities in life. Whether the work was inspired from being on a ship or inside of a studio, pioneers act on their internal, immutable desires to create work that matters.You might be on the edge of pioneering something new; only time and your relentless drive to create against all odds will determine that. We look towards pioneers to bring us to new discoveries, domains, and knowledge about ourselves.We’re looking at you. This month’s global exploration of Pioneer was chosen by our Denver chapter, illustrated by John Vogl, and presented by MailChimp.
September’s Theme is Compassion
Compassion is a pause button that reminds us of a fundamental truth: we’re all stumbling and nobody has it figured out. The best part about compassion is that it’s a learned trait—unlike your height or eye color—and the more we practice accepting others the sooner the easier it becomes to accept ourselves.When this is at the forefront of our minds, we give people a chance to show up and be seen. When in doubt, the answer is compassion.This month’s global exploration of Compassion is chosen by our Helsinki chapter, illustrated by Sami Viljanto, and presented by Shutterstock.
July’s theme is EQUALITY
We imagine a world where we’re seen and heard, respected and valued, not for our appearance and privilege, but for our work and character. A world where anyone, anywhere, has equal access to opportunities and resources to become the person they dream about. The formula for equality is a work in progress, and this work is not done from the few with power but rather through the power of community.
Equality is harmony. Harmony isn’t achieved through one instrument; it’s a collaboration, a symphony of sounds that adds richness and texture to the bigger picture. The pursuit of equality is a long-term game, an unraveling of outdated processes that no longer serves the future we imagine or deserve.