September’s Theme is Chaos
When you think of chaos, you might think of utter confusion, a jumbled mess, destruction, or Slack being down.
But previously the word “chaos” had a different meaning. In ancient Greece, writers and thinkers described chaos as more of an abyss, an empty void that existed before life. It wasn’t until the 1600s, when it was adopted by the English language, that it grew undertones of mass confusion or pain.
Life, by nature, is chaotic. And the human brain is beautifully designed to turn chaos into order. Whether through storytelling, art, or through the veneer of self-delusions, we’re built to handle the randomness and uncertainty of daily life.
When a tornado rips through town, one person may see chaos where another sees a fresh start.
So, then, a creative addendum: We are in control of the story we tell ourselves about the events that unfold before us. We can view chaos as a freight train hitting our soul or we can see it as a catalyst for clarity.
August’s Theme is Community
A community is a reflection of what we crave: belonging.
Belonging is the heart of human connection. Our hardwiring is to be social creatures, to need one another. We cannot become our best selves without feeling like we belong to a tribe that sees us, respects us, and lifts us up.
A sense of belonging can be fostered in many ways: food, music, volunteering, a cause. You can scan a room and see a diversity of backgrounds, ages, and skill sets—yet the common thread is shared desires and aspirations. It's magnificently profound how simple this connection is, how deeply we all crave it, and how it changes the trajectory of our lives.
The work of community is when a person walks into a room with fear and self-doubt, only to leave with a new narrative and a feeling of possibility and hope.
We can give that experience to one another. It’s the work of being human.
Please note: CreativeMornings Berlin will skip in August. See you on September 7.
July’s Theme is Intention
If you look closely, you can see the intention behind the action, a project, or a sassy tweet. Intention is palpable. A hand-written thank you resonates in our hearts more strongly than an email. One person standing for something pales in comparison to a community fighting for something. Beautiful work is not on accident. Beauty grows from the seed of a clear intention.
How do we get better at setting clear intentions?
The same way we improve at anything: with practice, self-awareness, feedback from friends, and learning how to show up more wholeheartedly.
June’s Theme is Craft
A craft is the instrument in which the authenticity of your being is communicated.
Your craft is like a portal to your inner world, and as an artist, it’s your duty to pull it out of the vortex. Craft is a catalyst for our identity and the soil for cultivating meaning.
It behooves us to realize that who we are and become—our values, beliefs, thoughts, observations—influence what comes out of the violin, sketch, or photograph, not the other way around.website, Instagram, Behance, and Facebook.
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