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Recap: April / Humility with Jordan Bellamy, WELD

April’s theme was HUMILITY

Before Jordan Bellamy of WELD began his talk, CreativeMornings/Nashville started the party off by giving away a copy of Kid President’s Guide to Being Awesome. If you missed it, catch Brad Montague’s November/Chance talk online.

We also held our first round of 30 second pitches. Our pitchers were Allan Redd, who was looking for a designer for Pencil & Paper Creative Development Co., and Angela Wiggins of Earnest Journey, who introduced us all to her career and leadership coaching. We’re happy to report that both Allan and Angela found who they were looking for, so the first round was a solid success!

Jordan even gave lucky morning people a tour of the much-anticipated new WELD co-working space which launched on May 11th.


If you didn’t get a chance to see it, be sure to catch Jordan’s talk online. He shared his own humble beginnings in California (which involved a banana suit and failing at surfing), his journey back to Texas, and ultimately launching WELD Nashville.

WELD believes that community is essential for creative growth and that sharing physical space is vital for providing the encouragement and resources to create our best work, to grow as individuals, and to cultivate meaningful relationships.

“At WELD, we are better served when we serve each other.”

Jordan helped us define and frame out humility and pride, asking us to examine our lives and ask if we view ourselves as an individual or as part of a collective. Pursuing our dreams is a good thing because the world needs our talents, but we also need to balance it with serving others.

“A rising tide lifts all boats.”

Jordan’s parting advice: Surround yourself with good voices, collaborators, and relationships. Realize that your natural gifts are not necessarily intuitive to others. Don’t feel guilty about consuming good things when you’re in a season of constantly producing. Watch what’s on your input side! Fail a lot.

Thank you to everyone who came out and made April our largest gathering yet, and thank you to our sponsors: Frothy Monkey and Jive! We hope to see you all in May for ROBOT with Chris Lee

Blog post by morning person and graphic designer Emily Carlton.

Keep Calm and Jive! On

Today, we’re talking with Lucas from Jive!, one of our longtime partners.

1 - Jive! has been our partner for a while now, and we love you guys more and more each month. Tell everyone a little about what Jive! does and what you are focusing on for the year ahead?

What Jive! does, fundamentally, is not a revolutionary thing. We print. What we try to do within that context, however, is deliver something different than the usual status-quo experience. We pursue consistently higher quality in the work, for one. Our approach is fresh and fun, and we shun the corporate-driven, amateurish vibe you get at national retail copy shops.

Nashville has a proud and thriving tradition in the print industry, and we respect that, but we’ve seen a lot of benefit in not just providing the same old dusty lobby in a warehouse. There’s a heavy deal of hospitality that we bring to the transaction. Our whole crew has an artistic background, as well. Chances are, a person with a design background is seeing your project at every level, and that really helps us not only keep a pulse of what’s going on around the business, but to elevate our quality control.

This year, as we celebrate our tenth anniversary, we’re continuing our recent efforts to spread the word about the more diverse services we offer. A lot of people don’t know how much more we can do in large format, screen printing, digital creative, etc. We’re a creative consultancy that happens to run a print business, and we seek to be as much a partner and utility to our clientele as we can.

2 - Nashville is, of course, Music City, what’s currently on rotation music-wise at your office in Cummins Station?

As many folks know, we involve music heavily in the Jive! experience. We have a music video stream running 24/7 in the lobby. This comes from the generational DNA of the leadership here. Many of us grew up with that medium of music as a key influence, and we all enjoy the blend of visual media with sound. Our playlist stays up to date with current hits as well as classic well-loved videos. My personal faves that come up in the rotation lately are Sia’s unique videos and Uptown Funk - which might be the best pop song out right now. And, I’m always down for some old-school Dr. Dre, anyway.

Strolling through the office, you’ll get a huge diversity among our team, from my process-driving EDM or classic rock to country twang. It can really depend on the mood, day, and person.

3 - What other causes or organizations have you partnered with at Jive? What events do you get behind in addition to CreativeMornings?

Chances are high that any group or event that’s good for our city, key to the networking of the design and marketing industry, a good cause, or just a great vibe with who we are will see some level of support from us. It’s one of the many things we do to stay connected with Nashville.

We’re so grateful to be part of the scene here, and this sort of support is a huge part of our ability to show it. We’ve partnered regularly with AAF Nashville, The Nashville Scene, The Tennesseean, The Tomato Arts Festival, Brew at the Zoo, Live on the Green, TEDx, Nashville Cares, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, Hands on Nashville, Shakespeare in the Park, most of the major art schools and many more.

4 - I know the creative community keeps Jive! busy with a multitude of different projects. Who are some local artists you work with and what are some recent projects you’ve completed in support of their ambitions, ideas and projects?

Keith Brogdan (Thinking Out Loud Design) - Always has creative posters for different clients and events.

Revive Health - bringing new ideas to the table about how to be creative with meetings and marketing parameters.

Jen Hurst - Up and coming “scripter” - creates great sayings using different hand-drawn lettering for wedding invites, postcards, and gifts. We printed her first one and she has been printing almost non-stop with us since.

5 - The city has changed quite a bit since Jive! opened it’s doors. How have you adjusted, changed and grown since your initial opening?

Having a front-row seat to all that’s happened outside our front door in SoBro certainly has been a very real symbol of change. We’ve found that one of the biggest changes inside Jive! has been technology. We’re doing more in less space and with far better communication and payment options than ever before.

Printing equipment has gotten smaller, processes less costly, and the prevalence of creative tools in the hards of more folks in business has certainly increased. The volume of small business work we do matches up to the exciting explosion of Nashville-based brands of all sizes, and the large scale work speaks to the increase in corporations setting down Nashville roots.

Thanks so much Lucas and Jive! for all of your support.

Spotlight: Derrick Castle of Strawcastle

As you all know we have a talented and diverse group of makers, doers and creative ballers within the CreativeMornings/Nashville community. This month we want to tip our hats to the one and only Derrick Castle, owner of Straw Castle, Derrick’s detailed woodblock prints and high-level client work can be seen from maker pop-ups to cans of Miller High Life… and in his uber-successful Etsy shop.We’ve loved having Derrick (and the HCA creative crew) at our monthly events from the very beginning. And, Derrick totally rocked our current CM/NSH t-shirt design. Have you picked one up yet? (we sell them at events from time to time). We are happy to sit down with Derrick and talk shop.

1 - Hey Derrick thanks for chatting with us today. You and the HCA crew have been one of our most consistent group of attendees since our inception a year ago! What about CMNSH got your folks excited to participate and how hard was it to get your employer to give the green light on early-Friday absences from the office?

One of the things that our team likes the most about Creative Mornings is the sense of community. It’s so encouraging to see the creative community in Nashville grow and have a place to congregate once a month. So many talented folks all in one place!Honestly, it wasn’t that hard to convince our leadership. HCA is a really flexible company and they understand the value of our engagement in the local creative scene and the inspiration that we bring back with us.

2 - So I’ve given a little introduction about the work you do, and there are plenty of resources online highlighting your background and recent projects. What types of things are you looking to make in the future, and are there any “Dream Projects” that you’d love to get your hands dirty with?

Yeah, I’m really enjoying the path that I am on. I have noticed a lot of momentum with Straw Castle, which is great because it justifies me investing even more time developing the brand.If I was to think of a dream project, it would have to be the branding and development of a retail space. I have long dreamed of having my own retail space, that would just be the icing on the cake.

3 - You balance web/digital work with HCA and your own designs and products. What is the greatest perk of working in two distinctly different creative areas? Does the difference in approach keep you fresh with each?

You are absolutely correct! When I get home from a hard day’s work from HCA, I can’t wait to dig into an illustration for a client or step away from the computer all together and do something with a a little more craft to it, like block printing.I also feel like it helps me be a more balanced designer. Having the opportunity to work with other organizations outside of HCA has exposed me to many different styles of collaboration, which in turn helps me to be more versatile.

4 - We are known as Music City. What type of music is currently in rotation in your home studio? What keeps the midnight oil burning while you work?

For the longest time, Nashville hasn’t felt like Music City. I guess that’s because the music coming out of Nashville just wasn’t my bag. Recently there seems to be more of a developing indie scene, I find myself listening to more and more local artists.One of my favorites is Nikki Lane, she’s a local country outlaw type. I’ve also been listening to artists like Lindi Ortega (local as well) but still a lot of the punk rock classics like the Cramps and Black Flag. I also have to mention, the whole Third Man Records scene. I absolutely love what Jack White is doing for the music of Nashville.

5 - Where can people find out more about you and see what you are working on?

You can pretty much see my life by following me on Instagram @strawcastle. You can follow me on Twitter @strawcastle and search strawcastle on Dribbble as well. Last but not least strawcastle.com.

Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream Wonders "How Does Color Taste?"


Today we want to thank one of our favorite sponsors for bringing not only ice cream to some of our past events — including our recent birthday bash and “Ink” talk with Bryce McCloud — but also smiles and a bit of morning morale that gives coffee a run for it’s money! If you don’t know about Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream you’ve more than likely been stuck in a joyless, ice cream rut, which we cannot in good conscience condone here at CreativeMornings Nashville. If you do know Jeni’s, we’re about to blow your mind with what they’re doing next!

Jeni’s is on a mission to create better ice cream that cuts no corners and takes no shortcuts. 

They use no flavorings, chemical dyes, or off-the-shelf ice cream mixes. The milk comes from happy cows and all ingredients are blended, baked, peeled, chopped, skinned, pulverized, and blowtorched themselves. (Yes, blowtorched).

As if that isn’t enough, Jeni’s is about to outdo themselves with the release of a new project in which the question, “When you see a color, what do you think you will taste?” is posed and expressed through a new range of flavors. 

The Color Collection, coming out Friday, April 3, will feature six new flavors of ice cream and frozen yogurt, each named for an actual paint color. 

Want to see the new flavors? Visit Jeni’s to learn more! And make sure to stop by one of Jeni’s Nashville locations this Friday to get your own taste of color.

Follow Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams on Twitter (@jenisicecreams + @jenisNASH) and Instagram (@jenisicecreams). And be sure to visit one of Jeni’s three Nashville locations: Jeni’s Nashville East / Jeni’s 12 South / Jeni’s at the Nashville Farmers’ Market

Volunteer Spotlight: Angela Gasparetti

Every month, CMNSH depends on our volunteer community to help us bring you an awesome event. We love our volunteers and are beginning a new series of spotlights to show them off!

Angela Gasparetti has been an active presence in our volunteer force for several months now, and CMNSH’s Stephen Jones had a few questions for her.


CMNSH: So how long have you been working/living in Nashville and what type of work are you focusing on at the moment?

AG:  I’m a freelance graphic designer and newly-minted Nashvillian. I moved here (escaped) from Washington, D.C. a year and a half ago. It was one of those crazy, spur of the moment, “take this job and shove it” decisions, but it turned out to be one of the best I’ve ever made. As for work, I specialize in infographics and visual storytelling. I love the challenge of taking complex content and making it not only easier to understand but engaging and fun.

CMNSH: So the last week has been bitterly cold, (how convenient with our current theme Climate!) how did you spend your days indoors? How did it vary from your regular schedule?

AG: My schedule last week was basically staring out the window, compulsively checking Nashville Severe Weather for updates, laughing at Nashville Severe Weather’s updates, and watching every single terrible horror movie on Netflix. Fortunately, that is NOT my normal schedule, because I got absolutely nothing done. 

CMNSH: How did you find out about Creative Mornings Nashville and which of the events is your favorite so far?

AG: I actually work at the Skillery with Kristen. I remember seeing her put together the Socktober sock monster and thinking this had to be a pretty cool group (which it is!). I think I might have somewhat bullied my way into getting involved, starting with the sock monster, but I’m so glad I did. As for my favorite event, it’s probably a tie between Brad Montague (Chance) and Tyler Hildebrand (Ugly). They were both so funny, and while Brad’s talk made me want to change my whole attitude and become a more positive person, Tyler’s made me want to go break windows and make something crazy. I mean that in a good way.

CMNSH: CM Nashville is coming up on it’s year anniversary! How has the creative scene in Nashville changed in the last year and what do you plan to accomplish in the year ahead?

AG: I don’t think I’ve lived here long enough to really judge that, but I can tell you how it’s different from Washington, D.C. People here seem to have a visceral kind of passion for creativity of all kinds. Everyone I talk to seems to be excited about something: what they are creating, what other people are creating, everything really. D.C. has a much more solemn, corporate vibe to it. I didn’t realize how stifling that environment was (personally) until I moved here and suddenly felt so much more creative freedom. It was also so much harder to connect with other creatives in D.C., and while I met many designers, photographers, and web developers, I never met any painters, sculptors, or builders. I find it a lot more inspiring and fulfilling to meet people who do things completely different from what I know. I think that’s my favorite thing about Creative Mornings, as well. 

As for what I plan to accomplish, I’d like to do a better job of marketing myself this year, as well as managing my business more effectively. Working freelance is new to me, and it took me a while just to figure out a lot of fundamentals like how to work efficiently on my own, or even what sort of work I wanted to take. Now I need to do a better job of putting myself out there and growing.

CMNSH: If you could choose one person to speak this year at an event who would it be and why?

AG: I’d love to hear a musician speak! I don’t have a particular person in mind but I’m a big music lover. Both my parents were in fairly successful bands when they were younger and growing up with those stories, I’ve always found that world fascinating and different. And, different is what makes me rethink how I see and do things. I think we all benefit from shaking things up now and then.

You can also find Angela on Twitter @bagandbroad and Instagram @bagandbroad

Thanks for everything you do, Angela!

Good Luck Sionne!


We want to wish our first CMNSH Photographer, Sionne, best of luck on her journey for #theHeritageProject. You might call it fait that placed Sionne & our host Alicia in the same room one evening where local creatives were sharing their new projects– Sionne, a photography website & Alicia, the start-up of our CM chapter. They each voted for one another, connected afterwards & we gained our first official CMNSH photographer! Oddly enough, because this is how Nashville works, finding Sionne’s work also lead us to our first speaker, Ruthie Lindsey. We love following these girls & their journeys through instagram and we send warm wishes to Sionne on her new adventure!

From Sionne’s instagram: @whereissionne

My name is Sionnie and I’m a photographer. I tell stories for a living, but the one story I have yet to tell is my own. // I think at some point we each confront a curiosity that wells up inside of us to explore the mysteries of our heritage and examine the network of roots that connect us to something bigger. For some, it’s a curiosity that whispers polite invitations to step back and consider our place and identity in the larger scope of our story. For me, it has become an incessant shouting that can no longer be ignored. This is my story… #theHeritageProject

photo by // @kelseycherry

January Recap- UGLY

The theme for our opening event in 2015 was UGLY, and painter/ filmmaker Tyler Hildebrand was there to talk about where, how, and why it resides in art and life. As creatives, it is often our job to orchestrate clean, polished, and pretty design for our clients, but as Tyler pointed out, Ugly is often the decomposing matter and chaos than enables that work to bloom. And sometimes, as Tyler reminded us, it isn’t—sometimes, it’s just real.

We got to announce some exciting news- local caffeine and dining cornerstone Frothy Monkey is partnering up with us for 2015! Coffee fanatics within the community applaud / cry / faint! If you made it to this event, you also got a taste of what their (incredible!) bakery can do- biscuits and jam! Tomato and elderberry jam! We

We also had a great new introductory game- one minute portraits of a stranger which we wadded up and threw across the room!

We also had a little surprise for our community members who made it that morning- PRINTS! Grand Palace printed silkscreen posters based on one of Hildebrand’s paintings, and they are SO GOOD, Y’ALL. If you missed out on this print, or any other we have done, don’t worry- just pick one up at our merch table at the next event!

Also, many special thanks to the following partners for helping us bring CMNSH to life.

Lunar Lincoln

Jive! Printworks

Talkin' Ugly with Tyler Hildebrand

Meet Tyler Hildebrand is CMNSH’s first fine artist lecturer.


CMNSH: I’ve found in my own work that I’ve had to excavate back down to “ugly,” after absorbing so many images from art history and school. There’s a rawness and immediacy that ugliness can convey sort of effortlessly, but it feels like artists and designers alike are steered away from embracing it and swept toward refinement instead. Have you always worked with ugliness, or did you have to (re)discover it?

TH: I worked as an illustrator for several years painting cute things for magazines, and did a lot of commission work of lovely city scenes. I really came to a breaking point, I knew that I had to move on and do work that I wanted to do, whether I would make money at it or not. When I started scavenging the rough Memphis landscape for trash and debris to create a giant man-eating clown sculpture, I knew I was on the right track.

CMNSH: It seems like you favor the oscillation between ugliness and beauty over a more polarized view of those ideas as a dichotomy. Is there an idea that encompasses both for you?

TH: I made a film called Wallace; much of it was based off a real Memphis musician Wally Ford. There is not a whole lot that is pretty about Wallace as a man, his situation, his actions, his fate. But there is a tenderness and a strange wisdom there, and humor. These are often things that emerge out of mistakes and tragedies.

CMNSH: “Ugly” seems to be a sort of vehicle or catalyst of progress in the creative arts- Stravinsky’s Rites of Spring in music, for example- what do you think gives Ugliness that power?

TH: There is a reality in ugliness that exists, no pretension. There is also a curiosity. The ugly, rough, grotesque, is always more interesting to me than something elegant and tasteful, whether it be conceptually or formally. It’s not like that for everyone, but it is for me, always. Refinement bores me to death.

CMNSH: When was the first time you were drawn to something ugly?

TH: I grew up in the suburbs of Cincinnati. My father was a veteran Cincinnati cop and my mother was crime news reporter.  I heard stories about shootouts and fights and murders, I always wanted to know more. I wanted the details and what these people looked like. I would ask my parents to drive me through the bad neighborhoods; I got to see hookers and drug dealers. At a young age I understood there was something outside of my cushy home, it intrigued me.  

Join us January 30th at Impact Hub for Tyler’s talk on our theme this month- you guessed it- UGLY.

Sponsor Spotlight: CMNSH talks to Grand Palace (our first podcast!)

Meet the great guys behind Grand Palace, one of our greatest community supporters from the very start of CreativeMornings Nashville.

CMNSH’s Stephen Jones talked to Bingham Barnes and Drew Binkley and created our first podcast!

Sponsor Spotlight: Lunar Lincoln Tells Us What's Up with the Name

Why we develop, design, and create
LunarLincoln was founded in 2013 by Vanderbilt graduates Jonathan Wiley and Jennifer Bennett. With backgrounds in mobile development and graphic design - LunarLincoln was an obvious extension of our combined powers. And with our powers combined we are….captain planet! Just kidding, we are a team that can build anything we imagine. No bosses. No four-hour conference calls. No limits to creativity. First thing we built? A solution to the ugly iPhone 5c cases (which was a hot topic at that time - and a kind of lightbulb idea for us).We built CaseCollage in two weeks. We learned a ton about initial planning, iterating while you work, and the importance of user testing. We learned about the frustrating app store rejection process and how to market an app to the right people. We learned how to celebrate when we were featured on TechCrunch, Gizmodo, and Engadget and when we received over 100,000 views on our Youtube video. We also learned that an app made for a tiiiiny percentage of iPhone users does not make you billionaires overnight. Try hundred-aires. We loved the whole process. Currently, we love bringing our expertise and industry knowledge to others who have this same passion. We work with clients ranging from small start-ups to large corporations - locally and nationally. We are continually amazed by their interesting ideas and challenging needs. Just like Lincoln and those early space pioneers - everyday we are striving to build a new future.

What’s up with the name?
We combined a bit of each of us into the name. Wiley has always been fascinated with space and rockets and Jennifer with history. A respect and admiration for both the past and future exists within our company. Lincoln dared to think of a radically different future for our nation, and NASA carried this future even further sending us to the moon. Why not apply these creative thinkers to our own creative endeavor. (Plus imagining alternate futures where Lincoln was not assassinated but escaped to the moon to set up his idealistic space commune is also pretty fun. Sitting there in his moonbase log cabin, looking down on us, we always ask ourselves - WWLD - What would Lincoln do?)

Many thanks to Lunar Lincoln for their sponsorship in December, and to Jennifer Bennett for this fantastic introduction!