Next San Francisco speaker

Dairien Boyd

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• Zoom (Virtual) • part of a series on Divergent


Throwback Thursday:
Where Do Your Ideas Come From? The Art of Publishing Books and Gifts.

Back in January, editors and former CM/SF speakers Christina Amini, Bridget Watson Payne, and Dena Rayess gave us a tour through Chronicle Books headquarters and share with us the art of making books. Here’s what you missed:


Chronicle Books is an independent publisher based in San Francisco that has been making things since 1967. Our tour started in on the ground floor – where the gift store is located. Moving up floor by floor, we saw so many aspects of the whole creative chain, from the design team to the marketing department. Books, covers, drawings and sparks of colors followed us along the walk.


On the top floor, Susan O’Malley’s wall is filled with her inspirational art work. Next to it, Chronicle’s newest mural “Seeing things Different” let us do exactly that: see things different.


Though we’ve all seen Christina, Bridget and Dena at CreativeMornings before, it was incredible to hear more about their role at the organization, as well as what it takes to publish Chronicle books and gifts. From ideation and collaboration, to launching it into the market, and serendipitous (or otherwise) hiccups along the way, can all lead to a successful paths to beautifully designed and thoughtfully built product.


Thanks to Christina, Bridget, Dena, and the rest of the Chronicle Books team for hosting and sharing all their wisdom with our community. You can find them in SOMA at 680 Second Street. All photos taken by Sana Maqsood. Check out more photos from the event on Flickr.


This month’s theme is Purpose – the bright light that can exist in different sizes and dimensions, separately, or even all at once. During this time, we’ve been thinking about our own beliefs and purpose at CreativeMornings/San Francisco. A place where connections are encouraged with one another, where friendship, love, and creativity are at the core. We are a house of experimentation with open doors to amplify your deepest creative projects, a space for you to stand up and share your story. We welcome all of you and believe that there are sparks of creativity in each of us.With that said, we are opening up our CreativeMornings space virtually for you to either teach us a new skill, read some poems you’ve written, or show us that dance routine you’ve perfected. Here is your opportunity to lead a FieldTrip, give a talk, or be featured in our Creative Spotlight – send us a note and let’s collaborate.Your purpose is made up of both the literal and the abstract, and its power is unmistakable. Those moments, memories, ideas, and conversations that you find yourself circling back to, with great fondness, make up the fabric of your purpose. Our Indianapolis chapter chose this month’s exploration of Purpose and Jason Ratliff illustrated the theme.

Throwback Thursday: Discover Fossilization

Back in October, former CM speaker Ziggy Khan introduced CM Field Trips to the Mission Science Workshop and ancient treasures. Here’s what you missed.


Early Friday morning at Mission High School, anxiety is high, whether it’s the flashbacks to your own embarrassing high school experience, or the intimidating stares from cool teens heading to class, whose eyes say “you can’t sit with us”. But around the corner lies a little oasis that both overwhelms and calms the senses. A little space called Mission Science Workshop…


Ziggy Khan, who previously did a CM talk on the Lakota community in South Dakota, is the Associate Director of Mission Science Workshop. What started as a garage home-education project has turned into a hands-on science center for kids of all ages. For 26 years, these neighborhood workshops have provided informal spaces for children, and now CM Field Trips, to participate in experiments, tinkering, and construction programs. Ziggy introduced us to Bart, our paleontologist for the day. (Basically Dr. Alan Grant IRL)


Bart talked to us all about fossils, how they’re formed, and where to find them. One of the most important fossil sites in North America is found at Green River, located in western Colorado, eastern Utah, and southwestern Wyoming. The Green River Formation is best known among paleontologists, the scientific community, and collectors for its perfectly preserved fossils of palm trees, turtles, birds, and an abundance of fish.


In this workshop, we got to handle Green River Formation rocks and use small chisels, hammers, brushes, and dilute (safe) hydrochloric acid to uncover fosils from these ancient treasures.


At the end of the day, everyone got a fossil to take home. I mean, look at this cute little crab. Just call me Dr. Ellie Sattler (Jurassic Park).


Thanks to Ziggy Khan, Bart, and the rest of the Mission Science Workshop team for hosting and teaching this workshop. You can find them around the corner from Mission High School and Mission Dolores Park at 3750 18th Street, through the Church Street entrance. All photos taken by Sana Maqsood. Check out more photos from the event on Flickr.



March’s Theme is Identity.

What makes you, you?

Your identity is made up of multitudes — the stories you carry, the music you love, the challenges you overcome, the books you read, the communities you’re a part of, and more. But your identity is a colorful blend of not only what you consume or create, but also the questions you ask and what you’re willing to learn.

In her CreativeMornings talk Lucy Bellwood shared, “When we box ourselves too tightly into a single identity or career path, we deprive ourselves of the nutrients necessary to remain connected to the world around us. We are lacking in vitamin curiosity.“

The things that make you unmistakably you are not just the eclectic edges, but the simple pillars, beliefs, and values that you simply can’t shake. What sort of spirit or energy do you bring to a room? How do you show up in the world? What are your pillars?

“The most unique care and love you can give to your creative identity is to craft it with your own hands.”

Our Jakarta chapter chose this month’s exploration of Identity and Nadya Noor illustrated the theme.

Save the Date for our next event with Tamara Perkins on Friday March 13th at Asana.

Throwback Thursday: Embracing the Moon as Our Muse

Back in September, Christine Lu Singh hosted a field trip on Embracing the Moon as Our Muse. Here’s what you missed:

Just before the new moon at the end of September, the CreativeMornings crew gathered on a rooftop in the Dogpatch to catch the magic hour and set intentions for the upcoming lunar cycle. Christine Lu Singh, from High Impact Healing Events, welcomed us with a warm embrace and mooncakes (courtesy of our partners at BiteUnite).

Christine’s passion is rooted in wellness, and she aspires to bring calm to the chaos in our everyday lives. She’s a partner of High Impact Healing Events, a collective with the mission to create events, like this evening’s Modern Moon Ritual, designed to awaken and nourish the full potential of human awareness in each individual.

We started the event with introductions and what sparked interest in a moon workshop. Even with such an intimate gathering, there was a wide range of spiritual and astrological awareness and experience, as well as CreativeMornings experience (we even had some first-timers).

As the sun started to set, Christine reminded us to be aware of our mood swings, energy levels, and overall well-being and how it aligns with the moon cycles. We might be surprised to notice a pattern. With the new moon just around the corner, it’s a good time to start fresh and set intentions for the person you want to be. Christine kicked us off with her intentions for the next month: “I am a boss”, and I think we all agree.

With new intentions for a new lunar cycle set, it’s also important to let go of anything that isn’t serving you. Christine says the full moon is the perfect time to let go of that negative energy. She closed the event with a guided meditation, leaving everyone ready to take on the next lunar cycle with a refresh and a reset.

Huge thanks to Chrstine Lu Singh and the Martin Apartments for hosting and leading this workshop. Thanks also to BiteUnite for feeding us. You can learn more about Christine and upcoming events on her Instagram @christinetlu. You can learn more about BiteUnite and their mooncake cooking classes at 600 S Van Ness. Photos taken by Thomas Phan.

Throwback Thursday: Evocative Portraiture Field Trip

In August, we were lucky to have traveling photographer and artist Ally Schmaling teach us a CM Field Trip on Evocative Portraiture over at the brand new Archery in the Mission. Here’s what you missed:


Deep in the Mission lies a neighborhood of industrial lofts and buildings. Scattered among them are the SFPCA, Farmhouse Kitchen Thai, and a seemingly nondescript garage, freshly renovated with the sweet smell of fresh paint still in the air, and a head a bright pink hair running around. Ally Schmaling (they/them), a queer, non-binary artist and photographer, visited CMSF Field Trips all the way from Boston to talk about what portraiture means to them, and how they use it to document and elevate queer and gender-expansive communities with their art.


First up, Ally warmed up the class by sharing, not only their own inspiration photos, but by welcoming us to connect with our fellow classmates and share our own history with photography, portraiture, and the creative process.


Portraiture is play. Photography becomes art when you decide what story is going to be told. A portrait’s story comes across when you play with the subject body and invoke weird feelings with the imagery.


With our lovely model Clara as the first subject, Ally showed us how it’s done, using lighting, movement, and even trash as her paintbrushes. Non-traditional lighting techniques, thought-provoking composition, and a sense of curiosity are all tools that can help you as a photographer engage your subject in a way that is, above all else, authentic.


Whether you have your trusty iPhone, a  easy-to-use point-and-shoot, or a heavy duty DSLR, photography is for everyone. Trust your eye to find what evokes emotion, even if it’s not for everyone. It’s OK to color outside the lines.


Thanks again to Ally Schmaling for teaching a truly unique and hands-on workshop. Thanks also Chiara and the Archery team for hosting us in their beautiful new photography studio. You can find the co-working space at 470 Alabama St in the Mission. Photos by Sana Maq. Check out more photos on Flickr and Ally’s Portfolio.



Linh-Yen Hoang is a first-generation Vietnamese-American artist and designer. Born in the Midwest and based in San Francisco, she’s obsessed with printed materials and analog methods.

Her work is heavily informed by her identity. She encourages conversation and tongue in cheek narratives in her design explorations. Driven by her parents ambition who immigrated during the Fall of Saigon, she chose to take a different route than they envisioned for her and dove deep into the one thing she couldn’t get enough of: art.

She’s currently working as a designer in advertising as well as balancing her normal 9-5 as a designer for the Cosmos (@jointhecosmos), a space for Asian American women to connect with each other through community-based events centered on wellness and our unique experiences.

Find more about Linh-Yen /

Q&A with Linh-Yen

    What does Silence mean to you?

    I use the notion of silence as more of a challenge in my work. I think as artists and creators, we use our work to better understand the human experience.

    We become more candid when we talk about our emotions and identity in the form of art. It’s an open platform to say whatever it is that you want to convey. In my case, it allows me to tell a story that’s not often represented. It’s about using silence as the fire that ignites our need for more storytelling in spaces that don’t hear it.


    How is this concept reflected on your creative work?

    Being a WOC, your identity is much more complex when there’s a narrative that is uniquely yours. I work hard to exemplify that experience, as an Asian American, in my art. I love it when people can relate and invite conversations when they see my work too. It means that others no longer have to be silenced, but instead get excited about shared feelings in similar stories.


    Would you share a bit more about the CM/SF collaboration and how you came about developing it?

    I connected with this month’s speaker, Ti Chang, on the topic of her talk. It focused on the belief that whenever we design anything, that it should be created with purpose. Working with intention better informs your art and yourself as an artist. The pen is a universal tool for ideas and brainstorming. Everything that comes to life starts with a quick scribble. And we encourage that approach with all of your creative pursuits.


    What have you been inspired by lately?

    Community. Spaces like the Cosmos has given me that platform as a WOC creative to flourish in my work and connect with like minded individuals. The Bay Area especially has shown me that there’s a seat for POC in the creative space. There are tons of galleries and studios open to anybody that’s down to learn and create. One of my favorite, and most underrated, events in the city is the Tenderloin First Thursday Art Walk. It’s the best night to see rad artwork in a community that’s constantly supporting one another.

    Any advice for someone in our community who is looking to tap in more traditional techniques or creative pathways?

    Talk to your co-workers about something they love doing on the side. Learn a new skill at your local galleries and studios. Follow creatives whose work you admire. Don’t be shy and reach out if you think something that somebody has made is cool. Creative people always want to help other creatively driven folx. Whether it’s wanting to learn how to use a risograph or land a dream job, the creative community always comes through.

    CM/SF’s Creative Spotlight | Looks to highlight local creatives by collaborating on a fun project centered around the monthly theme. There are tons of local artists, makers, and creators in our city who are doing rad things – we want to spread the world and spark our community with their creativity! Know someone doing dope things? Drop us a line or two over email at

    December’s Theme is Silence.


    Our Montevideo chapter chose this month’s exploration of Silence and Dani Scharf illustrated the theme. 

    As the end of the year draws near, life can get humorously hectic. We rush to finish up projects, try to squeeze in appointments with loved ones, and can easily lose track of ourselves in the process.

    Is this inevitable? Or can we find ways to ground ourselves amid all the chaos? In this busy season, create moments of stillness where you can.

    When silence is intentional, it is valuable and restorative. It brings us back to our senses and is essential to our holistic well-being. Acoustic ecologist Gordon Hempton defines quiet as a ‘presence’ and ‘think tank of the soul.’ Silence is a powerful tool that allows us to take a step back from the atmosphere around us and realign with our intentions, our hopes, and ourselves.

    This December, set aside time to tune out the noise. You can go for a walk outdoors, find a cozy corner, or simply close your eyes. The magic of silence is that we can access it wherever we are.
    Your beacon is the light that blazes within you, a signal made up of your values, dreams, and priorities. 

    Shine your light. Ask for help and let go of the idea that you have to make a perfect choice. You may feel lost, but you are not alone. 




    For this month’s event we’ve Ti Chang, industrial designer passionate about designing for women. She is the co-founder of design-centric luxury vibrator company Crave ( the leading brand for women’s pleasure found in mainstream retail stores such as Bergdorf Goodman, the Standard hotel, and Goop. Ti leads the concept and design for the company’s full line of products which has won numerous awards including Red Dot, IDEA, and Good Design. She has been featured in Playboy, Fortune, Huffington Post, Forbes, Cosmopolitan and many more.

    “Silence is where shame and stigma thrive.”

    Ti shared with us the importance of designing products that are thoughtful, inclusive and statically beautiful. As a creative thinker, Ti believes that “design activism” is the way of breaking the silence three-dimensionally, through products that make a statements in the market and advocate for women design & pleasure.

    Scroll through the photos of the event.



    For the past three months we’ve be collaborating with In/Visible Talks, a conference for creative professionals that celebrates the art of design.

    As part of this month’s theme Dava Guthmiller and Arianna Orland curated A Guide to Finding Silence in the City, with more than 25 spots in San Francisco where silence can be found – including a swing in the trees of Bernal Heights.


    Download the digital version

    Join In/Visible Talks on their 3rd annual event that will be packed with 15+ speakers including Jennifer Morla, Indhira Rojas, JD Beltran, and Jerome Harris who will share the behind the scenes of how design gets done. Attendees will also receive passes to The Museum of Craft and Design, The Exploratorium After Dark and much more. Joins on January 16, 2020 to spark your inspiration and connect with a multi-disciplinary creative community. Get 10% off your tickets with the code “MORNINGS2020”

    Photos by Ben Conde.

    November’s Theme is Lost. When you’re wading through the unknown, it can feel scary and risky. You float around wondering if you’re going in the right direction and want to know what’s next. Being lost is a collaboration between possibility and uncertainty. It’s an excuse to get one step closer to a more fulfilling life.
    What you were comfortable with may not be there anymore, but you will have the remarkable opportunity to reconnect with yourself and embrace discovery. In these “in-between” moments, turn to your inner beacon and pay close attention to where it’s guiding you.
    Your beacon is the light that blazes within you, a signal made up of your values, dreams, and priorities. The essayist Anaïs Nin put it best when she wrote: “The unknown was my compass. The unknown was my encyclopedia. The unnamed was my science and progress.” Shine your light. Ask for help and let go of the idea that you have to make a perfect choice. You may feel lost, but you are not alone. Our Milwaukee chapter chose this month’s exploration of Lost and Melissa Lee Johnson illustrated the theme. JOIN OUR NEXT EVENT - November 15th at Segment with Benjamin Grant.

    Throwback Thursday: Field Trip on Fashion Sustainability

    Back in April, our friends over at ReLove taught an evening workshop on The Shift to Fashion Sustainability and the global theme: INCLUSIVE. Here’s what you missed.


    ReLove owner and curator, Delila, kicked off the evening with a brief introduction of thrifting, why it’s important when it comes to fashion sustainability, and what to look for. Did you know, if everyone bought one used item instead of new this year, we would save 5.78 lbs of CO2 emissions. That’s half a million cars taken off the road for a year!

    She also talked about taking risks and ignoring the always-intimidating size tag when it comes to trying on pieces that catch your eye. You might be surprised with what you find.


    We then split up into 3 groups taught by the rest of ReLove team to learn more about how to spot and style special pieces.


    First up, 90s queen Maggie shared some tricks and tips to styling for the latest trend to take over gen Z and millennial closets everywhere - 90s street wear. Whether it’s crop tops that exude confidence, bold prints that could only come from the grunge generation, or a vintage Levi’s jacket with the coveted 1960s orange tab, vintage stores are the perfect place to complete your inner 90s child.


    Just a few steps away, Dom gave us a master class on how to spot investment pieces, aka the perfectly worn leather moto jacket, coveted vintage mom jeans, and true lasting labels that align with your identity. Not sure where to start? Dom says start with investment pieces you’ll wear every day, like a designer coat. Or go for capsule pieces, like designer collabs from H&M and Target. Hint: H&M designer collabs retain their value more due to their limited batches and nature of their designs.


    Finally, Michael taught us about the art of layering. It’s not just about basics, people! In our cool San Franciscan climate, jackets and sweaters are necessities, so why not have them harmonize with the rest of your look?


    Huge thanks to Delila and the ReLove team for hosting and teaching this workshop. You can find unique vintage pieces at their store on 1815 Polk Street. Photos by Ben Conde and Pam Dineva. Check out more photos on Flickr.