Next San Francisco speaker

Ti Chang

More info

December 13, 8:30am • Frog Design • part of a series on Silence

← Load previous

June’s theme is Wonder 

Our sense of wonder is the code for tapping into our most creative selves. It enables us to expand our horizons and encounter parallel universes that haven’t been explored yet. This month’s theme was chosen by Copenhagen chapter.

This month’s CM/SF Creative Spotlight is Kunal D. Patel  designer and typography aficionado. He created his own version of this theme Illustration (see above) and shared with us what Wonder means to him:

“To me, wonder is about curiosity. When something surprises or amazes me enough that I want to spend more time with it, or learn more about it in order to increase my appreciation.”

- Kunal Patel.

If you’d like to learn more about Kunal and this month’s speaker Lea Rosberg, join us at our next event on June 28th at General Assembly. 

Our Community Spotlights are back! 
We do our best to give you great talks, inspiring spaces, and tasty coffee every month, but the best part of CreativeMornings is the people. So we’re showcasing a few of the faces of CMSF, and you could be next!


What do you love about San Francisco?

The farmers’ markets. I’m obsessed with produce and the farmers’ markets in this city make me swoon. Every week I aim to visit 2 different markets… it may seem excessive, but the ritual is very meditative. 

What do you enjoy most about CreativeMornings?

The people! It’s an incredible self-selected group of people who are engaged in the speaker or activity. I love that they listen attentively and no one seems to be on their phone… it’s refreshing. Also, the CM community is extremely well-dressed, so the style inspiration is a bonus. What are a few of your favorite themes/talks/speakers we’ve had here in SF?

Erin Gilmore: The power and healing in owning your mess.
Also, the January theme of Anxiety is one I could talk about endlessly. 

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

People watching in The Marina. Never ceases to amaze and entertain. 

What is one piece of advice that is overrated?

Break-ups need closure; in my experience, the closure comes from time and space.

Where can people find out more about you (Twitter, Instagram, or website)?

Instagram (@thecompostcook), where you can find me creating some 5 am doodles, with frequent running breaking, or spotlights on my dog, Moses Waffles. Photo by: Ben Conde @kidconde 


The beauty in our world deserves to be cherished, sustained, and rediscovered. We share this life, and every day we have the opportunity to act as thoughtful participants in it. What do we care about? What do we take for granted? Would we miss it if it disappeared? Preservation begins with asking deep questions and turning our attention to the environment around us. Marine biologist and explorer Sylvia Earle wrote in her book, The World is Blue, “Should we race to see how quickly we can consume the last tuna, swordfish, and grouper? Or race to see what can be done to protect what remains? For now, there is still a choice.” Our daily habits are a mirror reflecting back what we truly care about. Our actions are key to protecting the wellbeing of our communities, cities, and planet. Pause for a moment to notice what is being neglected and take an audit. We can break out of patterns, simplify our lives, and focus on the things that will last a long time. Together, we can chart a brighter path into the future. Our Charleston chapter chose this month’s exploration of Preserve and Chris Nickels illustrated the theme. Thank you to our Global Partners—Mailchimp, Adobe, and—for supporting us.JOIN OUR NEXT EVENT - MAY 31ST with Shobha Rao



It’s the main source of all life. The lifeblood element that makes up 60% of our bodies. 

It’s the liquid that we don’t drink enough of, yet waste effortlessly. It’s home to millions of species, mysteries, and undiscovered knowledge. We know more about the stars in the sky than the depths of our oceans. We can use it to save lives. If used foolishly, it can take lives. We think there is an abundance, yet only one percent can be touched. If we don’t protect our waters, then what will happen to life? Our Perth chapter chose this month’s exploration of Water and Sofia Varano illustrated the theme. This month’s speaker is James Trucker on March 29th, grab your tickets here.

CM/SF is turning 8 years old.  Happy Birthday!

Thank you for celebrating #CMSF8 with us! We had such a magical evening dancing, smiling, and graffiti-ing with all of you. We hope the feeling was mutual! 🎉

The biggest of shout-outs to BiteUnite, 1AM, ColorBloq, TagPrints and Casper, for helping make it a party. If you’re looking for an awesome team-building activity (or need somewhere to host it), don’t hesitate to reach out to these local organizations!

Photos by: Ben Conde

Photo by: Tanarak Photography

More photos in our flickr album.


What do a planet, an attractive face, and a snowflake have in a common? Symmetry. Symmetry is prevalent throughout life. You can fold a sunflower in half, stories have an arc, and the human body can bend and create mesmerizing shapes. There are also irregularities that enhances life; it adds beauty and complexity. If there’s symmetry in nature, then there must be a kind of symmetry in the way we lead our lives. Symmetry cannot be possible without asymmetry, the same way sadness magnifies joy. Alan Lightman wrote in The Accidental Universe, “I would claim that symmetry represents order, and we crave order in this strange universe we find ourselves in.” But chaos will happen whether we like it or not, it’s how we respond to it that either creates order or more chaos. When in chaos, create your symmetry. Our Saint Petersburg chapter chose this month’s exploration of Symmetry, Anna Fadeeva illustrated the theme, and Mailchimp is the presenting partner.Join our next event.


When you look at the artwork of Frida Kahlo or Salvador Dalí, there’s an element of surprise. Why does it feel familiar yet also otherworldly? Surrealists sought to break free from the shackles of the rational mind and dive into the deep end of the unconscious. The canvas, then, became a mirror for what emerged out of that process. This movement was inspired by events in the 1920s on the heels of the first world war and continues to influence artists, writers, photographers, and filmmakers. This cultural and artistic movement ushered in new techniques that helped humans expand their minds. Today, we recognize a sense of the surreal in unexpected moments in daily life. Art exhibits like Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Room are becoming readily available, encouraging people to immerse themselves in experiences that break reality. A ballet performance or a silent meditation retreat can be a dreamlike experience. Whether we experience a surreal moment or dabble in processes like drawing without thinking or writing without self-editing, there’s something to be learned about ourselves and what lingers under the hood of our desires to keep life orderly and controlled. Happy New Year! Our Brussels chapter chose this month’s exploration of Surreal and Charlotte Dumortier illustrated the theme. SURREAL is presented globally this month by

JOIN OUR NEXT EVENT with Jeff Raz at Heron Arts on February 1st.



Join the platform you won’t outgrow. Our global partner is offering a discount to CM members. You can learn more at! You’ll be building your idea on the platform that powers more than 30% of the internet.


Our global partner Mailchimp has made it easy to create posts for Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter right from their email builder! Read how in this blog post.


Fit five years of artistic growth in one. The Adobe Creative Residencyprovides a year of support as you focus on your art. This year-long program provides mentorship to artists specific to their creative niche and business needs. Application opens in January. Visit their site to learn more: Adobe Creative Residency


Graphic designer and letterer, maker, seamster, problem solver, mama (of 2), plant mama (of 50+), swimmer, and eater. Not necessarily in that order.

Three years ago, I began an ambitious personal project to draw every combination of 2 letters that the alphabet provides us. Monogram Project (see it on IG @hopemengdesign) kicked off with AA and will conclude sometime in the (very) distant future with ZZ.

More recently, I’ve been working on a project that merges two of my disparate interests: sewing/quilting and design/typography. Text/tile (@texttilestudios on IG) is a multi-disciplinary project that consists of a typographic system based on quilt blocks. At first glance, you may only see a random geometric design, but upon closer inspection, you may notice that the quilts contain an embedded message.

Find out more at: @hopemengdesign and @texttilestudio

Q&A with Hope

    What does Tradition mean to you?

    Tradition is a starting point, but a crucial one. My practice in design and lettering has been rooted in an understanding of graphic design history and traditional letterforms. You can’t really do original work or innovate unless you know what has been done before you to set the stage.

    How is this concept reflected on your creative work?

    I think tradition really shows in my work. With Monogram Project, even the pieces that push the boundaries of legibility start from a place of our common understanding about what makes an A an A and what makes a B a B (for example). I try to boil the letterform down to its true essence before building it back up to another form.

    It’s a similar thing with the Text/tile project, though that’s further constrained by the medium of fabric and the visual language of quilts. I just love the concept that quilts have traditionally always carried stories and with Text/tile, that’s just being made explicit.

    What have you been inspired by lately?

    I am inspired by humanity! By that I mean: the mark of the hand, imperfection, wabi sabi, the organic form that flows from the hand when you’re trying to draw a perfectly straight line. My own work tends to be really polished and perfect and I am trying to evolve from that, and let go—allow my hand show through.

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

    Try to make something directly with your hands—when we use a mouse, it controls a cursor which then moves pixels on a screen. Find a practice where you are directly manipulating a tool, even if it’s just making marks with a pencil on paper. There honesty in using a tool directly. There is something so satisfying about creating a physical object, not just one that lives in 0’s and 1’s.

    Thanks to Hope for collaborating with us in a unique knitting piece that we’ll be giving away at our even on December 14th - join event here.

    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 rad things? Drop us a line or two over email at

    December’s theme is TRADITION

    Traditions are sacred because they cultivate consistency and a sense of belonging. It’s the bread and butter for fostering connection and community. 

    We’re in a time where traditions are being challenged and remixed. We question how they came to be and the context in how (or if) they fit into the future. “This is just the way it is” is a statement of fear, not possibility. It undermines the human capacity to adapt and create change. Traditions are made by us, for us, so therefore they can be reinvented with intention and imagination. You may not start the next national holiday, but you can bring to the table your generosity, your kindness, your vision and heart to create a more welcoming future. Our last 2018 global theme TRADITION was chosen Barranquilla chapter and Andrés M. Felfle illustrated the theme. 

    Join us in our next event on December 14th.