Next Vancouver speaker

Tara Galuska

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September 1, 8:30am • SFU Woodward's — Goldcorp Centre for the Arts • part of a series on Compassion

Our September speaker paper artist, Tara Galuska will be talking on the topic of Creativity and Compassion.

When Tara Galuska was five she wanted to be either an artist or a unicorn. The unicorn plan didn’t come to pass but her dream of being an artist did! Tara is a paper artist whose delicate and intricate miniature paper plant artworks explore interior spaces and the plant owners themselves.

Born in Zimbabwe in 1984, Tara spent her early childhood in Zambia before moving to Australia. She now lives in Vancouver, Canada, with her husband and two cats (and many plants).

Over the last two years Tara has built a thriving art practice and business and creates artworks for clients from all over the world. In addition, she works with select brands to create custom work for their projects including Urban Outfitters, The Land of Nod and last year she lent her paper engineering skills to a commercial for Tide. Tara also works with THRIVE Art Studio a place that creates community and support for female artists. She facilitates groups, hosts events and mentors women in achieving their art and business goals.

Tara would still like to be a unicorn.

How do you define creativity and apply it in your life and career?

Creativity is such a gift in my life as having it on my side means that anything can be figured out.

One of the first things that comes to mind when defining what creativity means to me is problem solving. Maybe this has something to do with a background in studying design or maybe it’s because the first creative people I knew, my parents, were excellent creative problems solvers. I don’t see problems as a negative but rather as an opportunity to really flex my creative muscles

In my artwork right now I am really diving deep into asking myself why I do what I do. This means my work now is filled with opportunities for creative problem solving and for the most part I am loving looking at everything from the visuals to the core of who I am and what is important to me.

Where do you find your best creative inspiration or energy?

I think my best creative inspiration and energy finds me but I have to be ready and receptive. When I focus, listen and pay attention all the creative ideas, information, and resources I need are right there in front of me as a source to tap into.  Being consistently in this ideal state can be hard for me sometimes as a Type A personality who loves goal setting and doing all of the things but that’s what makes life interesting!

What’s one piece of creative advice or a tip you wish you’d known as a young person?

I wish I had known about self compassion! Surely I must have heard about the concept along the way, I mean I watched a lot of Oprah. But somehow it wasn’t until I was 26 and having a very hard time that I heard what it was and my mind was b-l-o-w-n. It changed not only my creative life but everything in between. I heard what I need to hear about self compassion at the right time but super young Tara really could have used it too!

Who (living or dead) would you most enjoy hearing speak at CreativeMornings?

There are so many amazing artists here in Vancouver I’d love to hear speak! I know you’ve already had our THRIVE Mastermind members Danielle Krysa and Ola Volo speak at CreativeMornings but we’ve got a whole lot more who I know would be amazing. Sandeep Johal, Aimée Henny Brown, Nomi Chi… the list goes on and on!

What did you learn from your most memorable creative failure?

No one else cares about what I do as deeply as I do. They don’t even care half as much as I do! It was so freeing to realize this and really helped me understand what people meant when they said there is no such thing as failure. I now push myself to fail fast, fail often and use it to learn and grow.

What’s your one guilty creative indulgence?

I am not into guilt. I don’t see feeding or exploring my creativity as something to feel guilty about so I am guilt free. I feel the same way about chocolate cake too!

How does your life and career compare to what you envisioned for your future when you were a sixth grader?

She’d be so excited and blown away! I honestly didn’t have a clear or even slightly hazy vision for my future as a sixth grader or even young adult. I didn’t see example of the kind of life I live now so would not have known to dream it. My main strategy was just to try do the next thing that felt right and it’s lead me right where I need to be.

What was the best advice you were ever given?

Do the work! We say it to each other here all the time at THRIVE but honestly it is almost the answer to everything. 

Our August speaker, Self-taught chef, Jefferson Alvarez will be talking on the topic of Creativity and Genius.

Self-taught chef, Jefferson Alvarez left his home country of Venezuela at age 16 for Ottawa, where he attended Le Cordon Bleu Ottawa Culinary Institute. His wanderlust and ambition shortly took him to Toronto to work at Centro under illustrious chefs David Lee and Mark Thuet.

Determined and hard working, chef Alvarez decidedly absorbed as much knowledge around Toronto and had experiences at Pangea, Adega and Scaramouche, Canoe under famed chef Anthony Walsh, Aquavit and Morimoto. Alvarez took his first Executive Chef role at Tomi-kro.

Alvarez’s career in Vancouver hit a high point in 2009 when the Globe & Mail called the now closed Divino Wine Bar—where he was executive chef—the best wine bar in Canada. He then went on to lead kitchens at Fraîche in West Van, Secret Location in Gastown—where he created 300 unique dishes in 30 days—and now delivers the Latin American flavours of his youth in his own restaurant, CACAO Progressive Latin.

How do you define creativity and apply it in your life and career?
Creativity is not copying, is evolution. For me, it is a way of life. It is failing to succeed and inspire others. I breathe creativity in my life. I need it to be creative to be where i am right now.

Where do you find your best creative inspiration or energy? I get inspire by nature and also unknown ingredients.

What’s one piece of creative advice or a tip you wish you’d known as a young person?
No matter what anyone says, no matter the failure, keep creating and keep failing and the rewards will show.

Who (living or dead) would you most enjoy hearing speak at CreativeMornings?
Salvador dali and Ferran Adria

What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done?
Move to a country without speaking the language at 16 (Canada)

What did you learn from your most memorable creative failure?
A memorable success.

What’s your one guilty creative indulgence?
See people enjoy my creativity.

What keeps you awake at night?
An idea that i can’t create yet.

Jefferson Alvarez
http://www.cacaovancouver.com

See you tomorrow for breakfast and to hear Vancouver-based @chef_alvarez on his career, creativity, and the theme #CMgenius. (at SFU Woodward’s Goldcorp Centre for the Arts)

Our July speaker, Visual Artist, Shallom Johnson will be talking on the topic of Creativity and Equality.

Shallom Johnson is a Canadian visual and dance artist, writer, curator, educator, and musician. She holds a BFA in Dance from Simon Fraser University and has been active in the visual art, performing arts, and media industries for the past 15 years. Shallom has been creating visual artwork under the alias Indigo since 2008. Her work has been exhibited, presented, and seen on the street in outdoor and indoor spaces in Canada, the United States, the UK, South Africa, and across Western Europe. Shallom currently spends most of her creative time working on a new electronic music project called Suffer The Children, with Chin Injeti and Rian Peters.

How do you define creativity and apply it in your career?

Creativity is realizing that the less you are certain of, the more possibilities you can explore. It is accepting how little you know, and seeing that as an opportunity rather than a hindrance.

Creativity infuses every part of my being. I wear a lot of hats and each one pulls from this mindset in some way, even the hats that nobody else ever sees.

My career has let me on a winding path along which I’ve gathered many skills and practices along the way…creativity helps me see the common threads between choreography and curation, between painting and poetry. Keeping a creative mindset ensures that nothing I’ve done, that nothing in my future will ever be irrelevant to my journey. It teaches me to see the web that connects my current self with everyone I’ve been in the past and everyone I’ll be in the future.

Where do you find your best creative inspiration?

Life, love, loss. Personal narratives, and the dark side of the moon. My inspiration comes from everything and everyone around and within me. It often strikes in a moment in which a phrase or an image will solidify in my mind and need to be documented or explored immediately, as if impatient to come into the world. Or, at times it is a gradual accumulation of many experiences that eventually are distilled into something that is a composite of many people, many lives, many thoughts and feelings.

I feel that I am a repository of so many stories, my own as well as those that swirl around me. I may not find the right place for each one immediately, but they usually end up in something down the road.

“The goal is not making art, it is living a life…Art is a result, It is the trace of those who have led their lives.” - Robert Henri, The Art Spirit.

What’s the one creative advice or tip you wish you’d known as a young person?

I wish that I had put less emphasis on perfection and spent more time seeing where my mistakes might be able to lead me.

Who would you like to hear speak at CreativeMornings?

Christian Nicolay, Chin Injeti, Tonye Aganaba, Andrew Young, Nomi Chi.

What’s your one guilty creative indulgence?

Red wine.

What fact about you would surprise people?

A large part of my career involves painting really big murals using boom lifts, scissor lifts, and scaffolding. At the same time, I’m really afraid of heights.

How does your life and career compare to what you envisioned for your future when you were a sixth grader?

I am who I wanted to be when I grew up. I have had the chance to explore everything I wanted to do, everything that was in my heart of hearts. It wasn’t an easy road to get here, but I’m stubborn and headstrong and impulsive and I make decisions that seem crazy at first but somehow work themselves out in the end.

Also, now I’ve gotten past my extreme childhood shyness…I have friends and can talk to strangers without having a panic attack. Most of the time.

What keeps you awake at night?

Right now, jet lag.

Where was the last place you travelled?

I just got back from Mumbai, I was there for a week for my “day job”.

Where is your favourite place to escape?

A good science fiction novel, in bed, with my cats.

When you get stuck creatively, what is the first thing you do to get unstuck?

Have a cigarette. Cigarettes solve all my problems.

On the 25th May, BrainStation will be hosting their second Digital Design panel where they’ll discuss upcoming trends in both physical and digital design, a glimpse at the panelists day-to-day projects as well as much more!

Gain insights from Design experts from Invoke, Mobify, Kabam and Konrad Consulting. See event details below:

https://brainstation.io/event/Digital-Design-Vancouver-Panel

Our Q&A with June speaker Chris van Dyck who will be talking on the topic of Creativity and Survival.

Chris van Dyck is the Founder and Supervisor at CVD VFX - a small studio focusing on consistently and professionally delivering the highest quality in VFX.

Before starting CVD VFX, he was a Compositing supervisor in the commercial, film, and television industry. With over 14 years of experience, he has worked at some of the top studios around the world: WETA Digital, Industrial Light & Magic, MPC, Method, Rising Sun Pictures, Animal Logic, The Embassy and Prime Focus. Chris has held various roles, including Senior Stereo Compositor, Lead Compositor, Compositing Supervisor, VFX Supervisor, Instructor and Consultant. Some of his most notable credits include: The Hobbit Trilogy, Warcraft, Thor 2, Life of Pi, Transformers: Dark Side of the Moon, Tron: Legacy, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Ironman and Frank Miller’s: 300.

Chris has also conducted lectures for the VES, Siggraph, and the Art Institute, been published by Digital Fusion on the topic of Digital Compositing, published by Siggraph on the film industry in Vancouver and has taught Digital Compositing for over 6 years at the following schools: VanArts, Think Tank and Lost Boys.

How do you define creativity and apply it in your life and career?
I think creativity is the key to effective problem solving and I depend on it when leading a team, making a decision at home or applying it to my work in Visual Effects.

Where do you find your best creative inspiration or energy?
On the work front, I get a lot of energy from a motivated and excited crew. I really try to focus on uplifting the team and I find that it becomes cyclical.

What’s one piece of creative advice or a tip you wish you’d known as a young person?
I wish I really understood what having different strengths meant. We all get dealt a different hand and I think we need to play to our strengths.

Who (living or dead) would you most enjoy hearing speak at CreativeMornings?
Claude Monet - I’ve always been drawn to impressionism and I find there’s a shared inspiration I would love insight into.

What’s the most recent thing you learned (big or small)?
I’ve been learning how as a company owner, my lens differs from the other members of my team. At the end of the day, no one will see how a decision will affect as many variables as the owner. It’s something I’m interested in and trying to find the balance of empowering people and of course not derailing them with too much information. Lot’s to learn here but I think having clear core values really helps get everyone on the same page.

What keeps you awake at night?
My kids!!

What myths about creativity would you like to set straight?
That it’s primarily focused on the arts - I think my most creative moments are when I’m technically problem-solving or diffusing a situation. As a digital artist, it’s definitely a solid balance of both.

What are you proudest of in your life?
Marrying my amazing wife and our first moments with our 3 kids. This is what has motivated me to start a business - I hope to break out of the mold of my industry.

What was the best advice you were ever given?
To specialize. I love the expression - Jack of all trades, master of none. I’ve seen it first hand and I hope to speak to this a bit at the next event.

What practices, rituals, or habits contribute to your creative work?
I need a good old fashioned list - I typically have a list that I’m updating / re-writing every hour or so. With so many tasks flying around, it really helps me focus.

When you get stuck creatively, what is the first thing you do to get unstuck?
Play a game! Foosball, Darts, something that requires focus and attention - it’s kind of my reset button. Also, if I’m feeling stuck and too much is going on, I’ll typically put on a show or something that isn’t overly challenging and it’s kind of enough stimulation for my brain to stop from roaming and getting distracted. Sounds backwards, right?

What is the one question we haven’t asked that you want to answer?
Favourite Quote? Our greatest fulfillment is in giving ourselves to others. OR Spirit Animal? Killer Whale. ;-)

#Repost @vandesignwk
・・・
[LAUNCH PARTY] Join us as we celebrate our launch party in @hcma.ca’s Alley-Oop Friday May 12 and help us kick off Vancouver Design Week(end)! Tickets are free, but admission is limited.
Find out more about this and more events on our site! Link in profile! #vdw #vdw2017 (at Vancouver, British Columbia)

Our Q&A with May speaker Terry McBride who will be talking on the topic of Creativity and Serendipity.

Terry McBride is the CEO and co-founder of Nettwerk Music Group, which includes Canada’s largest independent record label, artist management, and music publishing company. Founded in McBride’s apartment in 1984, Nettwerk has corporate offices worldwide in Vancouver, London, Hamburg, Boston, Los Angeles and New York. Since its inception, Nettwerk has released over 700 different albums and sold over 170 million albums worldwide with renowned artists such as Coldplay, Fun, Mike Posner, Passenger, Dido, and Sarah McLachlan. McBride has spoken at dozens of international conferences about the social landscape, digital branding, intellectual property rights and the future of music consumption. In 2008 he co-authored a broad reaching futuristic paper on the Millennial Generation for the University of Westminster in London, UK. He is a two-time recipient of the Pollstar Manager of the year for his work with Avril Lavigne, Coldplay, and Sarah Mclachlan. He is also a recipient of the Juno Awards “ Special achievement award” for the growth and advancement of the Canadian Music Industry.

In 2006, McBride co-founded a chain of wellness centers called YYoga and fitness. It’s McBride’s vision for YYoga Studios to evolve into social third spaces, focusing on health, fitness, and wellness for the body, mind, spirit, and the community. Terry is also a long-time supporter, E-Series speaker, and recipient of the 2015 FWE Mentor Award.

How do you define creativity and apply it in your life and career?
Listening to my intuition which I do in busy and quiet times

Where do you find your best creative inspiration or energy?
On a yoga mat

What’s one piece of creative advice or a tip you wish you’d known as a young person?
Intuition is always right

Who (living or dead) would you most enjoy hearing speak at CreativeMornings?
Genghis Khan

Where is your favourite place to escape?
Into the silence of my mind

If you had fifteen extra minutes each day, what would you do with them?
Talk to my kids

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