Next Vancouver speaker

Amanda Lewis (online)

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• CMVan | Biophilia | Zoom • part of a series on Biophilia

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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:

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’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

Our Q&A with April speaker Wil Aballe who will be talking on the topic of Creativity and Beyond

Since January 2013, dealer Wil Aballe has exhibited a series of monthly shows in his gallery called Wil Aballe Art Projects | WAAP. It has been since recognized as a great example of removing the barriers between art and everyday life.

Since its first exhibition with 2013 RBC finalist Sean Weisgerber, WAAP has put on exhibitions subverting the large, public and heroic modes of art presentation, and has published affordable art editions by artists as varied as Marina Roy, Babak Golkar, Aurel Schmidt, Scott Massey, Jeff Ladouceur and Evann Siebens. Showcasing painting and photography but also lesser explored video and performance, WAAP was named by Blouin ArtInfo magazine last year as one of the top emerging commercial galleries in Canada. During Art Toronto 2013, Wil participated in a panel discussion entitled “The Next Generation in Canadian Art”.

How do you define creativity and apply it in your life and career?
Creativity is the act of actualizing your ideas through a process that resonates with you so that the outcome is satisfying and aligned with your vision.

Where do you find your best creative inspiration or energy?
Practically everything that I do creatively as a curator or gallerist stems from the creative collaboration and sharing/fleshing out of ideas with my artists, the research that is built around the ideas, and the discussions around the various directions and possibilities the ideas can go.

What’s one piece of creative advice or a tip you wish you’d known as a young person?
Don’t be intimidated by the blank canvas and don’t worry about what is considered art or what people will say. It’s much more important to just do it. The act of making art is often what can make for great art, that the cumulative effect of a practice over time is the thing, and not just any single specific work.

Who (living or dead) would you most enjoy hearing speak at CreativeMornings?
Gertrude Stein. I’m not sure why, but she was an innovator. She was a genius, and she lived and breathed art and I would have loved to have gotten a glimpse inside her brain.

What’s your one guilty creative indulgence?
I love figuring out why and how musicals get made. I find them incredibly satisfying and perfect as an art form, but it’s very strange to watch people sing and dance up on stage – so I spend a lot of time analyzing the intention behind gestures within finely crafted musicals that I love.

When you get stuck creatively, what is the first thing you do to get unstuck?
I read poetry. A lot of the time it’s Gertrude Stein’s. Her looping, loosely associative approach to language loosens up by brain and allows it to open up to new ideas.

Ready to learn, laugh, and be inspired to take brave actions. #TEDxStanleyPark #TEDx (at Queen Elizabeth Theatre)

Grateful for these like-minded organizations for investing in Vancouver’s creative community! #CMVan (at SFU Woodward’s)