The courage to have the hard conversations with peers, family, the world and most importantly ourselves.

Do you have the courage to speak up and engage with opposing views in order to move forward? The human race has the capacity to suck but also to soar, and it all begins within each one of us. We all have faults, they vary in degree of course. We cannot be defined as either good or bad because both are so intertwined. Its our own inner dialogue, emotions, and life experiences that define our choices - and in the end it’s up to each of us to ensure our actions align with what we value most.

About the speaker

Crystal’s path to design was not the standard route. After graduating high school in her hometown she stuck close to home and attained a Bachelor of Kinesiology degree at the University of Calgary. It was during her school years to make a buck, she began working within the sports administration departments.

Crystal was exceptionally, (and let’s be honest, still is) opinionated about how things should look. Her supervisors over the years encouraged her to keep learning. Between on the job training and continuing education courses she began a career transition.

Since Crystal’s post-secondary days, she stepped out of the campus bubble into the for-profit world by taking on a management role for a high-end fitness company. After a month she realized her passion was for design and not for making sure there were enough towels in stock. A year later Crystal was blessed with her first of two girls and never looked back.

In the 14 years since, Crystal has grown her creative studio, Crystal Ink, into a self-sustaining business. Not just financially, but also creatively. As a lover of puzzles, she focuses on publication design. Crystal thrives working with a variety of elements when it comes to copy, photography and illustrations, working to make them all fit together in order to ensure the visuals represent her client’s valued content. Ranging from annual reports to magazines and recently building a client portfolio of independent publishers.

Over the years, Crystal has two side projects that grew with the intention of building her portfolio as well as putting her design skills to task, Creatives’ Cupboard; a unique creative publication that celebrates the creatives behind design, and myLife Planners: an undated system of day planners that marry well with the digital age and respect for print.

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