Rachel McKinley

June 1, 8:30am - 10:00am PDT. Hosted at SFU Woodward's — Goldcorp Centre for the Arts

part of a series on Craft


About the speaker

Rachel McKinley was born and raised in small town Manitoba. After careers as a competitive ice dancer, social support worker, and paramedic, she obtained degrees in microbiology and English literature at the University of Manitoba. It was during he second degree that she fell in love with the alchemy of chocolate, and abandoned her path towards medical school for a career in the kitchen. After starting with studies online, she went on to train in chocolate in Montreal, Minneapolis, New York, Paris, Florence and Pisa, and opened her business in Vancouver, CocoaNymph Chocolates & Confections, which she owned and operated for 10 years. More interested in inventing new chocolates than running a business, she pursued a career in product development. She is now an instructor at Ecole Chocolat, the head chocolatier at Purdys Chocolatier, and a freelance product developer for multiple companies in the US. She also went on to study drawing and painting at Emily Carr and is an obsessive scupltor, maker of fine food and embroidered goods, and is working on her first novel.

How do you define creativity and apply it in your life and career? Creativity is everything - it is how we solve any problem and move forward. I really believe it is about exploring all of the angles to a problem or task and only taking the easiest path when it is the right one. To me, the key to this is collaboration and community - getting the input and participation of others as much as possible.

Where do you find your best creative inspiration or energy? In boredom. I get my best inspiration and draw energy from quiet time alone, resting, when my mind is free to wander and make new connections and plans for new projects.

What’s one piece of creative advice or a tip you wish you’d known as a young person? I wish someone had told me that I AM AN ARTIST. I didn’t feel like a creative person or a maker as a young person, and when I gave myself permission to be that, my whole life changed.

Who (living or dead) would you most enjoy hearing speak at CreativeMornings? My first thought is Patrick Roger, a chocolatier from France who has distinguished himself as a sculptor in the art world by creating chocolate sculptures, creating molds from them and then casting them in metals to make them permanent. I deeply admire his work and process.

My one guilty creative indulgence is classes - I will take a class on skillshare, udemy, with a human, anything that’s offered really! It’s evidenced by two degrees, a certificate in fine arts from Emily Carr, classes in writing from UBC and SFU, and more. It’s only guilty because I am already busy and I can’t concentrate on one form.

The best surprise I have experienced in my life was the moment an art director I was working with called Andrew told me he was not, as I had believed, a married man, and that we should go out for coffee. We’ve been together ever since.

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Additional details

Tickets are always free. Waitlist registration for our ticket lottery opens Fri, May 19, 2018 at 11am. Due to popularity causing tickets to sell out too quickly, we use our waitlist as a registration system (please register only once) from which we randomly award tickets using a lottery system. We find this approach to be the fairest and equitable and appreciate you playing along. Lucky ticket winners will be informed by email.Don’t panic if you don’t get a ticket this month, priority is given to those who get stuck on the waitlist two or more months in a row. If you get a ticket but cannot attend, please release your ticket ASAP so someone on the waitlist can join us. Remaining applicants will remain on the waitlist and informed if tickets get released and offered access to FieldTrips when available. Anyone who hasn’t checked in by 8:45am on morning of the event forfeits their ticket, so come early and have a coffee and breakfast with us!