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Creatives are driven by the desire to make things better. Our work has the power to illuminate, educate, evoke emotion, affect change, and improve the lives of those around us. 

In its 5th year, Creative Works Conference is here to help you break through the barriers that keep you from becoming who you are meant to be.

Our value is unquestionable. Our momentum is unstoppable. Together, we are undeniable.

 

 
 
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CONFERENCE PASSES ON SALE NOW

REGISTER TODAY

Register today for your conference pass, and don’t forget to grab a spot in the workshops on Friday and Saturday too.


 

Creative Works is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. All proceeds help us continue year-round programming in Memphis, where we leverage design to accelerate change.

LINEUP

Speakers
& WORKSHOP LeaderS

We’ve lined up some of the best and brightest creative minds for this year’s conference, and we’re incredibly excited to bring these beautiful people to Memphis. Be there as they share their stories of success and failure, lessons learned, and practical tips for sharpening your craft.


 

Charles S. Anderson

CCO at CSA Design

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Lauren Hom

Designer & Letterer

Brian McDonald

Author, Screenwriter, Director & Producer

Eddie Opara

Partner at Pentagram Design

Adam J. Kurtz

Artist & Author

Kaye Blegvad

Illustrator, Designer & Maker

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Ryan Booth

Filmmaker

Katie Kirk & Nathan Strandberg

Eight Hour Day

Shawna X

Artist & Designer

André Mack

Designer & Winemaker at Maison Noir Wines

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Fritz Mesenbrink

Co-Founder & Creative Director at OMFGCO

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Robert Generette III

Educator & Mobile Illustrator

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Quinnton J. Harris

Creative Director at Blavity, Inc.

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Meg Lewis

Designer & Educator

Mark Caneso

Type Designer & Lettering Artist

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Bob Ewing

Designer & Letterer

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Matt Stevens

Designer & Illustrator

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Jessica Bellamy

Founder & Executive Director at GRIDS

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Brian French

VP at French Paper

Tina Hardison

Tina Hardison Studio

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Forefathers Group

Partners at Forefathers Group

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Eli Altman

Creative Director at A Hundred Monkeys

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Dana James Mwangi

Designer & Entrepreneur

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Alana Louise Lyons

Designer & Illustrator

Workshops

HANDS-ON
sessions

This year also brings an expanded selection of workshops, with 10 hands-on sessions led by top creatives from around the country on topics including illustration, lettering, storytelling, web design, business and more. Workshops are open only to conference attendees and are limited in attendance.

 


 
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FRIDAY @ 9Am

 

Learn to Letter

Lauren Hom, Designer & Letterer

Whether you're a designer who wants to add something special to your next project or a complete beginner who wants to pick up a fun new hobby, this three-hour Learn to Letter workshop is for you! In this class, you'll learn the basics of hand lettering: setting up guidelines, crafting and pairing different lettering styles, creating compositions, and other tips and tricks for creating beautiful, custom type treatments. 

Making it Matter: A Brand Foundation Workshop

Fritz Mesenbrink, Co-Founder & Creative Director at OMFGCO

At OMFGCO, we believe it’s easy to make things pretty, but it’s hard to make them matter. Much of the meaning in our work comes through the strategy we do up front in our process, long before we make anything pretty at all. In this workshop, we’ll focus on that process, starting with an audit and discovery exercise, and rolling that into a solid brand foundation. With a good foundation, you can build anything. Probably.

ICONOGRAPHY WORKSHOP

Katie Kirk and Nathan Strandberg of Eight Hour Day

Create a small set of one color monoline icons for a wine brand. This hands-on workshop walks you through our process for iconography—taking you from inspiration to final creation. We’ll dig into layout, style, setup, plus tips and tricks—and all while holding a refreshing morning mimosa… for “inspiration”.

WoRKING WITH NONPROFITS

Jessica Bellamy, Founder & Executive Director at GRIDS

Something as simple as a clean logo or a well-designed website can give a nonprofit the necessary look to boost their profile or help people in need find their services and programs. In this session, designer Jessica Bellamy will help you navigate nonprofit relationships and community design work, while giving you the strategies necessary to gain paying nonprofit clients in the future.

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PUT THE U IN URL

Forefathers Group: Jonden Jackson, Emir Ayouni & Matthew Hay

Dribbble, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook used to be the platforms where we could sow and reap  our work. But with the rapid decay of social media, caused by bad algorithms, over saturation, and identity politics, it has once again become crucial for creatives to build a solid home for themselves online. In this workshop you will learn how to rethink and re-focus your online presence, by tipping the scales between social media and your own URL into balance.

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SatURDAY @ 9Am

 
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The Secret OF Masterful STORYTELLING

Brian McDonald, Author, Screenwriter, Director & Producer

Participants will learn the techniques and the power of a well-structured story. Mastery of these techniques allows storytellers of any genre or medium the power to impact one’s audience deeply. This workshop utilizes lecture, improvisation and limited writing exercises to drive home its lessons.

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The Vector MachinE: A PATH TO BETTER BEZIERS

Bob Ewing and Mark Caneso of Letterfarm

You’ve been practicing your hand lettering skills with paper and pencil but where do you go from there? In this workshop we will work together to transform your analog ideas into functional digital artwork. Point by point, we will click and drag our way to better beziers.

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Strategies for Client Presentations

 Matt Stevens, Designer & Illustrator

You landed that dream logo project, now what? Together, we’ll take on a comprehensive brand project and we’ll cover how to work with and/or create a design brief, how to best use the brief to craft your first round of concepts and strategies for putting together a killer first round client presentation. 

RUN STUDIO RUN: How to manage & grow a small creative studio

Eli Altman, Creative Director at A Hundred Monkeys

Are you having trouble growing your creative studio? Delegating responsibilities? Designing studio processes that stick? In this workshop we're going to cover everything that's standing in the way, from goal setting and negotiation to hiring and competition.

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MOBILE WORKFLOW

Robert Generette III, Educator & Mobile Illustrator

Does your current workflow hold you captive? Join illustrator and designer, Robert Generette III, as he demonstrates how the latest Adobe mobile apps can breathe new life into your process.  Discover what lies beyond the desktop and capture inspiration everywhere! In this workshop you will gather on-site assets, learn ways to effectively manage and use libraries, explore ways to ideate and compose layouts using your tablet or mobile device and see the possibilities of a truly mobile workflow.


 

Workshops Presented by

 
 

Watch for its transformation into The Modern College of Design this July.

MARKET

Brands & Vendors

The Creative Works Market is back with goods from designers, makers, manufacturers, and brands from all over the country. Add plenty of local vendors to the mix, and you've got more apparel, prints, pins, and goodies than you can handle. Open to the public on Friday and Saturday of the Conference.


 

SPONSORS & PARTNERS

THANK YOU

We'd be crazy to try to pull something like this off by ourselves. Luckily, we have the help, love, and support of some incredible companies, groups, and organizations. A huge thank you goes out to everyone below for believing in this conference. Click around, and show them some love, too. Interested in supporting Creative Works? Drop us a note.


 
 
 

SCHEDULE

OCTOBER 4 - 6

Join world-class creatives for three days of full-hearted talks, practical workshops, and too-fun afterparties. Our schedule is designed with no overlapping main stage talks, so you get to see everything. And it all goes down in Downtown Memphis. Register today.


 

THURSDAY

11:00a REGISTRATION

1:00p MAINSTAGE WELCOME

1:15 - 2:45p MAINSTAGE TALKS

2:45p BREAK

3:00p WILDCARD SESSION

4:00p BREAK

4:15p - 5:45p MAINSTAGE TALKS

5:45p BREAK

6:00p MAINSTAGE KEYNOTE

7:30p AFTER PARTY

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FRIDAY

9:00a - 12:00p WORKSHOPS

1:00p MAINSTAGE WELCOME

1:15 - 2:45p MAINSTAGE TALKS

2:45p BREAK

3:00p WILDCARD SESSION

4:00p BREAK

4:15p - 5:45p MAINSTAGE TALKS

5:45p BREAK

6:00p MAINSTAGE KEYNOTE

7:30p AFTER PARTY

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SATURDAY

9:00a - 12:00p WORKSHOPS

1:00p MAINSTAGE WELCOME

1:15 - 2:45p MAINSTAGE TALKS

2:45p BREAK

3:00p WILDCARD SESSION

4:00p BREAK

4:15p - 5:45p MAINSTAGE TALKS

5:45p BREAK

6:00p MAINSTAGE KEYNOTE

7:30p AFTER PARTY

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Location

DOWNTOWN MEMPHIS

The heart of Memphis serves as the backdrop for Creative Works Conference. Experience the rich culture and deep history of a city that prides itself on authenticity. Venue, hotels, and afterparties are all walkable, so save your rental car money.

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VENUE

Halloran Centre
225 South Main Street
Downtown Memphis, TN 38103

CONFERENCE HOTEL

SpringHill Suites (Downtown)
85 West Court Avenue
Downtown Memphis, TN 38103

Group rate: $139/night

WE'RE JUST GETTING STARTED.

Creative Works is more than a conference. We’re active throughout the year, connecting and empowering creatives to bring change to Memphis in undeniable ways. But we can’t do it alone - we need you to help us continue our mission. See how you can join us →