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VOL. 129 | NO. 101 | Friday, May 23, 2014

Creative Works Conference Launching in October

By Andy Meek

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A three-day conference for Memphis’ creative community is launching in the city later this year that includes a speaking roster of design, illustration, typography and other creative heavy-hitters from around the country.

“Talented creatives want to ... learn from us as much as we want to learn from them.”

–Josh Horton
Principal and founder, Hieroglyph

The inaugural Creative Works design conference will take place Oct. 3-5 at Visible Music School, 200 Madison Ave.

It’s being launched by Josh Horton, principal and founder at Memphis-based creative firm Hieroglyph. The conference will include lectures, workshops and open vendor sales. Partners include Hieroglyph, Loaded for Bear and AIGA Memphis, with additional sponsorships still available.

Horton said the inspiration for the event was simple, drawing on talented friends he has here and around the country to help everyone “grow and get better if we got together for three days and learned, talked and collaborated.”

“Designers and talented creatives want to come here and learn from us as much as we want to learn from them,” Horton said. “There’s so much gravity here. People are naturally attracted to this city. Nobody is suggesting Memphis doesn’t have a talent retention/brain-drain problem. Creative Works is about addressing that problem head-on by finding new ways to connect people to each other locally, regionally and nationally in new ways to produce things that matter.”

Regular admission is $200, and discounts for students are available. Early-bird admission, which ends Aug. 1, is $150, and only 175 spots are available.

Seattle-based creative firm Invisible Creature will headline the conference. That firm is run by brothers Don and Ryan Clark, who have been nominated for four Grammys for music packaging. They’ve also been featured in top creative publications Communication Arts and Juxtapoz, and their client list includes record labels, Target, Nike, Hasbro, Google and Lego.

Also attending Creative Works is designer Aaron Draplin of Draplin Design Co., famous for his blue-collar, industrial-inspired aesthetic and for his series of Field Notes. It will be Draplin’s second visiting lecture in Memphis.

Among other participants, Dana Tanamachi-Williams is a letterer from Brooklyn specializing in hand-drawn chalkboard illustrations. She runs her own design and lettering boutique, and her clients include Google, Yahoo, Tommy Hilfiger and Bloomingdale’s.

Also speaking is Greg Lutze, co-founder and chief creative officer of the popular photo editing software and app VSCO; Brandon Rike, freelance graphic designer and typographer specializing in T-shirt design and band logos; and Danielle Evans, self-proclaimed “food typographer.”

Sasha Barr, art director at Sub-Pop Records in Seattle, and Jina Bolton, senior product designer at Salesforce UX, are both returning to Memphis as alumni of Memphis College of Art, joining native Memphian and illustrator and designer Rachel Briggs of Nashville.

“We want to do more than graphic design or industrial design,” Horton said. “We want to design a new future for our community. Creative Works is a conference focused on using the skills of the creative people we have here as fully as possible.

“This is the beginning of something great, and we look forward to all of the awesome people in Memphis being a part of it. We need these types of events and amenities for creatives to grow, feel valued and thrive in our city."

More information and tickets are available at creativeworks.co, and the conference can be followed on Twitter, @cworksco.

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