This month’s Rise & Design was anything but mundane, jam-packed with creative conversation, laughs, and… a poll of our favorite Pokémon! 

Friday morning began with a bustle of people huddled around coffee and breakfast pastries (as always!) as everyone made their way to the beautiful, white conference table at Yao Cheng Design’s studio to discuss the first topic of the day: passion projects.  Yao, of Yao Cheng Design, and Danielle, of Marmalade Bleue, thought, what better way to kick off the conversation than by seeing what fellow creatives have been up to over the past month.  One of our creatives about her successful daily illustration project that she started back in October and has subsequently led to new clientele projects!  The consensus seems to be that, passion projects are an important way to propel us creatives forward- both in terms of techniques and depth of work.  The question, though, is how and where to start?  Is having constraints and a specific subject matter the way to go?  This then led to the topic of the creative process, one discussed in Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s book, Creativity: Flow and the Psychology of Discovery and Invention.  How do people find that perfect sweet spot of challenge and creativity?  How does one get into that state of “flow”?  Based on the feedback of our meeting’s attendees, this book is a must-read!  

Later in the meeting, we found that approximately half of the people present were not only small business owners/creatives, but also parents!  So, the conversation veered towards each one’s experience and how they manage to balance the lifestyle of being a working parent.  One suggested the "pomodoro" technique, in which a person works diligently with absolutely zero distractions for 25 minutes or so, then takes a break.  This topic can be discussed for hours on end, there’s so much to share and say about how we all continue to balance our small businesses while wearing many hats at once.  Yao shares about her struggles & experiences about this very subject on Yao Cheng Design's blog!

Lastly, before we ran out of time, we were able to sneak in a brief chat regarding responsibility vs. concern.  It led us all to really reflect about what we are responsible for, and what parts of being a creative and business owner must simply be let go.  With this mantra, we are hoping to manage our time wisely and decrease stress.    

There you have it, a brief summary of February’s Rise & Design!  And to think this is just skimming the surface of the deep, thoughtful, and stimulating conversation (yes, this wasn’t even all of it!).  So Columbus peeps, if you are able, be sure to mark your calendars for the first Friday morning of each month,  and we hope to see you in March!  Thank you to the ever-talented Christa Kimble Photography for capturing what this meet-up is all about!

- Mariel

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