Two weeks ago I attended Create Upstate in Syracuse, NY. I had the honor of actually meeting the founders of the event recently and they’ve become friends, so this year I was really excited to get involved volunteer, and hear little details before the big event. Mostly those details consisted of me telling them how excited I was, and them telling me they were too.
On Thursday before the workshop, I taught a chalk lettering workshop, which was such a blast. The workshop sold out, which was such an awesome feeling. The workshop was longer than I’d taught before, so I was a bit nervous I’d run out of things to do, but I actually felt like another half hour would have been okay! Some people wanted more time, and some people had time to mingle! I was honestly blown away by everyone’s talent, creativity, ideas and enthusiasm. Since I had a few hours to kill, I helped with some set up for the next day after my workshop, and then went to dinner with the speakers and workshop teachers, and the AIGA Kickoff Party. The kickoff party had SO many people! There was even a coloring table for those people who really didn’t feel like interacting 😉 (don’t worry introverts, we’ve got you covered).
Okay the next day was a complete high. Every single speaker brought their A-game. For real, each talk brought enthusiasm, honesty, authenticity, encouragement, inspiration, and hilarious jokes. A photographer came with me, and agreed, even without being a designer, she found so much value in the conference without it being directly in her field. Any creative thinker could have found value here, and a ton of friendships. The vendor market was spot on, the food was good, the venue was great, and Syracuse is surprisingly adorable. Everything was walking distance, parking was easy, and I felt like I was transported to another town.
I also loved getting to be in the “Cropped” competition which made us work on the spot as a team, and was a ton of fun. Whoever nominated me, thank you!! What an honor. 5-8-5!!!
I was really excited to connect with old friends, meet new people, and get inspired. Having the hour and a half ride home gave me some time to really process the roller coaster of thoughts going through my head, and think about how I really wanted to digest everything I learned. I came home and immediately started working on passion projects, saying no to projects that really didn’t bring me joy, and saying yes to the things I really want to be working on.
Should you come to Create Upstate next year? Hell yes.
Check out more pics from the event on Exposure!