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New Organizers in Grand Rapids, Perth, Saint Petersburg, & Brussels

From the most isolated city in the world to the second largest city in Russia, we’re not sure how we did it, but we managed to cover three continents last month. Meet our new organizers from Grand Rapids, Perth, Saint Petersburg, and Brussels.


Meet Julia Jamieson, Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA

Which CM chapter would you like to visit and why? Prague. I studied abroad at an art and design university there while I was in college and it really shaped my interest in visual design. I’d love to go back now, five years later, and experience the creative community through the lens of CreativeMornings. They also have fabulous beer.

What excites you? Feeling confident. When you know what you want to do and how to get that thing done, it’s really exciting.

What have you failed at? So many things. From shitty websites to poorly run projects to not visiting my grandparents as much as I should.

Who would be the ultimate CreativeMornings speaker? TINA! And Steve Jobs.

What do you consider your greatest achievement? I’m most proud of the work I’ve done with my friend and business partner on our side project. We were awarded seed funding from Start Garden for our businesses Sitting in a Tree & Blackbird. The projects have changed the way I approach my work day to day, and it has helped me to continue to raise the bar for myself. Internet businesses move so fast, it’s not just racing against other people but setting real goals for yourself when you’re the one driving the work. It’s a constant challenge.

What’s your vision for CreativeMornings/GrandRapids? My hope is the CreativeMornings Grand Rapids will bring together different parts of the community. There are so many thriving scenes in GR, the city is really getting some traction. I think CreativeMornings can help these audiences talk more to each other.

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Meet Michael Grau, Perth, Australia

Which CM chapter would you like to visit and why? Perth. It’s new. It’s exciting. I can ride my bike there. Otherwise, maybe Auckland because you can sail a boat to get there. It’s all about the arrival.

What excites you? I take time to step out the front door with my six year old daughter, the ultimate adventure where anything might happen, anywhere might be travelled. Time. Like many creative people I find a big expanse of time is both exciting and terrifying.

I’m excited about the new surfboard I have invented. I’m much more excited by how I surf it than how others will use it so that feels a bit selfish.

I’m excited about the book I am illustrating with others. I love how we are changing the way we draw and think, the way we are creating, what we are learning.

What have you failed at? I tried to learn how to make cellos in Prague. I abandoned that because the perfectionism was more about meeting expectations than the music. Perfectionism.

Who would be the ultimate CreativeMornings speaker? Natas Kaupas, a visionary skateboarder then Graphic Director/Vice President of Marketing at Quiksilver. He was strongly emulated by others in skateboarding and graphic/visual design. I find that killer combination often—visual design and skateboarding.

What do you consider your greatest achievement? I practice ashtanga yoga 5 days a week and it took me a long time to get into that routine. Now it’s here with me all the time. Once you taste a little success again and again you realise it is fleeting. It becomes more about the practice, the mindset you take into it. So being open to change is really important to me and is my greatest achievement and my greatest failing.

What’s your vision for CreativeMornings/Perth? It’s about two people. One person is new to this city or new to creative work. The other has been here for a long time and is looking for something they can’t quite describe. Which one are you? These two people are in the audience and they have a choice over how they connect and what future is built in Perth. It’s about individuals connecting and organisations connecting.


Meet Ksenia Stepanova, Saint Petersburg, Russia

Which CreativeMornings chapter would you like to visit and why?
I’d say Los Angeles.These guys just managed to talk Moby into the event! I really want to meet them! Plus, Jon seems like a really great person to meet!

What excites you? People with burning eyes, surfing, new places.

What have you failed at? Learning the French language.

Who would be the ultimate CreativeMornings speaker? Vladimir Putin.

What do you consider your greatest achievement? I managed to find something I really enjoy to do and have it as my job.

What’s your vision for CreativeMornings/Saint Petersburg? I want our chapter to be with the very special Saint Petersburg mood. Cosy enough so that everybody feels comfortable and home-like, but also unexpected and surprising as the weather we have. I also want to try to have a nice mix of really well known speakers as well as talented guys with no name but some great experience to share.


Meet Carmen Vintilescu, Brussels, Belgium

Which CM chapter would you like to visit and why? I really like idea of visiting different CreativeMornings chapters, it adds a new layer to the joy of learning about new cultures and connecting with the locals! As a huge fan of Japanese culture, with its uniqueness, its mix of contrasts, I’m dreaming about seeing how CreativeMornings/Tokyo feels like! I am originally from Romania, and planning to visit CreativeMornings/Bucharest on my next visit—so curious to get to know the local creative community! And learning about other chapters can’t be complete without visiting the place where it all started—CreativeMornings/New York!

What excites you? That’s a long list, from connecting with people, new or already known, in an energizing atmosphere, to traveling to new corners of the world, or to more geeky moments such as discovering new connections between two at first unrelated concepts.

What have you failed at? Keeping the people who are close to me always close. Life happens, we change, and our relationships change as well. The good news is that, as some friends move out of your close sight, others come your way!

Who would be the ultimate CreativeMornings speaker? That would be my favorite writer, Thomas Pynchon. He wrote fabulous fiction novels, at the intersection of history, science and mathematics - and I think it is always very inspiring to look at creativity from multiple angles. He is also a fascinating, elusive personality, whose public appearances and statements are very rare, and sometimes part of fiction themselves-he once sent a comedian to accept his National Book Award, and everyone was convinced it was the real Pynchon. As a result location and identity are so far unknown, which would make him an even more prized speaker at CreativeMornings.

What do you consider your greatest achievement? To be able to focus more on the present moment, rather than keep my mind busy with the things, big or small, which I want to achieve. It’s still an ongoing battle!

What is your vision for CreativeMornings Brussels? Brussels is not only the capital of Europe, but a beautiful and very diverse city, with a multitude of nationalities, cultures and languages. CreativeMornings/Brussels aims to bring together people from these different communities, connect and inspire them! Throughout the monthly events, it will look at creativity from multiple angles, including art, business and technology, and welcoming creative people, in a broad sense.

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