By Speak! Agency | October 14, 2015

For 25 years (including a brief hiatus), the Portland Creative Conference has brought together movers, shakers, and rebels to prod, push, and light a fire to get a wider creative community thinking about what it means to conceive genuinely original ideas. Spawned by nonprofit and brought to you by volunteers, the event is an inspiration fest. It gives people an opportunity to connect with industry colleagues to share challenges, triumphs, fears, and—of course—a good after-party.

We’re so glad we took part. From inside the gorgeous Gerding Theatre at the Armory in Portland’s Pearl District, the Sept 25 conference went beyond chats about design and brandigraphical studies. Billed as “the celebration of inspiration, imagination and innovation,” the speaker lineup included Beyoncé’s former lead guitarist turned yogi, a commercial thriller author, and heavy hitters from the world of visual effects. There was even a surprise performance from the Last Regiment of Syncopated Drummers who saved everyone back from the brink of a post-lunch stupor. (Take note for your next event.)

Such a great conference, but rather than summarize a play by play, you’re getting curated sound bites: each one worthy of a sticky-note for the bathroom mirror. Enjoy!

“To be creative, you have to kill the voice of reason and bury it in the backyard.”

Chelsea Cain, bestselling author

“I didn’t play guitar to be famous. I wanted people to enjoy my music. It takes them out of reality and into joy.”

Bibi McGill, musician, yogi, entrepreneur

“Creativity is about curiosity.”

Maya Forbes, film director, writer, executive producer

“Sometimes we need someone to piss us off to get where we need to be.”

D’Wayne Edwards, founder of PENSOLE Footwear Design Academy

“I had to learn that creativity is sometimes accepting help from others.”  

Nick Ranieri, Disney animator

“Inspiration is a component of creativity, not a catalyst. Find inspiration in the process.”

Steve Emerson, visual effects supervisor, Laika



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