Yesterday morning I got up and out early. Sipping my takeaway coffee, I walked down a quiet, drizzly street toward the City Art Centre. I was really early, I usually am if I’m nervous about something.
Our new digital nomad compadre, Sam, had told me about an organization that puts together free networking events and community discussions all over the world. The meet ups are designed to be quick and easy going. Just a way to have a coffee and a bite to eat with other creatives before the workday starts. Every month, each city chapter organizes a speaker to address the same universal topic, so no matter where you are in the world, you’ll be hearing discussions on the same theme.
I hadn’t heard of this organization before, but I wouldn’t be surprised if you guys have. They’re called Creative Mornings.
I wasn’t quite sure what to expect when I walked into the Art Centre, which did indeed make me nervous. I hadn’t been to a networking event in over year and before I met Sam, the last self-declared ‘creative’ I’ve chatted with face to face was back in Seattle. Attending events and small talking with folks I don’t know isn’t naturally on the top of my list of things I want to do. Walt is so much better at drumming up a conversation with a fellow hotdesker at a coworking space, I am totally fine keeping my headphones in grinding on work. I know I want to get better at it. And what better way to improve than to practice?
And to be honest, I couldn’t have hoped for a more welcoming environment than the one I found at Creative Mornings, Edinburgh. Folks were interested in each other’s work, personal projects and interests. There were copy writers, developers, artists and designers from every corner of the globe who found there way to Scotland. I was surprised how easy it was for me to open up to the other attendees, and how genuinely friendly they were to me in return.
The theme for this month is survival, and the talk was given by Palestinian poet Ghazi Hussein. Ghazi was imprisoned and tortured for nearly 20 years before he sought asylum in Scotland in 2000. He spoke about how even in his darkest moments, poetry was what kept him alive and sane. It was a heavy discussion for a Friday morning, but you couldn’t help but be moved by Ghazi, his work and everything he had been through.
Attending Creative Mornings reminded me of a goal I had when first undertaking this trip: I wanted to forge relationships with other designers, artists and creators around the world. In the flurry of travel, work, and deepening my relationship with my new husband, I lost sight of that goal in the shuffle. It’s such a shame. But, hey! Now that I have Creative Mornings on my side, I have at least two more opportunities to grow that world wide network before we settle back in the Pacific Northwest… where I plan on deepening my home network of creatives by attending literally every Seattle talk I can.
** All of the beautiful pictures in this post were not taken by me (uh, duh. I’m in half of them.) but were taken by the folks at Creative Mornings, Edinburgh. The photographer is Ellie Morag, and she does some truly stunning work. **