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3 Reasons Creative South was a Blast!

This month, the MCG studio headed down to the riverfront of Columbus, GA to go to their first conference of the year, Creative South! Creative South is a 3-day conference with workshops, speakers, and mixers galore that takes place throughout downtown Columbus, with speeches held at the Springer Opera House. Our amazing designers Carol, John and Whitney had a fantastic time – we hope you’ll be inspired as they share their favorite parts!

Whitney Williams, Graphic Designer: One thing I really enjoyed about Creative South compared to other conferences was how small it was! Other conferences I’ve been to have been way too large and crowded – Creative South was only about 800 attendees. The smaller size meant you got to know a lot more people, and made sure that you’d see them a lot over the three days! Plus, everyone was invited to listen to every speaker, so there was no running around trying to find the next room – everybody learned the same information, and it was such a relief. I just loved the calm, intimate feeling of the conference. The saying at Creative South is ‘come as friends, leave as family,’ and it definitely felt more like a fun family reunion than a conference!

John Clavijo, Production Director: My favorite part of Creative South was the speakers – they seemed much more down-to-earth and REAL than any other speakers I’ve heard. One of my favorites was Bob Ewing, who is known for his hand-lettering – he even created the logo for the conference! He showed us where he started with the lettering so we could see how far he’d come! We also got to laugh along with Charles S. Anderson, who gave us his “Five Reasons I’m Glad I’m a Designer.” He shared, “it’s a lot better than my old jobs cleaning out pigpens and laying concrete!” We even got to hear from Eric Reagan from Focus Lab about failure in the agency world, and how it had affected him for the better. A lot of the speakers did Q&A sessions after their speeches, so it was never a ‘lecture’ type of setting – it felt like the speakers were a family member just telling you about their life. The speeches we heard pertained to everyone – it was never just about the person giving the speech. For that and so many other reasons, Creative South is the best creative conference I’ve ever attended!

Carol Armitage, Art Director: I absolutely loved the workshops and vendor sponsored activities at Creative South! Every workshop I’d attended before Creative South were lecture-driven, so it was nice to be a bit more hands-on. My favorite workshop was Character Illustration, led by Victor Davila (, an illustrator and designer from the Orlando, FL area, as well as an Assistant Professor at the University of Central Florida’s School of Visual Arts and Design, and Lenny Terenzi (, a designer, illustrator and screen printer. They started out saying that people often claim they can’t draw, but that’s not true: people just DON’T draw, and that’s why they believe that they can’t. And simplicity is the key. Lenny gave an example of this philosophy he used on his own son, Lucas. He asked him to draw a simple smiley face. Then, by adding the letter shapes of his name in place of the nose, he demonstrated how this simple change can dramatically alter the expression and emotion of the character.


We were also asked to create characters from “characters” (actual letters and numbers). It was a bit of a challenge, but ultimately got us all thinking differently about letters!

Then, there was the logo design challenge sponsored by Logo Wave ( Each designer had 60 minutes to create a logo for a predetermined client – with the theme revealed at the top of the hour! Talk about STRESS! I figured the only way to grow as a designer was to step out of my comfort zone, so I accepted the challenge. My logo was for a restaurant called Chattahoochee Surf & Turf. Even though I had a lot of technical issues (which added to the stress) I managed to come up with a pretty good design, all in under an hour! I didn’t win the prize (an iPad Pro), but I DID win the experience of stretching my design muscles. It was a great experience and I definitely plan to attend next year!

#CS17 #HugNecks #ColumbusGA

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