When one thinks of “South Africa” and “conversation”, a common vision may be centered at a marketplace of one of our thriving cities, where cultural diversity meets tourism, and the trading of goods and services for money is never a quiet or incognito practice.
This vision is shared with the chatter of creative conversations that occur in the “marketplace” of creative meetups. This model of sharing the latest and greatest in creative ideas, exhibition, design thinking, the interpersonal side of creativity and the like has become an intrinsic part of South African culture. And why not?
Being such a culturally diverse country allows for the constant feed of ideation and creative execution. The point is, there is a lot of knowledge to be learned and shared from these hubs of creative conversations. Whether viewed as “tips” or a professor’s payday in textbook theory, the culmination of these communal gatherings encourage a broadened perspective on the “ins and outs” of the industry. Networking is one of the best things that any creative can follow through with - especially in such a talented competitive landscape. So, instead of pegging every gifted South African against each other in a battle of paint, modeling clay, pencils and camera lenses, these creative conversations nurture the spirit of a community where creatives should instead be helping eachother out.
Creative Conversations Making Headway
We’ll go through some of the highlighted events that have left a sustainable mark on the lives of South African creatives, and are forming a diverse landscape of creative conversations whereby information and inspiration is available to everyone who wishes to join in, listen, or even participate. Interviews, conferences, Q & A’s, tips, advice, industry trends…these are a few of our favorite things! Let’s contribute some dialogue and touch base with what’s being spoken about. Do you feel your ears burning?
The most important meal of the day is breakfast. To some, a hot cup of creative inspiration is even better! This is exactly what CreativeMornings is offering the community. A worldwide organisation catering to 117 city area bowls, including Johannesburg and Cape Town.
In February, comedian Peter Dirk Uys hosted a talk entitled “Ugly” at the Friends of Design - Academy of Visual Art. Johannesburg will soon be graced with the presence of Garth Walker and his talk, “Confessions of a Design Thief”. These inspirational lectures span over a wide variety of topics, with the emphasis to wake South Africans up with creativity, opportunity and a fun community. How do you like your eggs?
Creative Nestlings caters to the young creative artist community of South Africa. Co-founded by Creative Director Dillion Phiri in 2011, he shares the same vision as his company - to nurture the youthful creative prowess of South Africa.
The company facilitates 2 kinds of talks. In the larger events, which is centered around conversation open to the general public, four young creatives are taken along to speak about their work, views, theories, stories and answer any questions that the audience may have. This is the foundation of professional networking for many of these young creatives. “Round Tables” is the facilitation of 30 young creatives, whereby they sit down together and share ideas, speak about the industry, their work and what’s trending. As Round Tables is becoming more popular, there are plans to shift the programme around the country - with Phiri heading up the initiatives.
Creative Nestlings is an important aspect in allowing for young creatives in South Africa to have a voice, to have their work recognised and exhibited, but more importantly to have a basis of internal support. The creative industry can be a little overwhelming sometimes, so it’s refreshing to have a “family” of like-minded individuals at your side.
Design Share Party
Creative conversation channels into the world of art and inspiration during the Design Share Party - a monthly event held in various locations in Johannesburg. Visual communicators, graphic and fine artists as well as supporters and fans of this medium attend these gatherings.
Design Share Party organises different themes for every session (usually 11 in the course of a year), the last one being held at the Basha Uhuru Arts & Culture Festival on Constitutional Hill. Guests are invited to present and speak about the mediums of their artwork on stage, and take questions from the audience afterwards. The June 2015 event opened with the likes of Ithateng Mokogoro, intrepid visionary and curator of both TEDxSoweto and TEDxJohannesburg.
For up-and-coming visual artists, this is an unmissable opportunity to showcase personal talent and shake hands with a few legends. Or your future boss…
Similar to TED talks, except Bright Talks stimulate creative conversation on the marketing forefront on South Africa.
Bright Talks happen on an unscheduled but regular basis in the heart of Cape Town’s urban edge, Woodstock. The venue is organised in the suburb’s Bright Day Studios. The appeal is targeted to marketing or advertising professionals and culminates knowledge by sharing wisdom from experts who have a great deal of experience under their belts, as well as a few innovators of the industry.
“I Left Different” is the organisation’s catch line, hinting at the essence of these talks - to change your perception on the industry in which you work. Would we expect anything but effective communication from marketing buffs?
These events specialise in facilitating hubs of creative conversations and networking - and are filling a gap in the minds of young creatives. Currently, the most popular questions are “how do I start from the ground up?”, “How do I start my own business?”, “How do I navigate the the right career path whilst living my passion?”
These events ensure that the bottom line of those queries can be answered in an engaging environment filled with creatives of all ages and experience. Sharing ideas is the key to making sure that the future of creativity in South Africa is open to everyone involved, from the dreamers, to the students, the young professionals, all the way through to the creatives who have made their mark.
VFS Digital Design