Alt Design Summit, Summer 2015

I've been to the Alt Summit design conference 5 times in the past few years, and this one was by far my favorite! The main conference happens every January in Salt Lake City. And while SLC is beautiful in the winter, I think I prefer it in Summer. I actually spent a little time outside this time around!

photo credit: Alt Summit

photo credit: Alt Summit

Photo Credit: Alt Summit

Photo Credit: Alt Summit

This year was extra-special for me and my artwork. Not only did I have the pleasure and honor of speaking at the conference with my good friend, Monica Lee, but I also got to work with Squarespace to decorate their sponsored lounge!

Monica and I talked about being proactive and "choosing yourself" as opposed to being passive and waiting around to be selected, in art and business. We had a lot to say about the topic, and we are planning to do a podcast version on Smart Creative Women soon.

Photo credit: Alt Summit.

Photo credit: Alt Summit.

The attendees at Alt are amazing––ready to inspire, share and learn. And we had a room full of happy, smiling, nodding faces cheering us on the whole talk! I always meet the nicest people at this conference!

Photo credit: Alt Summit

Photo credit: Alt Summit

At Winter Alt this past January, I met two lovely ladies from Squarespace. I've been a devoted Squarespace user for years, and they have been a sponsor at every Alt I've attended. Earlier this year Jessica contacted me this year about working with them on their lounge. 

Photo Credit: Alt Summit

Photo Credit: Alt Summit

She had the idea to do a black and white lounge filled with artwork from my coloring books and letting attendees color during the breaks between events. Of course I loved the idea, and I went to work reformatting and resizing some of the artwork from Flower Designs. The designs were printed on tabletops and some large colorable walls. This is without a doubt one of my favorite projects that I've ever been a part of! I took a lot of photos along the way, as did the Alt photographers, and I've put them in a slideshow for you here:

It was so nice to see people––at times chatting with friends and at times alone––coloring the artwork. I loved the collaboration of it all, like how one person could color one section and the next person could color another part. And it all worked together to fill the room with color. I know that my coloring books go out into the world and that people color them, but coloring is often a solo activity. It was really fun to actually watch people color the designs and enjoy themselves so much!

Photo credit: Alt Summit

Photo credit: Alt Summit

Guy Kawasaki (above) gave the closing keynote and it was informative, funny and inspiring. Just as great were the opening talks from Danielle Krysa, Rachel Ryle, Jane Mosbacher Morris and Heather Armstrong. Each of their talks was around 15-20 minutes long, each on a different subject, all compelling. The rest of the conference was filled with hour-long sessions on topics such as building a community, launching products, pitching content to magazines and TV shows, social media and work/life balance. 

I came away from this Alt much like I have every other Alt, inspired and ready to do BIG things!! You can't walk away from a conference being surrounded by so many amazing women doing spectacular, awesome things, without feeling empowered and motivated! Oh, and good news about the Squarespace room, too: Carly from Ever Clever Mom managed to get these 48 x 96 panels back to her home for her kids to color, and Guy Kawasaki took this table top back with him and his daughter to San Francisco! Happy to see these make their way back to happy homes!

Photo credits: Guy Kawasaki/Carly Morgan

Photo credits: Guy Kawasaki/Carly Morgan

Be sure to check out Monica's new accessory line, XO Monica Lee! She's worked so hard to get this line up and running, and she has created an absolutely stunning (and practical) line of handbags. I carried a couple of her handbags at the conference and they were so lovely. And they are large enough to hold my trusted iPad which rarely leaves my side! Take a look at the line––I think you'll love everything she has to offer.

I hope your week is off to a great start!