Go to Circles Conference

Circles Conference win a ticket.

I am so excited to be giving away 3 tickets today to Circles Conference. Let me tell you why.

1. I believe in creative collaboration and there are some killer designers coming together at this conference and I am excited 3 of you will get to be apart of it.

2. I will be speaking about the importance of bringing your personal in to your design business and why it has been influential for me and the success of my business.

3. Coming away from Alt and after my post last week many of you said you were fearful to attend a creative conference and I am hoping after the post some of you are pumped to take the risk and challenge of breaking the ice at Circles. I have not been, but my girl, Promise spoke last year and she said it was an amazing group of people.

So I hope that convinces you of why this give away is pretty awesome. It is so cool to me to be able to give you all an opportunity to grow and get inspired even beyond here. So I hope you take the opportunity to enter today. You have all week to make the decision, but I suggest just entering right now. Take a risk. Jump off the edge. Let’s get to know each other and get inspired, k? Nothing to fear.

To enter I want to hear why you want to attend. I don’t want to pick this at random I want to know why you think this could be the best thing for you. Give it to me in your most honest words. I want to know. Not that it is a competition of tugging at my heart strings, but I really want to know. Ready? Shoot. Let’s hear it. Lets go to Texas and eat some Tex-mex and drink some Shiner. We need some BBQ and creative inspiration, don’t we?



Okay you all this was crazy crazy hard! You all had the most amazing comments and stories and websites. I could not decide the way I was hoping as my heart is way to soft. So I chose my top 20 and dropped you all in a bowl and then had Mike pull them out. So I am excited to announce that Phil, Mary, and Joanna will be coming to Circles!!!! That’s right you three will be lucky to have a spot at one of the coolest creative conferences this year. I will be emailing you all this afternoon to get some information and so on. Please respond quickly to at least let me know this works for you and that you will be able to make travel arrangements.

Thank you EVERYONE for participating. Remember the conference is not sold out yet so if you did not win a ticket I really suggest heading over to grab one for yourself. It is going to be very good. I wish I could have given each of you a ticket. SERIOUS! This was so hard.

winners  |  The Fresh Exchange

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51 Responses

  1. Hi Megan,

    Put simply I’d like to attend the Circles Conference because more than any other design conference; I feel these are my people. 🙂

    I wanted to attend last year to hear the lovely Evie Shaffer and Promise Tangeman speak but I had just gotten married and so we just couldn’t make it happen.

    I would so love to attend this year and be able to share in all of the knowledge you and all the other speakers will present.

    I also thought I’d mention that my birthday is September 20th so it would be a totally awesome birthday present, hehe! I don’t really think that should give me an unfair advantage over the other submissions but it really is my birthday, and really would be such a cool gift. 😀

    Thanks so much, I’m excited to see who wins even if it’s not me!

  2. Hi Megan,
    Thank you for this lovely opportunity! I am fairly new to the design world. I didn’t go to school for it, everything I do is self taught and I can’t help but doubt my skills. One of the best things I’ve read is Ira Glass’ advice to people embarking on a new journey. I’m sure you’ve seen it, but if you haven’t then take a read: Nobody tells this to people who are beginners, I wish someone told me. All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase, they quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know its normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you will finish one story. It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions. And I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I’ve ever met. It’s gonna take awhile. It’s normal to take awhile. You’ve just gotta fight your way through // Pretty amazing, right? It’s honest, and thoughtful. Something I need to remind myself of every time I’m doubting if anyone will even like my work or will I ever be as good as X person.
    So that’s why I’d like to attend Circles conference and ask some of the people I admire how they worked through the feelings of self doubt in the beginning of their careers and continued being inspired & producing great work without being discouraged. Knowing that the people you look up to went through similar experiences is the best inspiration anyone could ask for.
    Thank you for consideration.

  3. With guitar, it was power chords.
    With art, it was Pollock.
    With photoshop, it was layers.
    With love, it was my wife Sarah.
    With relaxation, it was the beach.
    With my next season of creativity, it is Circles Conference?

    With all things we discover and love, there’s a lightbulb moment where it all makes sense. When things start to click. When the fog clears.

    I believe all things come in seasons, and I feel on the brink of my next season of creativity. You never know what’s going to spark that lightbulb moment, but I hope it’s Circles Conference. Hope to see you there.

  4. About four years ago, I reinvented my career. With the help of my previous employer (they fired me), I decided I wanted to work in creative services and was fortunate enough to find people around me that gave me to opportunity to learn and make mistakes. It taught me that you don’t get anywhere without supportive relationships.

    Circles Conference seems like a community that understands the value of those kinds of relationships. People to stand with you and give you opportunities for testing and growth. I need to be a part of more conferences like Circles to see growth in my own profession and contribute my part to help others get to where they want to be.

  5. I’m searching for my “tribe”. I live in the utter suburbia of Birmingham, AL. Everyone my age is married with 2 kids in a gated community. I’m 28 and I still want to make new friends! An idea that seems novel in my location. I have two degrees: one is in graphic design and a masters in art education. Currently I am an art teacher doing graphic design on the side. I would like to be a graphic designer doing art instruction on the side. I have been gearing up for the transition for a year and a half. I need my like minded peeps! Bonus: I’m fun, like to eat, make weird faces, and I’m pretty good at talking to people. Boom.

  6. Hi Megan! I am a 25-yr-old mom of 3 schooners {as I’ve dubbed my kiddos} and work as a homeschool mom by morning and a freelance photographer and Anthropologie sales associate by night. I didn’t discover how creative I like to be until just the past couple of years. I pour it all out on my blog and it’s become this safety net for my ideas. I’ve just absolutely come to fall in love with photographing pretty images, graphic design, and putting that together with words. 2013 is the year I’ve decided to get serious with marketing and designing and photography. I have been offered a big project coming this year…the blogger/curator for Cherry Street – our artsy street in Tulsa, Oklahoma. And in short, I need some help. I’ve been solely a mom for the past 5 years and I’m just now entering the business world…and it’s a little scary – to be honest – when the little pond becomes a big pond. I need help learning how to collaborate with chefs and business owners, finding a way to express my ideas and stay true to my photography, design, and writing style. I know there is a lot I have to say creatively and your conference sounds like the best confidence booster and educational environment for this mum. {And over Tex Mex? My kind of creative collaboration!!!}

  7. Hi Megan,
    I have been following your blog for probably a half of a year at this point. And, ironically, this was the week that I was planning on sending you an email introducing myself. Sometimes I find myself delaying opportunities to introduce myself to others, or send out links to my portfolio because I am never quite finished with its design. I don’t really even consider myself to be a designer – I am a photographer/maker – but now when I look back on all of the continuous iterations I have gone through to come up with the websites I have now, I guess I should at least start to consider that as a part of my “title”. Anyway, I just finished a new iteration of my sites and you are giving away an amazing opportunity, so I figured, why not now? It is time to meet you, even just via the internet.

    I will be in Northern Michigan on a semi-permanent basis from the end of June until…??? I absolutely love it – and miss it – and think there is so much that is unappreciated about the Midwest. From a professional standpoint I truly admire what you have been able to do in terms of working for yourself. Now that I am officially incorporated as a business there is always so much to learn, not just on the artistic side, but the business side as well. I hope to grow my business in a number of different areas – and maybe even in some ways that I don’t know about yet. I am interested in connecting with people who have similar goals, who I can collaborate and network with. The Circles Conference sounds like an amazing opportunity to be around likeminded individuals and learn from their experiences, struggles, and successes. I would love to be a part of it! I totally understand that I may not be the best candidate for this conference, based on my experiences. But regardless of whether I am selected for the pass, I would love to meet in person and collaborate in the future! Sorry for the novel!

  8. Megan:

    I work in a very creative atmosphere and sometimes it is SO hard to keep the creativity juices flowing. Not only do you have to constantly battle multiple personalities in a large-office creative environment but you have to have the desire to keep creating and keep innovating. Like you, I struggle being ME. I struggle moving forward with my ideas since I have non-stop vomit brain … and I am so bad at not being scared and talking myself down from doing it all. I’m not fancy, I don’t expect to get rewarded for my hard work, I care more about the outcome of the project and I love to relish in joy my accomplishments. Circles would be a great opportunity for me to speak with others who have been there and who have persevered through the same things I am feeling. Whether I am chosen or not – I can’t wait to read all about this event 🙂

  9. Hi Megan,

    Thank you so much for the opportunity to win a ticket. This is huge! I am a 28 year old designer and website developer located in Albuquerque, NM. I left my first job out of college a few years ago where I was very limited on what I was able to create as far as design. I then moved to a fantastic start-up where I am the main designer and developer working on so many different things that I pretty much get to create whatever I want. However, I feel a little stagnant and attending a design conference would teach me so many different things on so many different levels coming from true professionals. I have never attended a conference before and would love the opportunity to make this my first (of hopefully many more).

    Thank you, again, for your consideration.

  10. Hi Megan! First of all, for anyone who may win this wonderful opportunity , I think we can all collectively say thank you for not only the chance to win but for introducing this event to some of us who may have never heard about it otherwise! I’ve been doing Graphic Design now for just at 6 years and I think the most challenging thing I’ve dealt with on a constant basis is leaving the college environment. Not only because of the parties, obviously, but I miss that feeling of walking in to the art building everyday and being surrounded by like minded creatives. Constantly learning from each other and feeling that energy that bounced through those walls. The reason I want to go to Circles is to feel that energy again. Everyone hits a creative wall and sometimes all you need is that swift kick in the ass from other artists to remind you why you do what you do. The quote that stuck with me from last years video was “You may think your just a designer…that may be how you self identify but to most of the world, you’re a wizard”. I sometimes underestimate my abilities, but at the end of the day, I would never change my profession. I get to see beauty in all, and not everyone can say that. Bottom line, its a beautiful Tuesday night , here in Charlottesville, and while my friends are out getting rowdy at the local bar, I am here, as I usually am, geeking out in front of my laptop and drooling over beautiful design all over the web and entering a contest to go to Circles Conference, because I couldn’t think of a better party to attend than one with great creative minds all in one place eager to learn with each other.

  11. I have not yet attended a conference for creatives/designers/blogging for the reason you mentioned … the thought of attending a conference where you perceive everyone else must be more experienced and more talented than you is intimidating. Even if that perception is not reality, I think it keeps a lot of us who are newer (I am a little over a year into my freelance design career) to the industry from taking that plunge, especially when the plunge comes with a heftier price tag for travel, accommodations, and the actual conference fees.

    I definitely agree that being part of a community of creatives and working collaboratively is beneficial and rewarding for all involved, so I look forward to finally taking the leap and experiencing that community and collaboration at a conference.

    very best,

  12. Megan,

    As you know its hard to start freelancing on your own. I have been a graphic designer for nearly 11 years and started our on my own a year and a half ago. Its hard marketing and branding yourself when your such a small part of the “Design World”. Who am I kidding its just hard marketing and branding yourself period. Your always the toughest critic when it comes to design. I really have no other choice or option but to push myself as a graphic designer. Not that I would have it any other way. I love design, its been a large part of my life and identity for so long I couldn’t imagine doing any other profession. Your probably wondering why I say I have no choice? Well simply put, I married a man who’s job requires us to move…alot! It just so happens that the places we move to areas that are not the best in terms of culture, design, inspiration, and community. First it was Williston North Dakota, which if you have ever been there you would totally understand what Im saying. Next we were in Williamsport Pennsylvania which isnt a culture center my any means but is a couple hours away from NYC. Which was super nice but very inconvenient. We are in Jacksonville North Carolina currently, which is home of Camp Lejoune and thousands of Marines. Marines as you know are not that creative. As you can see I am not really surrounded by that many creative people. Tickets to go with you to this event would really help me feel inspired, invigorated, and help me connect with the outside creative world. As you can see It would be such a blessing to me as a designer starting her freelance career.

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