We're big fans of Reasons to be Creative, a three day conference that takes place in Brighton each year.
Aimed at absolutely anyone who works within the creative industry, from designers and writers to web developers, it's a mix of keynotes talks, inspiring sessions and workshops on a broad range of topics -- everything from brand storytelling through Instagram to gaming applications and processing.
Here's the main things we took away from this year's event.
1. Do personal projects
If you're not getting the fulfillment you need at work or you have a desire to do something more, don't just wait for the right project or the right client to come along to get started.
Play around in your spare time, maybe get together with some friends and plan a personal project together.
2. Treat your work like it's a gift
James Victore did a brilliant talk about how "when we think of our work as a gift, it radically changes what we create". If you haven't heard of him, take a look at one of his talks; he's into positive thinking and is a great speaker.
3. Follow your loves and fears
Your loves and fears should guide you in everything you do.
Your 'loves' should go into your work and help you build upon your own personal experiences.
Your fears (for example, a fear of public speaking) should drive you. Doing things that make you fearful will challenge you and ultimately improve your skills.
4. Losing your way, hitting a wall and losing the magic is OK (as long as you're determined to get it back)
This is something that a lot of people talk about in an abstract way, but at the conference we heard specific examples of how people lost their way and made it through to the other side.
Lizzy Marie Cullen and Rachel Max spoke about how they'd overcome hurdles in their work, and how difficulties like this can actually end up propelling you forward and changing things for the better.
5. We could all stand to be a bit more like Mr Bingo
I'd never heard of Mr Bingo before the conference, but he was brilliant and one of the best speakers I've ever seen.
His presentation was very random but great --he basically made a lot of money from sending people hate mail!
Of course, I'm not suggesting we all start doing exactly this.... But he did what he wanted to do, didn't worry about conforming to normality and now he's really successful. A good lesson for us all.
Keep an eye out for our follow up blogs with more detail about the specific talks we liked and insights we gained at Reasons to be Creative.