This weekend I took myself on a little date up to Cleveland for the Weapons of Mass Creation Fest. When I first saw the lineup for the weekend a couple months back I was floored by how many designers/writers/artists/makers and all around inspirational folks that I've long admired were going to be speaking. I also saw that the weekend started the day after we returned from Iceland. I bit the bullet and bought myself the three day pass because I knew I would be tired and crabby and likely to come up with a myriad of excuses to not go if I waited until the day-of to get my ticket. I also knew that no matter how jet-lagged and unmotivated for a weekend long conference I was probably going to be I wanted to make sure I got my butt there anyway, because I knew it would be totally worth it. And lucky for me, I was absolutely right.
Can I just say how awesome it is that this event happens in practically our own backyard? At only four years old WMC Fest is quickly becoming THE design fest/conference/networking event for the entire midwest, attracting not only local and homegrown artists and speakers but nationally recognized individuals as well.
Since we had just gotten home from a very long week of travel and I wanted to spend some solid quality time with the boys this weekend after so many days away, I ended up having to cherry pick the speakers I most wanted to hear and only went up for a few hours each day. Lucky for me we live close enough by that this was possible and I was so pumped to get to be there for even the little bit each day I managed to squeeze in.
I caught Brandon Rike and Timothy Goodman's talks and both were excellent and totally inspired. But to be honest, I was mainly there for ma' ladies. Rena Tom, Ann Friedman and Lisa Congdon. All in the same place, at the same time, in my own hometown. (Fist pumps!)
Ann is a writer, blogger, midwest born and raised feminist extraordinaire and I absolutely adore her. She has a weekly newsletter that I highly recommend. It makes Fridays even better than they already are.
Rena Tom is a thinker, doer, innovator and the very definition of a go-getter and all around super smart lady friend. You're not happy where you are? If you're Rena, you change it. The job you want doesn't exist? If you're Rena, you create it. She kicks so much ass. Now go soak in the vast ocean of inspiration and wisdom on her blog if you know what's good for you.
And then there's Lisa. Lisa, the brains and talent behind the dreamiest illustrations and artwork that's got it going on at the moment and with whom I am completely obsessed. It was such a pleasure to hear her speak about the recent illustrations she did for a collection of Gertrude Stein works. She also has a collection of artwork inspired by her extensive nordic travels that I have been unwaveringly lusting after for months. Icebergs and reindeer and swedish chairs and oh, how I want an original work by this lady to frame and drool on and stare at whilst dreaming of Iceland adventures past. I love her. Have I mentioned that?
Next year I will most definitely be back for what will undoubtedly be an even bigger and better weekend of fun and inspiration. And I would be remiss if I did not give a huge shout out of thanks to Go Media for bringing such an excellent event and hopefully now longstanding tradition to our little corner of the midwest. So much Ohio pride was coursing through my veins this weekend and I loved every minute of it.