May 20, 2020

Taking it Online: Lessons from Virtual Creative Gatherings

Our April 2020 online series taught us about the joys of getting physical, bringing together creatives of all ages, and sharing ideas.

In our ongoing effort to celebrate the art of design by building community, we at In/Visible Talks keep rising to the challenges we’re facing and coming up with ways to stay inspired and creative—and sane!—as we shelter in place.

After the first several weeks (which felt like months), we were seriously craving togetherness, so we figured out how to connect online and get in touch with the tactile nature of the creative process by hosting In/Visible Talks’ Virtual Creative Flows: The Social Distance Series. Every Thursday in April, we met via Zoom for a 100% free event. Creative Flows were the perfect platform: They are designed to bring people together to explore a medium and a prompt.

We chose mediums that we were likely to have around the house and that allowed participants of all skill levels to make something easy and fun. At the end of each hour, we “pinned” up our work and discussed the ideas that presented during the flow. We created fabulous Caffeine Art (April 9), Paper Airplanes (April 16), Sharpie Art (April 23), and Recycling Collages (April 30).

Along the way, we learned a few things.

Getting physical made the activity much more fun. There are lots of great opportunities to listen in to workshops, presentations, and events online. But lately we’ve felt the effects of Zoom fatigue. Being physically creative together had real benefits.

Creativity has no age limit. Friends included their kids, coworkers invited their neighbors, and people young and old participated together. Multigenerational success!

No “talent” or “skill” was needed. Having a low-stakes, high-enjoyment hangout where creativity can just flow was appealing to everyone. The event was about doing, not achieving. We simply created, and it was awesome.

It’s a small world after all. The internet made it possible for people to join us from all over the world, from different continents and time zones. The Bay Area, LA, New York, and Columbia all represented. So cool!

Creativity begets sharing. We first noticed this in the Caffeine Art session. Since very few people have experience working with coffee as a medium, there was a lot of “How did you do that?” followed by “Like this….” The open and generous sharing of ideas warmed our hearts.

Most of all, we found that it really helped to have something fun and creative to look forward to. So, we hope you’ll join us for events in the near future and after the COVID crisis is over.

Come gather with us! We’re continuing to be creative about staying creative while we shelter in place. Check out the CreativeMornings Field Trip , the Design Your Leadership Voice Workshop, and other upcoming events on the In/Visible Talks website and our Facebook page.