Inaugural Cre8camp Portland comes close to cap

Cre8camp is a new unconference for creative types, inspired by the popular local tech unconference, BarCamp Portland.

It’s starting in the right place. And like many fledgling BarCamp and unconferences in the offing, Cre8camp Portland shows the potential to be the first of many regional events of a similar ilk.

Now this isn’t just a BarCamp for graphic designers. There are a few differences between BarCamp and Cre8camp, the most notable being:

One difference between the Cre8Camp concept and BarCamp is that the various Cre8Camps have an annual “mothership” event called Cre8Con (the Creative Conference). Our vision is that participants of various Cre8Camps in different metro areas will consider attending this annual gathering to engage with each other and with some world-class creative keynoters for some national level networking.


So, this is an unconference for “creatives.” What—exactly—is a creative, you ask? You tell me my friend.

Today, the traditional lines dividing “creatives” and “developers” is becoming exceedingly blurry. And I, for one, welcome that blurriness.

I mean, all of those folks are creative (and always have been). Because some of these folks whom you would traditionally throw in the realm of non-creatives—aside from being brilliant and creative developers—are also amazing photographers, knitters, designers, and writers.

Likewise, there are any number of drool-worthy graphic designers who have stepped into the realm of development. To finely craft their own CSS. Or churn out application code that would make traditional “developers” swoon.

Long story short, “creatives,” in my opinion, is a nonsensical moniker. The concept of creative is completely outdated. An unnecessary silo.

We’re all creative, people. All of us. (Well, except for me. I largely just regurgitate stuff I hear.)

Oh, I’m sorry. I didn’t even see that soapbox. I just happened to step up there.

But, that said, we have to start somewhere. If we are to dissolve the silos and start the conversations, we have to get people together. And I think this concept is a great first step.

How do I know? Because of things like this:

Cre8Camp Portland is an unconference for creatives. It is an ad-hoc gathering for participants to learn, network and share in an open environment with discussions, demos and interaction all led by the attendees.

Cre8camp maxes out at 60 participants. And last I checked, they were very close to hitting their cap.

I’m looking forward to hearing about this inagural event. And with folks like Bram Pitoyo, Amber Case, and Aaron Hockley—all creatives in their own right—in attendance, we’re sure to read, hear, and see a great deal of the event.

Enjoy. Lunch is on me.

For more information, visit the Cre8camp Portland wiki or Upcoming.

  1. […] no secret that I have a broad definition of the term “creatives.” Today, the traditional lines dividing “creatives” and “developers” is becoming exceedingly […]

  2. […] no secret that I have a broad definition of the term “creatives.” Today, the traditional lines dividing “creatives” and “developers” is becoming exceedingly […]

  3. Rick,

    Thanks for the post and for sponsoring lunch at the inaugural Cre8Camp, which is indeed at capacity.

    As the co-founder of Cre8Camp and someone who has written tens of thousands of lines of code in my time, I totally agree that there is creativity in software development (that’s one of the things I really liked about it) and also that many developers have talents and skills in other creative endeavors. I myself am a long-time musician and songwriter.

    However, as a marketer, you can appreciate identifying a target market segment for a particular product and developing a brand position and messaging for that segment, which is part what I do when I help to develop new event properties such as Cre8Camp and the new version of the Portland Creative Conference, which originally ran from 1990 – 2001.

    In your post you asked what we mean by “creatives” and make certain assumptions that aren’t valid. In fact, the answer to your question was already there, linked right from the word “creatives” everytime it appears on the Cre8Camp.org wiki.

    Via that link, “creatives” in this case are defined as people involved in “creative industries” as defined by Wikipedia, which includes the software industry among several other industries.

    So “creatives” is just a shortcut way of saying that for messaging purposes. I included the link to Wikipedia to avoid just this type of debate.

    Yes, I totally agree that everyone is creative, but that is not the right messaging to attract a core authentic audience to an event. For example, the original run of the Portland Creative Conference from 1990 – 2001 targeted professionals in the film, television, advertising and interactive industries with our brand position and messaging. We got the target audience to show up, but also attracted many other people such as technologists, developers, real estate professionals and attorneys, and that was great. However, if our messaging was directed at those other segements, we would’ve lost the core professional audience that everyone was there to network with and learn from in the first place.

    I have spent most of my volunteer time during the past 20 years building bridges between the creative and technical communities in Portland. I am an early pioneer in doing that as many Portland veterans will attest. In fact that’s how I first became involved in the original run of the Portland Creative Conference. As another example, the professional association I founded, the Internet Strategy Forum, includes a primary objective of bridging the gap between corporate IT and marketing. It is one of the reasons that organization has resonated with with the target corporate market.

    Cre8Camp is not about dividing, but about providing a service that is missing for a certain segment based on feedback that I had been hearing around town. Many of the people in creative industries (outside of software) that I talked to had never heard of BarCamp or even the unconference format, so we are helping to introduce it to a new segment and that in itself is helping to bridge a gap.

  4. […] I read Rick Turoczy’s post this evening (wherein he declared his lunch […]

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