Shaping the Future – The Stream for Mid- to Senior Career Professionals
After years of travel filled with detours, taking the scenic route and enjoying the ride, it's natural to think, “what now? What's new? What's next?”. Join us at Creative Directions to engage with fellow senior design professionals as they explore the opportunities and challenges that come with time spent in the design industry and ask where we go from here.

*Creative Directions delegates can attend presentations from any stream. Though you may find the presentations in this stream most fitting, you're welcome to attend others as well.


Tuesday, May 4


9:00 AM PT / 12:00 PM ET / 1:00 PM AT

Keynote | An Update from The Draplin Design Co.: And Other Fibs, Lies and Perjuries

Presented by Aaron Draplin, Draplin Design Co.

What a time to be alive! Thankfully, Draplin Design Co. was able to stay busy, focused and vigilant these last surreal 15 months. And yet, learned some weird lessons along the way. They'll show a Spirited set of case studies of the stuff that kept them out of the red, inspired and somewhat sane. All from the lost year that is 2020.


10:15 AM PT / 1:15 PM ET / 2:15 PM AT

Creating Equity in the Design Industry as Senior Professionals


11:30 AM PT / 2:30 PM ET / 3:30 PM AT

How to Sell Creative Services

Presented by Michael Janda, Business Coach for Creative Professionals based in Salt Lake City, UT

Agency veteran Michael will walk you through the sales process he used to generate more than $30,000,000 in creative services sales for top tier clients like Disney, Google, ABC, NBC, and Fox. This process will leave you with plenty of "a-ha!" moments and paradigm shifts that will improve your creative business.


12:45 PM PT / 3:45 PM ET / 4:45 PM AT

Presentations & Discussion Technology Tidbits

  • Digital Traffic
    Presented by Kay Fleury, Head of Content & Strategy at in Waterloo, ON
  • Show Them the Future
    Presented by Dan Mall, Founder & CEO of SuperFriendly in Philadelphia, PE
    In 23 years of working, SuperFriendly Founder & CEO Dan Mall has one favorite tip that separates the professionals from the amateurs. In this 10-minute talk, find out what it is and how you can put in in action today.
  • Podcasting for Designers
    Presented by Diana Varma RGD, Educator & Writer, Producer & Host of the podcast Talk Paper Scissors
    There are so many great reasons for a designers and design agencies to start a podcast! A podcast is a high-value, low-cost tool that can help you 1) establish yourself as a thought-leader in industry, 2) allow you to explore interesting topics that can add value to your current service offerings, and 3) allow new customers to find your work. Join Diana to find out more about planning, hosting and distributing your own podcast. 

2:00 PM PT / 5:00 PM ET / 6:00 PM AT

How to Earn $10k of Passive Income as a Designer

Presented by Jacob Cass, Brand Designer & Strategist (CEO/Founder) at JUST™ Creative

In the Passive Income Masterclass run by Jacob, you will learn the strategies you can start using TODAY to earn income while you sleep. Jacob will reveal the secrets he uses to earn over $20k/month in passive income using affiliate marketing and other methods.

This passive income masterclass will cover:

  • What is passive income?
  • Types of passive income
  • Affiliate Marketing 101
  • Amazon Affiliate Marketing
  • SEO Basics (Search Engine Optimization)
  • Partnerships (The Secret Sauce)



Wednesday, May 5


9:00 AM PT / 12:00 PM ET / 1:00 PM AT

Keynote | Extra Bold: Redesigning Power Flows

Presented by Ellen LuptonLeslie Xia and Kaleena Sales

Do you sometimes feel uncomfortable speaking up in class or sharing new ideas at work? Who feels confident and who doesn’t? What do you need to think about before coming out at work? How can you help build a more diverse and inclusive design field? Ellen Lupton, Kaleena Sales and Leslie Xia are co-authors of Extra Bold: A Feminist, Inclusive, Anti-Racist, Nonbinary Field Guide for Graphic Designers. They discuss concepts like intersectionality, systemic racism and equity in the workplace. What can you do to share power, amplify the power of others and claim your own power?


10:15 AM PT / 1:15 PM ET / 2:15 PM AT

How to Start, Grow and Scale Your Small Business

Presented by Mandy Gilbert, Founder & CEO at Creative Niche in Toronto, ON

Taking the entrepreneurial leap is no easy task. Once you decide to branch out on your own, the real work begins. So many entrepreneurs are unsure of how to scale and grow their businesses into sustainable companies. As a result, they make many costly mistakes. Mandy Gilbert, Founder of Creative Niche and best-selling author, will share strategies on outsourcing, hiring, planning and setting you up for long-term success as an entrepreneur.


11:30 AM PT / 2:30 PM ET / 3:30 PM AT

Untethering Financial Success From Effort

Presented by Blair Enns, CEO of Win Without Pitching in Vancouver, BC

Designers are hired for their creativity but paid for their effort. Some learn how to create enough demand that they are able to charge more for that effort, but only a few ever detach financial success from hours and effort altogether. Let's just skip the two decades of your career where you're poorly paid and jump right to the part where you learn how pricing for value instead of effort creates a virtuous circle or more money, better work and bigger client impact. Let's do that now. In one hour.

Join Blair for this discussion on aligning your income to the value you create in the world.


12:45 PM PT / 3:45 PM ET / 4:45 PM AT

Panel: Shifting Your Business in Changing Markets

Moderator: Emily CohenConsultant to Creative Professionals in Philadelphia, PA


2:00 PM PT / 5:00 PM ET / 6:00 PM AT

Panel: What Happens When You Lose Your Passion for Design?

Moderator: Armin Vit, Co-founder of UnderConsideration in Bloomington, IN



Thursday, May 6 to Friday, May 7*


*Pre-registration is required. Limited spots. First come, first get.