Creative Mornings Vancouver: Bif Naked

Remember Creative Mornings?

I went to the September one but couldn’t attend the one in October. But I made a point to get tickets to today’s (yay for staggered ticket release!), featuring Bif Naked.

This month’s sponsor was Veer, a Seattle-based (and I totally love Seattle :)) provider of stock photos, stock illustrations and other awesome design stuff for the non-designer among us. And of course, thanks to W2 Media Café for offering their space for this amazing event!


I don’t really know Bif Naked. The only story I can tell about her is an ex-boyfriend who really loved her and left me home on a Friday night to see one of her Montréal shows. He didn’t go to many shows but he told me he always made a point of seeing her whenever she was in town and tried to get a place in the mosh pit to be as close as possible.


I'm sorry about the TERRIBLE photo. iPhone and bad lighting.

From this description and knowing that ex-boyfriend’s tastes, I had a mental idea of a punk-rock, tough-gal kinda person before today. The Bif Naked I heard talking this morning was a vulnerable, deeply sensitive artist who’s found so many different ways to express herself: music, writing and art. I wish I had half her talent: even my stick figures suck and I’m not much of a musician. People have been telling me I’m a decent writer but I still need to build confidence about this too.

But that’s exactly what Bif wants us to think about: how our vision of ourselves stops us from being creative. The main question of her talk was: “who are you?” To Bif, she is her 8-year-old ballerina prima dona self, the one who’s not afraid and strikes up conversations in elevators.

To me, when I started thinking about it, I am my 4th grade self, writing that silly novel and thinking: “everyone will read this!” This is the image that strikes me the strongest when I reflect about who I am… or might be. What stops me from writing more? “What if people don’t like it? What if it’s bad”? But one of the best thing I heard today from Bif was: “Every artwork is valid, even if you don’t like it” (I might be paraphrasing more than quoting but you get the gist).

So whenever you feel like your piece of art sucks, or is bad, or isn’t worth showing… think about how it’s valid for you. It might be valid for someone else, too, and there’s no reason why you shouldn’t share it.

Today’s Creative Morning wasn’t as summarizable as September’s. But it was deeply moving and made me look at what’s currently stopping me and what I am afraid of. There will be a lot to freewrite about in the next few days.

And, like Bif admitted about when she was writing her book, I have a lot of bullshit to work through. So thank you Bif for putting strength back into my creative self. I now believe (a little more than yesterday) that I have a creative contribution to make to this world. And that’s one of the greatest gifts I could get right now.


Next month: Alex Beim, maker of amazing stuff, sponsored by Vancouver Film School!

Disclaimer: I attended Creative Mornings on a ticket I got by refreshing the Eventbrite page about a hundred times on Monday leading up to 9pm. I’m writing this review just because I want people to know about this amazing (FREE!) event happening every month in Vancouver. Seriously, you should totally come. There’s free food and coffee and amazing speakers and attendees.


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