Hey Creative Person, This Pep Talk is For You

Christina Amini is our Executive Publishing Director of Art, Food, and Lifestyle books and gift products. Recently, she gave a talk for Creative Mornings on how authentic relationships contribute to creative success. Here she explains the inspiration behind that talk! 

About ten years ago, Tina Roth Eisenberg (Swissmiss) started Creative Mornings—a breakfast lecture series for the creative community. Once a month, on a Friday morning in cities around the world, you can drink coffee, attend a talk from an inspiring local speaker, recharge with other people, and be back at work by 10am. And it’s free. What’s not to love?

One of the first talks I attended was Robyn Kanner’s “Has Your Misery Ever Been a Sight to See?” She powerfully described the challenges and necessity of creating Then, a few months later, I witnessed Shoshana Berger’s “6 Things Death Teaches Us About Life” at IDEO HQ, where she has been working on a book with renowned palliative care doctor BJ Miller.

So when the San Francisco Creative Mornings team asked me if I wanted to deliver a talk, I was excited/nervous/humbled (there must be a German word for this). And, I’d get to speak from SFMOMA’s stage, where, as a volunteer guide, I’ve heard lots of smart curators talk about art. Again, excited! Nervous!

Creative Mornings

Photo by Monica Semergiu

After 15 years and 500 projects at Chronicle Books, what was it that I wanted to say? I traced the arc of many of my personal and professional projects—from starting a Pep Talk Squad to publishing a book of pop-up paper flowers. I reflected on my many years of making good things with good people.

I realized that what I wanted to talk about was this:

1. How authentic relationships lead to awesome projects and awesome projects bring us deeper into our relationships.

Creative Morning at SFMOMA

Photo by Monica Semergiu


2. How long-term collaboration with Lea Redmond led to a bestselling series.

Lea Redmond's Letter to My...

Photo by Monica Semergiu


3. How a paper engineer created a book that changed a family’s life.

Creative Morning at SFMOMA

Photo by Monica Semergiu


4. My answer to the question, “What is it that makes a masterpiece?” as a guide at SFMOMA.

Creative Morning at SFMOMA

Photo by Monica Semergiu


5. How working on projects with people I love is what brings meaning to the projects, to the process, and to me.

Creative Morning

Photo by Monica Semergiu


6. And, of course, I wanted to give a Pep Talk too.

Pep Talk

Photo by Monica Semergiu


Watch the talk here or below! And, I’m curious to hear: what would you want to share with your creative community?

Christina Amini

Christina Amini

Executive Publishing Director of Art, Food, and Lifestyle books and gift products.
Christina Amini


1 Comment

  • Jacqui Taylor August 1, 2018 at 4:17 pm

    Good morning Christina and greetings from a small, muddy island!

    Sometimes (especially after the worst year ever) we need someone in a fire engine-red dress to cheer us on and restore a little faith.

    I am a great fan of Nick Bantock (who introduced me to Chronicle) as well as being a fellow author and illustrator of children’s books.

    Your pep talk left a tear in my eye and a smile on my lips and made me feel just that little bit closer to rediscovering my misplaced mojo. For that, I thank you most sincerely.

    With hope and love
    Jacqui Taylor


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