Creative Cuties

Photo by Isra.Studio | www.isra.studio

Are you a cutie? (yes, u r. ev1 is a cutie.)

Live in or visit Austin regularly?

Do you miss creating things around other humans?

Want to get connected to other artists and creatives in the city?

Have you cleared being masked, outdoors, at a park as a COVID-friendly activity?

Would you be interested in a monthly meet-up facilitating open-ended, outdoor creative time and networking?

Well, hot diggity dang. I am building a community around that.

Introducing the Creative Cuties: Sprout Sessions

What is Creative Cuties? An open, low-commitment group for Austin-based creatives, who are interested in building local community, encouraging self-expression, and connecting with people across various creative disciplines.

But what is it really? An email list and a Discord channel, as well as an optional group chat on Instagram and/or Facebook group. You don’t need to sign-up for anything new, just let me know how I can communicate with you where you already are via the form below.

Initial Initiative: Sprout Sessions

Objective: To provide safe, free, and accessible monthly opportunities for group creative activity, advancement, collaboration, networking, mentoring, and nature appreciation in outdoor spaces around the Austin-area.

Wait, what Sprouts? If you’re unfamiliar with Alien Cutie lore, a cutie’s sprout will begin putting off leaves and growing in length when they are following their creative purpose or attuning themselves with nature or the cosmos. I chose the name Sprout Sessions because we’re basically meeting up to grow our individual cutie-sprouts. All kinds of inspiration can be drawn from beautiful natural spaces and conversation with likeminded individuals.

All photos taken by Creative Cutie Isra | www.isra.studio

In compliance with COVID safety procedures, masks and temperature checks are required, social distancing practices will be followed, and the meet-up will take place outdoors, rotating to different parks monthly. I am considering live-streaming the event as well for those who are unable to attend in person due to health complications, so you can have a little at-home snippet of creative park gathering inspiration. Depending on the city’s health restrictions, the gatherings may have to be at a slow roll out pace.

Building patiently with purpose: To set expectations up front, I won’t rule out this someday becoming something bigger, like a non-profit hosting larger events/shows/markets or weekly gatherings, but, for right now, the most I can work into my schedule is doing group meet-up in a park, once-a-month. If you are looking for more, I’d be happy to discuss what you’re looking for at a meet-up and connect you to an organization that facilitates the opportunities you seek.

How to Join Creative Cuties

Step 1: Add my email address

Add my email (hi@samsoper.art) to your address book and make sure it is whitelisted. I’ve been having many issues with my emails getting flagged as spam by Gmail, so make sure to add it so you don’t miss any announcements.

Step 2: Register

For right now, the easiest way for me to manage this information is through an email list. I will be unrolling other communication options as I grow the community. I do have a Creative Cuties Discord chat set up, which I’ll also be using more often in the coming months.

Step 3: Show up

I’m planning the eighth Sprout Sessions meet-up for

August 29, 2021

at an undisclosed time and location

Time and location will be announced privately to those who’ve registered by the third week of August.

To start, I will be picking out parks that are easily accessible for folks at all ability levels with ample free parking, no entry fees, and a nearby playground for those with kids.

I am trying to keep everything as free and accessible, as possible, but have a handful of ground rules below, followed by lists of provisions and recommendations to make the best of the experience.

Rules

CHECK UR TEMP — Don’t come if you are feeling sick and check-in with me when you arrive. I will have a touchless thermometer available to ensure that no one is running a fever.

WEAR A MASK — Masks will be required. Hopefully, we’re able to gather outside without masks by the time summer comes around, but until COVID is a non-issue, we are keeping masks on. Plus, it’ll keep you warm in the winter time.

BE KIND — This is organized for networking and collaboration. Be kind. Be courteous. Be open-minded.

PACK IN, PACK OUT — Whatever you bring with you, will leave with you (or be traded with someone else or get deposited into the trash). I will have a warning system in place for any littering and continued occurrences will result in removal from the group. I will have extra bags available near my area.

PRACTICE PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY — It is your responsibility to ensure the safety of yourself, your valuables, and other belongings. Do not leave items unattended. Your kids and leashed pets are welcome to come along, but you are wholly responsible for keeping an eye on their safety, as well.

Photo by Isra.Studio | www.isra.studio

Provisions

What I will be providing:

  • Touchless thermometer
  • Sanitizer
  • Disposable masks
  • Small Bluetooth speaker for music
  • First aid kit
  • Small bags for trash

For those who cannot afford supplies, I will also have the following available to loan out:

  • Paper and pencils
  • Clipboards
  • Extra towels to sit on

I’ll also be treating this time as open office hours. I am a full-time freelancer, majored in advertising at UT, and have built my career around illustration, web development, UX design, and content marketing. Here are some other offerings I can provide:

  • Mentoring for freelancers or small business owners
  • Marketing and branding tips
  • UX and website advice
  • Constructive critique
  • Cat pictures

Recommendations

What you should bring:

  • Mask (required)
  • Blanket or small collapsible table and chair, if preferred
  • Art supplies or other tools for your creative practice (see expanded list below)
  • Water or other beverages (glass containers are usually not allowed in public parks)
  • Snacks
  • Seasonal protective gear (winter wear, umbrellas, sunscreen, bug spray, etc)

If you don’t draw, don’t despair. Creativity comes in many forms; I want all to feel welcome to come connect, so here are some other ideas for materials to bring.

  • Acoustic instruments
  • Individually-packaged samples of your food or beverage offerings
  • Books to read
  • Laptop for digital creation
  • Notebook for writing
  • Cameras (please, get permission before filming or photographing anyone’s face or work)
  • Craft projects (please, bring a method for capturing your bits and pieces)
  • Tarot decks or other divination tools
  • A small sign listing your mentorship areas