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By Design: Creative South a Meaningful Face-to-Face for Digital Artists

Written by Courtney Fields

In a digital world, the people behind the designs you see on the daily basis are working to trade “virtual high-fives” for face-to-face contact. Each spring since 2011, creatives from around the world have been migrating to Columbus for a real-life version of Dribbble, and you might have noticed it Uptown last weekend. The creative conference, called Creative South, is “a weekend of creative thinking, collaboration, and exploration. Attendees enjoy workshops, talks focused on process and experience, and meeting old friends as well as making new ones.”

What began as a half-day event with two speakers and 45 attendees has drawn in crowds that near 1,000 guests to the Columbus area. Co-founder Mike Jones of Serve Studios told Stitcher podcast that he hoped to create a “rad event in a small town,” which is exactly what has happened over the last 9 years.

Work by an artist from Creative South on a local power box in Uptown Columbus.

This year’s event consisted of talks, workshops with creative legends, parties, and fellowship with like-minded designers who work in design business, UX/UI (user experience/interface), graphic design, typography and other similar fields.

You might have noticed attendees sporting their orange nametags around town while attending these gatherings which were hosted at the Springer Opera House. The group also had a special reservation of 14th Street Bridge on Friday night for Ink Wars, fireworks, and another chance to leave inspired.

If you’ve never seen this before, you must see this video from Weapons of Mass Creation Fest- the inspiration behind Creative South. The video documents Ink Wars, and you can catch a cameo of Creative South's founder Mike Jones at the beginning. (Source)

Jones credits the growth and success of this event to God. He says that “God puts this together, not [him].” Something unique about this creative gathering is that for the concluding event, Creative South hosted a worship service on Sunday. Jones says that the community that has been created by this large yet “grandma’s home” feel event keeps people coming back each year.

If Creative South 2020 sounds like something that you might be interested in, tickets for next year’s event are on sale now at



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