pretty business cards gathered at Alt...
There are so many fantastic Alt Summit recaps floating around the interwebs, filled with all sorts of goodness, so rather than rehash what's already been said (and likely better than I could say it), I thought I'd just share the things I can't seem to get out of my mind since coming home:
- Calligraphy is akin to meditation -- On the first day of the summit, I took a calligraphy class from the lovely and incredibly talented Melissa Esplin, and it was a revelation. Let me just say, no matter how easy Melissa made it seem, calligraphy is hard. It takes work, and I'm not very good at it (not surprising given my DIY track-record), but the act of working at it is quite possibly one of the most relaxing things I've done in a long time. You can't really think about anything else while you're trying to get those letters just right; it sort of puts you in a trance. Incredibly therapeutic that calligraphy... I'm hooked.
(I also had the pleasure of sitting next to the totally fantastic Alexis in the class... we've been blog friends for a while, so it was the sort of surreal experience of meeting someone for the first time, but having the most natural, "I've known you forever" conversation.)
- Creative geniuses know when to unplug and use their hands -- On day two I attended a session on events for the sole purpose of getting inside the brains of event super-stars Jordan, Ashley and Britney (of my rainbow cake inspiration). I wanted to know how they come up with all their brilliant ideas. I was heartened by Ashley's tales of making lots of "ugly" things along the way to coming up with the final perfect execution of an idea and her declaration that to foster creativity you have to "walk away from the computer and make things with your hands". Obvious but so often (by me) ignored.
- Green hair is not stupid -- I expected a lot of things out of Alt, but one thing I didn't even remotely imagine would happen was that I would get some spot-on parenting advice from a wunderkind DJ. On day two, DJ Spooky gave the lunch keynote and was fantastic and brilliant and a little crazy (in the best possible way, as most brilliant people are).
During the Q&A, an attendee asked him how his parents influenced and cultivated his desire to learn, and he shared a bit about his upbringing (his parents were academics and political activists) and how he was constantly challenged and expected to "challenge back", to form arguments, to know what he believed in and why. He also said that his mother told him, "Dye your hair green but don't ever do anything stupid"... Quite possibly the best parental line ever. It's all about putting things in perspective. Thanks DJ Spooky.
- I believe in women -- I am heartened by what I saw go down last week. There was a palpable energy, an amazing sense of rooting for each other and the genuine feeling that there are more than enough opportunities available for everyone to get in on the action. It's a powerful thing when women bond together and support each other like this (and the men too...there were a few men in attendance). It reminds me of a post I wrote last summer and specifically this Michele Oka Doner quote originally found by my beloved Karey (my Alt roomie and partner in "crime.")
"Evolved women have begun to form a collective awareness of how to support one another. It goes way beyond 'what dress am I wearing tonight?' I really like women. I've learned how to negotiate a world filled with intelligent and attractive women, giving everyone their due."
from left: danni, melanie, me, liz and amy after our panel ...
And now (as promised in the post title) a little bit of an "outfit deconstructed"... Since I forced you to take a peek into my pre-Alt packing process, I thought it only fair to show you an outfit I wore last week in its entirety.
Here's what I sported on day one...
(Note how much attention I'm paying in the calligraphy class. I really, really wanted to get it right... oh and look at how lovely that sweet Danni is in her fab yellow skirt...)