Need a side of fresh inspiration with your coffee each morning?

CreativeMornings is a free breakfast lecture series for creative people hosted in dozens of cities all across the world. Some call it “TED for the rest of us.” Designers, artists, and entrepreneurs gather to get inspired and learn from one another before the workday starts in cities from Lima to Auckland to Bangalore, and then share those talks online.

We at Freelancers Union are all for getting creative people together, and we’re huge fans of CreativeMornings. This week, we talked to Tsilli Pines, an Art Director and the Portland Host of CreativeMornings, about what makes CreativeMornings (and Portland) so great.

“Think of it as a free, local, Friday morning mini-conference and inspirational community boost before work,” Tsilli told us. But she warned against thinking of it as a highfalutin speaker series. “It’s nothing fancy -- just good people and a great talk (not to mention donuts + coffee).”

Why breakfast? The morning makes for a good gathering/creative thinking/inspiration time, Tsilli thinks. “There's something about getting everyone together before the day begins. If you're inspired, you can ride that energy and approach your own work with fresh eyes.”

Getting together and sharing our creative endeavors is especially important for freelancers. “Being a free agent can be really isolating if you don't make an effort to engage,” Tsilli says. “It's so important to support each other.”

CreativeMorning Portland (and all CreativeMorning) talks are certainly inspiring and unique. Topics range from game design to work travel to screenwriting to a “Plan to Ruin Yer Career.” Check out this awesome video of one of the most recent CreativeMorning Portland talks, where Andy Baio talks about how remixing has transformed our creative culture:

Of course, Portlanders are very fortunate in the creative-support department. “Here in Portland, we're lucky to have a lot of opportunities to band together, from creative events to co-working spaces,” Tsilli says. This thriving community of entrepreneurs and freelancers building awesome things together is part of the reason Freelancers Union is visting Portland next week!

Want to volunteer to host a chapter of CreativeMornings in your city? Learn more here!. Check to see if CreativeMornings has a chapter in your city and become involved here.

Tsilli Pines is the founding Co-Director of Design Week Portland and the Portland Host of CreativeMornings. She's been working as a Graphic / Interactive Designer and Art Director for 15 years, designing award-winning client projects for folks like Francis Ford Coppola and David Bowie, among others. Her work has appeared in the New York Times Magazine, HOW, and Print. She's passionate about the value of design and the power of creative discourse.