We’re not sure how or when it happens, exactly. Is it when two creatives sit next to each other and laugh at the same joke from a Summit speaker? Does it start as mutual admiration on a Show-Off Tuesday post? Is it even smaller, like a podcast downloaded, a product purchased, a video watched? Whenever it happens and however it develops, we know one thing for sure:
Catholic Creatives is a hub for connection.
That shouldn’t come as a surprise — when creative thinkers are in the same room, or even the same comment thread, of course they will find connections — but it never fails to blow us away when we hear about the incredible ways that you have come together to make this world more beautiful, more innovative, more alive.
And really, this is one of the main purposes and beliefs of Catholic Creatives. We need each other.
We believe that community is a basic building block of a Catholic and creative life, so we exist to help form the relationships that turn a collection of people into a thriving, fruit-bearing ecosystem.
We want to highlight some of the incredible connections that have sparked from within the CC community. Over and over, we watch in awe as you inspire and sharpen each other. Here are just a few of the many ways you are bringing the New Renaissance to life.
You’ve Produced Incredible Projects.
For the past 10 years, Steve Lawson has been obsessed with uncovering the most effective ways to live a meaningful life. What started as a journey to satisfy his own need didn’t turn into a real business idea until he met Erica Tighe, whose work Steve started following after they sat next to each other during Vespers at the 2017 CC Summit. Erica reached out to Steve after the first Summit for business mentorship, and during those first few conversations, Steve shared his idea for creating a planner — a planner that would incorporate all of his research and set creators free to live their fullest, most meaningful lives. She encouraged him to pursue it, and after several pivotal conversations with other community members, he decided to bring his idea to life. Erica did some preliminary mockups to help him get his head around what it could look like, and that’s when the Monk Manual was born.
The Monk Manual is a system that utilizes preparation, action, and reflection in daily, weekly, and monthly cycles. It’s predicated on the belief that well-ordered rhythms, founded on the intentionality and practices of monastic life, are the greatest basis for human flourishing. It’s the planner to upend all planners. Erica was able to translate the calm simplicity of Steve’s system into a product that is truly beautiful. Erica and Steve’s collaboration (as well as the 25 or so CC members who beta tested and supported the project) resulted in the kind of magic that we’re getting used to hearing about from this community. If you’re wondering how it did, well, they met their Kickstarter goal of $10,000… in three hours. Then raised over $62,000 more.
Another Kickstarter and artistic success: Cory Heimann’s Created Book, a massive collaboration of over 62 creatives, many of whom Cory got connected with through the Summit and the Facebook group. Not only did he build CC connections with contributors, whose words and ideas filled the pages of the book, but he also sought out designers, proofreaders, project managers, and marketers, who helped him turn an idea into a full-blown masterpiece that’s likely sitting proudly on a creative’s coffee table near you.
You’ve Hired and Been Hired.
Being part of Catholic Creatives makes the task of finding a great job or a great employee a little less daunting.
Elliot Foley discovered this when he reached out to Anthony D’Ambrosio, one of the CC founders, in search of a designer for the media and development group 5 Stones. As Elliot puts it, the new hire that Anthony connected him with “not only turned out to be a remarkable talent who's growing every day into something really, really special, but is also a perfect fit for our apostolate. He's also become a close personal friend who is chasing after holiness with our tight-knit team.” That’s the dream for both Elliot and the up-and-coming creative whose participation in the group connected him to his perfect workplace.
Daniela Madriz is a freelance designer based in Guatemala, and she, like any freelancer, can attest to the upward battle of finding clients — not to mention clients that are actually enjoyable to work with. But as Daniela puts it, “If someone comes to me through the CC group or a group member, I immediately know we'll be on the same page about a lot of things.” That’s made managing her own projects simpler and enabled her to crank out some of the most impressive design work out there, like:
Branding and web design for Brandon Vogt’s Church Fathers site
Album covers and branding for the CFR’s Renewal in Motion
So, yeah. She is definitely killing the game, with a little help from her CC friends. (And, fun fact, her recent marriage is also a CC success story!)
You’ve Created More Community.
But it’s not just about individuals finding creative outlets; the CC community catalyzes new community, too.
After a few brief interactions at the first CC Summit, Emma Moran and Elise Crawford Gallagher found a common interest in empowering women with a (little “v”) vocation to business. They recognized the need to support Catholic women who were navigating the business world like they were. And so, Catholic Women in Business was born. Emma and Elise have matched young businesswomen with experienced mentors, started an in-person discussion series, and created an online home for hundreds of women navigating the business world.
Local communities have also popped up thanks to Catholic Creatives. Michelle Paine met fellow Michigan-based creatives Andrew Montpetit and Olivia Bratton at the first Summit, and they began meetups in their area. They feature Michigan creatives, discuss ideas, and even created a mosaic with local artist Claudia Burns that is now installed in Christ the King church in Ann Arbor.
Marie-Pier LaRose, from Montreal, Quebec, came to the 2017 Summit “tired and cynical,” but after four days in Dallas, she had changed. She says, “I saw fellow creatives and believers reunited … it was life-giving to be physically together to listen, encourage, rejoice and pray together. I understood that fostering community should be at the center of everything we do.” This led her to create Art4Dieu and the Created Retreat to refresh and invigorate Canadian artists and catalyze a community. After that weekend, Marie-Pier says,
“I understood that it mattered. Community matters. Love points us towards God, and gives us a slight taste of heaven.”
That’s what it’s all about for us, too — creating community that points us to Heaven. We celebrate these successes because they remind us of the hope we have. In each other, we find inspiration. Challenge. Joy. Encouragement. This community continues to spark connections that change individual lives and impact the world, and we are thrilled to see what happens next.