Our Mission 

Making Midwest is a community project initiated by Made By Things to support motion artists in the Midwest region of the United States. We learn from our peers while making new friends and industry connections.

Speakers

Sarah Beth Morgan Director & Illustrator


Erica Gorochow Creative Director / Designer at PepRally


Handel Eugene Senior Motion Designer / Art Director


Rafael Mayani Associate Creative Director at Giant Ant


Amanda Russell Co-Founder & Creative Director at Cream


Kevin Rapp Founder & Chief Creative Officer


Mack Garrison Co-Founder & Director of Content at Dash Studio


Matt Vojacek Founder & Creative Director at Made By Things


Event Schedule

Friday, May 17, 2024


8:00 AM - 4:30 PMCreative Business School with Matt Vojacek

Matt will walk through what it took to build his studio with actionable steps to help creative entrepreneurs get past the roadblocks to a dream business.

This course includes a break from 12:00 PM to 2:30 PM to allow you to participate in other activities. This all-day course is sold separately from general admission tickets for the conference.


9:00 AM - 1:00 PMSocial Gathering

Before we kick things off for the Making Midwest conference, we would like everyone to join the community in the lobby to get to know each other.


1:00 PMOpening of Making Midwest & Moving Forward presentation with Amanda Russell

We will kick things off with a BANG in the Cazani Auditorium as we welcome everyone to the conference and bring Amanda Russell to the stage.

During the Moving Forward Presentation, Amanda Russell will discuss the challenges we are facing within the Motion Design Industry and share the efforts we should take to address these problems, what efforts she is currently working on, and how she is doing it.


2:30 PM - 4:30 PMSocial Gathering

We welcome everyone back to the lobby to interact with the community before the second presentation begins.


3:00 PMMothers of Mograph Podcast

Mothers of Mograph will be hosting a live podcast showcasing extraordinary voices from their community.


4:30 PM5 Secrets for Designers, Illustrators, and Soccer Players presentation with Rafael Mayani

Rafael Mayani will provide a detailed account of his career and discuss five essential ways of approaching design. This knowledge will help you approach design from a different angle.


6:00 PM - 8:00 PMOpening Party

As we come to the close of the first day of the Making Midwest conference, we welcome everyone to the CCAD Lawn and lobby to enjoy various activities, including live music.


Saturday, May 18, 2024


8:00 AM - 10:00 AMDesigning Characters with Simple Shapes workshop with Rafael Mayani

Rafael Mayani will have participants select a group of references for the character’s costume design and a combination of simple shapes to create a character from scratch. Afterward, each participant will develop a series of variations on the same character using various combinations of shapes and proportions.

All workshops are sold separately from general admission tickets for the conference.


9:00 AM - 11:00 AMSocial Gathering

We welcome everyone back to start their day in the lobby to interact with the community before the day's first presentation begins.


11:00 AMBreaking the Cycle of Creative Exploitation presentation with Kevin Rapp

In this talk, Kevin will break down the true business value of creative work so that creatives can better articulate the importance of what they do and advocate for what they deserve.


12:30 PM - 1:30 PMLunch Break & Social Gathering

We will take a break for lunch and allow attendees to gather in the lobby to mingle before the next presentation begins. Make sure to check out the food truck located in the south parking of DSA.


2:00 PMState of The Motion Design Industry Panel

Studio founders Amanda Russell (Cream), Mack Garrison (Dash) and Matt Vojacek (Made By Things), sit down together for a deep dive into the current state of the motion industry. They'll share some of their observations on topics like AI, staffing, portfolios, budgets and so much more as they work out what the industry may look like in the future for both studios and artists.


4:00 PMLife by Design, Not by Default presentation with Handel Eugene

Handel Eugene will teach us to apply a design thinking approach toward life’s most significant problems and challenges.


5:30 PM - 8:30 PMSocal Gathering & Sponsor Activation

The lobby will remain open for the remainder to the end of the After Party.


6:30 PM - 8:30 PMAfter Party

Join us in the Cazani Lobby, CCAD Lawn, and Auditorium for the After Party for Making Midwest. In the Auditorium, we will be showing Demo Reels with the community. If you are interested in having your Demo Reel on the big screen make sure to reach out.


Sunday, May 19, 2024


8:00 AM - 10:00 AMCreative Life Lab workshop with Handel Eugene

In this workshop, you’ll learn how to live life by intentional design. We’ll learn exactly how to apply creative problem-solving techniques & strategic design thinking to accomplish goals & design your future.

All workshops are sold separately from general admission tickets for the conference.


10:00 AMThe 35,000 Distractions of a Creative Person with Matt Vojacek

It's said that we make about 35,000 decisions every single day, that's 35,000 chances for a creative person to become extremely distracted from what they "should" be doing. In Matt's talk, he'll go through how to tame those wild distractions to find the clarity to make the right decisions on what which ideas you run with and which you pass on.


11:30 PM - 1:30 PMLunch Break & Social Gathering

We will take a short break for lunch and allow attendees to gather in the lobby to mingle before the next presentation begins and get to know our sponsors. Make sure to check out the food truck located in the south parking of DSA.


1:30 PMWays I've Changed My Mind with Erica Gorochow

Erica will reflect on her 20 years of experience in motion design by examining past projects and exploring how her perspective and approach have evolved as a director and designer.


3:00 PM - 3:30 PMShort Break in Lobby

We welcome everyone back into the lobby for a short break before we wrap up with the last presentation for the conference.


3:30 PMCreating is Caring with Sarah Beth Morgan

As professional artists, we tend to get drained of our creative juices during the day to day grind. Not to mention, "passion projects" have become more and more prestigious and intimidating to create (looking at you, Beeple!). But what if you didn't make something for a client? What if you didn't even make something for... yourself? In this talk, Sarah Beth discusses the significance of creating things for people you care about. From silly doodles to handmade ceramics for Christmas, crafting gifts for loved ones can help make your heart feel full.


5:00 PM - 6:00 PMSocial Gathering

Everyone is welcome back to the lobby for one last social gathering and to connect with sponsors before we close the doors at 6:00 PM.


Accommodations

Making Midwest 2024 Motion conference is located on the Columbus College of Art and Design campus, which is located in downtown Columbus and marked with the Art sculpture. There are plenty of nearby hotels to crash at, places to see, and restaurants to enjoy while attending the Making Midwest conference. Download & View Recommendations Here.

General Admission

When you register for the conference as a general admission participant, you will have full access to various activities. This includes keynote presentations and opportunities to connect and interact with other attendees who are both peers and experienced professionals in the industry. You will have the opportunity to gain valuable insights and knowledge from these experts and potentially establish long-lasting professional relationships that can help advance your career.

Student and out-of-work tickets for $175 are available upon request. Submit here.

  • This will give you access to all presentations at the Making Midwest Conference.

  • See all the talks LIVE online! (Doesn't include workshops)

Workshops

The workshops at Making Midwest are hands-on classroom-style courses. With a limited number of seats, each 2-hour workshop dives deep into a specific project to help you learn from the best in the motion industry. These are rare opportunities you do NOT want to miss out on!

All workshops are sold separately from general admission tickets for the conference


Workshops

  • Designing Characters with Simple Shapes workshop with Rafael Mayani

    Designing Characters with Simple Shapes workshop with Rafael Mayani

    This workshop will take place on Saturday, May 18 from 8:00 AM - 10:00 AM EST in the Cazani MPR.

    Rafael Mayani will have participants select a group of references for the character’s costume design and a combination of simple shapes to create a character from scratch. Afterward, each participant will develop a series of variations on the same character using various combinations of shapes and proportions.

    Price $295.00

  • Creative Life Lab workshop with Handel Eugene

    Creative Life Lab workshop with Handel Eugene

    This workshop will take place on Sunday, May 19 from 8:00 AM - 10:00 AM EST in the Cazani MPR.

    In this workshop, you’ll learn how to live life by intentional design. We’ll learn exactly how to apply creative problem-solving techniques & strategic design thinking to accomplish goals & design your future.

    Price $295.00

Creative Business School

Creative Business School is an all-day course that walks people through becoming a successful creative freelancer or studio owner. No matter where you are in your entrepreneurial journey, you'll learn how to take your business goals to the next level. In a rare tell-all, Matt opens the book on what it took to build his motion design studio to help you get a head start and get around some pretty big roadblocks. 

This course is broken up into these parts:

  • Getting to know the group
  • 9 years of financial records 👀
  • Taking the leap!
  • Taxes & Finances
  • Sales & Marketing
  • Hiring & Human Resources

This course is sold separately from general admission tickets for the conference.


  • Creative Business School with Matt Vojacek

    Creative Business School with Matt Vojacek

    Matt will walk through what it took to build his studio with actionable steps to help creative entrepreneurs get past the roadblocks to a dream business.

    This course will take place on Friday, May 17, and includes breaks throughout the day to allow you to participate in other activities.

    Price $395.00

Attendee Info




$325.00
$325.00

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