Within the Creators of Vancity chapter, we have the opportunity to interact with so many different kind of creators. Through those conversations we’ve noticed the same questions being asked time and time again. What better than to invite two working creators with direct experience in those topics to come talk about their experience.  This speaker event, which we call “Creative Speaks,” did exactly that.

Karin Keller (@costalkells) and Corim De Guzman (@corimdg) were brave enough to join as speakers for this first Creative Speaks event. We may be a bit biased, but we think they killed it and left us with a lot to think about. We’ve included 5 takeaways from their talks below; we’d love to hear if you had any additional ones in the comments!

Five Learnings from COV Creative Speaks event

The five takeaways below are just a taste – we’d love to see you at the next one for the full experience.

Corim De Guzman (@corimdg)

Corim is a truly innovative cinematographer; who works at a marketing agency and has both professionally and independently worked with clients spanning multiple industries.  Some of which include festivals like FADED in the Park, clothing companies like Vessi Footwear, and luxury car names like Aston Martin, and Land Rover.

1) Be nice to people

A distinct memory of the night was the phrase “Be Nice to People.” Loud and clear (but nicely) be nice to people and you have no idea the opportunities, friendships, and connections you can make. Cold calling can work, but trusted introductions do far better.

2) Protect your creative property

As for charging – there is no easy formula. There is only research, trial, and error. His first gig was time intensive and $150 for the lot – so we learnt from his experiences to not be afraid to ask around what the going rate is evaluate your capabilities to come up with a fair ask. And a direct lesson was to watermark your work until all fees are paid.

3) Be comfortable with saying No

There were consistent remarks made from both of the creators in the comfort-ability you need in saying No to an offer that doesn’t fit. If an offer or situation doesn’t feel right, or you’re not coming out with what you were hoping for, then it’s ok to decline or counter the project. Whether a monetary offer or not. Have that confidence and you will be respected for it.


Karin Keller (@coastalkells)

Karin is a content creator and social media marker; who found herself in travel and exploration photography on Instagram. Since monetizing and working within her Instagram brand in 2017 she’s built her brand to a following of over 30, 000, and worked with brands like tenree and Lululemon.

4) Respect your own brand identity

Karin helped us to understand how important it is to know your value. When you’re working with clients, it’s number one to keep brand identity and values consistent so your voice is strong, which in turn delivers more projects and clients.

5) Plan on giving yourself a break

Although there isn’t a recipe she could give on how to balance such a time hungry job she did give us support in sticking it out if it’s something loved – and to stock pile. STOCK PILE those posts to help when the going gets tough.


We Went Live!

One week before the event we threw a call to the community to ask questions to working creators in the community. We loved seeing all the questions come in – it was a difficult task to select a question for the live feed.

We made sure this question and a few additional ones were answered when we went live on the @creatorsofvancity page. The beginning moments with a few team members should NOT to be missed, go check it out on the account.

How long did it take you to find “your style” and why did you end up sticking with that style?


Corim – Self identified as not having a style, per say, but instead always developing an innovative continuously adapting design, and trying to create in a way that causes the viewer to pause and say “how did they make that”.

Karin – She changes her visual style on Instagram, but her voice and relatable essence remains the same throughout.

Sweetery Café

An incredible thank you to the Sweetery Café for being our venue sponsor. A favourite spot for the Vancity Team for it’s inviting environment and goodies (gluten free and vegan friendly!!). Makes for a great spot to work at or meet a client for a meeting. Thank you again – we hope that all of you reading this go get some grub and tell them we sent you.

So with that, we just want to say a BIG thank you to everyone who came out! The conversations were fantastic and we can’t wait for the next Creative Speaks night!