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Talking about creative things

Not everyone finds it easy to talk about creative things. Let's change that.

An aerial view of Portaire's Making Space prompt cards
Talking about creative things
Matteo Grand
August 10, 2023

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This article was originally posted on Making Space, a Substack penned by our Cofounder, Matteo Grand. Subscribe below to receive more content just like this.

The past two years have been filled with creative conversations for me. 

I have spoken to countless people about the concept of creativity, how to cultivate it, describing one’s personal style, and just about every other creative-adjacent topic. I’ve had these conversations with finance experts, writers, artists, designers, architects, tailors, PR agents, founders, students, and the list keeps going.

What I’ve noticed is that so many people – even those who you might consider creative because of their job title (designer / artist / etc) – struggle to put their thoughts into words. It’s as if they know what they like, but they can’t quite tell you why. I’m still not always able to tell you why, either.

Tony Robbins, the self-help guru, says that the quality of your life is a direct reflection of the quality of the questions you ask yourself.

What if, then, all you needed to better express your creativity was to ask yourself better questions?

I started reflecting on the more interesting conversations I’d been having and wrote down the questions that I thought helped open dialogue. I then shared this list of questions for feedback and after a few iterations, arrived at a strong first draft.

There are countless ways in which I could have shared these questions, but I decided the best way to get people to engage with these questions was by turning them into a 52 card conversation game. 

A group of 'connection' cards from Portaire's Making Space Creative Conversation prompt cards
A group of 'connection' cards

The goal of the game is to help bring creative teams closer together. The deck is split into ‘reflection’ and ‘connection’ cards. Connection cards are designed for you to ask someone else in the group, and reflection cards are for you to share your own experience with the group.

I tried playing the game with a few people that I remember had struggled expressing themselves in previous conversations, and I found something changed. Creative ideas come more naturally and people, even non-creatives, were able to dig deeper and share their experience in ways they previously hadn’t.

A single 'reflection' card from Portaire's Making Space Creative Conversation prompt cards

There is every possibility that it may not have been the questions themselves that spurred this openness in people. It could have something completely different, like the context of it being a game (no such thing as a wrong answer), or the format of going around in a circle making it feel like a safe space to be vulnerable. Either way, it was nice seeing people connect with a part of themselves that so often lays dormant.

I’m interested to learn about your relationship with creativity and how you find yourself showing up in these types of conversations. Are you always able to express yourself properly? Are there some topics you haven’t quite worked out how to dive into? What are some questions you like to ask yourself or others? 

We are giving away 20 decks of our prototype. To get your hands on one, just send an email to with your favourite creative question.

Another single 'reflection' card from Portaire's Making Space Creative Conversation prompt cards