Jena Ball – One Sheet


Perfect is Not an Option, But Excellence Is!
Exploring the importance and joys of trial-by-error learning

Join author, illustrator, and creative advocate Jena Ball for an interactive and engaging look at the myth of perfection and how to tackle it in your classroom. Following a brief introduction, participants will take part in a hands on creative activity designed to demonstrate some of the techniques and tools Jena uses to help students embrace their imperfections and see mistakes as stepping stones to discovery.

Format: Two-hour Workshop and discussion
Audience: Adults wanting to jumpstart creativity and innovative thinking in their organizations.

Stories Across the Ages
Bringing young and older together to learn from and with each other

Stories Across the Ages brings seniors and kids together for two hours of storytelling and creative fun. Led by author and illustrator Jena Ball, participants will read and discuss a story from The Not Perfect Hat Club (Ball’s 4th book), then collaborate on creating illustrated stories of their own. All teams will also have a chance to share their creative masterpieces at the end.

Requirements: A love of stories and a playful attitude are all that’s required to take part in this fun-filled event.

Format: Two-hour Workshop, discussion and creative activity
Audience: Older adults and children

Lessons from the Little People
Adult-proof your life and reclaim your super powers 

Anyone who has been around a young child who is excited about an idea understands the power of passion.  Young children never stop to wonder if they are smart, talented or good-looking enough to execute their ideas.  They know (because they haven’t been told otherwise) that they have something important to contribute, and they will insist that you pay attention.

As adults, we take this youthful exuberance and creativity with a grain of salt. Our well-trained brains hear an original idea and immediately start to pick it apart.  Instead of allowing our creative juices (what I call our super powers) to flow and thinking, “Why not?” we use our minds to shut down our creativity using words like impractical, costly and time consuming to justify our fear of failure.

There are good reasons for this mindset, of course. Being an adult in today’s world is a bit like navigating an obstacle course. We become hyper focused on the mechanics of day-to-day life and adverse to risk. But the truth is, we need every creative, innovative, outside the box thinker we can get to tackle the world’s many problems.  In other words, we need to reclaim our super powers and use them!

In this interactive, engaging keynote, attendees will discover how lessons learned from little people (first, second and third graders in classrooms around the world) can help adults reclaim their super powers, and how they in turn can help children grow into caring, creative and collaborative adults

Practical, fun-filled and above all inspiring, this keynote will leave attendees feeling reconnected to their passion and purpose, and empowered to use their creativity to make positive changes in the world.

Format: 60-minute keynote

Audience: Ideal for senior management looking to ignite their team’s creativity, educators looking for ways to empower and support their teachers, and organizations wanting to inspire and re-energize their employees.

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Perfectionists Anonymous
 A 12-step program for recovering perfectionists

Let’s face it. Perfection is a myth.  Everything  from the cells in our bodies to the weeds in our gardens is constantly changing and evolving into something new.  Tadpoles become frogs,  kittens morph into aristocratic cats, and babies cry, crawl and stumble their way into college, parenthood and careers as dog walkers, doctors and computer geeks. Perfection is the antithesis of how life works, so why are so many of us obsessed with (addicted to) the notion?

In this engaging, interactive session, we will take a look at questions such as:

  • What is perfection and how did it become so rooted in our psyches?
  • How does perfection differ from excellence?
  • What do we hope to achieve by being perfect?
  • How does perfectionism keep us from learning, growing  and achieving our goals?

Using Jena’s 12-step program (12 creative and inspiring activities developed and implemented in classrooms around the world), participants will:

  • Learn to identify and bypass the inner judge;
  • Access, listen to and articulate passions and purpose;
  • Tap and express curiosity and creativity;
  • Support one another in overcoming self-judgment and fear; and
  • Create realistic goals and daily routines for achieving them.

This session works best in a a two-hour format with a classroom-type environment.  Simple creative tools, such as paper, pencils and Crayons are needed.

Get Your Goodness On
The whys, wherefores and how tos behind the science of kindness and how you can use it to supercharge your business and personal life.

 Fees: $500 to $5,000


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About Jena

“What identifies us as human beings above all are the powers that flow from our deep resource of imagination –creativity and empathy. Creativity is fundamental because we create our own lives.” – Sir Ken Robinson

Jena Ball is the beloved author and illustrator of the CritterKin book series, and an educator on a mission to debunk the myth of perfection and empower others to ignite and express their creativity.

Jena likes to call herself a connoisseur of imperfection. It’s a phrase she coined in 2013 after discovering that children as young as seven, eight and nine believe they’re expected to be perfect. The realization grew out of work she was doing with a group of third graders who  were extremely critical of themselves, saying their “not perfect” work was, “stupid, broken, bad, ugly, messed up and wrong.” Subsequent visits with elementary school students around the world revealed most children felt the same.

Jena’s answer to the myth of perfection is The Not Perfect Hat Club book and related programs and presentations. Based on the lives of three recovering perfectionists, the book chronicles the characters’ journey as they learn that mistakes are stepping stones to discovery and they can only be perfect at being themselves.  Jena’s interactive workshops, webinars and keynotes focus on identifying, uprooting and replacing perfectionist mindsets with ways of seeing and being in the world that encourage iterative, lifelong learning. Ideal for educators, parents, and corporate teams seeking to unlock their employees’ potential, Jena’s events:

  • are entertaining and empowering journeys of self-discovery;
  • utilize playful, creative interactions to open hearts and minds;
  • are grounded in neuroscientific and psychological research, which stress the vital role empathy, compassion and creativity play in shaping and maintaining brain health; and
  • leave participants feeling reconnected to their passion and purpose, with the tools they need to maintain and grow that connection.

Prior to embarking on CritterKin, Jena spent more than 30 years crafting features for national publications, developing online courses, and helping small businesses and entrepreneurs articulate and fine tune their messages. She is a passionate, insightful speaker whose humorous, interactive stories make her a favorite with audiences of all ages.

Jena Ball for details
(919) 454-9917


Copyright 2016 by Jena Ball. All Rights Reserved.