Review of the Workshop London 31st May – 3rd June 2013

On 4 June, 2013 by eraza


Just been to the 2013 workshop which was held right in London and it. was. amazing!

I’ll just be writing this post and talk about the very first day there to give you an idea of what goes on and then give my overall impression.


I went into the workshop not knowing much of what it was going to be like as I’ve never attended anything like it before outside of a tattoo convention which wasn’t quite the same.

The workshop was held at the Coronet Theatre just south of the Thames. On the first day we were supposed to get started with registration at 9am, however, due to complications it didn’t kick off till ~12.30pm which was a pretty irritating start to it all, but it ultimately gave us all an excuse to get to know the other people in the cue which worked out. I met two guys in the queue, a 3D artist and a 3D university teacher who were both great guys. Due to the long wait, it was suggested that we go to the National Portrait gallery to wait while things were put in place. We did, and spent 30 minutes there till I noticed on Facebook that the initial estimate had been dropped down and the event had started! So we rushed back to join in.

When we got there the introductions and welcoming key note had been started. Jason Manley, the founder of and main person behind the workshop had started introducing the various instructors and industry professionals who would be doing demos, presentations and helping out during the workshop. Among others there were people such as Kekai Kotaki, Bjorn Hurri, Phill Holland, Jason Felix and Virgine Bourdin.

We then had a 15 minute break to let the machinery get preped and have a drink at the convenient bar. Cheers!

First up was Jason Felix, discussing how to define your career. Great start! He went into things about how to work effectively, set up your portfolio, and how to use your role models more effectively than just copying their work and figuring out their ‘style.’

Then there was another discussion, this time by Phill Holland who I was not familiar with going into the workshop but I will most definitely be following his work as he was just an amazingly inspiring person who has worked all kinds of jobs within the entertainment industry. He explained his career to us and used it as an example on how to take the chances you are given instead of wasting them because of uncertainty. He also gave a lot of small pieces of advice such as:

  • Stop erasing your work and see what happens (a lot of people become faster!)
  • Learn how to learn
  • Take a sculpting class to understand form better
  • Do photography to learn composition naturally

At the end of the day time had been set aside for “networking” aka PARTY!

Met a whole bunch of people and had a good laugh, was so surprised at how open and easy to talk to a lot of the artists were

Here’s a drawing I started on the first day, however, it took me a few days to get it done as I just couldn’t find the time during presentations to draw much: workshop drawing


During the workshop I got to meet a good deal of people from all over the world who were all some kind of artists whether it be 2D or 3D, traditionally or digitally, new or veteran, young or old (you get the idea, there was a lot of different people!) and each and every one of them inspired me, motivated me and excited me about going into this industry and finally helped me make my final decision to go for it and I couldn’t be happier.

There were presentations about simple art fundamentals which were explained in such an approachable and easily understandable way by people who have been in the industry and been artists for decades.

There were discussions about the career aspects of being an artist: how to make a living through your art, build your career, finding work, learning, working with others or by yourself, working in the industry, legal advice, being an art director. So many different areas were covered in amazing detail.

Live presentations were done, explaining processes, hints and tips, set-ups, formats, experimentation, techniques in both 2D and 3D mediums. Even things like using photo-manipulation and music were covered. A musician (who’s name eludes, me sorry!) showed us how he created sounds and tracks for games and used visual art as a source of inspiration.

During the discussions plenty of people had their portfolios reviewed by industry professionals, giving them a chance to figure out where to go next with their, what to focus on, and possibly even creating job opportunities for the very talented and lucky few. I didn’t bring a portfolio as my work is still very early stages, but I did try and show some of my work to the university teacher I met to just get his input on where I would need to go if I were to get accepted into an art school and it helped tremendously!

While I didn’t plan to show my work,  I did want one particular thing from taking part in this event. Motivation. And I have plenty of it now! During the second day of the workshop I was so excited and motivated, heck, nearly electric on the train ride home, that I decided to put together a list of pros and cons of becoming an artist and weighed them up then and there. Then spent the rest of the train ride and the rest of the evening in a state of euphorea as this sense of direction is something I have been lacking, and craving for most of my life! And this workshop was instrumental in providing that and for that I am more than thankful.

On the final day of the workshop I decided to try and hammer in this sense of direction and assertion even more, and went up to Kekai Kotaki, an artist I really admire and asked him to sign an art book I have with some of his work in it, and he went above and beyond and even drew a little doodle. Every time I feel poorly about my art, where I am and where I need to be I have taught myself to take a breath, open up one of my art books (mainly this one in particular) and just browse through the various amazing art within and immediately realize why I do this. Now, with his signature as well it will hopefully help push me even further and that couldn’t have happened if I hadn’t gone to this workshop.

Overall the experience was amazing. I got to meet loads of people. Learn a whole bunch of things that only people in the industry could have explained. And have a great time. While there were organizational problems here and there it all went relatively smoothly and everyone was completely happy and excited in the end. I can highly recommend going to workshops if they are anything like the one, and I would like to thank everyone attending, setting it up, and working behind the scenes to make it such an amazing experience. Had a great time and hope to do it again!



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