Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Conceptart Workshop London

Where to begin - I've not been putting off writing this. Time has simply been occupied with Life. So much life.

I travelled by train from Dundee to London with my good friend Will Wright. I'm really thankful trains provide a socket for laptops, as I doodled in photoshop for the majority of the journey. Some reference landscapes as they slipped by and the world turned.

Arrival in London was triumphant and it was my first experience of King's Cross which I think was somewhat mixed due to the vast changes the station is under going. I'm very thankful to those whom allowed me to stay in their flat for my time in London, and their enthusiastic dogs.

Left waiting knicked some confidence but to enter the hall and witness everyone sitting in darkness watched Kekai do this thing. 'When in doubt, dragons.' A real tactile sense of creative energy and hush in the room, so many minds ticking away. Learning, watching, inspiration transference all actively happening between Pro and peers. I knew I had made the right decision. I knew I was meant to be here.

"I can draw a fucking cat..."

I received my one and only paintover from the wonderful Shay Hulbert who revealed my distinct lack of unicorns. Crisis averted!

The quest for self improvement begins by holding yourself accountable. Make it real, exclaim your intentions. Your hopes and fears so you can act on them.

I received a number of folio reviews from a great array of professionals, insanely useful. Here's a snapshot of some notes I took from a particular two. Thank you to the others who offered their time and experience to help push me further.


The following are notes I made in earnest while showing my folio to Kekai.

Bring the piece together more, add some interests and get the read. Mark making is splotchy. It seems as though I'm uncertain in use of which brushes correctly, to use for certain things.

Where's the focus?

Look at master paintings, move forward and iterate, slow and steady and get the job done. Don't rush.


For design. Think in shapes, separate these out by their areas of major value. Design is about creating these strong shapes. Can it read from a distance?

Napkin test, can you draft the design on a napkin easily, does it read?

Vilppu - constrution of figures - worry about the read

Draw figures every fucking day.

Fix poses, make them more dynamic in a setting.

What do the shapes communicate? How the character will move, what will make it look like it moves quick, sluggish?

Jason Felix presenting, photo by Jamie Wong

I found a spirit both beautiful and terrifying in passing my collection of work over for a folio review to those I hold in awe. That moment while place it in their hands and you hold your breath in anticipation.

Very similar to carrying a shield into battle, and during every fray a small crack appears across the surface. Again and again. It breaks under the weight of all of the advice until you're left holding what is to you a broken instrument. Trust that it will hold, remain calm, and step forward for the next review, each time summing up the courage to acknowledge the mistakes, and delve deeper.

You carry all of the advice forward, and your collection of work reveals its true nature of flaws, but the cracks offer handholds for improvement.

I attained a wonderful sense of calm after London where nervousness burned itself out, as though it cauterized the nerves endings themselves. An opportune moment for amazing things to happen.