It’s mandatory for me after every workshop to come to my blog and write about it and hopefully, convince a few people who don’t know about these sort of events or are skeptical about them to give them a try. Of course there might be some not so successful workshops out there but I’m glad so far all I attended were extremely inspiring and THU 2014 was not only that, but even more.
The location of the event is great, a little peninsula with a few hotels, houses restaurants and shops ideal to feel for a few days like being in a city exclusive to artists. Unfortunately this year we didn’t have the best weather, quite unusual in the area but still good enough. If you want to see everything in the schedule you don’t have time to go to the beach anyway.
I was lucky to arrive to Portugal with some friends a few days earlier. The first day, the main head behind the event Andre Lourenço gave us a warm welcome and invited us to join dinner with his team. From first moment you could see their dedication, I feel grateful to them for not only organizing the event but managing it so nicely and well.
2 days before the official start most people arrived to the peninsula and we were able to have dinner with some of the speakers. It was good time to introduce yourself to new people and exchange stories with them. The day after with even more people arriving to Troia the networking kept going, specially with the hour reserved in the evening with free beer and wine before watching “Gramma Wray” by Loic Zimmermann in premiere, a movie/documentary on the painter’s journey of William Wray.
And then the official 1st day of the workshop, as mentioned before, the schedule covered a time frame from 9am in the morning till 2am at night, when the party in the casino would start! In my case I was going to sleep at 4am every night and get up at 8am. I was extremely tired when I got back home but it was worth.
First thing in the mornings were the workshops. You had to sign up for those because there were limited seats and the difference with other lectures were the “interaction” since some of them required you to take your laptop or buy clay to sculpt! At the same time for those not interested or unlucky in the workshops Life drawing with suicide girls. I had to skip a couple of hours of my workshop to go and draw them. I miss the life drawing sessions I was attending early this year every week.
After that, for 2 hours before lunch a few lectures/demos/talks in parallel in 3 different rooms. You can still check the list of guests on the website
Overall the talks were very inspiring and went from the background of the artists to current situation of the industry, tips and many more subjects. There weren’t many demos but people already suggested that and I know the organizer took good note of that (get ready because next year might be even better).
After lunch another 2 hours on the same line and then happy hour! One hour to socialize with beer and wine. It was very funny how Andre kept encouraging us to drink. IT was a good hour to talk and hang out with old and new friends. Sometimes you could be just listening to fascinating stories.
Once the bar was closed time for the mentorship. Same as the morning workshops you had to sign up and wait to see if you were fortunate to be part of one. I personally think it was a good idea the way the mentorships worked, every mentor (over 10 in total) had 10 people around and would go wherever they wanted to sit for a bit and have a talk about the industry, experience, something else, portfolio review, anything. It was a friendly environment specially for those beginners who sometimes are shy to talk to the pros here you had no scape because the pro would ask you straight.
And then the legend’s time, with everyone in the theater (unless you decided to join a side private group somewhere else as I did during one of the sessions and was still greats) split in 2 sessions with a break for dinner in between.
With everyone fed of inspiration and being midnight, art battles! It was such fun and stressing thing. Also embarrassing to me for losing both days I took part of. Basically there were 2 cintiqs and 2 captains. 10 people from the audience would join each captain and the teams would have to paint or model something together, having 5 minutes each member, and 10 the captains. Aside from being fun, made me think of a few things when it comes to teamwork and time management.
All the people who survived to all said before were still hanging out in the casino till the close of it at 3am. I also must mention the accommodation options in the peninsula were great, near and comfortable, very convenient to get good sleep and recover energies for next day. Only issue in our hotel the wifi only worked at the lobby and was extremely slow.
I think with that I pretty much covered everything, I met friends I’ve been talking to for years online, I made new friends, I met some professionals I’ve been following for long, got an important job offer, got inspired by all the talks, and bought a super cool hoodie I’m gonna be wearing this winter.
If I get a job in Japan I’m not sure if I’ll make it to the next edition, but will definitely ask because I wouldn’t like to miss it!!