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!!
Tomorrow I’m flying to Portugal to attend The Trojan Horse was a Unicorn workshop, but before that, I wanted to write a post here about the other workshop I attended a couple of weeks back in London but couldn’t before because I’ve been enjoying my time in Romania.
With an impressive list of instructors (Levi Petterfy, Jon McCoy, Emrah Elmasli, Bjorn Hürri, Jama Jurabaev, Jonas de Ro, etc.) working for some of the top companies in the video game and film industry the event was speaking by itself but the organization and the environment felt being there is what pushed the success. The price of the ticket was 180GBP for the early bird (if I’m not wrong because I purchased it later) and 250GBP for the normal ticket. In my opinion, it was absolutely worth.
There were 2 venues for the lectures, quite wide rooms but the amount of people attending (I would say over 200) made them quite cozy sometimes. There was also a cafe with free coffee, tea and water all the day and we were getting a delicious and heavy breakfast every morning. At the end of the day most people to head to a pub nearby to keep hanging out with all the lovely people around. There were also a few restaurants, bars, supermarkets in the area but a tight schedule didn’t allow you to spend much time on that if you didn’t want to miss anything.
The lectures were about 2 hours with a Q&A round at the end and on the side a silent demo by another artist. You could approach the instructors at any moment and I saw many people getting portfolio reviews though that wasn’t included in the schedule.It was interesting to see the work of some instructors I wasn’t familiar with, but after their lectures and hanging out with them for a bit I’m going to keep an eye on them from now because what they do is truly inspiring.
We also had a couple of life drawings sessions directed by Kan Muftic like I’ve never seen before (and I’ve been to many in different places). He really made us think about how we approach life drawing and at the same time was really fun.
Every day ended with a 1h Q&A session with all the instructors while free beer was being provided, really friendly environment and interesting to get a variety of answers from all those years of experience in the industry.
I would have loved to speak to every single person in there but, while I made some new contacts, the nicest thing to me was to be able to see again some friends in the community, some I never met before in person and others I haven’t seen in years. At my first workshop was all about making new contacts, and though I still do that of course and I’ll continue, it makes you very happy to feel part of the community by having friends there and being able to hug them in these events.
I’m pretty sure (or at least I hope!) there will be another one next year, so I encourage everyone to attend, and to keep an eye on the news related and show your interest. You can get an idea of the environment seen by looking at this collection of pictures I took.
As usual, here I am posting a long update on how things are going.
I’d like to start this post mentioning early in June I went to b’Ars, an international VFX fair aimed for both professionals and students, with special focus on the artistic side of the film-making process and cloud VFX production. An event full of master classes, conferences, job-fair, etc. located in a beautiful Area of Barcelona. It’s funny how I always keep an eye on international events overseas and if it wasn’t because a friend of mine from Germany told me about this I would have probably never known about it. The list of guests was great and the conferences very interesting. Nikolai Lockertsen painting an environment piece on his iPad, Jonathan Opgenhaffen showing his Matte painting process at Double negative, Marco di Lucca and his self portrait, Nico Scapel from Framestore showing making of Gravity, Virginie Bourdin talking about successful creative decisions and many others. But there was one artist invited who I could easily say was the main reason I attended the event, and that was Ryan Church who came to first talk about design to previs with Daniel Gregoire and the next day about film design. He has been a big inspiration for me on environment design since first I saw his concepts for the Star Wars movies and then watched his GNOMON videos, it was very nice talking to him.
Since last update I’ve been busy with some freelance stuff, illustrations for card games and environment designs for a theme park, which was a very interesting experience giving for the first time a different use to my concept art. Unfortunately I can’t show any of that.
Another thing that kept me busy was a little personal project for N0DEWORLD, I started it as part of a challenge a friend of mine was running on concept art.org where you had to work on a personal project for 100 days posting every single day an update and with the goal of having 10 finished pieces at the end, but tight deadlines made me drop after a month there. I still want to continue working on this but might get a little bit more delayed.
Another challenge I have going on with some friends is, I think I already mentioned it before, to draw 100 line drawings. I’ve done 85 so far, very close to the goal, and while we try to keep it private for now because we might give them a very special use here are a few I already put in public for some reason.
Another habit I keep is the spit paints, it’s been over a year since I joined this group and I have over 260 done already, it’s a good daily reminder of things to improve or a challenge to paint thing otherwise I would never do.
LAst year on one of my blog updates I mentioned the project substrata, a dark fantasy art book including artworks from over 80 professional artists. The book has finally been released and I just got my copy a few days ago, I’m very happy to be included in such book with so many great artists, some of them friends.
Last thing but not less important, studies, some done for personal/professional pieces and some others done for this Facebook group called virtual plain air where you paint a study using google maps. It was really fun and learned a lot.
And not virtual but real plain air studies
And speaking of studies, in all this time I could only go to one more life drawing session with model, I miss it when I can’t go, but anyway here are the drawings.
To close this post, I have to mention once again the upcoming workshops in London and Troia, it’s less than a month left before I fly, it’s going to be very inspiring and fun. Between the workshops I’m going to Romania and after them I’m moving to Japan for 3 months to look for a job there.
Next blog update will probably be after the workshops, with lots of pictures as usually, until then, keep it up! Thanks for reading
it’s been exactly two months since last update and many might be wondering what I’ve been up to. Unfortunately this is not all the exciting post I’d like to be writing, but a good one to write in my humble opinion for keeping moving forward after bad times.
First of all I’d like to mention something I forgot in my last update, as you know I left Rare in December and got back to Barcelona to get better and chase other opportunities probably giving freelance a try. In order to kinda clean and start over I also left the project I was working on with some buddies, ‘Isis’, but I’d like to show the last few pieces of work I was producing thought they are not finished, and will probably never be.
The last couple of years since the Massive Black workshop in 2011 have been pretty intense with a lot of things going on and a lot of hard work, so after the last workshop in LA I thought I was ready to keep pushing, improve get new jobs and all that but in reality it’s been 2 months mostly charging batteries. I guess I burned up myself, I even made a pretty hardcore schedule called “10 daily goals” but didn’t help.
First thing to care about was health because I started feeling quite weak. I started working out every second day and it’s been 6 weeks already. I also put down the amount of caffeine (last year had too many energy drinks and that’s not good at all) and sweets. I feel much better now but just yesterday coincidence or not was my most productive day in a while having 3 coffees and a good amount of chocolate. I guess the perfect balance of health and extreme productivity is a utopia for me.
In all this time another thing I’ve been skipping was watching movies so early this year I ordered quite a few to catch up, after all, it’s another part of the industry I’d like to work at. It’s been good to feed myself with more stories, inspiration, visuals and others. I also finally watched game of thrones! I was happy waiting till that day in the future when the whole series were over but with the new season coming out soon and my fear for spoilers I got the 3 seasons pack and Oh Lord such a good show. All of this have been motivating me to ellaborate a bit more the story for my IP ‘Space Lotus’, can’t wait to start defining more the characters and their connections and all the locations.
It’s been very interesting to watch different genres to open my mind a bit more, but also got to check again some japanese animation and get a little bit of nostalgia because it’s the stuff I grew up with. After watching movies like ‘A letter to Momo’ or ‘Summer wars’, bringing me memories from my trips to Japan years ago I painted these studies and soon should be able to finish a similar painting I started after them to apply the studies.
Nostalgia is a powerful but dangerous feeling. I’ve been trying to remove the dust on my japanese because I might apply to some japanese companies in the future.
Speaking of missing things, probably the thing I missed the most in the UK was my library, I’ve been adding a few more books and organizing it, its very likely that, unless I find a good studio offer I’ll be freelancing for a while, and my library is an important part of my workflow for inspiration and references.
Blocks are never good, and I know some artists who never suffered one, which is great, but I wanted to write this here for those who might be going through one, it’s alright, you will get out of it with the right attitude and not giving up, might take longer or shorter but just find the right motivation, inspiration or rest required to put your batteries to the max again and recover the eye of the tiger (yeah the whole Rocky collection pumped me up quite a bit too :D).
Back from the UK my friend Jaume organized a sketch meeting and it was so good to be able to draw again while hanging out in a cafe or the street with other people
He me if I’d like to join again the life drawing sessions with model I used to go a year ago and didn’t need more than a second to say yes. I was missing it, more than because I learn or practice I just have fun drawing the human body from life, it’s so relaxing. Here’s the result of the 5 session’s done so far. We draw poses in 5 or 10 minutes after a few one minute gestures.
Another habit I somehow managed to keep going is the daily spitpaints. Though I’m not very proud of them, here’s a compilation of all done since last compilation.
As concept artist I like working on different subject matter but it’s hard to find time to paint a bit of everything. Creatures/characters is one of the subjects I didn’t work on much recently so here are a few of them.
My friend Jonathan’s been working on his own personal IP ‘Raijin’ and I asked him if I could design an environment for it. I started it and here are some early sketches in perspective but had to put it in stand by for a bit, going to get back to it soon tho.
I had a conversation with him about mechs and how important the joints are. Inspired by an exercise recommended by John Park on his workshop at Concept Design Academy I grabbed a bunch of friends and we’ve been doing a weekly session of joint designs. These are mostly from imagination and a few studies, need to study more to make more interesting and functional designs but the practice’s been fun and useful so far.
And here are a couple more perspective drawings tho not related to that. The ‘How to draw’ book by Scott Robertson made me want to get back to this sort of drawings.
The scorpion was a study for another design I have work in progress but hopefully will continue at some point.
In September last year I designed a big dark fantasy statue for a book project called Substrata. The book’s been finally announced and will be published later this year, it’s very exciting because the book contains a lot of great artworks. I already pre-ordered my copy of such an inspiring book, take a look
I’d like to mention is in September I’m going to the Trojan Horse was a Unicorn workshop in Portugal. I’m really excited about it from my experience at the workshops, because the one last year seemed to be awesome and because the list of people going keep growing and sounds great so far.
Can’t wait to get inspired by the instructors, see some friends and any of you there, it’s going to be a lot of fun!
I think that’s all for now, this update is very important because puts end to two months I’d probably like to forget, but since I can’t I’ll just take the very few good things they had and will keep moving forward. I’m going to be more active again online, and will check what everyone’s been up to too, been a bit disconnected.
The place I keep updated the most is my facebook page and then this blog, but I’ll keep updating the other places as well as much as possible, stay tuned, hope I can keep feeding you with more and more artworks from now 🙂 Oh and by the way, many people keep asking why I don’t stream anymore, well my computer is very limited and when I stream it uses the max of the specs so I’m trying to take care of this laptop to not have to update the machine for now.
Thanks for reading and let’s keep rocking! :
In 2011 I went to the Massive Black workshop in San Francisco and it kinda was the beginning of where I am today and where I want to be someday. By that time I didn’t know absolutely anyone apart from the instructors seen in books, magazines or the internet and nobody knew me. It was such a great experience that not only helped me to push it for 2 years but also to make some good friends.
As soon as I saw it announced back in September I had no doubt I wanted to be there (even the price was cheaper than ever! 250$ is nothing for what you get in exchange), meet people I met 2 years ago, others I’ve been talking to online but never in person, get inspired by the mind blowing list of instructors and so. Workshops are one of the best experiences anyone can have as part of the community, and after blaming on myself for missing some others where my friends went, I couldn’t miss this one. I didn’t, and it was awesome.
Actually my second trip to America had a pretty bad start, my train to the airport got delayed for an hour because a person got hit by a train making me run at the airport to not miss the flight, which was delayed for 5 hours due to a “minor technical issue”, and then delayed again because a person wasn’t feeling good and even puked inside the plane and we had to wait till he felt better. The good thing is I met Chris Bjors at the airport because we were at the same flight, such a coincidence, and a good one because some company is appreciated in those moments. We arrived to the hotel at 3am and only slept for a few hours before the workshop. If at any point anyone saw me struggling to stay awake, the time difference and that were part responsible.
The first day was very exciting and full of hugs for everyone. The instructors introduced themselves and the line seemed to never end. I liked a lot the layout of this workshop, so many lectures at the same time makes you want to clone yourself but being that impossible, I appreciate they arranged the different rooms in the same place separated by curtains, which made it very easy to move around. I still missed a lot it would have been worth checking from what I heard from my friends but still I feel I got fed enough.
For 3 days you could move around checking the main area with 6 big screens where some of the instructors were doing demos and answering the questions you had, jump from one room to another (or even being in two rooms at the same time if you found the right spot) or enjoy some traditional air in the area where digital was forbidden. And all of this watched by Kim Jun Gi from the skies.
The presence of the korean artist was one of the most iconic elements of this workshop, only the long lines of hundreds of people waiting for hours to get his books signed is a good example of how everyone loves him. His presentation was great having the translator around because it turned into a Q&A with lots on interesting answers from an artist not only good at what he does but with good sense of humor. He was also involved in a “pictionary” session with Marko, Wes and Ian where people from the audience suggested topics and they had to draw them in the time given. Though the pressure they seemed to be having lots of fun (same as us watching them)
There was good variety of subject matter along the classes and demos, going for sci-fi, fantasy, realism, stylization, characters, creatures, environments, 2D, 3D, tips to make it in the industry, jokes, and much more. You can still see on the website the schedule and the list of the instructors, though sadly some of them dropped at the end. I already knew the workflow of some of them from livestream, videotutorials or courses but still feel like I learnt quite a few things I can´t wait to use for my work.
It was sweet to see people I met 2 years ago again, I was surprised some people remembered me for just a few minutes talking back then! The workshop was great again to do networking, it´s the place to exchange business cards. I put up to date everyone about my current situation there and promised I´ll try to stay more active again from now because I lost a bit of activity with my full time job, and after making more friends will be even more motivated. I even managed to talk to some people who looked familiar to me from the previous workshop but didn´t have a chance to talk before. I wish I had talk to more people because everyone´s so cool but there will be more workshops.
Everyday after the workshop the socialization continues having dinner with mates or people you just met for the first time ever, having some drinks and stay together till it´s time to go to bed, some earlier than others.
The last day as usual is for portfolio reviews, things get serious and you have to be ready for the critics. In my case were very useful and same as 2 years ago, was very interesting to see that everyone was pointing out the same flags in my portfolio, different professionals with that in common can only mean I need to work on that as soon as possible.
Again, I can only recommend going to these events if you´re part of this industry no matter if you just started (I was there 2 years ago!) or you are a professional with years of experience. The only sad thing of it was the time to say bye to everyone (more hugs everywhere!) I will try to go next year again, with a whole new portfolio improved. I hope to see everyone there, till then, keep it up!!
This last awesome photo is by Phil Holland
And finally, the day of the portfolio reviews. I was listening the talk about the industry by Marko, Coro and others before the lines for the reviews started.
Sorry for the delay, but I was busy. I’m writing about the two last days of the workshop while I’m waiting for my flight at the International Airport San Francisco.
In the morning of the first day I was watching the live demo by Aleksi Briclot. It was the first time I saw his process of painting and had some surprises, really interesting.
I also wanted to go the classrom to hear the class about perspective by Carl Dobsky but again, you know, I can’t split my body.