Workshop Testimonials...what did you get out of the event?
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    Jason Manley is offline Administrator Level 17 Gladiator: Spartacus' Dimachaeri
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    Workshop Testimonials...what did you get out of the event?

    Hi All,

    I wanted to make a thread for workshop testimonials so others can hear what people gained and took home from the event that YOU and all the people involved made possible.

    What did you learn? What did you gain? How have you changed from the experience?

    Please share with us.


    Jason

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    Definitely had an impact on my life. Before going to Wellington, I was slipping off the artistic path and was losing my passion for it. Not having picked up a pencil in months and things, and gotten into a frustrating/depressing loop of realizing I'm not good enough to compete with the pros, and lacking the incentive to get there too.

    But that all changed after going to the Wellington Workshop, with some very inspirational speeches by you Jason Manley, Andrew Jones, and Phil Holland. Even today I submitted a picture to the Daily Sketch board, which I think I will try to do with every daily sketch thread from now on.

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    the workshop gave validity to my art and grounded my dreams in reality. it made me realise it was okay to create and do what i love and make a career out of it - that it was a viable path for me to take and that i just needed to go for it, without fear of consequence or reprimand.

    screw retail. screw 9-5 desk job. screw apathetic normalcy. im gonna blur the line so you cant tell where i end and my art begins.



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    I personally feel like i my goals are suddenly clear, and the reasons for why i make art actually make sense now.

    Ever since i was about 10 i drew because i loved it, though over the last few years, during the end of high school and the start of this year at college, i hadn't been doing that at all, instead looking back i had been drawing to try and be the best, and because i was better than others. it made me feel good to belittle others with my art... Which is really an awful thing to do, and my happiness, art and social life was suffering, and i couldn't work out why it was happening.

    I didn't really notice until i hit college where people actually cared a little more about art than the average joe does (only a little though, remembering this is a college course), and people were offended with my arrogance with my art.

    Slowly over this year i have been getting better and my reasons for making art were changing... Then last week struck and i now feel like i have a real reason for drawing, and that is not to be the best, nor is it to make me feel big, it is to make myself happy, and to be able to tell stories and create emotions through imagery that i create.

    Now i feel that i can actually make art for myself and i can now do art without trying to rush to be the best at a breakneck speed that was just hindering my work.
    I also now have a goal to try and improve my situation with colours thanks to some awesome advice from Jason Manley.

    Thanks so much guys, you have really made a difference with me.

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    This Workshop gave me the kick that i so sorely needed.

    Jason, every time you opened your cakehole, it was like lightbulbs where turning on, and by the end of your colour theory talk, i could have lit up the whole north island of New Zealand with the staggering number of lightbulbs that were halo'd around my noggin.

    Andrew's talk pierced right through the protective cage id built around my beast within. something which ive purposefully been keeping tamed down - for reasons which now seem completely rediculous to me.

    Phil, Dan, Carl, Coro, Wes, Whit, Marco - every single lecture left me with a brain explosion. I believe Neo's reaction after he jacked in and learned Kung-Fu really sums up what the Worshop felt like / meant for me.

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    I was made acutely aware of colour choices and how my fears affect my art and life choices in general. I was mildly knowledgable on some of these things before but now, after the workshop I'm really aware of how much I didn't know, but also about how much we can learn just by being open and not afraid to try things. Fight the Machine!

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    It left me with that hunger to find (possibly create?) a similar den of inspiration here in Aotearoa. It became apparent how much it changed me when i sat at my desk first day back at work, i haven't been able to sit still since.

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    As others had stated, it truly reassured me that I can actually do this. With enough hard work, it is more than possible.

    I guess it also really helped me find where I belong. I felt pretty gutted when going home however, everyone was so awesome ;D

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    I had just resigned from my studio gig the Friday before for a myriad of reasons, the main one being creative starvation. This decision became more and more validated as the workshop went on, and crystallized listening to Andrew's talk which touched on a lot of similar beliefs I have. Just sitting back and watching people immersed in what they were doing, with an obvious love of it, was stimulus enough. I think being away from home, and detached from everything there, can also make it easier to step back and assess yourself. I made decisions in regards to my professional life as well as personal life that I'd been dodging for awhile......great event.
    ...thanks.

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    "Definitely had an impact on my life. Before going to Wellington, I was slipping off the artistic path and was losing my passion for it. Not having picked up a pencil in months and things, and gotten into a frustrating/depressing loop of realizing I'm not good enough to compete with the pros, and lacking the incentive to get there too" -Caezar

    werd.

    i felt exactly the same. but through meeting the instructors and realising they are mere mortals, not too different from the rest of us, the end goal of fluid expression seems more achievable (with enough work).

    it's hard to find motivation to climb a mountain which seems impossibly high and steep. but hearing the stories and perspectives of others who have done it, and those that are half way up, was one of the greatest insights i gained from the experience.

    I also found andrew's talk invaluable. helping me to clarify some long standing internal debates of my mind.

    but i think it boils down to the fact many of us here can identify with parts of the artists that we idolize. and through that, [hopefully] realize our potential.

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    I made a lot of friends. I had a lot of fun, a lot of excitement, a little sadness, and in all a whole lifetime spent in one week. While I was down in Wellington I thought about nothing else in my life. I was completely in the moment, and the result is photographic memories of fantastic fun times.

    Thank. You.

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    Where to start?

    Nothing I say is going to even adequately put across what the event has done for me, I don't have the eloquence to put it succinctly. But what I've come back with is hope, belief, desire, and the warm feeling in the pitt of my stomach that Andrew mentioned.

    A realisation that I MUST do what I do, and that I owe it to myself for every damn thing I have been through in my life to follow my path and not give up/deviate from it, and just to sit with the periods of doubt and frustration until they pass.

    "I am" is now my mantra rather than "I am going to be" or "I want to be".

    Each day I went home on the verge of tears with the overwhelming sense of "I can...it IS possible".

    Thank you all and I'll always remember Marama 2008.

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    Thumbs up

    it basically change my life... when i flip through my sketchbook i can see my work getting better during the workshop.. such fast artistic improvement has never occur to me before.
    i also learn that passion is needed if one wants to become better at what they do, in this case a better artist. before i was not so passionate about art, i only draw whenever i feel like drawing and always left my work unfinished.
    now i spend almost half of a day drawing each day! and i have never felt like drawing this bad before.

    I also met many wonderful and talented people who i will never forget.

    a BIG thanks the MB guys for giving me the best week of my life.

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    I really don't know what to say, but many, many, thanks to you guys- massive black and all the people i've met in the workshop. I've said this so many times to people I've talked to and I won't hesitate to say it again: I've gained more useful knowledge during those 4 days than all of my 4 years at university and I've never been inspired about art and illustration like that in such a long time.

    I was on the same boat as Caezer before the workshop. My passion for art and illustration was dwindling, and being a fresh graduate from design school, I had no clear idea on which path to take next, and picking up a pencil to draw felt like a chore. To be honest, I was disappointed with what I got out of university because it was a place that emphasized theory more than the fundamentals and techniques of illustration, and something so simple (like color theory, visual storytelling, etc) yet so important was not taught.

    Over those 4 days, I was immersed. Seriously. My passion for drawing and painting has been rekindled from both the lectures by the pros and being surrounded by the most talented people on earth. Thanks for showing to me, though it may sound overwhelming, that it IS possible to become an exceptional illustrator/artist and the only way i could do that is if I put my heart and mind to it, work hard at it and get myself surrounded with other people who think the same way.

    Thanks once again, and I really appreciate all that you've done and I hope you guys come back to wee Wellington in the future for another workshop.

    Peace

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    So I have some very cool friend's who have been going to this spiritual guru/business leader guy who has made billions of dollars several times in his life time and he gave it all away to focus on a simple spiritual life. He does these talks once a week at his house for $400 bucks for 6 sessions. So my friends invite me over to one of these talks for a free trial and my "This sounds like a cult" warning alarm goes off. I was a total skeptic. Which by the way is not a lifestyle I recommend to anyone. I said I don't pay my friends to hang out with me. But now I get it...

    I'd have to say the workshop for me was almost a cult like, religious experience. As insidious as that sounds that's the only metaphor I can come up with to describe this feeling I have. I'm sure it's a similar feeling to that of people who are born again or saved when they find their church or whatever. Fucking pathetic I know. But having never really identified with any kind of tangible group or movement before I kind of feel like, Yeah! This is something I can get behind. Nah I'm kidding I'm constantly having these epiphanies all the time. I just walk around going holy, holy, holy... But this weekend workshop was a big one. I'll put it this way. A few years ago I made a decision to start climbing this mountain where the summit was obscurred by clouds and fog. I had no idea how high this mountain was going to be, but after this workshop I've finally climbed out and above the fog and clouds and now I can see the peak and holy crap it's still a long way and had I known before how big it was I probably would never had started but now I've come this far... So fuck it. Let's do this thing.

    Anyway...

    I know what you are up to Massive Black! I know what you're doing. You're indoctrinating a whole group of followers with some kind of manic otaku fandom that will infiltrate the industry from the ground up. What the hell is going on here? Don't they just make games? No they make assets for games. is that it? Obviously not. That's why you have to look out for them because MB is next. Like a panther stalking in the shadows ready to pounce. New Zealand is a whole country, albeit small, full to the hilt of crazy creative people. A month ago most of these people had no idea who MB was. Now everyone knows and they have people who went to the workshop like me telling everyone else about MB. This is guerrilla marketing at it's finest. Massive Black is taking over the world. Mark my words.

    What the hell am I talking about? Massive black has been doing this shit for like 10 years... And a fine job too. But take a lesson from Massive Black and Obama. This is how it's done in the 21st century. Fuck the suits get the people behind you. That's real power.

    Anyway forget all of that. It was a great party and uber creative atmosphere. The instructors all were really down to earth people and they really reminded me of all the creative people I'm workin and playin with. I will definitely take what I have learned from this Workshop and make it my own. I've done a few semi successful art shows in NZ, which is not my native country, and I'm really looking forward to the next one. I'm proud to have met the guys at Massive Black and I had high expectations of what the workshop would be and it surpassed those expectations. The best part is that I left feeling like, now I've got to fulfil my end of the deal. I've been sort of living on credit artisiticly speaking. Like the US economy I've been borrowing on my future potential as an artist and now it's time to pay.

    SO yeah I'm pretty new here so Hello thanks for listening to my rant.

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    It was an amazing experience.

    For me it wasn't just about art, it was about friends, people, about experiencing new things that gave me new perspective, gave me confidence in art, to experiment, and to live life.



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    Just a few comments. First, thank you. Truly.

    We are doing what we can. We will continue the push to improve the art world. It is where all our livelyhoods are found, our vehicle for expression and independence. I would hope there are a ton of people in that room who will find great success. That is the whole point. Half there already have. Was the first time we had a 50/50 split of students to professionals, which made this show particularly strong. You are right. There is a creative bunch on that side of the world. Excellent.

    We have found that creative people thrive when put in the proper settings...and being of creative minds, both CA and MB need gas in the tank too...and we learn tons at these shows. They cause us to improve. They force us to step up. Honestly, it changed my life positively too. Each event makes the next one better and we have a long way to go. You all show us how far we have to go too. We encourage everyone to find their own path and to have a positive outlook. Thank you all for seeing that and going your own ways to reach your dreams. It is inspiring.

    The first and foremost goal of our events is not promotion (though in the art world, that is part of it). We do encourage artists to be involved in their business and promotional matters (ie their dream careers)and I am glad people are taking such things to heart. We know the only thing that holds each of us back is ourselves.

    We do have a message we share with the world. Do anything great you desire to do and do it with art. We do our best to show as many options as possible within our areas of focus. We aim to wake people up and in the process also ourselves, which is exactly what happens. Personal and creative growth thrive in inspiring situations where great minds gather to do what they do best.

    Did any of you see the eleven year old boy genius? The little guy had a thicker portfolio of game designs, monsters, vehicles, items, storyboards, comic book panels WITH STORY etc...than many at the show. He knew a lot of what a concept artist and game designer needs to get started building fun worlds and he was eleven. The beauty was, he had no idea what he knew. He just LOVED it. I told his mother to find him a drawing tutor immediately, even if only three hours a month. She had taken his drawing skills as far as they could go. I have never seen anyone like him. Self taught, just likes cool stuff that is full of ideas...and for some reason realized all he had to do is put the pencil to the paper to make it happen. Beautifully uplifting...I couldnt believe it. There are pros in companies without some of his knowledge. Anyway, I just found that interesting. It was cute that he refused to look at any of the nudes. It is my hope that she finds him a good tutor. I told him to register here. So maybe he will find help here too.

    Thanks everyone for the comments. We appreciate it.


    Jason

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    That kid was awe inspiring. It was really amazing watching Andrew Jones looking at his portfolio and watching the interaction between those two kindred spirits. I turned my little sister onto this site after I got back from the workshop. She's ten. Maybe I'll take her to next years. ha ha

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jason Manley View Post
    Just a few comments. First, thank you. Truly.

    We are doing what we can. We will continue the push to improve the art world. It is where all our livelyhoods are found, our vehicle for expression and independence. I would hope there are a ton of people in that room who will find great success. That is the whole point. Half there already have. Was the first time we had a 50/50 split of students to professionals, which made this show particularly strong. You are right. There is a creative bunch on that side of the world. Excellent.

    We have found that creative people thrive when put in the proper settings...and being of creative minds, both CA and MB need gas in the tank too...and we learn tons at these shows. They cause us to improve. They force us to step up. Honestly, it changed my life positively too. Each event makes the next one better and we have a long way to go. You all show us how far we have to go too. We encourage everyone to find their own path and to have a positive outlook. Thank you all for seeing that and going your own ways to reach your dreams. It is inspiring.

    The first and foremost goal of our events is not promotion (though in the art world, that is part of it). We do encourage artists to be involved in their business and promotional matters (ie their dream careers)and I am glad people are taking such things to heart. We know the only thing that holds each of us back is ourselves.

    We do have a message we share with the world. Do anything great you desire to do and do it with art. We do our best to show as many options as possible within our areas of focus. We aim to wake people up and in the process also ourselves, which is exactly what happens. Personal and creative growth thrive in inspiring situations where great minds gather to do what they do best.

    Did any of you see the eleven year old boy genius? The little guy had a thicker portfolio of game designs, monsters, vehicles, items, storyboards, comic book panels WITH STORY etc...than many at the show. He knew a lot of what a concept artist and game designer needs to get started building fun worlds and he was eleven. The beauty was, he had no idea what he knew. He just LOVED it. I told his mother to find him a drawing tutor immediately, even if only three hours a month. She had taken his drawing skills as far as they could go. I have never seen anyone like him. Self taught, just likes cool stuff that is full of ideas...and for some reason realized all he had to do is put the pencil to the paper to make it happen. Beautifully uplifting...I couldnt believe it. There are pros in companies without some of his knowledge. Anyway, I just found that interesting. It was cute that he refused to look at any of the nudes. It is my hope that she finds him a good tutor. I told him to register here. So maybe he will find help here too.

    Thanks everyone for the comments. We appreciate it.


    Jason
    Hearing stories like that just makes me happy, and it is really the essence of what we all should achief.

    It seems like these workshop are life changing, I'm still hoping for a europe workshop some day so that I can join in on the brain exploding

    ps: sry for the poor english people

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    wish my mon took me too the workshop

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    As a person who was not at the workshop ( ) I love seeing/hearing testimonials like these, and a awaiting the first inspiring artworks to come out of atendees pens and tablets and onto this forum.

    I must say, that I would love to find out who that boy was as soon as he would sign up here.
    I am three times his age, but age has nothing to do with this- If I could leanr something from an eleven-year-old then I would take the chance.

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    Just got back after the roadtrip in NZ we did with a small group of CA'ers. Still a bit jetlagged and I haven't yet had the chance to put all my memories in the right order, but the main thing I got out of this workshop is new friends

    The sketchmeet we had at the civic square the day before it started, the workshop and the roadtrip we had afterwards gave me the opportunity to meet a lot of new people that I wouldn't have met otherwise, and it was totally worth the trip to the other side of the world for me.

    A huge thank you to Jason and all the others that made this event possible! Thanks also to Nox, Kemp, Sam Brown, El Coro and Marko for the positive feedback on my portfolio on the 4th day, really appreciated!

    I do remember the boy Jason wrote about, I met his mother on the second day. She's very nice woman, and I think I briefly met her son too but didn't see his work though Hope we'll see both around on the forums!

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    Quote Originally Posted by D1S4ST3R View Post
    That kid was awe inspiring. It was really amazing watching Andrew Jones looking at his portfolio and watching the interaction between those two kindred spirits. I turned my little sister onto this site after I got back from the workshop. She's ten. Maybe I'll take her to next years. ha ha
    not to point a great, big, flashing, neon arrow at my head and scream "LOOKATME! LOOKATME!!" but when i leafed through Jordan's folio i would swear black and blue i was looking at my own work at his age. literally. it wasnt just the level of creativity or intrinsic detail that we had in common, but im talking our handwriting was almost letter-for-letter identical, and our style - heck, even our content and concepts - were almost inseparable you couldnt tell them apart! it was uncanny and totally unnerving...

    my point is not to boast of my apparent creative genius as a child, nor to diminish or normalize his natural talent (which is huge), but to emphasize just how fortunate this kid is - at such a tender age - to have had access to the collective knowledge and creative drive that is made manifest in the workshops. he's witnessed some pretty inspirational stuff, and gained the advice and motivation necessary to quite possibly set himself up for life - not so much financially (though that would be an eventual byproduct) but artistically and creatively. its almost a sore point to accept the possibility that, with opportunities such as the ones he's been granted, i could be a lot further along in my own artistic journey...

    that being said, im more than ecstatic that i was able to attend and gain what i did from it all, even if i am starting a little later than him (not that that should matter, i suppose)

    Jordan, i wish ya all the best, buddy!

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    Well it put my focus back into doing my own art again, something I've neglected. I work as an 'artist' but it's so mechanical at times that it had almost put me off drawing altogether.

    The workshop was great motivation, thanks for making your way down here and reminding me of what it is that I love.

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    I seriously cannot describe what the workshop meant for me in to words alone. But I have no doubts it has been one of the most inspiring and motivational experiences of my life.

    It was really great meeting everyone...I hope we'll see each other in the future, whether it's in Shanghai or in the industry.

    Obviously I would like to thank MB for organising the whole thing, you guys are seriously cool people, thank you to all the instructors who all gave such inspiring talks, thank you to Wes, Andrew and Jason Chan for putting up with my lack of preparation on the last day and giving me some much needed ass kicking and help. Concept Art would not be the same without everyone

    Can't think of much else to say that everyone hasn't really...I guess if anyone's still on the fence about attending a future workshop, get off that fence and go to it, you won't regret it.

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    yo paper, just wanted to say you were one of the most inspiring people at the workshop.

    you, AlexHANDRAW, and Jason *something*

    not manly, but i shouldnt need to mention him.

    pink floyd jumper jason, if your reading this, let me know your last name. still need to educate you on the intricacies of auz hiphop.

    you guys gave me back my faith in humanity.

    thank you.

    also. while im at it. i may as well thank jason and andrew and coro. and even marko (though im pretty sure he hates me. after he tried to decapitate me with a jackass dvd :p). i have a tendency to identify with people who dislike me... an odd phenomenon, but, usually, an educational one.

    thanks guys, your impact on our little artistic community can not be exagerrated. hell, you may have changed the course of future-history. i dont think i need to explain this effect to you, even if i could.

    hope you feel proud.

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  27. #27
    BlightedArt's Avatar
    BlightedArt is offline That annoying itch you just can't seem to scratch Level 11 Gladiator: Essedarii
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    "Do you want to work in the art industry?"

    I've been pondering on what to post here every time I visit this forum, but nothing I think of seems to be "enough" to justify how helpful the event was. That's not ass-kissing either... it's genuinely difficult to fully show appreciation for the workshop (especially since, here in NZ, we never really get anything like this).

    I used to be one of those people who used to ask himself... "Am I good enough to work in this industry?" or "Will I ever be able to make it in this industry?". Everything seemed a long way off from possibility, and to be honest with you, seeing the pro's pumping out work at Marama actually brought up introverted questions even more so at first.

    But I met a lot of people, and I mean a LOT of people. Networking was sweet, the people were cool... and since everyone was talking to each other for essentially the same reason, it was fantastically easy to walk up to someone and literally break any ice with "I'm Marc, so what the hell do you do?"... then when they respond you realise you're talking to like... A God of Conceptual design, openly...

    The introverted questioning starts to evaporate when you see artists of the same age and skill level as yourself, and how they start interacting with others at the event. To be honest, they may have been totally unsure of themselves on the inside too, but they were still going out and talking to artists like I was... so maybe I gave the same impression to people that saw me talking to someone... the fact is when you see the CA.org community talking to itself in person, you start to look at things differently.

    You learn a crap-load from the workshop, it's pretty full-on so you *have* to write everything down. But it also changes your outlook on how possible it is to work with art, and live off it if you want.

    It wasn't until I got out of the airport back in Dunedin where I noticed that I was no longer asking myself "Can I make it as an artist?" or "Will I be good enough to make it happen?"... Instead I was telling myself "You just have to put the work in." The only question you really need to ask is:

    "Do you want to work in the art industry?".

    Well after the workshop especially: Yes... Yes I fucking do.

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