In which I account on the fun shenanigans that happened and awesome people at the Bali Illustration Workshop 2014
I flew to Bali a month ago to attend this workshop. Had a few people and friends asking about it and how it went. It’s hard to sum up in words everything that happened in that one week and just saying that ‘it was awesome!’ or ‘so fun!’ doesn’t do it enough justice.
…Oh, to hell with it, it was REALLY FUN.
But! I thought I should write my personal experience and what I got out of it, and hopefully give an idea what it was like, and also to those that might be interested in going to their future workshops. (I think I should note that Alejandro, Putri and Long Pham did an AMAZING job. Props to them. They’re too cool.)
I found out about the workshop through cool-art-friend Jacob, who went to their event last year with other-cool-art-friend Damian, and both of them said it was great. And after looking at the lineup of artists they had teaching for the five days, the price and schedule, I didn’t even hesitate. Plus, it felt like something I needed to go to: I was familiar what concept artists are like after my experience in LA, but I really wanted to meet illustrators: especially those who are freelancing and making a living through using the Internet since I wanted to grow and get better in that area, and the business and networking side to art. Plus I was a really big fan of the artists that were going.
I was also really nervous and scared because the workshop was going to be very VERY character focused – my weakness.
Exactly what I needed.
The event was held in Jimbaran, Bali, and the workshop was being held at this one hotel where all the attendees were also staying at. It was cool because before you fly over, you connected up with others who are going to the workshop if you want a roommate to share a room with at the hotel. For me, that made the experience a lot more awesome because hanging out with other artists almost 24/7 really made it feel like home.
For five days straight, it was like a massive explosion in my brain and heart. Seriously. You meet others and it’s too easy to make friends because everyone has this one same thing that connects us all: passion for art. Whether it’s for freelance, to get into a studio, to make your own IP – it’s all that same passion. And the openness to share and learn from others no matter what stage you are at in your artistic journey.
No boundaries, no judgements.
Just support and giving.
Making friends and connections and having a goddamn awesome time.
Meeting the instructors too in person was another thing that was very impacting on me. It’s breaking that barrier of the online realm and actually meeting them in person to see what they’re really like behind the artwork they create and post. Their advice and the way they approach work and their technique. For me personally, I was more interested in the networking and exposure side to art, so those were the types of questions I was trying to ask and they were THE people for that. It was great to hear their perspective.
The schedule of the workshop really worked out by having one instructor per day to teach because it meant you could really connect and get to know and meet that artist without a whole time restriction because you had that whole freaking day. I found that really good because past workshops I had been to usually would only be a couple of hours with one artist, and with a room full of over 40 people, it’s hard to meet them and actually connect with them in a limited amount of time, aswell as amongst a flurry of people who are pushing to the front. This was waaay better. It was relaxed and everyone was chill and calm. And having a cap of 30 students too made everything much more intimate, everyone ends up bonding and getting to know each other so well.
Because this workshop was portfolio entry, the people attending were not art-beginners which really benefited those of us that are already working in the industry because we could have the time to ask design related questions, work, about business, IPs and getting known as an artist instead of time being taken with questions like ‘What brush do you use?’ We could actually ask things that were more targeted to the things we wanted to know.
All in all it was a fantastic week, and I did get emotional returning back to Perth and had post-workshop sadness for a week after it. But if you’re an artist, I highly recommend that if you’re thinking of going next year: go. Especially if you are wanting to or are already freelancing, because this is the workshop for you. These guys know their stuff. Oh also, stay for both of the two weeks, even if you are only attending one week of the workshop. You want the time to chill and explore and hang out with people – I wish I stayed an extra week for that.
Not to mention eating loads of awesome food and exploring Bali, endlessly chatting with friends, drawing, photos, being stupid, sharing. Those were the best parts. (I think I annoyed Kekai Kotaki too much by asking invasive questions, but it was my second time seeing him since Sydney 2012 and I wanted to break the ice with some laughs. Forgive me, Kekai! Because really, you helped me become the artist I am today, I owe you a lot! And you can annoy me back next time LOL)
I really enjoyed it, and after getting advice from the instructors and friends there, it really gave me a lot of ideas of where I want to head with myself and my work. I also no longer feel afraid of doing character design now, in fact I really like it! Had the best time, made some great memories and friends, and loved it! There were TOO MANY ROOFTOP PARTIES TO COUNT. But it was pretty much every night.
Oh, and had a near-death experience in the car where we nearly rolled off the cliff while driving after having dinner. That was fun. But terrifying. But more so funny!
LINKS OF SOME OF THE ARTISTS THAT WERE THERE THAT I THINK ARE COOL:
The Workshop (http://baliillustrationworkshop.com/)
James Zapata (http://www.jameszapata.com/)
Saskia Gutenkunst (http://www.coyotesaskia.blogspot.com.au/)
Dave Rapoza (http://daverapoza.carbonmade.com/)
Dan Warren (http://danwarrenart.blogspot.com.au/)
Karla Ortiz (http://www.karlaortizart.com/)
Kekai Kotaki (http://www.kekaiart.com/)
Alejandro Mirabal (http://alejandromirabal.com/)
Long Pham (http://www.longpham.net/)
Other super cool artists that went there whose work you should check out:
Jacob Janerka (http://www.jacobjanerka.com/) (Check out his project Paradigm: http://www.paradigmadventure.com/)
Angela Liu (http://artofangelaliu.tumblr.com/) (Check out her project X-Breeder: http://www.x-breeder.com/)
Naomi VanDoren (http://naomivandoren.com/, http://naomivandoren.tumblr.com/)
Michelle Ran (http://atelierran.deviantart.com/, http://myorchidhut.blogspot.com.au/)
Joseph Wibawa (http://josephputra.tumblr.com/)
Gerry Arthur (http://gerryarthur.artworkfolio.com/)
Jaka Prawira (http://ellinsworth.deviantart.com/)
Sam Dutter (http://www.sdutter.com/)
Zachary Tullsen (http://www.zacharytullsen.com/)
Anastasia M (http://randomshade.blogspot.com/)
Shirley Sys (http://mini-sys.com/)
Jasmine Surkatty (http://brblol.deviantart.com/gallery/)