Friday, November 22, 2013

CTNX 2013 Summary

Saturday, the 16th, I attended CTN in Burbank, CA, and had a wonderful time! I met so many fantastic artists, it was wild. It would have been difficult to walk around and not be impressed with the work that was being displayed. And not only did the artists' booths look amazing, but many people brought some of their own gallery with them, which was great. Every person I met was kind and offered to show their work and would ask to see others'. There was a pleasant amount of diversity available to the attendees, so I'll give you the run-down, from the beginning:

 We road-tripped from Stockton, CA!

And I saw a 1-pound Snickers on the way...

As I was walking around I saw these on the side of some buildings and learned that there is a team of artists that painted this and paint new pictures here every month, that's pretty wild!

Waiting in line...

10:00 AM, finally entering!

I was instantly smacked in the face with a rich atmosphere of raw and creative talent! It felt like a dream being around so many artists at the same time, these are the same people whose work I view online, but it feels so different in person. It was thick, like I had to squeeze in between all the skill in front of me.

Throughout the convention center there were various areas to observe live work. Here was a station where some artists were showcasing and teaching about traditional animation.

Next to that was another station where a tablet was streaming on a television while various artists took turns working so people could watch.

Just behind those two, was one of my favorite features of the convention: the live model stage. For the entire day, this lady and man would skillfuly hold poses and change costumes for artists to draw them and work side-by-side. I love this! 'Tis a very nice way to approach others, because the work is already out and ready to show around.

This was a surprise to me, and a big one! Here, we got to question Drew Struzan, the artist who has been in the entertainment industry for a very long time, making many iconic pictures that nearly all of us know. The conference was about one hour but mostly open to audience questions, so that was nice. Here are some of his recognizable pieces:


Sean "Cheeks" Galloway had art displayed that I quickly recognized. I have seen his work online but it's nice to see the person. He gave me a quick critique and we talked about one of the stories he did the art for called Pearl of Pandaria! Him online:

J Scott Campbell is another artist who I immediately wanted to meet. I've seen his work all over online and was delighted to have a brief conversation with him. He told me about his experience in the creation of art before we had the internet as a tool. Him online:

Near the center of the alleys was another staged display of an artist having his work streamed for people to see, while being interviewed at the same time. It was nice to listen to him talk and work simultaneously but I started feeling for him when one of his answers to a question was explaining how difficult it was to focus on the work and questions at the same time!

This was one of my favorite parts of the entire convention. The Z-Brush area was constantly full of 3D artists showcasing the numerous capabilities of the software and providing us with techniques and answers to questions. One of the artists was telling us about his 3D printer that he recently acquired and the models he was able to print with it. They are different colors, because there are different types of materials that can be used for printing. He also told us about certain ways models need to be created so that they have the ability to even be printed. From this, I got the feeling that 3D printing is still infantile and will be getting heavily improved upon in the near future. This was a special thing to witness, because I think 3D printing will be huge. 3D Modeller - Robert Vignone:

I was really happy to visit this booth! I loved the atmosphere of this area because these folks were particularly nice and relaxed with good conversation. Not only was Chris there but many of his students too, which was very cool because they ranged from beginner to advanced. This was helpful to passers because they could have conversations from various perspectives. Chris also provided me with a nice critique. Him online:

I had spent so much time walking and talking that I didn't even know it was dark outside, so I said my goodbyes to the people, for the time being, and shoved off.

As I was leaving, my buzz was still really high with the spirit of creation. I am very glad that I started attending CTN and plan to continue as long as I can. Overall, my favorite part was simply meeting other artists, we all may be on similar paths, but it seems like we are far apart when we don't work together and communicate. I will still be contemplating my attendance, but for now, what I learned from this convention just backs my belief about how important commune is. Work becomes loads easier when we are together. I am thankful to all the people who put this wonderful event together and to all the people who attended and made it how awesome it was! I urge anyone who can to be a part of CTN 2014 =). Now back to work.