Ok, I'm back home again, and trying to put my thoughts of the whole week in order. First off, here's my final piece:
If you are into that sort of thing, here's an animated gif of all the steps:
Trying to talk about the entire event in any holistic way is really difficult. It runs from Sunday at noon through the following Monday morning a week later. There are just under 100 students and just around 20 faculty and staff, leaving, eating, making art and friends for the entire time.
I went in asking to get my ass kicked, and I hope I got that. It sure felt real. I had a weird moment halfway through where I realized I was still making one of "my" pieces - There wasn't an epiphany where suddenly I was leaps and bounds better - but why would there be? My art is my art, and probably many of the things I feel uncomfortable about will ultimately become the trademarks of what makes my stuff successful. I like my final work, and it feels better to me than the stuff I created in the years prior.
The lectures were great, as always. It's amazing how many of your heroes suffer from "Imposter Syndrome", and yet still managed to succeed and produce work that stands the test of time. There was a tremendous outpouring of heartfelt stories, emotions and advice.
I made a lot of new friends, from all levels of the search for Mastery. I learned things from people who I'm pretty sure would say they are not as far along as I am, and I showed some professionals things they didn't know.
I really can't recommend this event enough. The staff are incredible, the other students are incredible, the event is incredible. When you factor in that food and lodging are included, it's really NOT that expensive, I spend more getting to and attending most cons for 4 days than this event for an entire week. Don't worry that you aren't good enough, you come away changed regardless of your level.
This one is a game changer.
Thanks again for reading, you guys are the best!