Monday, June 25, 2012

Illustration Bootcamp with Meg Hunt - Recap

Illustration Bootcamp with Meg Hunt
Group Shot

I have to say, you guys, that Illustration Bootcamp with Meg Hunt was AWESOME. In fact, it was so awesome, that I'm still reeling from it. For those of you guys that haven't heard -- Illustration bootcamp was a 2 day intensive workshop featuring the amazing Meg Hunt and 18 fantastic illustrators.

Illustration Bootcamp with Meg Hunt
Our white tables were FULL of talented people

We had people flying in from New Jersey and San Francisco, a chunk of awesome people that came from Wisconsin, and even more awesome locals that came out of the woodwork for the event. We had a room full of talent and two days to cover a million things.

Illustration Bootcamp with Meg Hunt
Artists Emma Trithart and Bill Ferenc look on as Meg instructs the first session of the day

We had been prepping for the past week, getting the 15 page workbooks together, readying the space and coordinating all of our outings. Meg had flown in a couple days prior to the event, too. So when it finally came down to opening the doors and getting down to business, everyone was ready. The energy in the room was electric - (even though most of us aren't necessarily morning people), but within an hour, everyone was chatting, discussing illustration lifestyles, and cranking out brainstorming worksheet after self-analyzing worksheet.

Illustration Bootcamp with Meg Hunt
Look at how hard they're concentrating!

We sped through a wild fury of worksheets, discussions and got everyone riled up. I am still really impressed with the crazy amount of openness that each of the participants had during some of our round table discussions. I'd look around and see people chatting through shared throughs, making plans, and analyzing tactics for where to go and how to proceed in their creative lives.

Illustration Bootcamp with Meg Hunt
Lunch time was full of amazing conversations

I had the pleasure of meeting Meg last year at an Ace Camp withe Erin Loechner around this time and just adore her. I know that as the day went on, everyone involved was just sucked in to her orbit. Meg is incredibly sweet and super approachable and I watched as everyone got more and more comfortable opening up, sharing their own stories with her, and joining in on the conversation like old friends.

As we flew into the afternoon on day one, we were visited by Target product designer, Adam Hoppus, who discussed his role as a kids' textile designer for boys apparel then we headed off to Demdaco, a seasonal giftware company, to speak with art director Angela Evans about the process of being a licensed artist in her industry.

Illustration Bootcamp with Meg Hunt
Angela shows off one of Wendy Wiinannen's pieces of artwork in the Demdaco showroom

There must have been three or four times during that afternoon where I looked at how much we were getting done in a day - and how fast! - and said to myself "Illustration bootcamp was definitely an appropriate title!". We ended the day with a little bit of studio time, where we started working on a collaborative zine. People did a couple exercises, got out their materials, and started cranking away.

Illustration Bootcamp with Meg Hunt
Meg was wonderful and brought some of her favorite materials from home for participants to try

Illustration Bootcamp with Meg Hunt
Meg even brought some of her process from home to show everyone how she worked

As we wound down for the day, we made our way over to Moto-i for our second event of the day -- our ALL ILLUSTRATORS Meet & Greet, an event we put together to get all of the local illustrators in one place! About 60 of us crammed into the little back alley of the restaurant for food and drinks and great conversation. It was amazing how many people showed up to say hello!

Illustration Bootcamp with Meg Hunt
Packed in there!

Illustration Bootcamp with Meg Hunt
We had a great turn out!

Illustration Bootcamp with Meg Hunt
Meg Hunt, Jen Mundy and Teagan White exchange business cards

We ended the night exhausted, but excited and went home to prepare for the second day of Illustration Bootcamp. When we arrived in the morning, it didn't take people more than a minute to caffeinate themselves and get to chatting. Meg led the first part of the day in a round-table discussion and a little bit of shop-talk.

Illustration Bootcamp with Meg Hunt
Meg discussing a little bit about her promotional pieces

It was easy to see that everyone was getting a lot out of the discussion. It was amazing to watch as everyone participated, everyone had something to say. People conversed about everything from social media, to promotional materials, to tactics for illustration. It looked effortless for them, and I could see people scribbling down resources, writing down sites, naming books, and discussing blogs and other illustrators work.

Illustration Bootcamp with Meg Hunt
Our lunch-time illustration panelists with bootcamp!

As it hit 1pm, Keith Williams, Teagan White and Allison Black stepped in to guide a panel about the differences in their lifestyles and work choices. It was a super fun panel and all of those guys had amazing insight into why their careers are the way they are. They were honest and hilarious and it was fun to hang out with them. They even came with us to Common Roots Cafe to get a bite to eat.

Illustration Bootcamp with Meg Hunt
In the Common Roots Common Room!

Illustration Bootcamp with Meg Hunt
A full table

The rest of the day was studio time. We had a deadline of 5:30 to finish a piece of art and everyone just buckled down and cranked some amazing things out. Jenny, Francesca, Chris and I were all ready to take their art, scan it, print it, and create 18 accordion fold books for each of the participants. AND, we were prepared to do it in an hour!

Illustration Bootcamp with Meg Hunt
Meg met with everyone individually during work times throughout the two days

Illustration Bootcamp with Meg Hunt
Jakeh is working hard!

Illustration Bootcamp with Meg Hunt
Anika is finished with her piece!

Everyone finished, we grabbed all of the art and the race was on! It took us a little over an hour, but we managed to get all 18 done and we raced to Chino Latino to the farewell dinner, books in hand.

Illustration Bootcamp with Meg Hunt
Here's the book!

Illustration Bootcamp with Meg Hunt
Each participant made a page and we included their contact info underneath as a nice reminder of their time at Illustration Bootcamp!

Dinner was fabulous. It was lively, and the relaxation was well deserved.
I was so happy to see everyone there - talking with each other, celebrating everything they'd gone through over the past couple days - and just being together.

Illustration Bootcamp with Meg Hunt
Here they are receiving their books!

Illustration Bootcamp with Meg Hunt
Happy faces all around

Illustration Bootcamp with Meg Hunt
...and here you have it! Graduating Class of Illustration Bootcamp with Meg Hunt!

So, congrats everyone that made it through boot camp! You deserve a huge round of applause! (But since you can't hear me clapping over here, you can just pat yourselves on the back) We're proud of you!

We had such an amazing time and I know that I'll be looking forward to seeing what you guys make! It was a blast. And of course, I can't thank Meg enough for her enthusiasm and her hard work. Meg, you are fantastic. From all of us at Light Grey, thank you all for an amazing weekend! Here's to the future!!

All 116 photos of Illustration Bootcamp with Meg Hunt can be seen here!

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