Studio Self Indulgence with Sam Wolfe Connelly
We just finished a set of huge and inspiring weeks at Light Grey Art Lab! In coordination with the opening reception for Great Personality, we invited freelance, editorial, and exhibiting illustrator Sam Wolfe Connelly to teach a three-day workshop called Studio Self Indulgence!
The weekend workshop included a public artist lecture at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, a series of studio-intensive sessions, advice on practicing and professional illustration, locational brainstorming, business talks, and a guest lecture by Teagan White. Overall, the weekend was full of dynamic conversations, ideating, and a focus on each individual's art practice and aspirations.
The weekend began with the visiting artist lecture at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. In the artist talk, Sam walked through his recent work, motivations, and voice in illustration. He shared his thoughts about promoting work, navigating the line between client-based and personal work, and some of the stories and history that make their way into his pieces- creating eery, interesting, and voyeuristic narratives.
It was an informative and very entertaining start to the night! If you missed the artist talk, we just posted it to the Light Grey Podcast. You can find an audio recording of the lecture here.
After the talk, we made our way to Light Grey Art Lab for the opening reception of Great Personality, the release of the Great Personality Dating Games, and an All Creatives Meet & Greet. It was an unbelievable turnout with artists, locals, and friends, who were all gathered for the big unveil! Guests were able to mingle and meet one another while looking at all of the pinups and environments on the surrounding walls. You can see more information about the opening reception here or see all of the photographs on the Great Personality flickr set here.
The studio workshops began on Saturday morning with bagels, coffee, and tea. We gathered around the big tables to meet all of the workshop participants, get to know one another, and discus our goals and focus for the workshop and thereafter.
After a few brainstorming exercises and individual reflections, we broke into teams and began idea generating and comparing interests. Each group was given prompts to expand upon and use throughout the afternoon field trips and locational workshops.
American Swedish Institute
Our first group trip was to the American Swedish Institute. There, students were invited to gather source images, sketch, and wonder through the halls of the Turnblad Mansion. The entire mansion is covered in gilded statues, giant bay windows, lookout points, bannisters, and hand-carved ornaments. It was a perfect place to sketch and work out some drawings!
Students sketching throughout the museum.
We then made our way to Midtown Global Market for a lunch break and conversation. Midtown is a colorful and diverse marketplace for all types of food and goods- It is one of our favorite places for people watching and grabbing a bite to eat.
Midtown Global Market
And after lunch we made our way to Northeast Minneapolis to the Bell Museum of Natural History. Here, there are tons of beautiful landscapes, dioramas, taxidermy, and carefully placed scenes for sketching and observing.
Bell Museum of Natural History
In the afternoon, we returned to Light Grey Art Lab for a lecture, presentation, and work time. And after a productive day, we settled down for a family style dinner and game night! It was a mystery themed game night that included Clue, Pandemic, Rolemodels, Who Killed Doctor Lucky, and more!
Mystery Game Night!
Breakfast and Business Discussion
The second day of the workshop began with a Breakfast and Business Talk. We all gathered around the big tables to pool our resources! The business talk included topics of promotionals, art directors, conventions, art reps, and more. It is a content heavy and incredibly important part of the workshop!
Then Sam gave two technique-based demos. We watched Sam create a small drawing in charcoal, and then how he translated and colored his work digitally. He talked through his techniques and tips for keeping material qualities and setting certain moods.
Digital Demo by Sam Wolfe Connelly
Artist Talk with Teagan White
Then we had an artist presentation by local illustrator, Teagan White. Teagan is an expert in her craft, style, and application. She shared information about what techniques and promotions have worked best for her, finding the right kind of work for her style, and her thoughts on illustration. It was an thoughtful and informative talk! You can see more of Teagan White's work here.
After our artist talks and demos, we had a full afternoon including one-on-one critiques, portfolio reviews with Sam, and group brainstorming for future projects. During the one-on-one meetings, Sam talked with each participant with their individual art goals, current projects, and questions. It was a chance to ask all of the specifics about their personal illustration work.
Groups met to talk about zine, exhibition, and project possibilities! Each group came up with a unique solution that brought together their common goals, inspirations, community, and resources.
Farewell dinner at Fuji Ya
And after a productive, inspiring, and collaborative weekend, we gathered around around for our final, farewell dinner! We had a great time talking with all of the artists and about new things on the horizon! I think we all left with a sense of possibilities and good things to come!
Thanks to everyone that participated in this weekend, attended the lecture at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, or came to the opening reception of Great Personality- this was an extremely special and community driven weekend!
Studio Self Indulgence, 2014