MAKE:2013 was a huge success! This past weekend we were honored to have the incredibly talented Kali Ciesemier visit us at Light Grey Art Lab to host a weekend workshop dedicated to illustration, creativity and goal-setting, as well as being productive and happy in the new year!
As we poured into the small zashiki room at Fuji-ya (our first stop of the weekend), spirits were high and the room bubbled with introductions and animated tales of each person's journey to the Resolve to MAKE: 2013 workshop. Just a few hours prior, we had picked Kali up from the MSP airport. She was surprisingly energetic after a day of traveling and eager to meet everyone that night!
The Light Grey team had spent the last several weeks planning with Kali, and we were excited to finally jump into an intense weekend with our 18 workshoppers!
Early Saturday morning we got straight to business with introductions all around. Kali was brave enough to show her impressive progress as a working artist; from her earliest recorded work (an adorable 2nd grade animation made in Kid Pix complete with voice acting and sound effects provided by her and her father), continuing through her semi-awkward teen years (we all have them), and finally wowing everyone with her current and impressive body of work. She passed around plenty of awesome published samples, speaking to how different types of projects created new challenges.
Everyone was feeling inspired after seeing so much beautiful work, and we talked a little about trying to figure our what is next for each of us. With 2013 looming ahead, we focused on what was important to us about our own lifestyles and what we look forward to in the future. We broke down where our goals stem from and why they are important to us.
Happiness plays a huge part in our decision making process, and we discussed how it should define what makes the goals we set "Our Goals." We shared our thoughts and plans with each other and using the MAKE: 2013 workbook, we charted a path forward, creating an achievable schedule of action. This plan would shape the rest of our workshop.
After a quick lunch of Bánh mì sandwiches and springrolls from local gem Jasmine Deli, we jumped straight into a panel discussion led by Kali that included Brad McGinty, Alyssa Thomas, and Allegra Lockstadt. It was an energetic group with drastically different approaches and methodology, so it was enlightening to see how they had each own carved their own place in the illustration and design world.
It was great to get their perspective on pace, approach, and theories about what is important to them when planning their own goals and growing their own business.
Next, Kali gave a detailed lecture about her ideation and concepting process, which led to an exercise in informal subdivision. This was the first time that many of us had been through this process and it was eye-opening how much it helped create dynamic compositions. She then led everyone through the details of our group project (the results of which can be seen in a special section in the gallery alongside Light Grey Art Lab's upcoming show Message In A Bottle).
As the group began to work on sketches and ideas for their pieces, Kali began one-on-one meetings with each of the artists.
That night we hosted an All Creatives Meet & Greet at Cafeteria, where tons of artists, designers, animators and more got together to have some drinks, talk shop, and make some new friends. The private room was packed, loud, and busy, and it was exciting to have so much tallent packed in such a small place.
Thank you to everyone who braved the cold (and the very vocal and rambunctious crowd watching football in the bar next door) and came out to the Meet & Greet!
Sunday started out with a roundtable discussion about the business side of illustration. The conversation was freeform, ranging from reps to legal questions to promotion and marketing. Everyone was eager to learn and had questions to ask and personal antidotes to share.
From there Kali led a techniques demo where she showed off her whip-smart process and workflow. Although everyone works in there own way, it was enlightening to see Kali's specific method of illustration. Kali has her technique down to a science and is super
Following the demo, the group spent more time working out their sketches for the group project, and Kali continued her one-on-one meetings.
During the final discussion of the day, everyone (included Kali and the Light Grey team) shared a personal goal they were set on achieving in 2013. In the end we asked the workshoppers to check in on the progress of their peers and be accountable for each other going forward. It's always easier to stick to a plan when you have a group of friends to cheer you on!
As MAKE: 2013 ended with one final group dinner, everyone said their goodbyes and went on their separate ways; hopefully a little more confident in their next steps for 2013.
We want to thank everyone who came to MAKE: 2013! It was amazing group of super talented and wonderful individuals! And of course a special thanks to Kali herself, who did an amazing job leading the workshop and just being a all-around awesome person!
P.S.- If you want to see ALL the pictures from the weekend, take a look at the MAKE: 2013 flickr set.