I attended the Illustration Master Class this year. It was an intense week of illustrating among some real superstars of the illustration world.
I went into this not knowing much about it. In 2014 we attended Spectrum Live and everyone knew each other from IMC; when we asked what it was, everyone enthusiastically told us about it and told us to take it. We caught a ride from Boston with our friend Britt Snyder (who you may remember as one of Muddy Colors’ other rising stars), and he told us stories about his times at the master class. We knew we were in for a fun but stressful week, full of knowledge and growth. Below: the workspace for Nathan and myself.
The first few days were really scary for me. I’m extremely shy and I was faced with dozens of students who were very skilled and who already knew each other, so I basically only spoke to Nathan for the first couple of days. I was nervous around the teachers at first as well. IMC hosts some big names, like Ian McCaig, Mike Mignola and Greg Manchess… Having only met a handful of them at Spectrum Live, I found myself tongue-tied and hesitant to talk to any of them who I didnt know. I regretted this later in the week when I finally talked to every faculty member, and they were all extremely helpful and welcoming. Next time I’ll talk to you, I promise!
By the end of the week I knew most of the students and faculty and could start focusing my nervousness on the painting I was working on. Two days into painting, I made a terrible mistake and let my washes become very muddy. I abused the paper for a few minutes, scrubbing desperately to try and remove some of the pigment, to no avail. Now, I usually go in digitally and fix things like this, but here I was trying to complete a totally traditional painting in front of a group of other artists. Scary! Luckily I had some gouache with me, and painted much of the painting in opaques to cover up my terrible mishap. Problem solving takes a lot longer in traditional media! I took this picture minutes before ruining the background entirely.
By the end of the week I was pretty happy with the experience. I think next time I’ll put less pressure on myself and try to relax around others. It turned out that most of the people that I was too nervous to talk to were feeling the same way. I made some really great friends, and I hope I get to see you all again soon.
Here’s the final piece: