The morning started out with a virtual slide presentation created by Jeanette Landenwitch. "Look at us now" was a virtual exhibition of work that's been created over the past seventeen years of metal clay.
The afternoon session that I attended was "Designing without a net" which was lead by Ellen Wieske and Tim McCreight. The session was basically a very relaxed dialogue between the two about their working processes. Ellen's process of creation is more scheduled and Tim's is more fluid. This session got us to thinking about who we are as artists (which I am still trying to wrap my head around. I had wanted to be an art teacher since third grade and was trained as an artist who would be teaching. For me, I still identify myself more as a teacher.) The dialogue between the two has me thinking about who I really am. They both suggested that we choose some things that we really, really like and really, really hate, then try to identify why we have those particular feelings toward that object. There are lots of risks involved in making art and we shouldn't be afraid to take those risks. Ellen also suggested that we don't back away when we become obsessed with something...... that feeling might not come again. (I'm quite sure she was talking about making art and not stalking someone.)
My favorite session of the entire conference was Helga van Leipsig's "Process as a Design Tool." This session was in the same vein as "Designing without a net" but stated in a different way.
Helga has recently been inspired by an E-book called "Time Management" and has applied it to her life. She feels that by following a schedule she has freed up time and has accomplished more in the time she is at her studio. One of the quotes she shared was to "Be regular and orderly in your life, so that you may be violent and original in your work." - Gustave Flabert (I think I copied that right!)
Anyway, she also (as did Tim and Ellen) suggest that we do some deep soul searching and learn who we are, what motivates us and makes us happy. This hit home with me in both sessions as I sometimes feel like I'm still not sure who I am. I have an inkling, but still feel like I'm searching to find out what I'm best at. (Damn I'd better hurry. I don't know how much time I have left..... I guess I should have gone to the Palm Reader at the Saturday night gala.)
As a teacher I felt I knew who I was..... but as an artist, not so much!