A vault of opportunity
Work hard, play harder This year’s Industry Workshops provided budding concept artists with a thriving networking hub
Stepping into a dark and damp tunnel leading under central London might not seem like fun on a sunny day, but with the promise of top art industry professionals and free beer, who could say no?
Set in an underground vault, this year’s Industry Workshops looked more like a games environment than a conference – complete with loud sound effects shaking the exposed piping. Boasting the likes of Min Yum, Nikolai Lockertsen, Thomas Scholes, Noah Bradley and Suzanne Helmigh, it’s an packed event for concept artists and wannabe concept artists alike, giving the opportunity to mingle with the best in the field and learn from live demos and lectures.
“At events like this you can place yourself on a spectrum and meet others who face the same issues,” says joint organiser Richard Burns. “It’s also a good place to say ‘Hey, I’m out here, you might dig my stuff.’ That’s important if you want to showcase your skill in the real world – people might even offer you a job.
“Industry Workshops is a little bubble universe where, selfishly, I can talk to people I enjoy the company of, and discuss cool ideas with. Being able to exist in that, even if only for a few days a year, is probably more important now than it ever has been.”
This year’s event has grown from last year on every level, with over 400 people and six times the amount of recruiters. The content offered has also extended this year to include 2D, 3D and traditional art. Highlights included Mark Hill’s insight into designed storytelling, Titus Lunter delving into psychology and Dave Neale looking at stylisation, as well as the infinite opportunities to network, share ideas and enjoy yourself alongside contemporaries.
Richard admits his plans for IW are: “To get to the point where we can align with people who share our vibe and can mutually learn from. Throw a few contrarians into the mix and trust people with it… then we’ll organise an event!”
Find out more about the 2015 and 2016 events at
Creature and concept artist Dave Neal passes on his invaluable industry advice to the audience. London Atelier of Representational Art (LARA) offered classes at the event. Dave Neal showed off his experimentations with stylisation at IW. Titus Lunter offered expert advice to ward off creative block. One of Titus Lunter’s concept environment pieces – Titus was one of this year’s speakers. Dave Neal believes you need to understand reality before adding stylisation to your art. Joint organiser Daniel Matthews pours a pint of complimentary craft ale for an eager attendee.