In­dus­try Work­shops 2016

Imag­ineFX took a trip to the UK’s premier event for net­work­ing with pro­fes­sional artists, right in the heart of Lon­don

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It’s 9.30am on a hu­mid, but drea­rily grey week­end morning in Lon­don. Most of the grubby lit­tle streets around Brick Lane are empty and quiet, its res­i­dents and tourists still yet to make a move for the out­doors. But here at The Old Tru­man Brew­ery where In­dus­try Work­shops (IW_16) is be­ing held, there’s a quiet hub­bub of ex­cite­ment among the hun­dreds of peo­ple who are wait­ing for the day to un­fold.

Many are here for the day’s open­ing lec­ture, Thea Turner’s char­ac­ter de­sign mas­ter­class, which is just one of over 150 hours of art lec­tures and demos fea­tured at the three-day event. Thea, a free­lance con­cept artist for film and games, says, “For me, the most ful­fill­ing part is get­ting to share in­sights that can make the jour­ney eas­ier for as­pir­ing artists. It’s some­thing I wish I could do for my younger self if I could time travel!”

The list of at­tend­ing artists from film and video game com­pa­nies is cer­tainly im­pres­sive, in­clud­ing Ash Thorp, Dar­rell Warner, Suzanne Helmigh and Aaron Beck. There’s also an al­ways-packed cor­ri­dor of port­fo­lio re­views and re­cruit­ment drives from the likes of Frame­store, Cre­ative Assem­bly and Atomhawk. In essence, if you’re an art pro­fes­sional or an as­pir­ing one, then you should be here.

One at­tendee, il­lus­tra­tor and con­cept artist Almu Re­dondo, ex­plains why she stumped up the ticket price: “It’s a three-day roller­coaster of awe­some­ness. Mind-blow­ing talks, brain­melt­ing con­ver­sa­tions with lec­tur­ers and at­ten­dees, and fan­tas­tic op­por­tu­ni­ties.” The lec­tures are in­sight­ful and the set­ting in­spir­ing, but the big­gest pull to this event is some­thing that can’t be timetabled: the chance to hang out with other artists, both pro and hob­by­ist, in a re­laxed set­ting. Our com­mu­nity is a lucky one. It’s a friendly and sup­port­ive rab­ble of peo­ple. If you haven’t done so yet, we rec­om­mend get­ting to an event like this to con­nect with your peers.

For more info on this year’s event, and to keep an eye on what might be in store next year, visit www.in­dus­try­work­shops.co.uk.

“I use wa­ter­colour in the same way you use com­put­ers,” film cos­tume artist Dar­rell Warner ex­plained at his Satur­day af­ter­noon lec­ture. “Like you, I just keep adding lay­ers.” One of Almu Re­dondo’s sketches done at IW_16. Artist Belinda Le­ung chats to Jort van Wel­ber­gen while demo­ing her skills.

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