I had the most wonderful time this past weekend attending CTNx. It was such a surreal experience, meeting so many talented artists I've admired for so long, and finally being able to put a face to so many awesome people I've conversed with on Twitter!
I was just blown away by the kindness of every single person I met, and how it seemed like I'd known some people for eons rather than hours. It was also mindblowing seeing Chris Sanders casually walking in the parking lot, or Eric Goldberg and Andreas Deja getting eggs in the buffet line. That never got old.
I apologize in advance for the Instagram abuse in this post:
I got all checked in on Thursday evening - it's hard to believe it was a week ago already! The Marriott was really nice, and I lucked out having a room super close to all the action.
Chris was so nice! My friend Lauren and I talked to him for a solid 15/20 minutes, and he brought up working on Mulan, his plans for Kiskaloo, how he planned for The Croods, etc. I was on cloud nine the entire rest of the evening after speaking with him.
I spent waaaaaaaaay too much money, but I have no regrets because everyone was just so kind and talented. Most of the books I knew I was going to purchase beforehand, so I came prepared. I completed my Chris Sanders sketchbook collection ($10 each, what a steal), and also bought Rough Draft from EA, a sketchbook and book from Brian Kesinger, Claire Hummel's newest artbook, as well as prints by Natalie Hall and Brittney Lee.
Saturday morning I had a Disney portfolio review, but before that I was able to stop by Stephen Silver's booth before he was mobbed the entire day. I also got a caricature done by the lovely Lindsey Olivares, SPAM sketchbook from Helen Chen, and prints from Rachel Wolfe and Claire Almon. The waterbottle was a surprise gift from the folks at Laika. Needless to say, I love it!
Saturday evening I attended Dave Pimentel's figure drawing session. I've only ever done nude figure drawing sessions before, so having such eccentric costumes with fabulous poses was a dream come true.
Advice of the night: draw, draw, draw. Also: draw fast. I thought our arms would fall off by 9pm! But I learned so much, and also learned how to draw in public without being a creeper. Always a plus.
Sunday morning I attended a panel on color, and Lorelay Bove was one of the speakers. She stuck around afterwards, and was super nice. She had shown a lot of personal paintings as well as work for Wreck-It Ralph, so I definitely left feeling inspired.
Did I mention I spent way too much money? Another print by Brittney Lee, a mermaid from Jake Parker, and Cory Loftis' book.
Sunday night was the secret Disney screening, which to my delight turned out to be Frozen. I had spoiled myself by thumbing through the Little Golden Book, but the book doesn't even compare. The film is just fantastic. I've had the songs stuck in my head ever since, and am eager to take the family to see it next week! I really hope people can put aside their reservations and go see it - the story was so refreshing, and I definitely think WDAS has another hit on their hands.
Among all the purchases and panels, I also got to speak with Claire Hummel, Pascal Campion, Reel FX, and Disney about my portfolio. Lots of awesome advice - even if some did leave me slightly devastated - and so the gears are turning as to new projects I can take on to better myself based on their input.
I was so sad to head home - not only because it was around 70 degrees each day in Burbank, but because it was so wonderful meeting everyone, being in an environment built upon such talent and love for animation. I'm already planning my trip for next year!