Las Vegas is hot. Too hot. Honestly, I have no idea why anyone would want to live there, unless you are just a major fan of gambling and air conditioning. This was apparent after I stepped off of the plane on the 18th of July to meet Mike Lin to help him get ready for his 2 and 7 day Beloose Graphic workshop. This workshop consists of either 2 days or 9 days of intensive hands on learning of a plethera of multi media rendering techniques involving markers, colored pencils, pastels, watercolor and graphite. There is also a hybrid digital class the last day, taught by his son Brian. The whole experience is profound, and after I had attended a 9 day workshop last January I wanted to come back as a teaching aide and that was the reason I was suffocating in the desert heat out in Vegas. Its nice out there indoors, since it has to be or I am sure everyone would leave. What struck me is that there is virtually no outdoor atmosphere, it is a life of shuttling from one AC controlled environment to the next. I am sure during cooler months there may be some kind of outdoor activity, but during the last week of July it is pretty non existent.
This workshop was similiar to the last one I took in Manhatten, Kansas in that the people you meet alone are worth the trip. Imagine 70 designers from all over the world converging into one hotel to study hand graphics/rendering techniques under one of the most skilled artists I have ever met in person! The conversation is stimulating and extremely enjoyable. The tips and tricks are amazing time savers, and after 12 hours plus each day you are completely saturated in the experience. The beauty of Mike Lin's workshop is that he does not sit up there talking about theory for hours, he draws. And you draw with him, following steps and techniques along with him. This is such an incredible way to learn. He shows you the shortcuts, the tricks, without beating around the bush and just showing off what he can do. I love the transparency of his style, and his willingness to share is evidence of his passion for the art. I feel very fortunate to have been able to attend his seminar, and would gladly return to help out as an aide again if I am given the opportunity.
This time around there were people from Canada, Hawaii, Switzerland, and all over the USA. I met some wonderful people, engaged in some incredible dialogue, and walked away with my mind brimming with new ideas and future endeavors. I saw La Rev in Vegas, remarkable show. I would highly recommend it! It was like nothing I had ever seen before...the strip was loud and chaotic, so really not my thing but the architecture was impressive. Was blows my mind is that all of that is just sitting out in the desert. The mountains surrounding the area look lifeless, and I rarely saw any wildlife. The air was dry and HOT, and the palm trees that are planted around Vegas and Henderson look out of place surrounded by rock and sandy dirt.
BUT, the workshop was great. I am glad to be back home, by Lake Michigan and the greenery of lush vegetation and singing birds. Till next time I get called out there!