I just came back after six days in New York City. Here are five notable features of my trip.
1. My talk at Skillshare HQ
The reason I went to NYC in the first place was to talk at Skillshare HQ. My recent class, ODD BODIES, won the top teacher contest for 2018, the prize for which was this very opportunity. It took me a lot of soul searching and a ton of work to plan the talk, and it was well worth it. I was very nervous before the event, but I knew exactly what I was going to say, and it turned out great. The house was packed, and it was so good to see so many new faces in person and connect over a few conversations on the side. After the talk, I was able to do a bit of Q&A as well, which was broadcast live on IGTV. The unscripted Q&A type stuff is much easier for me to do than rehearsed talks — I loved it!
2. Taking my family with me
I usually go on work trips alone. This time, I took my family. It’s a lot of work and perhaps a little bit less selfishly gratifying as a trip, but being able to experience New York through my daughters made it worth it. I don’t think I would have worked nearly as hard to see as many iconic New York things if I didn’t have them with me. We went to The Met and the American Museum of Natural History, walked across the Brooklyn Bridge, visited Times Square, took a ferry past the Statue of Liberty, and they even got to see a puppet show in New York. They also attended my talk at Skillshare. It was good for them to see their papa at work, to see a side of what I do that doesn’t involve me sitting at my desk, on my computer, in my studio.
On the few occasions I didn’t have kids in tow, I tried to do some more personal goals. One was doing some sketchbooking. I didn’t do nearly as much as I wanted, but what little I did sparked me up a lot.
The Brooklyn Art Library / The Sketchbook Project
A little bird told me about the Brooklyn Art Library, home of The Sketchbook Project. Here are some 40,000 sketchbooks, donated by artists, available to for public viewing. To support the project and contribute to it, the BAL sells little sketchbook starter kits, complete with a standard-size sketchbook, instructions and some prompts. I look forward to adding my own little piece of history to this great project soon.
Pilgrimage of my NYC-based Projects
Lastly, it’s always good to see my work out the in wild. I was intent on seeing a few of my pieces that have gone up since the last time I was in New York, which was in 2015. Among them were: my wall art for Quality Eats and a George Burns-inspired mammoth for The Wooly Public.
There were so many other things about this trip that I love, but perhaps I can write about those another time. Thanks to Skillshare for bringing me out and having me talk. The recording of my talk will be available on Skillshare in a little bit — I will be sure to announce its launch at that time. Please follow me on Instagram to stay up to date!