In order to fully appreciate the title, understand that in Germany, the conference is pronounced as “Two-Poe Berlin.”
Nothing beats a workshop for breakfast, except maybe real breakfast. After all, I do get hangry. Luckily, today, I got both. After a brisk walk to the conference, we arrived to a full room for Eva-Lotta Lamm’s sketching workshop, so we squeezed in where we could, grabbed some paper and pens and got to work.
Eva-Lotta ran us through a few exercise to learn the importance of reducing shapes to the most minimum detail so they could be created easily and, most importantly, efficiently. She described utilizing sketch notes when capturing what speakers were presenting at a conference, which meant not having a lot of time to jot down the main points. After all, this is a speaker presenting their ideas, not someone sitting for a still-life. We practiced drawing simple shapes by focusing on the drawing for 5 minutes, 1 minute, 30 seconds, 10 seconds and 5 seconds. Pens scratched the paper in a mad fury as the room full of 40 people scrambled to pack as much detail in the drawings, with a 5 second time limit.
We then covered drawing people utilizing simple shapes to express the gestures, without drawing detailed figures. People comprised of squares, circles, and lines managed to emote just as well as fully realized characters. Eve-Lotta encouraged only drawing enough to allow your imagination to take over and fill in the rest — something that was reflected in a lot of the talks yesterday.
After this was lunch, and watching people act crazy with virtual reality headsets. Wearing and experiencing a virtual reality world, utilizing a simple headset and smartphone, is an amazing experience. Looking around as you are fully immersed in a “digital world” is indescribable. And for those without motion sickness, it is a must — and it doesn’t have to cost either. On the other hand, watching someone wear and experience a virtual reality world is enjoyment on a completely different level. Watching an individual strap a white box, somewhat smaller than a Kleenex box, with a phone inside, is magical. Once they plunge into their virtual landscape, people stretch out their arms, checking to make sure they haven’t somehow left this plane of existence, as if using a digital portkey. A smile emerges on their face and they begin spinning in circles, exploring the 360 view, while simultaneously looking like someone who has vertigo, or is losing their mind. VR is fun for everyone.
The second part, our group focused less on the workshops and more on the speakers. Andrea, Yamna and Yocelyn had done an additional workshop after the morning’s, called From Gothic to Graphic, in which Drury Brennan took them through drawing with a nib pen and ink.
Once the conference was over for the evening, we headed to our appointment to walk of the dome of the Reichstagsgebäude building. The facade was reflective of the building that had been there prior to the war, but inside and sitting atop the building was a beautiful modern structure. The glass dome invites visitors to take a view from the very top with a ramp that wraps continuously around the done. The sun set across the horizon, lighting the sky with deep oranges and purples, the color were visible in every angle of the large clear cupola.
With only one day left of the conference, which concludes our trip, we discussed our projects over dinner. Going around the table, each of us carefully pitched our idea, received feedback and semi-settled on a direction. As this trip wraps up, it was great to reflect on all the good experiences our group has had together, as we promote the MFA program. And only a few blog posts left too.