Thursday, September 23, 2010

Misquoted in ImagineFX

After this years Illustration Master Class, my piece was chosen to appear in an article by ImagineFX magazine. So I sent in my piece and answered 4 questions via email. After reading the article as it appeared in the magazine I realized that one of my answers had been abbreviated and printed out of context. This comment could possibly be construed as arrogance, or worse, disrespectful to the IMC organizers and/or faculty. I don't think most people will take it that way, and I don't think the writer was trying to make me look like a jerk, but I do want to take the time to post the entire interview and explain a bit further what I actually meant.

Here is the section of the article that was written:

"For Michael Hayes, this session needed to change his skeptical outlook on hyped workshops. "I set a simple goal of picking up a few tricks," he admits. "But Greg's lecture on 'innate talent' and why it's total crap, followed up a few days later by Donato's on why he paints left me positively giddy"

The second quote is fine, the first one is where I feel the problem is. Here is the entire Q&A that I sent to ImagineFX

How did you find out about the masterclass?

Being an Illustrator and staying plugged into the community, it is rather hard not to know about it. It was conversations with several IMC alumni this year that convinced me to go. These were working professionals at a much higher skill level than I, telling me how much they learned.

What did you want to get out of it?

To be honest, my past experiences with over hyped workshops still had me a little skeptical, so I wasn’t quite sure what I would get out of it. So, I set a simple goal of raising the bar for my own work and picking up a few tricks. I can’t even put into words how much more than that I ended up getting out of it.

What did you enjoy most about it?

Greg’s lecture on “talent” and why it is total crap, followed up a few days later by Donato’s lecture on why he paints left me positively giddy. It’s a good thing they weren’t back to back; otherwise my head would have exploded from sheer inspiration. Just thinking about it makes me want to stop typing and go paint...

Did you learn anything that’ll change your approach to art?

For me there was no drastic “one thing” (although I did hear that from others…) but rather lots, and I mean lots, of little things here and there that add up to a significant change. I would say that every step of my process, from concept to finish has been improved upon in some way.

To explain a bit further: I had been to another art workshop, put on by a different organization, that was advertised (by the organization itself) as "a life-changing experience" amongst other grandiose claims. I figured if it was half as good as they said it was going to be I would be worth my time and money. It wasn't... It was such a letdown that I didn't travel to another workshop for 6 years.

The IMC staff makes no such grandiose claims (thought they could and it would be true) any hype it has is from actual alumni. I was not trying to say that the IMC was over hyped or that I was skeptical of anyone involved. I was not trying to say that I traveled across the country, spent $2000 and took a week off of work to "pick up a few tricks" I just wasn't sure how much one could learn in one week, no matter who is teaching or organizing. Turns out I was wrong... you can learn an unbelievable amount.... Which is what I was trying to say. I only mentioned the skepticism as a way of contrasting what my actual experience was.

Sorry for the long rant. I knew a few of the IMC instructors beforehand, they have always been incredibly kind to me. And I had nothing but the utmost respect for everyone involved with the IMC beforehand. The article made is seem like that may not have been the case, so I felt like I needed to clear that up.


  1. "Greg’s lecture,... Donato’s lecture..." Are those accessible somehow, you make me curious, DVD, books, podcast, etc. ?!

  2. As far as I know they aren't. Some of what Donato talked about is on his website. They were both "you had to be there" lectures though. It's hard to explain, but I don't think a recording would have done them justice.

  3. Wow. You would think if the quote included "however" to negate the previous assumption, that would be KIND OF important, haha.

  4. For what it's worth, I had similar reservations about attending IMC based on my experiences at another well-hyped but poorly structured workshop. So, the quote as printed in the article actually resonated with me, and definitely didn't come across as disrespectful or arrogant.

  5. It was pretty obvious that the quotes in the article were truncated and out of context. I don't think they came off that badly, although it's always hard to say how things will be interpreted, so you're wise to post your words in their entirety.

    --April (IMC09 and 10)