Monday, November 18, 2013

CTN 2013 Reflect

I forgot my camera. : (

Day One:
Raul and I left early Thursday morning and met up with Katherine at the airport. (Thanks Matt for dropping us off!) The plane ride went well and it was a comfortable 82 degrees in Burbank when we landed. We walked across the street to the Marriott - which was already bustling with convention-goers way more than I remember from 2012 - and relaxed a bit before meeting up with the Oatley Academy crew. It was really great meeting everyone I had been chatting with online for the past several months. Such awesome people!! : )
The van we were hoping would fit 12 people only sat my color coated ride chart wasn't much help. BUT we squeezed everyone in and set off for the Getty art museum. On the way we drove around *literally* the Disney lot which wasn't exactly on the way, but had to be visited. The Getty was beautiful! Much like DCC earlier, we mainly talked about the European Art and had planned on the cafe being open...but it wasn' we departed to find food. At this point I was separated from the Party Van and rode back with Tommy and David - passing Nickelodeon on the way. Why I was dubbed navigator, I don't know. I am directionally impaired, don't own a smart phone yet, and yeah...somehow we made it to a Chipotle and then back to the Marriott to eat and chat.
Chris then initiated "family time" and we talked about the upcoming year - which was very exciting! - and did a little exercise to keep everyone's positivity levels on high - very touching. My main take away from that was 1. I can't wait for Painting Drama to start up in the spring 2. Finishing Magic Box will be challenging, but very rewarding and 3. I am Hermione Granger. Pretty cool.
Ernest and Celestine was cancelled. : (
Around 9 or 10 we walked back to the airport to collect Owen and then cabbed to our hotel. (Marriott was booked solid AND so was ours so even though we had to cab back and forth, I thought it was worth it) And thus ends Day One.

I am really kicking myself for forgetting the camera. 

Day Two: 
Since we didn't get back in time for early registration on Thursday, we cabbed back early to the Marriott for Friday registration. Which wasn't too bad. Got to see Jon again - missed that afro! But couldn't stay for breakfast. I helped Chris and Travis set up the Oatley Academy booth. I started a rave with Josephine in the booth across the isle. I pretended to be Lora Innes so I could get into the VIP lounge and figure out when Chris's demo was that day and collect all the Speed Talent buttons for the booth. (I love you Lora, I represented you with dignity and gracefulness!) The booth was PACKED. Chris was constantly talking to people. We were explaining the classes and community online and handing out the new postcards with the new class offerings. Sarah Marino was also in the booth reviewing portfolios - she and Shane are so sweet! And there was a crazy amount of energy!! 
I managed to pull Chris out in time for his demo. There were some technical difficulties and it was difficult locating staff to assist. I tried the best I could with my IT experience and generally felt quite silly. This being my first time out of the booth, I poked around the new talent tent to say hi to my friends there. The layout seemed a bit odd to me since I was used to the studios all being in one area, not so spread out. Very crowded. ><
I got to wear a Speed Talent button most of the time, so I got to give feedback too, which was great. Some of the portfolios I was shown I recognized - "Hey...I know you! So great to meet you!!" - and some I'll have to start following too. : )
Afterwords it was nearly five, so I ran out to eat and grab Chris food too since once he got back to the booth there was no time to even sit. At this point I was feeling a bit tired and while eating had helped some, I was ready to go at 6 when Katherine needed to head back to the hotel. I was pretty much out by 8pm. 

Oh caaaaaaaameraaaaaa! Where are youuuuuu?

Day Three:
First thing Saturday was my portfolio review with Disney. I was under the impression that I was on Standby, but my name was in fact on the appointment list, so I didn't argue there. Took a while to find the line I was supposed to be in and then the list was not alphabetical, so everyone was a bit confused and several people were still hoping to get in even though they weren't able to confirm a seat online. Honestly, the organization was rubbish and the eager determination of some, while admirable, wasn't helping. But I got in and reviewed, so all's well that ends well. I thought the review went great, lots of actionable things to focus on and push further. When I went back to the Oatley booth Chris was swamped. Justin Copeland was there too reviewing portfolios and informed me that my Disney review was rubbish, so spent a good amount of time going over things with me that helped me better understand how I can improve on what Disney said I should do. Which was AWESOME! The next chunk of my Saturday was spent shopping. I had specific booths I wanted to hit and I got more EXCELLENT feedback from Brett Bean, connected with Helen, Elsa, Isaac, Liana, Brittney, Claire, Jessie, and everyone I follow. Though I did admittedly miss a few that I wanted to say hi to and poor Tom got sick. : ( 
The last portion of Saturday was spent in the line for Laika. I was really anxious about this one since I love this studio so much and while the line appeared short and to move quickly - I was still there for 3.5 hours. Apart from the cold weather, it wasn't bad. We were regularly checked in on by the darling brand manager Alise - she gave us little sketch books and chocolate croissants. I got to chat with Marisa in recruiting which was really fun. : ) And art director Alan had awesome feedback too - I took notes! After that was food and then huddling in the front of the hotel to chat more with the Oatley crew. Chris told us more stories - some a bit alarming. We debated different kinds of art school/learning styles, concept versus technique. I got even more feedback which was helpfully critical, but encouraging. Everyone was so proud of my progress and I felt like I was blushing the entire time. I love making other people proud! 
Then it was time to cab back. Our first two cabs were stolen by jerks, and the third was driven by a very funny Russian man. 

If you can't tell, I'm upset about forgetting my camera. 

Day Four: 
I was back in the Oatley booth Sunday morning after stopping by to see Victoria and Mike. It was much calmer, but that was understandable - and nice since the energy of the last couple days was INSANE. I very much doubt they'll try to squeeze CTN there next year, but who knows. If they do I'm booking waaaaay earlier. lol Our flight back was around two, so we headed to the airport a little early to eat before take off. The ride back was a little turbulent which stressed Raul a bit, but the landing was smooth. We played train hopping games in the terminal - at first unintentionally, but then just for fun - and Brit came all the way into the terminal to pick us up! We went out for dinner and shared the spoils of war and then decided that it was best to head to sleep since Raul had work today. 

And that, my friends, was CTN 2013. 

I am most glad to have today to regroup a bit - do laundry, sort my Select Shelf where all my favorite CTN spoils go, and most importantly start the attack planning for next year! I feel like I have an achievable goal for my next portfolio and enough direction to help me along, certainly enough people holding me accountable. (You guys are seriously the best; I love OA!) I'm very excited to keep powering through and have a very positive feeling about the future!! 

I hope everyone had a great time too - and for those of you who couldn't make it, I hope to see you there next year!! (When I will hopefully remember my camera) Until then, keep working hard, following your dreams, and if you need a hand - let me know! : ) 



  1. Beki it was lovely to meet you at CTN and too much fun hanging at the Oatley booth together! This is a great wrap up of the weekend and fingers crossed 2014 is just as promising!

    1. It was really good to meet you too and hanging out at the Oatley booth was waaaay too much fun. Though very exhausting. lol I started a post in the Centrifuge for others to share their experiences for those who wanted to be kept in the loop and maybe want to go next year. I am so stoked for 2014!! :D