This week I got back from Toronto as I was a part of the wonderful FITC conference happening out there!
It was my first time in Canada and what an introduction it was. I had an absolute blast over there - the people, the vibe, the event - it was all so good!
I didn't get too much of a chance to see the city, but I think speaking to people, going for dinner, hanging out with people from the city always gives me a great steer on what a city is like, and I got such a great impression!
I had the huge honour of having the opening slot, kicking off the conference to the 1,200+ attendees. It was a really exciting thing to do and I really enjoyed it, I instantly got a really warm & friendly vibe from everyone, which instantly relaxed me and let me get on with showing lots of GIFs and brightly coloured graphics!
I even took part in the Art Battle too, which pitted a bunch of designers & artists against each other with just a canvas, easel and 20 minutes! It was great fun, with everyone cheering and laughing, as everyone frantically did what they good within the mad timeframe!
I decided to stick with what I knew, and paint something big, bold and graphic - so I went with painting Arnie in the same style as I do on the Free Art pieces! It worked (well, the crowd were very sympathetic to an out-of-town Brit) and I got through to Round 2!
That is where my plan fell down... I didn't expect to even finish anything within 20 minutes, let alone get through to another round, so I didn't really have a plan. I decided to stick with the bright colours and busted out pink and gold (well, yellow) and just went for a big-circular-blob-dude!
Unfortunately that tactic didn't really work when I was surrounded by brilliant, talented painters, haha!
It was a lot of fun doing it though, and every painting went up for auction, but the bids could be anything and trust me, they really were a bit of everything. Each artist could pick what they accepted in return for the painting and the list was probably one of the best / mental / awesome things I've ever read! In the end I decided to go for...
"50 high fives and a drawing of a puppy with rainbow farts"
"My first unborn child, 2 cookies and a birthday card"
It's exactly that spirit that I loved from my Canada trip - everyone I met was fun, silly, creative and loved what they did. I laughed and smiled a lot, that's surely a great sign right!?
Thank you so much for having me Toronto, I really had a brilliant time. The speakers, the attendees, the crew that made it all happen - FITC was a very special event that I am really honoured to have been a part of. Big thank you to Shawn, the man behind FITC for getting me involved and a special shout out to my brother across the atlantic, James White aka Signalnoise, who got me involved with FITC in the first place!
After the 3,000 mile journey back home to England, I was very excited to be greeted with this sight at London Heathrow; my lady and my boy at the Arrivals gate!
Thanks again Canada, until next time!