I learned that anyone or can be an artist, and you don’t have to do in life what people tell you. You can live as creative or as colorful a life as you choose for yourself. You can be whatever kind of person or artist you want to be, you don’t have to sit at a desk and make phone calls to have a job, you can host comic book events, art shows. Life is yours to be as little or as much creative as you want.
The variety of classes available each day made it possible for me to hit an amazing sweet spot between “decompress and find creativity again” and “get reenergized about the business side of things.” Also I really didn’t expect this (I’m a raging introvert), but I made some truly amazing friends/connections. People showed up and were authentic and vulnerable, made the weekend so uplifting.
I think the most valuable thing for me was the networking and connecting with other people in my industry. I went in with hopes of learning a ton from the workshops…and while some of them were good, I learned a ton just from talking and connecting with other people.
The networking was amazing at camp. I am so appreciative of all of the people I met. The most valuable thing I learned was to keep going, keep pushing through, and that I’m not alone in my struggles with my business. Every problem I’ve had, someone else has had and has been able to get through.
I got way more than I expected out of camp. I am still glowing even weeks later! There was so much to process, and I’ve made so many awesome connections, and done so much work to my business since the second I got home. It was a truly incredible experience. Thank you so much!
[The most valuable thing I learned ] was that I share the same fears, anxieties and struggles as everyone else. Being around others who are in the same boat gave me a boost of confidence and the drive to keep going. I feel really motivated to get into my studio today, after months of going through a period of struggling with why I’m doing this. Feels like I have my focus back.
I took a leap of faith and crawled out of my comfort zone applying for events by @urbancraftuprising for the first time this year. I also spent the last 3 days on the beautiful Vashon island participating in their Camp Thundercraft retreat with around 70 like-minded, creative, entrepreneurial, badass women! Applying for this opportunity was scary. I didn’t know what to expect. The admission fee was hard to justify at the time. Imposter syndrome screamed loudly that I didn’t belong. aaand… all that was squashed! I can’t emphasize enough how valuable the connections, information, and education I’ve gained from this experience has been. The doubt I felt before taking that leap of faith and applying for these opportunities seems trivial and silly in retrospect. I can’t thank the organizers of this event enough for this incredible experience. 🙏 If you needed a sign to take that leap, apply for the thing, or spend a scary amount to invest in yourself: THIS IS IT!
The best things about camp, for me, as someone just starting out are as follows: First, just believing I deserved to give this dream a serious go was important. Going to camp was literally and symbolically about investing in myself. Second, talking with people and hearing their stories and being asked to describe and explain my business helped me to clarify what I really want to do. Third-being around people who actually wanted to listen and who generously gave me such thoughtful and creative ideas, who are also going through similar things was extremely validating! Last, but not least, I made connections with people face to face and exchanged contact information thus expanding my support network!
I truly am grateful that this camp was started and that I got to be there for its first year. I can’t even tell you how much I loved being around people who have made their work and their life their art, for so long I have been told that you need to go to college and get a job to live a successful happy life. But this camp and the people there taught me to do what I wanted, do what makes me happy. To not question who I am and to not question if I am an artist or not. This camp has totally changed my perspective on who I am as artist, and has totally cleared my path for what I want to do in the future, when it seemed so blurry. Thank you so much you guys! It was definitely an experience I will always cherish and never forget.
Camp was more than I expected in all the good ways! Had so much fun!! Felt at home connecting with fellow creatives and being about to not only learn together but also build relationships with everyone!
- Camp ThunderCraft 2022, by Shelby Pothier
- Camp Thundercraft, by Angela Cowley
- Camp Thundercraft: Urban Craft Uprising Creates A Weekend Camp for Small Businesses, by Anne Reeves
Camp ThunderCraft wouldn’t be nearly as awesome without our generous sponsors! All these wonderful businesses are helping out in some way to make sure the weekend is super fantastic.