BLOG*February 1, 2011

The NYC gang- Ramomar Buckley, Greg Spalenka, Lynne Foster, Kari Christensen, Jerome Miller, Omari Cameron, Thomas Kowal, Matthew Wachnicki, (not shown Mel Odom, Charles Saputo, Nancy Hart).


I just presented my AAB Workshop at the NYC Society of Illustrators with ten talented art professionals and college students. I want to thank Anelle Miller and Tom Stravinos at the Society for allowing the workshop to be held there. I am in gratitude to Mark Heflin at AI-AP for donating ten beautiful American Illustration Annuals for the participants. A thank you also to Karen Santry who is a true champion of the art spirit. It is always a pleasure to return to NYC even in freezing temperatures!

In my last post I shared some of these artist’s feelings BEFORE the workshop, now you will hear some AFTER workshop commentary. I will be adding comments to this post over the next week from the participants as they trickle in. Here are the first bunch…

“It was incredible Greg. I have been thinking about the workshop all week .”
-Lynne Foster

“Just wanted to thank you again for this past weekend.  It was extremely helpful and your willingness and hard work really meant a lot to me. ”
-Matt Wachnicki

“The class was intriguing. Thanks for the insights.”
-Mel Odom

“I’m getting back on my creative track! Right now I’m drawing out sketches & designs. I designed a website I’m finishing up. It was definitely an honor to meet you & the group last week.”
-Jerome Miller

“It was a privilege to meet you and I truly enjoyed participating in your workshop.”
-Tom Kowal

“The workshop was great!  It was extremely inspirational… and gave me so many ideas and options to advance artistic opportunities.  The whole experience was much more than I had anticipated.  This workshop is definitely something that I would recommend to anyone who is aspiring to build their own career!  Greg is an excellent instructor with an immense amount of positive energy!  It was absolutely worth the time and energy.”
-Nancy Hart

“Wow. Thank you.
You have finally put it all in perspective. I understand how to make my unique voice heard.  And even more importantly you have dug down and brought out my core. I see the power and goodness of where my heart is telling me to go. I see honesty and courage coming together to make something better than what society is comfortable with. I see that there are going to be people who don’t understand, but for others I know they have been waiting for this- just like me. I can finally stop waiting and dive into a new blue sea.
You are making the world better for artists and everyone that is seeking a fulfilling and loving life.
Thank you for being so generous with your time.
It was a sacred experience.”
-Kari Christensen


1. Did the workshop prepare you to define your career in a new and empowered fashion?

Kari: Yes it did. I feel completely excited about my work. And I am also excited about helping other creatives with their work. I finally have a clear vision and a plan how to make it happen. I can let go of the creative frustration I had before the workshop and focus.

Matthew: I certainly have a sense of direction I didn’t have before taking this class.  It was clear taking this workshop that the techniques we were learning are essential to getting ahead in today’s market.

Tom: Yes, definitely. Discovering my core virtue has increased my confidence level, and the workshop in general helped me to think of myself as an entrepreneur.

Mel: It gave me some significant ideas on ways to broaden my scope.

Jerome: Yes, the techniques taught in the seminar pretty much put the pieces of the puzzle together.

2. Was it what you expected?

Matthew: The workshop was more introspective than I anticipated but I found that to be very useful.  Beginning at the most basic level of who I see myself has helped to define not only what my niche markets can be but also the type of work I should be creating.

Kari: I was hoping to find a creative focus and develop a business plan. It was that and more. It was an intense self discovery and a reprogramming of some cynicism I picked up from working in the illustration business.

Tom: More.

Mel: I really went with no expectations.

Jerome: I wasn’t really expecting anything much since the seminar was new to me, but I did like the results.

3. Did you learn new ways to accomplish your creative and economic goals?

Kari: There were great new ideas. And discussions about things I have been doing for awhile. The amazing thing is AAB puts everything in a manageable perspective that is based on the individual’s personal vision. A five year plan no longer seems overwhelming.

Matthew: I really appreciated the blueprint concept.  It’s hard enough thinking a week a head, but I found it to be a very useful technique for setting realistic goals for myself and then working backwards to find ways to reach these goals.

Tom: Yes. It gave me a blueprint to follow as well as practical advice, i.e. the nuts-and-bolts steps to take.

Mel: Yes.

Jerome: Yes, I’m more clear & organized on what I’m looking for & need to do.

4. How was the teacher?

Kari: Greg is an art guru and a great teacher. I don’t know if there is anyone out there that can match his energy and heart for helping other artists.

Matthew: Greg was fantastic.  He is deeply committed to this process and seemed to fully understand what each of us was looking to get out of this experience.  He really went the extra mile and it meant a lot.

Tom: Excellent. I really felt Greg’s sincerity in sharing his experience and information, as well as his commitment to every participant so he or she received the most value from the workshop. He gives 110% of himself.

Mel: Committed.

Jerome: Ridiculously Awesome!

5. Was the workshop worth the time, energy and investment?

Kari: Obviously I am very happy with my experience. I could have used the information from the workshop years ago. For me, it tapped into the way I want to do my work and live my life. It was more than worth it.

Matthew: This workshop was worth it for many different reasons.  I only wish I had taken this class sooner. These tips and techniques are beneficial regardless of career level or how much some of us had already accomplished.

Tom: Yes. I’m making a list of friends to recommend it to.

Mel: I think so.

Jerome: I plowed through snow & slippery ice on a sloppy hill by foot to catch the metro north train a mile and a half away from my house to be on time for the last two classes in the city. But to give a direct answer, YES!

Thank you everyone for your comments. As more responses to the questions arrive I will post them. I am humbled by the gratitude, and yet each of these individuals dove inside themselves to find their clarity and empowerment. They remembered their purpose, what was really important to them, and now can bring it to the world with an entrepreneurial art spirit.

To your art prosperity,