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 “I noticed that my point of view and perception of my work was changing.” <3D CG artist>
This sculpture seminar was my first experience in sculpting. Although it was my first time sculpting, I am a professional artist, designer and 3D modeler in computer graphics, so I think I had this false confidence that I understood sculpture, and I would do just fine.

On the first day of the seminar, I came to realize how little I was really capable of. Everything that was vague or misguided in my own knowledge, experience, and sense was visible in the outcome. I couldn’t even shape something the way I wanted it to be, when I used to be able to do it without even paying attention. Of course, it was not a great feeling for me to accept this outcome, but when I sat through the sculpture lecture and listened to Hiroshi share some of his own experiences and talk about what he learned about mindset and mentality, it all became clear. After I listened to his lecture, I decided to accept myself for who I was. I decided to really look at myself, without pretending to know what I don't know, or trying to make myself look bigger. Then once I do that, I thought I could improve myself from there.

During the three-day seminar, each day I went home and observed or drew a picture, remembering what I learned that day. I was very surprised to see how much I had changed. Before I started the seminar, I was just hoping to learn a thing or two. I didn’t go in with such a big agenda, but when I came back home, every time I looked at my work or I drew something, I noticed my view and perception for my works were changing. I had never gone through such a huge change from only a few days of experience, so it was a very strange feeling, and I believe the change I was experiencing was demonstrated in my sculpture work in the seminar, as well.

On the first day, I was worried if I would be able to complete my sculpture based on my design at the end of the seminar. On the second day, I felt I was starting to get familiar, but I could hardly make my work into the right shape, which made me even more anxious. However, on my last day, I was able to shape it right without hesitating once and completed my final work. I couldn’t believe how I was totally unable to get it right the first two days. It was almost like I had chains on my limbs, then all the sudden I was released from them. It was so much fun and I was really enjoying it.

In the sculpture lecture, or in all the lectures he gave during the seminar, Hiroshi’s words really were precise. Even though I had never met him before, I felt somehow he seemed to understand me more than I did myself.

I read many kinds of books in the past, but often times I didn’t feel that I actually learned something. However, I am convinced my experience at this seminar will stay with me. I am determined to always keep in mind what I learned from this seminar, keep reminding myself and deliver the results. Thank you very much, Hiroshi.
 “I felt I could take a step forward.” <creature model sculptor>
For a long time, I just kept working hard on my works and I kept at it blindly, and I felt like I reached a dead end in my sculpting skills. That’s why I took this seminar, to break out from it. I was happy to hear that an accomplished person like Hiroshi, used to be (or might have been) just like myself.

After understanding his mentality that the continued effort does count and that we should try to make something we like, and after seeing how incredibly fast he was in his demonstration, I finally realized what I was lacking. It was my understanding of anatomical physiology, which I thought I had already mastered. I had trouble with the speed of my sculpting, but after all, I realized I just wasn’t paying enough attention to the observation of forms. Once I had that realization, I felt I could take a step forward.

Hiroshi told me he remembered what I had trouble with from the email correspondence prior to the seminar, so he tried to specifically cater to it.

I really appreciate everything he’s done. I want to get much better at my works and I hope someday I can show my works to Hiroshi, saying my very early works were terrible. Thank you so much for giving me this opportunity.
 “I think the seminar had an effect in a different form on my actual job of illustration and
 drawings.”<Illustrator>
I joined the seminar expecting I would learn some skills on the surface level or technical skills of the “professional”, but on the first day of the seminar we were instructed in a much more fundamental, significant part of the process, and I really became aware of how much I didn’t know at the fundamental level.

His lectures weren’t only about how to think in sculpture or modeling, but he talked about how to approach your work and your creative process based on what he learned from his own experience. I think the seminar had an effect in a different form on my actual job of illustration and drawings.

As for the sculpture, I went back and started again on the second day, but I really struggled to keep the overall balance. On the third day, when I finished my sculpture and looked at it from every angle, I noticed it felt much more balanced than my works before. I was reminded how important it was to spend a big part of the time on its balance. There’s so much more I want to learn. I would love to join the seminar again if there is another one.
 “I was eventually ready to accept how untrained I was.” <CGI student academy>
When I heard that Hiroshi’s seminar would be hosted at my school, I thought this would be a great opportunity and I immediately applied. The seminar made me think on so many levels, and overall the three-day seminar was very pleasant experience. Each day passed so fast, and before I knew it, the seminar was already almost at the end.

Before I started the seminar, my goal was to earn some extra knowledge beyond what I had already studied, and to expand my understanding. However, as the seminar started and I sat in Hiroshi’s lecture, I realized that I only thought I had studied, but in truth I barely had any understanding. Up until then, all I was doing was just to follow an outline of a picture or an object. I was embarrassed that I was even happy with how I was doing. Since I was also drawing my design that way, my drawing was obviously far from being powerful or believable. It immediately started to feel awfully silly.

That’s when I heard him talk about “confidence” and “talent.” The more I listened to what he said, the more I noticed it perfectly described who I was until then. It was as if he could see through all my thoughts.

Later, back in my room, I gave a lot of thought to what I was told that day. Although it took some time, I was eventually ready to accept how untrained I was. Once I got to that mindset, all my thoughts turned positive. For some of the things I suffered during the seminar, I could even consider myself lucky to have realized them while I was a student. For the first time in a long time, I could sleep well.

From that point on, I wrote down what I learned from the first day, and tried to always keep them in mind. I found myself more relaxed to work on my sculpture.

After the seminar, when I was putting together all the pictures, I was surprised to see how my work is completely different on the last day compared to the first day. But I don’t want to be content at this level. I want to surround myself with great works, keep reminding myself where I am, and keep growing.

I really think this seminar became the turning point of my life. I would love to join the seminar again if there’s another opportunity. Thank you very much for everything.
 “This seminar has really taught me an important lesson.”
 <college student of fine arts majoring in sculpture>
Through Hiroshi’s seminar, I learned so many things on technical aspects, but what had the most impact on me was a lesson “to consciously make decisions based on my own reasoning.”

I had class of clay sculpture in my school, but I was just working on the surface without a lot of thought, without paying attention to its skeletal or other structure. So I didn’t have my own idea of a certain part being a certain shape. When someone pointed something out on my sculpture, I immediately felt insecure, and often times I would fix my work according to other people’s opinion. It had become my habit to ask others, “Does this part look okay to you? Is this fine?”

In this seminar, Hiroshi repeatedly talked about how we need to be conscious about skeletal and muscle structure, and not about surface, in order to determine the shape. I was told not to follow the surface outline, but to be conscious about structure, and to have a reason for each shape, such as certain movement creating certain wrinkle. Based on all those analyses, I can make decisions of how I should sculpt the parts, and I will be able to think on my own and form my own opinion.

When I look back, I think I was often relying on other people’s opinions in other aspects than the sculpture. This seminar has really taught me an important lesson. Thank you so much for these three days.
 “I think I was able to change myself even if it was in small steps.” <high school student>
Being a high school student and a complete beginner, I was very nervous about the seminar before I started, but Hiroshi and everyone in the seminar were so kind to me. I really enjoyed going to the seminar each day. I am still a beginner in sculpture and have plenty of room to improve my skills, but I feel that my view of living things has changed since the seminar. I have developed a point of view I never had before.

Before I joined the seminar, I was worried and had a lot of thoughts about what I would do after high school. I just kept worrying about it and I didn’t take any action. Because of this seminar, I think I was able to change myself even if it was in small steps. I usually don’t have any opportunity like this to meet with people from the industry, so I really had so much to learn. I still have one year left in high school, so instead of just letting the time pass by worrying about things like I was doing before, I would like to figure out what I really want to do in the future and take a step forward.

I am so glad I joined this seminar. I appreciate everything that happened during these three amazing days. I am grateful for Hiroshi, all the staff, and everyone who participated in the seminar together. Thank you very much.
 “The seminar was full of laughs, full of tears, and a whole lot of fun.” <college student>
In the Japanese seminars I participated in before, I was concerned only about the texture, but as I worked on my clay modeling during Mr. Katagiri’s seminar, I learned how to look at the object’s shape, and how to adapt that view in my sculpture.

What left the biggest impact on me was when he talked about his own experience and what kind of mentality he learned to have in order to keep doing what he wants to be doing. To make a living as a special effects makeup artist is very tough, and most of us are constantly worried. Each of us has certain things we are unable to do, or are worried about, and each of us saw ourselves in Mr. Katagiri’s story. I looked around and found everybody in tears. That’s how powerful this lecture was, training our minds!

Even now, I sometimes look at “the words to live by” that I got from Mr. Katagiri. The seminar was full of laughs, full of tears, and a whole lot of fun.
 “I found myself captivated by the sculpture, and I really enjoyed it.” <dental technician/student>
To be honest, I had confidence that I would do just fine in the seminar. But it turned out I couldn’t do well at all. I always liked creating things and I had been doing it in my free time, but this seminar made me realize how irresponsible I was all this time in my so-called “creating process”.

Poor knowledge only creates poor works. I realized that you need knowledge as well, in order to improve. Getting better at skills is not enough.

As Mr. Katagiri talked on the second day, I was not honest with myself either in terms of admitting how capable I was. In sculpting and in any other aspects in my life, I used to believe I was capable of something when I wasn’t. Although I was vaguely aware that’s what kept me from growing, it was hard for me to be honest with myself.

In this seminar, after witnessing how indescribably more capable Mr. Katagiri was compared to myself, I got a full understanding of how capable I was. And I re-acknowledged my shortcoming as well. I think I can deal with my works with the most efficiency now.

There was a time I tried to make a living with what I liked to do as well, but I ended up not pursuing that path because there was so much I was worried about. So in my eyes, Mr. Katagiri, his staff, and people who participated in the seminar were shining brightly. They all looked so cool as they were doing what they like to do.

In my sculpture, I gradually became aware of what was not right. When I look at the picture of the sculpture I was working on at the beginning, I can see it’s very distorted. Every time Mr. Katagiri pointed something out, I got to see something I never saw before. I found myself captivated by the sculpture, and I really enjoyed it. I would love to continue sculpture. I want to study anatomy and come back to try again.
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