Someone posted this chart to Facebook (no designer was listed that I could find) and I think it shows clearly the path to learning if we just take courage and break out of our comfort zone.
The day before someone (I forget who, it might have been Neil Gaiman) talked about being seated next to an astronaut on a long plane ride. He noticed that the astronaut was reading a book on Portuguese art. Intrigued, he asked why the astronaut was reading a book on that topic and the response? "Because I don't know anything about Portuguese art."
At conferences (or other learning opportunities) it is sometimes helpful to take seminars you know nothing about. Because when you don't know what you don't know, you don't know that you don't know it. Unless you, like the astronaut, leave yourself open to exploring beyond what you know. Leave yourself open to dabbling in other topics. Even if you decide you aren't interested enough to pursue the topic further, you have increased your general knowledge.
What I have found is that those little tidbits of knowledge tend to stick and sometimes - sometimes years later - comes a time when someone is looking for more information on that topic, and that bit burbles to the surface and I can share a potential source for further follow up.
When choosing seminar topics for the conference we looked beyond the 'usual' topics instructors were offering. Some of our instructors have breadth as well as depth and some of them will bring information on things that might not, at first glance, be of immediate interest. But you just never know down the line when that information might come in handy.
Consider some of the following:
Syne Mitchell will talk about adding electronics to textiles
Yoriko Oki presents her experiences opening an Etsy shop
Dr. Susan Pavel will bring a Salish loom and encourage discussion about the threads of life and culture
Sue Perron has been doing extensive research into harvesting bast fibres from local plant sources
Maureen Faulkner will address developing a textile collection based on textiles she has brought home from her travels
Sarah Wroot will examine historical textiles and analyze how they were made
There are many more to choose from. Some seminars are full or nearly full. Time to register for the conference and secure your seat, perhaps in something completely different!
Go to the conference website and scroll through the topics. Click on the title which is a live link for the description. Choose titles that sound interesting and make a list. Then click on the Register Here button, click on the Tickets button on the Eventbrite site, open your cart and drop down menus will appear. Each person can choose from three seminar slots. Some of the seminars are two parters - if you register for part II, you must also register for part I. That counts for two seminars. Some topics we have repeated, partly because we thought they might be popular, partly to make choosing topics easier because they appear in more than one time slot.
Come join us in June for a journey in expanding horizons...