Leon Conliff

Dojo Member since September 2016

My experience with the A.L.Ex Dojo began nine months ago. At the time it went by a different name but the core concept was still the same: providing artists with the supplies and resources needed to create great works of art. At first my feelings were quite extreme. I was, for the first time ever, free to do what I wanted and to make my way as an artist. The feeling was liberating. Soon enough, however, a certain amount of indecision and fear arose. I was stuck with the realization that now that I could do anything I didn’t have a clue where to start.

Thankfully one of the best aspects of A.L.Ex is the freedom presented to you to seek out new answers and new techniques. Through my time with the office, and my own soul searching, I found my new path. For me, the journey is no longer about creating anything, it is about creating the best and most meaningful art I possibly can with the time allotted to me.

The process has had its barriers. Finding the balance in communications and expectations was, and sometimes still is, a difficult experience. There were times my philosophy and that of the company didn’t immediately line up and there were times of frustration. But the struggle was entirely worth each step because I believe in what A.L.Ex is doing and I understand that my experiences have helped give A.L.Ex valuable information on how to proceed with the Dojo and its future students. The struggle has always been necessary for both the Dojo and myself to grow.

One of the most recent and important aspects of the experiment came when Jeremy Lasman, the man behind A.L.Ex Dojo, and I began to discuss the concept of challenges. Pushing past the comfort levels that restrain creativity. For many students of the Dojo this will be the toughest part. It is hard to face concepts and techniques you’ve never faced before and the possibility that you may fail is extremely daunting. That’s why it is so important that each student find their own pace and comfort levels and how they’d like to be pushed.

If there is one thing I’ve learned during this journey I’ve gone on with A.L.Ex is that it is paramount that you, the student and the artist, have a deep and personal connection with why you have come to the Dojo. If I didn’t feel a need to create art and a need to improve myself and my craft this experiment would never have worked.

Thankfully I can say with the utmost confidence that A.L.Ex has helped me improve for the better and I hope my experience so far has been fruitful and rewarding in helping craft an even greater experience for all those who will join the Dojo in the future.