Trojan Horse Was a Unicorn (THU) is a difficult event to explain because it is very different to any other art gathering. Unlike most other events, the reason to be at THU is actually to be there. Every attendee and speaker is there to learn and to connect. You won’t find the speakers hidden away in a VIP room. They’ll be at presentations, dinners and breakfasts to talk to their fellow tribe members. The other difference is that these heroes of art are not there to tell you how great they are—they’re not their to bask in the glory of their success. Instead their talks are more like conversations with good friends. They’ll tell you about their doubts, and the times when they’ve faked it. In essence, they are there to share their experiences of being an artist. How to deal with the ups and downs, and what they held onto to get them through the tough times. This level of honesty is a very rare offering, and for the many artists starting on their path to a career in art it is a remarkably valuable perspective to know that their experiences are not uncommon.
ArtStation’s partnership with THU started last year based on our feedback from friends in the industry that it was something very special. Our expectations were that the event would feature great speakers, and that would be the THU secret sauce. However, after getting off the ferry at Troia, and Andre greeting us personally we suspected it was going to be an experience. It was far more than that. It was closer to a family re-union with the most loving and creative family in the world. The speaker line-up was exceptional, but more than their credentials it was what they had to say that was the most profound and transforming. It’s an odd way to think about a conference, but it was a genuinely safe place for artists to share their experiences, and discuss the challenges that are unique to artists working in the entertainment industry.
One of the first rules Andre explained on the first evening was that nobody was to be left alone. It was up to the tribe to make everybody feel welcome, and it was the perfect sentiment for THU. Everybody was there to grow, and it was everybody’s responsibility to create a welcoming atmosphere for that to happen. With this simple rule, it meant that you were likely to talk to hundreds of fellow artists throughout the week, and those connections persist long after the last ferry leaves Troia.
There are so many parts to the THU experience, that they’ve produced a series of videos explaining them.
Tickets for THU 2016 sold out in just one week. Visit the THU 2016 site to sign up for the wait list, or stay tuned for details of the Golden Ticket Challenge for your last chance to attend THU 2016 in person.
While you wait for THU 2016, you can relive THU 2015 with Volume 1 of THU TV with a 33% ArtStation discount (using the coupon code: ARTSTATION_33OFF). All the major presentations are available on-demand with never-seen-before shows unveiled after THU 2015 last year. Watch the new series like Sketchbook, Speed Painting Lab, The Gig Economy, Jump Start, War Stories, Moving On Up, The New Kids on the Block and Speed Sculpting Lab for a pure dose of inspiration.