There is a school of artistic thought that says "There are no rules".
I prefer to know what the rules are so that I know how and where and when to bend them. Sometimes even break them.
For me rules are all about establishing guidelines. Rules say "if you do this, this and that, the result will be this". Sometimes I want those results; sometimes I don't.
Rules also give me a place to start. When I first took up weaving I was dismayed at the multitude of possibilities. So much so that it became paralyzing. Where to begin when there are so many options?
Just the other day I was talking with someone about creative limitations. Creative limitations are not about curbing creativity, but about finding a path through the morass of possibilities. In terms of textiles, that would be akin to finding the end of the ball of yarn so that you can then use that yarn effectively.
After 40+ years of weaving, I can't say that I know everything there is to know, precisely because of that huge pool of potential combinations. So I still take workshops. I still read other peoples books, articles, papers. And I still learn.
Now my focus in looking for a workshop is a little more focused than when I was just beginning. At the start, I knew I knew next to nothing, so anything I took was good. Now I know more and my primary intent with taking a workshop is to find out how the presenter thinks. Getting inside their head to look at their thought processes shows me different ways to direct my own thinking.
One of the downsides of organizing a conference? I won't be taking anything. I will be far too busy with the organizational details, making sure the instructors have everything they need, then doing the other jobs that need doing. And then presenting seminars my own self.
Not everyone can come to ANWG here in Prince George this year, but there are other regional conferences that may be closer - Mid-West, MAFA, NEWS, etc., etc.
Having once learned the rules? Go on and bend, twist, break them.