Hey just listened to the podcast. It's just so good. I've had so many roadblocks on my path to being an illustrator! My most recent roadblock is my little kids. Right now I've got 2 kids and this is why I wanted to comment. I have 2 boys 3 and 8 years old. It can really be hard to find the time to get work done. I love them to death, but there are days I can't work because of them. Also days I take off just to spend time with them.
I personally get to a saturation point with learning. I took Mira Reisberg's Children's Book Academy class in August - September last year. It was very intense and I learned a lot. I want to take the CBA's writing course, Make Your Mark's and Splashes class and OF COURSE SVS classes. Right now I feel like I need to get what I'm working on now out of my system before I can move on and learn more. It's not happening as fast as I'd like it to, but taking another class or going to a conference is just going to mess things up for me! I'm not sure that was directly talked about in the podcast. I have to put into practice the things I learn before I can keep learning big things. I'm always learning from my critique partners, but it's not hard core learning.
My husband and I are making the time now so I can spend more time on my work. I've got a full time job taking care of the kids/household/other stuff. I've got a direction for my art (which I haven't had for a while) and I'm getting better at getting things done. I wont be able to get a new portfolio done every 6 months, but i will get a new portfolio done this year (if not in the next couple of months). If I've got a few hundred dollars to spend on something it might be best spend on day care for my toddler so I can get my work finished rather than on a class or conference.
I think it will be a few months before I spend money on a class/conference. I think it's almost a waste of time taking classes and going to conferences if you don't put to practice what you've learned!