With all conventions there is some commonalities in terms of networking and structure that occur, however each show usually caters to the needs of a specific audience. The audience in this case consists of fans and artists of science fiction and fantasy illustration. Illuxcon seemed to focus on three key goals: artist-to-artist interactions, education between students and professionals and finally facilitating the sales of original artwork to collectors.
Over the last several years while working on licensed properties I have noticed what a viable market there is in terms of the sale of original artwork. The days of being able to sustain oneself in a single sector of the market have gone the ways of the Dodo. So it is highly advisable for any artists to search out several creative ways to generate revenue within one’s given field. My Moonstone Kolchak work in particular seems to have a pretty avid fan base who is interested in owning originals so a convention that focused on that aspect of the commercial arts was of great interest to me. Conventions are a great resource for artists to network and promote themselves but one has to investigate which shows are worth investing in. This was my main intention for going.
First off let me say I really enjoyed the show and would encourage students who are interested in fantasy art to attend the conference and consider the Showcase for the more serious minded artists. The Showcase in my understanding is like the pre-show show audition that happens at the hotel conference room where you may be asked to be part of the actual show at the convention center the following year. But don’t be mistaken as the Showcase in my opinion featured one of the artists that made my trip. If you have never heard of or seen the work of Petar Meseldžija do yourself a favor and check this dude out. So with regards to hanging with some cool artist and getting feedback about work or seeing amazing originals this convention is great. I can’t really comment on the panels as I only saw one myself, which I did enjoy about painted comics from Chris Moeller. Several Paul Lehr paintings were there as well that simply blew my mind. These things can only be appreciated in person. In terms of whether I would be interested in an invitation to attend as an exhibitor or enter the showcase myself, I can say with my current body of work this show would not be useful for me but it is likely I will attend again in the same capacity as I went this year in. With that being said I could see a small niche for collectors interested in artists, that they have not yet purchased from, who have done major title book covers or substantial work in the field of fantasy. One final note that was worth a mention is several artists congregated after the show to have a killer jam session led my Mark Zug. The highlight of the final evening was when fellow CCAD alumni and artist Soutchay Soungpradith belted out a rendition of Voodoo Child and wrapped it up by playing the guitar with his teeth.
Here is a short list of the artists that made my trip worth it: