Tuesday, August 3, 2010
In and Out
This years con is already a blur but overall a great experience. I flew out on Tuesday and left Monday July 20th-26th. The additional time makes the whole process much more enjoyable and I believe I may opt to extend the trip by yet another day next year. Likewise the red eye flight home is quick, dark and enjoyable which makes returning as painless as possible.
I arrived late Tuesday night in San Diego and was picked up from the airport by our local con Mother Jen. Anywhere I can save a dime is great because the trip is not cheap. Luckily over the years we have nurtured a good friendship with a few folks in San Diego and they have always been more than generous to our small collective. This year was the first year I actually decided to shop my wares so I was a little inconvenienced by the fact that Delta lost all of my clothes and box of merchandise. Fortunately my box did show up Thursday with enough time to get set up for preview night.
Preview Night oddly enough was my biggest night where I made the most money selling a few originals. The flow of the con was very different this year from years past so the beginning and then end was good for our booth while the middle kind of lagged. There are discussions happening now to see if it is possible to relocate toward the concentration of other artists for next year. The main function of con for me has always been to network but it was nice to make back a little money which allowed me to enjoy some nice dinners guilt free as well as pick up a few rounds.
The networking was interesting this year. There is no point to go into great detail about that as the jobs I garner or do not will be a direct result, mind as well let time tell that tale.
As far as con booty is concerned, I always like to buy at least one sketch or piece of art at con to inspire me. Last year it was my Ashley Wood page and this year it was a killer Scott Hampton ink drawing. Unfortunately I had to have it shipped to Columbus. As soon as I retrieve it in the end of August I will post the image, its great! I can’t truly say how much Scott’s work has inspired me but for anyone who has not seen it, I highly suggest picking up a copy of his Upturned Stone. It is a great Halloween story with a Ray Bradbury vibe that instantly returns you to childhood wonder. Scott is a legend in sequential art and has a library of great books out there so getting an original sketch was amazing. I wish publishers were putting out more sequentially painted books, as they seem to be getting farther and few between. I also got great doodles from: Mark Brooks, Gary Gianni, William Stout, Dave Johnson, and Brian Ewing in the books I picked up from them.
The other amazing thing that happened to me at con was having the opportunity to have my work reviewed by Marshall Vandruff and Justin Sweet. Both of these gentlemen have a rare level of excellence in what they do and I was extraordinarily lucky to stumble upon them this year. More over the pair could have not been more warm and generous with their time. The further I progress in my career I find it becomes increasingly harder to get meaningful insight to help me evolve my work so when I find it, its gold. I would love to go in great detail about the insight they gave me in those 30 minutes but I could fill a whole blog entry with the words and implications of that conversation, most of which I am still wrestling with. For the sake of brevity I will leave you with this, which affected me, the most. Every thought or action translates plainly to your strokes on canvas; beware of who and what you want to be, because to the trained eye it’s all there. The confidence as well as the insecurities, your art is a mirror to you, be careful and be aware what you want to show the world. I always thought this was artiste mumbo-jumbo, I was completely wrong!
There was one other thing that really moved me from the perspective of a teacher that I thought was brilliant. When discussing a specific topic with Marshall he would address them almost as a physician would. He would label the illness and then in a calm thoughtful tone give a prescription as to relive you of the ailment. It amazed me that such a clear organized method of teaching without passing judgment has never occurred to me before. I simply can’t say enough about this experience or these two gentlemen other than, Thank You.
Finally I need to say thank you to our whole con crew and especially to Mike who not only gave us multiple rides to con but also a great place to stay. Thank you to Kevin and the X-Sanguin crew for our booth and a killer party. Thank you to my three girls Pfunk, Jennett, Tj and our other booth assistants. Thanks to Mr. Brian Ewing and his crew with his brilliant launch of his new Dark Horse book. Thanks to the San Diego Drink and Draw group, I had a great time and now have a great book. Bawidamann you owe me your life but thanks anyway even though I saw you for 15 minutes the whole con. Thanks to Jerry at USA Today for a nice plug. Thanks to Cathy and Arnie and the rest of the Spectrum crew I can't wait to see what surprises the next book holds this fall.
Finally thank you to my beautiful and amazing wife Lisa with our new bean who allows me to run around the country living my dreams and always reminds me I have place called home that I want to rush back to.