Saturday, August 13, 2011

Gen Con Wrap Up (Part One)

Okay, I'm finally sitting down to post my wrap up for Gen Con! So much happened, I'm not sure I know where to start.

Vinod drawing at our booth.

It always takes a few days for me to recover from the hustle and bustle and late nights of a convention, if you could call sitting down talking to people hustling and bustling. By the end of the fourth day, when it's time to dismantle the show and the panels surrounding us that once held art seem to suddenly disappear into thin air as we're packing up all our stuff, exhaustion has set in. If only I had pictures of how quickly the convention center is transformed from "Gen Con" into empty tables, rolled up carpets, and piles of cardboard boxes.

Gen Con Day Two
Friday was off to a good start when, early on in the day, I sold an original painting from the D&D book Savage Species, which was one of the first projects I worked on as a freelance artist. If I'd had a blog six years ago when I did my first convention, Wizard World Chicago, and sold my very first print, I would have talked about how astonishing it was to me that someone liked my work enough that they wanted to buy an image of it to keep and maybe even display in their home. Selling an original piece of art still gives me that feeling, maybe times 10. I can't say enough how much it means to an artist to have people respond positively to your work.

Another panel of my work on display at the art show.
Later on in the day, I had the pleasure of meeting Susan J. Morris, author of A Practical Guide to Faeries, A Practical Guide to Wizardry, A Practical Guide to Dragon Magic, and The Faerie Locket. It's rare to have the opportunity to personally meet the authors of the books I illustrate, so I was very happy to talk with her and hear that she liked the work I had done for her books.

Meeting Christina at Gen Con.
On Friday afternoon I also met my editor for The Explorer's Guide to Drawing Fantasy Creatures, Christina Richards! I was very grateful for her patience and guidance throughout the process of creating my book and it was a real treat to finally meet her in person. I'm incredibly pleased to say that by the end of the convention, The Explorer's Guide to Drawing Fantasy Creatures turned out to be a favorite at my table.

The day wrapped up with the annual Gen Con Art Show artists' reception, where something completely unexpected happened: I was honored with the 1st Place prize for original art for the work I had done for my book! Vinod was honored to receive the Juror's Choice Award. Best in Show went to Scott Murphy. Congrats to everyone who won awards, and many thanks to Art Show Guest of Honor Jeff Miracola and fellow judges Chris Rahn, Wayne Reynolds, and Barbara Fisher, our fabulous art show coordinator. 

I forgot to take a picture of our table with the ribbons, so I swiped this one from the awesome Betty Edwards. Thanks!!

Gen Con Day Three

Day three of Gen Con was on Saturday, and like most convention Saturdays it was super busy! While I had sold a few copies of The Explorer's Guide to Drawing Fantasy Creatures here and there on Thursday and Friday, Saturday was the day that the book's popularity seemed to explode! By the end of the day I had sold every book but the display copy, and while I was incredibly excited about the book's warm reception, I was kicking myself for not bringing more with me. Hopefully anyone who missed out on a copy will pick one up at the store or online. *hint, hint* ;)

Some budding art enthusiasts peruse our work.
Vinod made a big sale of an original to an art collector and fan who had bought our sketchbooks in the past.
I wish we had found the time to walk the exhibit hall and take more pictures of the many displays as well as more of the other artists' booths. We usually try to make it to the show before it opens (one of the perks of carrying an exhibitor's badge) and walk the aisles before the crowds pour in, but this year we couldn't seem to get ourselves there early enough.

Our neighbor, Dan Scott, feverishly signs Magic Cards for fans.
Ralph Horsley and his piles of original art.

Fellow IMPACT artist and author Chris Seaman at what might be the nicest booth in the show!
I'm realizing this post has become a little cumbersome, so I'll finish the Gen Con 2011 wrap up with an additional post soon. To be continued...

Monday, August 8, 2011

Gen Con Indy 2011

Just trollin'.

We had a super awesome time at Gen Con this year! We were so busy I wasn't able to write the daily updates I had planned. As soon as we get home, I'll post my full report!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Gen Con Day One

Our booth at Gen Con
Vinod and I arrived safely at Gen Con on Wednesday evening, after a Tuesday of frantic last minute preparations, no sleep, and a only a couple of Mighty O donuts and an apple to sustain us. Almost immediately upon arriving, we got to work setting up our booth and reconnecting with old friends and colleagues. There was a lot to carry and unpack, and fortunately our artwork and goods made it in decent condition.

This year, the art show was moved into the center of the newly expanded convention hall with the rest of the exhibitors. We were given a very nice spot on an aisle corner. We had a fun-filled Thursday chatting with fans and checking out the amazing work of the many talented artists at the show.  And, as always, there were some great costumes!

Nothing? Nothing? Tra la la!

Some excellently dressed friends that have been great supporters of my art over the years. Thank you!
I promise to post more news (and cool costumes!) from day two soon. I've stayed up far too late working on commissions whilst watching Kindergarten Cop and Aliens on the hotel TV.

Monday, August 1, 2011


Explorer's Guide posters
One of the many things I will have with me at Gen Con: 18 x 24 posters of the cover to The Explorer's Guide to Drawing Fantasy Creatures!  I will also be making these available for sale online after the convention.