nce upon a time I happened on an event going on in my area called Dallas Comic Con. I've always been a geek aficionado of sorts. Sometimes I think it has more to do with growing up in the 90s than it does with being an actual geek. Nonetheless I could talk for hours about X-Men, Lord of the Rings, and my new favorite comic book/anime/etc.
Before I ever really considered myself an artist, I occupied myself with illustration. I always made scenes from made up stories, or developed looks for characters. Growing up in the country, I had plenty of time to draw, and that's pretty much all I did.
But back to the topic at hand, I had heard about the convention through Facebook and was excited to see what it was all about. I've seen events like this depicted on some of my favorite programs. I decided I'd drag a friend, throw on a quick outfit, and find out what the hoopla was. I don't think I was fully prepared. Up until that point I'd only been 1 out of a small group of people that geeked out about superheroes. In this environment I was 1 out of an overwhelming number. Everywhere I looked there was cosplay from every corner of the geek universe. The merchandise was catering to me, from the toys I haven't seen since I was a kid to the artists that made a lot of it come to life.
My friend and I quickly came to the same conclusion, that this was something I should try. My work was on par with many of the booths set up in Artist Alley, why couldn't I do this too? After hours of walking the aisles almost thrice over and talking to many artists and booth vendors about their experience, I decided this idea was a go. I grabbed my bestie and fellow colleauge in arts, Andre, and we set out to conquer the geeks at the next convention.
We did better than we thought. We shared a table, and made prints of only 5 different works. Maybe we lucked out being next to a big comic artist, even in the same room as many great artists, but we got a lot of traffic. It felt like validation, and it was fun! We did it 4 more times, each time improving our stock and marketing. At the end (so far) we decided to take a break until we've improved our stock completely. Not to mention most of our work was becoming heavily lenient on competition and pleasing the crowd. While its not a bad thing to please the crowd, I'd wager its better to surprise them. We came out of it with an extensive illustration portfolio. I think for a geek artist, there might not be any greater pleasure than working on your favorite character.
It was a great sense of accomplishment, and I can't wait to try it again in the future. We met great industry professionals, and learned a lot about putting yourself out there. If you'd like to see more of my work in illustration, click here! What was your first big gig like? What made you feel a sense of validation?
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About the Artist
I would call myself a Jack of all Trades, but mostly because I'm interested in many areas of art if not all! I graduated with a BFA in Fine Art from the University of North Texas with a focus on Watercolor. I always had dreams of creative writing, and in 5th grade I wasn't too bad! Art clearly won out for my attention, but writing will always have a place in my heart!
What better way to write, I say, than to share a blog, and practice my second love while talking about my first! With that said, I hope you all enjoy my ramblings and please hit me up with any questions. :D
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