November 24, 2016

Post Con Post: 2016

The three newest images that I brought along, making for a total of 18 new convention pieces this year.

So I just wrapped up the Calgary Expo Holiday Market, which means I'm officially done with cons for the year. Whew!

Normally I do a "post con post" after each convention that I exhibit at, but this year has been both very busy, and a little weird, so I've been hesitant. Instead I'll do a post con season post so that I can blast through this stuff and get back to making art.

First up, the new. This was the first year that I traveled with other artists, which helped to keep costs down, and made for some very entertaining weekends. It was also the first time I've flown to a convention (C4 Winnipeg) and the first year of the Calgary Expo Holiday Market (and I couldn't pass up supporting another local con, especially from this organizational team).

So how'd it all turn out? Overall, sales were way down. About two thirds what I normally make at Calgary, Edmonton, and Winnipeg, and about a sixth at the Holiday Market. This marks the first time that I've suffered a significant drop. The economy here in Alberta has been hit hard, as we're heavily invested in the oil & gas industry, so I'm assuming that's a big factor. That said, after my experience at the Calgary Expo Holiday Market, it's clear that I need to start being a lot more particular about where I'm placed in artist alley and how I set up my booth relative to my "neighbors" (being between two tables who build displays on top of their table, instead of having a stand behind them, meant that the only way to see me or my work was to already be standing in front of my booth, which is... not ideal).

Now, what comes next. First priority is ensuring that my display isn't so easily blocked, so I'll be ordering a new stand in the next couple of days. Then I'll be making some new signage, trying to figure out a banner, and reorganizing my table to make space for Boneshaker Press projects. I'd also like to purge a lot of old work both from my sketchbook and my print book, and build up new pieces to replace it.

Keep an eye on my instagram to see how that goes!

November 11, 2016

Inktober 2016 pt 4

Here's the last set of images for Inktober. Late because I couldn't justify pushing back other projects for an internet challenge, and I went a little above and beyond with the image for "wreck", but finally complete!

I learned a lot during the last month, and I think it's something I'll be referring to often as I continue to process the experience. One big take away was that I am too slow when it comes to dreaming up the basis for an image. I'm often paralyzed by the multitude of choices available and it takes a while to narrow down to something that I'm happy with. Opting for artificial constraints in the last two weeks helped a lot with this. If I didn't have an instant reaction to the prompt I would focus on ideas that fit within the fantasy genre, or one of my pre-existing properties.

However, it's worth noting that had I used that approach from the get go I would never have discovered Monty and Baz, characters that I quickly came to love. As with most things, I think balance is key. You've gotta work on creation just as much as you work execution. All in all it was a great experience, and I'm looking forward to taking part again next year!

November 5, 2016

Inktober pt 3

Week 3!

Yikes... did I ever fall behind schedule. Knocked out by a nasty cold, and then busy getting ready for C4Winnipeg, and there just wasn't enough hours in the day. I'll be catching up over the next few days, and should have this finished sometime next week.

As far as notes on the experience go, I don't have a ton, but here are a couple quick thoughts.

One of the big changes I made this week was refusing to allow myself to push late into the night just to get an entry done. Given that the core of Inktober is to build good drawing habits, I felt it was necessary to cut that off, lest sleep deprivation be the thing that sticks with me once this is all said and done.

I also upped the complexity level of a few of these entries, and while it's nice to be able to say that I pushed myself, I think that was probably a mistake. It's tough to walk the line between speed and quality, and I'd say that I didn't focus on speed enough with this batch.

Alright week 4, bring it on!