UPMon Oct 2 11:00:31 2006 GRAB BAG
Current Misc., Etc., and What-Not
The New York of Fantasy Convention
About a month ago, my wife and I went to Atlanta, GA for Dragon*Con.
My wife didn't attend Dragon*Con, and I picked two of the four days to attend. The other two days were
mainly spent seeing a small portion of Atlanta.
In the time I did spend at Dragon*Con, I took part in the dragon egg painting contest, which was a lot of
fun, sat in on a couple discussion panels, made some new friends, stood by my panels and generally tried to
enjoy the show.
If you have not been to Dragon*Con, it is quite simply the New York of fantasy conventions. Most
conventions I attend gross between 300 and 2,000 attendees. Dragon*Con? Over 25,000! Walking the halls
in a timely fashion involves a very loose understanding of space-time. There are people EVERYWHERE and
there are dozens of events going on concurrently for the entire long weekend. Half of the attendees are
in costume and the other half are stopping the former in order to snap a photo. Weird is the flavor of
the day and you learn not to notice the only-moderately-odd.
In short, it's a lot of fun. I already plan on going back next year. With the lessons I learned
from this year, I'll make changes to my art setup in order to improve my presence. If you have the time
and money, maybe I'll see you there.
And This Weekend...
On the first weekend of October, I'll be attending Archon, St. Louis's
large local show. Though dwarfed by Dragon*Con, it's a pretty large convention by normal standards, weighing in
at around 2,000 attendees. I've been attending Archon for the last five or six years and really enjoy it.
The Next Big Thing
Always do what you are afraid to do.
--- Ralph Waldo Emerson
Meanwhile, at home, I've begun to work on an ambitious new piece. This new piece is much in line with
Happy Hour, the previous piece whose creation I followed in
IMPrint. Just as Happy Hour pushed the limits of my skill above and beyond anything I had created up
to that point, this new piece will challenge my abilities. For example, the number of characters in the
piece will be approximately double that of Happy Hour. While only a couple of characters in Happy Hour were
fairly human, a full 1/4 of the characters in this new piece will be completely human. This new venture is
also much larger, well over double the area. And hopefully the overall setting and flow of the piece will
be more interesting and clear. Despite the increase in number of characters, the piece should be less
And despite all that, the piece will not be executed in the familiar colored pencil. Instead, I'll be
picking up my brushes and using acrylic instead. It provides some benefits, such as being able to work larger
without doubling the amount of time it will take and giving brighter, more vibrant colors. It will also make
dynamic lighting easier.
You'll be there to see all the successes and mistakes, as I will follow its creation in IMPrint in the same
fashion as Happy Hour. Next month, Issue 16 of IMPrint, will show the sketches and final drawing along with
commentary on the development process.
Also In The Works
My other big current project is a book cover. As soon as it is published, I'll post the cover on my site
with details on the book and publisher. As with the new piece mentioned above, this piece will be made in
acrylic. The cover will be darker than most of my pieces, and dark is hard to do in colored pencil. Besides,
there's a quote that goes, "When the only tool you own is a hammer, every problem resembles a nail." (Abraham
Maslow) So I'm attempting to add acrylics to the set of tools I not only know how to use but feel comfortable