Contagion: Outbreak WRAP UP!!
I did it!! Wow!! I can’t believe my first convention weekend is over.
This past weekend I had a table at Contagion: Outbreak in the convention hall at the Qwest Center Omaha. I didn’t have too much stuff to bring or sell…but I placed some of my recent work in some portfolio binders, spread a gazillion sketch cards all over the table, had some business cards, signs and a banner printed…then sat there with my fingers crossed that I wouldn’t completely embarrass myself by being there.
Friday: Day 1!
Friday morning my daughter, Willow, and I arrived at the show about 9:30 and quickly set up the table. We met our table neighbor, Joe Cook, who drove up from Missouri, already had his table. Joe is a really nice guy and a great neighbor to have all weekend. It was his first convention as well so I feel privileged to have shared that experience with another artist of just sort of beginning this journey of standing in front of the public showing off artwork. Please check out Joe’s webcomic at www.shatteredmyth.com
After I got my table all set up I realized that it looked a little sparse…so I decided to just spread a bunch of sketch cards all over the table. That ended up being a really good idea. Throughout the weekend it was all those cards that caught people’s attention and led them to my table.
Since the show was pretty slow most of the day Willow and I just hung out at the table. I sat working on drawings and chit-chatting with Joe while Willow played on the ipod. The day went well and I sold a few cards.
All-in-all it was a light day but that was a good thing I think. I was SO nervous to be there and have someone approach me and out me as a complete fraud. But my helper was a GREAT. She was blowing bubbles at people walking by (which drew tons of laughs and conversations) then when the bubbles were gone…she took to (literally) flinging my business cards at people as they approached the table. Just a quick note here…an incredibly cute, 6 year old, golden haired little girl makes the perfect public relations associate. I mean..seriously…can you say “no” to a precious little girl asking you to please accept a business card or to buy a drawing? The answer: NO. You can’t. (i love you sweet heart!!)
Also on Day 1 I saw what turned out to be probably my most favorite costume (and there were a lot at the show) from the entire weekend. Duct Tape Boba Fett!! Johnny Ireland is the man in the suit which is primarily made out of cardboard and duct tape. So creative and fun. Nice work Johnny (not that he’s reading this blog…but still…) He can be found at http://facebook.com/iamireland
Saturday: Day 2!
As awesome as having kids is…they make my wife and I slow. Toys, snacks, potty time, squabbles over gadgets and trinkets…and we didn’t arrive to the show until over an hour after the show started. This was a MAJOR bummer to me…but nothing I could do about it. I just set up as quickly as I could and began drawing. Still…having my whole family there with me the whole day was great.
My wife did most of the parenting (thanks honey!) which freed me up to draw and try to look like I belonged. I loved having my girls there to share the day with me. So after a hectic morning…Saturday was awesome. The show was basically packed all day. TONS of people stopping by, checking out my work, buying stuff and generally being super positive and complimentary.
Saturday after the show we dropped the kids off at my brother’s house for a bit and then met up with the Omaha chapter of the Zombie Research Society at a bar downtown.
I had been asked a few months ago by my friend Mike Taylor to create something for Billy Tackett, who the ZRS had helped bring to Omaha for the show, as a special thank you. I created a zombified version of Billy that we presented to him…and he loved it. I was so thrilled to have been asked to do that and relieved that I did a good job on the piece. The ZRS folks were great and I hope to be able to hang out with them again soon. Billy Tackett is on the web at: http://www.billytackett.com/
Sunday: Day 3!
Who was late for the show again? This guy! The family and I rolled in over an hour late again on day three. On the plus side, Joe Cook’s 7 year old daughter was there hanging out at the show all day. It only took about…half an hour for our kids to warm up to each other…and then that was pretty much it for them. The exhibitor on the other side of Joe had packed up for the weekend on Saturday evening…so the girls took over that table. They were drawing, goofing around and having a great time all day. When it was time to wrap up…they were all very sad. Willow asked on the way home if we could have the convention again soon so that she could play with Elizabeth some more. It was super cute (hear that, Joe?? Get back to Omaha soon).
The crowd at the show on Sunday was pretty sparse but I still managed to sell a few cards. I also spent quite a bit of time going around and catching up with some friends that I hadn’t had the chance to talk to that weekend and also to meet a few artists who’s work I really admired.
Just around the corner from my table was Tim Mayer (who had powered through the 24 Hour Comic with me last year). This guy is really nice and a GREAT artist. He had this Muppet piece in his portfolio that I want on a t-shirt. It’s so good. Check out more of his work at his website: http://timmayer.wordpress.com/
I was looking around the corner all weekend at these amazing painting by artist Arden Ellen Nixon. I finally got a chance to stop over to introduce myself and tell her how great I think her work is near the end of the day. She’s creating these fantasy paintings of lions, women and various animals that are just…fantastic. Really great stuff. Her work can be found at: http://www.ardenellennixon.com/
Some time ago I started following local artist Kristen Bellatti through her art casts while she worked through her very exciting “Cleavage” project. ‘What is this project? Something about boobs?’ you ask?? It’s all about the tatas!!! Kristen is drawing a series of 5″ x 17″ close up shots of the cleavage from various characters from comics, movies, animation and pop culture. She’ll then be auctioning them off and proceeds will go towards Breast Cancer Cures research. Some of her drawings are even signed bythe actresses who’s cleavage is presented. It’s awesome art for a great cause (I love me some boobs!!) so please PLEASE check out her site http://www.annericebowl.deviantart.com or be her friend on facebook at http://facebook.com/kristenbellatti
I also really wanted to introduce myself to Jeremy Haun. This dude is the real deal. He’s worked for everyone on titles like CIVIL WAR: Iron Man/Captain America, Arkham Reborn, Berserker, most recently Detective Comics and a lot lot more. I’ve seen him 4 or 5 times in the last couple of years at shows but never had the opportunity nor guts to go up to introduce myself to him. This time was no different. Maybe next time. 🙂
By the way…there in the photo next to Jeremy is Logan Spencer McCurdy who was at the con all weekend taking pictures. When he got home he loaded them (something like 400 of them!!!) to facebook. He graciously allowed me to use some photos from his album here on my site. Thanks a gazillion Logan! All the photos in this post that are marked with a ¹ are here thanks to Logan. Be his friend too at: http://facebook.com/logan.mccurdy
So all in all…it was a great weekend. I think it was perfect for my first show. Busy…but not so busy that I felt overwhelmed. I made some money (about enough to cover all my expenses for the weekend). I got to spend the time with my family. I met and caught up with a BUNCH of great people.
I did it! Now…when’s the next show!?
All photos marked with ¹ are here thanks to Logan Spencer McCurdy.