Just found out early last week that I’m going to be a guest at the upcoming Raleigh Comic Book Show, next Sunday! As always, I am looking forward to seeing show runner Lyn Anderson and all the great dealers and convention regulars who attend these shows. Other planned guests at this show are Buddy Prince, who is a solid artist, good guy, and another Raleigh show regular… and Dan Johnson, whom I have not yet met but am looking forward to seeing for the first time!
I will again have original art and sketch cards for sale, including a bunch of new sketch cards from last Inktober that I drew after my last convention appearance. I’ll also have lots of glossy prints of a bunch of illustrations that I’ve drawn over the last few years. Time permitting, I might even be able to do some commission sketch cards or head/bust sketches during the show too. I’m getting ready for the show this week, so I could even surprise myself with new things I don’t yet know I’ll be bringing!
I hope to see lots of Facebook and blog followers at the show… and I promise to try and warp your brain with my nonsense while you’re there. 🙂 If you’re anywhere near Raleigh, NC next week you really ought to stop by the show… you will not be disappointed! For those who can’t attend, I will be blogging about the experience sometime next Sunday night as I normally do after these shows.
When I was invited to this past December’s Raleigh Comic Book Show, I wanted to draw something special to help promote the show. I like to help promote the show where I can anyway, since Lyn Anderson is an old friend (not a friend that is old), but I had a vested interest since I was going to be a guest at that show! 🙂
I did make a flyer that I posted on the blog, and shared on Facebook. When I arrived at the show, Lyn told me a neat story of how his old show location had apparently taken my flyer and blown it up to use as a sign to let people know the show had moved from there to the new location. That was a pretty cool surprise use of my artwork that I was happy to find out about.
The artwork portion of that flyer was a hand-drawn scene based on Buzz from my ‘Sects comic strip. Outside of preliminary doodles for my character designs, it actually marked the first time I had created a hand-drawn version of any of my ‘Sects comic strip characters. So, I wanted to share a larger scan of just that original artwork here on the blog.
This started as pencil, then ink, but I experimented and used pastels for the colors. For the most part I like how it turned out, I’m still new to using pastels, but they added a bit of texture to this drawing that otherwise would not have been there if I’d just colored with pencil or markers. For the moon setting, I thought it was appropriate to have some texture.
Let me know what you think, and remember, if you’d like an original commission by me or would like to hire me as an Illustrator, please use the Contact page and let me know as much as you can about your request.
Yesterday was the big day! As expected, I did not get a lot of sleep in advance of the convention. I never do. It’s not even about being unprepared, I was more prepared for this show than any I’ve ever been to before… I just never end up sleeping much or well before any big thing.
I had a bunch of original art with me, and some sketches and prints for sale. I loaded up the truck and actually got to the show early! The new venue was nice. It was a good looking hotel and the layout of the comic showroom was nice. I found my spot, checked the WiFi access, and setup my table for the day.
For a post-Christmas show, you never know what to expect. Are people tired from celebrating the holidays? OR are they ready to get out of the house for a bit? Did they spend all of their money already on Christmas? OR will all the people who received money as a gift show up ready to spend? It seemed like the show got a pretty good turnout, but I literally only sold one of my prints.
I’m still new to the guest artist gig, so I don’t know how much my lack of sales had to do with me being new versus people just not looking to spend money. I did have a lot of people looking through my stuff, and got a lot of positive comments… so I’m figuring it was a mix of me still being new and people being choosy how they spend their money. Being honest, going into the show I wanted to have stuff for sale and hoped to sell some things but I was mostly there to spread the word, advertise myself, and promote my blog and ‘Sects comic strip.
Specifically for this show, I made eight promotional ‘Sects character cards (Buzz, Red, Bob, Blue, Buzzarro, Dez, Nell, and Al). These were 2.5 in. x 2 in. cards with a brief blurb about the character and a link to my blog. During the show I handed them out to everyone who stopped at my table, and tried to flag down people as they walked by to let them know they were free for the taking. After the show I also went around to all the dealers who hadn’t stopped by my table already to bring them into the fold as well. I’m hoping my blog will see some new visitors and fans as a result!
Fellow guests at the show were Chris Kemple and Buddy Prince. Buddy was at the first show I did, back in 2014, and I hadn’t seen him since that time. Chris and I talked a bit and each thought the other looked familiar, and we mutually concluded that we probably already knew each other because we used to shop at the same comic book store (Capitol Comics) and I actually worked there many years ago. Buddy and Chris are both good guys, and good artists, and they seemed to have a lot of interaction at their tables too.
During the show, I was able to draw some ‘Sects sketch cards and a Batgirl sketch card. I also drew a nice larger Spider-Man sketch. I posted these last night on the blog after returning from the show, but I was too tired to post this summary until tonight! 🙂 It was nice to be able to prove to myself that I could finish sketches while talking to people at the same time. Sometimes multitasking can be challenging, so it was good practice.
All in all, it was a good experience. It was a much better experience than my first show too. I was much more prepared going in, and I had a stronger comic strip to promote this time around. Next time I’ll have more art to sell and more comics to promote too… it’s a growing process. It was good to see some old friends that I hadn’t seen in a while, and make a few new ones. If anyone reading this met me for the first time yesterday, and has now come to check out my blog as a result, thank you for coming to the show and thank you for visiting my blog. Hopefully I’ll be able to get to more shows in 2016!
For my guest appearance at the Raleigh Comic Book Show tomorrow, I’m preparing to bring many things… I also have been spending time this week creating some sketch cards for the show. I may be able to draw some more at the show, but wanted to have some done in advance. I’ll be making a series of posts today to show off some of the ones I’ve already made. Hope to see some of you at the convention!
I’ve been invited once again to appear as a guest artist at the Raleigh Comic Book Show. Lyn Anderson is a long-time friend and always puts on a good show. There are also a bunch of friendly dealers with a wide variety of comic books and collectibles. There are usually some good guests too, so hopefully I don’t mess that up too much! 🙂
I’m looking forward to seeing old friends and making some new ones. I’ll also be bringing some freebies and perhaps some original art for sale, and I hope to gain some new followers to the blog and my Facebook page. If you’re a fan of anything you’ve seen from me, please come by and say hello!
For those who cannot attend, I’ll be blogging after the experience next Sunday to let you know what you missed. I hope to see lots of ‘Sects fans there!
This is not the blog post you are looking for…
So, I was out yesterday running errands. I noticed many people, admittedly mostly women since that’s how I’m wired, with long hair and tight pants. It got me to thinking. Are the pants comfortable? Is the hair worth the maintenance?
I’m admittedly not in optimal physical condition right now. That honestly stated, I have never been a fan of form-fitting clothing, regardless of my condition. I remember the last time I was in really good shape and many people didn’t notice just how much I had toned myself because I was still wearing much of the same clothing. Some people asked why I didn’t get clothes that fit me better. I ultimately did get some new clothes, but I still wore clothing that was loose rather than form-fitting.
Now I’m not saying some people don’t look good in the clothes… but for me it was always restrictive and made me feel uncomfortable. At the end of the day, I primarily dress for two reasons:
- Not to be naked.
- For comfort.
Yes, I dress up for the situations that require it… I’m not that much of a rebel! But generally speaking, those are my two criteria and in that order. If I’m not comfortable then I’m miserable. Loose-fitting clothing all the way for me!
I have worn my hair long and short, and a beard sometimes to match. Right now both are a little longer than I would like but it suits the creative/artistic/eccentric me. However, soon I will resemble my other self and not the one people saw recently at my comic book convention appearance with the longer hair and beard.
The longer my hair gets (with or without the companion beard) the tougher it is to maintain. Washing it takes longer… combing it takes longer… and though I’m not an every-hair-in-place guy, it still takes increasingly more time to care for and maintain longer hair than it does shorter hair. Eventually I reach that breaking point where my laziness at cutting my hair is beaten by my annoyance at maintaining the length to which it has grown.
I look different with longer hair than I do with shorter hair. That cannot be denied. I can’t judge better or worse in such things… just different. I’m still me… and unlike the story of Samson & Delilah, I do not gain or lose strength with the length of my hair.
The internet and fans of CBS’ “The Big Bang Theory” witnessed head-explosions when the new season started and actress Kaley Cuoco showed up with really short hair. I found myself amazed at the depth of the reactions. Some claimed it ruined the show… others claimed it ruined the actress! Think for a second… her hair is likely to grow back… and even if not, she’s ruined with a haircut? Really?
You can’t help but notice, obviously… but she looks and sounds like the same person to me. I wasn’t freaked out. I wasn’t even surprised. I am a guy who notices such things. I’m not the guy who sees a girl with a different hairstyle and is oblivious to why she looks different. I just don’t care. I see the same person with different hair. The earth didn’t open up and release the Kraken because a girl gets a short haircut, but you wouldn’t know it from how a lot of people reacted!
You might not think about it, but your signature can be a logo too. You can simply sign your name of course, and you should on legal documents… but many artists have a stylized form of their signature that they use to sign their finished works. If you have been following my blog since I appeared at the Raleigh Comic Convention back in August, you have seen scans of my sketches that include my signature logo.
For years I had been practicing variations on things that I liked. For a time I thought I might use a stylized version of my initials (SJV) in a design similar to the old Van Halen logo. It looked ok, and I was a fan of the band, but that didn’t really yield a signature that represented anything of myself. As I have said before, your logo represents you and at that point my concept did not adequately represent me.
I was always a good math and science student and was an Electrical Engineering major at NC State University, so in some ways it is odd that it took me as long as it did to come up with this design. It is simple and quite by accident very functional in communicating additional information beyond just who drew the picture.
The integral symbol represents my first initial, the root symbol represents my last initial, and the J fits snugly in there as a variable to the root function. As I settled upon this design and grew to like it, I discovered a happy accident… I could use the lower and upper limits for the integral symbol to represent the month and year, respectively.
So I ended up with a neat little signature logo that identifies me as well as when I completed the work. It also represents the analytical side of me as much as it represents the artistic side.
Do you have your own stylized signature logo design?
For the Raleigh Comic-Con, I created the following 11×4.25 in. flyer design on a 67-lb cardstock paper to promote my blog and the From Where I Sit series:
I left a small area to the right of the flyer blank so that I could do quick-sketches at the convention. Everything was done with colored pencils (and a regular pencil too). Below is a categorized display of all the sketches I was able to finish today…
Here I am (was) near the start of the convention this morning:
Now I can say “been there, done that” and I survived to tell the tale. As I unwind from a long day I am trying to collect my thoughts. There is a lot of stuff to blog about, and rest assured I will be blogging… for now, though, a brief summary of the experience.
I was late. I wonder what is worse… being late to your first professional appearance? or the fact that nobody really seemed to notice? If I were not an unknown, it would be worse that nobody noticed… but since I am a new kid in town, it probably helped cover my lateness. Truth be told it was only 15 minutes after the convention had started, but since I had intended to be there early it felt worse to me.
I was seated next to two friendly and talented professional artists:
I felt like I was in a live-action version of “one of these things is not like the other…” next to those two guys. They were both friendly, and I felt welcomed even as I felt a bit in over my head. I got to talk about my blog and my daily comic strip and random other things. I also was able to draw a lot of quick-sketches during the show. I will post scans of these at some point when I have the chance to process them.
On the way home, I made a trip to Edward McKay Used Books and More and dropped off my remaining copies of a promotional flyer I had designed to promote this blog. If you’ve found me from one of those flyers, please let me know so I can thank them for helping me distribute them.
All-in-all it was a learning experience and one well worth having. Thank you again to Lyn Anderson for running a nice show and for inviting me to be a guest today!
Last, but not least, I was inspired to create a companion piece to Friday’s one-shot bonus From Where I Sit episode. So I guess that makes them now collectively a two-shot? Or perhaps I was fouled on the play and this is the one from the charity stripe?