It's less than two weeks away now... the fifth annual IlluXCon! Are you as excited as I am?
This year is a bit different for me, and I'll explain why. Unlike 2010 and 2011, I will not have a table in the main show. There are very good reasons for this, the main one being that I didn't try out for the main show. "Wait... what??" Yes, you heard me: I didn't try out. In late 2011, when IlluXCon announced they were officially going traditional-only, and everyone had to be juried into the show, I had to get honest with myself about my work. I've been a working illustrator for a few years now, but primarily a working digital illustrator. When I did a hard comparison between my digital and traditional work, I saw a big enough disparity in the quality that it bothered me, and I thought it would be best to spend part of my first year as a full-time freelancer working toward getting back into shape with oils.
Instead of trying out for the main show, I set a goal for myself to make 5 oil paintings to present at the IlluXCon Showcase, which is the one-night-only art extravaganza held at the Ramada hotel. Not just paintings for the sake of painting, but paintings I would be proud to put my name on and show off as a sample of my latest work.
I think I met that goal.
A couple weeks ago when I started planning my table display, I made a second big decision that will set 2012 apart- I'm only bringing traditional work. Digital artwork isn't necessarily verboten in the Showcase, but it's not part of Pat and Jeannie's vision, and it's unfair to collectors who want to buy originals to get them interested in what they don't want. Also, for the first time, I don't need to show it to feel good about my work. If I had had enough original oils the last two years, I'd have done this sooner, but I just didn't. In less than two weeks, you won't even see a print or postcard of a digital piece at my table. **SPOILER ALERT** Here's what that might look like:
I'll have 5 original oils, 3 of which are still for sale, as listed below:
• Blue Flame, 2012, 16x22 in. | $1,200
• Rush of Blood, 2012 | Sold
• Tarzan: The Light of Knowledge, 2012 | Sold
• Omens, 2012, 22x30 in. w custom frame | $3,200
• Phial of Galadriel, 2012, 11x14 in. | $600
On the table I'll have a binder of original drawings, including richly-detailed preliminary drawings for four of the oil paintings listed above, priced between $150 and $300.
The binder will also have large giclée prints of some traditional work; if you can't pick one up at the Showcase, they can also be ordered online from my inprnt.com store for the same price.
Something new that I'll be trying out is playing my Making of Omens painting video at my table (sans audio, so my table-neighbors don't go insane from hearing the same 10 minutes of sound on loop). For people who want to watch it after the showcase, I'll have little cards to take that have a QR Code on the back, that will link you directly to the video:
Lastly, I'll have the usual takeaways, in the form of business cards and postcards, all bearing images of traditional paintings from 2012.
None of this is to say that I'll be abandoning digital art- no, siree. I still plan to work both ways, but I'm hoping to continue focusing more on honing my traditional skills throughout next year. I'm really hoping that I might have a shot at the main show again when IlluXCon moves to Allentown- that is a great motivator.
Lastly, since I'll only be behind a table for one night, I'll get to go to some lectures and hang out this year! :) Looking forward to seeing you all very soon! Now, get back to work.