It's not that I have time to do a more in-depth post, it's just that I have to do something to break up the cycle of eat,sleep and work.
I didn't want to miss anything on Thursday so I arrived on Wednesday in Altoona. Thursday I realized that nothing much happens until 6pm. We decided to try to find something to do in Altoona. There were only 4 results for things to do in Altoona and they weren't very interesting and weren't open until the weekend. So instead we just went into the show before the actual opening. As previously stated, I ran in and saw Donato's work first. Just wanted to go home and paint right then. I hardly ever paint in oils so there's no room in my process to ever arrive at a finished product like Donato does.
Then I checked out Paul Lehr stuff. I'd never heard of him before but I was really struck by the chroma in his stuff and the contrasts he tackles. Then I sort of wanted to tackle that. I wanted to run home and try to do a painting with bright purple everywhere and then a splash of insane yellow. Once again, I don't think I could arrive at something so bold through my process.
This sort of thing basically continued for every artist there. There was something in everybody's work that I felt like I previously never could have arrived at. All of this occurred in the first day. So the rest of the convention was kind of torturous. I just wanted to go home and get to it already even though I knew I had two jobs waiting for me that require working digitally since different elements have to be on different layers and dozens of revisions are required.
At the same time I have to tell myself that I can't be like everyone I love. I mean I loved Donato's stuff and Petar's. They're pretty much polar opposites in terms of execution. I'm also not sure that it would be a good thing to have such an open process that the end result could be anything. It's very tricky and it seems the only solution is to give everything a try and the processes and approaches that are uncomfortable or unnatural will fall to the wayside very quickly
There weren't a ton of lectures or demos like other workshops but the quality was very good. Donato did a great lecture and Rob Ruhpel was great as well. Bob Eggleton did a painting demo which I always think are a lot of fun to watch. Boris and Julie painted at their booth but they were using such tiny brushes it was impossible to tell what they were doing. Hilderbrandt was also painting at his table. The live critique was entertaining but I'm not sure it was too valuable to most. I went to the Todd Lockwood digital painting demo which was kind of a mistake since I don't like painter and I was all amped up to try my hand at oils again. By the way, you need to get to the lectures early or you won't be able to get into the room. I couldn't attend the Lars Grant West lecture because people couldn't fit into the room.
The showcase Friday night was really interesting. Huge variety of work. I was really surprised to see so many digital artists. I didn't purchase a table myself because I thought rocks would be thrown at me for only having two or three traditional media pieces. Turns out the showcase is completely accepting of everybody. Ofcourse you have very few potential buyers coming through and most seem to be interested in the traditional stuff so I'm not sure what the chances are of making any money as a digital artists. Most seemed to just be trying to get their name out there. The tables seemed to just be first come first serve and the wall tables seem to be better spots so start setting up early.
I had an out of date portfolio. The same one I had at GenCon. Since then I've either done stuff under NDA or work that's unrelated to the fantasy/sci-fi illustration field and hadn't had time to edit pieces that I got feedback on at GenCon. So I barely showed my portfolio to anyone. I had a ton of known problems with the work in there and was frankly embarassed to show it to people. I feel like when I hand somebody a portfolio of my work I'm saying, "I'm proud of this stuff! It's my best yet!" and unlike in August, I just couldn't say that anymore. When you feel like that, even complements make you cringe.
I should have gotten a booth. I hope to next year and should have some paintings by then.
When I first signed up for this convention I thought there would be more art directors from book publishers but it looks like I was completely wrong. Irene wasn't there and I didn't hear about any other book publisher AD's being there. So I was kind of disappointed with that. Paizo's AD was there but I saw her three months earlier at GenCon.
On an unrelated note, the road to Altoona is paved in blood. I've never seen so much roadkill before. In some place the blood covered both lanes. I don't know if that means a whole family of deer were hit at once or some deer were running with the flow of traffic when a car decided to cross the road to get to the woods on the other side.
On another unrelated note, what's with stripclubs in the middle of nowhere? Is it one chick depending on the 4 unrelated males in the area to support her? Or are there enough people driving through that actually think, "this place probably has some really HOT women that would make me want to have sex. But then I won't be able to. So I'll basically just be stuck in a room with a bunch of horny dudes wanting to jerk off but can't due to the situation that I've put myself in. Also, there's probably a bouncer who is just itching to kick my ass. All of this sounds totally better than a nudie mag or the internet." Or perhaps stripclubs in the middle of nowhere tend to break that whole rule about not having sex in back rooms. In that instance, you know those women can't be too discerning about their customers because you know traffic isn't that good. Who knows. But seeing more than one was amazing.
I is sleepy n iiinju bhy8i mkkkkkkkkkknhjjjjjjjjjjjj