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Fan Expo 2008 wrap-up – I think too much August 24, 2008

Posted by thejinx in art, life.
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

So, the third Fan Expo I’ve attended has come and gone. I didn’t do a lot there; panels aren’t really my thing, or at least there don’t seem to be many that really pique my interest, so all of my in-con time was spent either wandering the dealer’s hall, which certainly took up enough time on its own, or at the Classic Battletech table with Janson.

As I have done for the past few Fan Expos, I did commission a picture from Artist’s Alley. The first year it was Garrick from The Fire Within – first version available to read on my website – and the second year it was Domino from the same story. This year, it was a little more difficult to decide. I had written Aurius to completion since the last Fan Expo, which of course had characters I’d love to see done by other artists, and have also begun Eyes of a Dragon, which is equally rich in characters I’d love other artists to draw. I ended up leaving the decision to the artist, and of the character designs I showed her, she liked best Derek from Eyes of a Dragon, whom I have not finished a proper portrait yet, but who I have drawn before:

Derek by Jojo-kun

Derek by Jojo-kun

Click the image to visit the artist’s website or you can view her DeviantArt gallery.

Artist’s Alley alone was huge this year. I’m sure it always is and I simply forget how big it is by the time the next convention rolls around, but regardless, dozens of artists had set up tables there. As I have done several times over the years, I thought again about looking into a table at a convention. Except for once, I walked through Artist’s Alley at Fan Expo and thought, I can do this.

If I haven’t made it clear at some other point in this blog, I have very little confidence in my abilities as an artist. I am simply not good enough for my own expectations, and every time I start drawing something, if it doesn’t immediately come out right, I feel like a hack, like I don’t know what I’m doing. It’s something I’m not sure I’ll ever get over and it’s something I’ve come to live with, as I’m too stubborn to give up even if something isn’t working. So, the fact that I felt – and still feel – that I could get a table at Artist’s Alley in some con or another is pretty significant.

Except that I have finished little polished fanart. That seems to be what sells at conventions, and I’m not surprised by that fact. The solution, of course, is that I need to draw more fanart. When I mentioned this fact to Janson, his first suggestion for characters to draw was the Puma sisters from Masamune Shirow’s Dominion Tank Police. And lo and behold, I did:

Obviously, this sketch isn’t quite complete and there are things that I need to fix – the leg muscles go where again? – but for about an hour and a half’s work at a convention with no reference images at all handy, I’d like to think I did a pretty good job.  Jans said the characters are certainly identifiable, so I’ll call that a success.

I am also inspired by Jojo-kun’s rendition of Derek above in marker. I haven’t done a whole lot with marker yet because I cannot abide imperfection in my work. I forget that marker is supposed to be sketchy, and that sketchy can look very nice. Having that large image in front of me offers a helpful reminder that marker coloured images do not have to be perfect, nor perfectly smooth. That in mind, I would like to give marker colouring this picture a shot. It’s certainly a lot quicker going than any other media, though I am still very short on colours for markers and have not yet discerned which, if any, of the variety of paper types that I have on hand are best for colouring with marker.

Perhaps this is all a sign that I am in fact gaining a more positive view of my own abilities than I thought.  It was just Friday that I was feeling depressed once again that while I’m fairly comfortable with my drawing, my colouring is weak, before I stopped myself and thought, no, dangit, the last picture I finished came out well.  So, if I can get some more fanart done this year, maybe I will look into Artist’s Alley tables next year.

I don’t think I meant to put this much personal stuff into this log, but, well, there it is.  As a note, I will be away on holiday next week, so I won’t be posting or likely finishing anything new during that time.  Hopefully I can get at least something finished before I head out.



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