FaerieCon is arguably my favorite event that Diabolical Whimsy attends. I have always felt at home at there—felt accepted for the weirdo I am, no apologies needed. It is hard to pin point what I enjoy most about the event. Is it the writers, musicians, artists, and spiritual people who share their work and passions each year? Or the creativity of the attendees with their gorgeously constructed costumes? Or perhaps it is the shenanigans that my cousins and I always seem to get into during the masquerades? Whatever it is, I always leave the Realm feeling refreshed and artistically invigorated.
This year’s FaerieCon did not disappoint: It was filled with magic, friends and family, some jamming music, fantastic costumes, and the best part—some actual art making!
About a month before the event, I planned a Facebook event to see if I could find some people interested in volunteering to model for me. I wasn’t sure if I would be able to connect with anyone interested in it, but the online response far surpassed what I anticipated. By the end of the con, I had fit in a total of 5 shoots with new models! I am super excited to start working on them. Here are a few sneak peaks:
In addition to taking photos, I also sold some! That being said, attendance this year seemed low. Apparently, another big convention was happening in Baltimore the same weekend this year. The event coordinators announced that next year the event will be moving into the Inner Harbor area of Baltimore. I hope this will be a good move for the event. It should generate more shoppers with increased foot traffic, plus transit to the airport. I immediately signed up for next year, as I am optimistic about these changes. I think the change in venue will also add a new spark to the event. I look forward to returning next November.
Although I did not spend much time planning a costume this year, I did manage to accidentally make this sparkly cape! I purchased the base garment from a consignment shop, with the intention of adding to it so that I could wear it (it was originally a size 6). It sat in my costume closet for several years before I pulled it out this fall and decided I was finally going to do something to it. I began by ripping out the stitches and then I pinned it in a few places and slipped it over my head to figure out how exactly to alter it. Upon glancing in the mirror, I stopped and thought, never mind altering it into a dress that fits me—I’m just going to wear this as a cape! Sometimes the best things happen by accident.
The masquerades are often a lot of fun for us. We usually don’t listen to much of the music, but instead gallivant around, faerie watching and doing photoshoots in nooks and crannies of the hotel. This Good Faeries Ball, we actually ended up staying for the entire performance of Abney Park. They were amazing! After the concert, we spent a lot of time taking photos. We even took some of Bessy and the Hulkster! The Bad Faeries Ball went just as well, although we spend the majority of the time in the Garden Room taking photos. This time we had an audience—Timothy Lantz and friend (forgive me, I forget her name!) showed up and claimed we were more entertaining than the band. >.<
During the day, when I got a chance to walk around and talk to vendors, I was lucky enough to meet (and get a hug from) Iris Compiet! I supported her kickstarter project, Faeries of the Faultlines. Getting to see her work in person was a real treat. I only wish I could have made it to one of her panels, but the timing didn’t work out. I also chatted with several other artists, many of whom used mixed media which I found fascinating.
Coming home and going back to my day job was especially difficult this year. Everything seemed so mundane after the glittery world of FaerieCon. However, as a few weeks have passed I am finally readjusting to the muggle world again.
My next (and ongoing) challenge is to keep some of the magic of FaerieCon alive by setting aside time for my art. I recently got a promotion at my day job, and the holiday season is in full swing. I always find working on art hard during this time of year as much of my time is spent with family. However, this year I am striving to set aside time each day and week to create and promote my work. Having some new images to work on should make that easier. Plus I still have an unopened box of new art papers to use in my mixed media work!
One of the greatest things that happened at the con was how all of my neighboring vendors banded together to spread the word about Artist Alley. The way this con was set up, there was the main vending hall and then in the two hallways on either side, there were separate vendors (one side was a "VHS fest" with vendors selling movies and collectibles, and the other side was Artist Alley). Since we were separate from the other vendors, many con-goers didn't even know there WAS an Artist Alley. I actually talked to a Staff member of the convention on Sunday who admitted he didn't know the Artist Alley was there either! However, instead of just complaining about the situation, a group of AA vendors decided to do something about it.
Plus, I did sell a preorder of The Ringleader! Speaking of which--you can preorder this art book through my website for $10 off retail price now til October 9!
After Scare-a-Con, I am even more excited for FaerieCon! I can't believe it is still 2 months away-I don't know if I can wait that long!
Ed made this great zombie with a speech bubble sign to try to direct more traffic our way. Plus, Ed moved his zombie cardboard cutout to the front of the vending hall. This was a great gimmick that got a lot of people's attention--he designed it so you could put your head through and take a picture as if the zombie had decapitated you! One of the vendors toward the end of the hallway went out and stood by the cutout to direct everyone taking pictures with it to Artist Alley. Remarkably, all that effort really did help increase traffic, at least on Saturday.
Unfortunately, the overall attendance was just kind of low this year. Jessica told me they had been vendors the year before and had at least broke even, but this year they didn't even do that. It being my first year there, I was just pleased with how many people did stop by to look through my work.
After doing a few other sci-fi/fantasy conventions over last summer, I became rather frustrated about the convention scene. While I always met some people who were truly interested in my work, I felt like a lot of the con-goers were only interested in fan art. At FaerieCon, there is significantly more original artwork. Plus, the attendees (while I’m sure they also would love a variety of fan art, cause who doesn’t?) always seemed to be looking for original artwork, so I feel like my work has a better chance of making an impression.
I am also really pumped because I found out that I may be able to enter work into the art show at Dragon*Con without actually having to make the trip down there. While I really want to attend Dragon*Con, financially I can’t do it this year. However, I’m excited about the prospect of sharing my artwork at that venue. I am also making plans to attend RocCon again as well as EerieCon this year.
In addition to my convention sign-ups and research, I have been spending the beginning of this new year trying to really kick up my work on my circus book. My goal is to have printed copies ready to sell at FaerieCon. Which means I need to finish editing and get the design finished. I also need to settle on a title…I think I’ve narrowed my choices down, but I’m still not positive which one I will go with.
I also have officially started shooting for a new series! I took some self-portraits last weekend and then met with a new model, Heather, yesterday. Both shoots went very well and I am excited to start the editing process. I was gonna post one of my favorites from the shoot, but I can't seem to find the cord to connect my camera, nor my card reader/USB drive...I think that means it's time to clean my studio! Wish me happy cleaning!
Kendra's rantings and ramblings about various topics, including art making, events, writing, movies, music and other inspirations.
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