Hello all! I don’t know about you, but I can’t believe we are a week into November already! I still feel like it should be August so I am not ready for the onslaught of the holidays. As always, I’ve been busy. Teaching classes, getting back into substitute teaching, and visiting family in West Virginia…sometimes staying ahead of my growing to do list is a mighty feat!
Have you heard about the 1st Diabolical Whimsy Giveaway? Starting tonight at 8 pm you can enter to win an 8.5x11 print of your choice. The rules are simple:
1. Like Diabolical Whimsy on Facebook
2. Share the contest image featured on my Facebook page with your friends (it will go live on the Facebook page at 8 pm EST)
3. Comment on your favorite Diabolical Whimsy image on Facebook
It’s that easy! The winner (which could be you!) will be drawn at random from a fancy hat (complete with feather!) on Wed, Nov 13. I will reveal the winner on the following day. :D
I’m really excited about this giveaway because I have been trying to work out a contest for several months now. I look forward to seeing how it goes. I plan to create more giveaways in the future as well…maybe even one around the holiday season. So be sure to keep an eye on my website and social networking sites!
As for what else I have been up to, I have been working on some new images and have even finished some! I can always be more productive, but I am pretty happy with all the new images I’ve turned out in the last few months. Below is just one example of a new image. You may have seen it on my Facebook page a few weeks ago.
I have also been working on some promotional postcards for my Circus book (which I am still working on a proper name for). When I was working on my current design, I added some text that said:
Written and Illustrated by Kendra Matott
You cannot even imagine how thrilling and surreal it is to see that phrase written down and have it be true. Ever since reading art books like Suza Scalora’s The Fairies and Brian Froud’s Good Faeries Bad Faeries, I have wanted to publish a book of my own artwork. The fact that I may be only a few months away from holding such a book in my hands is unbelievably exciting.
Plus, I am another step closer to publication since I finally have gotten back my story from my editor-in-chief, my sister Ranah. I am very grateful for her help with the story. It wouldn’t be nearly as powerful and cohesive if she hadn’t been there to help me fine-tune it. I still have some work to do on the text itself, not to mention some images that need to get finished as well. However, I am optimistic that this project (which is now into it’s second year) will wrap up pretty as a present. What can I say? I’m a glass half full kind of gal. :) Until next time…
So I know I haven’t blogged in a while and there is probably a lot I could write about, but I’m going to focus today on my most recent event, RocCon. Held at the Main St. Armory in Rochester, this multi-genre convention was a lot of fun. The traffic was much better than Ryu-Kon and I met some great people, made some new connections and even sold a few pieces!
There were quite a few highlights of this weekend. One was meeting these fantastic people cosplaying as Jayne, Kaylee, and Simon from Firefly. They were all awesome and their costumes were spot on! The girl dressed as Kaylee (who introduced herself, but unfortunately I do not remember her name L) actually made her costume. She made a fantastic Kaylee! Her friend dressed as Simon was also “in character” as he was rather shy and serious. It took them forever to get “Simon” over to my table so I could take a picture of them together along with one of my neighboring vendors (S. A. McKay, author of Queens) who was dressed as Mal. Seeing them in the sea of other cosplayers made my day.
There were some other really great outfits there as well. The lady below, bless her soul, stopped by my table and couldn’t stop talking about how cute *I* was with my winged ears and bottles-of-gears earrings. I kept trying to tell her that I wanted to take her picture because I loved her steampunk hat, but it was hard to interrupt her flattering me, haha. I eventually was able to talk her into a photo, and then I discovered that her hat lit up! She was quite remarkable.
I also met some great people who were interested in modeling for me, which is very exciting. Several people related my work to Neil Gaiman and/or Dave McKean, which never fails to make me giddy. I had a great conversation with one gentleman about Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere, probably my favorite Gaiman piece. He was very impressed by my work and ended up asking if I could do a commissioned portrait of him and his wife. I look forward to working on that with him.
I also got to meet Keith R. A. DeCandido, the Author Guest of Honor of the convention. He has not only written a series of his own (The Dragon Precinct series) but has also done writing for several franchises, such as Star Trek, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and Farscape. It was kind of funny because at first I didn’t know who he was. Every time he walked past my table he would grin at me and wave. Then, there were a few times when I walked past his table and he would try to talk to me, but I was always on a mission for something and couldn’t stop. At one point, he stopped at my table, looked through my art and chatted a little bit. It was then that I noticed his badge and felt kind of bad that I hadn’t made more of an effort to speak to him earlier. Shortly after, I made a point to go bother him at his table. We had some good conversations about writing, fantasy, and sci-fi. My favorite conversation was probably when we argued about Dollhouse, the Joss Whedon show. He tried (in vain) to convince me that Dollhouse wasn’t that good. I give him props for effort though :D. I was very flattered when he ended up purchasing one of my prints.
Although I did meet a lot of great people and made some good connections, by Sunday, I will admit I was a little bummed that I hadn’t sold anything. There were lots of people who really liked the work and many took my card saying they might order online…but it was still discouraging.
I did the majority of business in the last half hour of the convention—and all to other vendors. One of the coolest sales was to an author named Jasmine Mead. I had been eyeing her book, Our Last Hero (which she also designed the cover of) all weekend, but since I hadn’t made back the money for the table, I really couldn’t afford to buy it. I felt even worse about this because I had talked to her on Friday and told her I was going to buy it. Late on Sunday, she came over to my table and started looking through my bin of prints. After a few minutes, she sighed and picked up my business card, asking if I had prints available online. I told her I did, but if she was interested I would be willing to trade her the print for her book. She agreed and even signed the copy for me! I was super happy about it and can’t wait to read it.
Right after that, another vendor came over and asked for the same print that Jasmine had purchased. I did not have the 8.5 x 11 size, but she was happy to buy the 13 x 19 print. I found it very interesting that I sold more of the prints of the mixed media drawings than my photography work. Makes me glad that I kept the prints of drawings in the bin! This last vendor, Taylor’s Maid Designs, was a mother-daughter team selling artwork and greeting cards/gift boxes from upcycled materials. We had a lovely conversation with them about the convention scene in general.
We talked in part about how conventions can sometimes be frustrating because the customers are often more interested in fan art than original works. I had found this the case throughout the weekend. Many people would only kind of glance at my artwork but would go crazy over an artwork based on something they knew already. I understand why this is the case but, as an original artist who does not do any fan art, it can be very frustrating and financially more difficult. The Maid (the mother part of the team) pointed out that the reason that I sold primarily to vendors is because they can appreciate the artistry and originality in my work more than some of the con-goers. I know in time I will make more sales, I guess I just get impatient sometimes.
One regret I have from this convention was not getting out from behind my table very much. There were a lot of vendors there and I wish I had had a chance to speak to more of them. Next time I will try harder to do that.
I also need to get working on some promo for my Circus book (which still needs a title). I did get to talk to a LOT of people at this con about my book, which was great. I had a little sign on my table that said “Ask me About my Book” and at RocCon, people actually did! Even so, I definitely need to get some postcards, stickers, buttons, or something made up that specifically promote the upcoming publication. Plus I need to finish the editing process and get a finished layout so I can do a test printing! Ah! Always so much to do!
In addition to this great convention, I have also been *attempting* to follow along with this 52-Week Photo Challenge created by a local artist, Diana “Bunnykissd” Bukowski. I’m currently behind, although I think attempting to work toward these challenges has helped me keep up with creating more art, so that’s a good thing for sure.
Well, I think I’ve rambled enough for one day. Check out Bunnykissd’s blog here to read more about the 52-Week Photo Challenges. If you’d like to see the images I’ve submitted for the project, check out the flickr group here.
A shot of the 6x6x2013 show at RoCo taken by Missy. Can you see my 6x6 pieces?
May turning into June proved to be a very busy time for me. The first of the month was the CNY Art Center's Open House AND the opening of 6x6x2013 at RoCo. I unfortunately did not get a chance to go to the opening at RoCo, but a friend, Missy, sent me the picture to the left of my works on the wall!
The Open House at the Art Center's Gallery went very well. I somehow managed to volunteer myself to be in charge of head count. According to my tally marks we had approximately 100 people, which was great. I got to talk to lots of people about my work. One lady and her daughter bought a print of "The Zebra Rider"! Someone else was interested in having me do portraits of their family in my style. And still another invited me to participate in a group show at the Red Brick Pub in Fulton called "Art After Dark." So all in all it was a very successful day!
My table at Arts Fest, Sat June 8, 2013.
The following Saturday was Arts Fest, an arts and crafts festival hosted by the CNY Arts Center. It was a bit slow for a craft fair, but I did get to talk to a good handful of people about my art. Unfortunately, I was not able to make up for the cost of the booth, but it was still a fun day. Especially because my mom, sister, niece and nephew stopped by to visit! I loved having them around and miss them terribly now that they have headed home to West Virginia. Although I think I get more art stuff done when Miss Livie isn't around to ask me to take the ferrets out of their cage 25 times in a row (c:
Once Arts Fest was over, I immediately started thinking about what I needed to prepare for Ryu-Kon, an anime/sci-fi/fantasy convention I am attending in July. Thankfully I have lots of prints made up now, so that is one less thing I'll need to do. Although I am also thinking about making some things to sell besides my straight art prints. Maybe notecards or journals? I don't want anything too cheesy, but I think there is definitely a market out there for my work in more practical/functional items than just prints. I'll have to see what I can come up with.
I also have now purchased a booth at RocCon, another convention (this one in Rochester) toward the end of September. Attending this one means that I'll have to miss Livie's birthday party, but it seemed too good of an opportunity to pass up. Serena and I are planning a trip down to WV to visit my sister at some point anyway, even if we won't be there for the shindig.
In the meantime, before these two conventions, I have several other things to look forward to. I have several classes scheduled over the summer at the CNY Arts Center, from Drawing to Collaging to Facebook: Promotion for the Arts to Story Time Art for kids. Check out all my classes here. I also have filled out an application to be a "consignment" artist at Lakeside Artisans in Oswego. It is an artist co-op gallery where, if accepted, I will be able to display and sell my work from their shop. I'm pretty excited about this opportunity because I know the more exposure I can get, the better.
I also have 2 public shows coming up in the next two months! One is a group show with the CNY Arts Center at a local hospice. The other was actually this past Monday-the Art After Dark show that got suggested to me at the Gallery Open House on June 1st. It was an interesting event. We set up in a banquet hall at the Red Brick Pub in Fulton. Although only a handful of people stopped by, Jesse Renfrew and I both sold work, so it turned out to be a great evening! Plus we got to spend time drawing and making paper hats with Jesse's son Ben.
After writing all that out, I realize I have a LOT going on. I am rather proud of myself for how far I have gotten with promoting my artwork. To think a year ago, I hadn't even made a new piece of art in a year or more. Now I work on new art at LEAST twice a week AND I'm getting my work out there. Go me.
If you'd like to keep up to date on all of what I'm up to, be sure to Like my Facebook page. With over 50 likes now, it's easier to find: www.facebook.com/diabolicalwhimsy. I look forward to connecting with you there!
I am excited to report that I have a lot of things going for me in the next few months as far as displaying and possibly selling my art work! First, I have just mailed off work for 6x6x2013, a Fundraising Art Show for RoCo (the Rochester Contemporary Art Center). I discovered the "Call for Entries" for this show a while ago on Facebook. To raise money for their Art Center, RoCo asked artists of all mediums, ages, and skills to submit artworks that measured six inches by six inches (by six inches if 3-D). They will be displayed at their gallery in a grid formation (all without framing). It seemed like an interesting show-and as an added bonus there was no fee to enter. I kind of forgot about it for a little while, but thankfully I remembered in time to submit some.
It took quite a while for me to figure out which of my images I could actually crop down into a square format. As a general rule, I like to create images in rectangles, because the asymmetry creates more dynamic compositions. So some of the pieces that I might have wanted to use (such as "Anonymous Goddess") just did not work as 6x6s. After some trial and error, I was able to find six good square compositions.
Each of these images will be displayed at RoCo's gallery and be on sale for $20 to benefit the Art Center. Even though I will not get any financial reward for entering this show, it will be great exposure. A lot of people attend this event-purchasing the 6x6 artworks is actually quite competitive. Every year, they host a raffle to give away early spots to pick out your artworks so no one else can buy them first. When someone purchases one of my photos, they will also receive my contact info and my website. In this way, someone who is interested in my style will be able to look me up and potentially buy more pieces from me.
Yesterday I got the prints all cropped and filled out the forms for each one. Today I mailed them out-and two days before shipping deadline! For more info on this show, go here.
As for the other events, I am planning on submitting some pieces to a show down state called "All Fired Up." Set to be held during GlassFest 2013, they are looking for artwork that was created with fire. I can think of at least a handful of images that I have created with photographs that I have taken of fire so I am hoping they will take at least one of them. The obvious one for me to submit is "The Firebreather" image from my circus series, although I am not actually sure I used photos of fire to compile that image, so we will have to see. Listen up for updates on that on my Facebook page!
I have also been looking into craft fairs and fantasy/sci fi conventions that I can go to with either my wish bags, art, or both. Unfortunately a handful of the craft fairs I considered attending happen to be on days when I am teaching classes at the CNY Arts Center so that may not work so well. However, I did find at least one convention that I AM attending this summer-my booth is already paid for! It's called Ryu-Kon and looks to be primarily an anime/gaming convention but I think my stuff will fit in just fine. This year it is being held in Niagara Falls, so we should be able to stay with my partner's family who lives in the area. Staying with family cuts down tremendously on hotel costs and means I'll make more of a profit! Plus, purchasing the space (plus 2 passes) at Ryu-Kon was only $55! I should be able to break even on this event without too much trouble. There are some other conventions I want to keep in mind for the fall and then next Spring, including EerieCon, RocCon, and maybe if I'm really lucky, DragonCon.
So this has been my exciting update about what I'm doing with my art business! Be sure to like my Facebook page and follow me on tumblr for more updates! I'm also planning a FREE Giveaway for my Facebook fans! =^.^= More details coming soon!
I've been doing quite a bit of updating to the website since I published it a few weeks ago! We now have a full gallery, some links to my favorite artists and to my social networks, plus a new place to acquire the magic of my mixed media photographs! My store, run through Paypal, is officially open for business! There are currently two new prints (in both 8.5x11 and 13x19) up for sale! Go check it out!
Plus, my Facebook page has grown! I even have some fans that I don't know! Haha, it's pretty exciting actually. It makes me really happy to find people who appreciate and enjoy my artwork. So spread the word! I am hoping that by the end of November I might be able to reach 50 fans. *fingers crossed*
In completely unrelated news (as far as the website and Facebook go), I am quite happy to report that I have been working on many new photos and even a new mixed media drawing! Keep your eyes peeled for a sneak previews!
In the spirit of Halloween, my partner and I carved pumpkins today! And what did I get distracted by? The guts of the pumpkin. I had to stop and get my camera so I could take some photos. It was all fleshy and stringy and will make the perfect addition to one of my photos, just you wait. But the pumpkin turned out pretty cool too! Happy Halloween everyone!
Kendra's rantings and ramblings about various topics, including art making, events, writing, movies, music and other inspirations.