FaerieCon 2015 (a few months late)
Wow, it has been OVER an entire year since I last posted a blog entry*. A lot has happened since then--many good things (like a commissioned project for Horsefeathers Haunts) but also some very sad and stressful ones (including the death of my mother which prompted my move to Morgantown, WV). But rather than recounting everything that has occurred since my last post, I want to focus on one of the most important events of this past year--FaerieCon 2015.
First, I should send another huge shout out to my anonymous gofundme sponsor who made it possible for me to attend FaerieCon this year. It was a wonderful gesture of support for me and my artistic vision. I truly couldn't have attended this year if it wasn't for her/him. So thank you!!
This year's FaerieCon rekindled the magic of the event for me. In part, I believe this was due to my attitude going into it this year. Last year, I got very discouraged by the lack of financial success my artist table received (you can read about it here). The experience was a lesson well learned. I came to FaerieCon this year with a completely different outlook. I came to enjoy the convention--to meet people, to view new art, to buy something shiny, to attend a panel, to take photos, and to be inspired. Secondarily, I came to display my own work and to share it with the Realm. If I sold something, wonderful! That would simply be icing on the cake. (Of course maintaining this positive attitude was possible in large part because my gofundme sponsor paid for my table so that financial burden was nonexistent). I could feel the difference this attitude made right away. I was more relaxed and more open to absorbing all the creativity that surrounds this event.
On Thursday night, I began setting up. I was greeted warmly by some of the friends I had made the previous year--Joanne Schemp (my neighbor) and Mindy Safire. Mindy gave me the best happy surprise ever--she congratulated me on being featured on a panel! Since this was the first time I had heard this, I actually didn't believe Mindy until I looked it up on the website and saw it for myself--my name listed with other amazing artists from the Marketplace, Renae Taylor, Jenny Davie-Reazor and Donovan Soland. I was flabbergasted in the best possible way. What a great way to start out the convention!
Unfortunately, the panel was set for early Friday afternoon, and since the event had just begun, no one actually showed up. Even so, I do not count this as a negative--the other panelists and I just sat around and chatted for a good half hour. It was almost surreal to get to speak so casually with Renae, Jenny and Donovan. It was a landmark event in my career because even though no one actually came, being given that recognition and being put in the same category as some wonderfully skilled artists was really affirming. It felt like the creators of the event were validating my success. The whole experience set an incredibly positive tone for the remainder of the con.
Friday night, as always, was the Good Faeries Ball. My crew had a good time wandering, faerie watching and even taking a few photos. Sadly, they did not have the Garden Room open during the Balls this year. In past years, the Garden Room proved the perfect place to steal away for an impromptu photo session. this year we had be a bit more creative--but more on this later.
As we wandered Friday night, I noticed an artist's work that I had never seen before, Timothy Lantz. I couldn't quite tell what medium he used. Were they paintings? Photographs? Digital paintings? Or some combination? I think that mystery is what first drew me in. The work was phenomenal and I made a mental note to check it out when the artist was there so I could learn more about it.
On late Saturday, I got a chance to escape my table again and finally venture upstairs. I stopped at Tim's table and took a closer look at his portfolio. As I looked, I asked him a bunch of questions. The more we talked, the more enamored I became with his work. We have so many correlations between our artwork, it is kind of bizarre. He explained how his process involves photography, hand paintings and then digital manipulation--which is very similar to how I create my images. His work is also bold, with bright colors and rich darks. There were even some subject matter similarities. How could I have gone this long without seeing his work before this?
Unfortunately, Tim had to cut our conversations short as we was about to speak at a panel--so like an obsessed fangirl, I followed him. The panel (on illustrating for books) proved to be very interesting and encouraging, since their advice included strategies I have already been using.
That evening was the Bad Faeries Ball--such beautiful costumes! The best part was probably that after the music ended, my crew decided to go in search of places to take photos (since, as mentioned above, our usual haunt for photos was closed). We discovered a number of neat places--the best of which was a stairwell off the main lobby. It was a ton of fun, especially since we had multiple people stop by to chat while we shot. Jenny Reazor made an appearance and gave us permission to rearrange the furniture. :D The highlight for me was when Tim Lantz hung out and, as he put it, "watched the master at work." I was simultaneously nervous and flattered that he took such an interest in my process.
On Sunday I did in fact make some sales--including a copy of my art book, The Ringleader, to this gentleman, Robert (see left). I also went to pick out some shiny things for myself and some friends. Deciding which prints I wanted from Tim Lantz was so difficult as I really wanted all of them. After much deliberation, I settled on "Change in the Wind," which Tim then told me was his personal favorite. The piece is now hanging on my "Wall of Inspiration" in my studio (see below, left).
As if all that wasn't enough, Tim Lantz stopped by to look at my work too! He even picked out a piece to take home with him. (I tell you--I was such a fangirl, it's a little embarrassing. I even got a photo of us together!)
I returned from FaerieCon rejuvenated, inspired and awestruck at all the creativity. I have already started working on some of the new photos I took and I can't wait to return next year with new images to share with all my Faerie Friends. Until then--may the magic flow freely and the faeries bless your path!
*PS: Sorry this is so utterly late...life has been getting in my way of art making, but I think I'm getting some balance back! Look for more updates coming soon!
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Kendra's rantings and ramblings about various topics, including art making, events, writing, movies, music and other inspirations.