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Post Dragon*Con

September 15, 2009

Got back from Dragon*Con (a week ago) Monday night and spent most of the last week trying to recover from it. Four days of hotel hopping, wading through crowds of people in bizarre costumes, lugging a heavy (and mostly useless) portfolio, meeting new people and old friends, trying to locate food, and trying to navigate the warren of escalators and staircases… it was kind of like being in the Labyrinth, only with a longer time frame, more goblins, and more sharp objects being hurtled down tiny corridors at you. Also, no Bowie. And most of the suggestive costumes were on women. And the ones that were on men were often traumatizing…

We got in late on Friday, just in time for the shortest line ever at Pre-reg pass pick up (as in none), and to be mobbed by Zombies on their way to the prom. There’s nothing quite like zombies toting kegs and shuffling toward you at top speed to convince you that you might want to be somewhere else. Since we (my husband and stepson and I) were tired after our five hour drive, that ended up being back at the hotel where we waited for some dubious Chinese food to arrive.

Saturday I made straight for the ArtShow, where I finally got to meet Meredith Dillman, Jessica McDouglas, and Ellen Million–all of whom I’ve talked to online for years but never met face to face. It’s always interesting meeting people that way, especially since most people have no clue what I look like. (Hint: there’s a photo of me under “About the Artist” above, although I’m not nearly that attractive in real life). I attended a few panels on fairy tales (a hobby of mine), got to listen to Peter S. Beagle speak, and caught the first part of a disappointing Workshop on Art Trading Cards before my rapidly dwindling blood sugar level forced me out to find food.

On Sunday I met up with Jeff Jones and his uber talented wife Veronica–Jeff is the one who gave me the awesome review a few months back at Blue Moon Rising–, Pete and Anna Mohrbacher (from W.I.P. Podcast), Angela Sasser, and the crew behind Time of the Faeries. I stopped by SpookyChan‘s table as well to check out her upcoming comic “The God Machine,” and spent some time in some amazing panels on Art and Illustration, including one where Larry Elmore and Janny Wurts made me cry. (Don’t judge me. I was a little hormonal.) I also participated in the Monster in an Hour Panel, and our “masterpieces” of crayola monsters were auctioned off for charity. Mine looked something like a gigantic pink heart, with seven eyes, lots of tentacles, big sharp teeth and wearing a brown and orange leisure suit. No, it was not my idea. 😀

Monday was last minute shopping day (never did find my Jareth figurines I was looking for), and goodbyes before we headed home. Mr. Elmore was awesome and looked over my portfolio and gave me some advice–some of which I’m still mulling over. All in all it was an amazing trip and I’m looking forward to next year.

Some things I learned from this trip:

  • Even if it’s awkward and heavy it’s better to have your portfolio with you than not.
  • Overweight men and spandex DO NOT MIX
  • All of my friends are midgets (except Ellen).
  • Pete Mohrbacher and his wife are not midgets, but are both exceptionally cute and genuinely nice people.
  • Jeff Jones is one of my new favorite people.
  • I need to work more on my traditional artwork more often.
  • More people hate Twilight than the other way around.
  • Most women who wear revealing clothing have no idea what their butts (and breasts) REALLY look like in those costumes.
  • Be careful of falling plants when walking around the Marriot.
  • Don’t worry if you’re not in one of the Con Hotels so much since you won’t be in your room that often.
  • Do worry about the enthusiasm of your hotel toilet.
  • Good places to eat: surprisingly the cafe in the Sheraton (and supposedly the cafe in the Hilton) were mostly deserted.
  • Do not try to eat at the Peachtree Center.
  • People really don’t appreciate a really well done Spartan costume enough. (mmmmm…. lickable abs)

All in all it was an awesome experience that, overall, left me feeling excited about my chosen career path, even if for the moment it’s only trudging along.

That said, I give you some new(ish) artwork.

Above: “Raistlin”– because looking through Mr. Elmore’s artwork reminded me once again how much I loved the Dragonlance series when I was growing up, and it occurred to me that it has been probably fifteen years or so since the last time I drew the character. This was a quick, two day “speedpaint” illustration. Overall I’m pleased with it. I wish I’d gotten the colors a little better, but mostly I’m happy with it. Particularly with his hands and face.

This one is “Neptune” and came about during my live Ustream drawing sessions on Wednesdays. This one I completed over several days, during live broadcasts. I let the chatroom audience make suggestions as to what I would paint and it developed from there. You can watch the progression of it here (though I warn you the videos are pretty long):

Part 1:
Part 2:
Part 3:
Part 4:
Part 5:
Part 6:
Part 7:
Part 8:

I may be taking a break from my Ustream sessions for a bit. I need to look at whether or not it’s financially a good idea for me to continue to do them. I enjoy doing them, but right now the economy has us really tightening our wallets, and I need to be looking to spend my time as profitably as I can.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. September 16, 2009 12:40 am

    WOW! Neptune is amazing. Fire and ice.

  2. September 16, 2009 2:31 am

    No Ustream?! *cries* They have become the highlight of my crappy week, so I’ll be very sad if they go…

  3. September 16, 2009 11:37 am

    Aw man didn’t find any Jareth figures?? That surprises me with as varied and rabid the dealers rooms always are!

    It was lovely to meet you, if only briefly! I hope you will come next year so we can talk for a bit longer:) Your monster was like a living pink funhouse that I’d probably be really excited to bounce around in as a child…gotta love it.

    Dcon leaves me feeling the same way. There’s so much talent there it really makes me strive to be better, and also happy to see others in my field succeeding at what they’re doing. It IS possible! Janny is amazing. She had us all with stars in our eyes with her inspirational drive and advice to do what we WANT to do because nobody is blocking ourselves but US.

    Best of luck Melissa and hope to see you next Dragon Con!

  4. September 16, 2009 1:36 pm

    Reading your account of DragonCon was like being there along with you. Now I want to go lay down and sleep. I would love to make it next year if my schedule permits. Sounds like mad fun.

  5. October 6, 2009 4:59 pm

    It was nice meeting you, however brief! 😀 I was with Angela in the art show.

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