This year marks my 4th Illuxcon, 3rd time presenting my work at the showcase, and first time in Reading PA. This year it was held at Goggle Works, a massive building filled with lots of art studios, gallery space, and specialty workshops. It’s an awesome location, most of the studios have glass fronts so you can see everyones unique set up. If there was a place like this near me, I would have a studio there easily.
But back to Illuxcon, this year was great as always. Because the building is large, there was plenty of room to see everything and never felt crowded or that you might hit a $6,000 oil painting with your bag. There is always so much art to look at it feels like your eyes might bleed, but also fires you up to create new work.
There was an array of speakers, lectures, and demos throughout the convention. I really liked a Tolkien Lecture I went to about the themes of his stories and relating it to your work as an artist. There was also a great lecture by One Fantastic Week about being an independent artist. I easily filled over 10 pages of notes throughout the con.
The showcase is always an experience. This year I shared my table with my friend Jimmy Ellerth from college. It was his first year at Illuxcon and wanted him to have the whole experience. Unlike other years, more people recognized my art then previously. I don't know if its from people remembering my work from years before or the internet. Either way, it was great to sell some books and original art. But the best part was all the great conversations I had with many artists I’ve known for a while and people who I met at that day. It’s exciting to see how much people have grown over 4 years, growing from students to working in the field. I hope to move forward towards the professional goal in the next year.
A few things I’ve taken away from Illuxcon over the past few years are:
-There is no way of following someone else’s path to success. The path is flexible not linear.
-Don’t feel the need to homonigize your work to fit in with the popular ‘style’.
-Present your work even if you don't feel ready to.
-Take people along for your awkward/uncomfortable journey as an artist.