IX 2016

    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.

Illuxcon 2015

Another Illuxcon has passed and this year was the best yet, even though I lost my voice from allergies and could barely talk. I still had many great conversations with the other artists. The museum was lined was awesome art from artists all of the world. It was hard to choose what to do each day because of all the great lectures, talks, and galleries to explore.

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Winona Nelson’s talk on creating personal projects was a highlight of the lectures. Listening to speak about her personal journey through creating commercial illustrations then transistioning her work to be more of a personal reflection of past emotions and personal history. It was incredibly brave and moving to hear her speak.

The science of thinking and art lecture was also enlightening. The talk connected personal art experience backed with scientific fact of how the brain created and stores memories. Its hard to explain because I’m not super knowledgeable in brain chemistry.

Donato’s lecture on career challenges was great as well. For someone in the top of the industry talk about how they’ve messed up along the way and have a successful career. It’s nice to hear that everyone has bumps in their career road.

photo by Shawn Hendricks

This year was my second year showing in the showcase. Over the past year my art has changed a lot and so I had to order a new banner, postcards, and business cards to represent my new body of work. This was the first convention I brought Songs of Fablewood to. I received great feedback about the book, the mushroom folk were a crowd favorite of the creature spread.

Now that I am back home and ready to create new drawings, projects, and send my portfolio out to publishing houses.