Category: event

Find Me at DragonCon 2012!

Phew!  DragonCon is just a week away over the Labor Day weekend!  It occurred to me that I have such a large spread out presence this year at the show, so here’s a handy map to help you find me and all my bits and baubles this year.

(Click to enlarge)

For you Dcon newbs out there, the way you get to the art show is to come in at the ground floor of the Hyatt hotel, take two escalators down, then you’re there!  There will be a banner across the top of the door that says Artist Alley.  We’re sharing a partitioned room with the Comic Artists Alley as well!

Meet Me Face to Face!
I’ll be manning a table in the far back left corner with my wonderful boyfriend, Kevin, so be sure to come say hello to us!  I’ll be right next door to my good friend Brenda Lyons, known in most parts as Windfalcon.

I’ll have prints, bookmarks, and copies of my art book, Angelic Visions, on hand!  If you want anything in particular, be sure to let me know and I can bring it for you.  You can also order the sketch option for your book at my Etsy shop and I can give it to you at the con. Just let me know and I’ll refund your shipping if you are picking up from me directly at the con.

Gallery Display
My gallery display will have a mix of my masks, limited edition prints, beautiful large canvas prints, and embellished ACEO prints this year.

Print Shop
You can find 11×14 open edition prints and book bundles in the print shop this year as well!

Leather Mask Making Panel
I’ll be hosting my panel on creating leather masks at 7pm on Saturday in the art track, which is in the twisting labyrinth of hallways known as Hanover right next to the art show on the same floor.  I’ll have handouts of supply lists and a 50 minute instructional video, so be sure to come if you’re interested in my creative process for masks!

See you at the con!

Upcoming Appearance: Author Meet & Greet

If you’ll be in the area of Peachtree City, GA this weekend, I’ll be making an appearance at the Books-A-Million in The Avenue shopping center!  They’ve invited me back for a mass book signing event with other local authors.  Come say hello, chat about art, and get a free bookmark while supplies last!

I’m looking forward to seeing what other authors are in my area too.  Should be interesting to see what different sorts of genres we all do.

I’ve created a public event on Facebook for easy access to maps, dates, and location details here.  Or you can check the event calendar on my website to see what else I’ll be up to in the coming months!

My First Art Fair!

After a day of rest and a couple of Advil, I’m pleased to report I have survived my first art fair!  All in all, I did fairly well for a first timer. Made back my booth fee, got suggestions from the crowd on what they wanted to see, and learned the secret of good transportation of random stuff — plastic tuberware!

What did I learn from this experience? Read on!

Start Early!

2 weeks was not enough to make even half of the items by hand that I wanted to fill up my artisan display tables. I found myself painting into the wee hours and relying on a lot of older stock I had lying around just to make my booth look presentable. First lesson learned! Start early, DO NOT STRESS YOURSELF by procrastinating!  Know your display capacities. Practice your setup in advance.  Last thing you want is it to look empty and rushed.  Also, check your current stock! I had to reorder many prints last minute because I didn’t realize I was low till that moment. Doh!

Remember Your Traffic Flow

Probably the most important lesson I learned.  Day 1, I had a setup like this:
Heeey! Buy my stuff. Please? YOU KNOW YOU WANNA!

While this isn’t terrible, I think I did this because I’m so used to setting up at conventions where you put the table out front and people come up to you to talk.  This layout drives people right up to you, but what I noticed at the fair is most people will talk to you, but then not browse your wares, or they’re intimidated by your presence and just want to be left alone to shop.  I also had a technical issue where I couldn’t find the stiffeners for my walls, so I couldn’t line the sides of the booth with them, leaving it looking pretty empty on the left.

After walking around the fair a bit and getting some ideas from other artists (and fanagling walls with velcro), I ended up with a setup like this for Day 2:

Psst! Hay man. Need a kidney? Operating table in the back!

Much more open space and plenty of room for multiple browsers to go down the line of pretties!  Artist hidden away and only there if you need her to checkout or to ask questions.  More people came in this time round and didn’t have to peer over my head to come right up to the artwork.

Best Selling Items?

This was a huge surprise for me! I thought my crafts would do well, but I only sold a few things. Mainly I sold art cards and prints because people wanted small artwork to inspire them (but didn’t want to buy the more expensive larger pieces on the wall). I also sold a few books to people who saw my work elsewhere and liked that I offered personalized goodies for free if they bought it directly from me.  I didn’t sell a single mask.

I had a good many requests for hair brooches with chopsticks and lapel pins of the butterflies.  No doubt due to having a generally older crowd (with grandkids along) who were looking for things for their home or small gifts, of which matted/framed Fantasy art is generally not well suited for your average collector.

Next time I do an outdoor fair, I plan to carry more personal items (hair brooches and pins), more ornate masks framed in shadowboxes, and more accessible 2D art items (perhaps carved leather butterflies in framed ‘specimen’ arrangements?)  If people can see the use of an item for their home or their personal decor, I imagine they’d be more inclined to buy at these sorts of events!  I can save my fantasy art for more themed fests, like the Renaissance Faire or the cons I attend.  That’s at least one joy of being a multi-faceted artist!

Final Thoughts

I am sore and sleep-deprived far more than I ever was for a plain ol convention!  Art fairs are physically grueling work and not for those who can’t handle the hauling, unloading, and long hours.  It’s also a HUGE investment of time and money.

The fair season has only begun for me, however, so I’m not going to give up on it just yet! Being able to talk to fellow art lovers and curiosity seekers was quite enjoyable for me!  Even moreso when they would tell me they saw my work online or at the gallery next door.  Getting your face out there can be very gratifying and just as important as sales.  For my shy artist friends, however, this definitely may not be the thing for you!

If you’re a fan of my Facebook Fan Page, I’m having a sale on leftover hand-painted butterflies. Get ’em while they’re cheap because they’ll be going up on Etsy for a higher price after this week!

See one you like? Check out my sekrit sale!

Stay tuned for a post on what makes up an art fair display. Till then, I’m going to attend to the mess that is my trashed studio after an event. *cry!

Upcoming – Book Signing & The Future of Angelic Visions?

Just a quick little post to remind you all I’ll be signing books and demonstrating art techniques this Saturday, from 2-4 pm at Barnes and Noble’s in Ashley Park!  Come get a free bookmark, chat about art, and have your book signed!

In other news, I think it’s safe to say that at least a few folks have been able to finish reading the book. I’d love to hear some feedback from you all!  If, say, I hope to do a proverbial sequel to Angelic Visions, I’d like to know what I should include!  What did you find useful?  What did you feel was missing?  What would you like to see more of?  Here are some topics I’ve been kicking around:

  • More on skin and lighting
  • Composition and visual impact
  • Using maquettes and references
  • More on armor, weapons, tattoos, halos
  • Showing action and intent
  • More on costume design
  • More fancy hair doos
  • More mixed media techniques
  • Developing personal style

Anything to add? I value the input from each and every one of you!  I could also use some ratings on my book’s listings on Goodreads and Amazon so they don’t look so sad and empty.  I appreciate you all taking a few moments to do this and also letting me know just how much you’ve enjoyed this experience.

Hope to see you this weekend!   I’ll have to share the product of any painting that happen at the demo when I get back.

The First Book Signing

Phew! The h’orderves have been devoured and the bottles of wine re-corked. The first book signing is done!

See more pics at my Facebook album!

Many thanks to Artworks on the Square for hosting this release party. We had a great turnout of about 40 or so people! I’m happy to report there were few crises involved, outside of baking a last minute tray of pigs in blanket an hour before setup and temporarily losing the key to the cash box.

There was also an incident with an escaped flying mattress, but it was not involved with this particular event.

All in all, pre-book signing jitters were unfounded and I had such a blast talking to so many like minds and old friends.  I can only hope the next one (which will be minus the party favors) will still be as successful!

It’s still so surreal to think my book is finally out there.  I had to go to the book store and confirm it was there sitting on the shelf awaiting the hands of another artist.

I cannot wait to see just how far this inspiration can spread!

If you end up buying my book, feel free to let me know how you enjoyed it, what else you’d like to learn, and of course, to share your wonderful creations with me! You can add photos to my Fan photos on Facebook here.

Hope to catch you all at the next signing!

Things I Learned:

  • 2 small platters of catered food do not feed 40 people. Lesson learned! Note also that pigs in blanket cost half as much and make twice as much as the precooked stuff if you make them yourself. Yummy! Recipe linkage. Also, petit flours are always the first desserts to go.
  • Offer combo deals. It’s ridiculous to think my calendar costs more than my book because of it’s low run, custom printed nature. So, those who bought the book got a $5 discount on the $25 calendar. (Thanks for the suggestion, Vicki!)
  • Cardigans make me feel smart!  They seem to be proper authorial attire and are quite comfortable.
  • Found a great source for bookmarks!  They were approved, printed, and shipped within 2 days of ordering with someone calling me on the phone to inform me of their progress at each step! Thanks so much to! I was able to get a small amount of 2×7 bookmarks without a setup fee, like most of the other places I looked at.
  • Found an equally awesome source for tassels (eBay seller: Purpledoug1959) and vinyl bookmark sleeves (
  • People really loved the free bookmarks! Going to keep handing these at conventions and other signings (minus the vinyl sleeves and tassels).  They’re much less expensive than my grand plans to make custom leather bookmarks to give out.  People love items they can use and having my website at the bottom means they’ll have a constant reminder of where to find me at.
  • Last (but not least!), with any signing, I am there to sell something I believe in! I know my product is awesome, that I’m sharing something worthwhile, regardless of the amount of people who show up!  Advice to live by from my darling bosom friend, Hayley E. Lavik.

Upcoming Appearance: Atlanta Comic-Con

WHEN: Saturday and Sunday, Dec 4-5
WHERE: Cobb Galleria (more info)
Check this out! It’s my own spiffy vendor page!

This’ll be my first year as a vendor! I’ve always attended as the nervous geek hitting up people like Joe and Dave and gushing about how much I love their work. It’s a joy to think that this year I’ll be on the other side of the table!
I’ll be bringing the usual – prints, art cards, mousepads, glass tile necklaces, and remaining leather mask/keychain inventory. If there are any specific things you’d like me to bring along for you, let me know!

In addition to my usual fair, I’ll also have an advanced copy of Angelic Visions there for folks to flip through and will be taking pre-orders personally!  If the mail gods are with me, I’ll also have some Angelic Visions Calendars on hand!

Hope to see you cool cats there!

Angelic Visions – Solo Exhibition + Book Signing + Demo

If you’ll be in my neck of the woods come January, I’ll be launching a barrage of Angelic Visions events starting the first Friday of January, ALL of which will be hosted at our local gallery, Artworks on the Square!  Read on for more and your chance at prizes and pretties.

Friday, January 7th, 2011, 7-9 pm – RECEPTION & SOLO EXHIBITION

Selected artwork from Angelic Visions will be on display for the entire month of January with a reception on the 7th. Wine tasting and live music provided!

Saturday, January 15th, 2011, 7-9 pm – BOOK SIGNING PARTY

Join us in celebration of the debut of Angelic Visions!  Door prizes will be handed out to the first lucky few with prize raffles going on throughout the event.  You could win a free copy of the book, the Angelic Visions themed calendar, and other such goodies!  Food and drink will be provided, of course! Can’t have a shindig without them!

Saturday, January 22nd, 2011, 12-2 pm – TECHNIQUE DEMO

Join me for a demo on how to render skin tones in color pencil and a rundown of the basic tools of the trade.  Appropriate for all skill levels. $25 per person. (No materials required as this is a demo/lecture sort of class).

Mark your calendars!  I’ll be sprinkling reminders as these dates approach. I hope to see some of you locals there!

Also, still taking Pre-Orders, for those who are interested in the special bundle direct from the artist.

Leather Faces on Parade!

Wow, when you try to make a pun from Phantom of the Opera’s “Masquerade” and leather masks, you end up with disturbing mental images of Leatherface from Chainsaw Massacre dancing a musical number (or perhaps that’s just me?)

Moving on to the point of this entry! I’ve been dabbling a fair amount in leathercraft of late! In a strange twist of fate, dabbling has started to become a part of my business at large, with at least half of my sales at DragonCon from masks I had on display there.  As such, I’ve recently uploaded a flood of masks for Halloween to various online markets. (Just click the thumbnails to see their sale listings)

And if that weren’t enough masks to shake a stick at, I’ve also been invited to the Mechanical Masquerade, a steampunk ball taking place November 6th in an old theater in Avondale Estates.  I’m super excited about attending this event as a vendor and hyped to make all new designs!  I’ve been a little stumped on what to do so far, but I have a feeling that when the dam breaks, I’ll get a rush of inspiration at the very last minute!

Right now I’m brainstorming on how to mix the themes of filigree, keyholes, gears, roses, clockwork, and lace.  Toss that all together and I’m getting mental images of a street-walking Rosie from The Jetsons, but I’m sure it will all gel at some point to inspire some really cool designs (no doubt in the same vein as my Keeper of Secrets mask).  I’m not quite sure I understand the Steampunk movement as it applies to Fashion, so I am looking for reference links here, if you guys have any good ones!

Will I ever get back to painting (or writing, for that matter?) Only time will tell!  For now, I’ve been quietly thumbnailing images for my long forgotten Rapunzel comic at night.  The upcoming Disney retelling of the tale (Tangled) has rekindled my love of the story and my dark retelling of it.

But that is a matter for another entry!

Q&A With Jacqueline Carey Event!

As many of you know (or perhaps don’t), I have long been an admirer of the works of Jacqueline Carey (specifically her Kushiel’s Legacy series of books). With some of the most unique spins on obscure angel and fallen angel figures I’ve seen in modern literature, how can I not love it? Not to mention her sumptuous writing style and palpable imagery always set my muse a-tingling. (This bodes for a ‘top ten novels that make my muse tingle’ post in the future!)

Anyways, the point of this particular entry is to set your eye on an event going on this coming Tuesday, June 1st! My fellow plotter, upcoming author, and friend, Hayley E. Lavik, is having a Q&A event with Jacqueline! Check Hayley’s entry on the matter for details, as this could be your chance to win hand-crafted swag of my creation and a copy of Jacqueline’s latest release in the series, Naamah’s Kiss.

Not to mention how wonderful and rare it is to have questions answered by a best-selling novelist in the themes of world-building and advice for aspiring authors everywhere!

So set your calendars and don’t miss this event!