I’m back from DragonCon and have a massive head cold as a souvenir! Before I disappear with hot tea and meds, I thought I’d post about how my DragonCon went.
This year was an odd duck for me. I had no table, which is the first time I’ve been without one for a couple of years. I was completely okay with that, however, because it meant that I got to actually experience the con by attending interesting panels, costume watching, and networking with people rather than being tied to one place.
I went to a wide range of panels, from the history of Persian dance to indie game development (panel notes forthcoming). I somehow never made it by the dealer’s room since venturing anywhere outside of the Hyatt just seemed like too much effort. The Hilton for the game dev track was as far as I made it.
I also ran two panels for other artists entitled Social Media for Artists 101 and 102! Any event where I can play Duck Army as an ice breaker is a good event. The attendees at my panel were all very enthusiastic and willing to share resources. Thanks for making it a great first run for 102, everyone! (NOTE: You can find the PowerPoint files of my presentations here.)
John, Anne, Heidi, and the other staff ran a tight ship, as always! It was an experimental year for me in that I left my masks and Art Nouveau work at home and only displayed my digital fantasy work in the show this year, an intimidating decision! I was happily surprised that two of my canvas prints (Oathbound and Kushiel’s Dart) found new homes! I did decently in the print shop, though I have a few extra playmats and dice bags still available if anyone’s after them. Use code DRAGONCON to get 15% off at my shop right now!
We walked by a guy in the skybridge dressed as a herald from Assassin’s Creed. He was putting up posters on the walls every few feet. I heard tales of cosplayers dressed as Assassins zipping by and tearing them down later. When we asked him how many posters he had, he said 250. I am highly amused by this kind of clever fun. I didn’t get a picture of him, but I got one of his poster, which was really well done!
I snapped a pic of this amazing pair dressed as Na’vi from
Avatar during the Night at the Aquarium. That baby looked so very real. It was quite creepy (and awesome)! It’s the dedication to full body paint and detail that made this the best costume I saw all con. While the Night at the Aquarium was great for costumes, they had all of the lights turned off in the displays this year, which made it really hard to see any fish. How I wish I’d gone to the philharmonic concert instead.
WHAT DID I LEARN?
I always like to think about what I can learn from looking at the displays and presentations of artists, but this year’s revelation was on a deeper level. Instead, I got a lesson in creativity and motivation from attending the panels on creativity and writing this year.
The advice from a lot of the authors there was that comparing yourselves to others was the quickest way to burn out. Most of us in the creative industry are just trying to get by and/or create something that we love. You can partially measure that success by money, but other times, it’s the victory of just having made the thing since, more than likely, creating art is not really going to pay all the bills until a very long time out. Most of us are in that dreaded ‘gap’ and those who would be at the top are not always guaranteed to stay that way. Focus on making good art and stop comparing yourself to others.
And that’s a wrap! You can see more of my DragonCon photos of some of the cool swag I picked up in Artist Alley and other moments over at my Instagram. Till next time!
Thank you for this lovely, helpful review! I’m so glad you got to go for funsies. DragonCon is a place I’ve wanted to just attend for the longest time–I hope to in the next year or so! Those panels all sound wonderful. What you have said about the art show is helpful; I had my sights on sending artwork there next year.
And thank you for the tidbit, “Focus on making good art and stop comparing yourself to others.” It’s something we all need reminding of 😉