Archive for Conventions

Still Shot of an Autumn Morning

Beautiful, chilly Colorado morning. Hazelnut creamer in my coffee. Beloved cranking away at his craft behind me. Good music enhancing the already serene atmosphere.

I just downloaded the contents of a book I will be painting (yes, the old fashioned way) the cover for. I’ve got two other book cover commissions slated for the coming year, and I’m suddenly realizing I need to create a deadline schedule for myself so I don’t wind up buried in 18 hour days. I’ve certainly been there. I have the RSI to prove it.

I’m [more than] a little delighted to recall that one of my dream professions when I was young was to be a book cover artist. And here I am doing it. Granted, I’m just breaking into the profession, and I’ve still got a lot to learn about art. It’s a lifelong education, being an artist. There’s always something to learn — techniques, cheats, nuances… But being a Buddhist, I long ago embraced the concept of the beginner’s mind. Open eyes, open heart and a well-maintained sense of humility are essential in both pursuits.

My 2014 convention schedule has been on my mind a lot. For the first time in a while, I’m going to plan out the whole year in advance, ideally attending most of them as a professional and/or panelist. I’ve got to practice what I preach and extend my reach beyond the comforts of home. That means budgeting for a few out of state events, and assertively contacting local con organizers so that I’m not a late addition with a handwritten badge. It also means having a body of work I can display in art shows and sell in the dealers’ rooms.

Life doesn’t happen when you want it to, but it sure does respond to your proactive participation in making it do so. I’m simultaneously further ahead and behind where I thought I’d be at this point in my life. I learned a long time ago, though, that any mistakes you make can be turned into lessons if you open your mind to it. I’m not going to tell anyone how to live their life. I am going to do my best to be an example of working hard and never giving up on a dream.

Happy Saturday to you. May it be full of dreams and goals that make your skin worth living in.

Sunlight Through Leaves

You Just Might Find…You Get What You Need

I’m home and recovering from COSine, a scifi convention based in Colorado Springs. It’s one of the smaller cons I’ve attended, but didn’t lack in quality programming. With a variety of panel topics such as The Hobbit – Is it worth three movies and three years?, Building a Relativistic Spaceship and Achieving a gender balance in Fantasy and Science Fiction (to name but a few), there was no end to fantastic discussion the whole weekend. I had no responsibilities this time around, but still wound up attending many of these, and getting some real quality time in with my fellow artists & authors as well.

That’s the beauty of small conventions. You get to meet literary celebs like Kevin J. Anderson & S. M. Stirling and have true conversations with them (yes I did, and they’re both warm, intelligent and amusing people). You also get to spend time with those folks you’re in the trenches with, comparing war wounds as well as writing and marketing strategies.

I always return exhausted and yet energized; and it’s always worth it. This weekend I came home with a couple of new friends, a small art commission, a deadline for a short story submission that I’m pretty excited about, and a plethora of ideas for panels I myself may be on at the upcoming AnomalyCon this March. I call that a win!

How was your weekend?

Sam Knight, Quincy J. Allen, Mary Kay Kare and David Boop.
The Hobbit – Is it worth three movies and three years? 2013-01-26 13.14.10

OSFest 5

A few of my very favorite authors (and one very talented seamstress) will be making an appearance In Omaha this weekend. If by some random awesome chance you decide to attend OSFest 5, look for Quincy J. Allen, Peter Wacks, Guy Anthony De Marco and Tonya De Marco. Tell them I said hi!

OSFest 5