Well it looks like next week starts the first of my convention appearances for this year. One question that still boggles me to this day and has yet to be really answered. The expectations of convention sketches.
Here is where I am going with this. Let me use comparison examples. If I were attending as a writer I would be there either signing my comics for fans or selling my latest book. Signing, not writing short stories on demand but, rather, meeting and talking with people whom I very much appreciate fallow what I do. If your writer were to attend the convention and were taking short story jobs on demand, you would find that he or she would be there berried in his or here computer rather than meeting or being able to give time to the fallowing individuals who looked forward to meeting them.
Now, if I were attending as an actor, I would be there signing my photo glossy's and talking with the fans as they come up about my many adventures in the business of acting. Making eye contact with and shaking hands with so many people that I am most appreciative of for fallowing my work. Now, if I were also available for short acting roles while there, say commercials or such, I have script to rehearse, time with the director, make up, etc.....no time anymore for meeting Martha and looking here in the eyes as she expressed how my performance meant so much to here in her favorite sci-fi film. Nope, not any more.
No, I do neither of these two creative arts. I work in my humble little studio at my desk that has been adjusted over the years to supply the best comfort for the long hours needed to produce these visual little stories on paper. Adjusted because, otherwise, lower back pain will set in making it difficult to continue the next day.
When at a convention, I am there to enjoy and meet new people and old friends that I am very blessed to know through what I do. I have prints available for sale that I sign for free (as well I should)and original, published art for sale as well. You enjoyed Indiana Jones or Hulk, you can buy a one of a kind piece of what made that issue happen. This year, I have a printed sketch book that will be available as well. These things allow me to stand at my table and look eye to eye with people and enjoy conversation. Now, If I were to be, say, working on a cover illustration there at the convention, most people will be walking by looking at the top of my head. This is the view most people have of comics artist while walking through the show.
Now, I'm not saying that I don't want to draw an image of Robin wearing scuba gear while humping a seal, er...well, yeah, I am saying that actually. My point is that, for whatever reason, it has become expected that that is what the comics artist is there for and that is it.
I had the most wonderful experience several months ago at a convention in Tennessee. Adventure Con. I chose to do just one drawing that convention and it was in the comfort of the hotel room at least. A little better on the back but not much. I sold prints, original art and had the time to meet and have wonderful conversation with some amazing people. I couldn't have done that with my head down and a sketch list to fill by days end. How could I?
Anyway, just curious as to how we have allowed ourselves to become a bit of a side show at these things. I feel that while it gives someone their fetish piece at a price, it prevents others from really reaching us. If it's a matter of money, I can sell more prints looking eye to eye in the time it takes to do a sketch on the fly. With this, I get to enjoy the people I meet rather than wish they would go away so I can get to the three more pieces I have to have done by shows end. Rushed pieces that may find their way to the world wide web.
Listening to: coldplay
Watching: this screen
Eating: too much
Drinking: coffee, lots of it.