madshutterbug (madshutterbug) wrote,

Con Report. Or Something.

I usually chuckle at myself when I think about this subject, because in case you didn't notice I don't go to a lot of Cons. Or at least, not currently. For a long stretch of time I did, except those cons belonged to AORN (my nursing association) and really, while a Con is a Con, they also possess quite different flavours regardless of same or different genres. Go to one of a different genre and it's like trying to compare Thai cuisine to French.Or something.

Still, I did mention several times that Necronomicon (site is here, if interested for that aspect) was on my calendar. I'm truly not even a particularly high-frequency member of this con, as I've been four times in my life (so far). Nonetheless, I've done some sort of response to things most times. Or, something.

Location, location, location. Necro has been at the same hotel for a number of years now, which will play into parts of this. Curiously enough, my first experiences with the specific hotel involved one of those Nursing related cons. I mention this primarily because those conventions occurred 15 - 16 years ago, and while the place is the same, detail aspects of their interior decorating changed. Going to the FNSA convention there, I recall being wonderfully impressed by a huge oriental folding panel, probably Japanese, and by huge I mean it spanned the back side of the elevator bank there, so on the order of 33 feet / 10 metres long. That was something.

What with my overall plan of Becoming a Viewed Artist (which is different from Becoming a Profitable Artist) as I near the point in time I wrap up a career as Gainfully Employed, the Necro Art Show is a primary reason I go. Enjoying some of the panels is on the list, of course, and seeing people I know yet don't often see as well. Necro has been at the same hotel for a number of years now, which will play into parts of this. Curiously enough, my first experiences with the specific hotel involved one of those Nursing related cons. Here goes, then, more or less in that order.

Art Show this year moved from the room/space it's been in the past two years. Those years, in the hall adjoining the Dealers Room. There are three (four?) function halls at this hotel which utilise the folding divider walls to provide more rooms, or larger rooms, and the old combination of Art Show/Dealers Room used on of them, divided. This year the Art Show moved to another set of rooms, undivided, which in previous years provided the 'theatre' venues for watching Sci Fi/Fantasy/Anime video. More on that in a bit, back to the Art Show. This setting is smaller, I think, in area than the other room (which this year provided space for Gamers), but off-setting that the lighting is much better. For one thing, it's not as high a room so the lights are closer, and I think that helped a lot.

With the smaller area, fewer panels available for shows and a bit more crowded in the setup. The Con sold out all Art Show panels, and all the artists showed up either by assistance or in person. From that point of view, good; no wasted panels means maxed income for the Con, which I'm happy to see because that helps make another year.

I'd based my display plans on the panel size I'd bought last year (same description on the web site), though I bought two panels this year rather than last year's single. There'd been two size panels in the show last year, the 6x3 I thought I bought, and a larger 5x4 (these are in feet, so 2x1 metres and 1.5x1.2 metres, respective). This year, all the panels are (were) the latter, so the fabric I'd brought to provide solid background (the panels are lumber frames with wire mesh for hanging artwork - works well, yet since they're selling both sides can become distracting to be viewing one artist's work and seeing the backsides of another artists at the same time) proved insufficient to cover the area.

A call to Skippy of fatfred put in a request for second piece to be delivered when she arrived, and at the same time the director of the Art Show heard my side of the call and provided! Kudos to Stacy! Thus my panels succeeded at the goal of being a solid and dark blue background for the framed prints, plus the Artist Blurb (also framed this year) and business card holder/distribution. All the frames got hung at an 'eye level' height, so between four and five feet (1.2 to 1.5 metres) off the floor. Purpose: make the viewing easy, help the work stand out.

I think it worked. I'll be doing it again.

As mentioned already, I brought home all the pieces I took. Artwork did sell, though I'd still say sales did not prove to be brisk or in large quantity. More signs of the times, and potentially disappointing were my goal something other than 'Show the Flag'. Don't get me wrong, selling is also a goal, the more important one just now is Showing. Did get some feedback from some viewers, and if you want a quick review of what the pieces look like go here but remember, Not Work Safe Link and this bypasses the warning. Balance and Unwilling Sacrifice received most of the comments, though while in the Art Show myself I did overhear a couple of parents telling their children, 'Look (Son/Daughter), he photographed a Ghost!' I expect it is the nature of the Light Paintings which helped them stand out.

Related to the Art Show is one of the panels I attended, discussed here rather than in with panels primarily because of subject: How To Train as a Professional Artist. I think the discussion as it occurred didn't cover the title at all, outside of the two panelists who did show up (first session, Sunday morning... counting everybody in the room, a total of six people) mentioning their education/training experiences while introducing themselves. On the other hand, being such a small attendance made for a great question/answer opportunity and lots of help in tuning up the presentation as a professional artist to get into more shows than simply this one. From that point of view, one of the best panels at the Con.

I attended a total of nine panels, not bad for two and a half days or so. Only the one, mentioned already, dealt with visual art other than video, and while others on the list addressed writing, I usually find something which crosses over to visual art applicable in the discussion anyway. So "Plots and Plans" discussed plotting and writing stories, and I worked it from the point of view that with a picture being 1000 words (or more) than planning them with a plot makes a certain sense. This one also helped prime an alternate means to starting another story I've been mulling over. We'll see if I actually write it, though.

"Must See Brit TV" turned up a couple things I should like to track down, one specific being "Good Night Sweetheart". Basic storyline a TV repairman in the '70's wanders into a pub at the end of a narrow street (alley) and at first thinks he's walked into a Costume Theme Pub from the 1940. In actuality, he's stepped through a time-portal to 1940, and ... well, life leads to a cross-temporal love affair and a business opportunity selling mint-condition antiques. Oversimplification, yes, and I'm going to track that one down for sure.

"NanoTech" - interesting conversation concerning a budding industry which in my mind reflects that age old question, Which Came First? Was nanotech starting up already (what with miniturisation of electronics and such) and science fiction writers looked at the trend and took it to smaller still, or did some writer catch the clue thread that miniturisation is in progress and smaller and smaller already happening? Matters not at all, because it is a huge factor in both real and fictional life. It also blurs the boundary between what does constitute mechanical, is it only metallic/non-organic or is it also organic? Member of the audience kept coming back to a rant that Pharma isn't / doesn't want to cure disease, possibly related because of the theoretical discussion about nanotech being introduced to target cancer cells and other such 'mechanical' illnesses.

I did get up and leave one panel; the title 'E-pub, POD, Self-Publication' implied to me (and all this heat is on me, not the panelists) that there should be some new material compared to similar panels last year. Not so much, so rather than sit through a re-hash I wandered over to something else, the 'Sci-Fi Trivia Contest'.

Four teams competed (for a cash prize, no less) in a game-show format which selected Trivia Categories and then relied on 'buzzing in' for the first opportunity to answer, either correctly or incorrectly. Great fun, and I am somewhat shamed to say I probably wouldn't of contributed a lot were I on any of those teams. Though I did know the name "Which Australian actor provided the voice of Elrond in Lord of the Rings" (think there was a specific of the three parts mentioned). The teams puzzled on this for a bit. Clue: the same actor provided the body to portray Elrond. Answer later.

Categories. Oh yes. "Are Ninja's Names Spelled With Silent Letters?" "The Online Origami Store Just Folded." "Do You Plan on the LAN Down Under?" "I Get My Large Circumference From Too Much Pi." Mostly, though not always, the Category Title held a clue to the answer of the question, just like in Jeopardy, for example.

'Return to Exobiology, With Dancing Girls' was... interesting, then boring, then somewhat interesting again, questionable as to exactly how much discussion it included about exobiology as opposed to biology of a terrestrial nature, and some of the scientific assumptions I wonder about - more to me about population density than genetics, which the latter stated as the basis for the panel.

Not many notes from the Sunday panels. The one on art I talked about already. 'Star Trek Love - It Keeps On Going' I enjoyed a great deal, probably because it proved to be mostly the Guest of Honour David Gerrold relating his experiences on the Original Series, the Animated Series, and the Next Generation. Verified some suspicions I held about Next Generation based on other news, basically by corroborating that other news with some additional insights.

The other panel was 'Star Ship Smackdown', wherein various famous fictional starships were matched against other famous fictional starships in an elimination session with the premise, What If They Got Into A Fight With Each Other? Second round included 'naming' the captains of the various ships, and those captains need not be the actual captain from the particular storyline. Though could be. This wound up with some particularly interesting matches, such as the Shadow Ships from Babylon 5 against the Death Star (end result, the Death Star design simply shows too much likelihood to explode due to a faulty exhaust system to even remotely stand up against the Shadows).

Yup. While I think attendance as a whole might be down from last year, the Con still sported a really good turnout. Place might not of seemed as crowded, moving around somewhat easier at most times, it still felt full, not empty. Saw several people as mentioned that I know, and not simply folk who I've usually only seen at the Con as opposed to only seen here. Friends from up the road, S & K went, and enjoyed themselves. Both wore garb which originally they built for SCA days. What with imagination, K caused several to pause O_o when they'd ask 'Russian' or 'Celtic' and she'd answer, 'No, Darkover.' My own garb... well, this year the theme was Zombie Apocalypse. No, I wasn't a zombie. Nor a zombie hunter. Wore my Hawaiian shirts, bowler hat, shorts and sandals, carried a shoulder bag, and Had My Towel. That might be clue enough, yet I'll still spell it out. Galactic Hitchhiker who just happened to get of his most recent ride smack into the middle of the Zombie Apocalypse. Gosh darn it, my Electronic Thumb failed, too! Fortunately, Phil popperaussie who accompanied me could smell the zombies when they got close, and we avoided zombification that way. Well, that and the bovine brains I just happened to have with me, to toss away as diversion.

And that Mr and Mrs LiveJournal and all the ships in space, was Necronomicon '10. Except... I need a Con Icon. Yes. Or something.

Next year, 30th Anniversary...
Tags: con, life the universe and everything

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  • Kewl

    My sister, bless her pointy little head, notified me last week that she'd put a package in the mail for us, that it likely would arrive around…

  • An Unusual Post

    While I'm quite appreciative of the 'shopping list' or 'wish list' features found on several commercial web sites, including Amazon and B&H Photo,…

  • Not Ours

    The mountain goat I met in South Dakota, when my Bro-in-Law took me for Lunch with George and the Boys (Mt. Rushmore) one snowy November.…