Friday, October 28, 2016

IX9 - Illuxcon 2016 - Part 2

Wrapping up my visual review of IX9 - Illuxcon 2016 today. If you followed my coverage of previous years you might notice that this year's review is a little different. I have a lot less images of art and other artist's booth and a lot more images of my area and the things I was doing. Being part of the main show did limit how much of the rest of the show I saw, but I did around and tried to see as much as I could. While I was racing around the show I just did not have a lot of time to take images of what I was seeing and frankly, I was happier looking and enjoying and the thought of taking photos didn't really cross my mind. You will just have to come to IX and see it all for yourself.

In many ways, for me at least, the art has become a secondary element to IX. I am there to see the people, namely my friends, coworkers, peers, mentors, bosses, and people I have never met before. The art is great, the art is beautiful, but the human interaction is by far the best part. We catch up, talk shop, complain, celebrate, and have as much fun as a week will allow. Keep in mind I did see some AMAZING art and we brought some of it home with us. I am all for selling and buying art and there was plenty of time spent doing that, but there was even more time spent enjoying the company of those who have walked the same paths.

It is funny how each year is a little different and this year may have been the best yet. But they are all great and all a little different. There will be people that you have never really interacted with before and then one year you are fast friends and people you always hang out with but this year you hardly saw them. This is the way of life and the way of IX. You fine your people and you celebrate the joys of being an artist. Batteries recharge and we all disperse to the four corners of the Earth. All that is lest is to look ahead to next year and the adventures it will bring. Here are more images from my time at IX9...

 Dear Wife surprised me with an Allen Douglas piece that I had had my eye on.
To make it even that much bigger of a surprise, Allen posted on social media that it had sold a few weeks back and he was shipping it out. Aren't they the clever ones!

 Got my hands on one of Jeremy Wilson's portfolio books... with a sketch!
So good and so cool!

 Magic the Gathering sketch card from preview night, this was on the back of an Ancient Carp.

 Another from preview night, a dragon thing on the back of one of my new cards.

 I got to hold in my hands and look at Scott Fischer's Inktober ledger.

 Looking down into the freight elevator shaft.

 Another view of my booth at IX9 if you missed it before.

 Another sketch on the back of an Ancient Carp.
This carp came out as more of a crazy sea serpent thing.

A VERY special drawing on the back of a Narnam Cobra artist proof.

 Another painting that came home with us.
We have had an eye on this Naga by Tom Babbey for a while now... and now it is with us forever.

 A net themed sketch on the back of a Coveted Peacock.

 A Coveted Peacock on the back of a Coveted Peacock.

 One of the many gremlins that I drew at IX.

 The Coveted Peacock was indeed coveted!
Very happy that it went to a good home. RAWR!

 MORE gremlins in a couple different styles.

One of the several really cool costumes at the Showcase on Saturday night.

 The map of Studio 420 with revisions and notes.

 All good things must come to an end and IX is not different.
All my art is packed up and ready for shipment back to Florida.

 Studio 420 is now almost unrecognizable now that all the art and artists are gone.

 Even Medusa is looking a little less like herself now that IX is over.

 The first floor gallery is as I found it on the first day.

 You could hardly tell that we had even been there.
Next year we will need to make more of a permanent mark....

 At night lights zip across the windows of the GoggleWorks.

 Before leaving Reading we did finally get up to see the Reading Pagoda.
The view of Reading at the top of the hill was spectacular. I highly recommend taking the time to get up there and having a look around.

 One last look at the Pagoda before we leave Reading and IX and head towards the airport and home.
Another extremely successful IX with all the fun you could possibly ask for.

That is all for another exciting week on the blog, see you back here next week! Until then...

For more samples of my work or to contact me regarding my availability head over to my website:

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

IX9 - Illuxcon 2016 - Part 1

I am back from Illuxcon 2016 and man-oh-man, was it an amazing time. Illuxcon continues to top itself in art, fun, and family. 2016 was a year of firsts, it was the first year for IX to be in its new home of Reading, PA at the GoggleWorks and it was my first time in the main show at IX. While change is sometimes uncertain and can lead to some reservations, I am already in love with the new venue and the new IX hotel. I think Reading will become just as fun as Allentown and even Altoona was.

Those who have attended IX in the past, and especially this year, know just how special of an event Patrick and Jeannie Wilshire have created for all of us to enjoy and take part in. It is hard to put into words just how great IX is. I have been struggling with this since 2009 when I went to my first IX. There is a real sense of family and community at IX which I have not experienced at any other event. I see many of the same faces at Gen Con, but that is with a backdrop of the biggest gaming convention in the US. There are a lot of distractions and a lot of long days tied to your booth. IX is just the artists, students, and collectors, and while there is a certain need to be around your booth, it is a small enough event that you can wander away without much penalty. If you are in need of an art recharge, looking for inspiration, advice, help, amazing art, and a welcoming family like community, then you need to get to Illuxcon... and next will be the tenth one, which should lead to all kinds of fun times!

In years past I have broken down my coverage of IX by day, this will not be happening this year. I have around 50 images that I will share in two posts and share some thoughts with each image. Even though we arrived on a Monday and left on a Monday the time just flew by. It seemed like we had SO much time ahead of us on the first Monday and then suddenly it was Saturday night. People arrive and leave at different times, but this was one of the first years where we were some of the first to arrive and the last to leave. Both Mondays were our travel days and the meat of IX was Tuesday through Sunday. Here are the first 25 images of my experience of IX9...

A glimpse of Reading, PA from our hotel room.
The event hotel is super nice and the staff was amazing and helpful. REALLY enjoying this change.

Know for its railroad, Reading offered up many trains that went by the hotel (thankfully only during the day).


 The GoggleWorks! The main entrance was on the far side of the building from where you walk up to it from the hotel. That said, there was a nice entrance to lead right into the first floor gallery. Taking up an entire city block, the GoggleWorks building is five stories and contains over 100,000 square feet of space. It is a labyrinth of offices, galleries, and work spaces. It has a ton of character and is a really amazing building.

First floor gallery on Tuesday. When we got there only one, maybe two artists had begun to set up on this floor.

There are these suspended wall panels on tracks that are super cool.

 Sign in / main event desk and the hub of activity for the entire event.

 IX covered galleries on the first floor, second floor, and fourth floor. I was on the fourth floor on the outer most wall so I have great natural light coming in and a view of the outdoors. I really liked the spot all things considered.

 All of my art survived the journey from Florida to Pennsylvania. Which is ALWAYS a good thing. After a inspection and inventory it was time to start setting up.

 Since I was one of the first people setting up on the fourth floor I had the option for an additional wall panel. In the end I did not need it and I think my space was better off for not having it.

 Slowly but surely, the art is going up on the wall. Gotta make sure they are all in their right spots!

 Me and this staircase became good friends. Open and down from the fourth floor many times a day.
We also threw Tom Babbey's art down these stairs.
That last part is a joke.

 All set up and ready to go!
Tuesday was my set up day, but preview night of IX is Wednesday evening. We did arrive a little earlier than most, it gave us a chance to take our time, help out more, and made for a more relaxing experience.

 Studio 420 was the place to be at IX!

 Tom Kuebler's magnificent creations arrived right at the end of the allotted set up time on Tuesday. So wonderful to see these in person.

 A nifty unique church along the way from the GoggleWorks to the hotel.

 Another view of the backside of the GoggleWorks on Wednesday morning. People were beginning to show up and the fun times were gearing up.

 I really like the GoggleWorks logo and it was everywhere.

 The GoggleWorks main entrance. FINALLY got around to the front side of the building to see it.

 Loading in all the arts. Those windows on the fourth floor are the Studio 420 windows. My spot faces out the end of the building.

 Aaron Miller and I trapped on the freight elevator that only GoggleWorks employees could use. It was 100 plus years old and super cool.

 Medusa and all her glory! RAWR!

 Another piece by Tom Kuebler that had a ton of personality and humor. The Martian has a ray gun pointed at the back of the micronaut.

 The Peanut Bar! We ate here many time over the week and I enjoyed it a lot... especially their nightmare fuel of a mascot.

 I shared walls with Steve Prescott (on the left) and Chris Seaman (on the right). I could not have asked for better neighbors at IX and had so much fun with them all week long. This was right before preview night began on Wednesday evening after they were both set up. IX is finally about to start!

That is all for another exciting Wednesday on the blog, see you back here on Friday! Until then...

For more samples of my work or to contact me regarding my availability head over to my website: