Thursday, August 8, 2019

Gen Con 2019 - There and Back Again

For nine years, I have recapped each day of Gen Con in its own post. This year, year ten, I will have my entire Gen Con experience in one post. 2019 was my tenth visit to Gen Con and my ninth appearing in the Art Show, and it is hard to believe it has been that long. While being like so many of the previous Gen Cons I have attending this one was unique, this Gen Con marks the end of my focus on my client work at my table. This has been in the works for a while now, it was inevitable to be after last year and something I have been working towards for even longer. Starting in 2020, which will hopefully be my tenth appearance in the Art Show, I will be focusing on my personal work, the Grand Bazaar of Ethra VanDalia. A new beginning. But I am getting ahead of myself, let us look a little closer at Gen Con 2019.

I expected this year to be a down financially. I had little to no new client work that I could share at the show this year. My big originals from client work have long since sold and what I have left has been seen at events several times already. For Gen Con this year offered a selection of new canvas prints of popular work and focused on several discount sales on stock I will no longer be taking to conventions, namely my existing prints and original drawings. After all this, I will managed to bring in just a few hundred dollars less than last year, which was a solid year. I was swamped each day at the table and saw many returning customers and fans. It was a fun show, and I made sure to tell everyone about my book and the changes to expect in the coming year.

There were a lot of familiar faces in the Art Show and even more new ones. It was great to meet so many new artists, better connect with those I have only met in passing, and catch up with good friends. Each year there is never enough time to see everyone and so many slips through the cracks. People had a lot going this year, be it dinners with clients, painting demos, family visits, or preexisting plans. There were many I did not see nearly enough, but thankfully, there were plenty that I had a generous amount of time to visit with and reconnect. Though it is small in comparison to the rest of Gen Con, I did not visit most of the Art Show until Sunday morning. With 80-90 artists, there is a limit to what you can see and do. I would get a couple feet and find myself in another conversation. I spent about twenty minutes out on the floor of Gen Con to purchase some pins before the show opened Sunday morning and that was it. Each year I get a little less time to see the vendor hall.

I took a lit lot fewer photos this year. Not sure why, maybe I was busier, perhaps I was more in the moment most of the time, or maybe I just did not feel like it at the time. After so many years, you repeat the same moments in some ways. There are only so many photos you can take of the crowds, you should come to Gen Con and experience them yourself! In the end, I think I was happy to be in the moment, and I was not thinking about the blog, facebook, or sharing those moments with others. When I went to select images for this post, I left so many out because they felt repetitious or not worthy of a full image post. To that end, here are twenty-five images from my time at Gen Con 2019.

 Indianapolis tires hard to make Gen Con the focus, or it feels that way.

This year we took the burden off the interior of the car and put the con stuff in a trailer. It had its pros and cons, but in the end, it was much easier to deal with than I was picturing. It will be something we do again in the future. 

Every year I drive by the same landmarks, and every year, I feel like I need to take a photo of them. If I started reposting previous year's images, would anyone notice?

I still like these silly roadside dinosaurs. 

I mentioned I was not doing a good job of taking photos. Though it does not look like it, I was nearly finished with my table before I thought to take a photo. 

AND, all set up! 

Dear Wife was doing a better job of getting good photos. This is one of her photos of the crowds preparing to enter the vendor hall Thursday morning.

Here is a color sketch card I did first thing Thursday. I tried to do less sketching at the booth this year so that I could focus on talking to people and engaging with the crowds walking by. I failed miserably.

This is but one of MANY Magic the Gathering artist proofs that I sketched on this year.

A sketchbook drawing I did that I was happy with.

Brian Stillman inducted me into the Owlbear Appreciation Society. HOOT RAWR!

This little dog named Gandolf was getting a LOT of attention this year.

Another sketchbook drawing I thought turned out well. I was channeling my crazy Beholder mojo very well this year.

Over the four days of Gen Con, I signed a *few* Magic cards. 

Over the four days of Gen Con, I saw a lot of AWESOME cosplay.

My donation to the Upper Deck charity auction.

And another Beholder, this time on a playmat.

I did look around a bit finally from my table. This is looking forward.

This is looking backward.

And this is looking to my left.

Always find these card structures to be interesting, and I always miss the beginning and the end of it all.

I walk by this ballroom twice a day every year, once in the morning and once in the evening and every year is ALWAYS full of people. One year maybe I will go inside.

AND DONE! The table these days breaks down into two carts. It has gotten so much eaier over the years and here we are about to change it all up next year.

The crowds are gone and quickly it appears as if none of us were ever here at all.

The massive game room is empty finally and I know Gen Con must be over.

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

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