Last week I was able to return to in-person conventions. Given all the events of the past two years, there is something comforting about it being Illuxcon. IX has been a special part of my life since 2009, and it was not the same last year without it. To ensure that we had the safest event possible, only fully vaccinated individuals could attend, and during event hours in event venues, masks were required at all times. It was the least we could do to help create a safe and enjoyable experience.
I am not sure I can put into words how much this year's IX means to me. I knew I was missing friends and the greater art community and family, but until I got there, I was unaware of how desperate I was to be part of it again. I feel I had been wandering the desert got two years and finally found water and food. I know I was not the only one feeling this. I am filled with hope, love, and the creative spark again. Hopefully, I will channel this, as I have done in the past, to push forward with new work. It's not just about art; so much of what made IX great this year was simply being around friends and people again. At times, it was emotionally overwhelming, and it took everything I had to keep my composure and enjoy the moments.
I will be honest, I did a lousy job of taking photos of IX this year. I never left my booth during show hours, except for restroom breaks, lunch, and the panels I was a part of. Not only did I do a poor job of documenting the event, I never saw the main show except for my floor and some of the first floor. I visited the fourth floor early on set up day before most people were even there and never again. This is all on me, and I regret it. For better or worse, I was focused on the Grand Bazaar this year now that the books are available. I wanted to be present in the booth at all times and available to talk to people about my work. The funny thing is, after all the preparation and work I did to ensure IX was the best it could be, I forgot to plan how I was going to talk about my book. For years I practiced talking about the book I was working on, the book that was just over the horizon. I never thought I would have trouble talking about the book right in front of me. Since it was the only thing that I didn't plan or prepare for, it was the one issue I had. In general, I think I am talking about the book wrong, but I will need to talk about this another day when it is the focus. Suffice it to say, by the end of IX, I understood the problem, and I have some plans on how to move forward.
I think I could keep talking about how much IX meant to me and how important it was to finally be happening again, but I think now is a good time for images and thoughts associated with them.
That's all for another exciting week on the blog. See you back here next week! Until then...