Welcome to the first post on my new blog on my new webpage! It's only taken me five years after graduating to get a proper website, but I digress...
So it's been two weeks since things have settled down after attending Origins Game Fair in Columbus, Ohio, although to be honest my time back home has been nothing short of busy.
This was my second year in the art show at Origins, and I had the privilege of my best friend Lucas joining me at the convention this year. It was his first time at a game convention, and he was my table neighbor, along with his girlfriend Heather.
Lucas and I both wound up wining an award for our art at the show, which is judged by our peers. Lucas won best science fiction or fantasy with his piece that he just finished in smART school, with Todd Lockwood. I won best game related with my newly debuted pin up GM Dream, which I did as part of a series of geek and game girl pin ups.
It was a lot of fun to be able to hang out after the show with the other artists there. The great thing about doing conventions like these is the sense of community you experience. I was also able to get some really good advice from fellow artist Jeff Carlisle, not just in regard to the art I am making, but also things to think about and employ at future shows. Most of the artists in the art show at conventions are willing to pass on some sage advice if you are willing to ask them questions.
This show was extremely busy for me this year. Last year it was my best money making show, and so far in this year it's held up for me. While I was kept busy most of the days working on convention commissions, this was the first time that I was almost overwhelmed by the number of new business contacts.
There were a lot of game industry folks at the show who ranged from self published through kickstarter to moderate and large publishers. I had the pleasure of talking to a large number of people who were interested in the type of work that I do, and a lot of business cards were exchanged in the process. I was also able to bring up the source tool PACT to a number of the business contacts there. Many seemed interested in what the site has to offer in regards to sample contracts among other things.
Which leads, at long last, to my busy two weeks after the show and trying to wind down from convention mode while still working.
As a working artist it is vital to maintain a line of communication with the people we network with. So pretty much as soon as I got home I sent out some messages to friends at the art show to say thanks for any help or tell them how cool it was to hang out with them. I also made an entire day of sending emails out to the serious contacts I made at the show. Not only is it important to follow up with such contacts within 24 hours, it's also much easier to write a more personal email to these people because your experience with them is fresher in your mind than it will be after a few days. After a few days you run the risk of not recalling who is who, and what project or comments they made in regard to possible hiring.
Before the show I was contacted through a new client via a friend I met at this show last year. So I also had to get in touch with the art director, send out a contract, and start work on the commissions for his company. While I can't show the work just yet, I did just finish them and may pick up additional work from the company in the next few days. I also was contracted this week to start work on another project via a different company. Not sure if I can share details to that just yet, but it's something I am SUPER excited about.
The next few months look to be pretty busy for me with freelance gigs, but they are projects I am interested in working on. However I need to maintain some time to work on personal pieces, and a private commission.
Before the convention there is a tradition my husband and I have of driving to our friends' lake house for a long weekend of pre convention gaming. All in all this is a nice and relaxing time where we get to mingle with friends we likely have not seen all year, and play some games.
I opted to only play the late night slots to better take advantage of the daylight to work on a personal piece. My goal is to have the above piece and one other done in time to add to a portfolio to show to the people at Paizo, come Gen Con.
In hindsight I am glad that I already have Lini pretty well rendered out. I think I have about a quarter left on her till she is done. And I am also glad that I have the second character I plan to add into my portfolio already drawn out and taped down to a board. All he needs is to be painted in.
Now I just have to be mindful of my time to make my personal goals while keeping the same quality with my freelance pieces. I'm confident I can do this.