I miss the rain already. I’ve been to Portland a half dozen times, but it’s been over a decade since my last visit there. No matter if one of my past excursions to the downtown area coincided with winter, when I skated across the downtown icy sidewalks to slide into Powell’s, or passing a Frisbee at the open grass area along the Williamette River near the Steel Bridge with a friend in summer, each moment has been memorable. As I neared the city limits last week I embraced the cloudy skies, cool weather, and the smell and touch of the moist air.
I decided to exhibit at the Rose City Comic Con based on the professionalism and likability of those who organize the show. They are the same people who run the Emerald City Comic Con in Seattle, where we exhibited at for the first time earlier this year. (And will again in 2014!)
The Rose City event staff and volunteers were exceptionally friendly. Also, it was obvious that their promotional efforts were successful. The proof of this was the broad mix of people and heavy foot traffic that filled the aisles. The attendees we met were a delight and supported our being there. Plus, our neighbors were fun, which made for an all-around pleasurable experience. I had no hesitation in signing up and prepaying for the third Rose City show in 2014. It is an event that I feel confidant will continue to grow and gain momentum.
I want to thank Brom, Terry and Rachel Dodson for joining me at the Flesk Publications / Spectrum Fantastic Art Live booth.
From spending the week with Brom at Comic-Con, it came as no surprise at Rose City when I observed women approach Brom while giggling quietly to a friend or, shook a little as if they were trembling from a slight chill and, at times, gently bounced in place with excitement at the opportunity to meet him. I saw one girl get a signature in one of his books for her friend who was standing about 30 feet away but who was too nervous to get it herself. “Brave girl” eventually went and grabbed her shy friend by the arm and pulled her over to meet Brom. And I get why. Brom was all smiles and constantly adorable to the girls, and cool and super-chill to the guys. He’s extremely likable. It appears to be all in a day’s work for the Dark Lord.
Speaking of likeability, in the opposite corner of the booth, Terry and Rachel Dodson joined us for extended signings during both days. Terry creates a new piece of art for a unique print for each show where they attend. His new Rose City themed print debuted on Saturday and it turned out beautifully. Terry posted a blog entry to show his sketches and process which you can view here. Terry is amazingly patient and giving of his time. I observed art students who presented his or her portfolio for a critique and who would ask Terry art or industry related questions. Terry spent extended periods offering advice and ways in which they could improve, as well as offering tips on how he worked. I think he has a natural gift for sharing and helping others.
Brom and the Dodson’s helped me by manning the booth for a little bit so I could do a quick walk-around artist alley on Sunday. I make a point to always stroll through this section of every show I attend. It’s my number one destination point that I would hate to miss. It was well represented by a young group, most of who were new to me. I enjoy shows with large artist alley sections that have tables available to them at an affordable price. This makes for a wide variety of artists that may not otherwise have the opportunity to express themselves in a large public venue. These are our future stars. You can see the hunger and positive energy of these brave people who get out there and share their works. It is not easy to have the courage to exhibit at a show for the first time, or even the second or the third. These are the people who take their dreams and put themselves out there on public platform. They have my respect.
Artists are the coolest people to hang out with. They fight that normalcy of a 9-5 lifestyle that many people fall into. Most of the artists I meet and work with do whatever they need to do to share their creativity with others. There are some who might be broke half the time–and all too often struggling–but they are fun to socialize with. I can’t help but think they are happier than a lot of people who give up their lives to work for a paycheck doing a job they have no passion for. This is one of the many reasons why I enjoy publishing.
We’ll see you in Portland again next year. Here’s hoping it rains again!