Here’s a treat for you: Thirty-five pictures from the third Spectrum Fantastic Art Live held on May 9-11, 2014. Captions by Carl Anderson and Jeff Smith. There’s a few captions missing. If you know the artist names, please let us know so that we can add them.
In the heart of Kansas City lies the venue for Spectrum Fantastic Art Live 2014; Kansas City Convention Center’s 46,400 square foot Grand Ballroom.
Artists Christina Hess and Dominick Saponaro hard at work putting the final touches on their booth before the show opens. Christina was selling a Spectrum exclusive teaser booklet for her upcoming “Animals From History” book.
Artist Edward Howard wowed attendees with numerous new originals in addition to offering affordable prints, like the one shown above, which you may recognize from the opening pages of Spectrum 20.
3-day ticket holders and exhibitors were treated to free hors d’oeuvres during the opening night party and Art Director Meet & Greet before viewing the film premiere of the documentary “Making It” on Friday evening.
The Kansas City Conventions & Visitors Bureau welcomed Spectrum attendees and exhibitors all over downtown.
Donato Giancola spies our camera at the opening night 3-day ticket holder and exhibitor party.
Jackson Robinson catches us taking pictures at the opening night party. Spectrum Fantastic Art Live marked Jackson’s convention debut. His playing card art work and decks were a big hit, particularly his Sherlock Holmes themed decks.
Steve Rude and Donato Giancola at the opening night party. Mr. Rude held a cosplay model contest leading up to the show. He painted the winner, donning a Supergirl costume, live during a demonstration on Saturday morning.
Greg Manchess enjoying himself at the opening night party.
Craig Elliott at the opening night party.
Eric Deschamps enjoying the opening night party.
Is that Johnny Depp? No, that’s Nigel Sade! Nigel is one of the nicest artists you could meet. (Side note: In the background of this photo on the left hand side you will see two of the hardest working ladies on the Spectrum committee: Event Organizer Shena Wolf and Volunteer Coordinator Amanda Banion.)
Steve Rude listening to John Fleskes’ vision on the show floor.
Adrian Johnson of Sidebar Nation interviews Special Guest Tim Bruckner. Mr. Bruckner shared how he got into sculpting, discussed challenging pieces, explained techniques and fielded questions from the crowd. A great interview to kick off the weekend’s scheduled programming.
Jackson Robinson signing one of his Sherlock Holmes playing card decks for a fan. Jackson not only created all the artwork on the cards he also created unique packaging.
The Shiflett Brothers (Brandon and Jarrod) at their exhibit booth. They participated in live sculpting demos throughout the weekend and were available for 3D portfolio reviews. Look for an award winning piece from them in Spectrum 21 this fall.
Forest Rogers admiring one of Virginie Ropars’ incredible sculptures, with the artist herself! Words can’t express how incredible it was to see, study, and be able to purchase original sculptures directly from the artists.
Greg Manchess points out details on original paintings he brought to the show to sell. As part of the weekend’s activities, Greg participated in a live painting demonstration with artist Gary Kelley on Saturday afternoon that drew the attention of fellow artists as well as attendees.
John Fleskes, Special Guest Frank Cho, and Mark Schultz talking at the Flesk Publications booth. Frank Cho put on a live drawing demo during his special guest interview on Saturday and Mark Schultz conducted a dry brush demo on Sunday.
Craig Elliot organizing his originals and prints for sale at the Flesk Publications booth.
Anthony Kosar’s “Boaris Frankenswine”
One of Dan Chudzinski’s signature pieces.
Red Riding Hood, a sculpture by artist Forest Rogers.
“Vertical Man-Tank, 1892”, a piece from The Shiflett Brothers which took home the Gold Award in the Dimensional category.
The third Spectrum Fantastic Art Live was held on May 9-11 in Kansas City, MO. Enjoy this two minute video which shows you a few highlights from the three day event! Thanks to everyone who exhibited and attended!
About Spectrum Fantastic Art Live
SFAL is a high-energy showcase for the best and brightest in the fantasy and science fiction art community. It brings together artists, industry professionals and fans.
It’s a show for everyone. For artists, both established and aspiring, and fans of art. For people who love movies, video games, tabletop gaming, RPGs, card games and more. For fans of comics, science fiction, fantasy and any genre that has ever had an art component.
The third event featured over 200 booths full of the finest artists working today. Multiple disciplines were represented. Exquisite dolls, grotesque mannequins, oil paintings, prints, bronzes, pencil sketches, sculptures … all forms of art are celebrated at SFAL.
There were multiple programming tracks, from topics that affect artists and their creative process to discussions of practical industry concerns, as well as panels on how to start collecting art.
There were portfolio reviews by the leading art directors in multiple industries.
If you make art, you should come to SFAL 4. If you love art, you should come. If you’re wondering if this is for you, it is. You’ll love it. See you next time!
During our road trip back to California from Kansas City, Mark Schultz and Jim Reid asked me a few questions about the recent Spectrum Fantastic Art Live event. I decided to type up my responses while we were traveling through Arizona along Highway 40. I’ve also added a series of fifteen pictures from the show with captions.
Question: This is the third year of the Spectrum Fantastic Art Live show. Tell us about the growth this year.
Answer: The growth can be measured and discussed in a few ways.
First, the pre-sales for tickets were more than double what they were last year. That’s a big deal and worth celebrating. There was a noticeable increase of people on the floor compared to last year.
Second, three of us joined the Spectrum show committee; Carl Anderson, Jeff Smith and myself. We took on roles to help add new features, which I’ll get into in a second, and to help spread out the existing duties to allow for a better individual focus of responsibilities both before and during the show. There seems to be the misconception that I am in charge of the show. But really, the show is the result of a team of dedicated and hard-working people put together by Cathy and Arnie Fenner. It is the initiative and efforts of the Fenner’s, and also Shena Wolf who plays an integral role in its operations, that makes the show a success.
Third, there were a number of new features added to the show. I’ll run down the list.
A) We added an “Artist Tables” section, which gave our future stars an opportunity to exhibit at a show for a modest price. This was intended to attract more local, young, first time and / or artists that have a smaller show budget to the event as exhibitors. We could have continued to fill the whole show with booths, but I think by reserving a portion of the exhibit hall space for artist tables, it allows more opportunities to the artists, and gives us more of a diverse range of artists attending, which attracts more people to the show. I think it’s better for everyone.
B) We improved our panels and workshops by adding more of an educational focus. We had artist panels by top industry professionals and art directors. For instance, Iain McCaig, Mark Schultz and Steve Rude all conducted artwork demonstrations. Justin Sweet and Vance Kovacs talked about working in film. Art Directors Lauren Pinepento, Marc Scheff and Jon Schindenhette did portfolio reviews. Comics professionals Terry Dodson, Frank Cho and Mark Chiarello offered advice on working within the industry. There was a live sculpting event happening all weekend on the show room floor. We covered quite a bit of core industry essentials that were geared toward professionals in the field, for those just breaking, for students, and even for fans who want to see how things are run. I also want there to be opportunities for young artists rub elbows with the established pros.
Then to get back to the main areas of growth, fourth, there were more artists at the show. Besides the five special show guests, plus the ten additional artists who joined us at our Flesk / Spectrum booth, if you add the artist exhibitors to the list, there were over 200 artists there to meet, learn from, get autographs and purchase original artwork from.
I’ll add too, that we continued to make sure we kept the daily ticket prices at only $20, or all three days for $40, since we want to make sure the show is easily accessible. If you took all of the workshops that were available to all of the attendees at no additional price, it’s an incredible bargain.
Question: Why have the show in Kansas City?
Answer: The main reason why I like having the show in Kansas City is its central position within the country. This allows SFAL to attract artists from the west and east coasts, as well as everywhere in-between to make for an exceptionally diverse group. The city is just a one to three hour flight from most states making it easy to travel to. Also, Kansas City offers inexpensive hotels, a wide variety of restaurants from quick meals to fine dining, all of which are within a short walking distance to the convention center. The local community and city itself have been very supportive as well.
Question: What type of artists do you want to see at SFAL?
Answer: One of the main aspects that I want to retain about the show is the heart. We want SFAL to grow while maintaining the essence of bringing the community together to a welcoming environment. With this said, I would like to continue to see artists come to the show who are supportive of one another and who enjoy the collaborative process of growing together. Anyone who has something to communicate through art, artists who are enthusiastic–even those who may feel unwelcome elsewhere–we want them here.
Question: Beyond community and workshop opportunities from the show, what practical aspects can the artists expect to gain from exhibiting at the show.
Answer: As someone who has exhibited at over 100 shows, I’m well aware of the time and cost considerations that go into exhibiting at a show. For me personally, the show has to make sense and be practical beyond just having a fun time to justify going in the first place, let alone signing up to go again the next year. The Spectrum committee is well aware of the need for fans and patrons to attend the show who are willing to buy artwork to allow the artist to continue to create their artwork. We had placed advertisements in newspapers, magazines, online and even run TV commercials, as well as social networking to inform, educate and encourage people to come to the show. It’s all well and good to say we will have a good time, but we need this to make sense for everyone. None of the Spectrum committee has taken a salary and we’ve turned all of the money right back into next year’s show, so we are committed to making this happen.
Question: What type of atmosphere do you hope to create for SFAL?
Answer: Our goal is for this show to be an event that is something in-between the comic shows and fine art shows. We want the sophistication and focus on the art that the fine art shows have, yet the accessibility and fun that can be found at a comic show. And again, we want people to have the opportunity to grow and to be inspired upon leaving that combined will benefit their art and careers.
Question: Are there any after-hours activities?
Answer: Yes. Every night. There was the Spectrum Awards, a life-drawing event and social gatherings. After-hours activities are important, not just for the attendees who want to keep enjoying their time in Kansas City, but also for the exhibitors who have been at their booths all day and want to enjoy the company of their fellow professionals. Starting on Thursday evening, planned evening hot-spots are promoted where everyone can all get together. These are public places and welcome to all. This year was exciting in that by Sunday there were three main locations that were packed with people from the show, compared to just the one spot the following two years. One of my favorite comments this year was that our previous quiet spot was now packed with people from the show late into each night. I hope to hear this complaint more and more.
Question: What was the life-drawing event?
Answer: On Friday night, a large room and models were secured in the Aladdin hotel where artists were able to draw direct from life. Roughly 150 artists were there. It’s proven to be very popular these last three years.
Question: And can you give me some more details about the Spectrum Awards?
Answer: The Spectrum 21 Awards ceremony was held on May 10th at the historic Midland Theater. The gold and silver Spectrum 21 awards were handed out to sixteen artists within eight categories. This is the time to shine the spotlight on the artists and make them the stars, while celebrating their hard work and achievements. We also announce the 2014 Spectrum Grand Master Award, the recipient of which has to have had over 20 years in the field, given freely to the community, inspired a new generation and whose art is exceptional in every way. This year the award was given to Iain McCaig. There was live entertainment, amazing heartwarming acceptance speeches and a lively after-party.
The Spectrum 21 Awards were presented May 10, 2014 at a gala ceremony held in Kansas City’s historic Midland Theater. This was the first awards presentation under the guidance of Spectrum’s new Director John Fleskes. Jurors who determined the Gold and Silver Award winners this year were Cory Godbey, J. Anthony Kosar, George Pratt, Shelly Wan, and Allen Williams. All of the work will be included in Spectrum 21: The Best in Contemporary Fantastic Art, which will be published by Flesk Publications and distributed to the trade by Publishers Group West in October.
Advertising Gold Award: Kent Williams — The Criterion Collection Lord of the Flies
Silver Award: Victo Ngai — A Tiger Beer Chinese New Year
Gold Award: Nicolas Delort — The End of the Road
Silver Award: Scott Gustafson — Little Sambha and the Tiger with the Beautiful Purple Shoes with Crimson Soles
Gold Award: Thomas Campi — The Red Door
Silver Award: Mark A. Nelson — Seasons, page 1
Concept Art Gold Award: Theo Prins — Refugees
Silver Award: Vance Kovacs — John Carter Punches a Thark
Gold Award: The Shiflett Bros. — Vertical Man-Tank, 1892
Silver Award: Colin and Kristine Poole — Hot Diggety Dog
Gold Award: Tran Nguyen — The Insects of Love
Silver Award: Yuko Shimizu — Hair Tree
An update from John Flesk, Mark Schultz, and business consultant and long-haul driver Jim Reid–From the Painted Desert, AZ: On the road to Big Wow ComicFest.
We had hoped to ditch Frank Cho in Kansas City after the Spectrum Fantastic Art Live event, but due to poor planning, he will continue to terrorize us at the Big Wow ComicFest in San Jose, CA this weekend. We will have free Drawing Beautiful Women: The Frank Cho Method promotional postcards at our Flesk booth, which you can have signed by Cho. He will be signing at his table and offering a free oil painting demonstration, the results of which will be auctioned at the shows end.
Mark Schultz will be at our Flesk table, and will be happy to give his frank opinion of Frank. You can hear Mark’s often incoherent ramblings while viewing his originals and perusing his Flesk books, of which we will have plenty. New Storms at Sea postcards are complimentary, as well as his his same old autograph.
Completing our triad of booth appearances, Jim “Smooth As” Silke will have originals of tastefully rendered women in various states of undress and fit for any gentleman’s parlor or lady’s sitting room. Come by and see what he has in the works with Flesk.
The complete Flesk book and print catalog will be available at our Flesk / Spectrum booth, #418. And for the thrifty shopper, fill in your bookshelf with selections from our bargain basement, where we will be offering dinged and scuffed books at deep, deep discount prices.
We had an amazing time at the Spectrum Fantastic Art Live show in Kansas City! We will be sharing pictures and stories as soon as we get back to the office.
For now, enjoy this group picture taken by Vidur Gupta from Helpful Bear Productions at our Flesk / Spectrum booth. From left to right: J. Anthony Kosar, Justin Sweet, Cory Godbey, Vance Kovacs, Camilla d’Erricco, Jackson Robinson, Steve Rude, Allen Williams, Mark Schultz, Frank Cho, Bill Carman, David Palumbo, Annie Stegg, Justin Gerard, Arnie Fenner, John Flesk, Android Jones, Craig Elliott and Terry Dodson.
After untold hours of preparation and planning, I look at the beginning of this month with much anticipation. We have the Spectrum Fantastic Art Live event fast approaching, I am writing the “Year in Review” and designing Spectrum 21, plus I’m working with Frank Cho to keep his Drawing Beautiful Women book on schedule. The magnitude of these three projects, along with the day-to-day necessities of running Flesk, has consumed my 60 hour work week. Once July 1st comes, the show will have passed, the books completed and turned in to the printer, and then I will immediately focus on a new batch of books for 2015. Downtime does not exist here.
Here’s a print that will be available at Spectrum Fantastic Art Live. It is 11 x 17 inches and will be free at our Flesk / Spectrum booth (#501) during the SFAL special guest signing on Saturday from 11:15am to 12PM. Wayne Barlowe, Tim Bruckner, Frank Cho, Camilla d’Errico and Justin Sweet will be on hand to sign your prints! The prints are limited to 250 units with a limit of 1 per person to make sure that as many attendees have an opportunity to get one.