Monday, November 10, 2008

Wizard World Texas: Aftermath

[image: my convention painting that was done at the table. Watercolor, gouache, silver paint, and ink on 300 Lanaquarelle.]

The Wizard World tour retires this year with it's final stop in Texas, and what a stop it was. Conventions have been a real drain on the finances: table, travel, food, product. Product is going to take a while to cover, but for the first time ever i covered expenses (table, travel, food, small purchases). I'm typically the one that makes the least amount of money if i make money at all. This is partially due to the fact that i am a dog zodiac so i tend to wander off. But as Evan said "We know we did good because Luan was actually at the table for 95% of the time. Can you imagine what would happen if it was 98%? I don't even want to think about it." It was that good; and the show was pretty good to all of us. We've been doing shows together as a studio for little over a year now, and i think we've done a lot over that year. I think this next year will be a good indication as to where this will be progressing to; and it's been a really good haul so far.

Wizard World Texas is one their newest additions to the tour and it wasn't bought from a previously successful convention (a la Chicago, Philly, LA). So they had to build this show from the ground up, trying to figure out what the market here wants. It's been an interesting evolution over the years, so there are always rumblings of them not having a show the next year. Their first year here they brought along the big booths and heavy names (Lee, Silvestri, Turner, etc), treating it like one of their big media shows like LA or Chicago. They had artist alley tucked away in another room, dimly lit and unadvertised. I think now they understand that people here in Texas don't want the big media glitz. There's a certain pride here of not being like LA or NYC: things here are bigger, stronger, and more easy-going. Over the years artist alley has grown immensely; and they have kept it to small press and independent artists. Gone are the models, small retailers (for the most part), and media people. It is truly an Artist Alley. The main reason i made the money that i did was because i had original paintings. Studio-mate Evan had the same experience and i think Tommy Castillo did bang-bustah his originals as well. People are there to look for convention sketches and original art. I think that's why the live art scene here has been booming lately.

[image: my live art painting for Heroes4Heroes Fundraiser. Watercolor, gouache, and ink on 300 Lanaquarelle.]

had their third annual live art fundraiser on Saturday, and i think it went awesome. It was pretty cool to work along side with such great talent; the Space-Gun Kru ran really strong and turned a few heads. I feel that I need to bring my "A++" game to these sorts of events, this one in particular. The audience for the most part not as local as the other shows that we do. I feel that i am not only representing myself but my studio and the Dallas art community as a whole. Over the course of the last few years, I have identified myself as a Space-Gunner and a proud Dallas artist. So at this annual show, I feel that I need to step up and show that Dallas isn’t just a city of cowboys and corporate offices. There is a real thriving art community here, and we rock it pretty hard.

They had more and a traditional English Open Auction this time, with a stage for the pieces and the bidders were seated in front of the stage. It went fairly well for the most part; though i think how the pieces go up for auction could be more streamlined as a few pieces were forgotten along the back wall for hours. Understandably, they want to get the headlining guests up first/early as their pieces would carry more weight; but a few great pieces got less love than they deserved as the night got late. Though this is their third show and it’s only once a year so there will be kinks here and there to iron out as they find a system that works for them.

This con was a great way to end out the convention tour. The art show was awesome; the convention was really good to us overall. We all left with contacts and money in our pockets; there’s not much more you can ask for. It’s a great way to wrap up one year of shows. Thanks to the Wizard World staff, they were friendly in correspondence and in person as well. We’ve never had any issues with anyone at these shows. Special kicks out to Dave Hopkins and Paul Milligan for being cool convention neighbors; to Tommy Castillo for throwing down some veteran advice on me; and to Terry Parr and Amber May for just being cool and even shelling my pinup book at their table. And a huge thanks goes out to ArtLoveMagic for having the Space-Gun Kru be part of their setup at the live art show.

And now to find real work and replace all the art that I sold.

Wizard World Texas
Heroes4Heroes Live Art Fundraiser

1 comment:

Evan said...

I have to say sorry that I didn't read this earlier. This is a FANTASTIC con re-cap! I honestly couldn't have done any better or worded it as well as you did!