Toy Con Toy Show & General Update

Huge HUGE *Thank You* to everyone that came out to ToyCon yesterday and came by my table. I really enjoyed all of the conversations we had. I’m really happy that you liked my work enough to bring it home with you.

I really like the ToyCon staff, they are really nice, and most of the vendors are nice too. I enjoy doing shows, getting out talking with people, discussing art, pop culture, movies, and music.

Half way into working on this Chewbacca piece I began to get frustrated that I didn’t have the proper browns, and was wishing I had painted it instead. I will probably redo it at some point. I stayed up way too late on Friday working on it, then finished it about 5pm on Saturday. I scanned it and stuck it in my prints layout. Then I put together a special prints package for the show on Sunday. By the time I had everything done it was about 6 – then I ran to the printer.

About 1230a as I was cutting down the 5×7 prints for that special prints package, that’s when I realized I was missing two of the prints for it. I stopped by the printer after the show to get them printed up, I will be cutting & assembling them today and listing them in [ my bigcartel shop ].

I didn’t get done with show prep till 230a Sunday, got up at about 5 and left about 630a and stopped to pick up breakfast with some much needed coffee, I got to the Bridgeview Community Ctr with 15 mins to unload, park the car and set up.

After the show, on the drive home is when the tired hit me. When I got home, the husband helped me unpack my car, I got my flash drive & paper then drove to the printer and got my missing prints done. He (long time employee there) apologized, by this time I wasn’t mad, he let me know that my regular guy had found a new job and let me know who was on the print staff now. *sigh* looks I have new people to break in. =)

So much to do today, back to getting commissions done and out to clients.

Thanks for stopping in to read!

I have lots of arting updates on [ instagram ] and I repost on [ Facebook ], AND I also have a [ Patreon Page ] where you get to help shape the monthly art packages that are mailed out to patrons!

Show Season Wrap / Research & Development Time

For me show season wrapped up last weekend with the Chicago Pop Culture Convention.  I’ve never done a show that has over lapped with the Holiday shopping season before, so I wasn’t really sure what to expect.  Even though sales were incredibly slow, several small framed paintings found homes. Which, you know, this is something I’ve been trying to do more of.  Hopefully this will be my focus this coming year:  Art 8×10 and smaller, framed, ready to hang 100.00 and under.

This year (2016) overall sales were down, because attendance was down. Several friends of mine speculated it was because of the political atmosphere of the election.   Personally I have yet to see (from my end being freelance) that the economy is getting better. I guess only time will tell.

Next up: 
Now that show season is over it’s time to get working on advancing my painting skills.  For a while, I’ve been itching to experiment without worrying about messing up expensive watercolor paper. I just feel like I’m severely lacking the experimentation element of art, being so consumed with finishing work to sell.

Over the weekend I got a peek at Brian Stelfreeze’s Artbook. I absolutely love the way he uses color. And I’ve been in love with Drew’s work since I was old enough to realize who he was. So I bought a few things: books from Amazon (Amazon Prime 18% off w/free 2 day shipping) and a new sketchbook from Michael’s (YAY 50% off coupon).

I may have time to just play and start recording some of this for video episodes on my YouTube channel and maybe make some of it only available on my Patreon site.  Which is another thing I really need to work on.

This week, I’m cutting and decorating mats for the smaller works from my convention art bin. I’m also going to try and squeeze in some personal sketch/art cards. I’ll be listing everything in my Etsy Shop as I go.

Till next time!

Dr. Robert Miller

Today I found out that my High School Art Instructor had passed away on November 2.   For years I’ve been trying to locate him, my old high school didn’t have any forwarding info, and any internet searches always came up empty.  I’m feeling a little heartbroken that I will never get to see him again.

Dr. Robert Miller more so than any other person had such an immense impact on my early art career.  He really did care about helping his students succeed, and if you put in the effort he would help you to become a better artist.   His classes were not for the weary, or for the students thinking they were going to get an easy grade.

I always marveled at his drawing skills. That first demonstration he gave on how to draw a skeleton, I wanted to draw like that.  His pencil renderings were a thing of beauty. Every mark he made on the paper had it’s purpose.  ‘No Chicken scratches were allowed’. Something he’d say about those short little wispy lines he’d see us drawing.

Doc Bob got me into Art Competition, I still have my ribbons, they are packed away at my parents house.  I really enjoyed it and it was something I really missed once I was out of High School. I will always remember him saying (when we’d get the exacto knife from him to cut mats) ‘count your fingers’ and you’d count them out loud, he’d hand you the exacto and say ‘I want you to have that many when you’re done.’

Doc Bob also got me my first scholarship, a week of ‘Art Camp’ at the University of Illinois.  He gave me a bunch of supplies I would need and told me, as long as I used them, they were mine to keep.  I still have the watercolor palettes, some of the paints and I think I still have a brush or two.

Senior year I spent so much time in the Art Department it felt like home. Even now when I looked through the pictures I had taken so long ago, nearly all of them were taken in the art department.

I’m sad that I will never get the chance to tell him that his guidance and instruction in those early years helped mold me into the artist I am today.

For what it’s worth –
Doc Bob, Thank you so much for being an excellent teacher and mentor. I am deeply grateful and you will forever be remembered.

http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/aurora-beacon-news/obituary.aspx?n=robert-miller&pid=182468331&

Zurko’s Haunted Halloween All Night Flea Market and Meeting the Mighty Wez

The Wheaton All Night Flea Markets have become some of my favorite shows. This past weekend was no exception even with the sluggish sales (thanks cubs game).  I had signed on to do this show earlier in the year (probably around June), and it wasn’t till sometime in September did I realize who the media guest was going to be.   Vernon Wells!  I was excited and nervous at the same time.

Day of the show I get there super early, and found out that my booth was right next to his, now I was really nervous, I think it was just the anticipation of meeting him and giving him a print of the drawing I made of his character from Mad Max 2 / The Road Warrior.

Once he got there it was all good, probably one of the best evenings I’ve had in a loong time.

2016 Halloween Art and The Unexpected Consequences of 31 Day Challenges…

First up, is a painting from last years #drawlloween drawing challenge:

Drawlloween Day 25

Original is for sale over at my Etsy Shoppe Along with 11×17 (A3) Prints and 8.5×11 (A4) Prints.

As well as a whole bunch of merchandise over at Society6.

Then there was a last minute inspiration.
Totoro If you haven’t seen ‘My Neighbor Totoro‘, you are seriously missing out.

This original is for sale too, at my Etsy Shoppe.
Along with 11×17(A3) Prints and 8.5×11 (A4) Prints.

I made a few things over at Society 6, mainly I just wanted to have phone cases and tote bags available.

Now starts the mad dash, I have a show next weekend and I would really like to have this done by then.

I love this movie, and it’s sad that Gene Wilder has passed, which is what originally prompted this drawing.

 

Ok, so The Unexpected Consequences of 31 Day Challenges

Last year when I embarked on this journey, I had no idea how much I’d fall in love with these challenges. It’s been a year, and I’ve noticed a LOT of creative growth, not only in my subject matter but my drawing skills have greatly improved along with my creative thinking.  It helps get you out of your own head and onto subject matter you might not have even considered drawing. 
I can’t recommend at least trying 1 31/30 day challenges enough. It’s hard and it’ll seem like a chore, but if you keep with it, you’ll too see improvements in your skills.  It only takes 30 days to create a habit for better or worse.  Hopefully for the better, it’ll get you into some good artistic habits.  And in order to get better at any skill you must constantly practice and challenge yourself, if you’re really serious about improving.
There are quite a few Drawlloween calenders out there, my group is doing a mash up between the two.  Then there’s Jake Parker’s Inktober challenge, doesn’t matter which calendar you do, just go for and stick with it.

Art Adoption Event Ends Sept 17th 2016

I meant to do this last week, but I got caught up in getting those Pre-Ordered Sketchbooks, Sketches & other goodies out in the mail.  Now that’s done it’s time for an end of summer ART ADOPTION EVENT!!!!

I just listed a bunch of really large paintings that I used to have framed and would be displayed behind me at the shows.  I think it’s about times these paintings found loving homes. And for that, I’m offering a 30% discount on all of my original art.

Original Art Sales

 

All Original Artwork and Artist Return Sketch Cards are included in this Adoption Event!

Use Code: LASTFLINGOA to get your 30% Discount! 

 

 Lets not forget about Open Edition Prints!

Use Code: LASTFLINGPRINTS to get your 20% Discount on 11×17 Prints!

Count – I – Con Day 2

I’ve been doing shows since about 2004, and this one… yeah, we’re just going to chalk this one up to ‘a learning experience‘. Total loss..  Lots of hype, but that’s all it was.

So artists if you’re approached to do this show, just beware, it’s not a good show, especially if they want you to pay for your booth.

On to new and better things – Sketchbooks will start going out this week as I get sketches done. Plus I have a few paintings I’d like to get done before I dig in on Halloween work for The Haunted All Night Flea Market : Freddie, Jason & Regan MacNeil (exorcist), also have some cute Halloween type art to do.

Lots to do!

Next show:
Chi-Pop-Con Oct 7th & 8th – in Carol Stream
and
Wheaton Haunted Flea Market – Oct 22nd.

Here’s a little story video I took for my instagram of my friends Kurt Dinse and Rob Hogan.

A video posted by Connie (@connie_faye) on Aug 29, 2016 at 6:52am PDT