Monday, November 7, 2011

Illuxcon 2011 (a photo post)

(Cap.'t Jack- mascot of Thierolfolis' car)

I can honestly say best weekend of my life. When thinking of this whole event my brain fizzles out into a series of happy sound effects so to break it down more logically than that I'll start with the beginning.

On Friday morning my roommates and I woke up at around 5:00/5:30 am. It was a dreary way to start the day but we had to get an early start to get to Altoona by lunch time or so.

Unsurprisingly we got lost once right on the way out of Columbus but after that we were back on track.

The sun eventually made it's appearance in a very diffused grey way....but things soon got more interesting as we got into West Virginia and eventually Pennsylvania (West Virginia = cute towns, PA = hills!)

As we wound up in little townships we became distracted once again by really cool buildings...

And as we got further along the surroundings became more and more interesting. (yes, I'm probably technically photo spamming by this point but.....)

But once we get into the huge rolling hills Altoona is really close.

We wound up in Altoona and checked into our hotel successfully. Then we were off to find the con! We started out ok- we had our directions, knew it should take us about 15 minutes to get there.....but we drove around for a solid hour. There was lots of sarcastic screaming and yelling as we drove around on the insane hills completely losing track of where we were supposed to go but we finally came across some Illuxcon attendees who were kind enough to give us directions. Turned out we'd been vaguely circling it for about half the time we'd been driving.

(note for anyone including ourselves who goes next year- find 7th or 8th street and follow that in directly downtown, find the cathedral and then somewhere to park).

I didn't take any pictures inside the con gallery itself (apologies but I was far too enraptured by all of the amazing artists and their work). However I finally got over my awkward self and talked to several of the artists and every single one of them was extraordinarily nice and helpful. After a afternoon full of amazing people and art we drove back to the hotel and grabbed a bite to eat and then took a much needed nap (most of us were running on 2.5 hrs of sleep....). After that we took off to the artist showcase for up and coming illustrators. There was some pretty fantastic work there as well but I think if I get to work over the next several months I might be able to snatch a table with a decent amount of decent art (we'll see what goes).
But after all of that I have a new goal in mind- not only keep up with class work but to complete a finished illustration every two weeks.
However after the showcase we chatted with several other CCAD students also in attendance for a bit before making our way back to the hotel.

The next day we went to a cemetery we had stumbled across the previous day- it was gorgeous but unfortunately many of the markers were in disrepair. There were also several iron crosses which I have never seen before.

Moving back to the con however we visited several lectures and I took pictures during Petar Meseldžija's demo/lecture. It was fantastically informative and inspirational- couldn't have asked for a better look at his process and work.

We also attended a couple other lectures (Donato Giancola's on painting skin tones and John Harris' oil painting demo) both of which were also very inspired and educational!
Later on we went to the gallery once more for a last round of purchases and chats and also to give this guy to Petar Meseldžija.

He is based off a drawing of a giant by Petar Meseldžija (this one here) and I created him as a thank you gift for Petar as he had been kind enough to review my portfolio over the summer when I had sent him an email. I was beyond grateful and wanted to give something back. I was nervous beyond belief but he absolutely adored the little sculpture and I was blown away by his gratitude! I got a hug, a picture, and an autographed book from Petar himself and was absolutely ecstatic the rest of the night. Needless to say I'm still elated over the event and my whole year was made as a result!

Later that night we attended the Illie awards and a small section of the Art Jam- I was sketching the whole time since my inspiration could no longer be held at bay (will be posting the results later today/tomorrow). But while at the Illie awards it was clear that the whole event (and even art in general) isn't just about the artwork but also, maybe even more-so it's about the community. I cannot even begin to express how thankful I am for being able to participate in such an awesome event with so many exceptional individuals- if you are on the fence at all about going next year don't be. Go. It is definitely worth every penny and I know my roommates and I will be back again in 2012.

All the goodies I came away with this year- clockwise from the top-most piece. (Gary Lippincott, Illuxcon 2011 poster print painted by Petar Meseldžija, Omar Rayyan, Mark Zug, Tyler Jacobson).

And the book I still cannot believe I received from Petar, with autograph! The book is Flesk Prime which takes a lovely in-depth look at five different artist's work and their backgrounds- would definitely recommend picking up a copy if you don't have one.

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