I spend most of my time working alone in the studio and being able to connect with the industry I love is always very rewarding. This seems to break down roughly three ways - the public, fellow artists, and industry professionals.
Meeting the end consumers of the products is very gratifying, whether it is the person who suddenly stops in their tracks as they recognise a painting from the game they play, being asked to sign products or selling original artwork. Doing so feels like it completes some sort of cycle of work, that more often feels that it stops when the work is approved by an Art Director. Getting direct feedback from gamers and fantasy artwork fans is both insightful and satisfying.
I was kept very busy sketching.
A pack of Sharpies is essential Con kit!
In this respect I was especially pleased that a public vote placed three of my cover paintings on short lists for Ennies: Neverwinter campaign setting (Best Art Cover), Madness at Gardmore Abbey (Best Adventure) and Lords of Waterdeep (Best RPG Related Product ), with the latter two receiving Silver awards.
The art community is close-knit and very welcoming. I had a great time reconnecting, or meeting afresh, other artists. Not only is this a relaxed way to exchange information about working practises and clients, but is also a great opportunity to see a body of work gathered together in one place - and be suitably awestruck/inspired/covetous.
Wandering the halls I got to spot my art used in interesting promotional ways -
just a shame that bottom cube wouldn't fit in my case.
Meeting up with all the Industry Professionals, be they Art Directors, Play Organisers or Retailers, is also a huge part of being at a show like this. Time spent with them touches upon all the aspects of the show I have already indicated, and a quick chat is worth a dozens of emails.
Yes, the Con is work, be that selling or promoting my art, but it also reminds me what a great, friendly, business gaming is. Over the years, despite the compressed period of time at GenCon, I feel that I have made some good friends. It was fantastic to be able to see you all again, and make some new ones.
Gaming is fun for all ages.
Hopefully see you all again next year.
Lastly a special mention to Achsa Nute for her stand-watching, it was much appreciated - thanks.