“See you in the next cartoon.” That’s what a friend of mine said as he was about to go and live in Australia several years ago and I’ve always thought that’s a whole lot better than goodbye. It’s popped into my mind again these last few weeks as my wife, Jo and myself have taken our first tentative steps into the world of comic cons. We’d been thinking for a while it could be a good way to get my illustrative work out there and actually get talking face to face to other Hallowe’en lovers like ourselves. At the very least, it would be fun, right?
We dipped our toes in the water in the Enniskillen Comic Fest which friends of ours were organising and I painted set pieces for. That led on to Q-Con in Belfast and finally, MCM Comic Con last weekend in Dublin.
Over the three events we’ve learned a lot about how to display our wares and how to show confidence in my work without coming across as egotistical. It’s a fine line which I have a tendency to stay well behind but I’ve learned being shy will get you exactly nowhere so you have to find that balance.
Another thing we’ve learned is that there are a LOT of people out there, just like ourselves, who at first glance may seen relatively “normal” but when you dig a little deeper, have a jack O’ lantern lighting up their hearts. This is a great discovery! Sometimes I can be almost apologetic about my illustrative work and just show people my “serious” paintings but these events have stripped all that silliness away. Seeing faces light up when they flick through my crows and pumpkins and dancing denizens of the dark and really GET my Hollowhill All-stars Monster’s Sports Academy (I love that mouthful) T-shirts when I tell them the story behind them has given me a real buzz and a renewed energy to get stuff done.
I’m at my happiest with a paintbrush in my hand and a canvas full of possibilities in front of me and that’s exactly how I feel right now. Let’s see what reveals itself!