Entries in around the world in a lifetime (30)

Wednesday
Sep122012

Around the World in a Lifetime: RI, Dragon*Con, and my beautiful NYC!

OH HELLO MY FRIENDS. I feel like I haven't had a chance to sit down, especially since the weather is gorgeous again (read: not the blazing daystar that IS BRIGHT AND BURNS ME) and I've been beelining straight for the Prospect Park loop when I'm done with work for the day.  I've been to a few trips lately and seen some lovely things in my own fair city and I'm excited to share ALL THE THINGS with you! <3

I’ve never actually been to Rhode Island before. To be frank, I could really think of a reason one goes to Rhode Island, however, this year my lovely friend Caitiy invited me for a weekend at her beach house in Narragansett (which is the name of the town that I must google every time because that is a lot of consonants and stuff, right?!)

So, I know you’re thinking--Katie, you don’t like ANYTHING about the beach. The sun, the sand, being outside....nature in general...these are all things that I am infamous for staying the hell away from as much as possible. HOWEVER. I do have a slight vitamin D deficiency, so I needed some sun in the very smallest of doses, I like going places I have never been before, and I only get to see Caity (who is from Boston) once or twice a year.  So. ONWARD I TRAILBLAZED.

We went to a farmyard /touristy giftshop wonderland-like place called The Umbrella Factory. LOOK AT ALL THIS NATURE, GUYS.

AND WILDLIFE. HOLY MOLY.

Okay, I don’t know if you guys have ever been face to face with an emu before, but I was shown a picture of one and was very excited to meet one because they sort of look like Lorax trees but alive, and who wouldn’t love that? Instead I found out that they are six feet tall and terrifying and makes a noise that sounds like someone knocking on the gates of hell, and he makes that noise WITHOUT OPENING HIS MOUTH/BEAK CONTRAPTION OH GOD WHAT IS THIS.  It’s like a dinosaur, but not the friendly ones that I think up in my imagination, like one of those scary ones that take off your arm in Jurassic Park.  

Anyway, while I recover, here are some photos of the beach area (not ON the beach just....around it):

But mostly, I just did this:

Which is the biggest reason I wanted to go to the beach anyway--catch up on some reading and RELAX FOR LIKE A MINUTE.  I have more photos of my Narragansett trip up on my flickr, but MOVING ON, WE HAVE A LOT TO TALK ABOUT BECAUSE IT’S TIME FOR THE ANNUAL

DRAGON*CON CON RE-CAP.

As you all well know, in previous years, I get a little too excited when I see my old Atlanta pals and we end up staying out all night, rolling into the con at around 9 o’clock at night, and just drinking ourselves into oblivion but OH HO HO that is in the past because I actually made it to the con and waited in line for panels!

Or maybe it was just one panel. I found out that The Guild was going to have their entire cast present at the con for one panel on Friday, and LO AND BEHOLD, I WENT TO MY FIRST PANEL AT DRAGON*CON.

The cast was incredibly patient and nice and funny, because you know at Q&As people can...BE A LITTLE EXTRA, as my friends and I say cordially.

Anyway, the rest of the time was spent running around the artist alley, drinking (OLD HABITS DIE HARD) and taking four billion pictures, so, here are some of my favorites--as always, you can see the rest up at my flickr.

(NEW PERSONAL HERO = THIS WONDER WOMAN)

(THE DISNEY PRINCESS MEN WERE BACK TROLOLOL)

(SOURCE OF MY CHILDHOOD NIGHTMARES, NO LIES)

(NUMBER ONE BEST THING EVER OF MY LIFE OH GOD YES)

Back in my lovely city, as you know, we have just passed the 11th anniversary of probably one of the most horrific days of my generation, and I won’t say anything more about it here because I really, really get upset about it and the feelings that the day conjures up whilst living in it are, with lack of better words to describe it, intense and overwhelming.  I love this city so, so much, and every day I find something new and interesting to do or see or eat.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art has an exhibit on the rooftop by a sculptor Tomas Saraceno called Cloud City, and I was lucky enough to see it / walk around it / experience it on a beautiful day in Manhattan!

The structure is huge, and I wish I would have known that you had to make a timed reservation to get all up in tharrrr because I would have done so in a heartbeat! Still, it was a thrill just to BEHOLD THIS BEAST in person and to see the amazing view! I have a few more photos of it in my flickr as well.

(Eek! There's me!)

(The view from the rooftop!)

I have a TON of posts queued up to share with you guys, and I can’t wait to start blogging regularly again! Until next time!


Thursday
Jul052012

Back from Los Angeles!!

 

Hello my lovelies! I have returned from a fantastic trip to LA, partly for Anime Expo, the largest anime convention stateside, and partly to see MY HOT SEXY FRIENDS.

AND ALSO TO EAT ALL THE THINGS IN LA.

Anyway, this was my first time with an artist alley table at AX, and so I was a little bit nervous! I haven't had a "newcomer" experience in a long time, and one of this scale--AX draws over 100,000 geeky nerdfaces people a year, and there are over twice as many artists at any convention that I normally attend, so it was JUST A LITTLE BIT DAUNTING.

Photo courtesy of Iris Chen

THERE WERE JUST A FEW PEOPLE THERE. D:

Luckily, as mentioned previously, I had my dear friends with me who were also artists as well. Here is us working really hard at our tables:

Working hard? Or hardly working? You decide.

Paula was my trusty tablemate and tarot card reader extraordinnaire, so, not only did I know my table was in good hands while I was peeing / walking around / buying shit I shouldn't, I also was vaguely aware of my future, as told through the cards.

I had prints for sale as per usual, and took a couple of commissions that all ended up being very inspiring or hilarious (famous one among my friends was Lady Gaga in Samus' Zero Suit destroying Katy Perry in that crazy outfit from the ET video), and I ended up taking a couple home (including that last gem) to give them THE PROPER TREATMENT. I've updated my galleries with SOME THINGS I DID.

If you haven't been following me for very long, I've been venturing out into the world of skate decks, and I brought THIS GUY along with me to AX:

Please excuse this photo of me testing the rig at my table in my horrifically unkept room.

Because, like I mentioned, this was my first BRAND NEW ARTIST ALLEY experience in a long, long time, as well as my first con on the west coast, I had to pack and plan VERY VERY CAREFULLY. I have texts to prove it that I was planning ahead of time and not the night before as usual. GREAT SUCCESS. I even had these fancy business cards made:

 

 

only to find out the day before that THE SKATEBOARD DOES NOT FIT INTO MY SUITCASE. And it wasn't off by like, an inch or something--it was off by SEVERAL INCHES.

ARGH.

After digging around for a millenium in my closet, i found a duffell bag that could KIND of work and I shoved all my clothes around it to protect it, and it was DEFINITELY not up to carry-on standards, but somehow I got that thing on the plane and safetly to LA.  Unfortunately, that picture of it is the only one I have of it because I'm a moron and always forget to take photos when probably necessary.

Speaking of this problem, I ended up not taking that many photos at the con--I think I was caught up IN THE HEAT OF THE MOMENT (read: forgot). The only two pictures I took of costumes were, of course, Legend of Korra related:

So, both these lovely couples were HILARIOUS and assumed what is arguably the best poses for my pictures. My dear friend and forever table neighbor Annie brought her husband to the convention, who had a legit-for-reals camera that took legit-for-reals-and-better-than-an-iphone photos that perhaps I will be able to share later on.

What I DID remember to take pictures of much to Annie and my delight was ALL THE FOOD WE ATE.

AND WE ATE ALL OF IT:  

I also ate about 400 other things, but this is the delicious abridged version.

So, because I ended up selling fairly well, and also because I have a desperate need for material things when I am in LA for some reason, including the skate deck (which sold in the last fifteen minutes of the con THANK YOU TO JUSTIN WHO SO KINDLY BOUGHT MY SKATE DECK SO I DIDN'T HAVE TO HAVE AN AWKWARD CARRY ON ITEM <3 <3 <3), I was instructed that it was an appropriate time to...as Aziz Ansari on Parks & Rec says...

To TREAT YOSELF.

Last year, I had a mini love affair with Apple 8, my favorite booth at AX. SOMETIMES I JUST NEED ALL THE THINGS. This year, however, I needed to curb my spending because of a certain elderly pit bull pee machine and so I only picked up a couple of items from the booth this year, including this REALLY CUTE RING.

 

 

AND ALSO THIS ADORABLE METAL GUITAR LOCKET. Sarah from Apple 8 told me to NOT PUT DRUGS IN THERE, ONLY VITAMINS. <3 <3 <3

I thought my spending would be curbed, but then I was accosted by a necklace at a boutique in Little Tokyo:

 

And before I could calm down, cupid's arrow STABBED ME IN THE EFFING GUT WITH THIS BEAUTY:

UMMMMMM WHITE WOVEN LEATHER ROSE GOLD DETAILING AND SPIKED PANELING, ARE YOU EFFING KIDDING ME, GET ON MY SHOULDER RIGHT NOW, BAG.

Look, I'm not even a huge handbag person. I have like, 2, and one has holes on the bottom of it and the other is mustard yellow on one side and a puke green on the other side that rubs against all my wannabe goth black clothes. But, I had a SOMEWHAT VISCERAL REACTION TO THIS BAG.

JUST IN CASE YOU DON'T UNDERSTAND:

Lord.

Have.

Mercy.

I sort of love this bag.

Anyway, while I was out in LA, I got to see one of my vury vury best friends Iris, who I GREATLY MISS ever since she moved out west a year ago to work for Sony as well as basically managing the h.naoto San Francisco store. Iris was working the h.naoto booth at AX, but took some time to hang out after hours on Saturday and Sunday before she had to drive back to the SF area. ;________; I NEVER HAVE ENOUGH TIME WITH YOU, BB!!

But, we did however, have time for a PARKING LOT PHOTOSHOOT:

Photo courtesy of Iris Chen

Photo courtesy of Iris Chen

When we took these, I realized that we have all known each other for the better part of almost a decade and have nearly zero pictures to show for it. REMEDYING THIS RIGHT NOW. It's these lovelies and you lovlies that brought me to where I am right now, who believed in me from the very beginning. So, you can see why these few hours once or twice of year with my con-friends are so important to me, and probably why I'll keep doing cons in general--I get to see these faithful friends. Guys, I was a WRITER or something in college. I never took an art class until I was, like, almost 24 years old.  It really was artist alleys at conventions that gave me the confidence to even TRY to make art my career, and now I'm doing it, and I've got the nerd in me and you to thank for it.

/end rambling mushy mush

Well, I think I've sufficiently rambled on long enough about my new bag, so another update will be forthcoming--thanks for reading!!  And thank you to all the new people who found their way over to this blog / site from AX! Definitely keep in touch with me!!  I'm on EVERY SOCAL NETWORKING SITE EVER IN EXISTENCE. You can always drop me a line through any one of those sites, or at my email katie@seekatiedraw.com. 

Kisses and squishes!

 

Thursday
Jun282012

LOOK OUT, L.A. HEER I COMEEE

QUICKLY QUICKLY, HELLO HELLO.

THIS WEEKEND I will be in Los Angeles for Anime Expo! I am in the artist alley this year and can be found at table G6, JUST LIKE IN THE AGONIZINGLY CATCHY AND OBNOXIOUS SONG.

 

So, get slizzered (or whatever) like a G6 over in the artist alley with me--I'll have prints for sale as well as taking commissions until they fill up. I have never sold at Expo before, so I am A LITTLE TERRIFIED VERY EXCITED, and I can't wait to see y'all there!

 

Monday
Sep052011

Dragon*Con 2011

You're standing on my neck.

I have barely returned home from Dragon*Con in Atlanta, Georgia! It was awesome to be back in Atlanta for a weekend that I hardly remember.  I saw a bunch of friends--although I missed a whole lot because I'm apparently abysmal at rendevousing properly--and made a few new ones named Jameson and Captain Morgan.  Mostly I putzed around like an excited five-year old with my friends Alex and Sara, who are newly engaged and were stoked to nerd out with me at the con for a couple of nights. This year, we decided to go in costume--Sara and I were Daria and Jane (as pictured above), and Alex and his friend were Beavis and Butthead, making our Mike Judge group complete (and WAY WAY AWESOME).

On Saturday, I donned the HOTTEST (no, really, long hair AND a wig AND a fleece hat in Atlanta summer = NOT THE BEST COSTUME IDEA, KATIE) costume on the planet as Fionna from the genderbent Adventure Time episode airing TONIGHT.

A LITTLE RED-FACED, NO DOUBT.

Dragon*Con is a total party con for me, and although I know I probably should have made the rounds to the dealer's room, or comic alley, or ... anything ... I ended up just hanging out with friends and the Hyatt patio rum buckets, which is sort of all I wanted to do anyway.

I think the weekend could be summed up in this quote from Alex:

"Alright, we got the beers? We got our badges? We got Katie? I think that's everything."

I'm in a bit of recovery, so I'll just give you an onslaught of photos from the weekend--please also feel free to check out the rest on my flickr page as always.  Have a great Labor Day holiday, everyone!!



Thursday
Jul072011

AX Artist Alley Recs Rundown!

My voice is still totally shot, but I'm otherwise recovered from my time travels to California! Usually when I'm tabling at a comic con, I don't have time to look around the alley at the work of my peers--to be honest, it's usually a little intimidating, so I think I subconscously stick to my territory.  However, no matter at AX--I wasn't tied down to a table, so I was free to peruse.  And by peruse, I mean spend almost all day Saturday from noon to six (with a brief bubble tea interlude) in the artist alley.  BUYING MORE THINGS.

Sometimes my artist alley friends and I muse about the times of old, when booths/tables were FREE, before there was controversy of mass marketing, before a lot of drama llama.  It's definitely not the same as it used to be--it is far, far more competitive, and the cost having and manning that six to eight foot space has inflated exponentially.  Something that has happened, which I don't like at all, is that these high costs mean high risk, and so amatuer or new artists are discouraged from the get-go to submit for table space.  My first con as an artist was actually Otakon, the largest anime con on the east coast.  I WAS A YOUNG, AMBITIOUS ONE, YES??  I had something unheard of these days, maybe SIX prints in total, but I managed to make a pretty penny off of those six (now highly embarrassing) prints.  This was also when most art was done traditionally as opposed to digitally--I didn't even know then how to use Photoshop other than to adjust the brightness and contrast of my poorly scanned in drawings.

If I was faced with the kind of competition and talent and experience that has flooded the artist alley these days, I doubt I would even have signed up!  Occasionally, I'll have a young artist come up to my booth and ask about tabling at comic cons, and how hard is it? and will I make a profit? and am I good enough?  These are all tough questions--there is no answer other than to jump right in.  I completely credit tabling at conventions to why I do art for a living now--it gave me the confidence I needed to realize that yes!  Artists can make money!  Doing the thing they like to do!  Exclamation point!  This concept was so foreign to me, oh writing major in college working at a coffee shop. I also credit conventions to how I overcame some biting introversion, learning how to promote and market myself, as well as leveling up my skills as an artist.  I've come a long way in the 7 or 8 years (HOLY MACARONI) that I have been running the convention circuit, and I've made some of the dearest friendships I've come to treasure because of my involvement in the artist alley.

SO.  Some of the artists in this post are first time con-goers, which encourages me because THEY ARE ALL BADASS IN THEIR OWN WAY.  Without further ado:

 

Connie Chang's work is so adorable! She mentioned that she was an art student (OH THE DAYS OF YORE), so she can only keep improving from hereon out.  The totem poles she had were unique--I was immediately drawn to it's paper-cut feel!  I had to have the Totoro and Mononoke-hime ones!

Omocat was Connie's table neighbor at AX. CAN YOU SEE WHY I WAS FIXATED AT THIS TABLE.  She also has a series of Gurren Lagann prints that mix some amazing colors with fun and clever type.  I would have totally snagged those up too if I didn't have 23098420398423 lbs of stuff to carry back to New York!  TIME FOR AN E-MAIL INQUIRY.  As mentioned previous, her color sense is keen and fresh and fun, and I love the way she incorporates type!  I picked up a Miyazaki and the above Adventure Time piece from her!

 

Chiyo and Ang's table was full of breathtaking painterly work--the environmental work alone had me stopping to take a closer look.  OF COURSE THE PIECE I TOOK HOME WITH ME WAS PURELY TO FUEL MY NERDDOM.  Please be sure to look at both of their galleries!  Oh, if only I had a compactable suitcase that somehow kept large posters flat...

Karen Granados, where have you been all my life!? Unffff adorable, painstakingly perfect papercraft.  From viewing her tumblr, she is an impressive character and concept artist, with a keen point of view.  I was immediately glued to her paper cut work, obviously.  LOOKS LIKE A COMMISSION IS IN ORDER!!

Shing of sawdustbear.com.  This is where my illustrator nerd heart hit the motherlode.  I love Shing's work so much it can only be described through the things she was selling: notecards of love and affection (my fave is "damn you're so awesome!"which you can hopefully make out in the picture at the very top of this post), a small book containing pages from her all sculpted webcomic Marlowe the Monster, and three postcards all containing hand drawn sea creatures.  It was impossible for me to say no.  I was at this table for a very long time.  Shing was nice enough to humor me with answers to my maniacal questions and constant praise that overflowed from my mouth like garbled lunacy.  Please subscribe to her webcomic Marlowe--her creativity and humor are so refreshing.  I am a big, big fan!

Unfortunately, all these artists are west coast ladies, so it is uncertain when I'll be back to see their work in person again!  Fortunately, I have four huge blank walls of my bedroom (aka The Nerd Lair) that need covering!  I hope you all have a chance to check out their work and to follow along with their progress like I'll be doing!

Next post--more swag from AX! I might have spent...all my money...