February has come and nearly gone! Almost every day this month has been filled with convention preparation and art making. That’s typical for February. Besides ChattaCon in January, March is when the convention season really begins to ramp up all over the country. Unlike last year, I have two conventions coming up, back to back! I’m currently prepping canvas prints and originals in my actual studio. In my extended studio, I’m working on the display for behind my table, bagging and boarding prints, and boxing up playmats, books and other merch.
My display and inventory has tripled in size over the last three years. That means I’m bringing more to each show, but it also means I’m less worried about not having enough inventory. I will have a dealer table at my next three events. It’s going to be a busy spring!
Here are a few of my vending tips for artists.
- Have a bottle of water handy – When you’re talking to attendees all day long your throat will get dry. It’s not uncommon for artists to lose their voice after a long a weekend.
- Bring a backup battery – For your phone or tablet. Chances are you’ll be using one of these to run credit cards sales.
- Be prepared for anything – That might be easier said than done, but do it. Example: You’re vending at a smaller event. You might be thinking, I don’t need to bring as much inventory to this convention, do I? I don’t really need to bring my big display, do I? I say, whatever the size of the event, you should always be at your best and you never know–that small event could be your best show of the month.
- Bring pens for signing stuff – Sometimes it’s the little things that are the easiest to forget!
- Stock your own kitchen – I usually bring food for breakfast, snacks if I don’t have time for lunch, extra coffee for the room, etc. You save a money this way if you’re only going out to eat once a day.
March 9th and 10th – Atlanta SciFi & Fantasy Expo – Decatur, GA
March 15th-17th – MidSouthCon 37 – Memphis, TN
April 26th – 28th – JordanCon – Atlanta, GA
LibertyCon ran into a serious issue with their hotel. They’ve had to not only change hotels for this year’s convention, but also change dates. The con will now be held June 28-30th at the Marriott and Chattanooga Convention Center.
I’ll return with an update in late March!
I’ve only been home from ChattaCon a few days. Those first two days were spent catching up on emails and sleep. I’m still working my way through my inbox but I’m nearly caught up. One of the challenges of attending conventions is keeping up with obligations that don’t go away just because you’re out of town. As many artists do, I have numerous responsibilities I juggle beyond my own art. Wednesday was posting day for the Bird Whisperer Project. I had to create the banner for the next Changeling Artist Collective auction and begin enticing our artists to participate. Plus, I’m running a Kickstarter for a limited edition enamel pin! Now, I’m taking a moment to look back at what was a fantastic start to the new year.
Last weekend was the 44th ChattaCon in Chattanooga, TN. My friend, artist Charles Urbach was the Artist Guest of Honor, alongside Timothy Zahn, the Author Guest of Honor. Can you guess the theme of this year’s con? That was no moon in the skies over Chattanooga last weekend!
The Read House
Wow… The 1926 building recently underwent extensive restoration (parts are still unfinished). Staying here is an experience whether you’re attending a convention or just getting away for the weekend.
You can read more about the history here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Read_House_Hotel
Every inch of the hotel was stunning, a work of art on its own. Sunday they did have a small hiccup with the elevators, but this only added to the experience. I ended up needing to take stairs down from the hotel room and ended up in an unfinished part of the hotel. It was tempting to explore, but I needed to get to a panel.
I also may or may not have seen a supernatural occurrence…
The Art Show
I won 2 awards this year!! Forest Scouts won 3rd Place for Professional Fantasy and Remnants won 2nd Place for Professional Science Fiction.
Ironically, I wasn’t originally planning to bring Remnants to the Art Show. It ended up being a backup piece when another sold. At the time, I was disappointed. Now? Not so much! If I could have done anything different with this show, it would have been to bring more art. I was caught a bit off guard this winter when I realized how much I’d sold at my last two shows (IlluxCon and DragonCon). Sometimes that’s unavoidable. Selling art is a good thing! I sold a few more pieces at this show, so I have my work cut out for me in February.
Next month I’ll be preparing for two March events. Maybe I’ll share a few photos from the chaos of con prep. I’ll also share some of my personal tips for running a vendor table at a convention, which is what I’ll be doing at both events.
Atlanta SciFi & Fantasy Expo – Decatur, GA
MidSouthCon 37 – Memphis, TN
Convention Schedule Updates
I’ve added two new events since I last posted. I’ll be returning to the IlluxCon Showcase in Reading, PA (October 25th & 26th). Brand new to my calendar is Conjuration, November 15th-17th in Atlanta, GA. I’ll be sharing more on these in the future.
Till next time…
47 FURIOUS TAILS, ISSUE ONE live on KickStarter
January 23rd, 2019 – Writer W.S. Quinton and artist Alexia Veldhuisen brought their vision of the samurai epic to KickStarter in a bold way. This new comic book, 47 Furious Tails Issue One, is the first in a twelve-issue limited series that tells the classic story of the 47 Ronin in brilliantly-illustrated comic book pages.
In issue one, readers are introduced to key actors in this historic legend as Asano Naganori prepares to leave Ako for his fateful, final trip to Edo.
Based on historic and literary accounts, 47 Furious Tails portrays the characters from this classic tale as anthropomorphic animals, making each character beautifully unique.
Issue one immerses the reader in the lives of these famous samurai as they carry on with their lives before the coming of events that would transform them into legends. Witness as Asano Naganori meets with his loyal Oishi Yoshio, and behold the prowess of the elder samurai Horibe Yahei and the young Oishi Chikara as they defend Ako from fierce bandits.
Fantastic art, devotion to duty and fierce samurai action await the reader, in 47 Furious Tails.
Discover 47 Furious Tails, Issue One right here: KickStarter: http://kck.st/2RchurL
Sinopa Publishing LLC is incorporated in the Commonwealth of Kentucky
47 Furious Tails is a trademark of Sinopa Publishing and is Copyright © 2017 by W.S. Quinton
All rights reserved
Tessera Guild Artist Spotlight Presents:
Five Artists You Absolutely NEED to Follow
Rachel Quinlan is an award-winning fantasy artist based in Saint Clair Shores, Michigan. She graduated from Michigan State University in 2001 with a B.F.A. in Studio Art. Working primarily in ink and watercolor, she attempts to emulate techniques that were commonly used by illustrators of the Golden Age. Inspired by nature, folk tales, and mythology, she hopes to create images that are magical, immersive and mysterious.
Some of Rachel’s gorgeous art, including her pieces ‘Wise One’ ‘Tiny Hoard’ ‘Fisherman’ ‘Cailleach’ and ‘Ascend.’
All images – copyright Rachel Quinlan
Rachel will display her wondrous art at several shows in 2019, including:
Motor City Comic Con
May 17 – May 19
October 23 – 27
You NEED to check out more of Rachel’s work right here: www.rachelquinlan.com
And make sure to follow her at Twitter (@RachelQuinlan) Instagram (rachelquinlanart) and Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/
Anthony Ojeda is an illustrator and storyboard artist. He’s originally from New Jersey, but is currently based out of Los Angeles. (He says the winters are brutal in L.A., but we at Tessera Guild don’t quite believe him.)
Besides creating awesome art, Anthony loves to cook, travel, and enjoy fancy whiskey.
Check out these kickass creations by Anthony:
All images copyright Anthony Ojeda
Alexia Veldhuisen was born and raised in Amsterdam. For many years she worked at Gojoker Strips & Comics, a well-known comic shop.
Pursuing her lifelong dream of becoming a comic book artist, Alexia moved to the US, where she graduated from world-renowned comic book program, The Kubert School. Alexia was awarded the Dave Simons Memorial Scholarship for her achievements in inking.
Next to comic art, traditional painting, and digital art, she enjoys coffee, video games and “normal” books.
She dreams of telling her own stories and secretly being a master samurai.
Some of Alexia’s art, including several pieces illustrated for Sinopa Publishing:
All images copyright Alexia Veldhuisen
Presently Alexia is the artist illustrating, coloring, and lettering the comic book ’47 Furious Tails.’ She is also contracted as the editor for the 2019 ‘Sinopa Assemble!’ project, a creator-owned comic book anthology. Alexia has previously contributed art to the RPG adventure book, “Tarot Adventures, Book Two: Comet over Echo Rock” in which she produced truly stunning work.
And definitely at her epic Instagram.
Laura Potter is an abstract artist who paints from pure emotion.
She began painting 10 years ago to help express emotions, and found it to be the perfect way to do that.
When doing commissions, she listens to her clients’ needs carefully to be sure to capture the right image and colors.
Most recently she collaborated with a musician to produce a CD cover for a winter-themed album.
Take in a few of Laura’s amazing and colorful abstract creations:
All images copyright Laura Potter
Corey Carter is the designer and owner of Ocean Inspired Design. Her love for shelling and art led her to open a coastal-themed Etsy shop where fellow ocean lovers can find handcrafted seashell home decor and unique gifts.
When Corey isn’t gluing seashells on everything she can get her hands on, she enjoys writing, reading, wine, imagination, music, and terrible dancing.
Check out Corey’s crazy-awesome shelltastic designs:
All images copyright Corey Schultz Carter
What’s new for Corey in 2019?
She’s going BIG with mirrors! Many of her clients inquire about custom seashell mirrors, and so she’ll be making larger designs than ever before. Seashell mirrors require a lot of time and attention, but the end result is stunning!
Cover your house in shells by visiting OceanInspiredDesign on Etsy: https://www.etsy.com/
And you have simply got to follow Corey’s latest creations on Facebook: https://www.
Are you an artist?
Do you know any awesome artists?
Visit ShadowArtFinds for more colorful art.
Brand new cover art for Coffee Table Philosophy book 101 Questions for Women?
It’s exactly what it sounds like.
101 questions for the ladies…
Imprisoned as a little girl, Lys awakens in the world’s lowest prison. She’s to become a concubine to a faceless noble in a land far from her native home.
But when fate intervenes, she seizes her only chance at freedom. To save her long lost caretaker, she means to cross the wasteland of Vhur, in which the diseased Iritul have hunted humanity near to extinction.
No distance is too great.
She’ll do anything to rescue her friend.
Even if it means a confrontation with the deadliest human alive – The Heart Stopper.
For more ethereal art, visit ShadowArtFinds.
Hello! I know it’s been a while, but I’m back with a new monthly blog series called Con Life. No, I’m not talking about the art of swindling people. Each month I’ll be sharing the in’s and out’s of being a convention artist. I personally characterize a convention artist as someone who has more than five conventions on their calendar for the year. Conventions are a big commitment and sometimes a big investment too. They are hard work, but if you love them like I do, they are worth the effort! For that matter, anything worth your time and passion will be a challenge and involve hard work, determination, and persistence. Before I begin diving into all of that, here’s a look back at where my journey began.
This year will mark 5 years since I began my journey as a convention artist. When I think back, I’m still amazed I was accepted into the DragonCon 2014 Art Show. Since then it’s been like a cascade of dominoes. I followed that with JordanCon in 2015, where I won Judge’s Choice in the Art Show. By 2017, I was hooked on attending conventions as a Professional Artist. That was also the year I won my first award at DragonCon for Best Space Scene. This year I won 3 awards, including Best Space Scene again, and I attended 7 events (plus mail-in to one convention). I’ve branched out to conventions in Tennessee and even one in Pennsylvania.
What is the 2019 forecast?
I have six shows confirmed on my calendar, plus one mail-in convention. There are a couple shows I won’t know about till later, so these numbers could go up. Regardless, it’s going to be a busy year! You can keep track of my convention schedule via my website’s Event Calendar. I’ll be updating it throughout the year.
Right now, I’m preparing for ChattaCon in Chattanooga, TN, January 25-27. What does that entail?
- Deciding on the art I’ll hang in the Art Show
- Print/Frame any new art
- Check my print inventory–restock if needed
- Prepare for any panels I might be hosting
I’ll share some tidbits from the convention, and any new convention news, in my next post in late January.
‘Forever Falling’ – J Edward Neill – 2018
For more art like this, visit Down the Dark Path.
I used to draw. A lot. In high school, I fancied myself an amateur artist, and away I went, sketching girls, monsters, and fantasy settings.
My work was juvenile. Unpracticed. Untrained.
But still a lot of fun.
Most of these are drawings I doodled between 1994-1995. Mostly while in school…while I should’ve been studying. I still have the originals in my house.
Fast forward 20 years…
After a long layoff, during which I played too many video games, airbrushed cheesy T shirts, and pretended to be an author, I started drawing again. But this time I tried to take things more seriously. I wasn’t just avoiding homework or ignoring math class. I began doodling as a passion, not just to pass the time.
I hope you enjoyed this little sketch timeline. I’m trying to get a little better with each piece I create. And a little darker, too.
Catch you later.
For more ethereal art, visit ShadowArtFinds.
To illustrate the pain and suffering of writing blurbs (and query letters…and synopses) I’ve challenged myself to write one-sentence descriptions of ALL my books.
Here we go…
BREAKING UP IS EASY TO DO – 303 STRANGERS TELL CRAZY, FUNNY, AND SCARY STORIES OF THEIR BREAKUPS.
LORDS OF THE BLACK SANDS – FIVE CENTURIES AFTER EARTH SUFFERS A NUCLEAR HOLOCAUST, THREE IMMORTALS VIE FOR CONTROL OF THE PLANET.
101 QUESTIONS FOR HUMANITY – THE ORIGINAL ENTRY IN THE COFFEE TABLE PHILOSOPHY SERIES ASKS SHORT, SIMPLE QUESTIONS WITH THE AIM OF PROVOKING THOUGHTFUL ANSWERS.
DARKNESS BETWEEN THE STARS – WHILE GAZING AT THE NIGHT SKY, THE WORLD’S LONELIEST BOY SEES THE STARS BEGIN TO DISAPPEAR.
SHADOW OF FOREVER – AFTER EARTH’S DESTRUCTION, A BROKEN MAN AND HIS AI COMPANION SEEK VENGEANCE AMONG THE STARS.
EATERS OF THE LIGHT – CALLISTA LIGHTBRINGER, A SENTIENT AI HOUSED IN A HUMAN BODY, JOURNEYS TO A DISTANT GALAXY IN ORDER TO DESTROY A RACE OF STAR-EATING SPACE VAMPIRES.
REALITY IS BEST SERVED WITH RED WINE – WHILE GULPING DOWN VARIOUS BOTTLES OF WINE, AN AUTHOR REMINISCES ON HIS CHILDHOOD, HIS DATING LIFE, AND THE STATE OF MODERN SOCIETY.
LIFE & DARK LIQUOR – WHILE SERVING HIMSELF SCOTCH AND OTHER POTENT COCKTAILS, A WRITER DWELLS IN THE DARKNESS OF HIS BASEMENT AND OPENS UP ABOUT THE SKELETONS IN HIS CLOSET.
101 QUESTIONS FOR SINGLE PARENTS – TWO SINGLE PARENTS POSE SOMETIMES TOUGH/SOMETIMES FUNNY QUESTIONS FOR PARENTS OF ALL AGES TO CONSIDER.
THE ULTIMATE GET TO KNOW SOMEONE QUIZ – A DELIGHTFUL CRASH COURSE OF FUN QUESTIONS TO ASK SPOUSES, SIGNIFICANT OTHERS, FAMILY, AND FRIENDS.
LYS & THE HEART STOPPER – AN IMPRISONED YOUNG GIRL ESCAPES HER BONDAGE. ALONE, SHE JOURNEYS TO FIND THE DEADLIEST PERSON IN THE WORLD, THE HEART-STOPPER, THE ONLY ONE WHO CAN HELP HER EARN HER VENGEANCE.
NADYA THE DEATHLESS – AN IMMORTAL WOMAN DEFIES A POWERFUL ARISTOCRACY AND IGNITES AN ILL-FATED REBELLION AGAINST THE PONTIFF OF VHUR.
HOLLOW EMPIRE – NIGHT OF KNIVES – AFTER A PLAGUE WIPES OUT MOST OF A MEDIEVAL NATION’S POPULATION, FIVE LOST SOULS MUST SURVIVE THE HORRORS THAT FOLLOW.
DOWN THE DARK PATH – BOOK I – A YOUNG WOMAN LEAVES HOME TO MAKE A BETTER LIFE FOR HERSELF, ONLY TO WANDER INTO THE HEART OF A HORRIFIC, WORLD-CONSUMING WAR.
DOWN THE DARK PATH – BOOK II – A DESPERATE WOMAN FOLLOWS HER LOVER INTO A BATTLE HE CAN NEVER HOPE TO WIN.
DOWN THE DARK PATH – BOOK III – AFTER INVADING AND CRUSHING HIS RIVAL’S HOMELAND, A WAR-CRAZED EMPEROR SENDS HIS CRUELEST WARLORD TO BUTCHER THE LAST OF HIS ENEMIES.
DOWN THE DARK PATH – BOOK IV – AS A WORLD-ENDING CONFLICT REACHES ITS CLIMAX, A YOUNG WOMAN MUST CHOOSE WHETHER TO JOIN THE WINNING SIDE AND BECOME QUEEN OR SACRIFICE EVERYTHING TO BETRAY HER KIDNAPPERS.
OLD MAN OF TESSERA – THE LONE SURVIVOR OF A DEADLY STORM STUMBLES INTO THE CITY OF TESSERA, IN WHICH NOTHING AND NO ONE ARE WHAT THEY SEEM.
THE HECATOMB – A GHOULISH MONSTER AND ITS OFFSPRING STALK CITIES AT NIGHT WITH THE AIM OF KILLING EVERY LAST HUMAN IN THE WORLD.
A DOOR NEVER DREAMED OF – IN A DISTANT EARTH FUTURE, TWO YOUNG MEN ON OPPOSITE SIDES OF AN APOCALYPTIC WAR COLLIDE.
101 QUESTIONS FOR WOMEN – WRITTEN WITH WOMEN IN MIND BUT ACCESSIBLE TO EVERYONE, 101 QUESTIONS FOR WOMEN FOCUSES ON LOVE, LUST, AND THE BREAKDOWN OF TRADITIONAL GENDER ROLES.
101 QUESTIONS FOR MEN – GEARED FOR MEN, THIS ENTRY IN THE COFFEE TABLE PHILOSOPHY SERIES ASKS QUESTIONS ABOUT SEX, RELATIONSHIPS, AND MUCH MORE.
101 QUESTIONS FOR MIDNIGHT – THE STAKES ARE RAISED AND THE QUESTIONS DARKER THAN EVER IN THIS FUN, ENGAGING ICE-BREAKER BOOK. PUT IT ON YOUR COFFEE TABLE AND WATCH THE CONVERSATIONS IGNITE!
THE SLEEPERS – A WEALTHY STUDENT IN A FAR-DISTANT FUTURE IS TASKED WITH DESTROYING AN ALIEN WORLD TO SAVE HUMANITY.
LET THE BODIES – A LITTLE GIRL SUFFERS ALONE WHILE EVERYONE IN HER CITY VANISHES.
101 DEEPER, DARKER QUESTIONS FOR HUMANITY – 101 TOUGH & FUN QUESTIONS TO TEST YOUR MORALITY, CHALLENGE YOUR ETHICS, AND ENTERTAIN YOUR FRIENDS.
101 SEX QUESTIONS – LOVERS AND LAUGH-SEEKERS ALIKE WILL FIND ENTERTAINMENT IN THIS SEXY SIDEKICK TO THE COFFEE TABLE PHILOSOPHY SERIES.
DARK MOON DAUGHTER – YOUNG ANDELUSIA ANDERAE IS SEDUCED BY A MESSENGER AND CONVINCED THAT HER BUDDING BLACK MAGIC IS THE KEY TO SAVING THOUSANDS OF LIVES.
NETHER KINGDOM – AT THE WORLD’S EDGE, A SORCERESS AWAKENS TO THE TERRIBLE REALIZATION THAT SHE ALONE CAN STOP AN INVASION OF OTHERWORLDLY HORRORS.
444 QUESTIONS FOR THE UNIVERSE – MEANT TO ENTERTAIN FOR HOURS, 444 QUESTIONS IS A GRAND COMPILATION OF SERIOUS YET FUN QUESTIONS.
THE LITTLE BOOK OF BIG QUESTIONS – SCIENCE AND MORALITY COLLIDE IN THE ULTIMATE CONVERSATION-STARTING BOOK FOR SMART PEOPLE.
101 WAYS TO FIGHT ABOUT POLITICS – LOADED QUESTIONS ABOUT IMMIGRATION, THE PRESIDENCY, AMERICAN CULTURE, AND OTHER HOT-TOPICS. FOR SELF-REFLECTION, READERS CAN TACKLE IT ALONE, BUT THOSE WHO PREFER HEATED DISCUSSIONS WILL WANT TO READ IT IN MIXED COMPANY.
101 QUESTIONS FOR SINGLE PEOPLE – IN THE MODERN WORLD OF SWIPING LEFT AND NEVER LOOKING BACK, 101 QUESTIONS FOR SINGLE PEOPLE ASKS READERS ABOUT EVERY FACET OF LOVE, LUST, AND HUMAN ROMANTIC CONNECTION.
MACHINA OBSCURUM – A COLLECTION OF SMALL SHADOWS – A LEPER DEDICATES HIS LIFE TO SAVING CHILDREN, A WOMAN ACCEPTS THE RAREST OF ALL MURDER CONTRACTS, A GIRL SUFFERS INSANITY IN A SPACE COLONY, A TRAIN-HOPPING DUO CROSSES THROUGH DIMENSIONS, AND MUCH, MUCH MORE…
See? Blurbs are fun, right?
There’s no better way to grab a reader’s attention than through a good, quick description.
…and no easier way to lose it with a bad one.
See you on the flip side.
Trees. Underwater gardens. Deep, dark caves…
All paintings – J Edward Neill – 2018
View more here.
For more fantasy and sci-fi art, go here.
For more art like this, go here.
For more artwork like this, visit here.
The massive epic Down the Dark Path (Book One in the Tyrants of the Dead series) is now available as four mini-novellas.
At 200 pages each, these new editions are lighter and easier to consume than the original epic. Plus they ship with sexy matte black covers, featuring all new art.
Now it’s easier than ever to start your journey Down the Dark Path.