Dragon Con 2017 Recap

Dragon Con always feels a bit like coming home. Even when the numbers of attendees keep going up and up, even when more hotels are added, and even when we take over more and more of downtown, there is just something about Dragon Con that makes it feel different. Long before Georgia became Hollywood South, this was the place for those actors on the shows and movies we all loved would come by for a visit. They would gather us all around and tell their stories to all who would listen.

And for a little while, the gulf between our lives and their lives disappeared.

I hadn’t thought about it much before Friday night, but I’ve been coming to Dragon Con since 1993 when Chad Shonk’s father dropped us off at the entrance to the hotel and we made our way to see Todd McFarlane.

I still have my signed Amazing Spider-Man 300.

It was my first convention. Heck, it was pretty much my first idea that such things even existed. You mean creators of the Funny Books I love to read are coming to my town? I’m sold.

About 10 years ago I convinced my wife to come to Dragon Con for a day. Serenity either had just come out or was coming out, so virtually the entire cast was going to be there. She went, had a great time, and while it took a couple of years before she would be a regular, it has become our little vacation in the city for Labor Day Weekend.

2017

My big take aways for this year were:

  • Standing in lines is not a lot of fun.
  • Standing in lines and not getting into the panel you wanted is really no fun.
  • Being in the overflow room for a panel and then having the feed cut out is just right out.
  • Avoid the dealer’s room on Saturday if at all possible.
  • There are a lot of people in Downtown Atlanta on Labor Day weekend!
  • It never gets old to see the people coming in for the Chic-fil-a Kickoff Classic (college football game for those who don’t know) have confused looks on their faces at the various costumes running around.
  • The costumes continue to impress me year after year. I stand in awe to those people’s dedication to their craft.
  • I love listening to the actors when they are passionate about their work.
  • Catching up with friends might be the single best part.

This year took a different turn when the day before we were to go downtown, Courtney found a hotel room available within 2 blocks of the Hyatt. And we could get it for only Friday and Saturday night. Since we normally don’t go down until Friday and almost never go on Monday, this worked out perfectly.

Throughout the course of the weekend, we’re always amazed at the level of costumes and the creativity everyone has. Whether it is the Zoltar machine from the movie BIG to a robot controlled Stewie from Family Guy, people continue to push the boundaries for the next cool thing. Which is awesome to see, even if I don’t envy the amount of time it might take them to create.

Friday

Somehow on Friday morning, even after getting there at 9:30 for a 10:00 panel, we were forced to the overflow for Nathan Fillion. No biggie. He’s honestly entertaining enough that after a few minutes I mostly forgot he wasn’t in the room… until the Feed cut out for about 10 minutes, and then when they got the audio back, it was probably another 5 before we got the visual. Not anything crushing, but not the way we want to start things off. After seeing him, I realized we’re not doing our due diligence having not seen Con Men (though it was on this weekend, so I have them recorded).

After an aborted attempt to see Wallace Shawn (Inconceivable!) and a decision not to try to fight my way into the Stan Lee panel (they started lining up 2+ hours early), we decided to venture over to the dealer’s room in an attempt to see the wares before the craziness of the weekend really kicked into gear. Last year there was a line to get in by about 2:30, so we made sure we showed up closer to when it opened at 1.

Here’s the thing about the Dealer’s room that I’ll never understand: why is it people stand in the middle of the aisles and talk to each other? I don’t mean the “hey, let’s go this way” but full conversations. Given how packed the room gets, I’d think you’d want to do such things in an area where you wouldn’t be obstructing traffic.

While Friday’s trip was more about identifying potential buys on Sunday, Egg had put me on the look out for Kevin Hearne‘s Iron Druid Chronicles which my wife pointed out after about 2 minutes in the room. I ended up speaking with Kevin for a few minutes and grabbed a couple of copies of the comic.

The final panel attempt on Friday was one for the Gilmore Girls featuring Sean Gunn. Apparently, a room which holds 350 people is not enough by about 50 people and superfan that my wife is – was shut out.

I feel like this is the second time we’ve missed out on a Gilmore Girls/Sean Gunn panel… but maybe it’s just a false feeling of Deja vu?

We dropped in on TesseraGuild’s own Amanda Makepeace (and daughter) who was busy holding down her table in the art area. Prints were flying off her table and, spoiler alert, she ended up winning the “Best Space Scene” at the Dragon Con Art Show!

War for Jupiter

Saturday

Waking up on Saturday with an extra hour of sleep (due to not having to drive into downtown) was nice. I also realized that the 10 AM panels don’t necessarily fill up (unless you’re Nathan Fillion, I guess). There was no line, the Con could let you right into the room.

John Cusack was interesting as he’d never been to Dragon Con before, but he also wasn’t there to actively promote a project. So it really became a series of questions from the audience about all of his movies. I wasn’t sure if he just wasn’t as comfortable in such a setting or what. You could tell when he was really engaged with a question based solely on the length of his responses. Possibly because he’d answered the question a million time previously, some of his answers ended up being slightly longer Yes/No responses.

Though, I don’t want it to seem like it was a bad panel, far from it. Just that many times on these type question/answer sessions the worry is always “how many questions can we get them to answer?” and this was a bit more like “I’m going to get through all the questions.”

The highlight question was:

“Do you ever get stopped in real life by someone who wants 2 dollars?”

A laugh. “Every day… every day.”

The Flash panel reminded me that it is beyond cool that John Wesley Shipp is a part of the cast. To have that link to the old show and to see how much he respects these actors and the work they put in… it’s amazing. Danielle Panabaker was definitely the star of the panel as the majority of the questions went to her (many with the questions centered around her Killer Frost alter-ego).

The highlight of the evening was supposed to be The Barrowman Show. As soon as we saw such a thing existed we were set ongoing. Apparently, everyone else at Dragon Con had the same idea and it filled up completely. I can only imagine the craziness that went on behind closed doors.

Sunday

On Sunday, we began with another DC Universe panel: Arrow.

One thing about the highly entertaining Arrow panel or as it came to be called: Game of Arrow. Thea (Willa Holland) was/is clearly obsessed with the show. She had theories, she had thoughts about the end of the season. It was hilarious how she’d get going on a rant before the moderator tried to steer things back to Arrow. And then one of the others would push her to keep talking about it.

She says she wants to guest on a podcast to talk about it. I think you could do far worse than her. Plus she clearly knows her stuff. At the very least she’d bring a passion about the show!

Then it was onto a fan run panel about LEGION. If you haven’t seen the show, you can check out my review here. Lots of theories and thoughts were thrown out. I even supplied my own thoughts about the show – how maybe the reason we’re not sure of when exactly takes place is that just like any memories you have – we’re always wrong about when they take place. I mean, how many times have you thought a movie was only 5 years old when it came out over a decade ago?

In what has become a staple at Dragon Con over the last few years, I end up closing out things in the Venture Bros panel. Regardless of whether the show has a season ongoing or about to come out or nowhere near debuting… things are going to be funny and weird. This year the panel was made up of many of the voices from the show (including Dr. Venture and Wide Whale). Sadly, Doc Hammer and Jackson Public weren’t able to be there – apparently hard at work on the next season!

So I suppose I forgive them.

They showed off a book of artwork, sketches, character designs, etc. coming out in late Fall from Dark Horse which looked very cool (and something I need to add to the old wishlist). The trailer is here.

We capped off the evening with dinner with a couple of friends where we occupied that poor server’s table for far too long, but it had been far too long since we’d seen John and Jeane, so we didn’t have much of a choice!

I also attended a writing workshop session (as well as another writing related panel – at this point I couldn’t tell you what days they were actually held!) run by Michael Stackpole: 21 Days to a Novel. I still need to transcribe my notes, but I’m interested in giving the technique a proper try on my next project.

As we made our drive back, a little of the con depression began to creep in, but considering my month of Gen Con and then this convention that might have been exhaustion more than anything else.

***

John McGuire

John McGuire is the creator/author of the steampunk comic The Gilded Age. Want to read the first issue for free? Click here! Already read it and eager for more?

Click here to join John’s mailing list to learn about the upcoming The Gilded Age Kickstarter.

His prose appears in The Dark That FollowsTheft & TherapyThere’s Something About MacHollow EmpireBeyond the Gate, and Machina Obscurum – A Collection of Small Shadows.

He can also be found at www.johnrmcguire.com.

 

Signs and Symbols: the Last Painting of 2015

Through a forest of ash and mist he journeys to seek the truth.

Signs and Symbols by Amanda Makepeace

Ever since I completed Renascentia in January of this year, I’ve been mulling over the next step. For the first time in several years I felt as if I’d tapped into something inside me–something powerful. I knew it was the beginning of a new series of paintings, but my vision was still incomplete. It took most of this year for me to unravel the ideas behind what I’m now calling Earth Rituals. I’m not ready to reveal all, but simply put it’s a series of two types of paintings: 1. People communing with the Earth (like Renascentia) and 2. People communing with animals (like Signs and Symbols above). Later next month, I’ll delve deeper into how the idea for Earth Rituals developed. For now, I’ll say that the symbolism in the paintings is sometimes based in mythology and old religions; while other times, it may be a blending or creation of my own.

Stone EyeIn Signs and Symbols, a young man has entered a dream forest seeking the answer to a question. I leave the question up to you. He seeks a crow in the forest that will give him his answer.

What is a dream forest? – It’s a place where this world and the unseen one coexist.

What is on his hands/arms? – It’s a mixture of charcoal, earth and water. The symbol was drawn on top of the paint with talc.

What is that symbol? What does it mean? – The symbol comes from a stone I have in my personal collection. It’s one of my favorites and reminds me of an eye. In the painting, it allow’s the young man to see the spirit crow in the dream forest and to communicate with her.

What do you think he’s asking her?

If you’re going to JordanCon 2016 you’ll be able to see a framed, one of a kind embellished print in the art show! I should also have limited edition prints available in my shop in a few weeks.

amandamakepeace.com

Whatnot Strikes Again

Whatnot is code for Amanda doesn’t have a blog post today. It’s not necessarily a bad thing. Whatnot usually means I’m busy in the studio and that’s a good thing! Here’s a run down of everything keeping me busy inside and outside the studio.

1. Preparing for the Jordan Con Art Show probably counts for at least three slots on this list. I’ll be displaying a mix of original works and matted prints. Yesterday I ordered a bunch of prints for their Print Shop. I’m working on three originals that I want to take with me next month. Here’s a peek at one I finished yesterday–Heart of the Forest in a beautiful frame.

Heart of the Forest Framed

2. There are 12 days left in my Kickstarter campaign for Daydreams and Wanderings. I’ve promoted more online this month than I have for my Etsy shop in the last 6 months. At this point I feel like I’m spamming everyone, but my artists friends say keep doing it! I’m so close at this point. There are 12 days left and I’m 91% funded. I’m terrified I won’t reach my goal.

3. Drusilla. She’s nearly 11 months old now and still a handful. Lately she’s become obsessed with carrots. I kid you not. I can’t open the veggie drawer in the fridge without her getting excited. She loves playing with the end of a baby carrot. She carries it all over the house, batting and playing. She also likes to hide them in boots, pockets and plastic bags. Carrot time is usually in the evenings so I can keep her occupied while we eat dinner. The rest of the day is a mixed bag. Earlier this week I caught her gnawing on Loki’s shoulder. She acts out when she wants attention or food. Here she is looking innocent. Don’t be fooled.

Drusilla and (Cardboard) Loki

4. I’m also in the early stages of a new commission for a book cover. That’s all I can say about that. 😉

5. I’ve also been working on various drawings, sketches and ideas for paintings to come. Some are ideas I’m returning to and rethinking. This has led to me really evaluate my art–where I want to go and what I want to paint. Many of the pieces I’ve created in the last two years were part of a learning journey, but though I tried to branch out and create specific types of fantasy art for my portfolio I kept being pulled to what moves me–the face. I’m not certain where I’m going, but I know it’s no use to fight the current.

Peek at a new drawing you'll see in my sketchbook

6. Reciprocal. It’s a funny story. Over the holidays I met a fiber artist at a UGA alumni event. She talked me into joining OCAF, which is less than a mile from my house. OCAF – Oconee Cultural Arts Foundation – is an arts organization located in downtown Watkinsville, GA. Oconee County is a rural county. I was hesitant to join because I didn’t think my art would be a good fit. I still believe that. Soon after joining there was a call for entries for a juried exhibit at UNG (University of North Georgia) only for OCAF members. There was no entry fee, so I said, what the hell. I entered my painting Electryone. Sixty artists entered and only 15 were selected, including me! I was blown away. The exhibit is on display till April 2nd. Check it out if you’re in the area, it’s only 15 minutes from Athens.

Opening Night of Reciprocal at UNG

7. Women in Fantastical Art. I recently joined a secret group on Facebook for Women in Fantasy Illustration. It goes on a short list of the best things I’ve done. I needed this group and I have a feeling the benefits will continue to follow in the months and I hope years to come. I’ve made new friends and I’ve touched base with another artist in the Jordan Con Art Show. Yay! I’ve gained support that I honestly can’t get from anyone else but artists who can relate. I’ve gained knowledge! And I’ve been included in an amazing gallery, the one I linked to at the start–Women in Fantastical Art:

The best contemporary female illustrators & concept artists working in fantasy & science fiction

Wow… Yeah. My art is included in this new website built by Leesha Hannigan. To top things off, 24 hours after we made our debut to the world, the web gallery was featured on Tor.com. Wowsers!!

Women in Fantastical Art

I could probably add a few more things to this Whatnot post, but I think I’ll stop here. March has been an incredible month. INCREDIBLE. I really I hope I haven’t jinxed April…

Painting, Prepping and Promoting

Those three words sum up life in my studio right now. If I thought I was busy last year, this year is blowing 2014 out of the water. Here’s a snapshot of my creative life this month.

Painting:

I’m working on three pieces. They are in various stages of completion and they will all be finished before the end of the month.

Prepping:

Jordan Con 2015 is next month! I’m in the Art Show this year. Need I say more? Prepping paintings. Prepping prints. Prepping business cards.

I’m also preparing to apply to the Dragon Con Art Show again this year.

Promoting:

Two big events this month!

Reciprocal – a juried exhibit at the University of North Georgia Art Gallery (Oconee). Opening reception is tonight. I will be there!

Reciprocal at UNG

 

Daydreams & Wanderings Kickstarter – You all know about this right? I’m 70% of the way to my goal. Unlike other crowdfunding sites, if I don’t reach my goal, the kickstarter fails and I don’t get any of the funds raised. So help me reach 100% by sharing my campaign with your friends and family!

http://kck.st/1AOtpk6

Daydreams and Wanderings

After months of tedious, but also fun work, I’m pleased to announce the pages for my first sketchbook volume, Daydreams & Wanderings, are finished and ready for the printer! I’m running a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for printing. Supporters of the campaign have the opportunity to purchase the book at a special KS only price of $15. Essentially, you’re pre-ordering the book at a sale price! Outside of Kickstarter the book will be $20, available from my online shop and conventions.

Kickstarter Only Price

This is only one of the KS Reward Levels. There are several, including budget levels of $5 and $10. Levels $25 and up include a sketch on the inside title page. I hope you’ll help me make this dream a reality!

http://kck.st/1AOtpk6

Making a Book

I’m making a book. This shouldn’t be confused with writing a book. However, whether you’re writing or making, it’s a monumental project. For the last several months I’ve been working on something called a sketchbook. It’s a collection of sketches from the past few years and it’s close to making its debut.

Daydreams & Wanderings Cover

Daydreams & Wanderings Cover

Assuming everything goes as planned, I will be launching a Kickstarter campaign the first week of March. The goal of the campaign is to raise funds for the printing of my book, Daydreams & Wanderings. Here’s two key facts about the campaign and the books:

1. There will be a special Kickstarter price for the sketchbook. Normally, the sketchbook will cost $20, but if you buy it through the campaign it will be $15.

2. There will also be an option to buy the book with a sketch drawn on the inside cover page for $25. This will only be available through the Kickstarter campaign.

My hope is to print 200 books. Here are some facts about the book and a few sample pages too!

  • The book measures 6×9 inches and contains 40 pages of blood, sweat, and tears cool art.
  • It’s a perfect bound book, all color pages.
  • Each book will be autographed, whether bought through the campaign or later from my shop.
  • I like to think of the book like a field guide to my creative passions.
The pages below are still a work in progress.

I hope you’ll help me make this small dream a reality!

Follow me on Facebook and you’ll be the first to know when my Kickstarter campaign goes live.

Vote in the Infected by Art Volume 3 Contest

It’s time to vote in the Infected by Art Volume 3 Contest! I went back and forth on whether or not I should enter this contest, but in the end I decided, what the hell. What could it hurt? I might be a little bummed if I don’t make the cut, but that will last about a minute and then I’ll be back to painting. There’s always next year. But it’s one of those situations where I decided I need to stop putting things off. I need to stop assuming I’m not ready and just take a chance. Below are there simple steps to take to vote for my entry, Her Domain II.

Step 1: Signup to vote at: http://www.infectedbyart.com/signup.asp

Signup to Vote

Step 2: Follow this link to my entry: http://www.infectedbyart.com/contestgallery.asp?cid=21&gid=9354

My Entry

Step 3: Click on my entry and then click on the green Vote button. That’s it! Voting ends Dec 9th. That’s in three days!

Her Domain II by Amanda Makepeace

 

Thank you!!

amandamakepeace.com

One Fantastic Week

One Fantastic Week

 

I’ve been featured this week on One Fantastic Week, a weekly web show run by Sam Flegal and Pete Mohrbacher. Each week, Sam and Pete (and a guest artist) talk about life as a self-employed artist, illustration, game art, conventions and more. Once a month they interview one of their supporters, old school, with a post on their website.

Check out my interview on 1FW!

A Jumble of Bones

skelly 

Dear Santa,

I’ve been a lousy kid. I haven’t been particularly good this year. Or productive. Or nice. I’d apologize, but I wouldn’t really mean it.

Can I have a few presents anyway? Pretty please?

This week’s entry is a mixed bag (of bones.) I’m starting if off with my private Christmas list. Mind you, I’m not actually expecting Santa to bring me any of this stuff. But perhaps if I write it down, you’ll read it and commiserate that you’re probably not getting anything cool either:

My list:

XBox 360 Version of Dragon Age: Inquisition (Origins rocked. The first sequel sucked. I wouldn’t have time to play it anyway. But hell…)

Several free nights at the movies. So I can see Nightcrawler, Horrible Bosses 2, Gone Girl, St. Vincent, and yes…even Mockingjay.

A new pair of MMA gloves. Because my old pair is ruined…and even writers need to beat the bejeezus out of things now and then.

 

Moving right along…

I’ve decided to do a little experiment with one of my short stories.  As of today, my popular short Old Man of Tessera goes up on Smashwords with a ‘pay whatever you like’ option. That means if you want to pay $0.00, you can pay $0.00, and I’m fine with it. If you feel like a few thousand words is worth $1.63, boom! you can pay exactly $1.63. It’s a neat-o option. Frankly I don’t care if I sell five hundred copies at $0.01. At this point, it’s all about getting my words in your face.

oldmantesseracover1sm

Click me. Buy me. $0.01 or $100,000.00…it’s your call.

Speaking of books…

In the last week, the cover art for Nether Kingdom – final book in the Tyrants of the Dead series – arrived on my doorstep. Graven out of the shadows by resident artist Amanda Makepeace, it’s the penultimate piece for the conclusion of my dark fantasy trilogy. I’ve showed fragments of it here and there already, and while I’m not yet prepared for the big reveal, I will offer a new glimpse today. That, and the promise of this cover being pretty much everything my dark little heart desires.

Ur Hand

The Ur…clutching hearts and seizing dreams since humanity dared its first breath.

The Ur appear throughout the Tyrants’ series (as well as in numerous other creative iterations of mine.) In the upcoming Nether Kingdom, they’ll make a final move to rebuild their haunted civilization atop the ruin of mankind. Someday I’ll write a short explaining how I dreamed the Ur in the first place. In the meantime, I can hardly wait to finish NK and get it out for everyone to see. It’ll be at least five minutes of bliss before I sit right back down and begin working on their origin story – Darkness Between the Stars.

Thus, as hoped for, the Jumble of Bones comes to an end.

Catch you later,

J Edward Neill

Author of the Tyrants of the Dead dark fantasy trilogy

Co -Author of Hollow Empire – Night of Knives

Down the Dark Path

Art Print Giveaway!

Almost a year ago, a few of my friends from high school and I decided to team up and create the Tessera Guild. To celebrate, I’ve decided to hold a giveaway here on the blog. One winner gets to choose an 8×10 (or similar dimension) matte print from almost anything I’ve painted over the years.

Art by Amanda Makepeace

 

There are multiple ways to enter via the Google form below. You can pick one or all. The total number of entries possible is five. I’ll be taking entries till October 2nd. On the morning of I will randomly pick a winner and make an announcement here. The winner will be contacted by email and given a link that will let them see the art available to choose a print from–yay! Oh, and this giveaway is open worldwide.

Good luck everyone!

A Day in the Life (GIF Edition)

My fellow guild mates thought a look into my typical day would make for an interesting blog post. Maybe. I wasn’t convinced. What if I put you all to sleep with my boring life? So I decided to spice things up, just a bit.

06:00 – I’m not a morning person. My alarm clock, a.k.a. my iPhone, sounds like an alarm you might hear if a nuclear reactor was in danger of meltdown. It’s the only digital alarm capable of wrenching me out of my slumber into the land of the living, but even then I’m not a happy camper.

Destroy Everything

By this time cats are already at the door in danger of becoming feral if I don’t heed their need for sustenance. Since adopting Drusilla I’ve had to shut my door at night if I want sleep. If I leave it open she pesters me almost nonstop. Her favorite ways to pester include, pawing my face, biting my nose, biting my toes, and burrowing under the blankets to attack my legs. Since she and Hunter have become best friends I don’t feel bad shutting her out and she doesn’t seem to hold it against me (she follows me everywhere).

Demon Cat

06:10 – Coffee is the only thing on my mind. The cats have been fed. The dog has been fed and put outside. Now is Coffee Time – Phase 1. I love coffee and I drink a ton of it, but I wouldn’t say I’m addicted. My coffee intake during Dragon Con was almost nonexistent and I functioned just as as well. On a typical day I drink my coffee out of a large travel mug and I drink 2-4 of those. I like to leisurely drink it throughout the morning, oftentimes when I’m painting or writing blog posts. During Phase 1 I usually check my emails and read the news headlines.

Coffee

06:53 – Coffee Time Phase 1 ends. I go downstairs at this point to make lunch for both my daughter and my mother. Yes. I make my mother’s lunch. I’m a good daughter. But I’ll be honest, it’s not my favorite task of the day especially before I’ve had my full caffeine intake.

Cooking before I've had enough caffeine.

07:45 By now my daughter is on her way to school and my mother has left for her job. I’m still in my pajamas, drinking coffee (Coffee Time Phase 2), and updating various social media sites. It’s a necessary evil but nonetheless draining.

Tumblr

08:30 – 15:00 My creative time is a mixed bag of nuts. Every day is an adventure.

I can paint anything!

I can paint anything.

This isn't working how I imagined.

This isn’t turning out how I imagined it in my head…

Everything I paint is crap!

Everything I paint is crap!

I don't let those negative thoughts stop me.

I don’t let this stop me. Paint, paint, paint!

PerfectMy masterpiece. Muahaha!

Doubt

An hour later…

15:00 I try to switch gears around this time. I have an hour before my daughter arrives home, so I do some typical domestic chores.

Cleaning

18:00 – Before I know it, it’s time for dinner.

khaleesi

20:00 My evenings are spent watching a couple television shows we’ve DVR’d and then I head to bed to read, usually for far too long.

Reading

If you’ve made it this far I salute you!

amandamakepeace.com

Come Find Me at Dragon Con 2014

I’m leaving for Atlanta this afternoon, to check-in and setup for Dragon Con 2014!! The Art Show opens the doors at 1:00 p.m. on Friday, August 29th. Click on the map below and right-click to download. The arrows indicate where you can find my art in this year’s Art Show.

Dragon Con 2014 Art Show Floor

The Alchemist ACEOsDragon Con has a great page about the Art Show: opening/closing times, buying art, the auction, etc. Did you know that convention attendees can vote on their favorites? The categories are: Best Warrior, Best Dragon, Best Spaceship or Space scene, Best Amazon/Fairy, Best Alien, Best Horror and Most Humorous. Winners for these and other categories judged by the Guest Judges are announced during the Art Show Awards Ceremony.

Reminder: My panel on Digital Painting in Photoshop is Saturday, Aug. 30th at 10 a.m. in the Hyatt, Hanover G.

Lastly… If you do see me and you like free art, I’m bringing with me 8 ACEOs of my steampunk fox, The Alchemist. To get one, all you have to do is ask me for one.

 

 

Creative Feature Interview

Friend and author Lisa Shambrook interviewed me on her blog this week. Here’s a teaser. Click the link below to read the rest!

What inspires you?

If I’m honest, what doesn’t inspire me may be the better question. As a child I spent most of my time playing outside, wandering in the woods, creating imaginary worlds to play in with my friends and sometimes alone with my toys. My favorite movies from age 6 to 12 were The Black Stallion, The NeverEnding Story, Labyrinth, Star Wars and Alien/Aliens. Nature, Magic, Fantasy and Science Fiction (with a dash of horror) can all be seen in my art from the last decade.

Read more on Lisa’s Blog…

SFAL is this Weekend!

Phoenix and the Unicorn by Amanda MakepeaceDon’t forget, if you’re attending Spectrum Fantastic Art Live this weekend you can see (and purchase) my tiny oil painting, Phoenix and the Unicorn. You’ll find my painting and many others at Jon Schindehette’s ArtOrder Booth – #718.

Spectrum Fantastic Art Live 3 is May 9-11th.

https://spectrumfantasticartlive.com

Bartle Hall Grand Ballroom
Kansas City Convention Center
301 W. 13th St. Kansas City
MO 64105

Spectrum Fantastic Art Live 3

Click to Enlarge

Art Print Sale on Etsy

Makepeace Studios

Everything in my Etsy shop is marked down 25% off! That includes all art prints, pendants, canvas prints, framed art and my newly listed bookmarks. If you follow my Facebook Page then you may have a coupon code you can use too! I’ve listed my sale with Etsy on Sale. Follow this link: http://www.etsyonsale.com/shop/makepeacestudios to see the before and after prices for every item in my shop.

Art Bookmarks by Amanda Makepeace

 

Sale ends January 2nd at midnight.

Makepeace Really is my Name

Hi there. Welcome to Tessera! I’m the artist of this creative guild, the one with the really cool last name. Makepeace isn’t my birth name, but it is by far the best surname I’ve ever had and let’s face it, I should have been born with this name. A week doesn’t go by when I haven’t received a comment about it’s validity or origin. I’ve almost got the spiel down: “Yes, that really is my name. It’s great isn’t it? I can’t take credit though, it was my ex’s name. It’s an old Quaker name. No, I’d never change it!” In all seriousness, it does suit me. I’ve had a passion for art and nature for as long as I can remember. Many of my fondest memories involve the outdoors–one of them is the photo to the right. You can still find me wandering the woods today, collecting feathers, stones and other odd bits of nature. My studio is full of a my collection.

Quite often, bits of my collection end up in my art, but once my imagination has a say you never know what you’re going to get. I am an avid reader of Science Fiction and Fantasy, with some horror on the side. Movies? Same genres. Television? Same genres. I do read (and watch) outside of those realms, but anything from the Avengers to Middle Earth will take precedent over a thriller. Don’t get me started on music. You probably wouldn’t believe how far my tastes swing (Classical to Linkin Park).

I’m also, as was pointed out earlier in the week, a Web-Warrior Princess. Technology doesn’t scare me. If you were to look at the testing they do in schools, my highest ranked subjects were the Humanities and Science. My favorite courses at university were Comparative Literature and Human Osteology. I love both, just another example of my broad interests and skills. I can create with a paint brush (both digital and physical) and I can create with HTML, CSS, and PHP.

I guess all of this combined makes me a tree-hugging geek with a wild imagination. I’m cool with that.

What does this mean for you readers of Tessera? Well. I’ll be sharing a lot of art, some of my process as it applies to creating art for a story, things that inspire me, photos from conventions (I’m going to one this weekend!), books on my nightstand (and comics too), and so much more. I’ll even share a story or two of my own. I don’t think of myself as a writer–I think about art and painting far more–but I do write the occasional piece of flash fiction. I might also occasionally share a flashback from the movies, stories, images and events of my childhood that shaped who I am today. The possibilities are endless.

 

Five Random Facts

1. My favorite things to draw as a young teen? Horses and Xenomorphs. Not together, but that would have been cool too!

2. My favorite things to paint nowadays? Birds and Faces.

Xenomorph by Amanda MakepeaceFirst Light Detail by Amanda Makepeace

3. Artists I listen to the most on my iPod? Bon Iver, Florence + The Machine, The Glitch Mob, Cry Monster Cry, Imagine Dragons, Of Monsters and Men and Lindsey Stirling.

4. What did I want to be when I grew up? It changed quite a few times. High on the list: Geologist, Marine Biologist, Forensic Anthropologist, and of course an artist and writer.

5. First and last comic I bought? First was Aliens: Earth War (Dark Horse) and the last I bought was Infinity: Part Three (Marvel).

Follow me on the web:

deviantART Facebook Twitter

amandamakepeace.com

makepeacestudios.etsy.com