The TL;DR: First two days sucked, second two days made up for it. Will be there next year assuming I snag a table.
Thursday: I was finishing up my packing at the last minute, and of course forgot something – mostly a few copies of Absinthe. While I was packing, the second set of proofs for the Rita book showed up, with the gloss properly dealt with. It will look good, and I need to send some email to the printer saying “yes go ahead gimme books”. Got down to the airport Hilton, checked in, went to the dealer’s room and set up.
I was way in the back. I got absolutely no sales during the few hours the room was open on Thursday. I didn’t let this worry me much. Went out to dinner with Sigil and some of her friends, tried to hit the dance for a bit but it was really not to my taste, so I went to beeeed. Sigil had given me a totally sweet badge, so I grabbed her sketchbook to draw some stuff in.
Friday: I blew off breakfast, which proved to be a mistake. I got one sketchbook commission early in the morning (thank you KT!), and generally didn’t really see much of anyone passing by my table. There was a total of three decks and three prints sold that day. Sitting there with nothing to occupy my mind except putting on the Friendly Artist face for the few people who did stop to flip through the prints and the Tarot decks and buy nothing was not easy, and kind of worrying – I don’t normally have a TON of business on the first day of a con, but I’ve usually got 4-5 sketchbooks happening! And it’s a real shame, as the two books I’d drawn in (KT’s NSFW, and Sigil’s (1 NSFW, 2 NSFW)) were showing me to definitely be in fine form for the rarely-used medium of pen and ink. Here I was ready to draw the hell out of some crazy stuff and no takers.
I did the Illustrator panel in the afternoon, which was well-recieved, despite me being kind of out of it from forgetting to eat and stressing over this lack of business.
By the end of it I was starting to fall apart; if things went like this it would be the absolute worst I’ve ever done at a con. When the dealer’s room shut down I was on the edge of collapsing into tears. Thanks to everyone who tried to console me on Twitter and LJ that afternoon.
My roomies (Matt/Turbine Divinity, Amara/oCeLoT, and Josh) arrived, so I got them their keys and we put their stuff in the room along with stuff I wasn’t leaving behind the table.
Then I went out for pizza with Pathia, Tanya, Farore, Ix, and like four other people who I forget because I am a spaz and they were on the other end of the table. And the instant the first bite of cheese and brown sugar garlic bread hit my tongue, I realized that I had not eaten a damn thing and MAYBE THIS WAS WHY MY MOOD WAS SO SHITTY.
I drew some stuff NSFW while we waited for our table, of course. Also here is a picture of Farore enjoying her novelty jello shot served in a syringe and of my pizza.
After food I tried hitting the dance but it still really wasn’t doing it for me. So I just went to sleep early.
Saturday: It was not without trepidation that I went down to the dealer’s room. This time I got some breakfast first. I’d been told it was open early for patrons and sponsors to browse, but after Friday I really couldn’t be bothered with EXTRA SPECIAL sitting lonely behind my table versus breakfast. Even if it was overpriced mediocre hotel breakfast. When I got to the table there was a huge box waiting for me – back at FC2012, Astolpho had organized an off-site gallery show, and the stuff I’d hung in it had finally gotten back to me.
Business was a lot better. I sold a decent amount of decks and prints, and got a bout a half dozen sketchbooks: a dragon priestess NSFW, a cow/goat saint, Rita shopping for taur chassis in Shaterri’s taur book, and a few more books that I didn’t get to until the next day. I was in a really good mood when I took off for the webcomics Q&A panel I was on with Dana and Kevin, which was a blast – thanks for organizing and moderating it, Lamar! There was a lot of joking banter between the three panelists. And at one point I was an ABSOLUTELY HORRIBLE PERSON; either Dana or Kevin was going into some detail on something related more to strip work than to graphic novel work, so I was just idly doodling. I drew this little box, put a blank face on it, then drew a tube neck… then attached it to a little reptillian body with its tail up. Then I regressed to age 5 and drew a turd coming out of its butt, and just let out this hideous SNORK of repressed laughter. Sadly – or possibly for the best – the panel was NOT arranged such that I could show this horrible but funny-looking thing to the audience.
IT STILL MAKES ME SNICKER HORRIBLY WHEN I LOOK AT IT. Partially in remembering the embarassment of this moment of course.
Also there was a really awesome doodle of KT in his super-studly sunglasses – normally he’s this big affable-looking dude, but he found some sunglasses that are like a +9 bonus to Bad Assery for him.
I will scan or photograph these doodles sometime later, probably just post them to twitter.
I hung out afterwards with Ant; we’d been meaning to get together for quite some time and finally managed it at the con. He’s a pretty cool dude who’s kind of on the periphery of the fandom due to most of his artistic energies going to contract work like “Magic cards” and “concept art for games that died before being finished” – really never had much TIME to draw for himself. We ended up going out to dinner with Erin and a bunch of people she knows who I don’t. I was a bit sad when some people talked about how they’d closed down for sketchbooks on FRIDAY and were scrambling to get them all done before the end of the con. Though I was less sad when I saw their locations the next day: right in the front of the room. I am totally gonna ask for front-row placement next year.
I tried hitting the dance. There was finally some music happening that made my booty want to move, but my body betrayed me – I haven’t been exercising as much as I had been around FC, so I wasn’t able to dance for hours without feeling it. This needs to be remedied. I think I only managed to do maybe a half hour of dancing? Not enough. I ended up hanging out in my room talking with my roomies, Ant, and some other folks. Gossip, comparing notes on being burnt out on games/animation/etc industries, and whatnot.
Sunday: I blew off breakfast. I knew this was bad this time but at least I was AWARE of it as a Bad Thing, and this time when the Official Floating Minion came around, I ordered a ham sandwich instead of a cinnamon bun. (This was a new thing for RF; there was a staff member who was making the rounds of the dealer’s room each day around lunch, and going to the convention center’s concession stand, or out to 7-11, to BUY FOOD FOR THE HUNGRY DEALERS WHO DID NOT HAVE MINIONS OR TABLEMATES. Much appreciated.) I worked on my table commissions from the day before: a piece by my crazy pornmonger identity VERY NSFW, and a super-graphic tiger bust, for which I pulled out the iPad for photo ref, then went all Roger Dean on it. There’s a few more that I’ll be finishing in the next few days – one I had to put off because I forgot to bring a Prismacolor to fill in the many solid blacks, one that got as far as the rough pose and will serve as an excuse to go hang with its commissioner, and one that I took near the end of Sunday.
That last one came from Jason, who dropped by to chat about some stuff – he wanted to tell me how the “randomness in creativity” panel he did at Foolscap went. This was done largely by pulling a card from my Tarot deck and explaining how it related to the topic at hand. Which made him want to use it to do a reading for ME; I told him I wanted a reading about APE, which is coming up week after next. I’ve got a hotel room, a flight, a table I haven’t gotten around to paying for, and a CA business license I haven’t gotten; those last two were tempting me to blow it off, especially after the stress of this con. He’s been doing a kind of ‘pull layouts from thin air’ thing, and this is what he came up with:
I SWEAR THE DECK WAS NOT STACKED. And all of those labels were assigned BEFORE the cards were flipped up; having the SELF-PORTRAIT FOOL in the “Artist” position is… Man this deck is scary sometimes. Summation of the reading: “you are disappointed in RF, I have no idea what you are going to do next week, going to APE will be scary but it could work out REALLY REALLY WELL and change who you’re hob-nobbing with.”
After putting dealer stuff away, I hooked up with Dana, Orv, Ribnose, KT, and some other folks. We hung out in the secondary lobby for a while, then went to Dana and Orv’s place to get away from the madding crowd and order some pizza. Which was late but hey we had a good time.
In the middle of the wait for pizza I got a bunch of texts – my roomie’s keys had stopped working! I’d originally planned to check out on Sunday, but Sunday morning they’d told me they’d planned on leaving Monday, so I had it extended. Sadly the key system was not informed of this, so I had to drop out of the conversation to call the hotel and say HEY CAN YOU GIVE MY ROOMIES NEW KEYS THIS IS WHO THEY ARE.
After food, we hung out for a while longer, then went back to the con. I went on down to the Dead Dog party. I don’t know where the energy came from, but I was able to dance for several hours – from something like 10pm to 2 or 3am. I am pleased to have once again participated in DANCING THE CON INTO THE GROUND. The music was good – all glitchy and bassy and Fucked Up in the way that gets my booty moving – and there was the usual air of “last chance at decadence”. I rubbed up against more than a few sexy young things of either gender, putting my burlesque training to good use.
Then it was time for sleeeeeeeeep.
Monday: We packed up and exited the room. The big box of framed stuff from the FC offsite show changed my plans; I was originally going to hop on the bus, but two suitcases, a computer bag, and a huge awkward box I had to carry with both hands just wasn’t going to be doable. So Matt was kind enough to drive me and my stuff up to my place, while Amara and Josh hung out in the lobby. Both him and I failed our navigation rolls, so it took a little long to get up there. Still lots faster and less frustrating than the bus would’ve been, though! I treated him to a burger at one of the local joints, and said goodbye. And found out that this is probably his last furry con for a while, as he and his wife are expecting later this year. He’s going to be a stay-at-home dad for a while, continuing to pay the rent drawing crazy furry porn, while she pursues her degree and HER job. Guess I’ve got some extra motivation to take a trip down to Oregon to hang with him and Amara, then…
All in all, the con went pretty well – I haven’t done my final accounts but I definitely made a profit. I think I’m not going to bother with Thursday next RF if I’m dealing, though, and I’m definitely asking for a front-of-the-room table.
Aikido is tonight but I think I’m just going to SLEEP.