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FC - The art of Thornwolf
thornwolf
thornwolf
FC
Had a great time! I was prepared early, had a very low stress con overall, and did pretty well!

Travel
We had gotten to the Grapevine JUST as it closed. We stopped for breakfast at that Carl's Jr. right before you start on the official route, but literally 10 minutes later it was closed due to snow and ice. BOO! So we had to go the long way around. Between that and torrential rain in Santa Barbara, it was a very scary and long 9 hour trip. It should usually only take about 6. We were lucky though, as I guess the rain had caused flooding that shut down the 101 shortly after we passed through that area. We were fortunate to get out of there before they did that!

Hotel
I know it's more expensive, but I really like the Fairmont. I loved the Doubletree, but I figure this hotel is a little more suited for our needs in regards to food and provisions located right within walking distance. We didn't have to use our car at all the whole time! We parked in the structure across the street when there was still parking, but walking to various food places without having to worry about the clusterfuck of organizing rides was actually rather nice. Only suck though, we left yesterday and had attempted to go to the 2 sushi restaurants in the immediate area and noticed they were both closed. So were a lot of really tasty sounding restaurants. I know that since sushi is incredibly popular with this crowd and lots of folks stay until Monday, I wonder if sending a flier out warning them that we're coming between such and such dates and saying that we bring quite a lot of business to that area during the weekends might be worth it. I mean it's one sunday a year they can make some extra bucks on. I know the Tandoori Kitchen across the street was overwhelmed with the amount of weekend business they were getting, as was the parking garage we parked in, so much so that the cashier asked us if there was a convention across the street because of the increase in business he was getting.

The rooms were rather posh. We had an excellent view of downtown and the hills. I didn't much care for the lack of signage in regards to where everything was though. I hate having to ask people like con staff who are already busy with other things. I know that's what they're there for but having signs would reduce the chances of them being interrupted by everyone trying to figure out where everything was.

The dealer's den, is it me or did it seem like it was the same size as the one in the Doubletree, and the artshow seem smaller?

Art Show
Took a look in the art show, there were some nice pieces but it seemed like the majority of the artshow was prints, both limited/special edition and "last one's". I didn't see too many originals that struck me really save for mythos_amante's iconic panel series. I bought the minstrel rooster :D Also, xbalaax's stuff was beautiful to look at in person. I was very tempted.

Also, a lot of the panels weren't very well lit. You'd have a really well lit panel next to one that was incredibly dark and hard to see. No bueno. I remember the Doubletree's art show being a little bit more evenly lit with the exception of the far edge panels.

As for my panels, I get to keep my St. Christopher which I'm not at all broken up about. It's going in our livingroom or office :D It will be the first piece of my own art to be on the wall. I WILL have limited edition prints available at some point in time with gold on them, I just have yet to make them and decide how many I'll make. So, I'll keep y'all informed. I need to do some more color fiddling on my scan as well.

Dealer's Den
I'm sad to say I didn't really make the rounds here as much as I would have liked. There was a badge I wanted to buy but it was between that and buying Tessa's rooster piece, so I figured "one chance thing vs. someone who's here every con..hmmm..." I did however get a surprise badge from feralityillust that I absolutely adore! I'll have to scan that in along with the "Niko Comet" pic Tessa did for me on the fly XD

I talked to demonvaska about how no one really buys prints anymore, but then suddenly I got a slew of print sales and sold out of a few images. I think Sunday is "print day". I was worried about my numbers this con mid Saturday, but it all evened out by end of business Sunday. Very atypical trends, but that's the fun about these cons is you never know what's going to sell and what's not! It's just best to be prepared for everything I guess. I kind of like being surprised like that, but maybe I'm weird.

I'll make a post with some of the stuff I have left over and see if anyone here on LJ wants them.

Con cons
I wasn't able to pick up skorzy's badge with my dealer registration. This was the first I recall that happening, and was kind of annoying because I needed him to help me set up and he had to go to another line entirely. Fortunately it wasn't the huge "not pre-reg" line, but still, when I have all my stuff right there I would enjoy it if my minion who's reg I bought together with my dealer stuff could get squared away right there with me.

We couldn't put our own stuff in the fridge in the hotel. This is the first hotel I've been to where the fridge they give you is packed to the brim with minibar stuff that there's no room left over for other items. If you remove these items temporarily to put your own stuff in, you'll be charged a $20-25 fee. Weird!

Art show pickup for buyers was apparently a total mess with poor Ch'marr doing all the paperwork, so one guy handling everyone, and 2 runners grabbing stuff. He totally needs more help, that's just too much work for one guy, and it would make things go a lot quicker.

This is more of an observation: California usually has pretty good weather. Why in the hell is FC set in the one time of year where our weather is crazy as all get out? Seriously, it's pretty much guaranteed that the week of FC is the one week a year we have crazy apocalyptic winter storms and road closures. Never fails. The weather's pretty predictable and mild the rest of the year.

Overall

I liked this con. I'm happy with the hotel, happy with how things turned out, happy with the lack of drama, and I got to talk to lots of people I wouldn't normally get to talk to. Looking forward to next year!
18 comments or Leave a comment
Comments
doodlesthegreat From: doodlesthegreat Date: January 26th, 2010 03:31 am (UTC) (Link)
Why in the hell is FC set in the one time of year where our weather is crazy as all get out?

Because it's the one time of the year when hotels in that area are at their cheapest. Same reason Confurence used to be at that time.
thornwolf From: thornwolf Date: January 26th, 2010 07:57 am (UTC) (Link)
Is that it? Shucks. Well, that makes perfect sense then. It still gives visitors a warped view of our state though.
doodlesthegreat From: doodlesthegreat Date: January 26th, 2010 05:07 pm (UTC) (Link)
In a good way, because it helps prevent more people from moving here!
donsimpson From: donsimpson Date: January 26th, 2010 05:02 am (UTC) (Link)
I loved the St. Christopher, and many other things in the dealer room and art show, but I have to set my buying budget by my sales or I lose money from dealing. :) There are often patterns in sales, like the just after the dealer room opens rush, and the after art auctions when people know how much money they have left spree, and so on. I enjoyed the con, mainly because I saw many friends. I dislike the hotel, which is set up for people on corporate expense accounts, but I don't hate it like some do. And going to the escalator and finding a convention member playing one of the grand pianos that are part of the decor while another played saxophone... mmmm. And the local food places are very handy.
thornwolf From: thornwolf Date: January 26th, 2010 07:59 am (UTC) (Link)
Thank you so much! And yeah I know what you mean. I made an unexpected after con sale so that's how I justified buying Tessa's chicken icon. If it weren't for that I would have made payments on it or something as it was one of the few of hers that didn't get bids in the show so I was going to ask her to hold it. I need to scan it for her so she can post it online!

I'm glad you liked the con, and also glad you don't /hate/ the hotel. I think the parking issue and the registration problem caused a lot of preconceived notions about the hotel, so that people hated it before they even got there and were then trying to find reasons to justify their hatred, but you can't please everyone, everyone has lots of different opinions! Mine just happens to be a big old "thumbs up" with some suggestions for next year.

And yes, local food = AWESOME!
doodlesthegreat From: doodlesthegreat Date: January 26th, 2010 05:08 pm (UTC) (Link)
Gods, Bijan's Bakery & Cafe' alone made the whole excursion a million times more pleasant than the Doubletree ever was...
camelai From: camelai Date: January 26th, 2010 06:51 am (UTC) (Link)
Wasn't that rain ridiculous? I live in SB and it was like that for a WEEK STRAIGHT. We never get rain! So weird.
Glad you made it to the con ok and had a good time!
thornwolf From: thornwolf Date: January 26th, 2010 08:03 am (UTC) (Link)
I was so terrified. I wasn't even driving and I was white-knuckling the whole way. We passed by the exit for your school and I totally thought of you and wondered how you were dealing with the crazy weather XD
camelai From: camelai Date: January 26th, 2010 08:14 am (UTC) (Link)
I don't blame you for being scared! It was seriously crazy. I was dealing with it by staying mostly indoors! haha. Luckily the only place I had to go was work, which is just a couple minutes away. No freeway driving!
(Deleted comment)
thornwolf From: thornwolf Date: January 26th, 2010 08:03 am (UTC) (Link)
It was awesome hanging out with you guys! And surely we will :D
kylet From: kylet Date: January 26th, 2010 03:25 pm (UTC) (Link)
Well, my flight was ultimately delayed 4 hours. But flooding?! I had thought I would've gotten there faster if I'd driven. In light of that, maybe NOT. o.0

Yeah, the hotel was mostly nice, but the lounge was not very conducive to socializing, and the beds were too dang small, and it'd be otherwise kind of expensive to NOT split the room four ways.

Once again I didn't make ANY Dealer rounds. I did see you rush past (I was in the front row) but I couldn't catch you otherwise.
There's a lot of folks I didn't see because, as I said, I don't think there was a good central social area.

And color me surprised re: print sales. Then again, I got a ton of sketch requests Sunday, the one day I had already made alternate daytime plans for since nobody was there LAST Sunday.

Pissed at the weather. I had been monitoring weather reports all week... I know they're never 100% reliable, but all through Thursday it'd stated rain every day but Saturday and Sunday. Bullllllshiiiiit :-p

Glad you had a good con. Overall I liked it too...
thornwolf From: thornwolf Date: January 26th, 2010 05:34 pm (UTC) (Link)
if you saw me rush past during dealer's hours I was probably on my way to the ladies XD Hence the rushing! I was wondering why I hadn't seen you!

And yeah we made it to the grapevine around 10:30, had to take the...126 I believe? To the coast..then we drove up, so if you got there at any point after that there would have been massive flooding and road closures.

About the beds being too small, we got a king suite, and I enjoyed it so..I couldn't say much about that. I thought the other rooms had 2 queens?
xxbalaaxx From: xxbalaaxx Date: January 26th, 2010 11:40 pm (UTC) (Link)
I was really glad to see someone else who priced their work at prices I thought to be fair for wonderful work (in the art show I mean). I was sooo tempted by the original of the sea turtle. That was just a brilliant piece..the scans didn't do it justice...and I didn't quite realize just how small it was!! I hope it found a new home..if not..maybe I'll be in a better place financially next year and have a crack at it! Thank you for the kind words, I feel bad that I didn't have anything new in the show this year but at least didn't let myself get bummed about poor sales like I did last year.

My only regret is we didn't get a chance to hang out this year (again!!!). I hope we get a chance next year as I'd love to pick your brain on art sometime..and well just get to know you outside of the dealers den!
thornwolf From: thornwolf Date: January 26th, 2010 11:45 pm (UTC) (Link)
I just realized I botched your LJ name XD Too many X's!

And thank you so much! I have someone who might be interested in the turtle but everything's still up in the air, but I'll keep everyone informed what happens one way or another :) Thank you for your compliments!

And yeah I didn't want to let my originals go for too low really, I've made that mistake quite a few times before where I had a piece I really liked and I priced it so low that while it sold, I felt I didn't get my time's worth and I gave away something I enjoyed for a fraction of what I felt it was worth. Now that I have a relatively steady job I can make art I enjoy so that was what resulted in what you saw in the show, all stuff I had the time to do that I enjoyed doing :)

I really really loved your stuff, hopefully we can hang out at some point! Are you going to go to Califur?
mythos_amante From: mythos_amante Date: January 27th, 2010 04:57 am (UTC) (Link)
Thank you SO so much for buying the rooster minstrel! I am thrilled! If you can fit him on your scanner do you think you might be able to send me a scan so I can offer prints, in case my nice-ish photos don't print well? (Yeah, yeah, I know I suck for that, next year I'll get the art done before the con so I can get good copies earlier, but pretty please, if you can help me with that it would be really nice of you.) tessaberry(at)gmail.com could take it, if you were amenable. (AND I WOULD THANK YOU MUCHLY, because you are awesome!!!)

I had a great time going to dinner with you and during the camped-in-the-dealer's-room span on Sunday. Thanks for the great company and I am tickled to get to know you and Skorzy better. You both are good people! I am glad you like the Niko-comet because it was so so silly. XD <3!
thornwolf From: thornwolf Date: January 29th, 2010 12:10 am (UTC) (Link)
I will totally scan it for you! I have a lot of stuff to scan so I'll try to get that to you this week :D

It was really really great actually getting to spend some time with you this con. Would do again! A++!
mythos_amante From: mythos_amante Date: January 29th, 2010 12:18 pm (UTC) (Link)
OH thank you, that would be awesome!

Yes, I had a blast, too and would do it again as well! So great!


(LOL Kymba wants me to always have a girly drink when we go out now, I cracked her up all night! I wasn't drunk or anything, but there was definitely some disconnecting of the filter that normally resides between my brain and my mouth!)
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