Today I had the privilege to volunteer and spend most of the day in Artist Alley of the Vegas Comic Con. I got there early and as a volunteer had early access to the exhibit room while the exhibitors were setting up for the day. This gave me a good amount of time to browse most of the floor and even chat with several exhibitors.
First guy we ran into gave us a free premier issue of his comic "Armageddon: Hell." I graciously accepted because, hey, free stuff. Haven't read it yet, but I'll let you know when I do.
Continuing to browse the floor, I ran into Tim Shambris, one of the makers of "Poverty Pack." We talked for a bit about all the convention and his comic. I mentioned that I was striving to become a better artist and maybe do comics on my own someday. He offered some words of advice and encouraged me to keep working hard on it. He was very friendly and I later bought the first issue of "Poverty Pack," a sort of low profile avengers type comic with the tagline "Superheroes Gotta Eat Too!" This one I too haven't read but the concept seemed interesting enough.
Next up I ran into Steven Oaks, a colorist who does fantastic work on various super-hero illustrations but is part of the Kickstart-funded comic "Mortifera." As we chatted, he worked on a Cintiq with an additional monitor facing the walk-ways and I watched him work on coloring an illustration of Venom. His work was superb and he too gave me some encouraging words about developing my artistic skills as well as insight to his processes.
I also got to talk with Mat Nastos about his work on the cartoon Phineas and Ferb, but it wasn't as in depth.
Lastly, after volunteering I talked for a while with Rachel Oaks, writer of Children of Eldair. She explained a little about her comic and asked if I was into webcomics. I told her I was and was actually working on developing one. She inquired about Crowded Void and seemed to think it was a cool concept and told me to update her online if I ever get it going. We'll see if that happens.
Probably the biggest take-away though from spending so many hours looking at so many people's fantastic pieces of art, was a realization that my mindset has changed quite a bit from when I took art classes in High School and one in college.
In the past, I would work hard on some drawing or painting and think it was great. I'd go to the art-show of everyone in the classes final projects and walk out feeling down. I'd see so much great art that I would become discouraged and think I could never be that good. That was one of the major reasons I never really pursued art.
Now, as I stood in the midst of so much talent, it was inspiring. I wanted to go home, hop on the computer, whip out my Intuos tablet and just start practicing. I wanted to work hard so that I too could one day reach that skill level.
Now all I have to do is find the time to do so :S.