Monday, September 10, 2018

Freestate 2018

(Left) I love that Craig has over the years commissioned so much incredible original art for his show promotions. (Right) New owners of my last "Jack O Lantern" art reproduction.
I added a new vlog entry just below that was my thoughts the night of Freestate you all can watch if you'd like. But this blog post is more of the real deal on reviewing Craig Klotz's wonderful show Freestate.
I've been participating in Freestate shows for many years now, having done artwork on comic boxes for a few years, and just in general enjoying the genuine and fun atmosphere of all of the FanCon/Freestate shows.

So many shows go all pop culture and try to be so much more. Craig's shows are about the creators, the indie comic work circuit, and is a coming together moment of so many like minded people without the overwhelming sensations of larger shows.
View from the front of my table.
Over the years, I've had families and individuals that have told me how important those shows in Lawrence have been for them. How they introduce their kids to comics and toy collecting in a low stress and family friendly event.

For me, FanCon was my first time ever attempting to sell comics. The shows have let me come out of my shell and meet so many insanely skilled and prolific fellow creators.
It is always so cool to catch up with people I don't get a chance to see enough of.
As I'd spoken at length in prior updates, I had very much just decided to take a weird long break from doing shows. My stance on that has softened somewhat, and honestly, thanks to Freestate, I feel that fire lighting up in me once again.
I had two of my last 5x7 art reproductions of my video game concept art that went to new homes.
There is a fantastic natural high I have when I can connect with people, and especially when I create things that make people smile.
(Left) Thanks so much Andy and Shelly for requesting a sketch of Squirrel Girl. (Right) One more new owner of "Ardor".
The show was smoothly run, and had a great crowd show up through the majority of the hours it was open that Saturday. I talked so much that I lost my voice. And as I noted in my vlog entry video above, I didn't get a chance to talk to everyone I wanted to, nor get as many photos as I wanted to.

Before the show started, I did quickly make the rounds, and there was so much nice original and fan art, indie comics, and toy and comic vendors.

I lucked out in having two wonderfully talented neighbors on either side of me, Erica Batton and Bryan Timmins (thank you for putting up with me when I was joking and telling bird stories. :D).
Good conversation at a comic show can make for so much more of a fun show.

So this marked Craig's record at 50 shows. FIFTY! In Lawrence! Do yourself a favor, and if you've not gone to the shows he puts on. Go. You will enjoy yourself if you love retro toys and hunting for comics in boxes, and you might just meet some nifty artists and writers along the way. It seems that he is ramping up for more shows by the way!

Learn more here:

Until next time, support your local artists and businesses. Be kind to your fellow beings and always take the path less traveled. We all may live in times uncertain, but kindness, understanding, and believing in the good that is in most each and every one of us is what can bring about better days!

Mario, the Artisan Rogue
Illustrator, Voice Actor, Writer, Animal Rights Activist

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