Ded of Con... Again

We are still at Arisia! Terri's in a panel right now, and Ariela's busily checking us out of the Art Show. If you wanted art that you saw in the show but couldn't snag it, you can always buy it on the website. We hope if you were here that you had a good time! We sure did.

Chibi Terri is standing next to a purple and green mug that goes up to her shoulder, dunking a teabag. She is saying "Still not enough tea to be awake. (Gonna need a bigger mug)."

Chibi Terri is standing next to a purple and green mug that goes up to her shoulder, dunking a teabag. She is saying "Still not enough tea to be awake. (Gonna need a bigger mug)."

Come See Us At Arisia

By Terri & Ariela

The Arisia Logo.

The Arisia Logo.

As is our personal and business tradition, we will both be at Arisia this weekend January 12-15 at the Westin Boston Waterfront. We've got tons of art in the Art Show, and will both be appearing on panels! This is Terri's first time on Arisia panels and she is very excited. 

If you're on staff/volunteering for the convention, you can catch us at the Art Show reception in our business colors. Otherwise, you can see our work there (and us, from time to time), and see us on these panels:

Ariela's Schedule:

Friday, 7:00 PM: Costuming on a Budget
Room: Faneuil
Panel #: 457
Costuming can be an expensive hobby as the elements of a costume and the supplies needed to create them can add up quickly. We'll discuss how to get the most out of your dollar through the use of inexpensive fabrics and notions, alternative techniques or materials, and how to plan ahead so you can find time and ways to save the most money. Many elements can be sourced through thrift stores or even your own closet, and putting individual pieces to work in multiple costumes can help, too.

Saturday, 4:00 PM: Judaism's Influence on SF/F
Room: Marina 2
Panel #: 385
Jewish theology and culture permeates SFF & fandom from popular comics to well-known science fiction stories, which filters down in unrealized ways to fandom. What effect has Judaism had on the development of SF/F and fandom in general? Join our panel of knowledgeable fen to learn about Jewish influences.

Saturday, 5:30 PM: Depicting Diversity in Visual Art
Room: Douglas
Panel #: 279
Most figure drawing techniques are based on an idealized human form. This simplifies the drawing process, but it often leaves artists ill-prepared for representing characters of diverse age, size, gender, ethnicity, ability, etc. How can artists practice representing more diverse characters, and how can art education be improved to help them learn these skills?
(Ariela will moderate this panel.)

Sunday, 10:00 AM: Out of the Shadows: Spiritual Traditions in SFF
Room: Marina 2
Panel #: 340
SFF tends to fictionalize to practitioners of real-world spiritual beliefs in fantasy, inhabiting the liminal space between "normal" society and the supernatural world. These practitioners and their beliefs are often lazily and irresponsibly portrayed, creating further misinformation and stereotype. Our panelists will look at stories about practitioners of real spiritual beliefs in fictional settings and which portrayals are respectful and responsible.
(Ariela will moderate this panel.)

Sunday, 1:00 PM: Hats & Headwear for Costumers
Room: Faneuil
Panel #: 466
Hats and headwear can add another level of style to your costume and tie the entire look together. Learn techniques on how to make them, re-purpose old hats, make foundations for headpieces, resources available, and how to keep them on your head.

Terri's Schedule:

Sunday, 1:00 PM: Parents with Infants & Toddlers Meetup
Room: Paine
Panel #: 354
We have run into each other in panels, in hallways, and in elevators with strollers, but have we really *met*? Let's let the kids run around for an hour, catch our breath, bemoan cluster feeding/colic/climbing/teething/growing pains, and celebrate the fact that we're OUT OF THE HOUSE and among our people.

Sunday, 2:30 PM: Down with Grimdark, Up with...
Room: Marina 1
Panel #: 324
Grimdark stories, ones that focus on darkness and angst, have been prevalent throughout SFF recently. However, many people are pushing for change, with suggestions such as Solarpunk, Genderpunk, and Hopepunk, ones that focus on a bright future. Solarpunk is focused on green energy and sustainability, whereas Hopepunk is about people choosing love over hate, and fighting for that possible bright future. Will these new genres will gain a foothold? What other "punks" do you see emerging in SFF?

Monday, 11:30 AM: When Your Child Discovers Fanfiction… and more
Room: Marina 2
Panel #: 301
Description Being a fannish parent can mean the joy of witnessing fannish firsts – discovering fanfiction, the first cosplay or convention. Our panelists will talk about being a fannish parent to a fannish child, and the joys that come with your child discovering new parts of fandom they want to be involved in, and the challenges of navigating parts of fandom that are not always child-appropriate.

 

There are Friday Night Services at Arisia this year that are open to anyone who wishes to attend. They will be held at 5:30pm in Paine (2W). We will both be in attendance. Terri will be leading the Kabbalat Shabbat portion of the services, with some bonus fandom tunes.

We can't wait for the convention and we hope to see you there!

Arisia Prep is Bananapants

by Terri

Arisia is less than a month away. While we're also prepping panels, costumes and menus, the Arisia Art Show is a huge focus of our attention. Since we take so much more art there than any other show we exhibit at, Ariela and I have had to come up with a good system to ensure that she is not lugging too much matted art from Chicago. Last year Ariela brought most of the art to Boston with her along with the clear bags, hanging tabs, labels and stickers. I went out to Blick and bought ALL THE MATBOARD* (plus linen hinging tape, drafting tape and spray adhesive). We then had an epic matting party in my office.**

This year, she mailed all of the art to me ahead of time. We also ordered pre-cut backboards, more bags, & die cut stickers and had everything shipped directly to me. We still have not yet ordered ALL THE MATBOARD, but I already have just about everything else. I will be cutting the front frames once we order it, and then we will have another epic matting party when Ariela gets to Boston.

We have already had one exciting equipment failure (Ariela's printer decided that NOW was the best time to die, necessitating an express trip to Office Depot), but so far everything seems to be going OK.

So here are some picture of the already bananapants process, which is going to get Even More Bananapants as we get closer to the con.

This is sad art that the printer decided to eat.  [Image shows three different art prints that have color layers in the wrong places, chewed corners and black ink on their edges]

This is sad art that the printer decided to eat.

[Image shows three different art prints that have color layers in the wrong places, chewed corners and black ink on their edges]

The new printer calmly doing its job.  [Image shows a printer on top of a bookshelf with a print half completed coming out of it]

The new printer calmly doing its job.

[Image shows a printer on top of a bookshelf with a print half completed coming out of it]

A new treat for this year's art show - Stickers!  [Image shows a pile of colorful die cut stickers in plastic hanging bags]

A new treat for this year's art show - Stickers!

[Image shows a pile of colorful die cut stickers in plastic hanging bags]

ALL THE ART!  [Image shows a pile of unmatted prints and greeting cards on a wood floor]

ALL THE ART!

[Image shows a pile of unmatted prints and greeting cards on a wood floor]

Backboards. It turns out that it's cheaper to buy pre-cut matboard for the back of a print than it is to cut them ourselves.  [Image shows stacks of 11x14 and 8x10 backboards plastic wrapped together, surrounded by brown packing paper]

Backboards. It turns out that it's cheaper to buy pre-cut matboard for the back of a print than it is to cut them ourselves.

[Image shows stacks of 11x14 and 8x10 backboards plastic wrapped together, surrounded by brown packing paper]

 

 

 

*I almost blew over waiting for my rideshare home.

**This involved discovering that one Does Not Buy inexpensive mat cutters and sending Matthew out to Blick to pick up a new shiny mat cutter at 9 pm.

Well, That Was A Thing

by Terri

Image shows all of our art neatly hung on its pegboard display. There is quite a lot of it.

Image shows all of our art neatly hung on its pegboard display. There is quite a lot of it.

As we said back on January 9, Ariela and I were both at Arisia this year. I attended* panels, went to a party, spent way too much money on really fun things, had some awesome conversations with Ursula Vernon (the writer Guest of Honor), and we both had a stake in the Art Show.

This year, Arisia completely changed their art show format. In past years, pieces were entered at a starting auction price with a "quick sale" price option.** If you wanted to sell multiples of your work, you had to put them in a separate area of the show referred to as Print Shop. This format is largely a holdover from when most of the art brought to a show like this was original pieces, rather than print reproductions. There's still a whole lot of original art at these shows, but since quality prints have become much more accessible to a small-scale artist, it's less common to bring your original paintings.***

The new format did away with auctions altogether, with every piece of that was art for sale entered at a fixed price. Multiples of any piece were permitted. This means that if you are primarily a print based artist, you could bring up to 10 of anything you could fit into the panel space you paid for. We brought a couple of some pieces, more of others, mostly as a test run to see what would actually sell at Arisia. Last year (with the auction format), only two pieces from a single panel full of art sold. This year... Well, they say a picture is worth 1,000 words, so have a picture of what the display looked like before we checked out.

Image shows Ariela in her chibi outfit next to two panels of mostly empty pegboard. There are a few pieces of art (and lots of greeting cards), but most of what you see is brown.

Image shows Ariela in her chibi outfit next to two panels of mostly empty pegboard. There are a few pieces of art (and lots of greeting cards), but most of what you see is brown.

In retrospect, I should have seen this coming when art starting growing legs and money during the Friday night reception for convention staff and Guests of Honor. At various points during the weekend, I would wander into the Art Show to "be nervous at the art." This was my shorthand for going into the display, straightening things and surreptitiously counting what we'd sold. Every time I went in, there was less art to be nervous at. By Sunday, we had 5 or 6 prints left (and lots of greeting cards). We had brought 74 pieces of art (this includes the cards). By Monday morning checkout, we had sold 38 pieces, mostly prints.****

We are still somewhat stunned at the results of this. The con crud hit both of us hard enough that the sheer jumping up and down for joy has not yet been able to happen. But I'm starting to make plans for us to be at other art shows, and both Ariela and I have some confidence that people actually want our art and will pay us money for it. That this isn't just a pipe dream, but a viable business proposition. We thank everyone who bought a piece or told someone that they should buy a piece for helping us know this.

See you next year!

 

 

*This being the 4th year of having a certain Small Human at the convention, but only the second year having her in the convention's full time babysitting, actually getting out and doing the things I wanted to do was kind of a novelty.

**Rather like eBay's "Buy It Now" pricing on auctions.

***For one thing, the prints take up way less space and transport far more easily.

****It turns out that people in the Northeast want Valentine's Day cards and cards telling people to take care of themselves, but not much else. People in the Midwest are nicer and like sending cards for all sorts of occasions.