Where to find Terri, Ariela, and Geek Calligraphy Art at Arisia 2019

Arisia Logo

by Terri and Ariela

As we explained, we have decided to attend Arisia this year. We will be keeping our ears and eyes open, but we are cautiously hopeful that we, and everyone else, will be able to have a safe and enjoyable con.

If you aren’t there this weekend because of a principled boycott of the convention, we hope that you will support the artists and vendors who depend on Arisia sales for their livelihoods.

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). Protip: our art is cheaper at conventions than it is online!

You can also see us on these panels:

Terri’s Schedule:

Saturday, 11:30 AM: Neurodivergent Protagonists
Room: Franklin
Panel #: 301
So many mental health issues can make us feel disproportionately terrible for minor, everyday mishaps, and the culture of "neurodivergent character = villain" doesn't help. Instead, let's talk about neurodivergent protagonists and stories about people working around or even using their Quirky Brain Stuff to save the world and live happily ever after.

Sunday, 2:30 PM: Jewish SFF
Room: Tremont
Panel #: 201
It can be hard to find Jewish stories that don't focus on the Holocaust. Luckily, there are many works relating to Judaism in science fiction and fantasy. Naomi Novik and NS Dolkart are two Jewish authors who include Jewish characters and themes in their works. Marie Brennan based the world religion of her Natural History of Dragons series on Judaism. Let's celebrate Jewish authors, worlds, and characters!

Monday, 10:00 AM: Fluff and You: The Worth of Fun Reads
Room: Tremont
Panel #: 294
"Beach reads," "candy," "fluff," "guilty pleasures," -- so many words to downplay the fact that we may be reading something "less than literary"! But fun reads have worth of their own, and lightness and artistic merit are not mutually exclusive. Join the panelists as they discuss the delights of fluff, their favorite works, and moving away from a culture of shame.

Ariela’s Schedule:

Saturday, 1:00 PM: Girl Power in Anime
Room: St James
Panel #: 156
In anime, many female characters tend to fall into one of two stereotypical groups: weak and meek or angry warrior women. There are characters who go deeper, who might even make good role models. From the girls in Studio Ghibli to Junko Kaname in Puella Magi Madoka Magica to Mikasa Ackerman in Attack on Titan and beyond, who are these strong, nuanced female characters? What about them screams "GIRL POWER!" Which characters or tropes are doing a disservice to women today?

Saturday, 4:00 PM: Female Relationships in Fiction
Room: Beacon Hill
Panel #: 196
Though great strides have been made in recent years, we still hunger for depictions of complex relationships between women, whether familial, platonic, or romantic. What are we still lacking? What stories about female love would make the panelists' hearts sing?

Saturday, 5:30 PM: Clothing Modifcation
Room: Winthrop
Panel #: 361
Whether you're making a cosplay or something for everyday wear, learn to extend the life and utility of off the rack or second hand garments. Take a thrift store find and turn it into something amazing or save a favored piece from the trash pile with creative solutions for poor fit and minor stains and tears.
(Ariela will moderate this panel.)

Sunday, 1:00 PM: First Steps for New Costumers
Room: Cambridge
Panel #: 378
So you want to be a costumer, but don't know where to begin? Then this panel is for you. Our group of veteran costumers tell you how to get started in the hobby with everything from tips and tricks to demystifying the terms and expectations that are out there. We all had to start somewhere, so let us help you do the same.
(Ariela will moderate this panel.)

Sunday, 5:30 PM: Treatsments of Abuse in SFF
Room: Beacon Hill
Panel #: 429
While discussing Lethal Weapon, Junot Diaz, and toxic masculinity in a Fireside Fiction essay last year, author Brandon O'Brien reminded us that "We need to teach and remind men as often as possible that recovery means responsibility." How has SFF treated cycles of abuse and recovery, and how can it do better? Which books/shows/movies get it right?

We're Off to WisCon 42!

by Terri and Ariela

It's Memorial Day this weekend, which means that we're off to WisCon!

WisCon 42 Logo

WisCon 42 Logo

Per usual, art will be in the art show. It will be a small subset of what we have on the website, but there will be lots of everything we bring, including an early opportunity to buy the June product release (it's a new sticker with completely new art).

The art show will open on Friday evening with a reception from 6:00 to 7:30 PM and we will both be there. Look for the ladies wearing green and purple and chances are you've found us!

Also, for the first time ever, we'll be on a panel together! Two, in fact!

Ariela's Panel Schedule

Friday, 1:00 PM:  The Care And Feeding Of Artists
Room: Conference 5
Follow on Social Media: #CareFeedingArtists
Are you a creative? Are you partnered to an artist? Do you manage an artist professionally? Come and talk about management strategies, how to keep yourself and/or your artist from burning out, and learning how to Outsource Things You Are Bad At.
(Ariela will moderate this panel.)

Saturday, 9:00 PM:  The Best Laid Plans Of Mice: Immigration, Persecution, The 1%, And Found Family As Told By The Mousekewitzes
Room: University B
Follow on Social Media: #Mousekewitzes
Most of us remember Feivel Mousekewitz, a Russian Jewish mouse who emigrated to the United States in 1885 with his family, all fleeing religious & political persecution, They heard wondrous stories of life here, only to find America has its own problems. In our current political climate, many issues are relevant again: immigration, treatment of workers, distribution of wealth, police brutality, xenophobia. These films do a great job of tackling tough but important issues for a young audience, a task that children's films in the last decade have ignored. At the same time, Yasha's relief that "In America, you can say anything" sails over the heads of young viewers. These films also portray Judaism as a religion and a culture, without tokenization.

Sunday, 1:00 PM:  Uncommodifying Culture
Room: Conference 5
Follow on Social Media: #Uncommodify
So much culture is owned by corporations that it's difficult/impossible to imagine successful authors, filmmakers, musicians, animators, or others who aren't paid via a contract with a major publisher, studio, or production company. Is there an alternative to that? Do cultural "properties" (lol) have to be old in order to truly be shared? If I spend the afternoon thinking about Mickey Mouse, does Disney own the inside of my head?

Monday, 8:30 AM:  You Are (Probably) Not As Progressive As You Think You Are
Room: Assembly
Follow on Social Media: #NotProgressive
Socially progressive movements are increasing in popularity. So much so that it's become harder to discern who is in the fight for real, and who is just going through the motions, checking off more and more proverbial boxes in order to appear to be a good person. During this panel, we will talk about how to spot and address those people who fall into the latter category, as well as our own respective socio/political/economic stances and how they've evolved. Because no one is perfect.

Terri's Panel Schedule

Friday, 1:00 PM:  The Care And Feeding Of Artists
Room: Conference 5
Follow on Social Media: #CareFeedingArtists
Are you a creative? Are you partnered to an artist? Do you manage an artist professionally? Come and talk about management strategies, how to keep yourself and/or your artist from burning out, and learning how to Outsource Things You Are Bad At.
(Terri suggested this panel.)

Saturday, 9:00 PM:  The Best Laid Plans Of Mice: Immigration, Persecution, The 1%, And Found Family As Told By The Mousekewitzes
Room: University B
Follow on Social Media: #Mousekewitzes
Most of us remember Feivel Mousekewitz, a Russian Jewish mouse who emigrated to the United States in 1885 with his family, all fleeing religious & political persecution, They heard wondrous stories of life here, only to find America has its own problems. In our current political climate, many issues are relevant again: immigration, treatment of workers, distribution of wealth, police brutality, xenophobia. These films do a great job of tackling tough but important issues for a young audience, a task that children's films in the last decade have ignored. At the same time, Yasha's relief that "In America, you can say anything" sails over the heads of young viewers. These films also portray Judaism as a religion and a culture, without tokenization.

Sunday, 2:30 PM: SyFy's Leading Women - An Exploration Of Women Protagonists In SyFy's Current Lineup
Room: Conference 5
Follow on Social Media: #SyFyLeadingWomen
The programming on the SyFy Channel has had its ups and downs, but today it is giving us something missing from the offerings of many other channels: a diverse array of women as protagonists. From Killjoy's Dutch to the title characters in Wynonna Earp and Van Helsing, SyFy programs let us see these women as fully-realized characters, and not just the secondary story to the leading man. This is a panel to discuss what SyFy is doing right with its leading women, as well as where it still has room for improvement.

Monday, 8:30 AM: Comic Books On Screen
Room: Conference 4
Follow on Social Media: #ComicsOnScreen
Marvel and DC are currently battling it out on both the big and small screens for dominance with multiple movies coming out yearly, as well as new shows on various networks and streaming sites. There are also multiple shows on SyFy based on comics, as well as The Walking Dead and Comic Book Men series on AMC; Riverdale, which is based loosely on the Archie comics characters; and Amazon Prime has picked up a revival of The Tick. Let's dig in and discuss these tv and movie adaptations. Are we getting enough representation? Which shows and films are doing better, and which worse?

We will also be attending the Dessert Salon and the GOH speeches.

We hope to see you there!

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.

CONvergence

by Terri

The CONvergence flier. It features their mascot, Connie. The theme of the convention is Space Opera, and so the flier contains a lot of recognizable imagery from famous space operas.

The CONvergence flier. It features their mascot, Connie. The theme of the convention is Space Opera, and so the flier contains a lot of recognizable imagery from famous space operas.

There are many things to both love and hate about the United States Postal Service. One of the things we like is that it enables our art to go to conventions when neither of us can be there. Urged by a friend, we have sent our art to CONvergence, a fan run Science Fiction and Fantasy convention in Bloomington, MN. This year, the convention is taking place July 6th-9th (this weekend).

We have pieces hanging in the Art Show, and multiples for sale in their Print Shop. If you're going to be there at any point, give us a shout on Twitter, Facebook or Tumblr! We hope you enjoy the con and take a little something of ours home with you.

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.