It’s that time of the year again, when I wake up long before the sun comes up, pack the fiancee and luggage into the car, and make the seven hour pilgrimage to a convention I wouldn’t even possibly entertain after this many years, had it not been for a friend asking me ten years ago, during Kats(now)ucon 9, if I wanted to help run Art Show as staff for the next year, I probably might’ve went to maybe one or two more and quit, much like Otakon and every other con, including Connecticon which is pretty much in my backyard. Anime conventions aren’t that exciting by yourself, or even with your S/O after several of them. But for the past eight years (I missed one year during my low-income crunch) I have staffed a pretty incredible convention that isn’t XBOX HUEG like Otakon. I was there for the last year at the Hyatt Crystal City. I survived the DOUBLE RAINBOW year of twin hotels. I braved the mean streets of DC to get to the Omni, and got lost at least once during a snowstorm. Then we got to the Gaylord, and man alive, it’s so much easier to get to logistically. Also much nicer of a setup.
But the attraction for me has always been Art Show. Very few cons offer the ability to showcase artwork, engage in live bidding, and end in a live auction. I’ve bought a lot of artwork from a dozen different artists over the past eight years, some of which is on my apartment walls, and the rest tucked away in closets and drawers. I’ve met a lot of cool folks and enjoy the company of my fellow reoccurring staff members. This is the only reason I still go to this convention. Cosplayers? They’re alright. Dealers Room? Eh, cool stuff, but they make internets for obtaining that stuff. Programming? Seen it. Panels? Not that exciting, unless it is Super Art Fight. I imagine it’s much like being an artist, in a way, conventions are less for doing things and more for promotion, sales, and networking.
At any rate, I will be back this weekend for another round of genius and insanity. I believe we’re once again down with the other artists in Artist’s Alley, which is the bottom floor of the Gaylord in the big exhibit halls, so come check it out, see some things, talk some talk, and I’ll be happy to tell you why VividBUTTS is the best thing since never.