CTNX 2016!

Greetings all, from the great land of post-CTNX2016!  And post-Thanksgiving.  Took me a little bit to be able to sit down and write this post, as one of the things that’s perfectly clear is that I’m endlessly horrible at updating my blog.  I’d say it’d be a New Years resolution to get better at social media and generally updating things promptly but I think starting now would be fine — December 1st is a round enough date!

Bird Buttons

Anyway, what I’m sure you’re here to read is what my thoughts were about this latest CTNX.  It was my first year having a table (at anything, really), so I can’t compare that to past years necessarily (aside from the fact that I’m glad the tent wasn’t the temperature of the surface of the sun, but we’ll get back to the problem with that later).  My table, 502, was over back by Sony Animation, and all things considered it seemed like a pretty good location when looking back (it was supposed to be an endcap but got moved to a spot against the western wall of the tent).  I was splitting the table with Christina Krati, whose art you should of course check out, and next to us was Sketch Wallet, who seemed like pretty cool folks and it sounds like have some pretty awesome stuff coming up as well.

The whole weekend was somewhat overwhelming but in a different way than it is as an attendee — you get to see all the people that wander by, watch the crowds, and the lines build for people signing up for portfolio reviews, but you don’t get to necessarily go rampaging around and checking out everyone else’s tables & booths like you otherwise would do.  After all, people walking around are there to potentially talk to you, and if you’re not there, that’s a little problem at least.  I did get to run around and see everyone (I think, I hope I didn’t miss anyone!) on Sunday, grab some cards, and chat with classmates.

Speaking of cards, let me make a quick point.  Have cards printed, bring them to CTNX when you go!  I was really surprised that it seemed like whenever I asked people who stopped by my table for their card, there was like an 80% chance that they didn’t have one!  Don’t do this, friends!  Have your cards!  The whole point of events like CTNX is to make connections, and if you have some awesome conversation with someone, trade a card, make a note on it so you remember who is who, and then send ’em an email later when something related comes up.  I expect the lot of you to have cards next time, dangit!

Tabling itself was an adventure.  I’m awful at talking to people, especially if I’m just ambling around as an attendee on my own — I’m pretty bad at just starting real conversations, but apparently when I’m trapped behind a table, I can talk to folks pretty well.  I think it’s because being trapped at a table means that any of the people walking by who stop to talk to you are taking time out of their day to say hi, which means a lot to me at least.  I do wish that I’d been able to go to panels and workshops and stuff, but I wasn’t gonna tempt myself to go to them by looking at the schedule.  I hope everyone got to go to them enjoyed all the talks!

One of the things I did participate in was Wacom’s Cintiq Showdown event.  One of the guys from their booth came by earlyish Friday and said they’d let me know when there was time for me to draw.  I honestly had no idea what I was getting myself into, but when I showed up when called, I was told I had 10 minutes to draw off a randomly  generated prompt.  My first one was “timidly drinking werewolf” which totally seemed right up my alley because of one old piece I did based on Larry Niven’s Draco Tavern, where there was Folk drinking at the bar (they’re described as wolves with their heads on upside-down).  I found out that night that the image qualified me to go to the event on Saturday night, which I did, and then got even more heinously lucky by the roll being “joyously sleeping manticore.”  Gee, guess who freakin’ loves manticores?  That put me into finals, which had the initial roll that had something to do with a galloping wyverns, which would have been perfect (hello, Alizentha wyverns!), but it got rerolled to be “awkwardly growing sasquatch” which wasn’t nearly as fun for me — they should have kept the wyverns.  I didn’t end up winning that round, but that’s not particularly surprising, considering Peter Han was one of the others in the finals, but since I had no idea what I was getting myself into in the first place, I’ll take just being in finals as good enough for me!  Hope to play again next year if they do it!

The real only problems I had with CTNX?  I ran out of budgie wizard prints on Saturday afternoon, and the more major problem was that they were attempting to turn us into icicles the whole weekend — our table had to be like right in front of the AC vents or something, which were going full blast the whole weekend despite it being not super hot out.  If I’d had a space heater I would have brought it to counteract it or something.  Spending the whole weekend freezing decreases the fun a bit.  We weren’t particularly effected by the tent leaking from the rain though, but the low light art tent was a little silly after a point.

For everyone who came by and said hi and listened to me rant incoherently in the cold, thank you.  I hope to see all of you next year, and I was amazed that so many of you are crazy bird nerds like myself!  I’ll definitely have some more silly bird doodles coming up soon for everyone to look at.  For the students and first time attendees, I hope you all were super inspired by what you saw and CTNX translates into amazing ideas for you for future work.  If you’ve thought of any questions that you wanted to ask me, feel free to drop me a line.  Email works great for me, or you can always hit me up on Twitter if you hate formality (I guess there are also comments here, but I dunno if anyone likes using them).  I still have to go through and sort out all the business cards I got from people and follow folks back on social media, etc, so don’t feel like I’m neglecting you quite yet!


What’s on the horizon?  First up, I’m going to be adding a few things to my portfolio and maybe talking about them in a later post.  After that, I’m gonna be finishing up some of the things I didn’t have time to complete before CTNX happened — bird stickers, and a few illustrations being part of it.  The other main project I’m going to be working on is getting AuFINCH up and running and posting at least some of my comic work (Alizentha, most likely) on there, as well as selling leftover buttons, new prints, the stickers, and any other neat-o stuff that I create.  I’m aiming to see if I could have that done by early January, but who knows how that’ll actually go.  I still have some questions about how I want to sell things, and if I should have like.. a secondary store on Redbubble or something for things I’m not going to make myself and/or store here locally (shirts, phone cases, etc).  Let me know if there’s any interest!

I definitely want to do CTNX (and other conventions) again in the future.  It was a great experience, and a lot of fun, albeit a ton of talking.  I know for next year I want to make sure that if for some reason people want portfolio reviews from me or something too, I’ll totally look at ’em, talk about school stuff and whatnot for any students that stop by.  I hadn’t thought about that at all until after the whole thing was over, whoops.  Either way, hope to see everyone again next year!  Maybe there’ll even be another blog post by then.