Lessons from IlluxCon 5: Part 1 – Intro

This post is one of a five part series:
Lessons from IlluxCon 5: Part 1 – Intro
Lessons from IlluxCon 5: Part 2 – Workshops
Lessons from IlluxCon 5: Part 3 – Panels & Talks
Lessons from IlluxCon 5: Part 4 – Showcase
Lessons from IlluxCon 5: Part 5 – Wrap Up

Last weekend from Thursday the 8th of November to Sunday the 11th of November IlluxCon 5 took place in Altoona, Pennsylvania. IlluxCon the largest gathering of fantasy artists and illustrators worldwide and I had the distinct pleasure of being able to attend this year.

Welcome to Altoona!

Illuxcon features a juried main show of the best fantasy Illustrators in the business, a bunch of talks, lectures and workshops focused on illustration and fantasy art and also a showcase for other professional illustrators as well as students looking to break into the industry.

The convention is so different from New York Comic Con, that I hardly knew what to expect when going into it. I was told beforehand it was a lot more intimate and professional than Comic Con and I do agree with that. It is also a lot more intense, it can be overwhelming but most of all it is just a fantastic convention to attend if you are interested in fantasy art. It is the place to be.

The Illie award is feasting upon a Tootsie roll after Saturday Night’s celebrations.
IlluxCon 2012, the award is sculpted by Jordu Schell.

It’s about TRADITIONAL Art.

The first thing to note about IlluxCon, both for students and professionals, is it is highly focused on traditional artwork. Digital work barely has a place there. IlluxCon is very much a dialogue between the traditional artists and collectors, but it is also a place to learn. We see so much artwork online, but no matter how high res an image in on the monitor it really does not match up to staring at it mere inches from your face where the paintings truly come alive with their textures, marks, construction and true colors. I was especially fascinated by the originals of Serbian/Dutch artist Petar Meseldžija.

IlluxCon 5, Petar Meseldzija’s table

This doesn’t mean you cannot show your digital art, you certainly can, but it is not likely to sell there. However you can still get excellent portfolio reviews, suggestions on how to improve and face to face time with some art directors that will hire digital illustrators.

I am going to stop here for now, stay tuned for next post which will be about lessons from some of the IlluxCon 5 lectures.

Links:
IlluxCon
Petar Meseldžija’s Website

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Kiri Østergaard Leonard
kiri@kirileonard.com

Award winning Illustrator, Artist and Creator Kiri Østergaard Leonard happily shares her experiences making a living as an artist and pursuing a creative life. She grew up in a tiny village in Denmark, left her country behind to pursue art in the bustle of New York City and now resides in the delightful weirdness of Austin, Texas surrounded by sunshine and felines.

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