Following up my previous post with a tribute to the awesomeness that was the “Nerds and Music” show with Mike Phirman, Paul and Storm, Hank Green, Jason Finn and Stephen Toulouse.
P.S. Jason Finn is so fly. Get it? Get it? Huh? Huh? Yeah.
I talked a bit before about why I make fan art in general, for the fun, for the freedom, for the nerding out with people who are also fans of stuff I like. I perhaps neglected the mention other little things like the opportunity to experiment with different styles and mediums, and to expand my horizons, each new nerdy subject bringing me ever more heaping piles of geekvana…
There’s another element that I’ve discovered.
The big, fat, sloppy THANK YOU.
When I wrote a bit about Adam Savage, and what I feel he has done for me personally as an artist and a human being to back up the fan art of him, I think it really applies to so many people. I’m on the dreaded fixed income until maybe somehow I can get beyond the disability enough to have a job again. Whenever I’ve had money, I’d buy music, I’d try to go to concerts, I do whatever I can do to support the talents I adore. I can’t afford much or often, but I can make stuff, so I do that. Even if the subjects never see it, the fans will, and maybe I can also pique some folks’ interest, bringing them new fans.
There’s never really a good time or occasion to tell complete strangers how much better they make your life, is there? I can’t even imagine how to communicate how much what they do really means to me. How it inspires me, how it brightens up otherwise truly horrible days, how it helps pass the time, how it keeps me interested in living and trying to survive long enough to make more art. What can I do? What I can do, I can give them something from the heart. You may have also noticed by now that when I do a caricature, I don’t try to make them unappealing, insulting, or exaggerated in negative ways as many standard caricatures tend to do. I make my fan art with love and respect, always. I can try to make something that doesn’t just flatter them, but that honors them and shows them how appreciative I am. It is a way of saying “No really, thank you for what you do.”
I’ve started trying to bring fan art I’ve made of people to events where they’ll be signing, and it sure has had interesting results. Among the responses… Molly Lewis jumping up and down and saying “I’M A FAIRY!” when I gave her hers, John Noble telling me I was a clever girl when I gave him his, Felicia Day jumping up and running around her table to hug me the first time I gave her hers, getting a laugh out of Wil Wheaton when I gave him his, Kevin Smith putting up his on one of his podcasts, and tonight, Hank Green hugged me when I gave him his. I am always, without fault, shocked and surprised at the reactions, and so humbled that people appreciate the art.
The biggest kicker of them all had to be when I walked over to Mike Phirman, and before I could even open my mouth, he knew who I was. On sight! “JADE!” I think everything after that was an out of body experience. I stepped forward right on out of myself. The rest of me was stuck a few feet behind going “OMG WHUT? WHAT JUST HAPPENED?
I gave him a pile of fan art that I’ve done, and a yard of this fabric (tip: if you splurge on slightly more expensive fabric it’ll be wide enough for 2 sets of lyrics per yard) for his mom. She’d sent me a message about wanting to make a blanket for Phirman’s wee boy. He gave me:
And if that wasn’t enough, Paul and Storm recognized my work, said they were fans, and made me sign the art I gave them. Good gravy! The dumbfounded me (still behind me somewhere) started maniacally laughing until wheezing, then ran out of the venue cackling like Goofy in an old Disney cartoon.
So, ok… yeah… That is also why fan art!
I was lucky enough to attend the “Nerds and Music” concert with Paul and Storm, Mike Phirman, and Hank Green. Having been to a JoCo/P&S concert, a w00tstock, and 2 Marian Call concerts, I feel even more of an imperative to attend than when I was sitting at home envying people ’till I turned Vulcan watching stuff on YouTube. I don’t have a lot of commentary here, but feel free to comment with _____ is the name of my _____ cover band ’till the cows come home.
Hey look, Jason Finn! I can never get a good shot of him during shows, he’s too often obscured by panties. See what I mean –
MIKE PHIRMAN! Boy, have I been eager to see him live! When I first grabbed his CD, I hadn’t made the connection to Hard n’ Phirm, and I’d only heard Pi and Mi Corazón. I was so sad that I couldn’t go to the Jonathan Coulton/Mike Phirman concert that was in town just a few weeks ago. This night totally made up for it!
And Hank Green! NERDFIGHTERS! I hadn’t even heard of him until w00tstock, and he was SO great! I ended up spending a week or so watching the entire Vlogbothers’ archive. That was so full of nerdy win, I’ve been hoping for him to come back this way soon! I gotta tell you, that Katherine must be one stupendously awesome lady to have snagged him. I mean, there was a whole room full of really cute girls loosing their minds over Hank. It made for a very interesting crowd dynamic. When Hank started stripping – it isn’t the weather over Seattle, it is clouds of smoke from the dozens of panties that burst into flame. Thank goodness Paul and Storm have so many extras!
And the main event…
Paul and Storm!
I didn’t get any good photos of the amazing prank @Stepto and Mike Phirman played on them during “Opening Band”, but someone posted a great video that was probably taken mere feet behind where I was sitting. I love all of these talented people individually, and it really is something special and magical to see what’s happening with the friendships and chemistry. It is impossible to NOT be really excited for them when hijinks happen.
And Paul’s trademarked attempt to keep the Pirates at bay: “Shut the fuck up! Shut the fuck up!”
The Pirates, man… I swear they get more aggressive with every show. Then again… Pirates.
But I guess that’s OK… Paul can dish it out, too! :) Free Bird!
At several points during the show, I think I laughed my makeup off. I love these folks, I really do. I love what they do, I love how much fun there is in everything they touch.
After the show, I got to give Jason Finn a copy of the w00tstock fan art. He loved it! \m/(>_<)\m/ @Stepto was also saying really sweet things about it. Right there. In front of Mr. Finn. I shall never stop squeeing.
P.S. If you find the other me, just give it a cookie and blanket. I’m sure it’ll find it’s way home in the morning.
In the most recent episode of the Hollywood Babble On podcast, Kevin and Ralph briefly mention that they’re looking for a new logo. This was my effort. They’d been using my puppety fan art for a while, and I think are looking for something more suitable for permanent use.
I’ve discounted everything in my Lulu store, so I generally make a buck or two from each sale. The cheapest thing is probably the digital download of “Pour Morir”, I’d consider it for the other comics if I thought they’d be readable on portable devices. I also decided to try out “Dubious Bear is Dubious” as a downloadable book, I can’t imagine the readability is an issue there!
In the last year especially, I’ve been doing a LOT of fan art. I suppose one may begin to wonder – why so much of that topic?
In 2006, I had a horrible, horrible job. The work itself was great, the topics were mostly fine, but the people I worked with and for were extremely dubious and unprofessional at best. In the interest of supporting myself, I toughed it out, but it took an enormous toll on me emotionally, ideologically, physically… After that job, I did not want to pick up a pencil ever again. I couldn’t do much of anything creatively. The solution for still having an outlet for the ever present, life-long companion creative drive was this: Fan art – I can do whatever I want, I don’t have to answer to anyone, I have no deadlines, and I do not have to be responsible for it. Fan art has a very grey legal distinction. I can’t own the copyright, but neither can the actual intellectual property holders. I can give it away for free, and it has to STAY free, because the IP holders are responsible for it, they can chase down copyright infringement, I don’t have to. Rather than worry my art will end up being taken and used for profit without my consent, fan art freed me from worry. I could make fan art and nerd out with other fans of stuff I liked, responsibility free.
I’ve noticed in the last year or so, I’ve been doing almost exclusively fan art. I think that it has primarily been an escape. I’ve been dealing with constant medical demands, submitting myself to the will of Disability (the organization), and having to suffer through their inefficient, backward, secretive nonsense, and I’ve been trying to figure out how to keep surviving. I also can’t afford the kind of upgrades I’d need for various creative ideas, or tools like easels and seating so I can paint without such immense physical stress. Fan art is fun, I get a lot of positive feedback, and it gives me an outlet that again, has nobody making demands, no deadlines, no responsibility. I can do what I want in my own time as a relief to stress.
I know that there are a lot of things people are waiting for me to do, or things that people want from me, but right now, this is the space that I have to create. I hope this explains things and makes a bit more sense to folks who have been wondering.
The Marian Call concert was wonderful! You also know when it is srs bzns – the Jayne hat comes out!
She has such an awesome, passionate voice. If you haven’t listened to her, I have no idea what you are waiting for!
I was able to give her the w00tstock fan art that I’d done, and as a bonus, I also got to give a w00tstock fan art print to @stepto . YAY!
Buffy, Fringe, The Guild and Jonathan Frakes & Brent Spiner panels from the Emerald City Comiccon.
The guests and artists at the convention were awesome! I was able to give fan art to Wil Wheaton, Nicholas Brendon, Felicia Day, Amy Okuda, John Noble, and Jasika Nicole. They were all so nice! I almost died when John Noble called me a clever girl, and I almost died again a minute later when Jasika Nicole squeaked at her fan art. I gotta say though, I’m still pretty noobly and head-in-the-clouds about Felicia Day, too. The webcomic artists were also really great about doing cheap or free sketches depending on what people were getting, and I was so, so happy to see lines at so many independent artist booths. Great big YAY for that!
There was… an unfortunate experience for me on Saturday.
You know, for a long time there’s been a movement to get people at cons to keep after personal hygiene. I’ve noticed over the years that the situation is vastly, vastly improved. Sure, a couple people – likely for medical reasons – are a bit out of it, but I think the message is getting through. What I’d like to see next is some kind of encouragement for how to move around at a con. Tips like: Look down, there may be wheelchairs, people with canes, and little people around. Be aware of your space, and what you’re doing – backpacks will stick out at least a person length behind you, carry it in your hand if you can or be cautious with your movement (maybe consider an over-the-shoulder messenger bag you can wear in front). I’m not fond of taking bags to the face or chest even when I am far behind you – I am unable to move as quickly as you can. In the restrooms, tidy up after yourself, if you can’t or if you find a mess, tell the staff RIGHT AWAY. I’d like never again to see someone in a wheelchair unable to access at least half the stalls because people left messes behind, and puddled the handicapped stall so much it was entirely unusable.
For me, the worst was being assaulted between panels. When I stood up to let people out of my row between panels, people going in every direction were pushing and shoving trying to get seats up front. A guy about a foot taller than me and at least 100lbs. more thrust his belly into my back, knocking me into people ahead – repeatedly, I thrust back and showed my cane, and he shrugged and did it again. When I managed to dislodge myself from the crowd, I looked around and saw people handling other folks with canes and moving them out of the way so they could get ahead. I cannot even begin to tell you how NOT OK it is to handle, push and shove disabled people. This particular situation seemed very poorly planned for and handled. They didn’t even try to get crowds under control until about 2 hours into the panels. For this reason, I will not be going to any more “celebrity” guest panels at large cons. It is not worth being assaulted. Really. I’ll stick with YouTube from now on.
Or I guess I could shrug it off as my first ever mosh pit experience. *cough*
You can find a few more photos from recent events here .
Now to catch up on some sleep!