Jade Gordon

Why Fan Art, Addendum.

March 24th, 2011

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?

Chicken Monkey Duck

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:

Mike Phirman CD

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!

The concert…

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.

Nerds and Music

Jason Finn

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 –

Paul and Storm

Mike Phirman

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!

Mike PhirmanMike PhirmanMike Phirman

Mike PhirmanMike PhirmanMike Phirman

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!

Hank Green

Hank GreenHank GreenHank Green

Hank GreenHank Green

And the main event…

Paul and Storm

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.

Storm DicostanzoPaul SabourinPaul and Storm

And Paul’s trademarked attempt to keep the Pirates at bay: “Shut the fuck up! Shut the fuck up!”

Paul Sabourin

The Pirates, man… I swear they get more aggressive with every show. Then again… Pirates.

Nerds and Music

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.

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2 Responses to “Why Fan Art, Addendum.”

  1. Russ Rogers

    I’m a fan of Fan Art. Generally, it’s filled with joy and lacks pretense. I’m a fan of your art. I found your work from several disparate sources. I remember one was Jules Sherred’s “Geeky Pleasures.” It also helps that we are fans of similar people. I follow the Song Fuligans, the veterans of Song Fu, pretty closely. (Paul & Storm, Hank Green, Molly Lewis, Jonathan Coulton, The RiffTrax Bois, Garfunkel and Oates, Neil Innes, Mike Lombardo, Joe Lamb) That grew into a love of #w00tstock and twitter and Stephen Fry and Marian Call and Mike Phirman and Len Peralta and you! Rock on!

  2. John Lewis

    Firstly – why WOULDN’T they want you to sign the art. It’s always fantastic (pardon the pun). Who wouldn’t be flattered by being immortalized by THE Jade Gordon?
    I have also seen all of these performers at either the Portland W00tstock or when Hard ‘N Phirm were in Portland. Sadly, I will be unable to attend the show tomorrow night here.

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