Post Bristol Report…

Ok, let’s see… where to start… (what follows is, in the words of Homer Simpson, not a story it’s just a bunch of stuff that happened…)

Currently – feeling fragile, sore throat and a big … icky…. nothing to do with Bristol though, turns out there’s a bit of a throat thing going round at work which I seem to have caught just before Bristol – so Friday I was ok, Saturday sore throat, Sunday really sore throat and today sore throat and ickiness…

To read the rest of this ramble … clicky clicky clicky …

Ok, let’s deal with Friday …

Annette and Nathan headed off to Annette’s parents house in the morning which left me the rest of the morning to try and get some drawing done (having already taken a day off work). As it turns out I got nothing done. Starting packing artwork and getting ready to ship out. Discovered Richmont Clements was getting exactly the same flights (there and back) so drove up to the airport and met him.

I have a problem with people who’ve paid £11 for a flight and then start complainging loudly when that flight is delayed by a couple of hours. I figure, it’s cheap for a reason – if you’d paid a couple of hundred quid THEN you can start complaining. Our flight was delayed by two hours (apparently a cabin crew member was rushed to hospital in the morning which sent all the following planes into a spiral of lateness). Happily though, I had a bit of company and there airport seemed to be gearing up for an airshow so we saw a spitfire (one of my fav plans as a kid – and the reason I want one of those BMW sports cars – cus they have the same side based style exhausts). Saw a jet doing all sorts of cool things (F16 or something). Saw a couple of helicopters, including a big ol’ military one with soldiers coming out of it like razor blades on the end a string coming out of a magicians mouth. It was pretty cool – so the delay didn’t bother me.

Got in to Bristol, met up with WR Logan (my usual hotel room sharing buddy). Went for dinner with 2000AD – or, at least, some of 2000AD (Matt, Simon Par and Dom – not reardon, the other one) for Chinese food, where tharg attempted to negotiate the chopsticks but failed miserably. Was good. Went to hotel bar after that and met a variety of comic pros and non-pros. Chatted to Dylan who, if I’m honest, I’m starting to feel very guilty about. Chatted to Lawrence (or Laurence?) Campbell about comics and the blog (in fact, chatted to a number of pros about the blog – the consensus seems to be we *all* feel this ambivalence towards our work and our abilities only I’m stupid enough to talk about it on the interweb).

Stayed in pub, had some alcohol went to bed at 12:40. Nothing terribly exciting to report – which is kinda my feeling about this years con, it was easily one of the best but … nothing that exciting happened. This is the first Bristol post Kev F and it didn’t seem to have the same manic air that Bristol normally happens.

Saturday, up early (WR being ex-army is ALWAYS up early – usually making chemical weapons in the toilet – at least I assume that’s what he’s doing). Went to the con, skipped the massive queue (easily the longest I remember seeing) went in via the tradesmans entrance (snigger). Started drawing at 10:30ish until 12:00ish, went for lunch with WR and Dylan. Went back to the con sat at the 2000AD panel (which started out as a ‘Can you be on this, I don’t know how we’ll fill the numbers’ and ended up being ‘bloody hell, there’s too many people’). No major revelations from Tharg (hey, 2000AD is booked up for the next year in advance … again!) and then did a portfolio review for an hour.

The very first portfolio review I did was with Matt, at the time he asked me to join him cus he ‘didn’t know anything about art’ so me, being just happy to be asked, went along. The thing with reviews is that people really just want to see the editor (I know I did) seeing another artist is really really good … but everyone knows no artist can commission you (in fact, in todays market … if you’re any good there’s a good chance an artist will sabotage you… one less competitor… ) so me and Steve Roberts sat to one side of Matt, Simon Coleby and Greg Staples sat on the other side… and the queue was for Matt.

Here’s some tips (as witnessed by me…) if an editor says ‘You have a weakness here and here’. The correct answer is ‘Yes, ok… great, thanks… I’ll try and improve that that’s very useful’. The incorrect response is ‘Well… there are other artists out there who are worse at that than me and they’re being published’. This will win you no friends. You CANNOT get work from an editor by arguing them into submission… it just won’t happen. If you argue them into taking a copy of your portfolio you’ve won a hollow victory as they’ll bin it and make a mental note to avoid you in future.

I feel a little sorry for some of the really good artists out there. Some just, in my opinion (for what that’s worth), weren’t in a 2000AD style (granted there’s a pretty broad range of what a 2000ad style is … and it’d be great if they took more risks). But let’s segue-way here into a horrible, horrible reality …

There are few 2000AD artists who can survive only on the work that Tharg gives them

What does this mean? it means that if you’re hoping that you can leave your job just as soon as tharg realises what a find you are, you’re living in a fools paradise. Even if you do turn up at a con and Matt loves your work and there is a gap in the schedule and there is a project that suits you … it’s unlikely you can leave your day job for awhile.

Anyway… some posts I’ve already made about portfolio reviews are here and here

Okay, that’s enough for this update I may post more tomorrow .. too much to do just now…