Thursday -- My drive to Seattle was made more harrowing than anticipated when a massive semi truck in the right lane started shedding large metal parts. I was fortunately far enough back to have a few seconds to realize what was happening, and moved to the leftmost lane without being hit by any of those bouncing metal pieces. Just as I was wondering where those things fell off from, I noticed the rear set of tires were wobbling violently and the back of the trailer was shifting back and forth. At that point I wasn't sure whether the truck would fishtail or fall over, but I didn't want to be beside it or behind it if it did, so I punched the gas and got clear of it. Last I saw the truck was slowing and the driver appeared to be getting it into the shoulder.
I feel very fortunate that the incident happened in part of I5 with 3 lanes, while the road was dry, and traffic was light. It could have ended very poorly, but it didn't and the rest of the trip was without incident. I did make it to Seattle later than intended, and didn't get to spend any time in the University District, but I was able to deliver a pile of goodies to Gargoyles Statuary.
Afterwards I backtracked down I5 to SeaTac and got checked in to the Norwescon event hotel, and then the art show. I managed to make it to my first panel, Printmaking: Ink & Blocks just in time. Mimi Noyes, Laura Tempest Zakroff, and I talked relief printmaking techniques, tools, materials, and answered audience questions. Hopefully next year we'll be able to host a workshop where people will get to carve and print. Talk is fun, but actual experience is even better!
There was an hour of art show set-up after the panel ended, and I used the time to get my packing materials hauled to my room. There was an art reception for attending professionals that opened at 8pm, and though I intended to stay longer, I had to call it a night early because I needed to be fresh in the morning.
Friday -- I had an Art in Action table from 10am-1pm so I set up around 9:30 and carved until close to 1. For the demonstration I had prepped a piece from the Three Hands Press project; a smaller and simpler piece than the one I am working on now! Much to my surprise, I made decent progress on it despite stopping to talk periodically. Most of what is left to carve now is outlining and background.
At 1 I hauled my gear back to the room, then headed to the Monster Mash workshop to assist Mimi Noyes. Helping folks sew together monstrosities from thrift store stuffed animals may not be my usual jam, but it's rather fun seeing what gets pulled apart and how it is sewn back together! Once we finished cleaning up, I had Friday evening free to wander and attend events.
Saturday -- My only panel on Saturday was Creativity and Disabilities with Jeliza Patterson-McGuire, Elizabeth Adams, and Raven J. Demers. I'm rather fond of this panel as it is very interactive and the audience is often as good a source of information as panelists. We ended up doing a fair amount of talking about how to manage self-directed work when you have ADHD and/or anxiety disorders. Pain management and working with physical limitations was also discussed.
Thanks to only having one panel this day, I was able to attend Wendy Wagner's reading from her upcoming novel, An Oath of Dogs . The preview was intriguing and her publisher Angry Robot will be donating $1 from each pre-order to service dog charities, so it is worth preordering if you think it might be to your taste.
Sunday -- Since my first panel was at noon I had to check out of my room and stow my luggage (including all of my art packaging) ahead of it. I stopped by the art show afterwards to check my print bin (prints get put back upside down and staffers don't always notice), and was deeply surprised to find a ribbon hanging next to one of my framed prints! The "red" Tsathoggua artist proof was voted "Best Horror" by attendees!
The first panel was Your Online Image As an Artist with Joy Alyssa Day, Laura Tempest Zakroff, Elizabeth Adams, and Cory Ench. We discussed what social media we use, how we use it, and the pros and cons of the platforms. I was particularly intrigued when an attendee asked how much time we spend on social media, since it sounded like a lot of work. I couldn't give a precise answer, but settled on a few hours a week. Like any other aspect of being a self employed artist, there are times when I do a lot, and times when I do a little. I had to admit I've not been blogging as much as lately as I'd like to.
The last panel for me was Should you go to Art School? The panel consisting of Theresa Halbert, Laura Tempest Zakroff, Tammie L Dupuis, and Elizabeth Adams ended up having a nice mix of educational experience to discuss. We made an effort to tailor the discussion to the needs of the audience and shared info about choosing schools, building a portfolio, and the pros and cons of art degrees.
Afterwards, it was nearly time to pack up the art show and head home so I picked up my packaging and queued up outside the art room. Funny thing, while I was waiting for a runner to scan me out, The Gorgonist stopped by on the way to her panel and spotted the "Best Horror" ribbon. She very enthusiastically congratulated me several times and I thanked her while holding my tongue because I knew she had a people's choice ribbon waiting on her panel and I didn't want to spoil the surprise. :)
That was pretty much it for Norwescon 40. I didn't get on the road until 5pm and made it home just a little after 8. Suffice to say I didn't do much beyond unpacking the essentials that night. Conventions are fun but exhausting and I'm looking forward to the next one not occurring while I'm finishing up a huge project!