Emerald City Comicon 2015

ECCC seems to grow by leaps and bounds each year. And it still amazes and humbles me that new folks swing by and decide that our wares are worth spending money on even when surrounded by such awesome talent everywhere. So to those of you who collectively made 2015 a success, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

RoosterMonkey has been and (we expect) will always be a labor of love — and a means of escape, perhaps, for both of us. Maybe even a reaffirmation that we can still “do” things, even if small or incremental. As artists, it’s really not a good idea to ever stop “doing” anything.

We made RCD greeting cards this year, and a print of the 2014 Monsters and Dames entry. I had a very small handful of fresh marker sketches that didn’t make it to Sunday. The “Robot and…” series seemed to have gone over well every year and they disappear from the small stack on the table every time. I had a chameleon, a sparrow, and butterfly. (I owe someone a Robin. :)) There were three new mystic Space Girls, two of which had baby Griffons on their shoulders.

We took joy in the “aww, how cute!” reactions from convention attendees as they start from my side of the table and then their faces go “what the–” as they get to the other end. The look of bewilderment is both amusing and endearing. Or if they start with the RCD stuff, the expression of gleeful “Ha! That’s awesome!” goes to “huh? Oh! Pretty!” and they often stop dead in their tracks and playfully demand: “Wait, what’s your theme??”

I think we need to refine our story.  Nowadays my space girls have taken on an air of the mystery that was born from the Big Egg illustration. Mystic Space Girls. I have yet to expand on the Pioneer Spirit image.  My subsequent drawings of that theme have become more sultry and I wasn’t sure if it fit my original goals asI don’t fancy doing something that so many others are already doing so well.  But maybe it really just doesn’t have to fit!  If I can say to someone to “allow your art to evolve”…. I seriously need to take my own advice.

2014 was a little rough on me, though.  Work crunch drove whatever creative energy I had out of my body.  But I really enjoyed playing a lot of games with my kids and my family — something I had not been able to do much of, and it was addicting! I was enjoying leisure time I haven’t had in a while. I touched pencil to less than a dozen sheets of paper.  What little time I managed to spend on drawing went into a holiday card for Bungie, and the rest went into the Monsters and Dames piece that was accepted into the 2015 book. The canvas print of that turned out well, and earned $200 for Seattle Childrens’ Hospital. Which makes me want to do even better — not just the final piece of art, but in general to be more industrious. Need to dig deep and find the drive. Too many years have gone by where I don’t do anything for myself.

If you’re an artist and reading this, I hope you’re learning at least what NOT to do, right?

So what do we want to do for next year? We have a few months to really think this through.  Besides making our space more efficient and working on our presentation, I have thumbnailed out the next series of posters, and I have a newer version of the Pioneer Spirit poster that I think I’ll do a little larger. Robt’s book is almost ready. We haven’t decided how to make them — do we hand-build or print?  The latter being bit expensive for a now-single-income family of four, the former may be a bit difficult given the amount of time we do have available to us. The second set of  RCD greeting cards will get made — Robt has art he has done over the last year that could be leveraged.  Maybe we could build the sets at the convention instead of pre-wrapping them as we expand the cards collection. There are two new shirts that we want to do as well. And I need to do an ode to my current motorcycle, two illustrations of classic bikes, and at least one modern one. I also promised to do an illustration for a racer to help him through a season.

I gotta get cracking. I can feel art Fridays returning….

(Edits: Maybe I was too sleepy the last time, but hopefully the above is more coherent!)

 

P.S.: We hang out on Facebook more often these days. Search for “RoosterMonkey” or click here.

P.P.S: We also have a “store” on Society6.com. Just look for “RoosterMonkey” when searching for artists, or click here.

Thanks again for coming by!  And let’s go once more around the sun!!

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RoosterMonkey in ECCC Monsters and Dames 2015

Spacegirl with dragon

Finished.

Digital inking.

Linework.

 

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Has nearly a whole year gone by?

Quick Post Mortem:
We did well at ECCC2014. Thank you! We will return.
Hook up with us on facebook. This blogging thing is not as easy as it looks, apparently, considering the evident lack of updates.

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Showtime

We’re in booth 502 in case you see this this weekend.

Today was our first Friday attendance. Ever.  And as one might expect, it started off not with one hitch but with a bunch o’ hitches. We forgot to load the mini van with the floor banner, all the giclee prints, the cash box, all table signage, display bags, buttons, patches, and sticker packs.  Shirts, mugs, some stickers, marker sketches and the older prints were put up though by show opening. We both are taking cold medication so perhaps we’re just not quite firing on all cylinders!  Not to worry… we got hand-sanitizers, so perhaps we’re not spreading any more germs than are already present in the sold-out venue. (Is it true? over 70,000 people this time??)

Robt at least got some help setting up for the show today.  After I dropped off the kids at school and collected all the stuff we forgot (that we remembered we forgot anyways), I brought it up to the loading dock at the convention. There was no way I was going to find parking in the building, with all the heavy traffic to and from the east side, go to the booth to help out and make sure to get back before school let out, so I dropped off the goods (and everyone’s coffee!) and made the slow crawl back out. I made it with enough time to get a bite to eat and find some more Shikishi boards from Uwajimaya. Alas they were out of the smaller ones! I got the kids back, got them fed and watered, though one had to shower before going back out into public.  By the time we got to the convention center there was only an hour and a half left before the Exhibit Hall was open, and I saw that the number of marker sketches had run low.

Oy. Dunno if I’ll have enough variety to last til sunday! Those larger ones just take longer to ‘fill’ and has more white space that stare back at me.  I need to be braver, I think.  Hmm. You’ll know if I succeeded if there are new large-ish Shikishi boards at the table this weekend.

Thinking back, I think we eventually spent more than 30 hours over the last 12 months drawing or preparing stuff for RoosterMonkey. We posted several items on Society6 (look for “mehve” or “rooster monkey”), and put together an entry to Monsters and Dames.  Robt didn’t quite finish his in time for their cut-off time, but he put that up in the store. We did, each, a Funko Pop vinyl for the charity auction at ECCC. We painted those over several evenings (mainly me in the evenings) before I realized that the poor lighting in the breakfast nook at home didn’t let me see the ‘errors’ I was making until I saw the figure in the morning — especially when we had actual sunlight permeating the room.  Then I spent half an hour every sunny morning, trying to fix things until there was just no more time to fiddle. So in all, the year has felt more productive  than in years past.  I feel silly that I managed to re-do two pieces I had done previously (but now more better) and we made four all-new things that weren’t for our table.  Looking at the bright side… this whole endeavor was to get us to actually draw more.  And it has.  I like that.

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Is it Spring yet? Emerald City Comicon 2014 is coming up!

What’s up?
We posted the note to our Facebook page last month, but forgot to mention here that we actually have a Store button now.  If you haven’t ever browsed Society 6, check it out. There are cell phone covers, art prints, throw pillows, totes, and at least one clock. And there is a new print up as of last week.

Happenings.
Trying to balance time with RCD and RoosterMonkey, and the broad range of home economics work plus two kids is no easy task. One of us had surgery that basically ground all RoosterMonkey creative work to a stop for about a month — and suddenly, the convention is around the corner again!  How does twelve months go by so fast??

Well, at least we haven’t been as idle as last year. We have made new banners, new posters, one new shirt (ladies/juniors), some screen-printed bags, a couple new items in the Society 6 page, and a new Sticker Robot order has been put together. But we’ll see if that will make it to the convention in time. We really liked the RCD set we ordered with them. Did you get a set?

We’re slowly trying to build out what our ‘curb appeal’ will look like at the exhibitor’s hall, but there’s only so much we can carry!  We’re black and blue with a touch of gold and red. Maybe that should be red, gold and green; the color of our dreams? Ha! We may end up getting another flatbed to roll display stuff in for set-up. We’ll likely outgrow our bins soon.

In case you haven’t actually visited us at the convention, you might not know that Enfu is our anchor. Without Ken, or the rest of our friends who share this island of tables in the Washington State Convention Center’s North Lobby, we would probably retreat back to Artist Alley. Enfu grounds us, inspires us, binds the island together. While we are only at the convention for three days, we all keep in touch now and then, showing progress, inspiring, cajoling, nudge nudge, poke poke.

Remember 502
Speaking of which. Ken just informed us we have secured the same spot in the North Lobby as last year. Space 502!

This thing we’re doing is no small thing. We hope the trickle of personal creative energy can continue on. It all kinda depends on how the audience responds. A lot of who came to the convention last year were mainly interested in the celebrity guests. There’s a part of me that wonder if we should capitalize on that and do some fusion of art that incorporate our favorite fictional characters with our own twist, just inject enough ‘other’ so there’s a newness to it.  Or maybe we’ll just stick to our guns. This is, after all, supposed to be fun. The thought of using Firefly and zombifying them, for example… or cutesifying the cast and ship… It’s making me tired just thinking about it. I’m sure someone’s already done it. There’s so much of our own stuff we want to make, yet there’s this niggling doubt ~ will there be an audience for that stuff at the ECCC this year?  Or next? Or is this not the right avenue? It still feels correct, thank goodness. We won’t know until after it’s over if, well, it’s over! Ha. It’s just under four weeks away. Can hardly wait.

See you soon!

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Rooster-Monkey art accepted into the ECCC M&D book

I got the note on Dec. 5 that my submission to the 2014 Monsters & Dames 80-page book was accepted!  Yes, even after all these years, I still wonder whether anything I do is likeable. Times are always changing, and there is always this doubt that something I make really “isn’t good enough” even if there is some part of me that is happy with it. I guess that is what making art is all about.

For all artists out there… I commend you for being brave every day. Or perhaps for being audacious enough to feel that certainty that it doesn’t matter whether anyone likes likes your work, as long as you had a lot of fun making it and feel satisfied at the result of your labor.

The pic is up in our Facebook page (and thumbnailed below):
https://www.facebook.com/RoosterMonkey

Recently accepted into to the Emerald City Comicon "Monsters&Dames 2014" art book.

Recently accepted into to the Emerald City Comicon “Monsters&Dames 2014″ art book.

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What’s New?

Zombiespotting! That’s what! I just added a new area to the RCD Local 4104 section to get myself in the habit of updating the site regularly. I will be posting quasi-reviews of alleged zombie movies with an emphasis on assessing zombie portrayal.

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Free shipping until March 17 on RoosterMonkey prints on Society6!

This promo just got offered. We’ll post some RCD items up there soon!

http://society6.com/mehve/prints?promo=314799

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“Scooter” poster now available online.

We’re experimenting with the print-on-demand service on Society6 to see how it goes.

http://society6.com/mehve/Scooter-white_Print#1=1

We plan on putting a couple of the RCD posters up there as well. Stay tuned!

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What’s in it for me?

I don’t feel comfortable in crowds and that means I always feel kind’a iffy heading into a Con. In fact, I haven’t been able to bring myself to go to one of these things as an attendee for a little over a decade. As an exhibitor I have a table between myself and the public, but that doesn’t really help much, because sitting on that table is a small part of my soul.

So why do it? It’s not for the money. I would’ve quit a long time ago if that were the case. Is it for recognition? Maybe. I do what I do because there are people out there that like the stuff I’m doing as much as I like doing it. And when that connection is made, there is no crowd. They become part of the world I am imagining, even if just for a little while–a world of standardized practices and methods for the disassembly of reanimated corpses. And for everybody involved, that’s a hoot.

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