Convention Report: The FWA 2022 Artist Alley Experience

I’m taking a nice slow week after the big push for FWA this past weekend, mostly focusing on teaching and catching up on a few things, but I wanted to pop in and wax exuberant about the experience.

FWA is one of the most unique conventions in my lineup, both from a vending standpoint and as a participant. I love how much of the fandom is built upon original creations and personal expression. After spending the past couple years cooped up in familiar spaces and routines, being around so much creativity and variety was a balm to the soul. It remains one of the most genuinely friendly and delightful conventions I have ever attended. I loved getting to see friends I hadn’t seen since 2019 and making new ones.

I was on the first come, first served Artist Alley list this year. Since I barely understand Telegram, I missed the new raffle system entirely. Luckily, this did not end up being a problem. I was able to get a table each day without difficulty. I am, however, definitely feeling the years of sedentary living and not enough convention/art show hauling after four days of moving my stuff back and forth on public transit.

In spite of the limitations of the daily set-up-and-tear-down system and the need to carry everything (display and product) each day, this remains my best convention by far. I got to draw so many wonderful characters, and I’ll be restocking prints for the next couple months. My box of small prints is almost empty now!

I had planned to ramp up production significantly in 2020, but then the world shut down. Now that I have had two successful shows in a row I’m once more in a position to take some risks and make some bigger investments into some product expansions. I’m excited to get my plans in motion once again!

My next show is not until July, so I have a bit of time to prepare and dive into some bigger projects and learning experiments. Aside from my summer camp obligations and my ongoing character design job, I’m planning to create a couple of new products and start working on some art books to try to have one or two ready for next year’s FWA. I also want to play more with animation practice.

Thank you to everyone who stopped by my table this past weekend, and extra thanks to those of you who let me draw your characters or stuck around for conversation. I’m looking forward to keeping up with you all throughout the year and seeing you again next year!

If you’re here from the con and want to find me in other places, here’s the list of spots I haunt:

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