CONVENTIONS! I love 'em! Which is fantastic 'cause I have three more lined up for the rest of 2013.
First up is GRAND COMICS FEST in its inaugural year! And it is gonna be GRAND. This promises to be a pretty awesome show. Small, but packed with exciting talent. The line up is fantastic. Come celebrate comics with us on June 8-9th! The whole thing is the brainchild/baby of Pat Dorian, and perhaps best of all, the show is FREE. :) So no excuses! Especially you Brooklyn folks.
Further afield is CAKE, which is being held the very next weekend (June 15-16) in Chicago! Too many good people will be at this too. I don't know too many people in Chicago and I am looking forward to meeting some of the incredible folks out there.
Something that makes me happy about both of these shows is that they were "juried" or "curated" and so getting to exhibit at them means more than I had the money to buy a table and the presence of mind to meet the application deadline (though often that is a coup in and of itself). It feels good to get that sort of reinforcement; that people actually respond to my work. Sometimes you can feel like you are working in a vacuum. I am not a student anymore so I don't get too much feedback from the outside world. For the most part that is fine. I never really felt that I benefited from group critiques and the like. But out of school you lose that structure, those hard lines to measure yourself up against, even if they are arbitrary and potentially hazardous. In the "real world" when I can only make comics in the in between spaces when I am not in the office, often the only feedback I will get for months is from my patient supportive boyfriend.
So when I do turn outwards and away from my small inside world for support or recognition, it is nice to hear something back. Something more than your own voice calling out to the universe. Actually, for my purposes the "universe" is a relatively small and specific set of grants, anthologies, competitions and shows. And when I put myself out there very often the answer is NO. And while NOs are common in any creative endeavor or ambition, and one should not be deterred but them, sometimes it feels really good to get a YES.