Tuesday, 30 June 2015

My first Comic Festival Part 3 (the exciting conclusion)

So, it all seemed to be coming together.  VanCAF was the next day.  My art was printed, my comics had arrived, and I was feeling pretty good.  I even managed to go to bed at a decent time!

I awoke the next morning feeling refreshed, got my stuff together and headed to the Roundhouse down in Yaletown.

When I first walked into the space, I felt like maybe I didn't belong.  Like I had somehow lied and cheated my way in.  Of course, it was all in my head. Everyone was friendly and when I found my table I was greeted warmly by my table mates.  It was all good.  I started to relax and set up my stuff.

Then, I started feeling weirdly over-confident.  I was thinking, "Yeah! Awesome! I'm gonna sell ALL my comics!  Everyone is going to think I'm super talented!  There's gonna be a buzz about me and my work!" (Ok, I don't think I really believed this, but still.)  I was just thinking in extremes.  

So the doors finally opened to the public.  The festival was two full, busy days.  I met some great people, got to talk to writers and artists that I really admired, and even sold a few things.  When it was all done, I was wiped out.  I tried to sleep that night, but my brain was buzzing!  The last two days were swirling around in my head and I couldn't stop them.  The best I can compare it to is when you're a kid and you do something for the first time, like going on the waterslides or a roller-coaster, and when you go to bed you can't stop thinking about it?  It's like you keep sliding down that slide or rolling down that steep coaster track?  That's kind of what it was like for me.  Unfortunately, I couldn't sleep and it was making me feel anxious, so I went downstairs and watched a movie to take my mind off things.

The next morning I felt better and was able to analyze my experience a bit more rationally.

I think the greatest thing I learned was that it's important not to invest in the experience too emotionally (does this sound impossible?) or base your self-worth or talent on how many sales you've made, or how many people stopped at your table.  The fact of the matter is, you do the art or the comics or whatever because you love it (hopefully) and all you can do is keep at it, continue to learn and get better as an artist.  

Of course, we need people to read comics and love art, and buy it sometimes, because that is certainly part of it too and it's kind of partly why we do it, right?  So people can enjoy reading/looking at it as much as we enjoy making it? 

I guess it's probably impossible to leave the ego out of what we do, but it's a good lesson to be learned.  Just do what you do, try to get better, be appreciative, and don't lose sight of why you do it in the first place.

I realize writing this, I sound like I've made a mountain out of a molehill in some ways, but when you get involved with things relating to what is important to you, I guess it's easy to get carried away and put a lot of pressure and expectations on them.  I suppose it's all about finding that balance.

And yeah, I may not have sold all my comics, or created a buzz, but that was never supposed to be the point, was it?   I learned tons.  Made new friends.  And despite my nervousness, had fun too.

I'm looking forward to the next time.  

I'm looking pretty chill, hey?

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