Further Confusion 2011 Revisited

Hello, friends.  It’s Max West here and I have some more coverage of the event I attended recently out in the Golden State known as Further Confusion.  For those of you who didn’t read the first part, shame on you.  So go back and read it now.  I’ll wait…okay, time’s up. Anyway, I did take some time to enjoy myself while at the convention.  I did get some nice photos of the area and some of the con’s visitors.

Cesar Chavez PlazaThis is a shot of Cesar Chavez Plaza across the street from the Fairmont San Jose.  Note the palm trees in the background.

Anyway, I spent much time wandering the area just to explore.  When you go out to events, be they conventions, conferences, trade shows, etc, business is important (i.e. making connections, networking, promoting yourself, following leads) – but some pleasure can be great too.  Take in some of the local sights, snap some photos, and sample the local cuisine.  I certainly did.  Besides getting my chance to eat at Jack in the Box, I ate at a neat 1950s style diner close to the San Jose Fairmont called Peggy Sue’s.  The burgers and shakes are tasty, but the breakfasts are heavenly.  Seldom will you find a better omelet or hash browns.

Rodent fursuiterThere were no shortage of fursuiters at this event (see the first post for more photos/details).  This was one of the most inventive suits I saw there…either that or this hotel had worse problems with vermin than I thought.  Moving on to things that people care about, I spent much time walking around the hotel grounds meeting people, saying hello, shaking hands, telling others about my work, finding out about their passions, and passing out my business cards.  This turned out to be very fruitful for me as I did get a boom in visits and pageviews according to Google Analytics.

FC Dealer roomThis place, set in one of the hotel’s impressive ballrooms, was the dealer room.  At such events, the dealer room is a place where merchandise is sold.  Furry fans were here to buy comics, artwork, novelties, apparel, and various other bric-a-brac.  This turned out to be a prime avenue for networking.  I chatted with various artists selling their wares here, swapped business cards, and made some very valuable connections.

Blotch's Watercolor PanelConventions like FC will often have discussions (called “panels”) where speakers will talk with an audience about all kinds of subjects for art techniques to writing fiction to stage combat to costuming to the dichotomy of good and evil.  The photo you see here is of a watercolor panel I attended.  The lady here in the picture is one of two of a highly talented artistic team known as Blotch.  These ladies are skilled painters, working in watermedia such as acrylic and watercolor.  They gave a super panel on using watercolor.  Being a trained painter myself, I did add various comments of my own to this panel.

Speaking of art, I displayed some of my work in the Further Confusion art show.  I did display a comic, which I’ll share in a future post.  The others were Expressionist pieces I did using ink with watersoluble paints.

Angry RustyThis piece is called Angry Rusty and is available as a print on DeviantArt.  Done in India ink and acrylic on paper, this was an Expressionist piece strongly influenced by the works of Wassily Kandinsky and Mike Mignola.  The silhouette of Rusty was laid down with brush and ink.  Once it dried, I mixed up a wash of red acrylic paint thinned out with flow release.  Flow release is a medium designed to break down the chemical structure of acrylic paint to make it more fluid.  Unfortunately it reacted with the ink on the page.  In a strange way, it actually helps enhance the feel of discord in the image.

No SwimmingThis next piece displayed in the FC2011 art show is titled No Swimming, also available as a print.  This was put down on watercolor paper with ink and diluted gouache paint.  Of the watersoluble paints, gouache remains my personal favorite medium.  Anyway, some of my entourage at FC2011 along with my summer 2010 illustration class did get a kick out of this funny image.  It’s amazing that things that get our attention.

The Late MovieThis last piece is called The Late Movie and was done with ink and watercolor.  This piece was my last use of watercolor paints before I abandoned the medium for gouache and acrylic.  Anyway, I gotta love this one.  Sam’s scared of this horror film that she’s watching with Rusty – Rusty though is completely oblivious.  This too got positive reactions from my art class and some of my new friends at FC.  In fact, one of the art show staff really got a kick out of this image.

In spite of positive feedback and increased exposure (not to mention the traffic surge I got on this blog), no sales resulted.  I’m not daunted though.  It takes time to become established.  Henri Matisse and Marcel Duchamp took awhile to sell their work and some of it didn’t meet with positive reactions.  In fact, I did get a few inept morons who voiced displeasure at my work – but those people were vastly outnumbered by the positive reactions I got.

All in all, Further Confusion 2011 was fruitful for me and I did have a good time.  So until next time, friends!

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About Max West

I am a freelance artist and the creator of Sunnyville Stories, an independent slice-of-life comics series.
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