Silicon Valley Comic 2018 was 3 epic days of comics, costumes, and camaraderie. We had a ton of fun, sold a lot of sketchbooks (so grateful for everyone who bought one), and made a lot of new friends (grateful for you too).
Most importantly, I learned some really important lessons from my first convention with the SeqArt sketchbook. While we drove north on the 101 on Sunday night, we did our best to take a full inventory of the wins and learnables from the weekend.
The SeqArt sketchbook is a hit.
It was a really validating experience. Since I started using my SeqArt, I knew the product worked. I draw in mine every day, I believe in it, I love it. It's my primary sketchbook. But would other people feel the same way?
Yes indeedy they do. And in a big way. A lot of people looked at it and said "this is the product I've been looking for". Others looked at it for the first time and immediately saw the potential for the stories they were going to tell. It inspired some great conversations and I can't wait to see stories start to come to life in every sketchbook we sold.
SeqArt connected with illustrators of all ages.
We got the SeqArt sketchbook into the hands of some really great kids. The wild eyed little storytellers were my favorite part of the weekend. It was particularly popular with redheads, which sort of makes sense to me in a weird way. I really hope I get to catch up with those kids again and see what they've drawn. I hope they grow up with a SeqArt in their hands and they tell great stories that enrich their lives and the world around them.
Also connected with tons of adults who draw sometimes, and maybe they've drifted away from the habit a bit, nut now they want to get back into it and draw more. And to that I say you're god damn right. SeqArt is the perfect companion for that journey. Take it out into the world and find more stories to tell, then let us see them!
I was really honored to spend a lot of time talking about sequential art with world class illustrator Brent Anderson. He's worked on every major title out there and he's currently on a hell of a run with Astro City. He's also a really solid dude with wisdom to share. He really seemed to like the SeqArt and had some great insights for me. I'll be thinking about that conversation for awhile.
Lots of folks told me they feel shy about their work and I get it.
Art is really personal. At every level, we're looking around at our peers and we're worried that our stuff isn't as good as theirs. But we're all out here trying to do the same thing and that's draw better comics. The only way to do that is to keep drawing them and share them with people you trust. Listen to their opinion and let it influence your decisions, then follow your gut. Keep drawing and love the process and you'll become a master. And let me tell you one more thing: your comics are better than you think, and if drawing them makes you happy then they're the best.
I had great neighbors in the exhibitor hall.
Huge thanks to Aaron from Cotton Crustacean, Rasterstache, Tomas Overbai, and the the CBCS guys for being great neighbors. It was a really awesome little community to be part of for the weekend, great company to keep. They were all really friendly and generous with thoughtful advice for the new guy. I wrote all of it down and it's going to directly influence the future of the SeqArt sketchbook, so I sure am grateful.
You know what else I learned?
SeqArt is one tough sketchbook.
Can't say I'm surprised, but I sure am proud. I beat the hell out of this thing this weekend. It's so tough that I took MY PERSONAL SKETCHBOOK-- the one I draw in every day-- and I put it out on my table and let total strangers flip through it. I bet 500 people handled this thing and it is in great shape. It's got tough pages that hold up to heavy usage.
Still, I probably won't be doing that again. I'm working on better ways to present the work I've done in it so far.
San Jose is a great town, too.
Top 5 in NorCal, and that's some stiff competition. My list now goes like this:
- San Francisco
- Santa Cruz
- San Jose