Last year, I made the decision to take my art to GuardianCon in June, with less than a month until the event was to take place.
I’d heard Professor Broman on the Destiny Community Podcast episode #89 while I was driving speakers to a friend for a gig. I had left my IT job almost two months before that, and felt aimless. Things had gotten kind of bad with some of my family, and I was feeling crushed by a lack of progress with new work and new creative endeavors.
I finished three paintings before the convention. I made about 30 prints of each. I tried doing some Ghost paintings, but only finished a few successfully. That’s all the Destiny-themed work I had, period.
This year, I have 13 new pieces in progress, and almost two whole months left to work still...
Since signing up for the convention again, I’ve finished two others (and last year, finishing the Jade Rabbit/Jade Jester Custom put me at four completed in 2018).
Here’s the full list of works in progress so far, and works from last year. Prints will be at the convention- though I’m not 100% sure which ones or how many (yet). Previews of the current in-progress views are below. Read past the jump for more on my 2018 GC experience, and thanks for checking things out.
The photos below show mainly the transferred sketches that I did. The next layers will be paint for each of these.
2019 In Progress: The Last Word | Thunderlord | Hawkmoon (D1) | Polaris Lance (Ikelos Field Tuning) | Ikelos_SR_v1.0.1 | Perfect Paradox | Redrix’s Claymore | Jotunn | Celestial Nighthawk (D1) | Celestial Nighthawk (D2) | Crown of Tempests | Helm of Saint 14 | “Be Brave” (The Traveler)
2019 Completed: Thorn | Whisper of the Worm (Between Breaths)
2018 Completed: The Ace of Spades | Sunshot (Red Dwarf) | MIDA Multi-Tool | Jade Rabbit (Jade Jester)/Custom
It’s no secret I’ve been a dedicated fan of Destiny and Destiny 2. After playing nearly 3 years with the same Scout Rifle in Destiny 1, the MIDA Multi-Tool, I just wanted a painting of it to hang on my own wall. The new design in D2 looked even better.
But for some reason (a reason that I’m still trying to track down and understand), between the moment that idea popped into my head and even up until May of 2018, I just couldn’t get the work to spill out of my hands. This Destiny painting wasn’t the only thing to make me feel that way. It wasn’t the only time I’d felt that effect. And I’m sure it won’t be the last time. But that’s a different story…
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So, June rolls around. I’m listening to DCP like any other week, and Broman starts talking about GuardianCon. Unfettered from a regular 9-5 schedule, but now on a very fixed and limited budget, my first thought was “man, I wish I could afford to go to that". Then Broman talks about the Artist’s Alley- a concept I’m super familiar with, but never occurred to me as something that would be at GC. He goes on to talk about how the artists there in 2017 sold out all the works they brought… And it dawned on me. Like a Sunbreaker’s Hammer smacking me in the skull, or the light of a Ghost snapping me from one paracausal step to another.
I had to get there. I had to sell art there. I had to. No matter the cost.
I searched for this info earlier today, and found it easily: I reached out to get my table at GuardianCon on June 25th. For context, the convention happened on July 14th and 15th. In the days between hearing Broman’s chat about GC, and the 25th, I scraped and raised money.
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I finished the MIDA Multi-Tool first. As my all-time favorite scout rifle in D1, and the inspiration for these paintings at all… it was the spark that lit the flame. Then the Ace of Spades, weapon of Cayde-6, the Hunter Vanguard, voiced by one of my favorite sci-fi actors, Nathan Fillion, whose character would die in the September 2018 expansion to Destiny 2, Forsaken. After that, the Sunshot, but not the default one- the dark, retro-future looking “Red Dwarf” ornament, with its stark red and black and white color combination.
I tried my ass off to finish my ‘custom’ rendition of the Jade Rabbit, working from the Jade Jester ornament, which had always tickled my fancy, with its heavy nod to Kaneda’s bike in Akira. But alas, it traveled with me to the convention in an incomplete state, with no prints available for sale.
So too did about 2 dozen paintings and leftover prints from every other art show I’d ever done. I almost only sold prints. I did a raffle for the original Ace of Spades painting- and it was so big it wouldn’t fit in the winner’s car to get it home.
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I learned a ton. Maybe more about what makes me happy with my art than I ever thought possible.
I had to scrape and beg from friends and family, take on commissions and get works done and a trip to Florida figured out in less than a month. I had to drive 12 hours straight from VA to FL by myself. I stayed up driving to Walmart looking for the last of the supplies I needed the night before the convention, in an unfamiliar town. I printed and painted in my hotel room until I crashed before the convention.
I only finished three paintings before the convention. Along with all the other costs, I could afford to make make about 30 prints of each. And for the first time ever as a working artist, I sold art. Lots of art. Enough to eat and pay rent for two months. I talked to fans. I met the 10 or so other community artists who were there last year exhibiting, and the handful that were there, but weren’t.
And it changed things. Completely and utterly. Period. There’s a line, and there are things that exist before it and things that exist after.
If it weren’t for the Destiny Community, if it wasn’t for Destiny… I don’t know where I’d be right now. Maybe still playing (of course I’d still be playing), but I wouldn’t be part of this weird, huge family now. I wouldn’t have met the amazing artists who welcomed me, who celebrated the same love and inspiration from such a wonderful and unique sci fi fantasy world…
And I get to do it all again. And I get to see it grow.
“This is amazing!” - Lord Shaax