|All Photos by Kaitlin|
This week's entry is kind of long so I feel bad adding more text up here before I even get to the main article. However, because most of my readership has no idea what Spectrum Live is this seems an important topic to broach. Because he does such a great job and because I don't want to reinvent the wheel I'm going to basically plagiarize a section from Mr. Mike Linnemann's review of Spectrum Live 2.
What is Spectrum?
"Spectrum, in case you don’t know, is an annual book—a volume rather—that showcases the best in the field of fantasy and science fiction art. This year marks the twentieth anniversary of the volumes. They’re called individually “Spectrum X: The Best in Contemporary Fantastic Art.” The X is replaced by the number..." [-Mike Linnemann] This year is Spectrum 20. Spectrum is pretty awesome because you can see a broad diversity of fantasy art just by flipping the page. It also has the names of all the artists with their website, which generally has their contact information. As an artist you can follow people who have a similar style, learn some cool techniques you maybe didn't know, and make friends within the artist community. As an employer/project designer you can find an awesome artist who can breathe life into your ideas/works. As a human being who appreciates art (or a collector) you can marvel at the ease of access to countless masterfully crafted pieces of work. The best part? There's always new artists featured each year and all of the images have to survive a gauntlet-style panel before they're accepted into Spectrum so you're only looking at the best of the best.
What is Spectrum: Live?
"The convention is a gathering of artists, art directors, collectors, and fans in the middle of America. The convention celebrates the annual book and the art field." [-Mike Linnemann] This is basically the best place to meet the artists featured in Spectrum and is a super-gathering of really high talent individuals I'd otherwise find myself driving to Arizona to meet individually.
Last note: This is my personal Spectrum: Live 2 Report. I'll be writing up a more professional event review for MF shortly, in addition to a half-dozen interviews that will likely take a few weeks to put together.
------- End of Notes -------
It was after a full day's work that we started packing for Spectrum Live. I seemed to have let the days slip by and despite counting down the hours until my departure, packing somehow fell by the wayside. We packed everything we expected to need in just under an hour and observed an ancient Russian tradition I picked up from Wikipedia that consisted of stopping at the entrance of the house, waiting though a few moments of silence, and stepping on each other's feet. This is done partly to help remember things you might have forgotten to pack and partly because it's amusing. It worked, and I went back for an Elric of Melnibone' poster and my official MF Press pass. This week I'd be representing the Russian magazine Mir Fantastiki.
|Batman and the Tampa roads|
|So many flowers!|
|Not in Kansas City anymore...|
|The Stuff of Nightmares|
Day 2 - Wednesday May 15th, 2013
|The Road to Enterprise, AL|
|To The Moon?|
|Picture Unrelated: The Pirate Festival from the weekend before... Kind of like the Child Thief?|
Day 3 - Thursday May 16th, 2013
|Our Friend in IL had fun glasses...|
|Pretty much the coolest glasses ever...|
Day 4 - Friday May 17th, 2013: The First Day of Spectrum
|Sunrise in O'Fallon, IL|
|Just like a scene from Dishonored|
|This place is pretty awesome|
In a moment of genius I'd neglected to write down the address provided in the Spectrum: Live emails I'd gotten almost every week the month before because i'd assumed that it would be impossible to miss. Much to my dismay we were having a rather difficult time locating the correct part of the massive convention center where Spectrum was happening and it wasn't until we bumped into a friendly woman who identified herself as an art collector that we were pushed in the right direction. The collector (who was dressed very sharply and had a distinctly East-Coast US big city look, despite having no accent) had apparently come from Virginia for the sole purpose of purchasing as much original art as suited her interests. Her intent was mostly to support a few of her favorite artists but she also intended to see if anyone new caught her eye. They do exist!
|A Seemingly Friendly Photo Opportunity|
|Spectrum Live 2 Entrance Hall|
|The Main Room|
|Tom Babbey creates fantasy wildlife portraits and concepts|
|Justin Sweet and Vance Kovacs|
|Dan Dos Santos|
|Arnie and Cathy Fenner|
Day 5 - Saturday May 18th, 2013: The Second Day of Spectrum
|Art Panel by Greg Manchess you can see here|
|Photos were effectively impossible to take with my camera|
Day 6 - Sunday May 19th, 2013: The Final Day of Spectrum
|Krampus by Thomas Kuebler|
Day 7 - Monday May 20th, 2013
|The Bradenton River|