In 2003, I had been checking out a online group for rpg artists, aspiring or otherwise and in there I met an artist named Andy Hopp, and things would never be the same. I had learned of the group through another artist, Beth Trott (check her stuff out, it's amazing ). Well, Andy mentioned he was attending Gen Con, in that first year it was at Indianapolis, and if anyone was attending they were welcome to stop by his booth and talk.
I then went temporarily insane because I decided, with only a week or two before the con, to go there on a Saturday and hang out with him. Skipping all of the headaches with registration, long waits in line, and not knowing what to expect (first Gen Con) I finally arrived with an hour to hobnob. Looking through the artshow, I discovered he was in the dealer's room sharing a table with the legendary (at least to me) Larry Elmore! Upon finding the table I discover not only Andy and Larry, but the equally amazing Jeff Easley and Stephanie Pui-Mun Law. The dealer's room was closing soon, so Andy and I arranged to meet somewhere for dinner.
During Dinner I showed Andy and another artist, Chris Seaman, some art that I had thrown together in a rush. They had some helpful criticism for me but also an idea came to them. If they set up a weekend where they would have various basic art classes, would I go for that. I was floored, they lived only a couple of hours away from me and I felt their work was fabulous so I agreed.
Fast forward to a month later and I was at Andy's house with a dozen or so artists, learning about still lives, perspectives, oil painting, just a lot of basic and some not so basic stuff. We spent the days (Friday through Sunday) learning and practicing our craft and the nights we spent playing games and partying. This became an annual event, eventually culminating in Andy turning it into a small convention known as Con on the Cobb.
I am glad I took that crazy chance all those years ago because since then I have met and befriended many artists and had some wonderful times. I love to create as much as I love to play games, so to have friends who are equally passionate is a blessing. I hope you all have friends whom you can relate to in some deep and meaningful way. Take care, and feel free to comment on anything you have read here!
By the way, here are links for the people mentioned; Andy Hopp http://andyhopp.com/ Beth Trott http://www.bethtrott.com/ Jeff Easley http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeff_Easley (couldn't find his official site :( ) Stephanie Law http://www.shadowscapes.com/profile.php Chris Seaman http://www.chrisseamanart.com/about.html Larry Elmore http://larryelmore.com/