October 24th, 2021
Towards the end of the last day of NerdinOut Con III in Rochester, one of my new friends from Artist Alley came over to my table.
He wasn’t sure if I had noticed, but a girl had just been literally jumping up and down with her latest purchase, beyond excited over the book she just discovered. That book was The Weirdos.
That was the feeling I took with me as I left the convention today.
Not just the kind of love and pride you get when someone digs and really gets what you do, but the example my fellow artist set: he wanted me to know that he saw someone appreciate my work, and that is the kind of immensely supportive community we have in this state, and my appreciation for the people here will never be adequately or eloquently stated.
(By the way, the artist who told me this is Christopher K, and I mention him by name because he is one of the most exciting artists I have recently had the pleasure of meeting.)
All the thanks go where they need to go: the volunteers, organizers, and fans. You are the only way good experiences happen.
Whenever someone figures that the writer of the book about a dog who tries to escape an animal shelter probably isn’t doing this as his main income (c’mon, Netflix, this is ripe for adaptation), they ask me what my day job is.
And then they often ask what the difference between working in a restaurant and working at a con is.
In a restaurant, it’s all about someone else’s menu and someone else’s food and drink. At a con, I spend all day trying to sell me. When someone doesn’t like the chicken fingers, that’s easy to let go; when someone doesn’t like something that’s a part of me, it can be more complex and even hurtful. Conversely, when someone likes or loves what you do, there is absolutely no other feeling in the world like it.
With both jobs, it can be rewarding, it is mentally and emotionally exhausting, and at the end of the day you are sweaty and stinky. Also, lots of people.
If you came out to any of the three conventions during my “tour” this fall, THANK YOU. Sincerely. It was amazing to meet each and every one of you for the first time, or all over again.
All my love.
P.S. Stay tuned for the encore.