I went to Oz Comic Con on the weekend. Though I have gone in previous years for all the geeky stuff, that side of it wasn’t really my interest this time. And as one of the stall holders pointed out, this Con, unlike it’s counterparts such as Supanova and the like, is perhaps less about the cosplay and the movie star guests, and more about the artists and small stall holders that attend. Which is not to say OCC doesn’t have those things, but the focus is just…different.
In my case, the main reason I went this year was to see a couple of friends of mine who actually run a stall at many of the Australian Cons most years (if not every year). I met Marty and Jamie at a Con…oh, years ago now. Totally fan girl-ed the first time I met them, but now we just hang out with considerably less fan girling…still a bit though, because when you’re in the presence of some super talented dudes, you can’t help it. Marty is the artist behind Martin Abel Art, of which Jamie is the director, and a talented photographer and graphic designer in her own right. And whilst I don’t have room to hang any of the prints I’ve bought over the years, I still keep buying them. Because a) they’re amazing and b) supporting local artists – especially when they’re you’re friends – is good.
I wasn’t planning to spend any money this weekend but once I stopped past a particular stall, I think my purse was out before my brain even realised what I was doing. The stall in question was that of Hanna Mancini, the artist and creator trading under the name Hannakin. I can’t even tell you how gorgeous her artwork is, and her handmade soft dolls are so sweet. Each one individually designed and hand crafted, just… *insert heart eye emoji here*. I couldn’t help but throw my money her way in exchange for some of her beautiful creations. Not to mention, Hanna herself is pretty much the most adorable person on the planet (and has some killer fashion sense!).
Directly across the way from Hanna was another favourite artist of mine, the beautiful and supremely talented Mel Macklin. I was going to buy one of her pins this weekend but I got sidetracked and overwhelmed by all the people, so I will have to hop on over to her etsy store and grab one there instead. There was one in particular that caught my eye, called Thunderbolt Brat, who had the cutest little grumpy face and rain cloud dress I wish I could wear forever. Basically, I simply must have her. Despite not buying anything this weekend, I have purchased two of Mel’s prints previously and the sheer amount of thought and detail she puts into her creations is off the chart incredible.
Just recently I commissioned a tattoo design from an American artist who I discovered though Instagram. A couple of days ago, she sent me a snap of the final product and I can’t wait to have her artwork inked onto my skin forever. The artist in question is Rose Swenson who, aside from being an incredible self taught artist, is like, a musical genius or something. I am eternally envious of her talent…though I say that while my own instruments sit in the corner of the bedroom I’m currently living in, untouched because I’m lazy. But I digress. Rose paints some of the most divine artworks I’ve ever seen and aside from her tattoo commission, I purchased one of her prints last year because I adore the way she paints girls.
And while we’re on the subject of Instagram, it really is a great platform for discovering talented people. Artists, musicians, crafters, fellow sewists; I could sit here and write a paragraph about each and every artist or creator I’ve found but then we’d be here forever. So! If you wanna check out some more ah-mazing creations from some insanely skilled dudes, give these guys a look;
Jacquelin deLeon ~ Creeptoons ~ Dark Town Sally ~ Iren Horrors ~ Alisa Vysochina ~ Schmoe Draws ~ Audra Auclair ~ Fika Art ~ Mab Graves ~ Cyarine ~ Chris McQuinlan ~ Luke Andrew ~ Charapoo ~ Kukula
Supporting artists is one of my favourite things to do. It helps them to keep creating, and it allows me to gather up beautiful things to one day hang in my house…if I ever manage to own one. Plus, when you support local artists, you’re directly putting money into the economy, and that’s not a bad thing either. And if for no other reason, these people have honed their craft and spent years working on and improving their skills. That alone deserves recognition and appreciation. So support your favourite artists, and get cool things and beautiful artwork in return. It’s a win win.