First off, thank you Rob for being incredibly generous, and helping fly me up to Michigan. I'm seriously looking forward to seeing you in Richmond and thanking you in person. I have a couple of things to hand you that you can fit in your luggage. Also, Shamus, thank you for being a wonderful host and taking me around your area. The Blue Man Group concert was fun too!
Live DJ as the warm up for Blue Man Group.
The only major thing that really ticked me off about the trip, wasn't the trip. I had hardly any to no phone reception in the hotel. The only spots that I did were on the 5th floor, and the front lobby. Otherwise, it was a good trip.
The trip itself started by me flying into Michigan. Lunden aka Rob, had flight miles that he couldn't use, and offered to help me come up north. Shamus had thought about going to MFF, so I offered to help split the cost of a room, as well as gas and such for the trip. I was later asked to be a guest at the convention, so that included free admission for a guest.
I wasn't quite sure what to expect before I went this year. Last year, I helped work the Art Show. This year, I did the web site, as well as being a guest. The other two guests were jill0r and Will Sanborn. I spoke with Will before the convention, as well as emailing each other back and forth.
Throughout the weekend, I felt very welcomed. Everyone was incredibly nice to me, and I had more offers than I could take Saturday afternoon in the Dealers Den for art commissions (I started politely giving people my email address after 4PM).
Normally, I'm not really special. My home life is very nice, and the folks that I see on Mondays and Fridays are cool also. In a way, I wasn't used to attention like this on a normal basis, and I felt very loved.
Linnaeus (Paul), who's the chairman, wanted to have myself and Shamus show up early so some of the Board members, and the guests could all go out to dinner.
Before hand, I got my badge, and it was accidently pointed out to me that he was carrying a surprise gift basket. It was full of munchies, different bottles of rootbeer, and a large bottle of wine. It was really awesome, and I gave my thanks for the wonderful gift. Where we later ended up going to dinner blew me away, and I felt so out of place. It was a restaurant called "Morton's," and is pretty up scale. The waitress showed us visual aids of sealed fresh cuts of meat for us to pick from. It was incredible. I sat next to Shamus, and across from Tango and Perro. The conversations were random, and I wrote down notes for my panels. The staff meeting followed later on in the evening.
Earlier in the evening, Mintaka helped me with a Kinko's run for badges. Shamus came along, and they chatted about movies for a while, while I finished up stuff for folks.
On Friday, there was opening ceremonies around noon. People spoke, and I was asked to stand up so folks could see me. I pointed next to jill, and Linnaeus told me to stand up. I did, and someone shouted for me to "Realy, stand up!" The front stage had stairs, so I stood on one. This was followed by jill0r, Will (who isn't short, and stood two stairs higher), and the lady from this year's charity Flint Creek Wildlife Rehabilitation, also standing on the stairs.
This was followed about a half hour later with the Meet the Guests of Honor panel. Orvan from Acme Delivery services, had us sign a signature form to pick up our "orders." Mine was a large bag of rootbeer, jill0r had a box full of art supplies (glitter glue, pencils, and some other goodies aside bubble wrap), and will got an antique box camera. I was later told the sheet went to the Charity Auction, and was bought was $10. I wish I'd known, or I'd have drawn something on it.
We were all asked questions, and got a few chuckles out of folks. One question I was asked was if I needed to learn new things when I worked on art. I explained about looking at lots of photos of wings, and held up a convention badge of Skye to show as an example. Skye (Shawn) wasn't expecting it, and I handed it to him after I was finished speaking.
The other panel that I did during the day was a figure drawing class. The first hour was for folks to draw people, and the second to draw fursuiters. A good number of folks turned out for it. Green Reaper and Mystee were the first two models. I had them pose for several 30 second - 1 minute, 2 minute, 5 minute, and 10 minute poses. For the fursuiters, we had Tonya, and Nevermint. Perro was awesome, and brought up a few fans. I also asked if he could grab
one more suiter. He brought about 12, and Cake ended up staying (he signed up, and I mentioned people could come on Sunday). I tried not to have the suiters pose for more than 5 minutes.
Usually when I had figure drawing classes, they were pretty boring. Making jokes, such as not being able to finish my sandwich, and how people are like a series of tubes like the internet helped.
I held the same class on Sunday afternoon. For the humans, we had Skye, Mintaka, Leo, and Crimson. Again, they were several 30 second, 1, 2, 5, and 10 minute poses. I'd let things ride out at random for an extra 15, 30, or 60 seconds to be nice. I also tried to make folks laugh or grin to make things less boring.
Kat donated some CDs, and RC Rabbitsfoot (Ian) brought a radio to make things less boring.
For fursuiters, we had Orvan, Sugar, Hyenagirl, and Chuckles. Chuckles posed with Hyenagirl and Orvan (seperately) a few times, so I let the poses run to about 10 minutes. Yappy, thank you for bringing Chuckles into the panel last minute. That was awesome.
Sugar modeling in my figure drawing panel.
Also, RC, thank you for coming to my panels! You are awesome. I wish we could have hung out more. Heck, thank you everyone who came and volunteered! You all made it special. Again, thank you Perro for the easels and fans!
I do not recall his name, but there was a very nice guy who came to both the figure drawing panels I held, and the nude one RC held Saturday evening that wanted to hang out with RC and myself. I asked RC if he was hungry and wanted lunch. The gentleman that stuck around asked if we could critic his work. I said sure, and asked if he wanted to come with us. We went to a Qdobo, and he treated us to lunch. It was incredibly nice of him. We flipped through his sketches and gave him some feedback. He had gone to art school near the hotel, and knew the area as well. Overall, I enjoyed his studies very much, and asked if he could scan them.
On Saturday, I held a one hour panel on character designing. Like all the panels, it was improved, though, I had notes. I mainly explained how to quickly put down an idea, how to deal with drawing things that annoy you (such as drawing a character from the back), faces, and a few other things relating to cartoon critters.
While giving a demo during the Characters panel.
From Noon until 8, I sat in the Dealers Den. I stopped taking commissions at 4, though, I really didn't want to. I had a large group of folks near the table at the end. Aki Usagi, a friend of hers (I was them both badges, hers a rabbit, his a wolf), Terry, Shamus, Liesl, Slash, Skye, Leo, and random other people. When I was done cleaning up, we went out to the hall, I finally made a dash for the loo, and we all hung out infront of the dance near a wall.
I noticed everyone around me, except Liesl, was wearing a badge I made for them. Aki and her friend, Leo, Slash, Skye, and Margo. Liesl had mentioned that Brian Reynolds had made a badge of all her Funday characters, except for Puddin. I said I could make her one, and she left to come back with her puppet. When she returned, I drew her one she could keep with her actual convention badge (it slid into the pouch), with the caption, "I can't see you...". I offered to make Puddin a badge too, which had a cuter image of her reading, "I still can't see you!" Because of how the puppet was made, that you can't see her eyes past the fur.
Liesl together with Puddin and badge. "Yay!"
Stria had his purple skunk, Sugar (who I made a badge for earlier), and so Floor Con was held. "There's no chairman, since we have no chairs!" When people came by, we all yelled, "Welcome to Floor Con!" Sugar also filled the room with the scent of Vanilla.
Sugar and General Talon pose.
Sugar was our GOH, and we used her as a pillow. Eventually, Sugar had to get up to drink some water, and she didn't want to pop the head off in public, so I brought her over to the Womens loo so she could privately drink some water. At one point after occationally asking if she was okay, Stria over heated a bit, and Liesl and Shamus helped carry him upstairs.
The GOH got the spa treatment, and later was doing quite well afterwards. Floor Con turned into Bed Con, followed by watching silly videos such as Leo's AC07 video, Rejected, Billy's Balloon, Muffins, and Bunny Pop.
I need to make some Floor Con badges for next year. This year was Floor Con 2.
(left to right) Sugar (our GOH), Liesl, Margo, me, and Aki.
(left to right) Leo, Sugar, friend of Aki's (I'll try to get his name later), Liesl, Aki, me, and JBadger.
During Sunday evening, They held a staff dinner in the con suite, but I had time to kill before then. Will hung out in my room for a while, and we talked about book binding. Skye popped down later, and we hung out for a while before heading downstairs. I alsdo finished up in Crimson's book, hung out with Mystee and Bastian, visited Netasha and Jen (who later explained why Shawntae's afraid of jellyfish), and attended a chocolate tasting party held by
Linnaeus, Duncan, and Takaza. Netasha made an awesome figure of Rollie as a "tear drop" key chain. She wanted to make it as a thank you for drawing in my sketchbook. It looked awesome, and I felt very special. She also gave me an Anime tear drop and angry sign that can clip onto my hair. They looked great!
When I popped in on the party, the whole room welcomed me! It was incredible. Takaza showed me some gourment chocolates that he had gotten. This included some kind of nut, curry, crushed red pepper, lavender with blueberry, and bacon. I liked curry the most, as well as lavender with blueberry.
Throughout the weekend, I got up as early as I could, and enjoyed a quiet breakfast with Mintaka at Panera Bread. I don't think he has one near him, so he enjoyed the chance to go in there in the mornings. He brought back breakfast for Frosty before we'd head back.
During the weekend, I also had the chance to hang out with Skye. For the past couple of years, evening though he only lives a hour away, he wasn't able to attend the event. he introduced me to his friend Sorin (or just Sori), who's an abit tea drinker. I watched some of Ratatouille and Kung Fu Hussle with them.
I had two shirts that weekend, with sharpies that would occationally hide on me. One was a white long sleeve shirt, and the other was the official convention shirt. I had random people sign one, and staff sign the other.
During closing ceremonies, a video was shown introducing the new hotel. It was extremely well done, and put together by Cheetah. According to the video, everything in the hotel is heavenly, including the grout and toilets. I'm hoping they have heavening phone reception.
The Charity Auction raised quite a bit for Flint Creek Wildlife Rehabilitation, as well as $60 fron the con suite (someone left a tip jar), from the raffle of the large framed print, and Chester Ringtail's g-string. I guess it was somewhere close to $4000, but the convention also kicked in a extra $10K, which had both the folks from FCWR break down in tears. The woman holding the hawk had a hard time stopping crying, and basically said they'd broken even for the year.
The following morning involved Frosty, Crimson, a friend of Crimson's also from VTech, Mintaka, Shamus, and myself catching breakfast at a "flap jack" breakfast restaurant.
At breakfast Monday morning.
I later hung out with Shamus, Nevermint, Stria and some random folks in the front lobby for a few hours. For some reason, Nevermint liked trying to pull Stria's leg hairs out.
Stria's phone desktop.
Stria sitting next to me, after he pulled my bandanna down.
As a side note, Bed Con was held next door to my room (3121) in Stria, Nevermint, and RB's room (3123). Nius, Zannah, and Crimson were on the other side (3119).
I appologize if I missed mentioning anyone. Mad props to everyone who helped make the weekend special. I'll miss you all, and you know who you all are.
Finances and time will determine if I can make MFF again next year. I plan on still working on the website either way.