SF FANS, HUGO VOTERS, & OTHER ALIENS
Why do I belong to DeviantArt? On Monday, Apr 7, 2008, 2:36 AM I was advised in strong terms to create a website where I could show my art to SF fans. Of course, even with free webspace available, I have no idea how to create a website, anyway, so I joined DeviantArt instead. I already belonged to FurAffinity, but the material posted there is oriented to furry and erotic art. What I needed was a place to show art to the “straights,” viewers who are not entirely comfortable with fur, fetishes, anime and semi-literacy…
Not that you won’t find a little of that in my DeviantArt presence. But the emphasis here is on fanzine covers, science fiction, fantasy and humour.
THE HUGO AND I
Let me start something like 40 years ago... I've been deeply involved with Science Fiction fandom since the early 1970's, and after that much time it would be surprising if I hadn’t left some sort of impression. For one thing, I was the Fan Guest of Honour at the worldcon in Montreal, in 2009. As of this year, I've also been nominated 11 times for the Hugo award as Best Fanartist. I haven’t won yet, but they say that miracles happen. I was awarded the Rotsler prize for fanart in 2008, which at least comes with cash.
The key to winning is probably reaching outside of the small fanzine community, which while not strictly closed, isn't well known to SF fandom as a whole. Most of the winners in recent years seem to have had presences in spin-off fandoms such as Trek or gaming or costuming. More recently, on-line activity seems to have been pushing aside traditional media. The winners were also able to attend conventions where they could display their work in the art show. I don't really have those options, but there was one way I could match other artists. An on-line presence. Let my work speak for itself. Of course, I’m not naïve enough to think that good work will win out over networking and popularity, but I can always dream.
The problem with my page on FurAffinity is as I’ve said. It’s a pretty mixed bag, with a heavy emphasis on furry art, and much of it is too erotic or too kinky for a general audience. Friends urged me to find a different site for a showcase.
After a little thought, Deviant Art seemed the best option. Here I am. Browse thoroughly. Don't miss any folders regardless what I called them. And vote often...
MY LIFE IN THE BUSH OF GHOST-WRITING
If you don't mind, rather than rewrite the same boring old details about myself, I'll quite from FurAffinity.
I've been drawing almost before TV's were common, let alone computers and the internet. I was drawing furry characters before there was such a fandom. I might have been the first to use a computer to cut mimeograph stencils to publish an SF fanzine. But it's almost an entirely different world now, and I tend to be a bit slow keeping up. I don't carry a cell phone, own an iPod, known how to ICQ, use PayPal, or know how to operate my digital camera yet. But I try to hang in there.
What I have done (before middle age began to slow me down) includes some magazine and book illustration, a short and obscure career in b/w comics, private commissions, dealer at cons, and too many years as an active science fiction fan to care to number.
Because of the internet, making a living has become a lot trickier, it seems. It's multiplied the number of artists a hundredfold, but the audience is accustomed to 99% of the art being free. It's hard to know if there's a net gain. At the same time travel has gotten more expensive, and the border a paranoid free-fire zone. Cons are a memory. The final insult, a Canadian dollar is over par with the buck. If I take $100 US to the bank, it appears as a two figure entry in my bankbook now. Maybe I should just get a real job, like I had when I was 25. On the other hand, if I hold out another decade, I can 'retire' on welfare, and enjoy the first real prosperity I've ever known, and finally draw what I want!
Ambition is a cruel master.
Current Residence: Toronto
Favourite genre of music: Anything but rap, gospel, or country.
Operating System: Window XP Pro
Personal Quote: "Great men are rarely good men" -- Lord Acton