Tuesday, August 23, 2011

WorldCon Reno: Renovation Memories

Fast forward to my first day of work after Worldcon, and then going home to zucchini sauce on squash ravioli (delicious, btw.)  I'm really tired but I want to spend all my spare time either writing or gardening, preferably both.  What I really could use is a way to dictate stories while I'm gardening.  There are ways to do it.  I just can't afford them (yet).

I learned a lot from the panels I attended at Worldcon, and I got to talk to some really fabulous people.  I'll write about highlights in no particular order on the blog until they no longer seem interesting to anyone, even me.

Convention Highlight One

I went through the art show early on.  I was impressed by the quality and quantity of art, so much so that I suffered a kind of burn-out thingy that made me feel like I was skimming Shakespeare and not getting the important parts.  And then I reached the Boris Vallejo and Julie Bell panels, and realized I was looking at cover art.  Something went ping in my brain.  

I'd been looking at cover art with an artist's eye for composition, rather than a graphic designer's eye for where the hell will we put the title and author's name.

I'd just about finished processing the wow moment (it took about 48 hours) and I thought I had it all figured out, when I attended a panel about book covers.  

Naturally, my world flipped another 180 degrees, and because art is magic, I didn't end up in the same place I started.  It was like coming home after a few years and finding that nothing is quite as I remembered it.  

If you can imagine this (assuming you care):  You can plan your art to include the title and author sections and get a really nice, capable and striking cover, or you can compose a spectacular piece of art and in the process of trying to figure out where to put the damned title and byline, do something really creative and get a spectacular cover.

There's also plan C, where you leave opportunities for text on the cover, but do whatever you want to make things full of awesome, and then place the text in creative and unexpected ways that will often make people take a second look as much if not more than the art itself.

Part of it is luck, and part is design, part is time constraints and part is what energy you have to devote to this stuff.  I took notes in the form of sketches because I couldn't write adequate descriptions fast enough, but I can do a halfway decent 30 second sketch thanks to life drawing.

Personal convention highlight one:  Having a double hot chocolate with the extraordinary Chris York and her wonderful husband.  Good times, good conversation, fun, learning, sadness (I didn't let her know at the time that I still feel pain at my father's passing after almost twenty years) and much talk about Sydney, literary agent.

Non-convention highlight that's conceivably anyone's business but my own:  playing in a warm pool with my DH, remembering what it was like to pretend that I was a mermaid.

Good times.  I could have stood for at least one more day in the area.

Alas, now it's back to work, and double-alas, not the work I want to do.  But it's necessary.

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