The inaugural Comic Con Revolution in Ontario, California had no shortage of commercially packaged collectibles and mass-printed comic books, both are staples and are important to have in the makings of a comic convention. What makes each convention unique is the showcase of local artists. Even more fun than discovering these talented creatives is purchasing their wonderfully crafted pieces. Because we all love to hear our friends ask, "Wow, where did you get that?!"
"I crochet all things cute!" is the first thing you read on Cielo Pinawin's Etsy store. That pretty much nails it. Each of these creations are handmade by Cielo on her own time when she's not on the job as a respiratory therapist. Yup, I asked her exactly what you're thinking. How long do these take? If it's a brand new idea, from concept to final takes about a week. If it's repeat design, it takes about one day.
Cielo started crocheting 10 years ago and used her talent to make gifts for friends. After hearing "you should sell these" enough times, she did just that. It's been two years of selling and the demand grows, along with the amount of inventory she brings to each show. Check out the links below to learn more or even buy a few. She takes custom orders.
When I first stepped into Owen Klaas' booth I felt like I left the convention and entered a gallery. I almost shushed myself for talking too loud. Looking at all these amazing paintings that float between dimensional and strong graphic composition, I was inspired by a wide range of emotion. I couldn't help but get drawn in. While soaking in the framed artwork, Owen was off to the corner seated and kept to himself. He was not overly pushy and definitely not shy. It looked like he was used to people connecting to his work, and he didn't want to interrupt.
Owen is married with three kids. He had been sculpting for 15 years while painting for six, when he decided to go full-time with his passion to paint. He explained that each one of his acrylic pieces are inspired by life experiences happening at the time of painting, they aren't overt but they all have a deep personal connection with him. Visit the links below and find your connection with his works.
Etsy: Fiendish Thingies
Have you ever thought of quitting your job to go full-time selling phone cases? Well, somehow Ted Pinhirun not only figured out how to do it but how to make it fun and unique at the same time. His niche, in the world of cell phone protection, is using a precision laser to create intricate designs on wooden cell phone cases. The laser designs can be directly etched on to a wood case or laser cut out of a black finished wooden case then revealing the grain underneath supporting the design.
In the early stages of learning the craft, he had to translate his pixel based Photoshop skills to a linear vector based approach in Illustrator. Judging by his Roaring Lion King case, he's mastered vector art. But Ted's skills doesn't end at just cell phone covers. He also laser etches coasters, jewelry, and trivets/Hot Plate Mats. If your phone can use new clothes in a wooden form, see the links below.
The next convention you attend, avoid the long lines and use that time to chat up a local artist, maybe purchase one of their works. They're equivalent to that farm-to-table concept that's all the rage, they're locally sourced artisanal…creatives trying to share their world with you.