The Marriott Hotel
Feb 18, 19, 20
We arrived with absolutely no idea what to expect. It was my very first "con" that wasn't related to science or belly dancing. I had vague notions of what may occur from seeing DragonCon photos over the years from Atlanta friends, but I was aware of the fact that this was occurring in Columbia, SC....and thus would not be on the same scale as Atlanta. We tend to do big hair, big dinners, and big trucks in the south, other things not so much.
I set up my booth (one of maybe 10) in the Artists Alley portion of the event. I was impressed from the moment we walked in the door! The convention volunteers and crew were all extremely capable and seemed genuinely glad to see me.
I knew from reading the website that this was going to be mostly a gaming convention and that the anime track (the people that I expected to respond the most favorably to henna art) was new. Once again, I was pleasantly surprised. My very first henna application was for a very energetic and sweet trio that had me put their anime logos on their wrists.
At this point, I must send a shout out to the technology that is "smart phones." I enjoy some anime (Princess Mononoke being one of my favorite movies to date), but am nowhere close to being a connoisseur. But, even though I didn't know what symbol I was being asked to reproduce, customers were able to pull up photos from the web on their phone, point to them and say "I want that one."
I also received a visit on Friday from my friend Elizabeth and her sister in law. I had a great time with both of them, and they loved their floral henna - not too matchy matchy, but enough to tell that the same motif was being followed.
I continued the rest of the day on Friday and a good bit of the day on Saturday to do henna. Mostly, I was asked for designs from my book, but I did a few spur of the moment freehand pieces, including a pirate inspired floral piece - skull front and center. Gotta love it!
Angela, sketch artist extraordinaire, was tons of fun and so was her fella. We watched each others' booths for bathroom and food breaks, chatted for a good chunk of the weekend, and exchanged art. She was amazingly talented, and I hope to see her again at other conventions.
To the left of me was Kris, the Seamstress....also amazingly talented, kind, and a great sense of humor. Never think that the vendors at an event aren't having as much fun as the attendees. We had a blast!
I had printed out a good bit of kanji for this event, something that I needed to do anyway, and I spent my downtime during the first day making up some templates for kanji inspired pieces. The dragon to the left was not one of them, he came about when the client looked through my book and asked me to combine designs.
I did more floral henna than I expected to. I also had more male clients than I expected. All in all, the whole thing was a lot more fun than I expected!
It was a small con, but it was filled with wonderful people, high quality artists, and a sense of community. I will definitely be back, and I hope to be back more than once - it's always exciting to watch something grow, and I see nothing but potential in this event.