Sunday, 25 June 2017

Gerhard: Sketching At Conventions

GERHARD:
The length of time a sketch takes all depends on how many people come up to the table and want something signed and how often I stop drawing because I tend to talk with my hands. Shelley can field questions, guide people through the display portfolio and handle transactions but then I tend to just sit there with my head down, sketching and nodding. I like to interact with people... at least look up and smile... get the odd handshake in there... stop for a picture now and then.

The smaller, simpler sketches can take 15 to 30 minutes and the larger, more involved ones can take one or two hours or more. How much of that is actual drawing time, I have no idea. Time has no meaning at a convention.

Saturday is always the longest day and usually the busiest. I had a good breakfast before the show but between 9:30am and 7:00pm I think I had 2 bites of a sandwich and a few chips and nuts that Shelley fed to me while I was sketching. I've always disliked eating at the show table in front of everyone: 'Come to the show and watch the starving artists eat!' Plus, you don't want to get mayonnaise on the drawing.

Shelley keeps a list of everyone that has requested a commission. At the Heroes show I had six people come up to the table and get on the list before the show even officially opened. I spent the rest of the weekend trying to catch up. I don't like to take work with me back to the hotel room because after a full day at the con, I'm pretty much spent and tend to fall asleep shortly after eating. On Saturday night, I had to do 3 pieces for people that were going to pick them up Sunday morning and I managed one extra sketch done as well before I passed out. Although when I took the cap off of the thick black marker to fill in the solid blacks, the marker leapt from my hand and did a little dance on the drawing I was doing in a guy's sketchbook. (You can see a few squiggly lines in the top left of the image above.) That's when you know it's time for bed.

I had to stop Saturday and Sunday for about an hour and half each day to attend panels, although I took my drawing stuff with me and did manage to get a bit done while there.

One of the first people to come up and leave a sketchbook before the show opened said that he would be there all weekend, and so, was the last person to get his back at five minutes before the show closed.

I don't get to see any of the show except for walking in out for smoke breaks (yes, I still smoke) and I try to pop by the tables of folks I've met at other shows and say, 'Hi'. More often than not, I either can't find their table, or they are swamped with sketches and autographs, or they're not there.

There were 23 commission requests at this last show, by far the most of any show to date, and I had to take two of them home to complete. I now have 20 commissions, of all different sizes, to complete before I can go sailing.

This Heroes Convention was an amazing show and I was very privileged to be part of their 35th anniversary.   The show was ALL about comics and art. No wrestlers. No TV and movie guests. Booth after booth of people selling comics of all sorts and row after row after row of comics artists sketching, drawing, painting and cramming a bit of food into their mouths when they get a chance.

Gerhard's 2017 Convention & Signing Itinerary:

Keep up to date with Gerhard's latest news at Gerz Blog!

1 comment:

Tony Dunlop said...

These are "sketches?" Apparently Gerhard has a different idea of what a sketch is than I do. To me, these are full-fledged drawings, and a "sketch" is something like the Cerebus head in the post right below this one. I mean, if you have to take it back to your hotel room to finish it, how can it be a "sketch?"

But Gerhard is an artist and I'm not...so OK, these are sketches!