I figured I start this off since I know some of you managed to attend and for those who didn't maybe you will get some insights on about the event so you can attend next year if possible.
For those who don't know what lightbox expo is here's a link https://www.lightboxexpo.com/about
My trip to the expo was an interesting one. I never actually attend any events or conventions so I figure why not make this my first. At least I knew there was going to people with the same daily struggles of trying to become a better artist. I never actually planned a whole trip by myself, so that was a little stressful since California it's pretty far from where I live. The whole trip was 6 hours long and it cost around $600 without including food, the expo tickets, and merchandise, but I saved up money from my part-time gig at a food truck for this occasion. Also had to plan the event itself which it wasn't bad just time-consuming.
Aside from all that the event made it all worth it for me. I felt like I belong over there and didn't feel like a weirdo every time I talk about the things I enjoy. I got to met a lot of my art heroes from Marcos Mateu, Ian McCaig, Craig Mullins, Thomas Fluharty, Nathan Fowkes, etc... Also, awesome people were there for the event, which was a big part of the experience. Just waiting in line (which there were massive) for a panel was great since most of the time a conversation just starts of nowhere. For example at a Loish demo, I was sitting next to this girl, she casually brought out a sketchbook started sketching people around us, and I was like you know I'm going to join you on this. We both end up missing a lot of the demo but it was fun nonetheless. This happened more than one occasion especially waiting in those massive lines, that last for an hour.
The panels and talks were great, you get to learn something new each time. So I took a lot of notes and everyone around did as well. It felt like going back to school but a school like Hogwarts(been making a lot harry potter references, apologies) where you get to experience a new spell each time. My only complaint is the times between each talk was impossible to catch the next one unless you get to a room with an hour ahead of time. Some talks go from 10-11 to 11 to 12:30, so I missed a lot of good ones just because I couldn't make it in time. The rooms weren't large enough to hold that many people that attended. So you have to pick your battles. Make a list of the most important ones you want to see and plan backup ones if you miss it. I hope next year to find a bigger spot with more rooms for the talks, it felt like Metallica concert cram into a bus.
On my first night in California, my brother (forced him to go with me on the trip) and I just got back from the bar (drinks were expensive), we decided to check out the pool at which it had a great view of the city hall. We start to hear a lot of noise coming from a floor below the pool. I went to look down I see a whole gathering of people just drinking and having a great time. I told my bro should we go down and check that out, maybe we can buy an IPA that doesn't cost 6 bucks. We went down and I started seeing a lot of people from the convention, and not just the people attending but the speakers as well. At one point I almost ran straight into Ian McCaig. We went to the bar at ask how much for an IPA, and the dude was like nah man this is an open bar. So we just went in there drank 6 beers each and some delicious cheesecakes and got to chill around these amazing people. We didn't even know if it was open for the public we just waltz right in there. We also grab some more beers to our room.
Anyways that was just a small part of my experience of my trip to the expo. How was it for you guys? Got any interesting stories? Will love to hear them.