Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Illuxcon trip report

What a weekend... I don't even know where to begin to describe just how amazing this years Illuxcon was for me. I guess the beginning is probably the best.

E.M. Gist, Lucas Graciano, Tom Babbey, Ryan Schutter and Arthur Loftis and I all flew into Philadelphia on a Tuesday night red eye. We rented a minivan and drove to Philadelphia Museum of Art. While there were a few notable paintings, the highlights for me were the extensive armor and flintlock collections and the completely immersive rooms full of rebuilt ancient architecture.

From there we drove about an hour to the Brandywine museum. Seeing the enormous collection of N.C. Wyeth's work in person was one of the most humbling and inspiring experiences of my life. The Brandywine museum should be a required pilgrimage for all Illustrators out there... period. If you are ever even remotely close to it, you need to go out of your way to visit.

The convention itself was nothing short of magic. Pat and Jeannie Wilshire have created something truly special out in the middle of nowhere that is Altoona, PA. I was incredibly honored to be invited to exhibit again this year. I spent the weekend surrounded by several hundred amazing paintings, talking to dozens of the most accomplished, yet humble and friendly, artists alive. I got to display and talk about my craft with some of the most unpretentious, bullshit-free collectors out there. I got to chat with and give advice and critique to a few of the students attending the event. After so many years of tracking down and hounding pro artists to look at my portfolio, it was great to begin paying it forward. And.... in some respects the least important, and in other ways the most: Sales were outstanding, I sold 4 of the 6 paintings I brought with me, a few drawings and a handful of prints as well.

The dates for next years show have already been announced: November 3-6, 2011. I am already counting down the days...

Photo Credits: Cynthia Sheppard and Noah Bradley


  1. I can't wait till next year; I'm so bummed I missed out this year. Sounds like it was awesome as ever! And you totally were in my neighborhood and definitely saw the two of greatest museums we have! Next time check out the Delaware Art Museum - it has a ton Howard Pyle's and other golden age illustrators as well as the Pre-Raphaelites' work.

  2. It was great seeing you at the show, Michael.
    I think in all of the chaos of the show I forgot to return to interview you after we had to break it up for an art sale.
    I was excited for you when I saw a gentleman come up to make a purchase. That was a beautiful painting he walked away with.
    It was all a blur for me so I apologize if I didn't get back to your booth.
    I would, however, like to get you on the show again, if you're game. :)
    Congratulations on your hard-won success, man!

  3. Which paintings did you sell? I really loved your pieces.

  4. Emily- I knew something was missing from the Illuxcon experience! You better be there next year...

    Jeremy- Thank you, It was great to see you again too. I would love to be on the show!

    Clara- Thanks! I sold the bottom 3 and Joan of Arc.

  5. Michael, great to hear you only had to bring home 2 paintings. They are both stunning and expect they will find new homes soon.
    Jeremy- I hope I wasn't the one to break up the interview!