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PopWrapped | Current Events

GenCon 2014: A Gathering Of Beautiful Artistic Displays

Shannon Beaty | PopWrapped Author

Shannon Beaty

Updated 03/26/2015 1:34pm
GenCon 2014: A Gathering Of Beautiful Artistic Displays | gencon
Media Courtesy of Property of: Alayna Lemmer
When I first headed to GenCon, I wasn't sure what all I would see. I knew there would be games for as far as the eye can see and plenty of cosplay because let's face it, who doesn't love to dress up? I knew there would probably be a bit of costuming and home-made things. But never did I think an giant section of the floor would be dedicated solely to artistic achievements, and it's my mistake for not acknowledging it before arriving at the convention. So upon finding all these amazing artists, it's needless to say I was blown away. I spoke with a few entrepreneurs, artists and authors today, all of which were undeniably kind and enthusiastic, and I would like to share with you what these amazing people have made.

Unleash The Goddess

GenCon Property of: Unleash The Goddess
The jewelry that Kerri Hirsch-Upton makes is downright gorgeous. Photos cannot do it justice. Not only does she hand make them, no two are the same. She explained to me her process of layering the glass, how theres different kinds of glass she uses and how the colors show up so vividly.
GenCon Property of: Unleash The Goddess
Some of the pendants also have laser etching to them, such as the one above. It's one of her original designs and as you can tell, colorful and intricate. You can find her creations on Etsy!

The Leather Lair

GenCon Property of: The Leather Lair
If you're big into roleplaying, you're going to need a good costume. It can be an investment, but with quality goods like Suzanne at The Leather Lair designs and produces, it's worth every penny. The detailing on the leather clearly shows the love and care that goes into the garment, which has a great feel to it.
GenCon Property of: The Leather Lair
And if you're looking for a less medieval kind of look, there were even cuffs and vests available that you can change out Batman and Green Lantern logos! Plus if you're looking for your own style, The Leather Lair does custom orders.

Barrett Artifacts

GenCon Property of: Barrett Artifacts
  What attracted me to Brent Barrett's stall at GenCon was this two foot high sculpture of skulls that had green lights shining on and off in it. How can you not want to go further investigate something like that!? He then gave me the biggest lesson on sculpture and ceramics that I have had in my entire life, and it was awesome. Taking four days up in Wisconsin to fire up and use a kiln that several people can fit inside of, I dare you to find someone who is just as dedicated to his craft.
GenCon Property of: Barrett Artifacts
He had shot glasses for those of us old enough to utilize them as well as skull and animal miniature sculptures on his table and shelves, with no two being the same. The time and care that goes into his work is nothing short of inspiring, so be sure to get a hold of Brent and his son Jacob if you're looking for an individual design.

Dragonsong Forge

GenCon Property of:; Dragonsong Forge
If you're looking for a few more very sharp looking swords (ha, I'm sorry, I couldn't resist), then try out the crew at Dragonsong Forge. They were in Indiana all the way up from sunny Florida to bring some of the coolest katanas, wizarding wands and replica swords and I've ever seen. They ship in swords from around the world to suit your needs, because let's be honest, there's nothing cooler than having a Walking Dead sword on your wall.

Peter Lewia and Roger Sicely

GenCon Photo by: Peter Lewia and Roger Sicely
These two men have written 3 books together while living several states apart, which I can only imagine to be a complicated process. There was even one point where the distance between them extended all the way to Afghanistan! Peter and Roger have been lifelong friends and are the authors of The Ameron Chronicles, a very strong character-development driven story immersed in the fantastical land of Ameron. With two more books on the way (totaling 5 in the series), if you're looking for another dynamite series to dive into, try this one out! I would definitely read the excerpts on their website and you can just buy the full copy on Amazon or Barnes And Noble.

J.T. Hartke

GenCon Property of: J.T. Hartke
With an extensive map to accompany the story, the Dragonsoul Saga is bound to please fantasy lovers everywhere. So far there are 2 of the 5 books in this series out in the world and eager to be read. The balance between chaos and order must be restored in the world of Tamor and fans of dragons, magic and a bit of romance will certainly want to travel there. Author J.T. Hartke has a few novels under his belt, and you can get a taste of the first four chapters in this series on his website before buying them online!

Tommy Castillo

GenCon Property of: Tommy Castillo
While at GenCon, Tommy displayed his many, many drawings in one of the bigger displays I saw. He was there to draw live as fans watched, signing autographs when his works of art were purchased. He used a grisly theme to his art, mixing pop culture icons in a dark and sinister way such as The Scarecrow and flying monkeys from The Wizard of Oz, as well as the loved Jack Skellington. You can check out more of his work, as well as order some new wall art, on his website.

Alayna Lemmer

 
GenCon Property of: Alayna Lemmer
I was able to speak to Alayna, and she is a digital painter. She explained her method, that she draws on her tablet into Photoshop, making some absolutely gorgeous scenes and characters pop into life. Elaborating on what tools she uses as well as her hopes to one day illustrate for Magic card decks, I really liked the detailing she was able to convey. Visit her online and check out the rest of her collection!

Douglas Bushong

GenCon Property of: Douglas Bushong
Being the only 3d artist I saw (and quite possibly the only one at GenCon), I was intrigued with how Douglas Bushong's artwork looked. It popped out at you off the canvas, having a clean yet realistic feel to it. Being able to speak to Douglas was cool as well, with him explaining he likes to do 3d work for the art, whereas many, many others do it to get into gaming or produce cinematic stories. It's very cool capturing a moment in time like he does! While his website is currently under construction, you can always check back in the future for more of his images.

Beth Zyglowicz

GenCon Property of: Beth Zyglowicz
I loved Beth's use of color and you can't really go wrong with artwork that comes from a place named Space Turtle Studios. She also had some masks on display that were really well done, and just as full of color as her art. Unfortunately though at next year's GenCon, things that are not works of art, such as the cool masks, will no longer be a part of the convention unless it's under other guidelines. Good thing for Beth though is that she's a very talented artist who I'm sure will get some well deserved love from fans. Check out her work on Tumblr and give her a follow on Twitter for all her updates.

Mark Helwig

GenCon Property of: Mark Helwig
Mark is an artist at GenCon, coming all the way up from Georgia to show off his skills. He had some excellent paintings on the display behind him, while working on a drawing as I was speaking with him. Having a love of history, Mark schooled me on artists work and what drives him to be so creative. Alongside his fantasy themed paintings was this glorious sculpture of Chef Cthulhu, the detail of which is astounding. If you want this chef or to check out his great work, visit him online on his website. He'll even do commission work, which is of course a big bonus!

Gavin Smith

GenCon Property of: Gavin Smith
Comic book characters came to life under Gavin's pencil and paint brush. He caught my eye straight away, talking with a fan as well as drawing up a new piece of art for GenCon. He had even explained to me that the night before he completed a commission that was for an attendee. While most of his coloring is digital, the commission was hand painted and looked great. If you need some pretty badass comic book recreations in your life, visit Gavin's website to see more or give him a follow on Twitter to see what he's up to!   And that's a wrap of some of the amazing pieces of art and craft that I witness while at GenCon today. It was lovely being able to meet and speak with many of the artists and creators, seeing so many different perspectives and inspirational pieces. Be sure to show them some love, PopWrappers, as they work very hard and deserve all the accolades in the world!

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