Actually, I like getting creative people together in one place and have them encourage people who also want to be creative. In my mind, anyone that wants to create something should have the chance, but they just need to get started off the right way. This was my thinking when I decided to create the INDYpendent Show in Indianapolis this year.
Well, the second show wrapped up on November 16th and I realized that the formula is a success. Imagine a place where you can go and interact with creators of all types who want to share their experience with you. A place with panels and workshops all geared toward you finally chasing that dream of finishing that book, comic, or other project that has been at the tip of your brain for the past year or so. This is what the INDYpendent Show is, and will continue to be into the future.
When I first sat down to write something about the show, I wondered if I could be as eloquent as my favorite geek blogger, Tony Troxell of Geeking in Indiana. He wrote about the show in his blog here: http://geekinginindiana.com/geek-thoughts-indypendent-self-publisher-show/ and described it better than I ever could. So instead, I wanted to share some quick moments of the show that were special to me.
The first great moment had to be my time on the Creating Children’s Books panel with Phil Velikan and Quentin Dodd. Lots of great discussion came out of the panel and I enjoyed answering many questions at the end from one particular lady about a story she had created. While that moment felt great, it was later in the day that her husband came up to me and thanked me for putting on the show and the panel. He let me know that she had written her story years ago, and like so many of us, put it aside to “eventually” do something with it. He tried to encourage her over the years, but life kept getting in the way and her story continued to gather dust. He let me know that after the panel discussion, she was charged up and ready to move forward with her story, talking about finally getting it out to the public. After I spoke with him, I stood speechless and reflected again that this is why I created the show.
Another moment involved this show and the previous one in March. At the first show I had briefly met a young local creator named Matthew Skillern who was an aspiring comic book creator. He attended the first show with his initial pages to get feedback and share his work with others. During the coming months, I crossed paths with him again, now with a published book and amassing a cool collection of prints. Matt got a table at the November show and I was happy to put his creator page together on the website. His story of attending the first show, getting feedback, creating his work, and then being behind the table at the next show to help others is why I do what I do.
At the first show, we had two creators bring their young sons to help them at their tables and just hang around a room full of creative types. Well, it was great to see Mitchell and Elliot make their return with their fathers, but this time have their own artwork to sell. I had a chance to purchase art from both the boys and I’m proud to add their pieces to my collection. I think it’s great to see the next generation of creators getting their feet wet and also inspiring others to finally chase their dreams.
With the second show came a new group of creators, along with the many alumni from the first. I enjoyed speaking with many new people from the area, but also introducing them to creators I had met at the previous show in March. I almost felt like a matchmaker at times, finding people with similar interests and recommending them to connect with each other and share their knowledge. This is another reason I do what I do.
Creating the INDYpendent Show has taught me so much this year, but I know I couldn’t have done it alone. With any event like this, there are always so many people to thank and I apologize if I will leave someone out. I couldn’t have been successful without the support of my family, who all played a part in the show. I greatly appreciated Ellie Akers for volunteering to run the panel and workshop rooms so I could interact with the creators and guests. Speaking of panels and workshops, I know they couldn’t have happened without local creators who volunteered their time and knowledge to host them, so I am indebted to all of you. Tony Troxell deserves my heartfelt thanks for his promotion and encouragement of this show and all of my projects. Lastly, I must thank Chris and Ginger Ludden for their support and belief that a show like this has a place in our Indianapolis creative community.
With any new show, the biggest challenge is getting the community to know it exists and how it can benefit them. I know we can continue to spread the word about this great show to all creators who want to experience it. I look forward to hearing about your “moments” and ideas to keep things moving forward.