I created the INDYpendent Show because I love making books and comics. I also enjoy sharing the process of book creation with others to help them understand that with the right information, they can realize their dreams of creating books too. My initial vision was simple, fill a room with creators that would interact with attendees while they work on their projects, almost like an artisan faire where the glass blower or painter would take a moment to answer questions and interact with the audience.
I formulated a great signage and badge system to take the experience one step further, allowing folks at the show to quickly identify other’s interests and strengths. In the beginning, I also strongly encouraged the creators to bring their sketch books, modeling clay, projects, and rough drafts to share with attendees. This was my dream, a place where anyone with a desire to create something could walk in and find multiple people with many different strengths to answer questions and give suggestions. Add to that experience a room with workshops where the supplies were provided and a panel room discussing areas for new creators, and you have the perfect show.
Over the course of two years and four shows, I realized that I allowed my original vision to slowly become what is typically considered a Small Press show, where folks set up their table with merchandise and wait to interact with customers who might make a purchase. Sure, the signage system was still in use and it did encourage conversations, but as I looked around the last event, I realized the feel of the show and the table displays were very similar to what you might see in the small press or artist’s alley of a larger convention. I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with a small press show, just that it wasn’t my original vision.
I went back to my original goal statements and realized that I wanted to get back to where I started. My goal was to promote a completely interactive show and educational experience that is sought out by new creators all around the Midwest, a completely new experience in a show that can’t be found anywhere else. Creating a completely unique show is challenging and a bit risky, but I feel like it needs to be done.
So, my next INDYpendent Show will on April 3rd at the Wyndham West Hotel and Convention center. I’ll be part of the amazing Who’s Yer Con, a free gaming event that attracts people from around the United States. The INDYpendent Show is held in a cozy room with around 20 creators, but it provides you with a huge amount of information about a variety of creative things. Walk into the room and here’s what you can see.
- Creators will be hosting at least 2 table demos featuring a creative area of interest for them. These demos will be staggered and listed, so you can plan your day to see everything and learn as much as you want.
- Use the table signs featuring creator strengths as a starting point to get the conversation started. These folks are at the show to share information with you, so ask all the questions you want.
- Creators will be working on projects at their tables, so take some time to observe their technique. I love watching people create art and other creative projects, and I’m sure you will too.
- The goal of the INDYpendent Show is to also provide a place where all creators can meet and network with each other. This venue is the best place to meet other creators, get feedback on your current project, and gain the confidence you need to achieve your dream.
Together, we can make Indianapolis the “Creative Crossroads of America”.