Updated: May 8, 2019
I’m just going to come out and admit that despite how excited I was to attend Faerie Con as an artist, I’ve been putting off writing this article for a few months. Part of the reason is because I think I needed time to process my experience. It was a whirlwind weekend full of lots of conversations, social interaction, meeting artists I admire, and slow stretches of down time. I enjoyed it, but was pretty much tired, and kinda hungry the whole time. By the time it was over I needed a break. But here goes, my review of my first time at FaerieCon as an artist.
FaerieCon is the largest faerie centered event on the East Coast. It is a full weekend experience where you are given the chance to meet artists, writers, and other creatives who share a love of folklore and enchantment. I attended my first FaerieCon ten years ago. Then I was a starry eyed highschooler dreaming of a becoming an artist. I was overwhelmed by the variety of faerie art, and the beautiful costumes worn by attendees, not to mention the masquerade balls, and midnight viewings of Labyrinth.
Since, first visiting, it’s been one of my goals to attend as an artist. This year, the timing was finally right. So I applied, and was accepted.
Well, I did a happy dance and then spent a stressful month preparing. Now I’m not going to cover the whole event, just a few of the highlights.
Walking in was kind of like entering a fairy tale. There were many creatives with enchantingly set up booths, and most attendees were in costume. There was even an elf selling elf ears! Everyone was looking forward to the masquerade balls and artists talks.
The two biggest highlights of my trip were the artist and writers panels, and getting to know my booth partner.
The panels were by far my favorite part of FaerieCon. There were a number of guest artists and writers who each gave an individual or group panel discussion on topics related to their field. I was most interested in hearing from author Holly Black, and artist Iris Compiet of Faeries of the Faultlines. I also enjoyed hearing from artist Ingrid Kallick, and many of the designers and writers behind the new Dark Crystal series, including Toby Froud.
I also loved that I was able to talk with many of the artists at their booths and learn more about their work. Iris Compiet was really personable and willing to share more about her inspiration and art. I loved getting to meet her. Ingrid Kallick was also very knowledgeable and down to earth. I really like her more folklore leaning art, and it was nice to chat with a fellow Midwesterner and mother.
Connecting in this way to other creatives was one of my main goals in attending FaerieCon and I’m really glad I had the time to, and was actually able to muster up the courage and approach some of these artists that I had admired.
I also enjoyed talking to a few of the other artists who had booths, although there wasn’t as much art as I had remembered. The vending area was varied, but a lot of the booths were more geared toward clothes, jewelry and leather work. There were also authors.
I was lucky enough to share a booth with the nicest author there.
I didn’t have the ability to fill a whole booth space by myself, and if I had, it would have been double the cost of a table. Sharing a booth space solved both these problems, and I was able to meet author Emily English, my wonderful and sweet booth partner.
I really feel I lucked out here. You never know how it’s going to go when sharing a small space with someone who you’ve just met. Emily and her husband were wonderful to chat with, and I also loved hearing about her book, Uniting The Heavens.
Of course I loved meeting and chatting with the other attendees and visitors to my booth as well. After all making connections was one of my main reasons for coming.
Overall my experience was mostly positive. I enjoyed the trip and getting to cross one more goal off my list. I do wish attendance had been higher and that the event had had a more magical feel to it.
I know that sounds vague, but a lot of my enjoyment of Faerie Con was tied to that enchanting feeling, and the delight in discovering all these artists and authors and projects that I had not previously heard of, but who were working with many ideas that I myself was interested in. I realize that the event has been going on for quite a few years now, and it can be hard to keep the excitement that sparked its beginning. I hope Faerie Con continues to enchant attendees. Maybe I’ll make it back someday.
~Autumn Rozario Hall
I also have another article that deals more with artists considering vending at Faerie Con and the technical side of things.