Belated FantasyCon & BFS Awards Round Up
Last weekend was the fifth time I’d attended FantasyCon, which has become one of my favourite events of the year. Working as a freelancer from home can sometimes be a lonely profession. As much as I used to hate my old office job I enjoyed going in for the socializing and daily banter, which now, working on my own, is sorely missed – I’ve not yet resorted to striking up conversations with myself…. So attending conventions like this are vital in helping me keep sane and to remind me that there are other like-minded people out there. At FantasyCon you’re never far away from the next engaging conversation or short of a drinking buddy to keep you entertained into the early hours.
I did the cover for Garry’s short story collection – Tales from the Fragrant Harbour (which PS Publishing launched at the event) so it was a pleasure to get to meet him in person and I had a lovely chat with him and his wife. The evocative stories of Tales from the Fragrant Harbour struck a chord with me as my family are from Hong Kong where the majority of the stories are set. I’ve visited there many times since I was young, and the stories stirred memories of past visits and caught the flavour of the place perfectly.
As a long-time reader of graphic novels, Bryan Talbot was someone I was very excited to meet and it was a joy to talk to him. Amongst many other works, Bryan’s the creator of the graphic novel masterpiece Alice in Sunderland, which explores the links between Lewis Carroll and Sunderland (where he now lives) as well as delving into themes of myth, storytelling and history. It’s exquisitely illustrated and packed full of fascinating facts and details which I found of particular interest, also living in the North East. The sheer amount of work and research that went into producing this book boggles my mind.
At the BFS awards ceremony I came away with my fourth British Fantasy Award for ‘Best Artist’. (Check out this year’s newly designed statuette in the photo above!) The last few years, things have gone better than I could have hoped for in my career, and these awards have been the icing on the cake. It means a hell of a lot to me to have my work acknowledged by those in the BFS and I hope that I can continue to produce artwork that strikes a chord with people for many years to come. A big congratulations to all the other well-deserved winners as well. You can see a full list of who won what here.