Thursday, July 16, 2015

Comic Con Reflections

Chris and I went to San Diego Comic-Con last weekend to promote and celebrate the debut of our collaborative vinyl blind box toy series, "Thimblestump Hollow", produced by Cardboard Spaceship. We were only there for about 2.5 days, and it was a whirlwind trip.  In fact, it was such a whirlwind trip, I actually don't have much in the way of photo documentation of my experiences, as I was much to busy actually having the experiences to take pictures of anything!

I came away from the con with a lot of thoughts and feelings.  The first of which was a profound sense of gratitude toward all of the people who made, and are making, my first experience in mass-produced vinyl an amazing one.  The team at Cardboard Spaceship, who spearheaded and handled the logistics of this whole thing are amazing guys, and without their interest in our artwork, and their trust in us, as well as their confidence that it would be a success, it would never, ever have come about.  Secondly, the collectors - both experienced and brand new - who purchased anywhere from one figure to five cases of figures, made both of us feel incredibly humbled and very grateful.

On both Friday and Saturday, Chris and I were stationed in our booth and available for signings, chatting, and doodles.  And that is what we did, for upwards of four hours straight at a time. I spend most of my time in my studio working, and I don't get out much. The number of people I interact with on a weekly basis is low enough that i can probably count it on my fingers, so to have so many people waiting in line so patiently to come back and get toys signed and hang out with us was just so, so amazing. To all of you, thank you from the bottom of my heart.  Your passion and enthusiasm for this weird little art form we love is the only reason we can all do what we do, and it's recognized and appreciated more than you know!

I think Thimblestump Hollow is doing really well - we had a lot of really positive input from a huge array of different people, and it was great to meet folks who had never even seen a blind-box toy before, let alone get excited about buying one.  I think that kind of transcendence of "scene borders" is something Chris and I were striving for in this series. These guys are all weird little creatures - they don't know what's cool or what isn't. They have no clue about pop culture. They just exist in their own plane, and are way stupid cute, and I think they're something that everybody can like. That's not a marketing thing, either; it's kind of how I like to fit into my own world.

Chris and I and Adam Savage at the Tested party, and me drawing
in a sketchbook in the Cardboard Spaceship booth.

Another thing I was thinking about the whole time I was there is just how strange and lucky and fortunate and amazing it is that I am able to do a whole bunch of cool stuff just because I make things. I mean, seriously! In the next year, I will be traveling to 3 different countries to do art-related things. I've had the privilege of visiting major movie studios, and have been able to meet and talk to so many amazingly talented and fascinating people in the arts and entertainment industry (just this last trip I was fortunate enough to meet both Frank Ippolito and Adam Savage at the Tested party), and this is all because I come up with dumb scenarios in my head and find ways to use my hands to get them out into the world. Trust me, I am as surprised as you are that this works!

When I go to conventions and art/entertainment related get togethers, one thing I always notice is that no matter how high their professional station, people who are "makers" of one thing or another always like to meet others like them. Put a bunch of working creatives in a room together and just watch how fast they start to talk shop, even if they've never met each other. Passionate and creative people love to talk about their passions. The more influential people I meet, the more I see this to be true, and that is most likely a key part of what makes them so influential and successful. They have an incredibly infectious sort of passion for what they do that people around them can't help but feel it too. It's a totally passive sort of influence. It's awesome.

How I try to live my life.

More than anything, these kinds of events, because they are so dramatically different from my day to day reality (get up, coffee, work on stuff, wine, go to bed) make me think and plan at a frantic pace. Opportunities can be difficult to come by in the art world, so I'm trying to capitalize on them as much as my body and mind will allow me to. I'm not in my twenties anymore, so my days of coffee-fueled all-nighters are over, but I'm trying to keep my mind clear, my body  healthy, and my production schedule full and exciting. There are so many amazing things on the horizon, and I'll never not be truly thankful for them.

PS: super mega-thanks to Jamey, Nick, and Derek from Cardboard Spaceship for all your hard work to make Thimblestump Hollow what it is, Chris for being my partner and putting up with my crises, Frank Ippolito for bringing us to the Tested party, Ayleen and George Gaspar for inviting us to be a part of the Independent Toy Design panel, and every single person who stopped by to pick up a figure or just say hello while we were at SDCC. It was so nice to meet you all - hope to see you again soon!


  1. I love Thimblestump Hollow SO MUCH. I think you may have already heard this a lot, but this is the first time that I've had the urge to buy a vinyl toy, much less a CASE of vinyl toys, in a really, really long time. I'm so proud of you guys - you are at the top of your game. <3

  2. I love how you write about your experiences with such clarity and enthusiasm; it's clear from this that you had a wonderful, (if exhausting) time. I love the vinyl figures, too. You've managed to capture all the charm and bewilderment of a Dust Bunny in each of them.

  3. Hey Amanda! I've been following you for years and couldn't be more excited for some of your work to be mass produced! I can never make it before everything is sold out on your online sales :(
    When will Thimblestump Hollow figures be available to buy at cardboard spaceship toys?

  4. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  5. Didn't I see those rabbit face-things in that one stop-motion short?

    ... (notices video in sidebar)
    ... THESE ARE THINGS I CAN BUY?!?! :D (*starts saving up money*)

    1. Hi there - you did! I designed and made the puppets for The Maker film :) I do offer things for sale but at the moment, I'm afraid I don't have much. Follow me on social media for the most up-to-the-moment news of when I have sales (links on my blog)'ll want to be as up to date as possible, as my stuff tends to sell out very quickly!

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