This week saw the announcement of Chromacon, a New Zealand Illustration and Comic Art Festival, taking place at the Aotea Centre in Auckland this coming May. This non-profit event plans to showcase the latest in local illustration and comics talent, with a focus on fostering the creative community by interacting with the public in a relaxed and accessible environment. Exhibitors will be promoting their artwork, along with selling comics, prints, art books and more; along with drawing/painting demos, workshops and talks on a variety of subjects taking place throughout the day.
Above: Artwork by Allan Xia. Copyright Allan Xia 2013.
Exhibitor applications are now open, and there is already a promising line-up of top-draw talent including: Dylan Horrocks, Karl Wills, Cory Mathis, Czepta Gold, Tim Gibson, Allan Xia, Nani Mahal, Stacey Robson, Tom Robinson, Anthony Pini, Jason Hong, Svet Mateev, Marc Conaco III, Daniel Zhang, Des Gibson, Matt Haworth with more to follow!
Above: Artwork by Stacey Robson. Copyright Stacey Robson 2013.
Best of all, this one day event will be completely FREE of charge!
Organised by illustrator Allan Xia, I think this event has the potential be a real game changer.
It seems to me that this event occupies a a very fertile 'middle ground' between the two extremes of popular culture events in New Zealand, like the giant Armageddon Expo and the likes of Zinefest and the manga/cos-play oriented Overload. While these are all perfectly fine events in themselves, they have a tendency to appeal to a very specific audience; one that isn't always easy to relate to or become a part of without some prior knowledge.
Chromacon offers a great opportunity for curious punters to be introduced to a variety of artists and their work in a relaxed atmosphere without the distractions of corporate sponsorship, or the 'secret handshake' of pop sub-cultures - a beginners guide, if you will.
I think the New Zealand illustration community stands to gain a great deal of awareness from events like this one, and hopefully create some life-long fans in the process, because we could all use more of those.
Chromacon 2013 is taking place at the Aotea Centre (in the Air NZ Foyer) in Auckland, on Sunday May 12th, from 9am-5pm. For more information and updates visit the official website HERE. You can also 'LIKE' the event on Facebook HERE.