It was the fifth INDYpendent Show and I felt like it truly hit the mark for providing the unique atmosphere of a show unlike any other in the area. It definitely helped to be part of Who’s Yer Con for the second year, which allowed even more people to discover the event. I was happy that attendees stopped referring to the show as “that art show” and now started saying “that show where I learned some cool stuff and bought some art”. Cross your fingers that next year we are called “that amazing room where creativity abounds”.
As I pushed to define the show better this year, I found it was also a time to define what my exact goals are for the creative community in Indianapolis. Much like the INDYpendent Show has a focus on helping creators reach their creative goals, I too have found myself shifting away from calling myself just a writer, publisher, or show promoter. There is too much opportunity to educate others in this area and I want to help support the growth, so a specific label doesn’t fit me anymore.
To support this change in the show and myself, I realized that the INDYpendent Show has its best impact in the Spring and that for this year and possibly next, there will just be one show at that time. While there won’t be two structured INDYpendent Shows during this time, my goal is to use the Fall to work with schools or organizations to create “pop up” INDYpendent events. This might be something like a mini con at a school or an author fair at a kid’s organization, but the overall goal will be to get more involvement from children who are just starting down the creative path and give them some encouragement and guidance. I will still need experienced INDYpendent creators who want to support those functions, so please keep an eye out for announcements.
On a personal note, I have designed and tested two presentations for grades 3-5, and plan to present at elementary schools in the Indianapolis area this coming year. The first presentation focuses on creating characters and idea generation, and the kids are encouraged to create their own characters with backstories. These characters are then pulled into a special comic book that each child receives to showcase their first published work. The second presentation revolves around creating a short comic story around their character’s writeup. The reception these presentations have received has been more positive than I imagined and I can’t wait to share that enthusiasm with more students in the area. Let me know if you have any contacts with schools that would be interested.
I will also continue to focus on creating comics for organizations and events in the area, featuring the work of local creators when possible. So far I’ve had the opportunity to work with the great folks at INDY Family Fest, Broad Ripple Zombie Walk, Who’s Yer Con, a Boy Scout troop, and two elementary schools. Each project teaches me something new and continues to help me grow both creatively and technically.
Finally, not having a Fall INDYpendent Show gives me the time to support new creators with their projects. My specialty has become creating the final package for someone’s art that best suits their vision, so I enjoy helping creators getting their work into print. I also love marketing and crowdfunding, so I encourage new creators to not put off a project for any reason, and instead shoot for the stars. The best part is that I’ll be happy to work for art, since my skills in that area are extremely lacking. If you need help, I’m sure we can work something out that is mutually beneficial.
I hope you enjoyed the update on the show and also some of my personal goals. The past two years in Indianapolis has helped me grow so much and also given me the opportunity to meet some amazingly talented people. I’m open to suggestions and feedback about what we can do to help the creative community in Indianapolis continue to thrive. Reach me at FIGIDPress@Gmail.com.
All the best!