This topic has come up a lot in private, so, I figure it was worth talking about publicly.
I think this Spectrum Fantastic Art Live should move to a different city, probably LA.
I got this idea when I was listening to an interview with Terry Crews. You know, the muscular black guy from the Old Spice commercials. Before becoming an athlete, body-builder and actor, he was an aspiring artist trying to make a name for himself in animation. And of course, that passion hasn’t gone away. Terry Crews loves art. In fact, there are many celebrities and people working in the entertainment industry that love the kind of art that we love. I believe this is the reason why LA has become one of the few places in the US where galleries focusing on genre art have been able to make a foothold.
So there are two points here. The first is that there is a regional nature to nearly all conventions. While many of the exhibitors come from all over the world, a large portion of the attendees travel significantly less to attend. While Illuxcon proved that aspiring artists, collectors and professionals are willing to travel to hard to reach towns in order to spend time together, there hasn’t been any proof that more casual audience is willing to do the same. You can point to the success of San Diego Comic Con as evidence for fans willing to travel, but to me it feels more like the exception that proves the rule. While I’m more than willing to travel to KC once a year, I think that Comic Con shows us what kind of event that needs to happen in order for consumers to go to the same lengths.
The other point is about the nature of celebrity. I don’t think the opinion of famous people is important to what we do but I do think they have influence. I want to see Spectrum grow larger and genre art become in higher demand. If actors, comedians and other celebrities are seen enjoying an event like Spectrum, more people will follow. I know Patton Oswald would enjoy the show but I don’t expect him to go through the same hassle we are willing to go through. If it doesn’t make sense to invite these folks as guests, lets entice them to come as attendees by making it easy on them.
Ultimately, I may be making just as much of a case to move it to New York (afterall, I would love to see Louie CK wander up to my booth some day with his kids). But the point is, I want there to be events that primarily feature genre art and I want people to be driven to them. If it can be anywhere, I want that place to be where it will attract the most attention.
Feel free to email me and tell me what you think. Bugmeyer@gmail.com