Room 112 is where the party’s at! IlluXCon 09 Part 2

After the bronze pouring Grant and I headed back to the hotel. We chilled in the room for about an hour, talking about how crazy awesome our first day had been, when we had the first knock at our door. Now I was expecting Eric Fortune and Ray, but who walks in… none other than Dan Dos Santos!

Sam Flegal, Dan Dos Santos, Grant Cooley

We, of course, offer Dan some drinks, and begin hanging out. A little bit later Scott Altmann drops by with his friend Marc Scheff. Soon after Dan asks to see Grant and my portfolios. While looking over our portfolios, Eric Fortune and Ray show up. Before we know it, our room is filled with award-winning art professionals, aspiring artists, and one of the coolest guys ever, Raymond Eulises Valentin!

Sam Flegal, Eric Fortune, Grant Cooley, Raymond Eulises Valentin

After Dan finished looking over my portfolio, he commented that I had good stuff and was on the edge of crossing over from amateur artist to professional. He then encouraged me to go to the Illustration Master Class, where Dan is one of the teachers. He explained that if I would give him the seven days in the master class to work with him, he’d show me how to take my work to the next level!

After Dan flipped through, Eric took a look. Now Eric saw my portfolio at last year’s IlluXCon. (You can read more about that here). When he finished, he set down the book and said, “Sam you have come a LONG way in the last year.” Which of course made me feel really good!

My friend Grant had similar experiences when folks reviewed his portfolio, which was great! With that little bit of self-promotion out of the way the party was really getting started! About this point, the wine ran out and we all headed down to the hotel bar.

When we got there the party had already started! The drinks were plentiful and affordable, the DJ was rockin’, and everywhere you looked there were artists and industry professionals! Last year the partying was my favorite part; well this year was even better! I made sure to stop by and buy a drink for Rob Rey, another artist who taught me how to make better use of my Epson 1280 printer last year at IlluXCon, a tool that has come in very handy prepping for all the art conventions I’ve been doing!

In the midst of all the partying I had the privilege of making the acquaintance of Cynthia Sheppard. Now Cynthia was not showing at IlluXCon–she was an attendee just like me–and when she showed me her portfolio I was floored! Her work is AMAZING!!! Later I would find out that she’s been featured in ImagineFX magazine! What a cool place IlluXCon, where little gems like Cynthia are hidden throughout the crowd!

Cynthia Sheppard

After the partying and portfolio-swapping, things started to wind down at the bar. So Dan Dos Santos invited us back to his room for vodka! And the party continued! My friend Grant even ended up with an original Dan Dos Santos drawing on his badge! I’ll just leave it to your imagination what Dan drew, but needless to say, Grant had to hide his badge throughout the day on Saturday.

By 4am I was fading. So I called it a night. IlluXCon Day One was complete, but we still had Saturday, and oh what a Saturday it would be…


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