It’s been both an exciting and difficult week. On one hand, I was invited to a convention as a guest for the first time ever. On the other hand, the state of things in the United States is equal parts inspiring and frightening (frightening because of Trump’s actions; inspiring because of the actions of those standing up to him). As a result of the latter, I created some new Chadhiyana artwork over the weekend, and so today’s post is going to cover both the con and said artwork.
First, the con. Next month, on February 18th and 19th, I’ll be appearing at the No Such Con at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, New York (the con runs on Friday the 17th as well, but I can only make Saturday and Sunday). I know the show used to have a website, but I can only find an EventBrite listing (eventbrite.com/e/no-such-con-2017-tickets-30432676956) and their Facebook page (facebook.com/nosuchconvention/).
As I said, this is the first time I’ve ever been invited to a show as a guest and though an official con schedule has not been released, I was also asked to speak on up to four panels during the course of the weekend. Two of the panels are yet to be determined (I gave them a list and am letting them choose), but the other two are the writers and the artists panels (respectively) the con is running. Word is I’ll have a table too, so if you are near enough and can make to Poughkeepsie that weekend, I’d love to see some fans come up to see me and even get a chance to hear me talk about my craft, my methods and probably some Chadhiyana and Gentleman Cthulhu too.
As for the latest Chadhiyana artwork, the Trump situation (for lack of a better term) has been difficult to ignore (not that I would choose to do so, mind you). But with everything that is happening (and so quickly, at that) it’s near impossible to concentrate on work and life, while I try to balance staying informed, showing support and practicing good self-care (as we all need to do). More, I’m trying to walk a fine line publicly.
As it is, I promised in a blog last year after the election that I was not going to bombard my followers with anti-Trump sentiments, yet equally I feel we all have a moral obligation to not turn a blind eye to what is happening in this country. So again, I’m trying to find a balance, and I hope my readers will excuse me while I do so.
With that in mind and as I stated last week, my character, Chadhiyana, is really perfect for this political and cultural climate. She is a woman of Indian descent (technically, as she exists in a fantasy world, the culture of which is based on India and the Middle East), who is struggling to find her place in a world that is male dominated, and who had also been the victim of abuse (which will become more evident as the series progresses). The character was my bold answer to what I saw at the time as a lack of diversity (in sex and race) in literature and comics and a chance to delve into the topic of abuse–both of which I have an interest in, else I would be writing and drawing something else. And as I said before, little did I know how badly a character of this sort was needed.
So with the inspiring Women’s March in mind, the news about the Muslim and immigrant ban, and my desire to get more involved in the cultural narrative and use Chadhiyana, as it were, to do that (never mind that Chadhiyana is a woman and at least loosely connected to the Middle East) I created a new Chadhiyana piece in support of not only the aforementioned, but all of the various resistance movements which have sprouted up in opposition to this President. I offer two variations for personal use or to share on the internet (I just ask that you keep the copyright information on them, of course). You may click and download whichever version you like best (border or no border). As for a clean version, I’ll probably be adding that to my gallery on this site soon.
With that, I leave you until next week, and hopefully as each progresses we can somehow move to a brighter future. But, mixed up though I feel this week, I suppose it’s worth celebrating that I finally got invited as a guest to a convention!