The following was written by Brittany Hahn, a Moraine Park Interactive Media Design student who recently attended the Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo.
Moraine Park’s Interactive Media Design Club (IMDC) and I, an IMDC member, are extremely thankful that we were able to attend the Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo (C2E2) as a club outing. Due to expenses and transportation, I would not have been able to attend without the support of the IMDC. It was very important to all of us that we were able to make it to C2E2, not only because it is fun (It was a blast!) but also because it is a great opportunity to learn, grow, and expand as an individual looking to make a career in the industry.
One of my favorite things to do at C2E2 is visit the vendor hall and artists alley. This isn’t because I love shopping (though I do – and WOW did I find a lot of things to buy), but rather because it is an outstanding opportunity to see other artists’ current work. When viewing the countless pieces of work done by others, we can learn to better differentiate between their various styles, composition structures, and chosen display methods (print, clothing, accessories, etc.) Not only are we learning to deconstruct and recompose their work, but so too are we learning what is popular and selling, which is an important thing to understand in any work line.
Seeing the vendor hall and artists alley is motivational. After leaving the convention, everyone in our club found themselves inspired to get home and get to work on new compositions. As an artist or anyone working within media design, it can sometimes be a struggle to find inspiration or material that piques one’s interest – With that in mind, C2E2 was very refreshing, refilling our hearts and minds with enthusiasm and creativity towards our work!
The vendor hall and artists alley are just two of countless attractions that make C2E2 an academic hit! While C2E2 is filled with attractions that everyone loves, such as the Maid Café, Autograph signings, the gaming hub, and more – There is one thing that everyone comes for, PANELS!
Panels are the core of C2E2, and they are what truly make it a great academic experience. Multiple panels are always running at once, giving a large variety of choices and opportunities to those who attend. As for what the panels feature, the variety is nearly endless!
Some of my favorite panels I noticed that were listed and running were:
Script to Screen/Screen to Script – A panel run by Legendary professionals that teach attendees how to write and polish their scripts, getting them screen-ready – and vice versa!
Kubert School Portfolio reviews – Have your portfolio looked at and critiqued! For those finishing up their degree, this is an awesome opportunity to be accepted to a large art school, or create a solid portfolio for leaving school behind and stepping out into the work field to become hired.
Libraries & Nerds Blerds, Books, and Making Bank – This panel explains how to use your local library to help you host events and promote your product/book/work to ultimately make bank!
Anti-Hero Sip and Sketch – Learn to draw in the style of Anti-Hero with Melissa of Salsa Sharks, picking up a bunch of new techniques while you fill out your now provided sketchbook.
Education in the stacks – A program giving advice in programming, giving 1 on 1 time that allows you to hone ideas for viable programs, connect it to education, find a good space/fit, and find a price range you should be asking for.
Play and Sculpt with Clay – A panel that covers anatomy, color theory, texture, proportion, and composition – Teaching you how to make Character design art with clay!
The list of panels goes on and on. There are panels for learning to write, panels teaching how to draw, program, sculpt, voice act, animate, and even panels that go over what your school and classes should be teaching (That’s right, there are panels designed for teachers and colleges!).
While I was at C2E2, after spending the majority of my time in the vendor hall, I made it to the panel “Passion to Profession – Your skills pay the bills!” The panel was great! It had professionals who went over how to find a career you enjoy by mapping your hobbies and skills, how to get over common job market fears. While I already knew how to turn my hobbies into a career – I found the entire panel very motivational. The panelists really pushed for everyone to stop waiting and perfecting their craft. They each gave personal stories where they took their work and just shoved it into the hands of companies, those of which snatched it up and hired them. They explained that most companies either couldn’t find the best of the best, or they can’t afford it – So even if you think you aren’t the best, they need you. It’s not to say that anyone isn’t less than the best, but rather, they wanted everyone to understand that they were good enough and that they were ready. They continued to offer advice and inspire everyone within the room, allowing for personal questions and sharing advice from seasoned experts in the crowd.
The panel was so motivational, that when I got home, I took images from a local nail parlor (their images looked very bad – dry skin, paint over flesh, just a bad job all over) and I edited them, cleaning them up using things we learned in past classes and online tutorials. I sent the edited versions back to the business and explained what I had done and that I could do more if they would like. Right away, they asked for more/for me to continue doing edits! This was a great way for me to continue building my portfolio, and something I wouldn’t have had the courage to do without attending the panel.
C2E2 is filled with countless opportunities for students and teachers to learn, grow, and expand within their desired field of study/work. I am extremely happy that I went, and I can’t wait to go again in the future. Again, had it not been for the IMDC and Moraine Park Technical College, I would not have been able to go. Not only did they cover the cost of the ticket to attend, but so too did they handle transportation. It was great traveling with like-minded individuals, bonding and having an awesome time at the convention. I am very thankful to have MPTC and the IMDC, as well as our amazing club overseers and teachers Mr. Ward and Mr. Sibilski–they suggested, set up, and attended the trip!