Manifest Sketchbook

by Jon Hayward, Oct 17th 2006

Good conventions have a number of artists attend with various artwork for people to purchase. If it's fanart it's usually in the form of "flavour of the month" anime i.e Bleach. Of course you can have incredibly well drawn original artwork available for sale. But in my opinion the best artists are selling their skills in the form of sketches. There is nothing more interesting than seeing what an artist can do with some time and a basic theme with just the tools they have on hand.

So at this Manifest, I decided to prove it by going around and getting commissions in a sketch book. Now you don't have to supply your own drawing paper but as I wanted to do this in the future I had a small book on hand. The theme that I decided on was "Attendees", basically I was looking for what the artists thought of when I asked for a picture on the theme. It's a great way of reflecting on what many thought of the convention. Now the artists usually ask for a small fee for doing a sketch but this is perfectly ok as feeding starving artists is a worthy cause. I spent just over the price of a DVD to get the following sketches, so let's take a closer look at what I found.

The Oztaku table was the best starting point, they had a table dedicated to commissions and as stated elsewhere they had a rolling complement of artists at the table. Now what was surprising was the very first artist I approached set the standard for the rest of the day, they were very unsure what to draw for such a subject, but they tackled it head on.

Now when I returned to claim my sketchbook and get the next one started, I found that I had two sketches, she felt that the sketch wasn't good enough and wanted to do another. What's more amusing is that this did occur throughout the convention. On a completely different note, there was a Pyramid Head cosplayer at Manifest. This cosplayer disposed of his costume on the Monday by dumping the pyramid helmet in a bin outside the backpackers and the sword in a bin on the Bourke St mall. The two are roughly four blocks apart but when we were walking down the Bourke St mall later in the day we found the helmet next to another bin. How the helmet moved four blocks is beyond me, but it's a true convention story, honest!

The following sketch was done by an artist known as H.Pop, something I only realized when I was scanning in these sketches. He could not draw on the spot so I was forced to find a random attendee for him to sketch. Unfortunately one of my friends from Perth stood still for enough time for H.Pop to create the following. He may not be a random stranger but it worked out in the end.

I will be 100% honest, I didn't get all the artists names and the name on this one can't be read. But what's stranger is that I don't even remember getting this sketch. This is what I get for leaving the book at the commission table while I go off to report on the Madman panel. It's a little creepy and I am unsure if it's supposed to be a cross-player or cosplayer, but you can decide!

This sketch is based on one of the Tasmanian artists, and I'm not a expert but she did have the best Vash costume.

KENNETH CHAN, the co-conspirator of Oztaku drew the following. He's known for drawing most of the humorous sketches in Oztaku and this was no different. And while the Gundam's didn't sell out, I'm sure this is what would have happened.

I'm not sure if this artist understood the theme correctly, but it's a nice sketch all the same.

For those people that don't know, Artists alley can be considered to be like the traders hall, but with everyone having less space and less people walking through. Avi is a seasoned professional in terms of artists' alleys but this is what his thoughts were focused on.

I talked about the following artists in my con report, unfortunately she didn't write down her name or email so I couldn't contact her. This is only a taste of some of the sketches she had on her stall over the course of the weekend.

These two also came from the aforementioned table, they have the honour of being the artists who are not from Oztaku. Whenever I tried to get a artist who was not from Oztaku draw a quick commission I was politely told that they couldn't do one.

And the very last sketch was done in a hurry, but it's 100% correct. The Tasmanian artists were leaving to return home but this sketch summarizes the Vash cosplay that could be seen over the weekend.

So did you enjoy these sketches? Please let us know in the forums, just hit "discuss" below and you will be taken to a new topic.


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