ATTENDEE INTERVIEW: CHRIS SICKELS
What was something you learned at ICON6?
ICON6 showed me that any illustrator that is worth her/his salt will carry a flask at all times to make up for light-handed bartenders. More seriously though, I learned that telling illustrators that a moving image is better than a single image is 'fighting words'.
You were a speaker at ICON4. Was that your first ICON conference? Why did you decide to return as an attendee?
ICON2 was the first ICON I attended. I was looking for lots of specific answers on how to run my illustration business better, marketing, contract negotiations, how to survive and make it, that sort of stuff, I found some of that, but was disappointed by the lack of transparency from most of the speakers. With that I didn't go to ICON3. When I was asked to speak at ICON4 I felt that it was my chance (in a small way) to bring to a bit of what I was looking for in a conference. I missed ICON5 because of schedule conflicts.
I decided to attend ICON6 with a different set of expectations, I felt that I have made it thru many hurdles I was struggling with 8 years earlier, and I wanted to build connections with others like me, and to reinforce the relationships with peers I have made over the years. For me it is more about being part of a larger 'brotherhood' of illustrators that allows me to help the industry move forward and grow and leave behind the notions of feast or famine and cut-throat competition.
Are you considering a trip to ICON7?
I am considering ICON7, looking forward to seeing more specifics on the schedule and speakers, but just in case it looks like it will be as good as ICON6 I am already saving my pennies, lots of pennies.
What was your favorite memory of ICON6?
The best part for me was seeing how some folks are just an ass no matter how good they are, and in contrast to that, the most interesting bits can come from just sitting by someone you don't know and starting a conversation. Pedestals are for Greek sculptures not illustrators.
What was the most surprising thing for you about ICON?
That if you agree to a run with peers at 5:30 am prepare to talk shop while sucking air and carry some cash for the coffee shop.
Have you made memorable friends or contacts at the conference?
I renewed friendships with folks i hadn't seen in years and struck up new ones with folks i had always knew of but never had the chance for real face to face conversation. Face to face that's what it is all about.
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Red Nose Studio’s illustrations appear in advertising, magazines, books, newspapers, packaging, character development and animation. Two of his short films, The Red Thread Project and Innards, were selected to screen at the 2005 and 2006 Los Angeles International Short Film Festival. He authored and illustrated The Look Book, and has illustrated the children's book Here Comes The Garbage Barge. See more of his work at rednosestudio.com.