Announcing the Launch of The Very Official Dead Dog Art Zine

by Terri

You may have seen this tweet go out while we were at WorldCon.

Well, we’re putting our money where our mouths are. It’s important to us that there be as much access to Hugo Award eligibility as possible. That means both fixing the constitution (the root problem) and also providing an outlet for people while the amendment is ratified.

The only submission criteria for the Very Official Dead Dog Art Zine is that you follow our submission template. That’s it. The entire point of this zine is that everyone’s art is worthy of inclusion. There is no jury, no one will tell you that your art isn’t good enough. You made it. That’s enough for us.

You can submit your work here, but we do ask that you check out our submission template beforehand. We look forward to seeing your work!

Terri’s Post Dublin 2019 Report: Technical Failures and Networking Successes

By Terri

The Cliffs of Moher, just one of the amazing things I saw on my holidays.

The Cliffs of Moher, just one of the amazing things I saw on my holidays.

Though I am only just home in Israel, I have had a few quiet evenings (plus several forms of transit across Ireland and Northern Ireland - most of this blog post was written while loads of green flashed by) to reflect on Dublin 2019, An Irish Worldcon.

It wasn’t my first WorldCon, and I have to say that was a big relief. I knew that there would be long queues for the most popular author signings and most panels, and that there would be no way to do all the things I wanted to do. The time spent working the Hugo Awards in 2012 meant I was prepared for the sheer shock of ALL THE NOMINEES at both the pre-reception and the Loser’s Party. The other thing that mitigated some of that was the fact that many of us had been communicating since April in a Slack workspace set up by Mary Robinette Kowal. It’s harder to be scared of people whose impostor syndromes have had a party with yours, whom you’ve plotted setting swans on assholes with and shared sleep training tips with.

Ariela’s shared her opinions on the Art Show. Putting it nearly a kilometer from the main event space (yes there were panels there and yes it was only a tram stop away, but still not part of the main convention space) did not help anyone’s sales. It’s hard to know why our originals failed to move - they and the rest of our art have done well at other conventions where the Art Show gets a lot of foot traffic. The decision to put the reception for the Art Show (and I have to say, it wasn’t much of a reception), in a warehouse room apart from the actual art made no sense to me. I have been to many receptions held inside the actual Art Show and somehow no one got any food on the art OR the carpet. ::SHRUG::

My two panels went very nicely. I chose WorldCon to debut my nascent moderating skills as a stunt Q&A moderator on behalf of Elsa Sjunnenson-Henry who moderated the discussion parts very well. It was my first time, and I know where I made my mistakes. Note to self: pass off the question to the OTHER panelists first! However, since it was a jargon heavy panel, I was willing to take questions for clarification and people did seem to find that useful.

Becky Chambers, holding a towel in progress.

Becky Chambers, holding a towel in progress.

As for attending panels, I prioritized some readings (Charlie Stross and Naomi Novik) and was able to attend both. I also managed to get into a fabulous panel that was supposed to be about forests and stories and was actually just Seanan McGuire, Jennifer Mace, & Sarah Gailey talking about bugs, plant people and why hedgerows are awesome (and that’s just the tip of the 50 minute iceberg). I did get my Wayfarers books signed by the inestimable Becky Chambers and deputized my husband to get my Lady Astronaut novels signed.

And that’s where the fun parts of my con that appeared on the schedule (besides the Hugo Awards) ends. Because I actually spent the bulk of my WorldCon mornings at the WSFS Business Meeting. I had a constitutional amendment on the agenda to resolve the problem we encountered when we discovered that Lady Astronaut would not be eligible for consideration in the Hugo Voter’s Packet. I’m still working on fixing the artist categories wholesale, but that’s going to take a few years (and a favorable business meeting to present at). To say that I found the meeting draining would be an understatement. There was a lot of sitting, many cups of tea and instant soup, and a handful of votes that I actually felt were important. There are people for whom Parliamentary decision making is a fascinating process. I am not one of them. But my amendment passed! It will need to be ratified at CoNZealand next year, but there will be those to speak for it there even if I am not. Incidentally, I was also there when one of the constitutional measures to prevent slating was not only preserved, it was preserved via poison pilling an amendment to kill it. That was fun.

I spent my evenings networking via the time honored tradition of barcon. Typically, when the convention is held in a hotel, people congregate in the hotel bars to drink and blow off steam. This year’s wasn’t up to past standards, but I still spent time making connections, handing out my cards, and talking to people about projects that I CANNOT TELL YOU ABOUT BUT SO EXCITE!!!!!!

And now, the thing you really were here for - the Hugo Awards!

It’s hard to express how I feel. I was conflicted from the start. I do a lot of creative work for Geek Calligraphy, and it hurt to be excluded from the ballot for the fact that my skills do not lie in shaping pigment and paper into art. I know that Ariela values my work, but it’s hard to see that work go unremarked. Thankfully, every time I explained to anyone that no I was not a nominee, they went “why not? That’s bullshit, you’re a team,” or some variant on that theme. Which was highly validating. But the hoops we had to jump through to make sure I got to go to the pre-ceremony reception, a decent seat at the awards and entry into the Loser’s Party (and that last one with both our spouses) were many and slightly painful.

The fact that we didn’t take the award home was unsurprising. Once our best work was excluded from consideration, we didn’t stand a chance. We did come in third on the nomination ballot, which was nice. It’s a cliché, but it really was an honor to be nominated in the company of Likhain, Grace Fong, Sara Felix, Spring Schoenhuth and Meg Frank. Hopefully this is only the first time we’ll be here.

The Loser’s Party itself was both fun and disappointing. It was the first time I got to hear live traditional Irish music all weekend, which was nice. Drinks I don’t have to pay for and great company are also wonderful. But getting into the party was A MESS. To find out that taking the time to say goodbye to friends and rearrange our things (both Ariela and I had to prep at the Convention Centre due to panels, and there was quite a bit of spare clothing and makeup on site) meant that there was a good chance we weren’t getting into the party was very disappointing. From what I remember in 2012, the party really was for the nominees and eventually the winners. This year’s party felt more like GRRM throwing a party for his buddies at the Guinness Storehouse that incidentally involved the losing nominees and some of the winners.

Mary Robinette Kowal, me, The Lady Astronaut and a HUGO AWARD! (Photo credit: Terrence Karney)

Mary Robinette Kowal, me, The Lady Astronaut and a HUGO AWARD! (Photo credit: Terrence Karney)

Monday was quite special. Due to technical difficulties (namely that Ariela’s phone hates Ireland), there was no way for Ariela to let me know that she had run into Mary Robinette Kowal while looking at the original Lady Astronaut painting and had gotten a photograph. So we made arrangements for me to get a photo taken as well. While we were packing up the painting afterwards (it was the last thing to come off the wall during the tear down), Mary Robinette, my friend Terrence Karney and I were having a conversation about how some people felt that she was insufficiently reverent of and overexcited by her Hugo. Terrence replied that he’d be excited just to get the little nominee lapel pin in the shape of the rocket (and also told us a funny story about a Hugo that’s been sliced in half). I concurred, and Mary Robinette asked why I didn’t have one, before remembering “oh right. Because bullshit.” (Her exact words). At which point she began to remove the pin from her own lapel. After I protested, she insisted that not only did she have an abundance at home, I deserved it anyway. I started to cry, and received an excellent hug. Terrence remarked that between my ineligibility and the Lady Astronaut’s ballot exclusion, I may have more thoroughly lost a Hugo than anyone else ever has.

So that’s my second WorldCon over. It wasn’t everything it could have been, but it was wonderful in parts. I cemented connections, made professional plans, got a constitutional amendment passed and looked like a mermaid queen for a night. I’m looking forward to the next one.

Ariela's Post-Dublin 2019 Report: Mixed to Positive

by Ariela

Terri and her family are still vacationing and sightseeing, but I am back home. Her post-con report will come later, but here is mine.

I come home from my very first WorldCon glad I went, but with some significant complaints. I had some extremely joyous moments, but there were a lot of frustrations, too. I came to the con with three goals: to sell art, to meet people, and to attend the Hugo Losers Party. (No, going home with a rocket wasn’t a goal, but we’ll get to that later.) Of my three goals, I had mixed success with all three and had significant difficulty on all three counts.

Selling Art

This was our first ever show outside of the United States, and we’re not sure what was a matter of difference between European art shows vs the US and what was just plain screwing up. I’m coming out of it totally unsure if another overseas art show is a good idea. (Terri will tell you about her own conclusions.)

This was a two-building convention and Art Show was put in the secondary venue, Point Square. It got a an utterly enormous warehouse space, at least double the size of any other art show I have seen. Unfortunately, that’s mostly where the good parts end. The lighting was terrible and the room was not clean. The show wasn’t laid out in a way conducive to buying, with the Print Shop tucked away in a teeny back corner that one wouldn’t find unless you knew to look for it and the gallery show having a mostly empty panel as the first one you see when you enter. There was also next to no signage indicating that it was an art show. There were some A4 printouts saying “Art Show Entrance,” but they weren’t visible from where people queued for the panels at the venue could see them. They might have seen the art show or the signs vaguely as they were rushing to get into their panels, or as they were being herded back out of their panels, but it was not a place that would pick up casual foot traffic at all. The “Art Show Reception” was not actually held in the art show, but rather in a room off to the side, with booze and snacky foods that could not be brought into the show; there was no incentive for people to be in the show looking at the art rather than getting some of the only free comestibles in the entire convention. (Also, I got harassed at the reception, fun times! Yes, a report was made and the response team dealt with the person in question.)

From the chatter with other artists, we are not alone in our frustration over these issues, and sales were not at all what people hoped they would be. But in addition to lost money, Terri and I are stuck wondering why we didn’t make the sales we were hoping for. How much of that was due to the venue and mismanagement? Did we price too high? Is my art not a match for a European market? I just can’t know. So not only did we lose money, we didn’t get any new information out of it on which we can build. That's super frustrating.

Meeting People

This is where the convention really shone for me. I got to meet a lot of people I have only interacted with online before, and some people who were entirely new to me. I also got to spend more time with some people I have met before, and those are developing into actual friendships. Terri and I also got to talk to [REDACTED] about artistic collaboration, and while we can’t say anything about it yet, OMGWTFBBQ I AM SO EFFING EXCITED TO SHOW YOU THE ART WE WILL DO.

Did I meet everyone I wanted to meet, and did I click with everyone I did meet? Of course not. But I experienced an extremely low jerk ratio.

So where’s the downside? The downside was, again, the venue. Neither venue was a hotel themselves, and even though the convention reserved large blocks of rooms at nearby hotels, they were so appallingly expensive that comparatively few people stayed in them. So people had much further to go to get home, and if they left for dinner (there weren’t so many restaurants right nearby), they might not come back. It was hard to find a central gathering place. I would not have known any of this, but the people I did find and manage to talk to all confirmed that this year’s “BarCon” was severely lacking.

On a related note, this was also the first time I have ever had complete strangers, people who know neither me nor Terri, come up to me and say how much they like my art. It was a pretty awesome experience, but I got all awkward and tongue-tied about it. I need to practice that for the future.

Attending the Hugo Losers’ Party

The party for Hugo Finalists who did not win an award is apparently a longstanding tradition with a bit of a complicated history. While it used to be hosted by next year’s convention, in 2016, in response to Puppy nonsense, George RR Martin started hosting it again after a long hiatus, and it seems they have kinda merged into co-hosts, maybe? (This is a VERY simplified history. Who owns the party is actually an extremely complicated question.) It is apparently quite The Do. Winners are allowed in only after a significant delay, must wear ridiculous hats, and are subjected to razzing. I have heard that it was supposed to be great fun and was very excited to go.

As the interwebs reported, this year it turned out to be clusterfork. The party was held in the Guinness Storehouse, with a few shuttle buses bringing people there from the Convention Centre. But by the time my bus arrived, the fire marshal had declared the venue full and would not let anyone from the bus in. At first we were told to wait on the bus, but then the bus driver said he needed to leave, so we were all unceremoniously left on the cobblestones by the entrance in the cold. For people with mobility issues this was a particular nightmare. (And apparently there were significant access barriers once you got inside as well.)

Eventually there was a shout for finalists and their +1s to come to front of the line (I was rather surprised at how many people on the bus and in the line were neither finalists nor guests of finalists), and Terri and I got in. I thought at the time that all the finalists got in, but I found out later that this wasn’t the case.

Once we got in, I was shocked to find that the finalists were in the minority in the party, and it was mostly people who didn’t seem to have any connection with the awards at all, at least not this year’s awards. There was also a very loud live band that, while playing lovely music, made conversation nearly impossible. Overall, it was nothing like what I was expecting and I didn’t stay long.

It’s a pretty rotten feeling to be told that the promised consolation for a significant professional disappointment is not available to you after all because other people took it first. And while I did get in after a fairly short wait, others did not, nor did it erase the burn of being denied initially. Pretty solid thumbs-down for that entire experience.

Panels and Programming

I moderated three panels and sat on two more. They were good experiences overall, and I got some compliments on my moderation, so yay for that!

One of the three panels I attended. Seated under a large screen with the Dublin 2019 logo are moderator Mur Lafferty, Yoon Ha Lee, Becky Chambers, Cat Valente, Naomi Novik, and Mary Robinette Kowal

One of the three panels I attended. Seated under a large screen with the Dublin 2019 logo are moderator Mur Lafferty, Yoon Ha Lee, Becky Chambers, Cat Valente, Naomi Novik, and Mary Robinette Kowal

I had less success at attending panels. Lines to get into panels were very long, and there was a serious lack of large panel rooms, so one could queue for over half an hour and still not get into the panel after all. It meant that if you were on a panel, you would not be able to attend another panel in the slot right after. The panels in the two venues were offset, CCD panels starting on the hour and Point Square panels starting at half past, which was a nice idea to let people travel between the two venues but was alas completely defeated by the length of the queues. As a result, I chose really carefully and only attended three panels in my entire five-day convention. I went to Mary Robinette Kowal’s book signing, and I managed to be there when she saw the original in the art show for the first time, which was just amazing. In the realm of bad decisions, I attended the fountain pen meetup; turns out pro calligraphers have a really different approach to pens than enthusiasts, and I felt very much out of place.

I didn’t attend any of the main events because one also needed to queue for those twice: once in the middle of the day to get an admission wristband, and once right before the event to get a seat. I usually had other obligations during the queue time in the middle of the day and only realized much later that I could have asked someone else to get a wristband for me. I have also never been to an opening or closing ceremony that wasn’t mostly dull, though I hear these were quite good. Either way, the auditorium was very small for the main convention space in a major city, so admission was quite curtailed. (Okay, I was at the Hugo Awards, but that wasn’t exactly as an attendee.)

Overall, it seems like the programming probably had awesome content, but again, issues with the venue prevented me from getting to much of it where I wasn’t working.

The Hugo Awards

Again, the goal of the Hugo Awards wasn’t to come home with a rocket. The goal was to meet my fellow finalists, dress up in truly extra outfits, and have an awesome time. As we have discussed before, https://geekcalligraphy.com/blog/2019/4/8/hugo-eligibility-revisited, and if one votes based on works declared eligible by the committee, as I feel one should, then frankly my portfolio was not deserving of the crown. So to everyone offering me condolences on the loss of the award, could you please not? Thanks ever so.

The thing that really sucked was discovering, while on a panel with fellow finalists Likhain and Meg Frank, that everyone else in the Best Fan Artist category got emails saying “Congrats, you’re a finalist!” while I got one that said “Congrats, people voted for you, but we need to make sure you’re actually eligible.” What the entire frak, Hugo Committee?!? Yes, four of the six finalists are repeat finalists, and the only other first time finalist is deeply entrenched in the fandom-running circles that Committee members run in; that should not make one iota of difference in the way you communicate with us. Your very own rules, which you dote upon so much, say that the best artist in the world might not have made eligible works that year. Either you perform due diligence on everyone, or you don’t do it for anyone. You are all welcome to take a long walk off a short pier, you gatekeeping dickweasels.

I was quite gratified that Likhain and Meg were both horrified on my behalf, as was everyone else we mentioned this to. But this? This right here is why fans can’t have nice things. I can only imagine what that would have been like for someone who was marginalized along more axes than I.

Overall

I’m glad I went, but I would say that my best times came kind of despite the con, only because of it insofar as everyone came for it. I hope my next WorldCon experience is better.

We’re Off To WorldCon!

The logo for Dublin 2019. It features a D stylized to look like a harp, a rocketship and a dragon.

The logo for Dublin 2019. It features a D stylized to look like a harp, a rocketship and a dragon.

Once again, your intrepid artist and wrangler are embarking on a joint convention journey. We are both incredibly excited to visit Ireland together and it’s Ariela’s first ever WorldCon. Terri anticipates being staggered by the sheer amount of GREEN and is anticipating visiting local yarn shops. Ariela is excited to finally meet in person people she thus far only knows from the internet. Our art will be hanging in the Art Show, side by side with some amazing Irish artists and the usual fannish suspects.

In addition to the panels we are both on, you will be able to find both of us at the Art Show Reception (Friday, 5:30PM - 7:00PM at Point Square) and at the Hugo Awards ceremony (Sunday, 8:00PM, during which we will be gripping each others’ hands in an effort to stave off nail biting). We hope everyone in attendance has fun!

Terri’s Panel Schedule

Sunday 4:00PM: Neurodiversity and Extraordinary Powers in SFF
Location: Wicklow Hall 2B (CCD)
The inclusion of neurodivergent characters in fiction plays an important role in normalisation, but if the depictions are themselves problematic then they can further harmful stereotypes. The panel will discuss representation of neurodiversity in media, where it's done well and where it's problematic, and how they would like to see neurodiverse characters written.

Monday 11:30AM: Ask Me About My Feminist Agenda
Location: Odeon 1 (Point Square)
Female creators and characters are finally gaining recognition in the comics industry, but with that came a backlash. Where we disagree with creative directions, how do we best engage with creators? And how do we support female creators for an increased presence, without threats and harassment?
Note : Panel title refers to the 'infamous' cover from the last issue of the Mockingbird comic series

Ariela’s Panel Schedule

Friday 1:30PM: Trends in Fan Art
Location: Odeon 2 (Point Square)
Our definition of fan art has been evolving from printed zines to online and in style from illustrations to include crafts and other forms of art. How do newer mediums fit in the fan art category? Are the traditional venues for fan art still around? What does the term "fan art" mean to you?

Friday, 4:00PM: The Return of the Space Cowboy: Westerns in Space
Location: Wicklow Room-1 (CCD)
The influence of the Western on science fiction can be traced from the pulp era and ranges from the subtle inclusion of tropes like the lawless frontiers of Star Trek and The Expanse, through cowboy imagery in Afro Samurai to literal robot horses in Firefly. The panel will discuss their favourite examples of space westerns in media and literature and why the genre has had such a lasting appeal.
Ariela will moderate this panel.

Saturday, 1:00PM: Inclusive Costuming
Location: Liffey Room-1 (CCD)
A discussion of design ideas and clothing and prop construction to accommodate those with mobility, visual, tactile, or other sensory concerns, and those who use mobility or medical aids. The panellists will come up with ways for everyone to look fabulous without compromising safety and comfort.

Sunday, 3:00PM: What Has Art Ever Done for Science?
Location: Liffey Room-2 (CCD)
From the creation of anatomical models to the visualisation of other planets, how has art contributed to our understanding of science?

Monday, 2:30PM: Your Next Costume: 2D Inspiration and 3D Quandary
Location: Odeon 3 (Point Square)
How do you turn a beautiful image into an amazing costume, but details are vague, the artist has taken liberties with the human form, or you have only one view of it? What's possible to make real and where might you have to make changes? How can you extrapolate what you cannot see? Panelists discuss techniques for making a two-dimensional image into something you can wear with pride.
Ariela will moderate this panel.

What Prepping Three Art Shows Looks Like

by Ariela

I haven’t done any new art this month. Aside from moving, I have also been prepping art to ship to three different shows: CONvergence, San Diego Comic Con, and WorldCon. All three need to be shipped either before my moving date or so soon after that I cannot count on having any time to unpack my equipment.

This is what three shows’ worth of art looks like.

20190616_122834.jpg

Pictured here are:

  • 3 framed originals

  • 4 laminated prints

  • 40 bagged stickers

  • 69 matted prints

Not pictured here:

  • Signage for 5 displays (two of the shows have separate galleries and print shops)

  • Labels for all the art

  • Paperwork

When we originally planned this month, we didn’t know when WorldCon’s consolidated shipping deadline would be, so we thought we were looking at just two shows. When we got the notice that the deadline for getting things in the consolidated shipment from the US to Dublin was June 30 reception, that suddenly added 3 framed originals and 40 prints to our to-do list. Had we known that earlier, we would have started prepping loooooong ago and Terri would likely have come to visit and help. As it is, I am far too tired to be working on art. On the plus side, I have a lot less matboard to move with me!

This lot goes to the post office this afternoon and I move a week from today. Wish me luck!

Pictured above: Three packages of about 30”x23”x2” and three smaller packages, totaling around 44lbs together.

Pictured above: Three packages of about 30”x23”x2” and three smaller packages, totaling around 44lbs together.

Shipping Hiatus: June 11 - July 1

by Ariela

Chibi Ariela is buried under boxes, just a hand protruding, saying “A little help, please?”

Chibi Ariela is buried under boxes, just a hand protruding, saying “A little help, please?”

I’m moving in a few weeks. The thing about moving house when you run a business from home is that your business moves, too. It also means you have a lot of business accoutrements to move. So all of our stock and equipment is getting packed up in boxes and transported to a new location and while that happens, we won’t be able to get to it to fulfill any orders.

We will still be accepting orders during this time, but we won’t be shipping out any of those orders until July 1.

Asking Permission vs. Begging Forgiveness

By Terri

You’ve probably noticed that when we use someone else’s intellectual property, we make a point of getting official permission from the owner of that IP before we sell prints using it. This is because not only is art theft evil, but all forms of IP theft are evil.

Sarah Michelle Gellar as Faith Lehane telling the audience why you shouldn’t do bad things - Because it’s WRONG!

Sarah Michelle Gellar as Faith Lehane telling the audience why you shouldn’t do bad things - Because it’s WRONG!

We are a business. When we make a piece of art based on a book we like, it’s likely that we intend to sell it. It’s wrong to use someone else’s IP to make money without consulting them and making sure they receive proper attribution and monetary recompense. So all of our art based on major works is produced with permission of the IP holders and often we pay a licensing fee for it. All of those pieces began as an email to the author or their agent proposing that we turn their work into art, and how should we compensate them for the use of it. And we have been turned down. In three cases, it was because the books/series we wanted to do art of are in some stage of TV development. This means that the rights to the work are in legal limbo, and permission could not be given to us to use the work. (Another time the author’s staff judged that the author had too much on their plate to contemplate another business proposal; this is what staff are for and we applaud them for doing their job.) This makes us sad, but we respect other people’s intellectual property.

“But what about your Wonder Woman print? Did you get permission for that?” The answer to that is complicated. I did send Warner Bros an email requesting permission to use the logo in an art piece. I never heard back from them. However, since Warner Bros/DC Comics holds the copyright to the logo, no individual creator is being deprived of a piece of the profits. William Moulton Marston (the creator of Wonder Woman) is not being deprived of royalties from our print, nor is Gail Simone (one of the most recent writers of the comic). Moreover, this print is a clear example of transformative work. We have synthesized Proverbs and the Wonder Woman logo in a way that both changes and comments on the original IP.

“That SpaceScape print you did features a quote from Babylon 5. I bet you don’t have permission to use it.” Well, no, we do not have explicit permission to use that quote. We did try and figure out who we should ask, and it turns out that Babylon 5 is something of an orphaned property that no one really wants to acknowledge that they own. We even tweeted at J. Michael Straczynski, but he didn’t respond. The print contains an attribution of the text to Babylon Productions. If someone does come after us, we’ll talk it out then.

“Aha, I found something you don’t even attribute credit to!” If you are referring to either the Police Box Mizrach or the Salute Ketubah, then you are correct, in a way. In both of these cases, we used images that cannot be copyrighted in any way. Though both the British police box and the Priestly Blessing gesture are associated with major media franchises, one is a public utility akin to a mail box or phone booth and the other is a hand gesture that is part of Jewish prayer. Neither of these is subject to copyright. These are also pretty clear fair use cases.

Note - this is not to say there isn’t a place for fan art! We’re firm believers in any fan’s ability to create art based on their favorite fandoms. I’ve seen some AMAZING banner images on various fanfics on AO3 and don’t get me started on some of the stuff I’ve seen on Tumblr. But once you start profiting from the art, there needs to be recompense to the original creator of the IP. Oddly enough, this is one of the reasons I’m working on a proposal to the WSFS Business committee about the art categories. I don’t think what we do is fan art. Even when the art is based from something we didn’t invent in our heads, it’s work produced for sale.

New Art Print: Tech Serenity 2.0

Need a reminder that taking a hammer to your servers is probably not the right move? Hang this in your cubicle to help you keep things on an even keel.

AP-201901-TechSerenity2.0.png

How It Came To Be:

While our original Tech Serenity Prayer is a synthesis of computer and calligraphic aesthetics, we wanted something that would fit more squarely in the computer aesthetic.

The original was written in ink, but the 2.0 is entirely computer generated. The text was set in the Classic Console font and then manipulated to create the light effects. Ariela had fun learning how to render the horizontal lines and slightly offset color halos that are the signature of a classic CRT monitor.

Closeup of the lettering showing the light halos and horizontal bars reminiscent of a CRT.

Closeup of the lettering showing the light halos and horizontal bars reminiscent of a CRT.

To keep this print both durable and easy to hang, we are selling a laminated version (rather than our standard matting and bagging) with a sawtooth tab that will fit nicely over a thumbtack or pushpin. Each print measures 8.5x11 and costs $12.

Where Are We This Weekend?

by Terri

Location markers in San Francisco, CA with the BayCon logo; Madison, WI with the WisCon logo; and Baltimore, MD with the Balticon logo

Location markers in San Francisco, CA with the BayCon logo; Madison, WI with the WisCon logo; and Baltimore, MD with the Balticon logo

Thanks to the beneficence of the USPS, you can find Geek Calligraphy at three different conventions this weekend! Unfortunately, our budget is not so beneficent, so I will not be at any of these conventions.

Our art will be in the Baycon and Balticon art shows, and Ariela will be at WisCon. While we will not be in the WisCon art show unless a spot opens up, Ariela will have our stickers and the ability to take your money.

If you would like to hear Ariela be clever on panels, check out her schedule below:

Ariela's Panel Schedule

Sunday, 10:00 AM:  Imaginary Book Club
Room: Conference 4
Follow on Social Media: ##ImaginaryBooks
Panelists each choose an exciting book from the last year to describe, and the group discusses them all. The catch: we made all of them up. This year, we might talk about Charlie Jane Anders's inspirational romance, a newly discovered YA dystopia by F. Scott Fitzgerald, G. Willow Wilson's entry in the Babysitter's Club series, and the 90s-nostalgia horror anthology I'll Be There for Your Blood.

Sunday, 1:00 PM:  Fictional Trauma—Harmful Or Healing?
Room: Conference 4
Follow on Social Media: #TraumaInFiction
Stories can be healing. Watching a fictional character go through a trauma similar to our own and come out the other side can be empowering and even give us tools to use for ourselves. Other times, however, it can be unbearable to watch or a story has a harmful narrative that can make us feel worse. This panel will discuss fictional traumas that have helped and harmed our healing process, as well as how we can judge ahead of time which story might help or hurt us.

Sunday, 1:00 PM:  Food And Foodways In SF/F
Room: Conference 4
Follow on Social Media: #SFFFood
A discussion about the role of food and foodways in SF/F. What food do we imagine, and who (classes, bodies, genders, ethnicities) do we imagine as the makers and eaters of that food? What infrastructure is necessary for people to be fed, and how do those infrastructures reflect our hopes and anxieties about bodies, land, and ecology?

Terri Appreciation Week: Hufflepuffs, They Get The Job Done

by Ariela

Happy Passover to all of you celebrating out there!

The last full week of April, that would be this week, is Administrative Professionals Week in the United States of America. ‘Round hereabouts, that means it’s Terri Appreciation Week.

It’s very easy to see what I do—I put pen to paper and make pretty art—but it’s much harder to see what Terri does.

Hufflepuffs, they get the job done. Chibi Terri smirks with her arms crossed, wearing a Hufflepuff House scarf and says “Darn right we do.”

Hufflepuffs, they get the job done.
Chibi Terri smirks with her arms crossed, wearing a Hufflepuff House scarf and says “Darn right we do.”

Terri is a Hufflepuff. She is hardworking and extremely loyal. (She is also an American badger, so don’t effing mess with her or her loved ones. She will defend her own with sharp teeth and claws. Seriously, why do Brits think of badgers as cute and bucolic? They’re scary.)

A short, non-comprehensive list of things that Terri does around here:

  • Looks for art shows for us to send our art to

  • Investigates other venues for selling our art (mostly our Judaica)

  • Fills out paperwork (So. Much. Paperwork.)

  • Itemizes every single, solitary expense the business had

  • Writes most of our product release blog posts

  • Handles most of our product release social media

  • Comes up with ideas for art

  • Blogs

  • Manages the business schedule

  • Monitors my workload and keeps me from overcommitting and burning myself out

  • Deals with customer inquiries

  • Deals with wholesale inquiries

Terri is more than just a “manager.” She’s an agent, an editor, a manager, and an assistant all rolled into one. Geek Calligraphy is not my business, it’s ours. We founded it together. She’s my business partner. And before she was any of that, she was—and continues to be—my best friend.

There are very few awards for administrative professionals, in part because what they do is very rarely visible to anyone outside their respective businesses. (Also in part because we live in a society that devalues support work, whether administrative or emotional, but we’re here to celebrate Terri, not protest the sexism and Capitalist values in our social order.) Part of the way that we change that is by publicly talking about what they do.

Terri is awesome, her work is valuable, and she deserves to have more than a week celebrating her accomplishments.

Chibi Terri holds out her Hufflepuff scarf and muses, “*sigh* These are really not my colors.”

Chibi Terri holds out her Hufflepuff scarf and muses, “*sigh* These are really not my colors.”


Chibi Terri holds a sign saying “Will Wrangle on a Contract Basis.”

Chibi Terri holds a sign saying “Will Wrangle on a Contract Basis.”

Does what Terri does for Geek Calligraphy sound helpful? Do you wish you had someone to do some of that for you? You can!

Terri also takes clients on a freelance basis.

Some things Terri can do for you:

  • Invoicing

  • Yelling at People Who Need Yelling At

  • General Unsticking

  • Social Media Plan

Visit her website: ArtistWrangling.com