Alright so i got invited to attend a convention in Reno...Reno, Nevada (with Nate Kapnicky, Arron Philby, Brian Oakes, Matt Zittman, Manny Hernadez, Gabe Hunt, Jeramy Stock, and Chris Daily who follwed behind in his car with girl friend-companion.) Held by the National Caricature Network that hold competitions every year all around the world. Anyway i joined this NCN cause i was working as a Caricature Artist for Sea World over in San Diego, California, (if you havent read my "About Me" spot yet). Everyone said it would be a good idea to join since its like some caricature club/union. So anyway i went to this convention after signing up not knowing what to expect, actually i wasn't even going to go after i had signed up...i had some money issues. I was being real tight with my money. Fortunately for me, i have this cool Mom who just so happened to get wind of my situation and told me that "money comes and goes" and that "i should go because it would be an experience i would never forget". She was right...i just had to realize this before the Others decided to leave without me. So at the last minute i gave in and decided to go on this really cool Road trip to Reno of the greatest gathering of people I ould ever come to meet from all Artistic backgrounds and regions, of all shapes, sizes and ages, gender, ethnicity...whatever. To draw, compete and just have fun...for one solid week.
Ok, so before actually leaving... a couple of weeks before, i received a magazine from The National Caricature NetWork (NCN)....that featured articles and photos of caricature artists pieces from all around the world. So I was reading this one particular Issue and i came upon some interesting drawings of a Japanese artist Named Tomokazu Ogawa...and was quickly amazed on her talent and was determind to meet her if she were to attend this convention.
With that in mind let me get back to the story of me at the convention Pre actual Day- Zero hour ( Breaking the Ice Party..before the actual convention)
So we were there, in the Casino...thats were they had the Convention, at the Nugget Hotel Casino. So we were there among all who had arrived before us...each group with there own clicks or others they new and hadn't seen in awhile. Quickly i spotted a small group of Japanese girls who might have been the one i was looking for, but no, none were to be her.....i finaly gave up and decided that maybe she wasnt coming or that maybe she would arrive later :). With that set, i went to mingle with everyone else...eating drinking and conversating. I sat next to some Japanese guys who were already drawing some of my friends.. and i explained that was very inspired by there styles, that is very cool they had choosen to draw my friends. I came to relize that his style the one of the Japanese guys named Tomokazu Tabata, had such a similiar style to the girl in which i was searching. So i asked him...did he know of her or was she coming? He did, and know she wasn't. :( Back to square one.
After hours of drawing with my knew found friends....we became closer to the point that we started sharing stories and drawing tips...Tomokazu (Tomo) was very interested in showing me his art work, he insisted in showing me a caricature of Harry Potter and company that he wanted to submit to the convention floor.....after looking at it and studying it for a minute....i noiced the signature Tabata...and how it was written....and remembered the photo of the Tomokazu Ogawa girls drawing and remembering why the signature never matched her name. I quickly asked him if he had had that issue on hand....he did...i searched through it...he stated that he was in this issue...i was intrigued....i continued my search i little more confident in my hope to be discovery....when i got the photo that i had grown to enjoy so much....he stopped me and said that is was his...and that there had been some sort of typo. To my great personal embaressment and Joy i was happy to know that for about Three hours i had been drawing next to the guy i wanted to meet the whole time....thinking he was going to be a girl....i later explained the whole thing to him...and we both laughed and he felt kinda proud to have a fan.
We became instant friends then on...along with his other japanese colleagues. Yoichi, Etsuko, Ryo, Emi(buncoro), Mitzuki, Mayuke, and Say-g.
The trip was fun. The experience was great, but nothing will ever compare to the friends I made that day...even the ones I had came with....had become better friends in the end.