I don't know if you heard about it, but there was a small, intimate pony meetup this past weekend called Bronycon! And I was there! And it was AMAZING!
I've been back home in Pittsburgh for a full day now and I remain completely wiped out. As I sit here and attempt to compile my thoughts and experiences into one coherent I realize there is just so much say, too many friends to thank, too many moments of excitement and wonder and awesomeness!
The main thing I need to express, above anything else, is how grateful I am that so many of you...heck, seemingly ALL of you took the time to visit my booth, buy everything but the table itself, hug me, get my autograph, and altogether just make me feel like a million bits. I know I talk a lot about how much your support of my art and encouragement has meant to me over the past year, but this weekend was the most incredibly moving and tangible expression of friendship I've ever experienced. My booth was mobbed all day, every day, even when I had nothing to sell. I never imagined anyone would want my autograph on anything, and yet I got to sign to much stuff (and so many bronies!) I got so many hugs, I got to talk to and spend (not nearly enough) time with so many wonderful friends, new and old.
The frustrating thing is I can't even begin to name or properly thank everyone who made my weekend a joy and a success. Kevin made me a Great and Powerful Trixie Scarf, Dusty Katt and NovalG and SirKain gave me amazing beer, Laura gave me a Trixie pint glass, *Fetchbeer gave me SO MANY beautiful prints and pony pics, *tygerbug sent over amazing Trixie and Benedict Cumberbatch swag, *johnjoseco loaded me up with Trixie button goodness and *egophiliac gave me WAY too many beautiful and soon-to-be framed prints! Then there were all the random people who just came by to give me stuff- drawings, pony cards, posters, etched metal plates, toys, and on and on. There are simply not enough Thank Yous in the world for all my sincere and unending gratitude.
Thanks ESPECIALLY to ~NightengaleNeedles who was not only one of the sweetest, most adorable people I've ever met, but she gave me a beautiful Trixie hat that I am assured has +1 to boasting and +10 to Great and Powerful enchantments! She made me feel like some kind of rock star when in fact she's far more brilliant and amazing and I will be commissioning a Trixie plush from her soon- and so should you!
I also want to say hello and thanks to =Tsitra360 and *Toxic-Mario who I was fortunate to hang out with as we were just across the way from each other in artists alley. It's inspiring to spend time with them and put faces to the names I already respect and admire so much.
Thanks to Seth, PK, Cereal, Alexstraza, and the EQD pre-readers who had dinner with me Saturday night at a prestigious and world-renowned local eatery known as Red Lobster.
Thanks to Kar Red Roses who made my check in and vendor set up SO much easier and less stressful!
Thanks to Coder and the Brony Thank You Fund who sold copies of my Thank You print raising $6000 for Toys For Tots! $6000 of something I made? For a good and noble cause? I simply can't wrap my head around it.
Thanks to Tsitra and John and *chibi-jen-hen and everyone who joined me on the Artists Panel as we battled the roar of the Cosplay Contest on the other side of the curtain and Tygerbug for fighting the good fight as host of the panel!
Thanks to LaserPon3, my main man Living Tombstone, Robob, Mic the Microphone, Danny the Brony, and everyone else who's amazing and came by my booth to say hi, whose name I forget and I will feel terrible about later!
Thanks to my loving and long-suffering husband Mr. Pixelkitties, my best friend Laura (who brought along her stunning recreation of the Marzipan Mascarpone Meringue Madness) and Laura's super sweet bro, Tom for helping stem the tide of people and chaos at my booth. And also for being way better at money-math than I can ever hope to be!
Thank you, sincerely THANK YOU to everyone who took time out of their busy con schedule to give me a moment of your attention, who bought something, who just hugged me or shook my hand. You're all the reason I'm part of this fandom. Your kindness and support and feedback is the most inspiring reward anyone could ask for.
My one and only regret from Bronycon is that I was so swamped with being a vendor that I wasn't able to talk to Ms. Faust or Tara Strong and give them the framed art I brought along. My booth was right next to the autograph area, I was 25 feet away from them and I never had the opportunity to slip away and buy vouchers to get their autographs and a little time to say thank you. I'm seeing so many great photos of people's close-up encounters with these amazing ladies, it makes me a bit sad that my chance just didn't materialize. Sadly, I suspect Lauren won't be doing many more events like this one, so I fear my chance to thank her has come and gone. But in hindsight, I can't selfishly regret this one missed opportunity amongst so many wonderful moments and the people I shared them with.
All that said, the weekend was...well, it's a blur at this point. It's hard to describe the experience of it all passing me by in slow motion and super-fast forward at the same time. I will say I've never smiled so much, laughed so often, or been so exhausted. I'm sad and a bit relieved to put Bronycon 2012 behind me. But only briefly, because Trotcon 2012 is in three short weeks and its sure to be an amazing, inspiring, heartwarming and exciting experience all over again!
See you in OHIO!
PS- Photo at the top by my friend Keithius who posted it to his Flickr page
PPS- StashWriter hates links! Trying to get everyone's links working properly!