Our first-ever deviantMEET in Las Vegas hit the jackpot!
On Sunday, December 1st, deviants were already lined up outside the doors at 5:00 PM, even though the event wasn't scheduled to start until 5:30! (A handful of amazingly dedicated super deviants arrived as early as 3:30 PM!) Far be it for us to wait to get the party started, so we opened the doors a little early, allowing the crowd to rush in. After signing our guestbook – we know, physical guestbooks are so Web 1.0, but they're great mementos! – our devious artists dispersed to play at the deviantART booth.
Stocked with six Intuos 5 Wacom tablets to play with, a 24-inch Cintiq, SketchBook Pro for sketching and painting, enough table seating for traditional drawing and portfolio review, and bags upon bags of free swag (including stress balls, deviantART Sharpies, and tons of free stickers), everyone found an awesome and creative way to spend their time.
Over 300 deviants, friends, and family showed up to our booth and got exclusive access to the other booths at Preview Night of the Autodesk CAVE Conference. One of the most rewarding things about attending deviantMEETs is witnessing a true cross-section of the range of ages, skill levels, and artistic disciplines represented all across deviantART. Watching everyone mixing and mingling, picking up tricks of the trade and passing along wisdom to others, and settling down for a quiet moment to create and inspire offline as much as they do online is truly something to behold. Sometimes it's easy to forget how much we all have in common, but deviantMEETs showcase our connection right on the forefront!
This was the first deviantMEET staff members can recall where we've had trouble giving away food! At most deviantMEETs, we provide some kind of snack, like the tasty pizza at our November deviantMEET in Hollywood, and it's gobbled up within minutes! Las Vegas deviants happen to be really health conscious! Our deviantART green cupcakes -- Pantone matched, of course! -- were turned away by a good many. We, less-than-health-conscious staff members, can confirm that they were indeed delicious, as Ben ($xraystyle) ate at least four.
On a more serious note, we can't thank the Autodesk CAVE Conference enough for their support and encouragement in allowing us space to house our humble deviantMEET and maybe even bring deviantART to a larger crowd of artists and art enthusiasts via our booth. For its first year, the CAVE Conference was imagined as a gathering of artists, designers, and storytellers to learn, share, inspire, and challenge each other. If creativity is your fuel, CAVE was the place to find it.
Our booth was right near the convention hall's entrance, and along the entrance wall was the CAVE ART Collection, representing a wide variety of content, styles, and subject matter that celebrated imagination. This year's collection includes artwork created in SketchBook Pro by students, professionals, and aspiring artists from around the world, many of whom were deviants.
On Monday, Angelo ($spyed) help kicked off the conference by delivering a keynote speech about his experiences in community building and how the lessons he learned supplied the building blocks to the successes of the deviantART. His experiences seemed to resonate through the audience within, many of them deviants who have gone on to work for professional organizations in all genres of artistic expression. Truly inspirational. And he was followed by Neil Gaiman, so, not a bad lineup!
Next, Ron ($techgnotic) hosted a presentation about the ever-evolving role of communities as they pertain to artists. Now, more than ever before, creators are coming to the Internet and deviantART to interact with their fans and inspiration, and often those fans help to shape the focus of the total narrative. It's an interesting and innovative time to be on either side of the creative community!
Photo Credit: $makepictures
All in all, we couldn't be more grateful that we were given the opportunity to engage with our Las Vegas deviants and introduce them -- or reintroduce them -- to the inspirational world of Autodesk.
$danlev and $shyree2
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You never know... we might be coming to your neck of the woods sometime soon, so keep your eye on %hq for updates, and stay devious!