Do you know you can still catch up with it?
Lightbox Expo it’s already called the art event of the year, and it’s only it’s second! – I can hardly wait to see what they do in the following years.
Not only that, but Bobby Chiu and the team behind it worked marvels to make it work online this year with our current “special situation”.
As the first time I attended and due to the current novelty of this event, I wanted to have a post where I collected my thoughts, information, resources & all the info you might want to know about it.
Just to clarify, this is not sponsored or anything, I just love to share this kind of info in case someone is interested.
I’ll tell you more about it later, but I wanted to let you know that the amazing team from Lightbox Expo made most of the talks available for free to EVERYONE now that the event is over!
A BIT ABOUT LIGHTBOX EXPO
I found out about Lightbox Expo via Bobby Chiu last year – the first year the event was going to happen – and I was marvelled at how amazing the event looked.
Still, it was its first time happening and it seemed to be a lot of “unknowns” about it.
However, it turned out to be really successful and both the artists who attended and its attendees seemed ecstatic about it. But I wasn’t planning on joining the fun this year…
Cause, you see, the even it’s – of course – on the States, and even if the event wasn’t that expensive compared with these kinds of events I couldn’t afford to travel to EEUU.
So, when they announced the launch of the tickets I basically ignored it.
And then this pandemic came…
As the months passed, Lightbox Expo had to find alternatives to be able to function just the same. And surprisingly for me, it ended up being a huge advantage to those who don’t live in the States or can’t afford to go!
Bobby Chiu is also the creator of Schoolism, the online learning platform that you might have heard about. In case you have and you’re interested; I have a huge review on my experience & courses with Schoolism too in here!
TYPES OF SUBSCRIPTION
The price range of the tickets was an amazing surprise!
You can attend this amazing lineup of courses, talks and activities for just 1$. – find the lineup here.
Yes, I’m not kidding.
I was a bit short of money – I just moved out of my parent’s – but seeing this I realised I couldn’t miss it!
They offered a range from 1$ to 40$.
The 1$ tier was the basic, only granting you access to the platform, the talks, shop & such.
Next, we have the 10$ tier, that also includes a 4GB goodie bag.
The 25$ tier gives you all the previous + a limited-edition print and a 15% discount in the Lightbox expo store.
And lastly, the 40$ contains all that but the discount gets up to 25% and you also receive an exclusive tote bag with an illustration from Mike Mignola (Hellboy creator).
So, I was going for the 1$ tier when I started seeing the perks.
I wasn’t really interested in buying much from the store (as I said, low budget this time of year), so I was debating whether I should get the goodie bag or nor.
I ended up going for the 10$ tier and get those goodies, and I don’t regret it!
It’s full of cool stuff that I have yet to take a closer look at. And you can too, in this teaser video:
MY EXPERIENCE, PART 1 (Mostly written before it actually happened)
Now, I got my ticket at the end of August, but I decided to wait a bit till I decided my schedule.
Mainly because I was on vacation and when I came back I had to move, so I postponed it.
And I’m glad I did, cause the line-up got changed a bit over the course of these two weeks.
The event happened on Friday 11th, Saturday 12th & Sunday 13th of September. My idea is to reserve all those three days to Lightbox Expo. – And I was able to, luckily, cause we finished moving right the weekend before it.
In my case, because of my time zone, most of the activities will take place between 5pm and 4-5am. This is a bit of a mess to my sleeping schedule, but I’ll try to avoid the 2am-5am activities unless they’re really amazing.
And from what I heard, some might be re-watchable, so I’ll hope for that. – and most were, I’ll tell you more later.
A big trouble to me is that I don’t have an area of focus on illustration, so I’m not aiming at anything in particular. Instead, I plan to check on a bit of everything that catches my eye.
For example, talks on concept art, visual development and such sound interesting to me. And I’m also keeping an eye out for panels of artists I like.
Now, here’s a peek at what my initial schedule (prepared a few days before lightbox Expo) looked like:
As you could probably see in the picture, I filled my schedule as much as I could, – only with the talks I found interesting – even to the point where some would overlap.
Now, this wasn’t such a big problem, cause they were breaks where I could catch up with some of the talks.
What I did was try to open them as they happened and check. Most of them were happening on Youtube, so even if they were live, if you saved the link you could see them later (most of the channels later made them public).
If it was on Zoom, or some other streaming platform live I usually saw those first.
Again, sometimes these ones would too be uploaded to different platforms (I believe on twitch you could see them later with the link too), but just to make sure I tried to see them then.
Of course, I endend up missing a good few, but I have all the links saved to see them later.
Oh, and actually, now the Lightbox Expo web is public and has access to most of these videos, so I’m slowly catching up when I feel like it.
I must admit, even though the first day – Friday – I saw most of what I wanted (some I caught up on the next day while waiting for the ones on Saturday), it is quite exhausting. Especially if you got weird schedules time zone-wise.
By Sunday all I wanted was to nap all day, my exhaustion from the move also catching up. So that’s something to consider too.
HOW LIGHTBOX EXPO WORKS & ARTIST ALLEY
Honestly, the event & the web were quite intuitive to use so I don’t think there’s much to explain here.
In case you want to know more, I think this 2-minute video from the official Lightbox Expo channel sums it up quite well. And if you want to know more, there’s a longer Q&A on the channel too!
You could also submit a portfolio if you were an artist of any kind in case any company would want to look you up on their database.
In the first video, you can also see a peek at how the artist alley would look like later on. Just a thousand times bigger!
The artist alley was such a cool surprise visually and all the artists did their best to prepare special offers and prints on their website for the event.
However, I must say – even though I haven’t been to any sort of convention before – I feel like this was the part that was harder to replicate. “Walking” trough the artist alley was cool, but all the usual human interaction of these events is missed there.
I must say, even though I didn’t join them – I was too exhausted to be socially active – Lightbox did set up discord channels that everyone attending could join and it seemed amazing! I’ve heard a lot of compliments to them during the event.
They even used an app – Magma Studio – to draw with people & different professional artists while the event happened!
So, even though I complained about that, I know they did their best to keep everyone connected!
MY EXPERIENCE – CONCLUSIONS: would I recommend it?
I don’t exactly how to explain it, but the sense of community and support on this event was just… mind-blowing.
Everything was about the art, everyone was – tired but – happy and overall, it was such a great experience.
I can only imagine how this event would be attending in real life…
I hope one year I can actually attend.
I’m not gonna lie, it was very exhausting. Because if you’re attending an event like this you’ll want to attend as many talks & activities as you can to soak up the experience. After all, it’s only three days!
But I believe it’s worth it from all the insight, advice and everything you learn those days!
It’s not every day that those many talented professional artists come together for something like this. And everyone who organised it deserves a lot of credit for the hard work!
Now, I think that I think I covered all that I could think of but if you have any question bellow let me know! Or simply share your thoughts!
To finish, I’m gonna do a quick section of my favourite talks of Lightbox Expo with links to them, consider them the highlight of what I saw that weekend!
I still have to catch up with a lot, but I’m too busy with Inktober/drawlloween now…
SOME OF MY FAVOURITE TALKS FROM LIGHTBOX EXPO!
Going Independent: Making a Living off of Personal Art – Djamila Knoff & more.
Any talk by Djamila it’s a pleasure, really. And this one had so much insight! I believe you can find the rest of the talks she did that weekend on her channel or on the Lightbox Expo web.
Shop Talk I: Surviving and Thriving as a Creative
Really fun talk to listen to while meeting these creators I haven’t known before. Loved all the insight!
Social Media For Artists Presented by DeviantArt
A bunch of great advice from some artists highly successful on social media. Any talk that has Loish in it it’s always enjoyable to me!
Humble Beginnings – Lightbox EXPO Online 2020 panel Loish & Iris Compiet
This talk was overall my favourite, simple yet so entertaining. It might not have been the one that had more “learning” content but these two are so sweet and I enjoy their work so much that I loved having them as my company for 2 hours (felt much shorter really) and hearing their adventures.
The power of Graphic Composition – Sam Nielson
I had heard of Sam Nielson before and I was planning on taking one of his courses on Schoolism someday but this talk really convinced me! Not only it was really interesting but I loved the way he explained and teaches things – I took so many notes! There are a few more talks by him on Lightbox Expo that I’m looking forward to binge-watch.