Creative Women Mini-Con returns for its 6th year -- and we have some exciting exhibitors for you to meet. We've assembled eighteen of the region's most talented creative women. And of course, we’re celebrating with a storewide sale (details below).
Date: Saturday, September 29, 2018
Time: 11 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Location: Empire's Comics Vault
EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT CREATIVE WOMEN MINI-CON 2018
In this post, we'll share:
What to expect at Creative Women Mini-Con
2018 Creative Women Mini-Con Exhibitors
Take a moment to enjoy the interviews (coming soon) we did with each exhibitor. Also, below you'll find a little about each creative woman, a link to their most recent interview, and links to some of their online profiles.
Mariko Tamaki: "Mariko Tamaki is the author of the YA novel Saving Montgomery Sole and the co-creator of award winning comics This One Summer and Skim (with Jillian Tamaki), and Emiko Superstar (Steve Rolston). In 2015, This One Summer received Printz and Caldecott Honors, the Eisner for Best Graphic Album–New, and Canada’s Governor General’s award. Mariko maintains a solid fascination with the complex process by which teenagers become, or try to become, grown ups. She has also written for BOOM! Studios, Marvel, and DC Comics, working with She-Hulk and Supergirl. Mariko Tamaki began her career as a playwright and performance artist in Toronto, Ontario, working with fat activists Pretty, Porky and Pissed Off and performing and writing plays for Buddies in Bad Times Theater, a world leader in developing queer voices for the stage. Her first film, “Happy 16th Birthday, Kevin,” premiered at the Inside Out Festival in 2013. In addition to her literary work, Mariko holds a Master’s in Women’s Studies and worked for two years on a doctorate in Linguistic Anthropology. Her academic research focused on accents used in drag cabaret performances. Her research inspired an ongoing obsession with the way people talk." (Source: macmillanspeakers.com)
Mariko is currently writing X-23 and Hunt For Wolverine Claws Of A Killer for Marvel Comics. You will know her from She-Hulk, Supergirl Being Super, New Super-Man, and her creator-owned books, This One Summer, Skim, among others.
Amber Rankin: Amber is a graphic artist and animator living in Sacramento, CA. For over five years she has worked to create maps & illustrate artifacts at a small environmental planning and archaeology company in Sacramento. She received her Bachelors in Art Studio and Sociology from the University of California, Davis and MFA in 2D Animation from the Academy of Art University. When not at her animation desk, Amber can be found drinking way too much coffee, trying to learn Irish Dance, or dreaming about life in another time period.
www.ambermations.com | @Ambermations | Tumblr | Instagram: @Ambermations
www.ambermations.com | @Ambermations | Tumblr | Instagram: @Ambermations
Bianca Kim: Bianca creates embroidered fabric pinback buttons with short sayings that can be worn on backpacks, purses and jacket collars. She shows at the Stockmarket craft fair in Stockton, CA. She started 2017 by showing her work in Empire's Comic Vault's art gallery in January and then offered a beginner course for embroidery in her booth at the Stockmarket craft fair in Stockton.
Brittainy Barnes: Brittainy Barnes (Indie Artful) is a self-taught artist, primarily working in watercolor and ink. When not working full-time and completing her Master’s program, she watches Star Wars and paints her favorite Characters. She first realized she could go "semi-pro" when a painting of K2-S0 gained Reddit “Front Page” Status, with ready buyers of Star Wars art prints. Lately she’s started to specialize in tattoo-style “flash”, and hopes to create and sell custom nerdy tattoo designs.
Carrie Alskar: Hi, my name is Carrie. Originally from Missouri I moved to California on a whim. My art style currently seems to revolve around hair that defies gravity, "stained glass patterns" as others call it, and eyes in more places than where your two are. I am also currently open for commissions I work with acrylics sometimes but most of my time on art is filled with ink lines and markers for coloring.
Crystaline Owen: Crystaline Owen is a California raised artist who works mostly in watercolors and inks. She has a degree in art education and now enjoys teaching art to small children. She's been using watercolors for 10 years and finds most of her inspiration in nature.
Elizabeth Merrifield: Elizabeth Merrifield is a 15 year old artist (Who will turn 16 on the day of CWMC), and has been really working in her art for about 5 years. She was accepted into the Sheldon High School Artworks Academy in 2016. she draws inspiration from her friends, Pinterest, Anime and High School Life, as well as the world at large. She enjoys experimenting with all kinds of media, including charcoal, pastels, markers, pencil, watercolor and acrylics. She hopes to eventually sell her art and possibly work as a graphic designer or animator.
Heather Merrifield: Heather Merrifield is a photographer and graphic artist, who enjoys taking photos to show how beautiful the mundane can be; capturing everyday moments in an unusual way. Recently she has been working more with photo manipulation, trying her hand at more fanciful creations, straying toward the fantasy realm. Fantasy and reality often combine to give the same photograph several different incarnations. Every aspect of photography fascinates her, and she can’t get enough of the medium.
Helen Lam: Helen is an artist from Sacramento temporarily transplanted in Santa Clara. She graduated from Sacramento State where her instructors pushed her to paint her feelings but she mostly just draws what she feels like while taking on occasional commissions. Though she loves working in many different mediums, she feels that digitally painting in Photoshop gives her the most flexibility. Her main love is portraiture whether it be people or animals.
| Instagram: @PrinnyBat
| Instagram: @PrinnyBat
Jen Monson: Jen is constantly delighted by new ideas. She uses trial and error to explore new approaches to her art. Her ultimate goal is to help others feel a sense of peace and joy. A smile on someone's face is the ultimate final touch. Jen draws, paints, sculpts, and crafts in multiple media. Currently she is fascinated by koi fish and has created a great variety of art featuring koi, working with paints, cardboard, and other fascinating media. Jen painted a pond of koi on the walls of Empire's bathroom. Currently, she helps novices explore painting at her monthly evening of painting at Empire's Comics Vault. At that event, students receive everything they need, including instruction, to complete a painting in one night.
Julie Okahara: Julie Okahara was born in Osaka, Japan. After graduating from Osaka Industrial Arts High School, she started her career as a graphic designer. Wanting to further her studies in studio art, Okahara came to California in 2005. Since then her mediums have expanded into acrylic painting, ink drawing, sewing, and plaster, wood, and clay sculpture. She still likes to claim herself as a self-taught artist, since she didn’t take any painting classes in college, yet most of her works are mixed media paintings. Her style is influenced by both Japanese and American pop art culture. She likes putting different everyday life items together to create her own world. Her first solo show took place in Midtown Sacramento in 2010 where she won acclaim and a following for her signature use of bright colors and mixed media. She has since put on more solo shows and has been in multiple group exhibitions in Bay Area and Sacramento. Her artwork was featured at Empire's Comics Vault in March.
Kassandra Gamez: Kassandra is a comics creating artist. She's worked at some cool companies, but maybe not in the art department, for example, dA and Disney Interactive. Kassandra is a huge fan of comics, zines, and Corgis. This will be her second time exhibiting at CWMC.
Kelly Van Gaasbeck: Kelly's focus is storytelling and whimsical thoughts. She works mostly with ink, metallic and monoprints. She spent 2 years in Japan, teaching and learning and wandering across the country, where she came to love telling stories in small spaces.
Kristine Balog: Kristine is an Art Historian, oil painter, and author who has dedicated her life to the Italian Baroque painter Caravaggio. She is both an academic and creative, teaching Art History as a profession and channeling her passion into creating comic books and authoring novels. She has authored numerous academic articles and has been teaching at the collegiate level for five years.
Article by K. Balog: "Caravaggio’s Darkness: A Sinner’s Reputation with a Saint’s Heart" - ElectrumMagazine.com
Maia & Kaimani: Maia and Kaimani are 9 and 8 years old, respectively. Both Maia and Kaimani are enthusiastic artists who enjoy making comics, drawing, painting, jewelry making and pretty much flexing their imaginations in any creative capacity. Growing up with empowering and inspiring storytelling such as the films of Hayao Miyazaki and shows like Steven Universe, they are also equally influenced by their comics-making dad, their jewelry-making mom, and Sacramento's thriving comics and art scenes.
Rachel Ann Millar: Rachel Ann Millar is a San Francisco native now residing in the Concord, California with her new husband, two cats, and the best small dog ever. She spends her time working on comics or doodling about video games and her D&D characters. Her favorite genre of entertainment is horror and she fills the silence of drawing with youtube videos of grown men screaming in terror and true crime podcasts. Her bookshelves are an artbook and comic library that she happily shares with anyone who would care. Her collections of zines and art unify around the theme of education, such as Some Girls Are Fat and What Did You Call Me?
Rachel Strum: Local wand-maker Rachel Strum handcrafts fantasy wands. With a background ranging from illustration to stained glass, Rachel’s experience in mixed media has inspired wands unlike any others. Beginning by hand selecting quality supplies, pairing gems individually with wood bases, and then intensively layering mixed media, her wands capture the imagination and inspire a sense of beauty. The delicate balance between beauty and practicality within all her whimsical creations has sprouted from the needs in her life, be it simple toys or giant strawberry pillows. Transforming common materials into playful creations is a labor of love inspired by Rachel’s belief that everyday should come with a touch of magic.
Sarah René Kraft: Sarah is a Sacramento-based illustrator, colorist, storyteller, and all around sketchy lady. Experience her work in the illustrated comic world of the Greek mythology-inspired “Blind Follies,” and her upcoming artbook in progress "Lemiscus," among other various arts and projects. Currently, she is working on a 78-card tarot deck evolved from the imagery and symbolism already established in the original ribbon series. Look out for news regarding a Patreon campaign, soon to be announced!