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Chugnut 2012 aka Comics Camp...my experience


I went to my very first Comics Camp ( Chugnuts ) this weekend just gone past and I had an amazing time. Chugnuts is a group of dedicated comic artists get together once a year to spend a weekend talking, drawing and reading comics...( quote taken from the Chugnuts Blog).

I went with the other Squishface Studio members: David Blumenstein, Sarah Howell, Arran McKenna and Ben Hutchings.  We all squished into David's car from the city, hereby living up to the Squishface Studio name.  We were all very squished indeed. Sadly Sacha Bryning was engaged, if he wasn't, he would have had to sit on the roof with all his bags.

We went to Camp Eureka and the main cabin was built with wood and in the kitchen was one of the wooden pillars (that looked like a tree) that had all the utensils on it.  Food was provided by the comic artists that volunteered and the meals cooked were delicious and I thoroughly appreciated it. 

I was very productive, creating my first three comic strips.  I have not drawn any comics since I was a teenager, a very long time ago.  I found it thoroughly enjoyable.  It was like storyboarding and I kept getting David to check my thumbnails before I started drawing them properly and I got quite a few laughs and feedback from the other comic people that attended and it was all a very encouraging experience that has just made me want to do more and has spurred me on to actually finish a comic book this year.   However, making comics is incredibly time consuming.  I have a new found respect for people who do it.  I work quite fast but even then it takes me ages to do a strip.

I also managed to finish the illustration above.  It was inspired by the utensil tree in the Camp Eureka kitchen.  I drew it up today with fine liners, Faber Castel water colour pencils on Canson paper.  The little dog is owned by Arran and his name is Norton.  He is the official Chugnut mascot of 2012.

There was a long table for everyone to draw on and an area for people to lounge and read comics brought in by different artists.  The the people that attended where lovely, enjoyable and were really willing to give suggestions, ideas, have a laugh and kill  mosquitoes with while having lively conversations. Not only was food cooked at the place but there where performances such as doing Kamishi Bai's, which was essentially story telling with pictures.  We also got to watch 2 artists perform musically and drawing live.  It was mesmerizing.  There was so much art look at and I loved looking over peoples' shoulders as they worked away and I wasn't the only one.  The whole thing was fascinating and really very inspiring.

I am looking forward to next years' event already and am quite thankful to have been invited, the experience and to have met a lot of talented and extremely friendly people.  I need to get a better sense of direction though, I kept getting lost trying to find the cabins.  Thanks again to all those involved in organizing Chugnuts 2012!

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