Continuum X art

I posted previously about the t-shirts which were available for Continuum X. Now I am back from Melbourne and the convention, which was wonderful, I can show you all the art for it.

First, the sketches. The theme for Continuum X (this year’s Natcon) was “dark carnival” (later “Carnival of Lost Souls”), which was a lot of fun to play with. I’d acquired some books of Australian circus history and started playing around, going sideways from the recognisable images in those, and getting in a Banjo Patterson reference as well.

Sketches for Continuum X program cover

The original brief expanded at this point to include designs for the postcards/flyers and so forth, so I worked up the acrobat-with-stars and the ringmaster. Here are some variants.

Continuum X postcard variants

The committee suggested a darker colour scheme, and this is the final design for the tumbler (with stars swapped out for cards):

Postcards for Continuum X

I’ve already shown a version of the program cover on the t-shirt post. The final was all pen-and-ink line drawings (including the lettering), compiled and given flat colour and texture on the computer (Photoshop Elements as usual, if you’re interested). My original sketches had little headings such as “The Amazing Bird-Boy”, “See the Future”, “Genuine Mermaids”, etc, but I dropped them out as they cluttered up the final design too much.

Continuum X program cover

I’m still really happy with this. I’ve also ordered a few test prints on various art papers and it came up gorgeously velvety.

And finally the brief was expanded again to use some of the artwork on the trophies for the Ditmar awards! This was also very exciting, and I think the way the committee printed them on the back of clear acrylic came up really well – here’s my contributor copy:

Ditmar award design - Continuum X

Congratulations to all the award winners, and to the convention committee and volunteers! It was a lovely convention – I found it very relaxed, with lots of hilarious and interesting panels, lunches and evenings in the bar. Too much talking to sketch a great deal, but here are my pages for the cover art pose-off panel, based on the notable efforts of Jim C Hines (guest of honour and judge of the panel).


4 thoughts on “Continuum X art

  1. Greer Gilman’s blog, Chaos and Old Nighties, directed me to yours. What a thrill—and what a distraction! I’m supposed to be writing at this very minute instead of exploring your wonderful art, but I count your post on Kelly Link’s book, Strange Things Happen, as research. (I’m working on a novel set partly in the publishing world of juveniles at the beginning of the 20th C and find your nod at Nancy Drew delicious.) Besides, I love learning about how artists work. Best of all is the prospect of owning a copy of your work and Ms. Gilman’s simultaneously when Exit, Pursued by a Bear, comes out in September.

    • Hello Katherine – thank you so much for your comment! I am glad you like the Nancy Drew nod, I was delighted to be able to get away with that :) I hope your writing was not too delayed?

      • Hi, Kathleen. I got back to work, hence the delay in replying—but I also began reading Catherynne M. Valente’s The Bread We Eat in Dreams thanks to you. All I can say for both you ladies is, Wow! what a discovery for me even if I’m the last on the planet to know about you both.

  2. Pingback: Continuum X Wrap Up – Continuum X

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