Portal   IlluxCon 9 Commission  Donato Giancola    60″ x 40″   Oil on Panel   2016
by Donato 

A little over a year and a half ago I was approached by Pat and Jeannie Wilshire to create a new work of art to help promote IlluxCon 9, the gathering of artists and professionals begun by the two of them which has become a go-to place to jump start and maintain a career in the fine arts of science fiction and fantasy.

Needless to say this is not a project I could undertake lightly. Not only do you wish to impress a client of such stature in the collecting field as the Wilshires, but the eyes of every artist in the genre may fall upon such an image as well as that of countless other professionals, art directors, collectors, and fans. I could not deliver a mediocre work for such a commission and all the burden fell upon my shoulders, for Pat and Jeannie gave me free rein to produce anything which I deemed appropriate in subject matter, mood, or content.

 ‘Give us your best,’ they said, making it sound like this was a freeing of the artistic process. But what damning pressure such words can be! I could blame no other person or aspect of the commission if it resulted in failure.

Some Fun ‘Easter-Eggs’ in Portal   IlluxCon 9 Commission  Donato Giancola  

With this hanging over my head, I spent months processing through what content could be a signature representation of my work, as well as hold its own with hundreds of professional artists gazing at it, and work as an advertising image which could reach out to fans and speak to people outside of the genre.  ‘Give us your best’  started to sound more like don’t blow this Donato, we have the world riding on you!’.

Let me make clear, the Wilshires did not request any of these conditions for the art, they just wanted a nice painting to showcase at the event, and have been wonderful clients to work for. It is I who has generated all the stress in this project!

IlluxCon 9 Commission   Roughs   11″ x 8.5″   Watercolor Pencil and Chalk on Toned Paper

Luckily, some how, I was able to pitch a few concepts to Pat and Jeannie which seemed to hit many of these notes.  I was never sure if these images could indeed speak to so many audiences, but being a professional artist I knew I had to place my best foot forward and try.

The final results were a surprise and great relief and hopefully exciting for my clients.  Every major commission sends shockwaves through my artistic being, and somehow I find a way to pull through each time, alive and hopefully better off.  I have to credit my years of service as a book cover illustrator meeting deadline after deadline, and diving into content I was unfamiliar with, for providing me with the testing grounds so that when major projects like these come up, I have a method and approach which helps me stay the course through the greatest of challenges.

Thank you Pat and Jeannie for another chance to share my a passion about art with a larger audience!

If you are interested in attending IlluxCon this coming October in Reading, Pennsylvania, you can register here:  http://www.illuxcon.com/registration/

Portal    Framed by Gala Frames of Long Island City, New York