The first ever Virtual Art Con was a free one day convention held online on April 18, 2020 and featured over a dozen special guests including artists, fashion designers, and musicians. In this day and age, virtual conventions have been popping up more & more – not only to allow fans to enjoy the fun from home but to also provide an outlet for creators to share their work.
Unlike other “virtual conventions”, Virtual Art Con did not have a central meeting space for online attendees. Instead, fans were directed to a half-hourly schedule with usernames to find individual live streams. This allowed artists to stream as long as they liked, and even opened up time to start live demos. And kicking off the day was manga artist Rica Takashima who shared her current project: handmade face masks (a selection of 77 different fabrics & 3 sizes) during these coronavirus times.
Depending on the artist, you could catch live streams through multiple sources throughout Virtual Art Con: Instagram Live, Facebook, YouTube, Twitch, and even Zoom! Artists occasionally cross-streamed, and sometimes the con would even feature certain streams on their main page like 24242424art who hoped that watching live art would be like visual ASMR, which is what the whole con is about: staying positive and watching something creative that hopefully sparks some joy!
With hours and hours of content, Virtual Art Con was filled with a lot of amazing artists & art. And because each guest was responsible for their own stream, it skipped the step of attendees looking for social media accounts! Above, Mad Artist Paradise was found creating art for hours past their allotted 30 minute session. Meanwhile, @staryoo.art (Miriam Yoo) below streamed live on YouTube creating COVID-19 charity stickers:
There were even contests with artists like @kylehorneart, a Zoom fashion show, and a Contactless Cosplay Competition judged by @nikkiloba, @spiderverse007, and @newyorkssixthranger (with @mighty_morphin_power_priestess), who hosted a panel discussion prior to the competition:
Towards the evening, there was a short break where attendees could swing by additional artists’ pages that weren’t streaming like Tom Travers, Peat Vazquez and Will Torres who were taking commissions and offering prints & pre-made art. Here are some of the awesome sketch covers that Will Torres sold at Virtual Art Con:
And speaking of awesome music, Virtual Art Con had a bunch presented by @baldcupcake & @villinsofficial, as well as DJ Awesomus Prime (@djawesomusprime) closing out the night with an hour of his live performance.
Virtual Art Con was a great way to be introduced to some hidden talent that you might miss at an actual comic con. There’s no telling when the next one will be, so be sure to catch some highlights & replays from the first ever Virtual Art Con on their Facebook page!