Saturday, August 2, 2008

Stewardship - League of extraordinary gentlemen vol 2, the artists

Just when you think there aren't that many real gentlemen left in the world, you get reminded of the goodness of people. Actually, I get that reminder a lot, as our patrons are extraordinarily kind, supportive, honest and helpful. We couldn't be here for over 10 years now without a great community around us.

One of the best perks of my association with Stuart Ng Books is that I get to meet so many of our artist patrons. I'd like to acknowledge this league of extraordinary gentlemen who often visit us at conventions and are so kind to me and all our support staff at shows.

One of the first artists to befriend us was William Stout. The first piece of original art Stuart and I ever purchased was a collaborative effort between us to obtain an original of Bill's. We saw it at a museum show and loved it. Stuart happened to talk with Bill about it at a later time, and Bill first mentioned to us that favorite phrase of ours: "I take installments." After years on the road with a travelling exhibit, our Bill Stout painting came home and is with us today. Being part of that journey has been inspiring and fun. Stuart and Bill share an appreciation for the British artist Harry Rountree. When we launched Stuart Ng Books, Bill was an early promoter of Stuart in the book, art and convention communities.

It's a privilege working with Stuart at our booth at conventions in the last few years, and getting a chance to visit with the likes of a Michael Chabon, Peter de Seve, Matt Groening, John Cassaday, Mark Schultz, Mark Ryden, Lindsay MacGowan and many others. I am especially grateful to Mike Mignola for writing his amazing and generous foreward for our publication of Claire Wendling's Desk.

It has also been a pleasure to promote the wave of self-published sketchbooks by the community of artists at Pixar. Stuart's long association with Ronnie del Carmen, Enrico Cassarosa, and Bill Presing has been an example to us that artists at this level are still seeking inspiration and trying new ventures. Many other Pixar artists are regular patrons. It is really something to be part of the discussions between Stuart and these patrons, and see the exchange of information about art and artists. Even at the level of success of a Pixar, artists still want to find to a well of inspiration to draw from (no pun intended) and keep moving forward. The fact they come to us humbles me.

Hosting signings at our booth allows the interaction between our patrons and the many guest artists who have joined us at Comic Con over the years. From our first guest artist Peter de Seve, to our first French guest Pierre Alary, to this year's signings with Eric Goldberg, Ricardo Delgado, and Ben Balisteri, we continue to see a growing recognition of the level of work these artists produce by an audience that is also expanding.

We were recently honored to be part of the debut of the long-awaited animation how-to book by Eric Goldberg. Both Eric and Susan have been long time patrons of Staurt Ng Books. I was deeply touched by Eric's kind mention of us in his list of acknowledgements at the preface of the book. Seeing Eric's success with his book is another example of the intangible rewards we get to be a small part of. Stuart's lifelong passion to promote animation art has helped him be the common link between different resources for projects like this.

All these artists who have befriended and supported Stiart are the leading talents in their field. They are also still looking to learn.... from each other and from the artists that came before them. It's so refreshing to share in this spirit. Their charming manners and an unassuming style that help me feel comfortable while helping them . We are lucky to be in such gracious company.

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