The following is an interview with Jim Demonakos, the convention director of LightBox Expo which will see its inaugural launch in Pasadena, CA, this weekend. In this interview, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief Barbra Dillon chats with Demonakos about the inspiration behind the convention, what kinds of exhibitors, artists, and activities will be appearing at the show, how you can purchase tickets, and more!
Barbra Dillon, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief: LightBox Expo will be celebrating its inaugural convention this weekend at the Pasadena Convention Center. As a convention director, what was the inspiration for this multi-day celebration of the visual and fine arts, and how did it come to fruition?
Jim Demonakos: Our inspiration was simple: We wanted to create a love letter to the art community, and this is the way I know how to express that. Thinking about the event with that as the driving force led us to make different choices about how the show would be organized, what the focus would be, and how it would get presented to both participants and attendees. It’s been a really fun thing to figure out!
BD: For those who may not yet be familiar with LightBox Expo, what kinds of artists, exhibitions, and other activities can attendees expect to enjoy this year?
JD: For artists, we have some of the best illustrators, animators, and concept artists in their respective industries. Names like Ryan Mienerding, Brittney Lee, Andrea Blasich, Chris Sanders, Ross Tran, and so many more; over 250+ artists will be at the event. We have dozens of hours of programming, including demos, workshops, and live drawing, too!
BD: In addition to your work as the convention director, you were also the founder of Emerald City Comic Con. How do you feel that your work with ECCC prepared you or inspired you to create Lightbox Expo alongside character designer and illustrator Bobby Chiu?
JD: For sure, my time with ECCC helped give me a great perspective on how to put together an event of this size. I am definitely using many of the same tools that it took to run that show in to organizing LightBox Expo into something that is adjacent to a comic con, not a stripped down version of a comic con but something brand new.
BD: A fascinating aspect of the event is the existence of the Advisory Council. What can you share with us about the mission of this group and their work in furthering the success of LightBox Expo?
JD: The Advisory Council has been invaluable in shaping the feel of LightBox Expo in having a diverse and interesting group of artists and advisors who are actively working in various industries, mirroring the mission of LightBox Expo.
BD: Lastly, what would you like to tell fans who want to learn more about LightBox Expo and the events that they can look forward to this year?
JD: I would encourage them to check out the website or our mobile app, both of which list out all the artists and events happening at the show!