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The Nerds are Coming!

Austin, TX has so many wonderful interest groups and communities. My favorites are obviously the ones for creatives and entrepreneurs. These groups do everything from hosting skill-building workshops and networking meet-ups, to planning public film screenings and artist markets.

 

One such event is happening this weekend and I can’t wait. Nerd Cave is a free annual art and music showcase celebrating comics, gaming, and general nerdiness going on Saturday, May 13th at The Sidewinder in downtown Austin from 1-7pm.

 

Nerd Cave ATX

 

Nerd Cave started in 2011 when Jennifer Cunningham and Matthew McCoy organized a small comic book art show at Tribe Comics in South Austin. Once Bad Barry Comp (Music Manager) and Shane Campos (Graphic Designer) got involved the group rebranded and grew into the showcase it is today. And for a dash of super hero bonus points, they also take donations at the events for local charity organizations. Tomas Fierro has stepped up as the Charity Liaison to help keep this aspect well organized.

 

I didn’t get involved with Nerd Cave until last year. Jennifer Cunningham, who, on top of being a super talented artist and cosplayer, is also an incredible make up artist, asked me if I’d like to join in the nerdy fun. Jen knew about my work in the different geek realms and my previous gig hosting a YouTube show, so she asked if I would come in cosplay and do interviews at the event. I went dressed in my new Super Mario Bros. fireball throwing piranha plant costume, set up a small merch table (which my fellow Frisky, Stormy L’Amour, helped me run), and filmed a handful of interviews with some of the awesome cosplayers.

 

Gemmi Galactic Nerd Cave ATX

 

I loved every minute of Nerd Cave 2016. I got to chat with fellow nerds about our shared love of fandom, geek out over clever costume construction, and meet more artists and makers and see their craft up close. The sweet and funny guys of Punching the Walls of Reality interviewed me on their podcast, and I won some great prizes in the costume contest. The live nerdcore hip hop music was new to me, but a fun and impressive surprise.

 

Nerd Cave ATX

 

I took quite a bit of footage of the event, in addition to the interviews. And then I sat on it all. For a year. I had every intention of launching my YouTube channel last year but some things just don’t work out as planned. 2017 brings new opportunities, new goals, and another Nerd Cave Showcase. I’ll be there with new goodies on my merch table, wearing my favorite cosplay, judging the Hops & Heroes Comics sponsored cosplay contest, and filming all new footage and interviews for a real YouTube launch.

 

Nerd Cave ATX

 

So come join us. Meet fellow nerds, talk about fandom, enter the cosplay contest, support local geek artists, enjoy the music, play games from Austin Toy Museum, chat with me on camera, donate to the Central Texas Food Bank, and have a good time.

 

Cheers!
Gemmi

 

 

New Adventures: Art Class Modeling

I used to be so much more adventurous than I am now. I have driven all over this country seeking new thrills, but recently I have found myself settled into a comfortable life lacking the same spontaneity of my previous self.

In an attempt to bring more adventure back into my life, I’m saying yes to more new opportunities. So last week I modeled for the local community college’s life drawing class. FULLY NUDE.

Obviously I was nervous. Would they harshly judge my expanding waistline and my blotchy skin?

I booked the gig over a month ahead and tried not to let my nerves build up in the time leading up to it. The day of the class I made sure I was all properly shaved and moisturized, wore loose-fitting clothes (no bra!), ate a very light breakfast, packed a water bottle, and headed to the Austin Community College Pinnacle Campus.

The classroom was on the 8th floor and two sides were sprawling windows that gave the most serene views of the southwest Austin greenbelt. The teacher, Janet Brooks, instantly put me at ease by explaining the process of the session while I filled out paperwork, like it was so completely normal. Then she set up my stage, in the center of the room, brightly lit, with a cushioned and draped box for my seated pose.

The stage offered the six students 360 degrees of viewing options, which they took advantage of for their work. Brooks set a timer and circled the room giving critique and guidance to each artist until the gentle alarm sounded and I was able to get up and stretch and see the progress of each piece. After a short break I would get back into the same pose as best I could and we’d repeat. We did this about five or six times until the class was over.

Can I just say that sitting completely still for seven to ten minutes is very difficult? Because it really is. Add to that the six strangers analyzing my entire form, and you have a recipe for odd and insecure thoughts. How splotchy is my skin today? Does this pose make my belly pudge out? Or make by boobs look lopsided? Oh God, that light is directly on my back fat! Deep breath. Keep looking at the same shadowy floor tile. Posture. Is my foot resting at the same angle as before? How much weight did I put on this arm last time? Why is that muscle clenched? Has it been tense this whole time? If I relax it now will that change my pose or the light? Shit. Try not to mess up their light. Breathe. Tile. Posture. My neck hurts. Maybe don’t turn my head so far if I get this gig again? Stomach, please don’t start growling. I should get lunch after this. I haven’t had sushi in a while. But do I have a sushi budget today? Tacos might be a better choice.

The students were using a method of toning their paper with charcoal and then lifting it with erasers to draw the form. I was so impressed with all the pieces that I asked if I could share them here. But I also want to keep my nudity off of this blog, so you can see all the images of the work from this class as a Patreon Freebie!

All in all, modeling for this class was such a great experience that I even booked a couple more dates. Many thanks go to Janet Brooks and her students!