2017 was an AMAZING year.
I went to my first Creation conventions (Houston and New Orleans), I was a vendor at my first con (Cadets Con), I created probably over 100+ Pops, I met so many of my heroes and friends, and I made so many people happy this year.
So buckle up and let’s take a look back at my crazy year!
My year started with this awesome moment: my Kings of Con Pops were featured on the first Kings of Conversation of 2017! I had submitted them to the fanart segment because I was really proud of how they turned out and I was so happy to hear the lovely comments from Rob and Rich about them. Thank you, guys! These two Pops also marked the first time I used my beard technique to sculpt more three-dimensional and textured facial hair.
January was also bittersweet because I said goodbye to my original Caskett designs. I made these back in December 2015 and they exploded on Tumblr and among Castle fans. Castle the show ended with season 8 in May 2016, and fans, like me, saw these as a way to keep the magic going, I guess. 2016 was definitely the year of Caskett, but I had to say goodbye to them in January 2017 due to parts availability (which is never a fun convo to have with fellow fans). They rode off into the sunset together, but 2017 would see the introduction of Police and Writer Vest Caskett and 2018 would see the return of the original heads but with a new revamped look!
December 2016/January 2017 would mark the beginning of my love of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the now-20-year-old show about a teenaged monster hunter trying to juggle her real life and her slayer life. I’m a fan of Joss Whedon (love Firefly) so I finally decided to watch the show that put him on the map. I loved it. Yeah, some of the plots could be dumb and sometimes you wanted to yell in frustration about the drama, but it was a good show. So naturally, I made a kickass Buffy with a crossbow and Giles (who is my favorite <3) But what was AMAZING was getting approval from Giles himself on Twitter!
2017 also saw the creation of my Wayward ladies, Kim Rhodes and Briana Buckmaster, as Pops. I made Kim shortly after Christmas 2017 and Briana was my first Pop of 2017. Both of these ladies have inspired me so much with their strength, vulnerability, wisdom, ferocity and drive. I want to be Kim and Briana when I grow up. (And now they’ve got their spinoff pilot, Wayward, that I am SO EXCITED FOR). For those confused at home, Kim’s has goggles because of Stardust and Melancholy’s simply GORGEOUS photoshoot with her as Imperator Furiosa from Mad Max: Fury Road. I wanted them both to look like their panel selves, so they could be the Queens of Con. Kim and Briana finally received their Pops at SPN DC thanks to a wonderful human named Amanda who delivered them for me. Then Briana immediately made me cry by sharing on Twitter that her daughter had taken a liking to the Pop of her mama and was carrying it around everywhere.
Speaking of cons. January marked my first ever Supernatural con! I had been saving for a couple years to go (I went gold cause I didn’t know if I would ever get to go to another one), and it was the best experience of my life. I got to meet in person my con mama, Jodi (also known as Eldwenne) and present her with her Pop. I gave Julian Richings and Alaina Huffman Pops (Alaina made me cry with her Snapchat of her son holding her Little Abbadon). I showed Rob and Rich their Pop selves in person and have them sign them <3 I met Misha, Jensen and Jared (many times, I did as many photo ops with them as possible, especially Misha). Jared played with my proton pack in the big J2M op. I also got my Cas op of me, Little Cas and “Cas” wearing Little Cas hats. I hope Misha still has his.
I also met Emily Swallow, who is just the biggest, most adorable dork you’ll ever meet in your life. Her relationship with Rob is just beautiful. I did my first-ever meet and greet with Samantha Smith, who has been such an amazing champion for fan art in the SPN family. She is the sweetest human and hilarious too. She has definitely made my life better <3. I knew leaving that con Sunday night, I never wanted to not feel that love and acceptance again. There’s something about a Creation Supernatural convention that just makes you feel at home. Whether it’s the people you meet, the cast, the staff, the vendors (who now feel like family to me), you feel like you’re a part of something bigger than yourself and you’re a part of this community that loves so fiercely and so completely. You feel it online too, but seeing in full, glorious color playing out in front of your eyes, there’s just something special that’s indescribable.
February brought its fun and crazy challenges. In February, I got fully underway on a project that would lead me to one of my dearest friends, Janet Gerard. She was a mutual friend of Jodi who reached out to me to make her husband Gil’s iconic character, Buck Rogers, into a Pop for their big event at DragonCon. I was psyched for the project, mostly cause my work would be at one of the biggest comic cons in the country, but also because my mom and dad were (and still are) huge fans of Buck Rogers. The project would take me a while to get done, but I’m grateful for the opportunity Janet and Gil gave me. Buck (in all three versions) was one of my favorite projects in 2017, because I got to try out new skills and tools and because Janet has become such an amazing friend. She’s also wicked funny and talented, with her own shop Rayguns & Rust, selling one-of-a-kind fandom-inspired jewelry.
February would also mark the birth of a new line of Pops that changed my life: Timeless. I first got into Timeless when it was about three episodes into season one, and I fell in love. I’m a nerd, especially a history nerd, and the reverence and care that went into this show, the costumes, the sets, the casting, it just blew me away. I loved watching Lucy, Wyatt and Rufus grow into this team, this family, and I loved the growth you got to see with each character. Even the “bad guy” of the show got his development and due, not staying the mustache-twirlin’ evildoer but growing into his own as a full character with motivations and dreams of his own. I loved that this show also featured my home state TWICE with the Alamo and Johnson Space Center (which I made Time Team Pops for both episodes). I’m still amazed that they built that Alamo set in Vancouver. It was amazing! I created the first Timeless Pops (Lucy, Rufus and Wyatt) on Valentine’s Day to show my love for this show, its cast and its creators and it exploded. Not only was there fan support for these, but there was cast and creator support too. The Time Team was even showcased on the official NBC Timeless Twitter account! Thank you to the cast and Shawn and Eric for your love and support, and thank you to the Clockblockers for accepting me and my creations into your family <3 I can’t wait for Season 2!
The same day I created the Time Team I also created the first in my 2017 Karaoke Kings and Queens line, Ringleader Richard! I loved karaoke at SPN Houston and the theme of this past year was so fun! I’ve made three of the line so far, with plans to finally finish Kim, Briana, Ruth and at least one of Matt’s many costumes (seriously, the dude had like one for every con). Ringleader Rich even got notice from Richard! Another project from February was completely random and I 100% blame Scout for this: Saint Billy Moran, the Patron Saint of Suddenly Giving a Shit. Well actually, if we’re going to blame someone, we should blame Richard, right? He dubbed Billy, (the guitarist for Louden Swain) this at SPN Las Vegas…which spawned this art by Scout...which spawned this Pop (at right) by me. It’s now in Scout’s possession. May it bless her and her home with the ability to suddenly give a shit.
March brought another project that gave me some of my dearest friends: The Dark Hunters.
The Dark Hunters is a series of fanfiction stories set in the Supernatural universe starring Ali Porter and Danni Danvers, the original characters of Dawn Gray and Deborah White. Dawn reached out to me to make Danni and Ali, the first Pops I’ve ever made based on OCs or fanfiction. Little did I know that Dawn and Deb would become like sisters to me and that they would build this loving and supportive community. Both of them changed my life and I am so intensely grateful to have them as family. <3
Also in March came the British Men of Letters Pops and another who made my 2017 special, David Haydn-Jones. He has been so incredibly supportive of the fan artists in the SPN Family, doing his Art Mate Sunday where he showcases a different fan artist each week, which is so cool. I’m hoping to thank him in 2018 for his support and love for the Workshop and for the Ketch Pops (which he modeled on Twitter <3).
In March I also completed my Season 12 Alpha Mary Winchester Pop, with a little help from Samantha herself. I love that Mary got to come back to the show and give more of the badass hunter Mary that Amy Gumenick showed us glimpses of before. I may not have agreed or been happy with all her choices over the course of season 12, but she wasn’t the Mary we knew before. She was a new Mary, discovering who she was and what her purpose was in a completely different world from the one she left and figuring out what relationship she could have with her now-fully grown sons. The scenes between Mary and Dean in “Who We Are” broke my heart for both of them. I hope season 13 lets them heal more and find a way to become a cohesive unit.
April found me in Dallas for Fan Expo Dallas and in the middle of Endure 4 Kindness, or E4K, an event run by Misha Collins’ charity Random Acts every year to encourage people to do an activity to promote love and kindness for 24 hours and raise money for RA. Since I was going to be at a con all day and I still wanted to participate, I made cards with some of my favorite inspirational and motivational sayings and lines from my favorite characters and passed them out to attendees at the con. People seemed to really love them and it felt nice to spread a little positive thinking in the world. <3
I also got to meet THE Catherine Tate, who played my FAVORITE Doctor Who companion, Donna Noble. I made two Pops showcasing two of my favorite Donna episodes, “Silence in the Library” and “The Fires of Pompeii” and let her choose which one she kept. She chose “Fires” Donna. She was incredibly sweet and even told me that she and some friends had been looking for a Donna Pop in Los Angeles. She had also forgotten in the excitement of the Pop to personalize my autograph on the Pop, so she signed a photo for me too. It was well worth the long drive to Dallas to meet her and I’m so happy she’s on the convention circuit. At Fan Expo Dallas, I also got to meet Alan Tudyk from Firefly and he was incredibly sweet. He even did his Hei Hei and King Candy for some little kids who were in line in front of me.
Another milestone for April was this moment from Ben Schwartz, Jean-Ralphio Saperstein on Parks and Recreation. I was commissioned by Rahul Kohli (yes, that Rahul Kohli) to make Jean Ralphio for Ben and it was a secret until Ben posted it on Instagram. It was AGONY not saying anything about it…but taught me I was capable of keeping a secret.
I also made possibly one of the sweetest one-episode characters Supernatural has ever seen, Officer Doug Stover (Brendan Taylor), also known as New Doug. He appeared in the episode “Plush,” which was the second time Briana Buckmaster and Sheriff Donna graced our screens. I love New Doug. He’s just an incredibly adorable character who I hope we get to see again. Brendan is also just as sweet as Doug and one of the biggest supporters of Wayward Daughters. <3
I also make what I call Little Mes, and I got to make two in April of people I love and admire. First up was Lori (also known as SPN Zookeeper). I was not aware of her before a friend of hers commissioned a Pop of her for a going away present. This Pop marked two big things: first time I ever gave a Pop a beanie and first time crafting a Pop guitar. I have since improved on both (hopefully). Lori is an amazingly talented singer/guitarist who posts simply the most magical Louden Swain and Station Breaks covers on YouTube. Her voice and musical skill are mindblowing and I love listening to her sing. Thanks to this Pop, I’ve gotten to know Lori and I consider her a great friend <3
The second was Scout. If you don’t know Scout, she is a whip-smart, supremely funny, talented comic artist known for God n Gabe and the Swaingels. She also has a strange love for Space Jam, which inspired this Pop for her birthday. (She finally got it along with Saint Moran at SPN New Orleans). I have an intense respect for Scout because not only has she established a unique comic style all her own, she is quite accomplished at digital art and her pieces are breathtaking. She is also incredibly hard working and sweet and one of the best people to get into a Twitter argument with. Even if she insists on blessing the rains and french toast. 😉
May was pretty low key. It was the end of my third year in my MFA and I celebrated with my favorite hometown con, Comicpalooza. I’ve been going since 2013 (and will be a vendor this year!) and I have loved every year. 2017 was special because I got to meet Felicia Day and present her with her own Queen Charlie and Handmaiden Dean (two of my favorites from 2017). The whole exchange was just precious because she remembered me from Twitter and yelled “YOU’RE THE POP PERSON!” when she realized where she’d seen Charlie and Dean before. She also was surprised when I told her that she was going to get to keep them (she was ready to sign the Charlie for me) and told me they were going to go on her shelf when she got home. I have loved Felicia since Dr. Horrible and was psyched when she joined Supernatural as Charlie. I love Charlie because she was another character I could identify with (which is a big thing) and we shared a mutual love for Hermione Granger. Charlie’s “little sister” dynamic with Dean was also just precious.
That weekend also was an emotional rollercoaster because of the cancellation, and then renewal of Timeless. I got the notifications on Twitter that it had been renewed while I was in line for a photo op with Felicia and I just screamed. And when I found out it was because of fan pressure on the network to bring it back, that made it all the more special. Don’t ever think that fans can’t accomplish something (now if we could just get Firefly back on the air).
To celebrate the renewal, I made an Eliot Ness based on Misha’s (very brief) take on the historical figure, but also my very first showrunner Pops, which received love from both Shawn and Eric! I also made my Alamo Time Team set of Lucy, Wyatt and Rufus from the episode “The Alamo,” the first of my Time Team variants.
The end of May found me in San Antonio (also known as my birthplace) for Alamo City Comic Con, with my sibling. There I got to meet Mark Pellegrino (Lucifer on Supernatural) and Karen Gillan (Amy Pond from Doctor Who)! I’d been trying for three cons to meet Karen and deliver her an Amy and Rory (cause Funko still hasn’t done an official set, they did a Centurion Rory, but no Amy? C’mon). She loved them, but regrettably, I wasn’t able to get a pic of her with them due to her handlers. I also took the Time Team and Shawn and Eric to the actual Alamo for a photoshoot! It was a loooooooong walk from the convention center, but totally worth it.
Ah, June. Otherwise known as the month of Wonder Woman.
My sibling and I went to see the film the second week it was in theaters and I cried. It was beautiful and empowering and hilarious and action-packed and heart-warming and I fell in love with Diana and her story. It was like when I saw Captain America: The FIrst Avenger for the first time. Patty Jenkins never let us forget that Wonder Woman’s strength came from Diana’s compassion, same with Steve and Cap. The scene in No Man’s Land will be forever an iconic scene for me, but I openly cried when she told Charlie “Who would sing for us?” Leaving that theater, I felt like a new person, a stronger person.
Almost immediately I was hit by a bolt of inspiration. I love doing mashups and I’d made plenty before of Team Free Will as Marvel heroes, DC heroes, Ghostbusters, Star Trek characters, etc, and had even done the Wayward ladies (at the time just Jody, Donna, Claire and Alex) as Ghostbusters from the 2016 film. So I decided I would combine the Wayward Daughters with Wonder Woman…leading to the #WaywardWonderWomen. Little did I know that this would become one of my biggest and most well-loved projects of 2017. I love this collection because it combines two of my favorite properties led by strong kickass women. I also have been expanding the collection to include SPN Ladies as Wonder Woman, including (as of now): Lisa Berry, Shoshannah Stern, Kim Rhodes, Samantha Smith, Emily Swallow, Danneel Ackles, Genevieve Padalecki, Alaina Huffman and Ruth Connell.
In addition to the WWW, I rounded out my Bones and Firefly collections and even made a Benny Lafitte <3
July was jam packed with customs: WWII Bucky Barnes, Lady Toni Bevell, Faith Lehane, the Thirteenth Doctor, Archer, Lana Kane, Dr. Krieger, Cordelia Chase, Pat Monahan, Buck Rogers, Boaz Priestley and more.
My favorite of my July Pops has to be Sammy, based on Sam Winchester from season 1. Going back and looking at source pictures for his Pop was surreal because Jared and Jensen looked so small and young then. It was like finishing the Harry Potter series, and then going back and watching the Sorceror’s Stone. Sammy is honestly probably the most perfect rendition of a Supernatural character I’ve ever done. He even got to meet Jared through a fan at SPN Toronto. I made him shortly after Funko announced their official Impala Pop, featuring a season 1 Dean wearing the Samulet and his father’s leather jacket, and felt Dean definitely needed his Sammy.
July also marked two things: the beginning of recruitment for GISHWHES (more on that in August) and the launch of my Wayward Wonder Women campaign. Inspired by the response to the Pops, I launched this shirt campaign to benefit Family Promise of Lake Houston, a local charity my family and I support that helps low-income families get back on their feet after many different difficult situations, such as loss of a family member or job or home. The shirt logo was designed by my lovely friend Simone van Galen, a graphic artist and designer in the Netherlands I met through Timeless. The campaign has raised about $200 so far for FPLH and I’m keeping it going with the hope of reaching $1000 someday.
The only word that could possibly describe August was INSANE. The beginning of the month was spent running all over town and making my kitchen smell like lime jello, pancakes, pizza and Mexican food for GISHWHES. What is GISHWHES, you may ask? It’s Hell and it’s Misha Collins’ fault, that’s what it is. It stands for “the “Greatest International Scavenger Hunt the World Has Ever Seen.” The list was ridiculous. My team was amazing. I learned that I should not be trusted to make food art because it will look like unrecognizable blobs (tasty unrecognizable blobs, but unrecognizable blobs nonetheless). I got to freeze Han Solo in Jello-binite AND I finally had an excuse to buy a manual typewriter…so…thank you, Misha? Also, thank you Misha for my having to say the phrase “Misha’s balls” to my mother.
August was also the first time I ever was a vendor at a convention. Cadets Con, run by Brian at Space Cadets Collection Collection, is a one-day comic con held in the store in Oak Ridge North. They invite local artisans, writers and creators to the con and hold panels and even have a costume contest. I even held a customizing panel that went over well and got to help some future customizers!
The end of August found me back in school for my last year as an MFA student…and then Harvey hit.
Hurricane Harvey DEVASTATED my home town of Houston and where I grew up in Humble/Kingwood. Thankfully my childhood home survived, but a lot of local businesses and homes were flooded out. Whole communities destroyed. Feet of water all over downtown. It was horrifying.
I launched a #HarveyRelief auction at the end of August to raise funds for the Houston Food Bank and the Houston Humane Society and was overwhelmed by the support. Many of my fellow artists, (Sarah Bee, Lisa Rourke, Melanie Miller, Elizabeth Patterson, and Daphne Danz) all donated pieces to the auction and I put up for bid several of my prototypes and vaulted Pops, and a set of one-of-a-kind Space Race Time Team Pops, which the cast shared to help promote the auction.
I was blown away by the love and support of the SPN Family and the Clockblockers for my home town. The auction raised $1650 (split evenly between the food bank and humane society).
September was about recovery. Coming back from Harvey and also coming back from losing all my box art files that I had spent two years building up. Hindsight says I should have stored them on a more reliable device than a cheap jump drive, but hindsight is 20/20.
I took that opportunity to reinvent and revamp my designs, giving my Supernatural boxes an all new look with some tricks I’d learned in Photoshop. I’m really happy with the new design. It’s unique and it’s mine. Before I was merely scanning in the official box and adding my own art, but this one is all me.
I created future boxes (Bones, Wayward Wonder Women, Louden Swain, Jason Manns, etc) all in the same vein.
September marked one of the most awesome things to ever happen to the con circuit: Shoshannah Stern at her first SPN con! I didn’t get to go to SPN New Jersey, but I’m hoping that the positive experiences I heard about will mean she will be invited to future conventions.
October was full. I had to close the shop for the month because I not only had SPN New Orleans to prepare for, but I also had comprehensive exams and a complete draft of my thesis project to finish. I ended up passing two of my comps (the third I have to retake in February) and I did finish my thesis, but it was a lot of work.
I started (and hope to continue) my Pops for Charity collection, a monthly eBay auction of one-of-a-kind Pops benefiting different charities. Once things calm down a bit (if they ever), I will bring this back because I love helping good causes. The first was a custom Rowena, and the funds went to Ruth Connell’s chosen charity My Hope Chest, a nonprofit that helps fund reconstructive surgery and operations for breast cancer survivors.
I hope to do future auctions to benefit other charities like Attitudes in Reverse, To Write Love on Her Arms, Random Acts, and more.
Since I wasn’t working on Pops for orders, I found time to finally work on and FINISH a long-standing project of mine, the Impala. I absolutely LOVED the one Funko made, but I still wanted to prove to myself that I could finish this, so I set a goal of debuting her at SPN New Orleans and I did! She was two weeks of solid work and late nights around the other things I had to do, but worth it. I started with the base figure of a Dodge Charger from the Fast and Furious line, sanded down and filled in the details from that base, added the front and back bumpers, removed the original windows and replaced them with drawings of Sam and Dean provided by the ever talented Melanie Miller of Lanie’s Art Studio and sculpted all the detail work. She was definitely a labor of love, but the most fun and frustrating Pop I’ve ever made.
And I will not be doing that again.
Con prep included more Pops, including my Popden Swain! I became a Swainer in January when I listened to their latest album, “No Time Like the Present” in preparation for the Saturday Night Special and I fell in love. There’s literally no aspect of this band I don’t like. I was determined to do my first ever Louden Swain photo op (and did, thanks to my lovely friend Erin) and I completed these little guys not a week before the con. They also have removable Swaingel wings for Billy, Mike and Stephen, and got to meet Scout at her table as the Swaingels and God! The band LOVED them. When we went in for the photo op, Rob remembered them from Instagram and Mike’s face lit up like a kid at Christmas. They all signed the boxes for me too! I also got to make Pops for Ruth Connell and Gil McKinney, and one that Jason Manns got to see but not keep.
Ruth was honestly the sweetest. We had all been championing her to come to New Orleans when the con was first announced, cause, witch, Halloween, New Orleans, duh. I ran an email campaign at the beginning of the year to get her invited and I had also promised that if I ever got to see her at a con, I would make her a red dress Rowena, also known as the Rowena of the ridiculous hair curls. I had made that Rowena in 2016 for a customer who requested it for her husband who was a big fan of Rowena and wanted that specific outfit and hair. It took me days to get the curls right as they were built up in layers on her head.
I finished Ruth’s Rowena probably a day before I was supposed to leave to meet with my parents so we could drive as a family to New Orleans. Still worth it for the look on her face. We got a selfie together (at right, but with my bleh face cropped out) and when she realized she was keeping the figure, she took my phone and recorded a video on it that still makes me cry. Thank you Ruth for your love, for Rowena and I hope we get to see her and you again soon!
SPN New Orleans was an amazing experience. I not only got to meet the band, Jason, Ruth, Gil, Matt, Rob and Rich (again) and Misha (again), I also got to meet so many of my supporters and social media and vendor family. I got to see Jodi and Shelley Harper from ConQuest Journals again. I met Lynn Zubernis of Fangasm SPN formerly and in person and she even interviewed me for her blog. I met Dawn and Deb in person for the first time too (they made me cry by getting a Castiel signed by Misha to replace the one I auctioned for Harvey Relief that had been signed at SPN Houston) and other Dark Hunters family like Carol and Rebecca. I met probably one of my biggest cheerleaders, sweet Gabrielle, who gave me a laser-printed plaque of my shop logo. I also got to finally hug my longtime friend Erin from New Zealand and we even watched the first Wayward episode together <3 She gave me a beautiful necklace and a Sam Funko jump drive (which I absolutely love and still use). I did my second meet and greet with Samantha and learned how to punch from her (though I refused to throw a punch back at her…I was a little sick and having trouble telling my left from my right that morning.) SPN New Orleans was an amazing experience and one of my best con weekends ever because it was about more than just seeing the cast, it was about seeing my family and many of them for the first time.
October held three more surprises for me. One) those FABULOUS and HILARIOUS Entertainment Weekly covers Misha, Jensen and Jared did. I saw the photos and simply had to “Pop” them. I tried at first to make Jensen have his chainsaw, but parts, time and skill limited me to just his brass knuckles. Misha had to have his cat ears and luckily I had a Negan lying around I could steal Lucille from. Misha got to meet his EW Pop self at SPN New Orleans. Hopefully some day Jensen and Jared will meet theirs too.
Two) The Indivisible campaign. 2017 was a sucky year for hurricanes, with Harvey in Texas, Irma in Florida and Maria in Puerto Rico. Stands, the fabulous human who puts together all the wonderful shirt campaigns that do so much good for various causes, put out a call for artists in the fandom community to help push the campaign to help raise money for recovery efforts in Puerto Rico. Having just come out of a hurricane myself, I wanted to pay the love I received from the SPN Family and the Clockblockers for my Harvey Relief auction forward. I reached out to Shirts and offered to make a Pop just promoting the campaign that they would keep at the end, and they had the brilliant idea of making it a giveaway item.
Three) Patience and Jack. Season 13 saw a lot of beginnings and a lot of new faces, two being Jack Kline, the nephilim and Patience Turner, granddaughter of Missouri Moseley and future Wayward Daughter. I made Patience in anticipation for the episode that would kick off the Wayward storyline leading to the spinoff backdoor pilot. I also made a Pop of Wayward writer (and probably showrunner, let’s face it) Robert “Bobo” Berens.
Jack Kline was a surprise favorite to me. I was all prepared to hate him and have him be the big bad in season 13 (I mean, he’s the son of Lucifer, come on), but he turned out to be this awkward, sweet nougat-loving baby who just wants to do good and be like his dad Castiel. I loved how he fit into Team Free Will (and cried at “Team Free Will 2.0”). Jack turned out to be one of my most popular and most requested Pops in 2017, and many of them got to meet Alexander Calvert at SPN San Francisco in December 2017. Thanks to Dawn, he even signed one for me <3
Back to business in November. November would see the creation of Chris Schmelke and Mary Manchin as Pops, an updated Castiel to celebrate the return of his character to SPN, a second version of Buck Rogers in his dress uniform, the addition of Samantha and Shoshannah to the pantheon of Wayward Wonder Women, a couple of secret commissions delivered at SPN Honolulu and the delivery of Kim and Briana’s Pops at SPN DC.
But perhaps what defined my November was Stands and Misha Collins’ #IWishForThis campaign. “I wish for this” stemmed from a conversation Misha had with his daughter Maison that he shared at a convention, where she made a wish on a dandelion, saying “I wish for this.”
It became a beautiful movement, spawning a sign holding at SPN Houston for Misha spearheaded by a longtime fan of both SPN and Misha and later on, this campaign with Stands benefiting Lydia Place, a local charity in Misha’s town of Bellingham, WA with the mission of “disrupt[ing] the cycle of homelessness and promot[ing] sustained independence for current and future generations.”
The proceeds from the shirt campaign would go towards the goal of helping 98 homeless mothers and their children into long-term housing and the campaign sold over 22,000 shirts, sweatshirts, phone cases and bracelets.
Stands reached out to me before the campaign began and asked if I would make a Misha Pop wearing the shirt from the campaign. I immediately said yes because Misha is one of my heroes. I added the dandelion for extra cuteness.
I shared this with Lynn about the experience and why:
Elizabeth: I’m honestly quite proud of how he turned out because not only was it for a great cause and for people I love and respect, the Pop itself also pushed me technically with the lettering on his shirt and the stubble and details on his face. I had to redo both probably two or three times before I was happy with either. I love projects that push my skills. … Personally for me, making that Pop for this campaign was a special experience because I really respect and look up to Misha Collins. He inspires me to be a better person and to do more for the people around me when I can. So to get to help with this campaign that obviously means so much to him and to the SPN Family was one of the best experiences of my life because I got to do something special for a man who’s changed me and given me so much.
All I can say is thank you Misha and Stands for giving me this opportunity. Thank you.
Another beautiful moment in November was the auction I held to raise funds for the Alley Theatre, a historic building and theatre company in downtown Houston’s Theatre District that was flooded and severely damaged in Hurricane Harvey. Earlier in the month I made a Chris Schmelke Funko (based on the amazing photographer we are so lucky to have at Creation cons because he is a wizard and no one can convince me otherwise) and a Texas Ranger Dean based on the episode “Tombstone”. A bidding war started over Schmelke, and he ended up selling for $320. I’m not kidding. Three. Hundred. And. Twenty. Dollars. The most a single Pop of mine has EVER sold for. I was able to make an over $500 donation to the Alley’s recovery fund thanks to that auction.
Finally we make it to December, meaning Christmas orders, midseason finales and general insanity.
I created a few surprises for friends and family, starting with a Pop of Anne Kirn of House of Darkly for her birthday, a swath of Pops for my coworkers and a pair of Scarlett O’Haras for my mom and a Kyoya Otori for my sibling for Christmas.
One big surprise was a Pop of a dear friend, YouTuber Alana King. She had ordered a Sammy from me when I held my small business Saturday sale, and I decided to make her her own Pop as a Christmas gift. Like the weirdo I am, I found her convention outfit that she’s worn to many conventions and immortalized that outfit in Pop form. I gave her what I originally thought was a cell phone, but that Alana interpreted as a vlogging camera (I’m not going to argue with her) and a Hunter’s Journal from ConQuest Journals since she and Shelley are joined at the hip and she loves chronicling her con adventures in her journal. I also hilariously guessed on the shoes cause the photo I had didn’t have shoes pictured. (Nailed it.) Alana featured her Pop self in a video on YouTube that made me cry and even allowed me to sell Convention Alanas in my shop, with a $10 donation from each sale going to her favorite charity, To Write Love on Her Arms. Alana is a wonderful and adorable human who does her best to promote the ideals of the SPN Family and I’m so proud of her and excited to see where she goes in 2018.
Which leads me into the Wayward Art Contest. I love doing art contests. I love showcasing the talent in the SPN Family because we are a seriously amazing bunch of people. For all the fandom drama that happens, we are a strange, diverse, talented and weird bunch who accomplishes amazing things. So I knew I wanted to do an art contest to keep the hype alive for the backdoor pilot “Wayward Sisters” in January (this month now). I wanted to showcase the talent in this community and promote our love for this pilot that we as a fandom made happen. I teamed up with Jodi, Lynn, Shelley, Alana, Janet and Zerbe (of SPN Specialities, another amazing human and member of the #VendorSquad) to put together the Wayward Art Contest. We put together two prize packs for two randomly selected winners featuring all sorts of SPN and Wayward goodies and entries are still being accepted through January 10! So far we’ve had over 30 entries and each one has blown my mind.
The final bit of good news that topped my 2017 was the email I received from Comicpalooza that I have a booth in the Artist Alley for 2018, which has been my dream for years now. I can’t wait to start creating for Comicpalooza!
Thank you to every single person that made my 2017 amazing, even if I didn’t get to mention you in this post. This year would not have been possible without your love and support of me and the Workshop. 2018 is already off to a running start and I can’t wait to see where it leads.