This year I’ve had the opportunity to hit a couple conventions and meet some people I really admire. Artists and writers I look up to. Creators that inspire me to keep making things and keep pushing myself.
And each time I meet one of them, I feel like an utter idiot.
Here’s the thing- I am not their biggest fan. Their biggest fans are obvious from half a mile back in the autograph line. They’re the ones dressed up as imaginary characters.
And then I feel like- since I’m not the biggest fan- why should they bother talking to me? Sure, I could babble at them about how great I think their work is, but they must have heard it all before. What’s one more fan? “Look, he’s not even in costume! Next!”
Of course, I could tell them they’ve inspired me (and I have), but what the hell do they care? What have I done with this inspiration they’ve provided? Who the hell am I?
I don’t want to just ask these people to sign something for me and awkwardly thank them for doing what they do. I want to be able to sit down with them and have a conversation. To let them know, in a non-creepy way, perhaps over a pint, about the impact they’ve had on my life and that I hope one day to maybe do something similar. And the only way that happens is if you’re more than a fan. You’ve got to be a contemporary.
Clearly, I’ve got a long way to go before that happens. In the meantime, I’ll keep showing them my love the best and least awkward way I can- by buying their shit.