Kidz Corner

Kidz Corner

The annual Art Show is one of the highlights of our convention, and this year we’re adding something for our younger attendees! Last year we had a spare panel in the show and decided to offer it as a place for kids to show off their art skills. It was such a success that we decided to include it as an official part of the Art Show moving forward. So if you’re between the ages of 0-18, the Kidz Corner is just for you!

As long as you fall within the age range above, you can submit anything you want to show off at JordanCon 2024. Whether you practice a traditional art (drawing, painting, etc.), a fiber art (knitting, crocheting, weaving, etc.), or something less traditional (painting miniatures, lego builds, etc.), there is a place for you in the Kidz Corner. Once you drop off your art with us, we will make each project its own display card. Aradani has also donated some mats and backboards that fit 8.5″ x 11″ pictures, so we will add those to any projects that will fit.

Please keep in mind that art in the Kidz Corner will not be for sale and it will not be stored after the convention ends. That means you need to be sure to pick your art up before the convention is over to be sure it makes it back home with you.

If you don’t have any art prepared, that’s no reason to miss out on participating in the Kidz Corner. We will have crayons and colored pencils next to the Aradani booth, so feel free to stop by and make something new!

If you have any questions, please reach out to our Art Show director at for help.

JordanCon Young Artists

JordanCon Young Artists

We have exciting news for all of JordanCon’s young artists! This year, the Art Show has designated a panel specifically for the kids of JordanCon. Anyone under the age of 18 can submit their art to be displayed during the event. Here are the details:

  • The artist must be under the age of 18.
  • All mediums will be accepted, ie: crayons, colored pencils, markers, or digital. (We will not accept AI generated art.)
  • All appropriate subjects will be accepted. Please keep it family friendly.
  • Artwork may be submitted at any size, though mats have been donated to be used for any art that is sized at 8.5″x11″ or 5.5″x8.5″.
  • Art on this panel will not be for sale or included in the voting.
JordanCon Kids Art Show

Art by Ava U., Age 3.

Art can be dropped off at the purchase table in the Art Show. Please include the child’s name, age, and a title or short description for their artwork so the staff can make an official Art Show tag for their piece. Art can be dropped off Friday from 10am-5pm or Saturday 10am-5pm. Art can be picked up any time on Sunday. If the art is not picked up by the time the Art Show closes, it will become property of the JordanCon Art Show and they will choose what to do with it.

JordanCon Art Show Kids

Art by Anna A., age 14.

This is a great opportunity for all of JordanCon’s young artists to show us what they’re capable of! Please don’t be shy, and show us what you’ve got! If you have any questions, please email

It Was AN Ending

It Was AN Ending

Today JordanCon shares the news that April Moore and Leslie Annis have stepped down from their roles leading the Art Show. JordanCon thanks them for their contribution to the convention.

For the past 8 years, JordanCon’s Art Show has brought joy to many attendees. We have brought in some of the best artists in the industry to JordanCon to share their works with others. We have created lifelong friends with new artists, working in the Art Show, or just simple admirers of fine art. Comments from artists at other conventions tell tales of how well run our Art Show is and how they enjoy coming to JordanCon.

April and Leslie has brought tremendous energy to the Art Show. Their leadership has made JordanCon’s Art Show one of the best in the Southeast. April helped build the Art Show back in 2012.  Soon Leslie joined the Art Show as a volunteer and worked her way up to become April’s right hand. Together they were instrumental in creating the expanding the Art Show to what you see today, creating a Print Shop so we can buy that piece of art we would win in the Art Auction, and worked with our Programming team in developing an Art Track, where we enjoy panels like Win, Lose, and Draw, and the Charity Art Jam.  

The Art Show will remain an integral part of JordanCon, and we will be looking to find a new Art Show Director and Manager in the coming days. Until then, please join us in thanking them for their hard work and dedication. If you see them at JordanCon, be sure to thank them and maybe buy them a drink (Leslie likes bourbon and April likes wine).

Until next time,

Jennifer and Jimmy Liang

Meet the Artist: Amanda Makepeace

Amanda Makepeace is a JordanCon favorite who has quietly built a following here for her beautiful, evocative work. In 2015, she was awarded the Judge’s Choice Award by Artist Guest of Honor Todd Lockwood and the Art Show directors for her painting “Renascentia.”Amanda is an Artist, Changeling, Wanderer, Bird Whisperer and part-time Owl Queen. When she is not in the studio, she is usually reconnecting with nature and the woods that inspired her as a child (and which continue to inspire her work today). If you are coming to JordanCon this year, be sure to check out her work and say hello.

What’s the one thing you most enjoy about attending conventions?

I’ve been attending conventions as a fan longer than I have been as an artist, and I’m always amazed by the limitless creative passion. The creativity of the cosplayers, the story-makers, and the artists of all types is something I look forward to each year. And because there’s no way I can can choose just one thing, I also love how willing attendees are to share they knowledge and skills with others. Even if I’m attending an event as an artist in the show, you’ll often find me sitting in on panels.

How did you first discover art, or that you wanted to create art yourself?

I grew up in the sphere of a creative mother with a passion for the humanities. She kept a book of Georgia O’Keeffe art on our coffee table, featuring one of her iconic skull paintings. Copies of National Geographic were always available to flip through and I soon developed a love of world cultures, their art and customs. It also didn’t hurt we lived in a suburb of Washington D.C. All of my school field trips centered around the museums. I’m sure all of these things played a role, but that moment when I felt a spark came from watching my mother draw.

I often hear artists say talent is a myth, but I think a person can be born with an innate gift. If that gift is nurtured with practice and hard work, then you have an artist. My mother never studied art, but it’s clear she has that innate gift. One of my most vivid memories is watching her draw my toy dinosaurs. I would often ask her to draw things. I loved watching what seemed like magic happen on the paper. I wanted to create my own magic. From around the age of eight, I began drawing—a lot—and I never stopped.

What was the subject and title of the first piece of art you ever sold?

When I moved to London, U.K., in 2004, I began actively selling my art. The art I was creating then focused on nature. I hadn’t yet begun exploring fantasy and myth themes. The Forest of Wic, while not the first painting I sold, was the first for which I received an artist’s pay. The acrylic painting featured oak leaves. It was commissioned by a friend for the cover of his book, Developing Java Software 3rd Edition, published by Wiley & Sons. My friend commissioned the art, but the paycheck came from Wiley & Sons. I’ll never forget holding that check in my hand, nor seeing my art on the cover of a book for the first time.

Though I wasn’t painting fantastical art, the title of the painting hints at my underlying passion for fantasy. There is no Forest of Wic, it’s an imaginary place I envisioned while creating the painting. Forests have always been magical places to me. I couldn’t resist giving this one a mysterious name.

Which artist do you find most inspirational? Why?

There are numerous artists who have inspired me over the years. Georgia O’Keeffe, Mark Rothko, the Pre-Raphaelite painters, and Michael Parkes are a few. When I think about inspirational artists, my mind wanders to the Impressionists, a group of artists who were ridiculed and whose name was used as an insult. Their paintings were rejected again and again, seen as radical and unworthy to be exhibited.

However, with all the walls placed in front of them, they never gave up and they never compromised on their vision. They took what was meant as an insult and embraced it as the name of their movement. They were revolutionary. Their passion and determination should be a lesson to all artists, whether working in fine art or illustration.

If you’d like to find out more about the authors and artists who share their work at JordanCon, check out our other “Meet the Artist” blogs.

Meet the Artist: Angela Sasser

Angela is the author of “Angelic Visions: Create Fantasy Art Angels With Watercolor, Ink and Colored Pencil” and an alumni of the University of West Georgia and the Savannah College of Art and Design. She works in many mediums, including watercolor and digital media, to create whimsical Art Nouveau and narrative fantasy art. She is also a leather artisan and mask-maker in her spare time. In the next few years, she hopes to expand her skillset into writing and illustrating her own novels.

How did you first discover art, or that you wanted to create art yourself?

I had always been a crafty child, thanks to my very crafty mom. I was always devouring coloring books, making my own pop-up books, and doodling my own little illustrated horror stories. Scariest Stories Ever Told provided so much inspiration for my young mind! That series and unicorns (what a mix!) activated my joy for the fantastical and the strange very early on.

When I was around 8 years old, I read the book Saint George and the Dragon over and over. I never got tired of finding the faeries and creatures its illustrator, Trina Schart Hyman, had hidden in the expertly crafted borders. Magic permeated every corner of the book’s fanciful illustrations. The first time I looked at the book’s credits, I realized that a human being just like myself had taken a story and created imagery for it. I wanted to be a person just like that, whether I brought life to someone else’s stories or to my own.

What do you see as the primary link between writing and art? (If you think there is one.)

As a writer and artist, myself, I find that both activities fulfill different sensory needs and oftentimes one will inspire the other in an amazing feedback loop of inspiration. I do my best work when I am both writing and drawing.

For example, a viewer looking at a painting can get an immediate read of a painted scene and impress upon it their own thoughts, feelings, and narrative, while a written scene can provide a deeper sense of lyricism, of hidden history and emotion put into words. I tend to write to get to know my characters as people, while drawing those characters and scenes gives me a sense of atmosphere and physical presence. One activity most certainly enriches the other!

If I had to put a word to what this primary link is, I’d call it ‘immersion’. Stories, whether told in video games, art, writing, or any other media, all give us a piece of the puzzle to an immersive experience, one that lets us form an empathetic link with the characters.

Are you a fan of The Wheel of Time? If not, what is your favorite book or series?

I’m a newcomer to the series, so ask me about this at the next convention you see me at after I’ve had a chance to finish reading The Eye of the World! Brandon Sanderson’s work has drawn me into the series via Mistborn, which I’m also currently reading. So far, I’m intrigued and can’t wait to dive into this rich, complex world!

My favorite book series, the one that first hooked me into mature fantasy is undoubtedly the Kushiel’s Legacy series by Jacqueline Carey. Imagine if the spies and courtesans of Game of Thrones were the main characters of the series and you have a hint of the intrigue of the world of Terre d’Ange. Add the mysticism of fallen angels, an amazing female protagonist, and a complex sex-positive culture and you have all the things that make the world of Kushiel’s Legacy stand out in a way that’s inspired my muse for years.

What’s the one thing you most enjoy about attending conventions?

I’ve always felt like the geeky outsider with my love of tabletop games, fantasy EVERYTHING, and video games. Conventions are magical places where I get to feel normal, like everyone I meet is a kindred spirit who understands my passion for these things. It’s also a place I get to ramble endlessly about fantasy art without people’s eyes glazing over! The sense of connection I feel at cons helps me when my small world of the art studio starts to get lonely. My profession as an artist is an isolated one and it helps me feel less insane to get out of the art cave and bond with other like-minded humans!

I wanted to thank the Art Show staff and JordanCon con-goers for making my first year at JordanCon last year a special one and welcoming me to the JordanCon family! Winning Judge’s Choice award in the Art Show last year was a wonderful surprise and the first time a convention has given me a trophy with an award. I have it displayed proudly next to my favorite Assassin’s Creed and Horizon Zero Dawn statues! I’m looking forward to taking part this year and diving back into the thick of things. Please do feel free to drop by and say hello to me at my table in the Dealer Hall. I’d love to chat and geek out!

What are your plans for the future?

I’m currently working on a series of Art Nouveau paintings that I hope to turn into an art book next year! I’ve been toiling on this birthstone-inspired series of goddesses for the past few years and can’t wait to share their dreamlike visages with everyone in a beautiful cohesive volume. I also plan to Kickstart a coloring book based on this series in the next few months, since I have a glut of meticulous line art that came out of this series and would love to share that detailed insanity with coloring fans like myself.

After this series has been fully wrapped up, I can’t wait to venture further into the world of writing! I’ve always wanted to indulge my writing muse, but haven’t had the time with my art muse having a majority vote. Once my latest series is wrapped up, I look forward to adventuring into my story world of cursed princes, has-been monster hunters, and snarky elves! I look forward to sharing more about this venture in the coming JordanCons.

If you’d like to find out more about the authors and artists who share their work at JordanCon, check out our other “Meet the Artist” blogs.

Meet the Artist: Ariel Burgess

Ariel Burgess hails from the Washington, D.C area, where she has lived most of her life. Her family is filled with artists and red heads, so she was destined for both. At an early age she set her sights on a career in comic book illustration, and recently finished her Associates of Web Design at Montgomery College.

In her art, Ariel chooses to bring fictitious things and people to life. She does not think she could have made The Wheel of Time® cards if she had not been such a fan of the series or loved the characters so deeply. Because of that love, Ariel introduced her family to the series, and now they love it as much as she.

Ariel has been attending JordanCon and exhibiting her art there since 2012. Her work is featured in The Wheel of Time Companion.

How long have you considered yourself an artist?

I have considered myself an artist since I was four, but if you count from when everyone else thought so, then probably twelve. That was when I really focused on learning it as a trade. I think I considered myself professional when I signed my contract with Ta’veren Tees, but I was doing commissions long before that.

How did you first discover art, or that you wanted to create art yourself?

Most of my family members are artists in some way. So I was inspired by them, most of all my older brother, mother and Grandmother. When I was little I knew wanted to be an artist when I watched Disney movies. I wanted it as a career when my father showed me MARVEL’s Phoenix Saga when I was six. I wanted to draw comics and I wanted to be Jean Grey.

What’s the one thing you most enjoy about attending conventions?

Getting to meet lots of wonderful people who love the same things I do, most of all at JordanCon. The Wheel of Time (WoT) fan base has a special place in my heart and always will. The WoT community accepted me for who I am as an artist and a fan and gave me my first, real, big break. I have become close with many of the JordanCon members and look forward to spending the weekend with them all year long.

Are you a fan of the Wheel of Time? If not, what is your favorite book or series?

Yes, I am a big fan of The Wheel of Time. My other favorite series of all time is The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher.

What was the subject and title of the first piece of art you ever sold?

It was an anniversary portrait of a couple. The title was “Cristina & Mario.”

What do you see as the primary link between writing and art?

Imagination. I often write stories and I often draw scenes from those stories. I really think they are one and the same, just in different formats. Personally, as a dyslexic and a visual person, I have an easier time processing the information if it is visual. Which is one of the reasons I want to see The Wheel of Time as a premium show or movie. Until then I try to do my best as an Illustrator.

If you’d like to find out more about the authors and artists who share their work at JordanCon, check out our other “Meet the Artist” blogs.

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