Photos by: Alejandro JSM Chavez

Artists both young and experienced flocked to the Pasadena Convention Center last weekend, sketchbooks, tablets, and bags of supplies and art books in tow. Moving in groups of their friends and peers, laughing and sharing stories from past and upcoming projects, or gushing with anticipation to meet with their idols, they made their way to the first annual Lightbox Expo.

Named after the illuminated table used in traditional animation, Lightbox Expo is devoted to the professional world of the visual arts, bringing together seasoned artists in the fields of illustration, comics, television, video games, film, and animation. 

Though many conventions are seen as events for fans to meet and nerd out, Lightbox is geared towards the dedicated professional artist. It offers opportunities for students and up-and-coming artists seeking to network and further their knowledge, as well as established working artists wanting to connect with their peers in the industry. 

Attendees had a chance to meet and purchase art from a vast array of top artists in the industry offering prints, zines, sculptures, and original art. In addition, the exhibition hall also had booths selling art books, supplies, and kiosks demoing illustration and animation software.

Lightbox Expo provided much for artists looking to break into the industry. Portfolio reviews, panels on the ins-and-outs of the industry, art demos, and even an opportunity to participate in a lifedrawing session with a live wolf!

Organizations and guilds such as Women in Animation, ASIFA-Hollywood, and The Animation Guild, and Studios including Disney Television Animation, Netflix, Dreamworks, and Sony Pictures Animation also had a presence at the convention, meeting with artists and giving a look into what it is to work with them and offering applications. 

It was a successful first year for Lightbox Expo, offering many opportunities for artists looking to make their way into the vast number of industries in visual art. If it can continue to provide for artists seeking to better themselves and make their mark on the world, then the future is looking bright.

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