heard | Chromacon 2015

This weekend some of our best home-grown illustrators, comic artists, designers, animators, video game developers and many others will be descending upon the Aotea Centre in Auckland for the second edition of CHROMACON.

An indie festival of visual arts, Chromacon celebrates the coming together of creative innovation, artist excellence and community. You’ll find original artwork and creative projects from a range of media styles and genres. You’ll also be able to purchase self-published work such as prints, art books, comics, zines, or even originals directly from the creatives themselves.

We spoke to long time mac+mae friend, illustrator, and graphic designer Marc Conaco to find out more about what he’ll be bringing to the table this weekend.

What have you got in store for us at Chromacon?
Last Chromacon 2013, I was hesitant to showcase artwork that would be too gay. It was my first big exhibition and I felt that gay illustrations would be too niche and people won’t like my work. Yeah, there was baggage then for sure.

For Chromacon 2015, I’m making up for lost time. My illustrations have all come out of the closet and they have never been happier.

Can you tell us more about the zines you’ve made?
There are 2 zines – One is a series of observations and anecdotes of growing up gay and the other one is a sort-of diary from my recent trip to Spain.

I also have very colourful stickers!

Is it difficult identifying as GLBT in the industry or do you find it helps you have a point of difference?
A lot of the stuff out there caters to a predominantly straight audience and it gave me the impression that for me to make it in the industry, and for people to like my work, I had to cater to this audience.
Recently, I have been actively seeking out work by talented queer illustrators and they are inspirational. And from them, I’ve realised that I should just do what makes me happy and to stop second-guessing my work.

Where do you find inspiration?
This will sound cliché, but travelling and just observing life day-to-day inspires me. And definitely my Instagram feed where I follow all these amazing illustrators.

Marc Conaco is an illustrator and graphic designer currently working in advertising. He has illustrated for ad campaigns, online games, musicians and has been published in NZ and overseas. His off-kilter illustrations are light-hearted with the occasional homo-erotic undertones.

You can follow him on Instagram here and like him on Facebook here.

For more info on Chromacon, click here.