Home to everything from hard-to-find collectables to one-of-a-kind original art, checking out our Exhibitor Hall is a MUST at any Supanova event. With stands as far as the eye can see, each fully stocked with pop culture temptations, it would be easy to spend the entire weekend browsing the aisles, hunting for bargains and all the best geeky goodness.
Alas, all shows must eventually come to an end – but that doesn’t mean the shopping spree has to! Many of our Exhibitors trade all year round, so to give you the low-down on where to look for your loot, we’re launching an all new series showcasing these sensational sellers! Kicking things off where many a Supa-Star has started, we’ve put our artisans in focus and taken a stroll down The Alley, getting to know some of the incredible creators you can find in Prints Paradise.
Benni-Alice Art is a digital portrait artist, whose greyscale work (with pops of colour!) you might have come across in Sydney. Their inspiration? Great characters and actors – and you can definitely see it in their beautiful fanart! Benni-Alice explains, “I also love photography, and when I find a really great promotional photo of a character that screams out at me to draw, I just have to do it”.
When asked how they first got into art, Benni-Alice had the following to say:
“I have been drawing since I could pick up a pencil. My mum is an artist as well as my grandparents on my father’s side. Art has been in my life since I can remember. I have been drawing Disney characters since I was about 12 years old and that grew into drawing portraits of my favourite characters from movies and TV series.”
While their bestsellers are their WandaVision prints, Benni-Alice’s newest works of Yelena Belova and Bucky Barnes are their favourites, and we can certainly see why! You can find more of their Marvel designs, as well as DC and Supernatural, in their Etsy shop.
Transporting Adelaide and Melbourne Supa-Fans to beautiful worlds with a touch of magic, universebunny’s artwork is inspired by nature, anime, and a particular artist from her school days.
“I first got into art through a friend I met at school. She was an artist and I was so inspired when I watched her draw and create that I decided I wanted to create my own things too. I was already a creative person who had many ideas but meeting her was the spark that started everything.”
Her most popular items are acrylic keychains of anime characters (Editor’s Note: we looked, we want ten Best Jeanists); however, her favourite products are her more personal, original pieces. Whether you prefer fanart or original work, you can find universebunny’s creations via her website.
Sarah May Arts
Queensland-based artist Sarah May Arts also draws her inspiration from the natural world, incorporating elements from her favourite pop culture fandoms to create unique floral fanart, in addition to her original botanic designs.
“I had always been an artistic kid,” Sarah tells Supanova, “but after finishing uni and starting full time work as a veterinarian, I needed a creative outlet in my free time. I kind of stumbled into it after some random inspiration one day, and I had so much fun doing it I just kept going! Art really gives me the opportunity to de-stress outside of work, and it helps form part of my identity so that my job is not entirely who I am.”
Specialising in finely detailed floral line art, Sarah’s artwork had predominantly been in black and white, until she recently began branching into coloured illustrations and painting with POSCA pens. True to her roots, her favourite piece is her Floral Snake (also available as a vinyl sticker), citing the challenges of drawing fauna with her signature flora. We couldn’t NOT shout-out her fabulous Pokémon prints, though, which can also be found in her Etsy store!
Last but certainly not least, Brisbane and Gold Coast Supa-Fans may have also encountered the anime and manga-inspired artwork of MechanicalPen – at the same table as Sarah May Arts, no less! Yep, right next to Sarah’s floral works you can find MechanicalPen’s macabre pop culture line art, influenced by the likes of Junji Ito, Takeshi Obata, Masamune Shirow and more, “capturing that unsettling feeling that toes the line between creepy yet captivating”.
Like many of us, Sam grew up on a healthy diet of Cheez TV, and cites trying to trace Pokémon cards as his first step into the art world. “As I became older,” he adds, “I slowly developed a better understanding of style and form. I grew up in central Queensland, so I didn’t attend my first convention until 2014 (Brisnova of course!) and that’s where I really started to realise that there was this whole community of creators who were passionate about the same things as me!”
A fun fact about MechanicalPen? By day, he works as an engineer! Knowing that we would absolutely ask, he elaborates on how his profession interrelates with his art. “I’ve always been fascinated by internal mechanisms of everyday objects,” he says, “And this is reflected through my art style as well. As a result of this, I really enjoy creating imagined anatomy of pop culture characters, and I’ve covered characters from Hello Kitty through to Pikachu!”
His bestselling piece is by far his macabre Psyduck, juxtaposing against the popular Pokémon’s famously blank stare. You can check out this piece and his wider catalogue via his Etsy store, or head to Instagram for his latest work!
So many awesome art styles, and this is just our first stop in The Alley! If you’re loving these artisans as much as we are, be sure to click the links above and pay them a visit when you next see them exhibiting at Supanova!
LEAD IMAGE: ‘I Just Feel You’ artwork by Benni-Alice Art, ‘The Skies Beneath Us’ artwork by universebunny, and MechanicalPen and Sarah May Arts at Supanova 2021 – Gold Coast (photo by James Presneill, Elementice).