PodUK Conference, Birmingham, UK

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Last Fri­day, I woke up with but­ter­flies in my stom­ach. After pro­vid­ing art­work for the NoSleep Pod­cast for four years now, the day had final­ly come: I final­ly got to meet some of my love­ly coworkers. Last Fri­day, my part­ner and I board­ed a plan and set off on our mer­ry way to Birm­ing­ham, UK, to attend the PodUK con­fer­ence.

PodUK is, as the name might sug­gest, a con­fer­ence cen­tered around pod­cast­ing and those who do it, focused, not sur­pris­ing­ly, around the British pod­cast­ing scene.

Ear­ly on Sat­ur­day morn­ing, we arrived (a lit­tle grumpy after hav­ing to switch out the morn­ing cof­fee for the cus­tom­ary tea) at Mil­le­ni­um Point (the venue for this event).
While we were still busy get­ting our bear­ings, we were already set upon by Eri­ka Sanderon and David Ault with impetu­ous hugs and warm welcomes.
I was espe­cial­ly hap­py to meet these two because (apart from being awe­some, gen­uine­ly warm, and friend­ly peo­ple) they were the exact two voice actors who lend their voic­es to Min­nie and the name­less pro­tag­o­nist, the char­ac­ters of Word & Col­or, the first sto­ry I wrote for the podcast.

The PodUK staff hon­ored us with a table we could spread out on, so Eri­ka and I start­ed dec­o­rat­ing it with our merchandise.
It’s amaz­ing how much pro­fes­sion­al art­work and graph­ic design the pod­cast has accu­mu­lat­ed over the years. I would be lying if I said I didn’t feel a gen­uine twinge of pride for being part of this project when I saw it all laid out.


As soon as we had set up, the vis­i­tors start­ed trick­ling in, and we had count­less amaz­ing inter­ac­tions with the podcast’s fans, who — I have to say — are a very pleas­ant bunch.
In addi­tion to our morn­ing crew, I also had the hon­or of meet­ing voice actors James Cleve­land and Bri­an Man­si, as well as the authors Hen­ry Gal­ley, Meghan Tuten and Gem­ma Amore.


Some more Highlights

The day had so many great moments that writ­ing them all out in detail would sure­ly be out of scope for this lit­tle arti­cle, so I present them to you in list form:

  • I attend­ed a love­ly coach­ing ses­sion with Robin from Coach­ing for Geeks in which we, as a group, talked about the chal­lenges we faced in our cre­ative endeav­ors and gave each oth­er tips as to how to over­come them
  • I had the plea­sure of attend­ing a live per­for­mance by the folks from Wood­en Over­coats. If you’re into bone dry, mor­bid, British humor, you owe it to your­self to check out one of their episodes. I was laugh­ing my prover­bial ass off
  • NoSleep host­ed a Meet’n’Greet dur­ing which I talked to count­less fans about work­ing for the pod­cast, my art process, and all things NoSleep.
    Fur­ther­more, I also had the gen­uine plea­sure to meet Alas­dair Stu­art, founder of the Escape Artists pod­cast net­work. I’ve been a fan of his work ever since I con­tributed to Pseudo­Pod as a voice-over artist way, WAY back in the day 

Last, but not least, the con­ven­tion end­ed with a live per­for­mance by the NoSleep peo­ple. Eri­ka, David, and James per­formed Eter­nal­ly Yours”, a sto­ry by Elias With­erow, which was set in the same Black Farm uni­verse as the noto­ri­ous Feed the Pig” and Escape the Black Farm”.

After being a fan of the pod­cast for so long, see­ing them per­form live was quite the expe­ri­ence. The video of the per­for­mance is not out yet by the time I write this, but you should def­i­nite­ly keep your eyes peeled.


So sad to say goodbye

After the con­ven­tion end­ed, we joined the NoSleep folks for a pint at the pub, before we said our sad farewells. The day had left me exhaust­ed in body but reju­ve­nat­ed in spir­it. I left with a heart full of friend­ship and a head filled to the brim with excit­ing new art ideas.

I think it was real­ly impor­tant to spend this day with peo­ple who are as pas­sion­ate about bring­ing the fruit of their cre­ativ­i­ty to life as I am. In the grind of our dai­ly lives, it’s real­ly easy to lose your focus or lack the ener­gy to pur­sue our cre­ative endeav­ors, espe­cial­ly after all of life’s lit­tle respon­si­bil­i­ties keep pulling you off-track.
Spend­ing time with peo­ple who still man­age was gen­uine­ly inspir­ing to me.

I sin­cere­ly hope this was not the last con­ven­tion I attend­ed with these friends and I can’t wait to see all of them again.

Stay weird, folks.