I felt a wave of nausea as I stood at the front door of the convention. While I had worked, I had never once thought about what other people might think of my sketch. Now I just stood, frozen, lost in thought about what people might say about it. I had worked so hard -- the hardest I'd ever worked in my life -- but compared to others' art, it might be a simple drawing.
I looked around at the other artists. Most were older, though there were a few in their early 20s. The art ranged from sculptures that looked like they'd taken years to create to small watercolors that would have taken two hours tops. The building that housed the convention was nothing special; just a community building used to hold parties or events.
I felt a wave of relief when I looked to the left of the room. There, in the corner, were three kids my age. I walked over and set my sketch down on a table. There were many frames to choose from to house different size and style artwork. Finally, I picked out a small, black, 3D frame and set the artwork on a table. I glanced at the other three. Hesitating slightly, I went over and introduced myself.
The two girls smiled politely and told me their names. The boy, who said his name was Jake, asked me what kind of art I created. I told him I mostly sketched with charcoals. If I used color, I would fill in with colored pencils or another light form of shading.
He smiled at me, then replied, "I paint most of the time. I've never used charcoals before."
I looked over at the nearby table and indicated a medium sized painting. "Is that yours?" I asked. "It's really well done."
He blushed. "Yeah, it's mine." He walked over to mine, then complimented me on the smooth and evenness of the curves. I smiled to myself, because that's specifically what I had worked on when I was creating my second draft. "The idea is nice. It has extreme detail. Is this a place you've been to?" A sudden wave of shock hit me, and I'm sure it was clear on my face. I tried to hide it. How could he have known?
You're just overreacting, I told myself. It's a simple question.
I turned back to him. "No, it's not a place I've been to," I lied.