BYU professor sees comic con as a chance to feed creativity


A seemingly never-ending line of booths all manned by passionate people doing something creative, from original art to an entire line of clothes that belong in Middle Earth, filled the Salt Palace Convention Center.

The comic con in Salt Lake City calls its January event the “Fan Xperience” because avid fans make the event special.

One big fan of comic con is Shelli Spotts, a BYU writing professor, who tries to stay creative. One way she does that is by surrounding herself with creative things — including comic con.

“I love any opportunity to see new up-and-coming artists, crafters, people who are creating,” Spotts said. “I also like the booksellers that are here fostering new authors and new voices in any sort of creativity.”

Art is plentiful at comic con, with many vendors from Utah who create their own renditions of comic book characters, like Spider-Man, and pop culture icons, like Doctor Who. The rows of art are overshadowed only by the walking art that many of the fans spend hours preparing.

“The artists who come here (to comic con) come because they are doing art that is comic related or fan related, but they all do it in a little bit of a different way, and it is fun to see how they interpreted things and the way they have taken their creativity,” Spotts said.

Spotts admits that comic con is not the most obvious place to find creativity, but it offers a distinctive atmosphere to fuel creative juices.

“Any activity that you do where you get out of your comfort zone a little bit fosters all kinds of creativity,” Spotts said. “Sometimes it is awkward, but everyone is here being awkward together.”

Spotts even pushes her two sons — Ryder, age 13, and Sutton, age 11 — to thrive in “the awkward,” as she puts it. She said it will help them be more creative.

Spotts is more interested in the painting at comic con and she found plenty of art to buy.

“I love coming up and being around so many people that have such an interesting energy,” Spotts said. “Everyone comes because they are passionate about something.”

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