Skip to Navigation Skip to Main Content
Bj Lewis

Creators in the making

Profile image for By Lucinda Breeding
By Lucinda Breeding

Conference brings aspiring makers to meet experienced women artists

The third annual Creative Women’s Conference combines the energy and interest of the comic book convention with the pluck of the DIY movement.

David Doub, a coordinator of the free conference, said he and his fellow coordinators saw an opportunity — a gap that the increasingly popular comic con doesn’t close.

“Originally, the core folks and I came from the comic con scene and we realized there are a lot of shows but they are mostly entertainment-related,” he said. “You see so much participation and interest at the cons — people going to the panels and meeting the actors and entertainers. We wanted to do something a little more educational.”

The women’s conference brings women who create comics and comic books, costumes for cosplay, voice acting, fashion design, gaming and publishing. While women who create content are in the spotlight, Doub said men can attend, and have in the past.

“We try to get a good mix,” Doub said. “We understand that when people are starting out, they don't know what's available to them.”

The conference will help aspiring creators learn more about drawing, writing, voice-over acting, directing, crafting and fashion design, Doub said.

“This year we are trying to get a fashion show together,” Doub said.

Aspiring fashion designers can submit their work for the fashion portion of the conference by email to by Aug. 25.

Doub has some experience with merging his creative dreams and the DIY ethic himself. He eventually launched a small press called Dusk Comics, which published graphic novels and novels.

Doub’s press eventually went beyond its “wheelhouse” when it published Eliamaria Madrid-Crawford’s Humans Really Irritate Me, a graphic novel that collects the witticisms of University of Texas-Arlington professor Allan Saxe.

“It’s not the kind of thing we typically publish,” Doub said. “But we took a chance and published her depictions of him — his weird random sayings in one or two strips with her art.”

Doub said attendees are free to bring their drawings and art, but that the main thrust of the conference is for attendees to meet the creators one-on-one and talk to them.

“We want to help people get started out on making their own stuff,” he said.

The free conference will be from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Aug. 27 at North Branch Library, 3020 N. Locust St. For more information, visit


When: 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 27

Where: North Branch Library, 3020 N. Locust St.

On the Web:


10:30 to 11:30 a.m. — Writing Panel — Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam, Tracy Lawson, Chrystal Sherrod, Tricia Skinner

11:30 to 12:30 p.m. — Art Panel with Eliamaria Madrid-Crawford, Halo Sama

12:30 to 1:30 p.m. — Keynote speech featuring Lauren Zakalik

1:30 to 2:30 p.m. — Entertainment Panel about acting, dancing, singing, performing with Marissa Lenti, Chrystal Sherrod, Tracy Lawson

3:30 to 4:30 p.m. — Fashion Show


11 a.m. to noon — Social media and marketing panel with Beth Howard and Bekah June

Noon to 1 p.m. — Parenting and Creative Careers with Beth Howard, Bekah June, Rebecka Haskins-Hunt

2 to 3 p.m. — Cheerleader Karate School Panel — Cast and crew of Cheerleader Karate School

3 to 4 p.m. — Supernatural & Occult Writing with Bekah June

4 to 5 p.m. — Crafty Crafters with Beth Howard, Marissa Lenti


10 to 11 a.m. — Alcohol Ink Demo with Marsha Wright-Reeves

11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. — Painting Watercolor: How Can You Resist? with Kathy Edwards McFarland

12:30 to 2 p.m. — Tama Twins Workshop

2 to 3:30 p.m. — Sketch Dojo with Eliamaria Madrid-Crawford, Halo Sama


Halo Sama, illustrator, theater buff, designer and emcee

Lauren Zakalik, keynote speaker and television news reporter with WFAA-TV

Tama Twins, cosplayers and co-creators and nerd ambassadors

Eliamaria Madrid-Crawford, creator of Elia in a Box comics

Marissa Lenti, voice actress (Mistress Sadie in One Piece, Ilse Langnar in Attack on Titan: Junior High and Libra in Fairy Tail)

Beth Howard, World of Warcraft player, designer and Marvel film fan

Tracy Lawson, writer, dancer and choreographer

Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam, poet and jazz-fiction fusion writer

Kathy Edwards McFarland, artist

Bekah June, freelance writer and editor

Chelsea Mullin, musician, sound designer and engineer

Marsha Wright-Reeves, artist

Tricia Skinner, associate agent at Fuze Literary and urban romance writer

Pamela Skjolsvik, death writer

Cheeleader Karate School, a web series about superheroines with their own kind of squad goals created by filmmaker Bj Lewis

Chrystal Anne, writer and director

Rebeckah Haskins-Hunt, founder of Heroic Inner Kids, a nonprofit that raises funds and collects donations for other nonprofits