Ray VanTilburg Artist Guest of Honor

Ray VanTilburg

Ray began selling his paintings in the SF market at his first convention, Inconjunction in 1980. It didn’t take long to realize that more people could afford a t-shirt than a painting, so he learned to screen print and designed a line of shirts for fans of SF, gaming, comics and pop culture. Since his childhood days drawing in every blank page of the family encyclopedias, he’s always been a self-taught artist who loves to try new mediums. The work of Roger Dean and Frank Frazetta inspired him to create SF, fantasy, & surrealistic imagery.

From magazine covers to games, product packaging and loads of logos and souvenirs for Fanish conventions, Ray has always kept busy as an artist. Although he’s stopped doing this, many of you know him as the guy airbrushing t-shirts in the dealers room at cons. He’s painted hundreds of them over the years.

Ray and his wife Barb met at the dance at Windycon in 1987. He lived in Indiana and she lived in Illinois so they dated at conventions, like fans do. Together they founded the company OffWorld Designs and have a creative team who print, embroider, and market the apparel and souvenirs they sell at the 40-50 shows they exhibit at per year. OffWorld originally sold only Ray’s work but has branched out to hold licenses with some wonderful artists and companies.

If you’re looking for Ray, you’ll probably find him pondering t-shirt ideas while doodling in one of his sketch books. His latest artistic outlet is making miniature paintings and selling them in art shows. Check them out this weekend.

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