I promised I’d eventually upload all of this comic, and what better day than Free Comic Book Day? :D If you get this from me at cons and stuff, you’ll still get a sample of the tea featured in the comic, or, you know. You can just buy a whole bag of it on Adagio (it’s got Earl Grey Moonlight, Chestnut, Vanilla, and Cinnamon and is pretty darn delicious.)
*screaming* OH MY GOD I LOVE EVERYTHING ABOUT THIS AMAZING AMAZING THING
It’s the whole lovely wonderful comic! Love this!
10 tips for winning at Artist’s Alley
Con season is starting up again and I figured it’s time to dispense some experience from the many cons I have attended and talking to many people who *want* to vendor in Artist’s Alley and have no idea of where to start.
Very very good tips!!
Just wanted to add a warning to one of them that I learned the first two times I had a con table waaayyyy back in 2009.
Be VERY careful what you offer for free!
When I first started, I had three black and white bookmark designs that I copied onto card stock paper. I put my information on them and used them as business cards. Good idea right? Except that people took those free items and then didn’t buy any of the bookmarks for sale. See the free item was too good. People took that, had my art and didn’t need to pay for anything else.
So if you do offer something for free, don’t make it too nice. You don’t want your free item to compete with the items people can buy because people will take free over paid every time.
Display Your Prints!
No, really, if you want to sell prints, make sure people can see them easily. I sold next to no prints for two years because I just kept them in a portfolio on the table. Once I made a display out of PVC pipe and hung prints from it, sales sky rocketed. I sold more prints at one convention than I had in all the other previous conventions combined.
So make sure your prints are up and on display if you want to sell them!
Sketchbooks Sales are Declining
Sketchbooks are IMHO one of the most awesome things I can buy from an artist. I love ‘em. However, from what I’ve seen and hard, sales on these are declining. So I’m not saying don’t make them (because I want to buy them from you if you do!) but keep costs low. Try not to make anything you need to sell for more than $5 or $10 as that tends to be the most people pay unless you are a known artist.
Don’t Try and Do it Alone!
My best friend Elly, sits at the tables with me and pretty much saves my life. When things get busy, having someone else there to take money, keep things organized, and talk to people while I draw is critical. There is no way I could do it all by myself. So if you have a friend who can help, let them help!
And one last things.
The tip about using a suitcase btw is GOLD. I wish I’d thought of a rolling suitcase years earlier!
More great advice from Katie Crenshaw!
I have to respectfully disagree on not pricing items over $10 though - I recommend a range of prices instead. I don’t sell nearly as many pieces of original art (my high ticket items) during a con as I do bookmarks (my lowest priced) but the few that do sell more than make up for it. And I am not a famed artist by far! Best to be comfortable with the prices you’re asking for, it’s always easiest to mark high and lower them later than the reverse.
Some suitcase vendors are also making a hockey bag sized duffle with suitcase wheels and handles. I got one from Roots - can’t wait to try it out!
Oh I meant the 5 to 10 thing specifically for sketchbooks, not everything. What you say about pricing is totally right though. My Prints vary from $5 to $20 and my original art from $5 to $300. I don’t sell many high end prints, but just two usually covers printing costs, and one original art sale can sometimes cover the whole table. :D
But for sketchbooks, because they have a higher printing overhead then prints and take lots of time to put together, I wanted to mention that the average price that still sells well is about 5 to 10.
(also! Hello! very excited to talk to another artist alley vet :D)
D’oh, my bad! I have seen folks advocate selling nothing for more than a few dollars in the past, and I’m always an advocate for not voluntarily starving as an artist. Sorry to jump the gun.
Definitely agree on sketchbooks being cheaper, it’s lovely to see them nicely bound but for smaller runs the cost is insanely prohibitive, especially in color. You get a better return on comics or novels for the effort and cost involved. An ashcan zine (done with a B&W photocopier, maybe a color cover) can give you a very nice product for a few cents a page without running up supply cost, and has such a low entry threshold for being published I think everyone should be doing it.
(Yes hello, nice to meet you! I don’t get to swap war stories out of con often, and at con everything’s such a blur!)
All of the above is brilliant information. I can certainly vouch for increased sales when I displayed my prints rather than have them in a portfolio.
I’ll add a few tidbits from my own experience. I’ve done comic cons and furry cons, small, medium and huge. Main thing that happens in bigger cons is that the higher the number of dealers, the more each attendee’s budget will be split into smaller and smaller cuts to make sure they get something from many sellers. Also, in big cons, most (experienced) people don’t spend any money on the first day, because they don’t want to make the mistake of spending their budget first and then realising further in the dealers’ room that there’s other artists and artisans they would have loved to get product from. For this reason, make sure you have low-priced items to sell quickly, that people will buy (the ashcan mentioned above and prints, for sure), so you don’t end up being passed by for being “too expensive”.
Know your con. Some cons are great for original, on-the-spot commissions (furry cons are this way in particular) whereas others are more about merchandise (make sure you have art books or comics or prints or already made originals or the like, that people can just grab and go, and not have to return to you to pick up art). There’s always overlap. In big comic cons, I’ve chosen to limit the offerings to quickly done art for a lowish price, whereas in the small furry cons, I bring all my markers and bristol, my laminator and clips to make custom con badges in full colour, and I get to make large, full colour pieces at these.
Your posture in Artist Alleys and Dealers Rooms is awful because you’re sitting on a plastic chair, working on a flat table. I highly recommend finding an inclined surface to work on. I just bought a wood laptop tray, which helped me sit straighter in my chair instead of hunched over. Other advantages include that I can see the people walking up to my table, I don’t have my hair in my face, my neck isn’t killing me after a few hours, and since I have tennis elbow from drawing and one unfortunate bad move while rock-climbing, the better back position made my arm not hurt as much.
(OH HAI artist con people! Looking forward to seeing CK in November at HalCon!)
You know how it is, right, ladies? You know a guy for a while. You hang out with him. You do fun things with him—play video games, watch movies, go hiking, go to concerts. You invite him to your parties. You listen to his problems. You do all this because you think he wants to be your friend.
But then, then comes the fateful moment where you find out that all this time, he’s only seen you as a potential girlfriend. And then if you turn him down, he may never speak to you again. This has happened to me time after time: I hit it off with a guy, and, for all that I’ve been burned in the past, I start to think that this one might actually care about me as a person. And then he asks me on a date.
I tell him how much I enjoy his company, how much I value his friendship. I tell him that I really want to be his friend and to continue hanging out with him and talking about our favorite books or exploring new restaurants or making fun of avant-garde theatre productions. But he rejects me. He doesn’t answer my calls or e-mails; if we’d been making plans to do something before this fateful incident, these plans mysteriously fail to materialize. (This is why I never did get around to seeing the Hunger Games movie. Not to name any names, but thanks a lot, Tom.) Later, when I run into him at social events, our conversations are awkward and lukewarm. This is because the moment we met, he put me in the girlfriend-zone, and now he can’t see me as friend material.
I must say that I find this really unfair. I mean, I’m a nice girl. I have a lot to offer as a friend, like not being a douchebag and stuff. But males just don’t want to be friends with nice girls like me. They can’t help it, I guess; it’s just how they’re wired, biologically. Evolution conditioned our male hominid ancestors to seek nice girls as mates and form friendship bonds only with the other dudes that they hunted mammoths with. It’s true—I know this because I studied hominids in my fifth-grade science class.
So what’s the answer? Should I take up mammoth-hunting in an attempt to appeal to the friendship centers of men’s primal lizardbrains? Should I keep making guy “friends” and then prevent them from making a move on me by subtly undermining their self-confidence? Should I just give up on those manipulative, game-playing, two-faced bastards once and for all? I don’t know. I mean, I’d really like to have a true friendship with a guy someday, but it’s so hard to trust and respect them when they never say what they mean—and you never know when you might be relegated to the girlfriend-zone.
I want to be this person’s friend. A lot.
zomg yes all of this ALL OF THIS PERFECT
I remember posting somewhere once in a thread about why girls aren’t exploited in animation anymore where some guy said, “all the disney girls are drawn to be generally attractive, but I don’t think there are any eye-candy men… or are there? Are there any Disney men that lots of girls like?” and I mentioned Roger. Tons of girls replied agreeing with me and the original guy was like “wait, Roger? from 101 Dalmatians? What’s attractive about him, he’s tall and lanky and has a big nose, he isn’t muscley at all! Wouldn’t you all prefer Gaston or something? Or do you girls think his big nose is indicative of something else?” and I was like “no, you idiot, he’s a silly, goofy guy who likes animals and can play a bunch of instruments, that’s why he’s attractive. What’s the matter with you? Gaston, seriously?”
This is why we need more girls in animation. And more guys like Roger apparently.
Angelina Jolie had a double mastectomy, in case you hadn’t heard. How dare she remove those ticking time bombs from her chest, amiright? Like, hasn’t she learned by now that her body is public domain and we all get to vote on what she does with it? Sheesh, how selfish can ya get.
I recently received an email from an anonymous fan sharing how she pulled a Hawkeye Initiative themed prank on her CEO to illustrate a problem with some artwork.
My personal compliments to her and her accomplice on a mission well done; they perfectly took they…
Merida was the princess that countless girls and their parents were waiting for — a strong, confident, self-rescuing princess ready to set off on her next adventure with her bow at the ready. She was a princess who looked like a real girl, complete with the ‘imperfections’ that all people have. …
I invite you to do the same, tumblrs!