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Conventions: 
Kiss your weekends 
goodbye
Becca Hillburn 
I'm a childrens comic artist and freelance illustrator originally from 
New Orleans but currently living i...
Heidi Black 
Heidi is a sequential artist and illustrator from dayton, ohio. She 
likes cats and potatoes and hates writin...
The basics: 
 Convention tables cost between $50 and $2000 
 Tables are generally 6' by 2' but can vary 
 Located in ha...
Stuff to sell
A variety of things! 
 Minicomics 
 Charms, buttons, cheapies 
 Perfect bound books 
 Prints & posters 
 Unique items...
commissions 
 Big draw at cons: people ask for them a lot 
 Have an example of your style/commission work 
 At-con impu...
commissions 
 Perfect for fast artists 
 Need to be flexible, able to draw in a variety of 
styles or characters 
 Uniq...
Getting stuff made 
 Home printer: costly, but you have more 
control over quality & edits 
 Office store: costly, must ...
B
How much to bring? 
 1000 copies of a book probably won't sell 
 Bringing copies of files on a flash drive if you 
sell ...
TOO MUCH OR TOO LITLE? 
 TOO MANY ITEMS ON A TABLE IS OVERWHELMING 
 BUT HAVING A WIDE VARIETY APPEALS TO 
DIFFERENT PEO...
Freebies! 
 At the minimum, you need business cards - 
professionally printed! 
 Brand yourself! 
 Have something to re...
An online presence 
 Even a blog or deviantart will do – 
something you update frequently 
 Gmail addresses are free – m...
Nattosoup.blogspot.com 
Google nattosoup: every 
result on page 1 is Becca 
Electricabyss.com 
Links to store (buy 
stuff)...
Different types 
Of conventions 
(which to attend?)
Anime cons
Superhero cons
Indie cons
Others
Doing different cons can expand 
your audience - 
Or be an expensive lesson 
 Local cons are easy and cheap and a good ch...
Table setups
Some of ours
Consider when planning 
 Vertical elements 
 Visibility from a distance 
 Transportability/setup and teardown times 
 ...
 Unique/attention-grabbing elements 
 Cost of setup/time to build setup 
 Visible and readable prices/signs 
 Displayi...
TABLE ESSENTIALS 
 TABLECLOTH 
 SIGNS/PRICES 
 CASH BOX OR FOLDER WITH SMALL CHANGE 
 TAPE 
 SHARPIES/PENS 
 DISPLAY...
TABLE ESSENTIALS 
 ROLLING SUITCASE OR WHEELED BIN 
 STICKY NOTES 
 CALCULATOR/PHONE 
 SKETCHBOOK 
 SPARE BATTERY OR ...
TABLE ESSENTIALS 
 FLASH DRIVE WITH PDF FILES OF MINICOMICS AND 
BUSINESS CARDS 
 FOOD AND DRINKS – WATER/GATORADE, GRAN...
Planning & 
timelines
Things to consider 
 Transportation 
 Packing 
 Planning Way in advance 
 Table helpers or going as a group
Before you leave 
 Know your schedule 
 Practice table layouts 
 Take inventory/reprints 
 Have change (at least $80 i...
The business side
How much to charge? 
 Artists will disagree on this 
 Its important to at least cover cost of materials 
 Each type of ...
Keep track of everything 
 All of your expenses can be business (tax) 
writeoffs 
 Keep track of what sells for future c...
THINGS YOU CAN'T CONTROL 
 CONVENTION ATTENDANCE 
 YOUR NEIGHBORS/OTHER ARTISTS 
 THE ECONOMY 
 Where you are located ...
THINGS YOU CAN CONTROL 
 POSITIVE ATTITUDE 
 ENGAGE PEOPLE, BE FRIENDLY 
 Wear deodorant 
 CHANGE YOUR TABLE AS NECESS...
RESOURCES 
 Howtobeaconartist.tumblr.com 
 Artist alley international (facebook) 
 Aatoast.tumblr.com 
 Conventionscen...
Introduction to the Artist Alley- Presented at Mechacon 2014
Introduction to the Artist Alley- Presented at Mechacon 2014
Introduction to the Artist Alley- Presented at Mechacon 2014
Introduction to the Artist Alley- Presented at Mechacon 2014
Introduction to the Artist Alley- Presented at Mechacon 2014
Introduction to the Artist Alley- Presented at Mechacon 2014
Introduction to the Artist Alley- Presented at Mechacon 2014
Introduction to the Artist Alley- Presented at Mechacon 2014
Introduction to the Artist Alley- Presented at Mechacon 2014
Introduction to the Artist Alley- Presented at Mechacon 2014
Introduction to the Artist Alley- Presented at Mechacon 2014
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Introduction to the Artist Alley- Presented at Mechacon 2014

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An improved version of a prevention previously uploaded, includes new slides and new images. Presented by Becca Hillburn and Heidi Black at Mechacon 2014.

Published in: Art & Photos
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Introduction to the Artist Alley- Presented at Mechacon 2014

  1. 1. Conventions: Kiss your weekends goodbye
  2. 2. Becca Hillburn I'm a childrens comic artist and freelance illustrator originally from New Orleans but currently living in Nashville, TN. I graduated from SCAD with a Masters Degree in Sequential Art in 2013, and from the University of New Orleans with a bachelors degree in Hypermedia (digital art). My main focus is currently watercolor comics, and my hobbies include writing for my blog, Keep on Truckin' Nattosoup and attending conventions as an artist.
  3. 3. Heidi Black Heidi is a sequential artist and illustrator from dayton, ohio. She likes cats and potatoes and hates writing bios. Her work is at electricabyss.com, including her tutorial artbook, Electricabyss, and her newest comic, Sons of Fire.
  4. 4. The basics:  Convention tables cost between $50 and $2000  Tables are generally 6' by 2' but can vary  Located in hallways or closed rooms  All objects must be made by the artist (can be sent off for professional printing)  Fanart is a grey area
  5. 5. Stuff to sell
  6. 6. A variety of things!  Minicomics  Charms, buttons, cheapies  Perfect bound books  Prints & posters  Unique items  A range of prices
  7. 7. commissions  Big draw at cons: people ask for them a lot  Have an example of your style/commission work  At-con impulse buy (people generally want it then, and won't bother to email you later) B
  8. 8. commissions  Perfect for fast artists  Need to be flexible, able to draw in a variety of styles or characters  Unique styles work great  Should have access to reference if possible (commissioners ought to bring it, but don't count on it.)  Do not overbook yourself! Know how much you can complete
  9. 9. Getting stuff made  Home printer: costly, but you have more control over quality & edits  Office store: costly, must be formatted correctly, staff are not always knowledgeable, but generally the best option for small runs  Printing services: catprint, kablam, createspace, vistaprint, etc. generally have a minimum number for each item (50+) H
  10. 10. B
  11. 11. How much to bring?  1000 copies of a book probably won't sell  Bringing copies of files on a flash drive if you sell out is usually easier than packing too many  Limitations also include vehicle size, weight, how much you can carry, how much you can display on your table
  12. 12. TOO MUCH OR TOO LITLE?  TOO MANY ITEMS ON A TABLE IS OVERWHELMING  BUT HAVING A WIDE VARIETY APPEALS TO DIFFERENT PEOPLE  BRINGING A LOT OF THINGS CAN BE COSTLY  DIFFERENT THINGS SELL AT DIFFERENT CONS, AND VARY FROM YEAR TO YEAR  Be prepared to change your offerings or setup on the fly
  13. 13. Freebies!  At the minimum, you need business cards - professionally printed!  Brand yourself!  Have something to remember you by!  Cute/clever things work well
  14. 14. An online presence  Even a blog or deviantart will do – something you update frequently  Gmail addresses are free – make one just for work  Cons and web presence go hand in hand  Google yourself – what comes up? B
  15. 15. Nattosoup.blogspot.com Google nattosoup: every result on page 1 is Becca Electricabyss.com Links to store (buy stuff), deviantart, blogspot, twitter, and tumblr prominently at top
  16. 16. Different types Of conventions (which to attend?)
  17. 17. Anime cons
  18. 18. Superhero cons
  19. 19. Indie cons
  20. 20. Others
  21. 21. Doing different cons can expand your audience - Or be an expensive lesson  Local cons are easy and cheap and a good choice regardless of style/audience  Find friends to share hotel and transportation costs with (there are online groups like AA network that are great for this)
  22. 22. Table setups
  23. 23. Some of ours
  24. 24. Consider when planning  Vertical elements  Visibility from a distance  Transportability/setup and teardown times  Number of people you need to help you set up  Theme  Don't annoy your neighbors  Don't annoy the staff
  25. 25.  Unique/attention-grabbing elements  Cost of setup/time to build setup  Visible and readable prices/signs  Displaying your stock
  26. 26. TABLE ESSENTIALS  TABLECLOTH  SIGNS/PRICES  CASH BOX OR FOLDER WITH SMALL CHANGE  TAPE  SHARPIES/PENS  DISPLAY MATERIALS – EASELS, PLATE HOLDERS  SCRATCH PAPER  MEDICINE: HEADACHES, ALLERGIES, UPSET TUMMIES
  27. 27. TABLE ESSENTIALS  ROLLING SUITCASE OR WHEELED BIN  STICKY NOTES  CALCULATOR/PHONE  SKETCHBOOK  SPARE BATTERY OR CHARGER FOR PHONE  EXTENTION CORD/POWER STRIP  SCRATCH PAPER/NOTEBOOK FOR TRANSACTIONS  SCISSORS AND BANDAIDS
  28. 28. TABLE ESSENTIALS  FLASH DRIVE WITH PDF FILES OF MINICOMICS AND BUSINESS CARDS  FOOD AND DRINKS – WATER/GATORADE, GRANOLA BARS, FRUIT, CASH FOR FOOD  LOCATE AHEAD OF TIME: BANKS/ATMS, PRINT SHOPS, RESTAURANTS, HOTEL, TRANSPORTATION (TRAINS, TAXIS, ETC), CORNER DRUG STORES
  29. 29. Planning & timelines
  30. 30. Things to consider  Transportation  Packing  Planning Way in advance  Table helpers or going as a group
  31. 31. Before you leave  Know your schedule  Practice table layouts  Take inventory/reprints  Have change (at least $80 in small bills)  Square or other card service  Promote your presence at the show
  32. 32. The business side
  33. 33. How much to charge?  Artists will disagree on this  Its important to at least cover cost of materials  Each type of con will have a different “perceived fair price” - older crowds will generally pay more for the same item  Your highest profit margin items should be prominently displayed
  34. 34. Keep track of everything  All of your expenses can be business (tax) writeoffs  Keep track of what sells for future cons  Price things so you are NOT lOSING MONEY – REMEMBER FREEBIES COST MONEY TO MAKE  Consider splitting with friends to cut costs
  35. 35. THINGS YOU CAN'T CONTROL  CONVENTION ATTENDANCE  YOUR NEIGHBORS/OTHER ARTISTS  THE ECONOMY  Where you are located IN THE CON  The weather
  36. 36. THINGS YOU CAN CONTROL  POSITIVE ATTITUDE  ENGAGE PEOPLE, BE FRIENDLY  Wear deodorant  CHANGE YOUR TABLE AS NECESSARY  GET ENOUGH SLEEP  MAKE THE BEST OF WHATEVER HAPPENS
  37. 37. RESOURCES  Howtobeaconartist.tumblr.com  Artist alley international (facebook)  Aatoast.tumblr.com  Conventionscene.com  Nattosoup.blogspot.com

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