This last week we were able to learn about running a booth at a convention and we did a comic jam. A comic jam is where one artist draws the outline for the panels, then draws the first image in a specific time limit. After that, the page is then passed to the next artist who draws the next image in the same time limit. This continues until all the pre-drawn panels have been filled. Below are examples of the comics that came about from our comic jam.
After the comic creating, Rachel Everett discussed about having a table at a comic convention.
The first piece of advice was:
- Do as soon as you possibly can (especially if you want to be a professional)
- Ready to go as soon as you have stuff to sell
Benefits from doing a convention
- You don't have to do Salt Lake Comic Con (SLCC) as your first convention. There are smaller conventions that you can try out first.
- It helps you prepare your portfolio.
- Gets you out of being a shy artist and helps you market yourself and network with others.
- Makes you set a deadline for yourself and keep it.
What you need for a convention
- Portfolio of 15-20 pieces, mostly fan art)
- Fan art is anything you love, even if it's obscure
- Draw what you want, not what you think will sell
- Display set up
- SLCC provides a 6' x 5' space with a table that is 6' x 2'
- Also provided are 2 chairs, garbage can, 2 exhibitor badges, and a table cloth
- You can be creative with your display, just show off your art.
- You need a banner with your name on it, or the name you are most known by.
- Set-up should show your work, showing all options to draw in customers
- Rachel's fan art didn't sell as much her first year, but it drew in customers that ended up purchasing something else instead.
- Have a variety of personal and fan art work until you are well known
- Business cards
- Can write your booth number on back for conventions
- Also good for outside of conventions
- Can also try bookmark business cards
- A social attitude
- At SLCC you will be there for 12 hours each day for 3 days
- Having an assistant is recommended
- Loop wristband ticket around the exhibitor badge lanyard
What you can expect at a convention
- To not make any money (don't go to make money)
- Go to learn how to market yourself
- Get comfortable socializing/talking about your art
- Make business connections/network
- Find your audience
- Have FUN!
Things you need to expect to spend money on
- Table (Cost for your spot/booth at the convention)
- Business cards
- Have 5-10 of each print.
- Getting prints made at the school is cheap
- Have them on nicer paper (can bring own paper to school print office) 80 lb card stock recommended
- Have multiple pieces designed on a page size 18 x 24 and cut them out yourself
- Backing boards optional
- Can get online or at some arts and crafts stores
- put your business card in the bag with the print
Rachel had 2 different prices, one for personal art and one for fan art
- 9 x 12 Fan art - $15 Personal $12
- 11 x 17 Fan art - $20 Personal $17
- 1.25" buttons $1
- Comics $2 or free with purchase
- Smaller sizes can be done, but there was no recommended prices for them
- Having fewer options makes it less confusing
- Cheaper personal art encourages purchase of the personal art.
- Can always lower prices, it is weird to raise them.
- Wait before lowering prices
Printing at UVU advice
- Use a flash drive, make the prints easy to find
- Save files as PDFs
- Combine like-sized images in 1 PDF file
- Label file names as how they are to be printed ex. 11x17-5copies
- Combine images yourself and print on big paper and cut out yourself
- SLCC booth - $300 (unless you split the price with another artist and share the booth)
- Banner - $25-$100
- tall banners from gotprint.com for $65
- Printing - ~$100
- Business cards - Price varies
- $35 for 1000 at gotprint.com (if I am reading my notes correctly)