My first convention ever

Posted by kristen on 2017-09-28 16:15:08

Salt Lake Comic Con has come and gone and I couldn't be more relieved. Doing something for the first time is always the hardest one. I was so nervous and antsy about just getting there, I'm pretty sure I drove my husband batty with my worries. All of the planning paid off though and I was well prepared for the day. I felt professional and put together and although I made mistakes, they were things I couldn't correct at the con. The mistakes felt out of my hands and a problem for the future rather than a diaster I had to solve right then. 

I know now that crossovers are a bad idea in general unless proven otherwise. My Steven Universe/ Pokemon series, which was a big hit to the people who knew both properties, wasn't at all popular. I over estimated how many people would be cross pollenated, most people either knew Pokemon or Steven, with little overlap. So that's a valuable lesson learned. Also it became glaringly obvious why so many artists do big single character portraits as soon as the con started. A big recognizeable face is so much easier to spot in the chaos of artist's alley than my subtle compositions. I still want to do complex compositions and illustrations, but now I know it would be prudent to have at least two or maybe three big eye catching things to reel people in.

My "Animals with Food" series saved me. They're straight forward compositions and stark white backgrounds stood out from what everyone else was doing and I don't think I would have come close to breaking even without them. I should have known cute animals with food would be a big hit in retrospect. My assumptions were backward, SU/Pokemon hardly sold at all and the Animals with Food I had to print more of. I have to admitt, having an original concept of mine be more popular than fanart is pretty cool. 

I'm already planning on what products to focus on for the next con. I've got two pieces already seeded in my brain and about a dozen others to think about. I may not have earned back all my money (I didn't think I would), but I did make enough to reinvest into the business. Next I really really want to buy a printer. The overall cost for prints would go waaaay down and I could make stickers cheaply and sell at a reasonable price. It would be easier to "test out" prints I'm unsure of, see if they sell and if they do I can go home and make more without having to worry about a print shop's workload and speed. There are so many cute snake and lizard stickers I want to make. And sticker packs, I really want to make sticker packs. 

The best part of doing a con is all the cool people you get to meet. There were so many artists and they were all so nice. At the end I did some art trades with a few and it was so FUN! I had no idea! I know we're trading products, but it feels like I'm getting art for free! I can fuel my obsession without killing my bank account! 

All in all, I'm really excited about the future. I have a better grasp of what I'm doing and what direction I should go. I've always liked having a basic plan for my life and in recent years I kind of lost the thread. After college I drifted aimlessly, I was a typical college grad with no idea of what to do next. I still struggle with that depression, but now I have a purpose to fight it with. Here's to the future!