As most of you know, I had a table in the artist alley this year at Tekko (Tekkoshocon) in Pittsburgh. This was actually my first time tabling at a convention, and I’m sure I annoyed my friends by asking them tons of questions while I researched and planned to try to make this con a success for me. I went in actually with very low expectations. In my mind I would be pleased if I could just hand out my business card to as many people as possible and get them to start reading my comics. In the end the con wound up being a roaring success in comparison to my expectations! XD
So here’s what my booth looked like, photo courtesy of my cousin Michael who has a photography page on facebook here. Apparently I was saying something sassy that made my cousin laugh at the time, lol. Also I look very nerd, please ignore me. XD Anyway onto serious matters. I learned during this con that I will need two boxes of the crate system so I can build higher. Everyone elses displays kind of dwarfed mine for the most part, also I think I want to tinker with the formation of the crates a bit next time. Overall though I don’t think it was too bad for my first set-up.
So Tekko’s AA is in this large hall with the Dealer’s Room. The AA was set-up in ring formations with a lot of empty space inside the ring of tables which you can see on the left of the photo. The dealer’s section is on the right. It looks like Tekko has room to expand here, and hopefully they will continue to grow in the future. Being in the dealers room I believe led to more foot traffic through the AA. Actually attendees had to walk through the AA in order to get to the dealer’s section which I believe helped the AA here. My table was in a very good spot as well, just off the main walkway, so when it was busy there were a lot of people walking through and browsing. The room we were all in was nice too, it had windows that let the light in on days is wasn’t raining (which sadly were few). The only problem was that the convention center was pumping the AC all weekend and it was easy to get cold. I wore a hoodie most of the time.
There were lots of cutie-patootie cosplays every day, and I should also mention that Pittsburgh hosts a very large furry convention during the year and I feel that you saw shades of that at Tekko, as I saw a fair number of full fursuits and tons of eared, tailed and pawed patrons. With that said, I think there is a potential audience for furry art here.
Speaking of the audience and sales, this convention is definitely a fanart con, as I didn’t sell a single piece of original artwork aside from my comics. The booths with fanart of the most popular series at the time were of course the most popular. If I am able to get a booth next year I plan to bring mostly fanart and forget trying to do a 50/50 split between original and fanart.
Since most of the booths were selling fanart there, I think I was probably the only person selling comic books and one of the few people who had an original webcomic. In a way this was a bit sad, as I always love to see more original art, especially comics. That being said though, I did sell a fair number of books and where the attendees lacked interest in original prints, they were definitely interested in my original comics.
In the end I did turn a profit at this convention, which was partly due to the fact that I stayed with my relatives so I didn’t have to pay for a hotel room. This is a smaller con though and I worked for all of my sales. I feel that you have to be willing to say hello to people and engage them so they stop and take time at your booth. If you are going to hide all day sketching behind your booth it will be difficult for you to make a profit unless your artwork is tops baloobie and you are selling half naked prints of the characters from the show Free. Actually this brings me to one of my final observations, and that is, there is a large female presence at this con which helped me out since my art is geared towards them and looks josei.
So, in closing I would definitely do this con again! I really enjoyed this con and was able to even connect with a few of the artists around me while I was working my booth. The fact that I passed out over half of my business cards pleased me and as I said before, I was able to make a profit, of which the proceeds will be going to buying a button machine. >:D
All photos used in this post were take by my cousin!
So let me say first of all that this review will be from an artist’s viewpoint, and specifically geared towards artists who are planning to display their work in a convention’s artist alley or similar venue.
I ordered a 6ft vinyl banner through Office Depot a little over a week ago and it just arrived today. This is the first time I’ve had my artwork printed so large so forgive me if I gush a little bit because I am pleased to say that I am very satisfied with this product at first blush. A 6ft vinyl banner with grommets runs around $64, but if you are a smart shopper you can get this banner for under $60 by clipping coupons. The total price of my banner with tax included was roughly $58 give or take some cents. This puts them on par with many vinyl banner printing services in terms of price. It is possible to find lower priced banners, but do keep in mind that normally the lower priced banners use thinner material and do not come with metal grommets and etc… So basically just be a smart shopper and do your research!
Overall I feel the price is very good for the quality of banner I received. It seems very durable, the colors are beautiful and rich and my artwork looks great. If I were to nitpick I would say that when you inspect the banner closely there is some pixellation, particularly where there is faint bitmap linework, but for the most part it is very crisp. Also most people won’t be getting down on eye level with your banner and viewing it from 12 inches or less away, haha.
I have yet to use this banner at convention, but I should have more info on how it weathers it’s first con next month. I will also post a better picture of the banner in action on the front of my table. When I have more info to share on my saga with this banner I will edit this posting. Until then though, I will have to say that I recommend Office Depot for printing vinyl banners for convention. It’s a good value for the quality of product you receive.
I finished the inks on this WIP and I just layed down a rough color test. I think I have everything about how I want it, though the sunset probably needs to pop more. Overall though I think I’m on my way. I might have a little break though before continuing the final color since I think I need a break from the computer screen.
I thought I’d share a little WIP I’ve been puttering around with for the past couple days since I like where it’s headed. It’s intended use is for a site banner, aaaaannnnnnd, it IS artwork for my next comic story. I’m still deciding on a title for my next comic, but that’s kinda small business compared to all the rest of the work I’ve done on it already. I still don’t know when the comic will start or anything like that, but it probably won’t be until Aura ends, and probably after Tekkoshocon.