Monday, August 20, 2012

Post Comic Convention

As soon as I finished up with the Stockton-Con, I was busy vacationing with the family, then preparing for the school year for the son and my wife who is a school teacher. Now that things are starting to settle down a bit, I have been able to think about my first comic convention experience as an exhibiting artist.

First of all, it was nice to be able to simply show my artwork and talk with passersby about not just my art, but about the convention, movies, comics art and all sorts of stuff. It was just a good time to mingle and be social, and for me, being a bit introverted, that's saying a lot. Secondly, I was able to venture away from my area a couple of times and see what other artists were exhibiting. There was a nice variety of art work shown by artists of different abilities. I think it says a lot about the exhibitors, especially the young first-timers, and how they just put themselves out there in the public eye. It takes a lot of courage to be in the public eye and show art that has a lot of effort put into it. Also, the attendance at the Con was greater than anyone expected. Personally, I didn't think there would be that many people, but as soon as the doors opened to the public, the facility was incredibly packed for the entire time of the event. Being a fundraiser event, it was a great benefit to the charities that it supported. Good job Stockton!

Now for the down side, just to be realist. From a professional standpoint, the Con was disappointing. I didn't even come close to breaking even on the cost of getting an exhibit together. I totally overestimated the number of prints that I needed to have for sale. People just weren't interested in buying anything. I even drew original drawings and sold a few, but not enough to really make it financially worth the effort. One thing I noticed is that a lot of people I talked with said they really liked my work. But no matter how direct or indirect my sales approach was, I could only sell a hand full of of pieces. And the art work was cheap! Nothing that was up for sale was more than $10. Dirt cheap! To put salt in the wound, one person said that I should sell drawings for a dollar. Wow! What a way to devalue an appreciation for art. I guess the moral of the story is that just because people like your artwork, doesn't mean that they will be willing to buy it.

So now I'm not quite sure how to approach next year's Stockton-con. I still want to exhibit because it supports our city, which is in desperate need of support. However, I need to figure out what exactly I want to do as an exhibitor. Perhaps something more interactive or performance based. Anyway, over all it was a good experience and if I can make something work out for next year's convention, then maybe I will have leaned something.


Tim Lewis said...

That's pretty sad that people aren't willing to spend under $10 for prints OR original art. I wonder if you had your comic ready and printed for next year if more people would shell out money to buy copies of it, especially since they could get it signed by the artist right there on the spot.

David R. Vallejo said...

Tim - Yeah, I was thinking about printing up maybe a dozen copies to have available for sale, and maybe using that as a zombie theme for my table. Perhaps I could draw caricatures of people as zombies.