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Old 07-15-2006, 06:31 PM   #1
innocentboy
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words of wisdom for a 1st time artist alley'er?

hello people,
i.b. the innocentboy, been posting/lurking on this section of Digital Webbing for a while now.

about to take my comic Song of Songs the Comic Book to print this fall, and though i haven't made any plans for it yet, figure that it's an option/possibility that i might want to start doing artist alley things at cons. seems like fun.

i remember a thread about "con emergency kits" about remembering to bring wet naps and shit, but guess this is kinda different enough ...

any words of wisdom about 1st artist alley experiences?
start at a small con first or jump right into the city's biggest con?
etc?
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Old 07-15-2006, 10:42 PM   #2
T.J. May
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Hey,

Local cons usually offer free space to creators, so if you've never done a con I would suggest that route first.

Plus, on the lesser scale you can cultivate your sales pitch. Try a few things out before you invest in the expense of WW con, or SDCC type show. Here's a few tips that work for us....

1) Chew altoids religiously and floss after meal at the show.
2) Don't sit behind you table staring at the floor. Be out in front of your table talking to people as the walk by. Bring a pal to help you deal with the business behind the table.
2a) if you are an artist and plan to make money by drawing at the show, then have your pal be your salesperson in front of the table. Or, find an attractive outgoing woman to help you hauk your wares. She dosen't have to be a half-naked "booth babe", just sweet and personable.
3) Be able to pitch your story in a sentence or two.

Gotta go to work. Hope that helps...
T
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Old 07-15-2006, 11:35 PM   #3
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great tips, thanks!
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Old 07-16-2006, 12:01 AM   #4
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I reinforce what TJ said: Don't be shy. Don't sit and draw, but make eye contact and meet people. You will be shocked to find that many people with tables at cons sit there, seemingly ignoring the public. Don't be those people.
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Old 07-16-2006, 01:39 AM   #5
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thanks.

what happens if you wanna go out and grab some lunch?
do you have to pack up and lug all your stuff with you?
do they usually give you a locker or something?
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Old 07-16-2006, 10:23 AM   #6
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Bring a lunch with you! What are you doing leaving your table! You're supposed to be selling your product! You paid for the table, and there's only so many hours at a show. Don't leave the scene!


Quote:
Originally Posted by innocentboy
thanks.

what happens if you wanna go out and grab some lunch?
do you have to pack up and lug all your stuff with you?
do they usually give you a locker or something?
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Old 07-16-2006, 07:07 PM   #7
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what if that packed lunch didn't go down well and i gotta lay some cable?
shit happens you know. good to be prepared, no?
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Old 07-16-2006, 08:46 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by innocentboy
what if that packed lunch didn't go down well and i gotta lay some cable?
shit happens you know. good to be prepared, no?
Each artist alley table comes with a bucket.
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Old 07-16-2006, 09:03 PM   #9
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If you bring a sheet to put over your table, then you've got a 3' x 8' by 3' area for your privacy. If it needs to be out of the public eye, do it under the table! Besides, those public bathrooms can be N A S T Y!
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Old 07-16-2006, 11:32 PM   #10
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That's true. You'd be surprised at how hard it seems to be for your average con goer to be able to push that little metal handle 30 degrees to flush the device. I mean, they can even use it as leverage to get up off the crapper, but nooooooo... They got to leave genetic deposits right there for all to appreciate.
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Old 07-16-2006, 11:34 PM   #11
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In all fairness, make friends with the people on each side of you. That way, when you have to take a break, they can cover your table for a bit. Later, you can return the favor.
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Old 07-17-2006, 11:08 AM   #12
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Quote:
2) Don't sit behind you table staring at the floor. Be out in front of your table talking to people as the walk by. Bring a pal to help you deal with the business behind the table.

I can't stress this enough. I worked in retail for over 10 years and people will stop and have a look if they see other people interested in something. I can't remember how many times I would be putting out a toy from a shipping box and it would seem like everybody in the store would swarm to where I was working.

The talking with people also gets easier too (I think so anyways) the more you do it. Most people aren't jerks but a lot won't listen unless you give them a reason too. I helped my brother at a local fair try and sell astronomy photos he had taken. Everyone kept walking by until I started just saying 'hello' and people would stop. Then my brother got into the act and his booth had people almost all the time. He was one of the more successful booths that weekend. I noticed a lot of other people running booths didn't say hello until a potential customer actually stopped at their booth.

DM Jim

Last edited by DungeonMasterJm; 07-17-2006 at 11:09 AM. Reason: meant to say 'most people AREN'T jerks'
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Old 07-20-2006, 11:35 PM   #13
innocentboy
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cool, thanks for the tips, appreciating it.
got more to ask, but mad busy, got just skim and jet.
*mental note: bucket ... (makes me think of kfc)
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"COMIC BOOK MASTER" - TorontoHipHop.com

"NICE ARTWORK. I RESPECT YOUR TALENT ... REAL RECOGNIZE REAL" - Ill Bill

"NUFF TALENT..! BIG UP..!" - MC Skibadee

"CHECK THIS BOOK OUT" - Newsarama.com


SONG OF SONGS THE COMIC BOOK
www.songofsongsthecomicbook.com
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Old 07-22-2006, 05:57 AM   #14
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Dressing up

You should think about how you are going to dress your stand as well.

Make sure you've got a table cloth or some other covering to go over your table - all the cons I've done have been on old trestle tables that definitely had some "history".

Think about getting stands to prop up copies of your book, and stand up posters can work as well.

If you've got poster boards that can go behind you, or the con can supply them, make the most of them. Put up some eye catching posters, maybe even rotate them. If you are going to be drawing while you are there, have space to pin up what you've done. Also, be prepared to draw in people's sketch books - I don't know if it happens in the US, but here in the UK people collect original sketches by artists in proper sketch books?

Definitely take the time to meet the other people at the con', at the very least the creators nearest to you!

Oh, and think about having a "deal" for the con. At the last show we did we threw our first issue in with the second for an extra 1, and we sold far more in this "double pack" than we did of either issue alone.

As someone else on the thread said, you've only got so many hours, so make the most of every minute!
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Old 07-22-2006, 11:14 PM   #15
innocentboy
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interesting ...
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"NICE ARTWORK. I RESPECT YOUR TALENT ... REAL RECOGNIZE REAL" - Ill Bill

"NUFF TALENT..! BIG UP..!" - MC Skibadee

"CHECK THIS BOOK OUT" - Newsarama.com


SONG OF SONGS THE COMIC BOOK
www.songofsongsthecomicbook.com
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