So first off DANG I'm delayed on my post for this month. Apologies to you guys as things have been hectic. I'm gonna actually see if I can schedule around my posts a little more, and hopefully can make some modifications. The article written below is of information collected shortly after my experience at DragonCon 2014. Special shoutout goes to my sister for purchasing my ticket, allowing me to stay in her home, and essentially making this experience all the more affordable and worthwhile.
:: without further ado... DragonCon 2014 ::
It's been a few days since my 4 day's worth of DragonCon in Atlanta, Georgia. I can say by far this was the best year they've had yet, and I look forward to attending it next year. Now I'm back in San Francisco where my jobs as a concept artist for the company GameOn, resident assistant for Campus Living Villages in association with the Academy of Art University, and student at the Academy of Art University take priority. There may be changes to this schedule as the semester is highly likely to get crazy. In October I'll be holding booth 1042A at the Alternative Press Expo (APE) at Fort Mason where myself and the talented Melinnie Irawan will be selling our artwork through a variety of products such as prints and stickers. Busy busy semester planned out, but I have faith things will work out. Right now I'm sitting in my first class of the new semester, so hopefully I can knock all of this out before class begins. So... back to DragonCon.
It was fabulous. There were so many panels to listen to and so many artists to network and learn from. It's an entirely different animal, freelancing as oppose to having the mindset of working full time at a company with a steady paying job. I'll have to find the proper time to thank them all for their words of wisdom, and allowing me to take some of their time to learn while they were selling at booths. Today I'll be tackling some of those business cards and connections made at the convention (long overdue). While at the convention I also bought some artwork for studying purposes. I've forgotten to include one book purchase made from Patrick J. Jones (fantastic artist), and gave one painting that's not included in here to my sister for her one year wedding anniversary. So much talent at these far-away conventions, though. I am too pleased with the results.
Now I could go on for hours, and maybe someday I'll be a teacher on freelancing tactics so I can, but I'll just focus one thing I immediately noticed when chatting with all of the artists. They all presented themselves in a unique manner in respect to what type of artwork they were selling, their status or "street cred" as an artist, how far they were traveling from, and if anyone else was accompanying them in their assigned booth. Certainly one of the most impressive and best displayed booths belonged to Justin Gerard and Annie Stegg Gerard. After talking with them, I learned they strategically chose to have their booth against a wall as oppose in the open walkways of the convention. It provided support and stability in size, and it gave off the illusion of a clean, carpeted gallery style display with lights included as oppose to the conventional "stacking their artwork on top of one another". I wish I had taken a picture for you guys to see. It was classy, inviting, and best of all cheap to do. One bit of advice I received from them, as I've informed them I'll be holding my first convention booth soon, is to make your booth into a completely different setting so that people may forget their even at a convention. Don't make the tables stacked with art, or have your food out in the open. Instead, give everything some space so each artwork can shine, and anything you wouldn't normally want displayed in the open have it hidden under the table. As for food, take turns and eat away from your table. Yes people will understand you gotta eat and love that personal side of artists, but there's worse than a potential customer pulling away from purchasing your work when they know there might be food on top, or dirty fingers handling the art.
APE is coming in 16 days! It'll be a learning experience like no other, and even with the knowledge of pre-planning it'll be interesting to see how it is executing it all into actual practice. I hope to see you guys there!!