How to Survive and Thrive in Artist’s Alley and Get Your Comic Supplies
Comic conventions (comic cons) can be grueling endeavors for the artists appearing in Artist’s Alley. Here are twenty tips to help you not only survive your appearance in a comic con’s Artist’s Alley, but to gain sales and thrive in that environment.
1. Wear comfortable viking sweatshirt that are broken in. A comic convention is not the place to wear new viking sweatshirt . It can be over the length of a football field between your table and the restroom or concession area. You do not want to spend the con with blistered, aching feet.
2. If you take prescription medication remember to take it as prescribed without fail. This will not only keep you at your personal best it will help ensure that people remember you for your art and not for getting carried out of a con on a stretcher.
3. Bring hard copies of any information you receive pertinent to travel, hotel, and the convention itself so that if any conflict or confusion arises you have immediate proof of your side of the story.
4. Pack light. If you don’t need it don’t take it.
5. Project a professional demeanor. Make sure your hygiene is excellent, your clothes aren’t wrinkled etc.
6. Business cards are a must for any artist, but especially so at conventions where, (if you’re smart) you will be networking when you aren’t at your table or filling commissions.
7. Be organized, label boxes and print collections.
8. Pack a mini first aid kit; pain reliever and a couple of band-aids in a ziplock bag.
9. Bring change, $100.00 in ones, fives and tens should be enough.
10. Use wheels whenever possible for carting supplies, prints, etc.
11. Bring duct tape, scissors and an empty plastic bag for your trash.
12. Make yourself visible! Use a brightly colored stand-alone banner to let people know where you are.
13. Bring all the supplies you will need for sketches and commissions. This will of course vary from artist to artist depending on their chosen media. However, all artists should include black and silver Sharpies for signing.
14. If you do free sketches keep them small so as to keep time free for paying commissions. Artist Trading Cards (ATC) are ideal for this purpose. They also serve well for small, quick commissions.
15. Make a professional-looking sign to display on your table stating individual prices for head, torso, full body and ATC drawings. A price list sign should be no larger than9″x12″. The bigger the sign the less space for your art.
16. Remember that every minute you are away from your table may mean a lost opportunity for a sale.
17. Most customers will want a way to protect their purchased art. Bring page protectors that you can offer for sale in addition to the art. Acid free foam board inside resealable Krystal Seal Art Bags is a very good choice. This combination is professional looking, yet inexpensive. You may even want to bring a couple of collapsable cardboard mailing tubes to sell. You of course will have made a bit extra by providing good customer service as well as by being a savvy marketer.
18. Use hand sanitizer frequently.
19. Remember to smile and be friendly. As the old sales adage goes If you can get the laugh you can get the sale.
20. Immediately after every convention make a list of the things that worked for you and the things that didn’t and plan to make changes accordingly for your next convention.
Although it can be hard work to appear in Artist’s Alley. These tips should help you well toward being an artist that is well prepared and who thrives in a comic con’s busy Artist’s Alley!
write by Stephen