I've worn many hats in the convention scene over the years. I've (obviously) been an attendee, I've been a volunteer, I've been a staffer, and I've even been a vendor. When I vended in the past, I sold other people's goods, for other people's businesses. This year I'm trying something new - I'm going to cons as an artist.
First off, giving myself that title always seems ridiculous to me... and I'm not sure why. While I'm not the best comic artist in the world, I'm far from the worst. My comics do have a small (but loyal) readership as well. Frankly, I think the only reason why I didn't take this step before was nerves.
But here we go.
I'm only doing a couple of shows this year, but the one thing that strikes me over when I used to vend regular stuff is how much more prep it's taking me. A few years ago, when I used to vend normally, all I had to do was display the products on a table and put out some prices. The actual selling took skill (and I used to work in sales, so that came naturally), but I didn't have to put too much thought into it.
Stock what people want, price it competitively, and people will buy it.
This is a different beast all together though. First off, I have to design the product from front to back entirely as, y'know, it's my product. Secondly, I have to design and create any display materials, as I don't have access to displays created by others for my booth. Lastly, I have to attract the sales instead of being able to stock just what people already want to buy.
It's a daunting prospect.
At least I have a lead time. I'm still waiting to hear back from Kappa Kon (which is less than a month away) to know whether or not I'll have a table there, but I'm at least prepared if I do. After that, I've got my home turf, No Brand Con where I definitely have a table (I had to register and send in my form like any other artist... that artist alley is so competitive that I didn't want any appearance of impropriety). After that? I'm not sure. Mostly likely, if there's a LEXPO 3 I'll get a table. I want to do Geek.kon and Daisho Con, but Geek.kon's artist alley can be hard to get into, and I don't even know which city Daisho Con is going to be in this year.
I also feel like I should focus on getting out to more Indiana based stuff, since it's so much cheaper to do for me. I mean, I'm exploring new worlds here - I really should just jump in head first.