Angry Artist Alley! “I’ll come back to your table later”


Goddamn I hate when they say that. More than half the time they are being polite and won’t walk back to you again, or forget. Actually it’s more than half, from my experience. Way more than half.


What happens when they forget to pick up their drawing?

waiting stages

  • you feel unloved
  • wait...did they pay you upfront, or not?
  • this drawing is going to sit on your lap. You can use it as a portfolio piece though
  • If you use it as a portfolio piece you will feel the guilt of making it for someone who never picked it up
  • If no one gave a crap about the picture, and no one wants to buy it off, it’ll just sit there…and sit there…and…


What do you do to prevent this? Put a tracer on them. I’m half kidding there.

  • Make sure that they pay for the entire picture before you start on it. Or at least a portion of it. You don’t want to draw a picture and not get paid even though you get the privilege of keeping it.
  • Get their phone number/email: When you’re done, call them up. However, at HUGE cons, even telling them your table number is tedious.
  • Make sure your table, compared to the other tables, LOOKS DIFFERENT. If all the tables had black tablecloths, it gets tricky to find people. And this is a reason why conventions don’t give out tablecloths anymore and others bring their own. You can use black to be suave, but if you had a bright red table, of course they’ll remember to look for that table. Imagine a ton of black tables surrounding you and you’ve got the red one popping out ;)
  • Important note: when choosing a table cloth, make sure it is large enough to cover over the table AND reach towards the floor at least down to your ankles. Table cloths aren’t just for decoration. They are also used to cover/hide your supplies, food, etc. to make sure it’s not visible to people who might want to crawl over and steal it. So when choosing a tablecloth, it can’t just be 4x6ft, it needs to be WAY bigger than that!
  • You look unique. I figured this waaay back years ago. I looked like every other asian girl behind the table, and at cons there would always be someone who forgot. And I would feel sad. I realized that it was hard to figure out the difference from my table and the other tables, so I put a bright ribbon hairband on my head. Hey, whaddaya know, it worked. If any of you know me in real life and just met me, I’ll often say “If you’re looking for me, I have a big red flower hairclip on my head”–so what do people do? Find the kid with a flower on their head. Not too tricky to forget. Still, you get the occasional people who forgot they even asked you to draw something for them in the first place. Things like dressing in cosplay,lolita, bunny ears, cat ears, awesome tshirt–all of those things really help. From the comic conventions I’ve been to, the variety of people sitting behind the tables are greater–you’ve got big people, little people, adult people, people that look like Santa Claus, people of all races and genders, tall people–it’s a bit trickier there.

-and lastly, WRITE A RECEIPT.



 .         Trust me on this. you get a copy of the receipt, and so should they. I’ve never had a commission where someone forgot ever again after this method. Basically, you do the same thing as I mentioned before–get their email, get their phone. But on the receipt, you will also get their name,their commission, the cost of it, and alternate phone just in case. AND they will also get your information: Your table number, your phone number/contact/email, what the commission was, the cost, and lastly, if applicable, the approximate time it will be finished. That way, they’ll be prepared to wait for your phone call or go to your table to check up on you. Ka-peesh? The copy you have will also help you calculate your earnings at the end of the day.


They’re easy to do–just use normal printer paper, make a template, print a few copies, cut it up, and you’re done. Make sure when you tell these people to sign it, do it in pen and ink and their signature. You don’t want people to try and trick you that it was some other drawing or it costed less.

And here’s a template that you’ll hopefully understand:

You, as the artist will fill this out for them (IN PEN) :



you can print these out, but I’m sure you can make your own look WAAAAAAY cooler, yes? If you customize yours, you can just write your name and cell contact there so you don’t have to constantly write it every time.


They ain’t got no excuse to pick it up or forget, and you don’t have to worry about them not paying you. If they lose the paper slip, you got a copy next to you. If you lose the paper slip, they’ll have the copy and contact you. If you both lose the slip, both of you need a slap in the face.


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  1. Pingback: Angry Artist Alley: FAQ for Newcomers | Jackie Lo Art

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