Angry Artist Alley: Partnering at a table

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**I’d like to thank Ashly Tahilan: [Tumblr] and Terri Litz: [Deviantart] [Livejournal] for their excellent input on this topic. Thanks you two!

One of the best ways to reduce your convention costs is to have a table partner. Usually sharing a table allows you to share transportation, housing, and tabling costs. It’s amazing, but the downside is that you’re cutting your selling space by half (and sometimes thirds).

Still, depending on what you sell, these are great outcomes and sharing tables can lead you to buying more costly tables at bigger conventions, knowing you’re likely to be sharing hotel/housing with your tablemate.

But just having someone else at a table isn’t the ONLY thing you need to be concerned about. This part flies through peoples’ heads very easily, and you really won’t get it unless it’s happened to you–you walk out of your table, and suddenly people are walking at your table. Can you handle it? Can THEY handle it? WILL they handle it?

I’m egging at the fact that SOME TABLE PARTNERS ARE NOT GOOD TO PARTNER UP WITH. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mean bad as in their drawing art skill, I mean bad as in they’re not interested in helping you out. By bad, I don’t mean they won’t do your money transactions either–that’s easy peasy. I mean bad as in they are trying to sell their work and their work only at your table. Or take it a step further, and sometimes just not enthusiastic about selling anything whatsoever. And well, standing at a distance, you can tell if they’re doing it or not.

First off, choose your partner carefully. Please consider these questions:

1) Can you get in contact with them? If they can answer your emails every two days or earlier, than it’s okay. And make sure you get their number.

2)What’s their work look like?

Be honest. If your work isn’t amazing, and you’re sitting next to an insanely talented person, where do you think all the business will go to? You want to have an artist who is struggling as hard as you trying to get better. Or at least, a balance of skill between both artists. Or you both mutually understand the situation and accept it.

3) Is your work going to COMPLIMENT theirs, or CLASH with theirs?

One thing you want to avoid is selling the exact same stuff the same series. If you’re selling stickers and pins from one series, and your partner did the exact same thing, it’s going to CLASH. It’ll feel like a shitty competition of whose will sell better.

“OH YA. if anything avoid selling the same things as well. It’d be total butts if both of you were selling charms of pokemon.. THE SAME POKEMON. DOING THE SAME CUTE THING. AS CELL CHARMS.”-Ashly Tahilan

One trick/tip when doing tables is to sit next to someone who isn’t selling your stuff. For example, if you’re selling prints, try and get next to someone selling crafts.

Also, I sound like an ass, but if the convention gives you the option and asks for your seating preference and you know there are some artists that kind of bang on your style or you don’t like them, just leave a note saying ‘I don’t want to be seated near [insert artist’s name]’ Better safe than sorry. On the contrary, if you don’t have a table partner but trust another artist who also has a table, consider asking the convention to seat your table next to theirs so when you leave you can entrust your money to someone you know.

It’s all on judgement of the artist’s style whether or not it compliments your work. If you have something that’s very vivid and colorful, maybe you should consider tabling next to someone with very dark moody artwork. If you’re selling headbands, maybe you should table with someone selling hair clips.

4) Do you know the person?

At least talk to them a few times before immediately trusting.  Also, it MIGHT NOT be a good idea to partner with someone you know who is very attached to you as a friend without considering it very hard. This is because if for some reason you don’t want to partner with them (either because they just ruin your business, art is bad, or attitude), and you tell them you don’t want to partner with them anymore, it can feel very very bad. So you want to have a mutual understanding with your partner that neither of you are obliged to share ever again if you ever do it in some other convention. A good table partner won’t feel butthurt if you tell them you want the table for yourselfor are sharing tables with someone else.


 

So, what constitutes as a good table partner?

DSC_1208 (2) (1)

(left, Louie Hidalgo (http://leadapprentice.deviantart.com/) and right is me, Jackie Lo (http://www.jackieloart.tumblr.com).  Photo taken by BlizzardTerrak. While his work is amazingly well rendered from the computer, my work is almost entirely drawn by hand. It’s hard to compare completely different styles of art. 

-You inform each other what you’re going to sell/prepare AHEAD of time. Not at the convention. If you’re going to have a stand or prop, you tell your partner that or you’re going to have some conflict the day it happens. If you brought a red tablecloth and they brought a black, you better be able to settle for either splitting the color in half or fighting over one.

-You know your limits to your space. Don’t just shove as much as you can on your side to the point where people can’t see your face, and you’re going to be squishing yourself sitting next to them on their side because of that. If that’s the case, it’s likely that table sharing may NOT be the best option for you. If you don’t have a lot of stuff then let your table partner put some of their stuff over the other half of your side.

Don’t be annoying. They bug you? Tell them politely. You bug them? You better stop it.

Don’t ignore them. Dude, you are standing next to them for eight hours. But don’t bother them too much if they’re drawing or you see that your talking is distracting their commissions.

You guys know how to deal with food. Seriously, if only one of you just get food for yourself that’s selfish and too much work. Get food for both of you at the same time, and know where you’re getting it. Also be aware of your friend’s food preferences and allergies. For tips on food, check out my article ‘how to do the food’

-if you think there’s something they can fix up, like helping you sell your work, or something like that, feel free to tell them. They may or may not do it, but at least telling them will inform them of your concern. If you get butthurt because they told you something, it’s probably not a good idea to table with them if you couldn’t handle the criticism.

They don’t jack your money. Stealing your partner’s cash is a no-no. If you’re anxious, take some of your money with you.
In some instances, they might not have change, and you will have to give out the change. It’s your judgement whether or not you want to do the money transaction and tell your partner later.

And here’s one of the biggest flaws in table partners….

-If you or your partner walk out the table, that does NOT mean you lose half the work on the table. That means you work hard and help them with their side of the table while they’re gone! I don’t mean go commando and only sell their work, I just mean that if someone looks at their work you keep their attention at the table and if they want to buy something then you should know how to exchange money. That may sound ridiculous to some, but imagine if someone walks at your table but only looks at your partner’s work but not yours. I bet you that if you just made light conversation with them, they’d at least take a glance. If you just sit on your butt and ignore the crowd, no one is coming to look at EITHER you or your partner’s stuff. So there should always be someone actively trying to engage with customers. Engaging customers is a very important key to good business! Even if it’s their work people want to look at, sharing tables is a team effort. Also, ignoring their sales with customers is not cool.

Here’s an instance of why you need a table partner that will help sell your work when you’re gone. Imagine you leave to go to dealer’s hall for half an hour. Your table mate says ‘okay’ and sits there. Then, when you’re done, you come back and your table mate tells you, “oh yea, three people wanted to buy some of your work but I didn’t know what to do, so I told them to come back.” What if they forgot and don’t come back? You just lost some business there because your partner didn’t know what to do. Having a partner you can trust with handling money and knows all the prices of your work will help you out a LOT.


 

Tips about sharing tables:

-At least one person is trying to engage customers. That usually means one person always standing and waving their hands at the art. The other person can be drawing a commission or out shopping. But always one person is getting people to the table. If your partners leave, don’t just sit lazily on your butt; that rarely attracts customers. Stand up and engage.

-You both know exactly how/when to get to the convention, and you know exactly how you’re getting food. No conflicts or problems. If you both take the train, it’s a good idea to meet at the exact time so if you plan to take the taxi, you can share the fare getting there.

-If someone buys your partner’s stuff, you know where to get the change from, and write down what you sell to inform them. Forgetting to do so or being unable to handle money is not a good idea when sharing tables.

-Don’t take your sweet sweet time outside the table. Don’t leave all the work to your partner. That’s not cool. For me, one hour is tops. However, at bigger conventions it could be longer. But don’t leave for half the day and not tell your partner.

-If you can’t do a commission or something, why not tell them your buddy can? That’s a plus!

In the end, if they’re friends, strangers, lovers, or family members, if you think they’re not helping your table when you’re sharing tables, just tell them no; no hard feelings, not everyone is good at it, but it really does suck when you feel obliged to share because you did it once. Do you have a story about a positive or negative experience sharing tables at a convention? Please share by leaving a comment below!


 

Featured Artist(s):

Rachael Ann Miller

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At Fanime, I was standing in front of her table staring at a picture because it seemed familliar. I asked her if it was on tumblr at some point, and she said she posted it a while ago. I told her it looked amazing and recognized it and she gave me a postcard print (it’s the black on on the table), and on the back she wrote ‘thaks for tumblr creepin’ LOL. No, she meant it in a good way, because she was really happy to see a follower recognize her art. I feel the same way when people come to my table too :3

site: http://rachelannmillar.com/illustration

tumblr: http://rachelannmillar.tumblr.com/


 

 

 

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Mailing Out My Small Commissions

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Have you ever gone to a convention, and the artist said they have to charge you extra for mailing your product? Have you wondered why it would be around five extra dollars? I mean a package stamp is about fifty cents, so what’s the deal?

The answer is simple. IT COSTS. A rigid envelope costs about $1.50, and in my state of California, shipping a piece of work in a rigid envelope usually costs between $2-$4. Oh, and don’t forget transportation too! The reason is because these pieces need to be protected, and enter the post office and leave unharmed to your house. If you found a beautiful drawing crinkled on the side, that feeling is awful. And when you tell the artist, they feel awful too. That’s why commissions cost extra when mailing out.

Well, I’ve devised my own method to tackle this problem. Of course, I doubt many would follow my own curriculum, but I thought I’d share it anyways in case anyone wants to try it out and tell me if it works for them or not.

Introducing: The Jackie Packing Method!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I do a lot of online shopping (you can say I might be similar to a shut-in), and I keep all my envelopes. I have been collecting for years, and I don’t really get many mail commissions anymore (unfortunately).
With this personal method, it reduces the cost of my packages to about $1.16-$2.30, no need to shop for envelopes, I’m biking distance from the post office, and I do not charge extra when selling these things at conventions. So basically, you get the entire happy package for $20 mailed to you (in the U.S.)

So here’s an easy step-by-step guide:

note: I use this method for all my commissions that are 8.5″x11″.

1.Bag the artwork in a clear bag, and insert a good backing board. A good backing board is either a very rigid sturdy one or one that is slightly flexible but bends back to shape very quickly.

Mailing package1

2.Tape the piece to center the inside of the envelope. The envelope should be padded and exceed at least an inch around the piece. You want the piece to lay in the center.

Mailing package2

3. Draw a cute picture that says ‘DO NOT BEND’ on it. Cross your fingers that the postman/postwoman reads it and follows it.

4. Seal the envelope, and you’re done!Mailing package3

This method cushions all the corners while keeping the actual piece in the center intact. It bends, but the backing board will bend back to normal. My backing boards are pretty rigid, so unless your forcefully bend it like an iphone6, it won’t break. The tape is very easily removed and won’t damage the art because the art is in a plastic mylar bag. So voila! My own personal technique.

So any of you guys have cool techniques? Share them here!

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COMIC IS UP FOR PREORDER!

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Here’s the tumblr link, and please reblog it if you can: jackieloart.tumblr.com/post/93…

PREORDER FOR THIS COMIC IS UP!

coverimage_PREORDER NOW

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The Story:

The story is inspired by Laura Renfrew’s original character Lady Vanity, and her childhood as ‘Starlight Lass.’ Along with her partner ‘Fluffy Girl’, they team up to beat the bad guys. Life is great, but what’s really in it for the both of them?

19 pages full color, each pre-order includes a gift. 

Why preorder?
I don’t want to rely on crowdfunding because I know not a lot of people are interested, and they often take out a portion of money. I just want to keep it sweet and simple–buy a package, get a gift. Buy the higher tier package bundles, get a discounted commission :)

What are these ‘bundles’ you speak of?
The bundles help me get extra money to fund the printing and mailing. Buying a bundle includes a discounted commission along with the free gift that comes with every purchase.

0free gift_Tumblr free gift_Tumblr free gift_Tumblr2

This comic is ALREADY completed and printed in an anthology, but I want the individual copy because then I can sell my comic cheaper, and I need a more up-to-date comic for a certain art show I want to enter in (my last self-published comic was more than four years old and does not qualify). The problem is that I would like a set of printed ones for my partner who is the colorist, and she lives across the globe in AUSTRALIA. In addition, I need the money to purchase envelopes and sleeves for them, and also need factor shipping/handling costs—THAT ADDS UP.

I hope you guys can help out by spreading the word or even *gasp* purchasing a copy yourself. 
For more info on what you can get,  please click on this link and click on one of the pre-orders and see if you’re interested

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EnterVoid Anthology Vol. 2

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Some months ago in my frantic comic book phase where I made lots of comics for personal and whatever reasons, I made this one shot for the Entervoid Anthology Vol.2. The story was called ‘Origin Story: Lady Vanity’, based off of someone else’s original character called Lady Vanity in Entervoid. It is an eighteen page one shot about her childhood which led her to be who she is now, head  and dean of the ‘Vanity Academy’ for Magic Girls. Anyways, this is an ad:

And so if you’d like to read the comic, and MORE by some top awesome artists, click on this link and purchase!
The digital copy is only $4.99, and the hardcover is $20
I hope you guys check it out and tell me what you think!

This is the best damn comic achievement I’ve ever accomplished that I can show off  because unlike other projects, this one is published. Best achievement since I can claim that I have a piece of work published in the same book at Heather Breckel
But seriously, everyone else is super talented in this book. GO GO BUY IT! :D

 Creators of the project include: Frank Cvetkovic, David Brame, Heather Breckel, Fern Logan, Garon Rossignol, Crystal Kirk, Ahmad Fitri Bakhtiar, Jackie Lo, Kevin Birtcher, Alberto Rios, Dan Dieckmann, Joe Tinalgia, Gabriel Bautista

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Angry Artist Alley: Printable ‘Do Not Photograph’ Signs

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Okay I admit I did this in a jiffy, but I mean I REALLY need to do it for Fanime this year. Oh, did I mention?

Back to subject, in this post, I’ve attached a few files that ANYONE, including you and your cat sitting next to you (if you have one). Just print it out and put it on your table.2014-05-16 10.45.53

This is a tiny promotion piece, as the character that is drawn on that sign is actually one of the main characters to my comic ‘The Dark Side of Conventions’. I’m drawing a comic about proper behavior at convention, misconceptions about conventions, and more. PLEASE READ THIS AND SUPPORT MY PROJECT IF YOU CAN. It’s my Patreon site, and even though this comic will be free to read when completed, I need a lot of funding for me to get enough time to work on it efficiently (PLUS the perk is that you get to see every page when it’s done instead of waiting for each chapter to be completed).

So here are the directions:

  1. Download the file.
  2. Print it.
  3. On your convention table, just tape it to the front.
  4. If you’re nice enough, take a photo of your table and tag #angryartistalley and possibly my tumblr (jackieloart.tumblr.com). Not mandatory, but I’d LOVE to check out the photos when tagged to see people actually using it. Or feel free to message me with a photo of your table :3

Tips:

  • Printing on colored paper makes it stand out more20140516_105012
  • Laminating or covering it in a plastic mylar bag helps make it last longer and waterproof. Also prevents people from straight out ripping it in half. 20140516_113646
  • Don’t like my picture on the side? That’s okay, I made one of the templates empty on that corner so you can draw your own doodle there :)
  • Feel free to shrink it to whatever size you want
  • 20140516_105309

Anything Else?

  • Did you make your OWN design? Feel free to post it here, I would like to share it on my blog, rip off your awesome idea, and implement it into a better sign for everyone in the future.
  • If you have any tips to improve my poor graphic design skills, feel free to help me out on that.
  • I will have more designs in the future, and they will all be available on another page on this site (have not made link yet)

HERE ARE THE FILES

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD ENTIRE BATCH OF ALL OF THEM

….or look below and choose which one you like.

Below: Black and White

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD

CLICK HERE FOR HALF-PAGE VERSION

Sign_BW
Below: With Color

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD

Sign_COLOR

Below: Black and White version with empty areas so you can decorate the sign on top and draw in your own character on the bottom right area.

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD.

CLICK HERE FOR HALF-PAGE VERSIONSign_FILL IN

 

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Angry Artist Alley: Set it up, Break it down

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Personally this is one of the more frustrating topics to deal with. And you have to realize, I’ve been doing this for over a decade, and I’m STILL not that great at it. It’s most likely that I keep changing my table to fit what I sell, but it gets worse every time. Still, a good topic to know since doing it well gives you brownie points. So what’s the topic?

Setting up your table, and breaking it down.

Composition wise, that’s up to you. Usually whatever you stick vertical on your table is what catches the viewer’s eyes, and what’s flat down on the table is what they see when they walk up to your table. It’s good to have a higher balance of vertical things than horizontal. People have pipes, people have wire racks, people have photo backdrops, just get creative.

note: There might be height restrictions because stuff do occasionally fall down. 

another note: Don’t laugh at someone if their stand falls down. It happens a lot more often than you think it does, and setting up any stand that tall is very tedious.

One VERY important skill you need to know is how to set up your table and break it down efficiently, TIME WISE. If you’re late to a convention or you only have five minutes to set up, you better make the best of your time. I take public transit, so I am often set at the very last ten minutes before the convention opens, sometimes I’m even late to the convention entirely so I need to speed it up. When you take public transit to practically every convention you go to, many buses don’t begin really early in the morning, and it can take over an hour just to arrive.

note: There are conventions where you will lose your table if you don’t sign up twenty minutes, sometimes an hour prior. When that is considered, it’s called ‘forfeiting your table’ and you usually don’t get a refund on it. YOU BETTER MAKE SURE YOU CAN MAKE IT.

What’s so great about setting it up fast and breaking it down fast?

Artists and artist helpers get the special priority of walking in that room at least an hour before any convention people come in. That means there’s no crowding, you get the very first peek at everyone’s work, AND you can talk to some artists before you know they’re going to get busy. If you break down quickly, you can do the same (but those artists might have left by then or are about to leave so you can’t hang too much). Artist alley in the same room as dealer’s hall? SCORE.

By speeding the process, it gives you a few more minutes of brownie time with the other artists. Of course, if they’re late then it’s not good either. You can also scan the entire vicinity to see where the ‘good artists’ are to check competition or navigate certain customers to your other friends who may have tables elsewhere. Another important thing is trying to figure out where the bathroom is early so later you don’t get lost finding it and wasting time (trust me, this is VERY helpful). And when you pack up early, it really helps the people who are locking up the room and stuff, because they’re pretty much standing there waiting for you to finish.

 Practice doing it somewhere else

  1. Find a 6″x2″ area (that’s usually the norm for the tables, although some cons have bigger ones).  It’s good if it’s a table area, but you can always just use the floor. Conventions often say 6″x4″ but that usually means about two feet of that room is actually where your chair will be sitting. Don’t be deceived!
  2. Time yourself on how long you take setting up. DON’T RUSH THIS PART. Just do it like you’d normally do. This will gauge how long/short your setup time should be as well as how you might set up certain things on your table as well as not cluttering stuff all over the place. It may also determine what things you should set up first, in case customers are already walking in.
  3. Time yourself on how long you take BREAKING IT DOWN. Most cons give you an hour at most to break down. It’s wise to take less than half an hour so you can leave earlier and do you last-minute talking to the artists you most likely did not talk much to because you were at your own table. If it’s taking too long, you might consider doing it the night before (many conventions offer a late-night setup time to make it easier for the next day)
  4. Repeat after you figure it out. Depending on what you sell, it will take longer. Just try and keep it under thirty minutes if you can. Over, and over. In the middle of the day, at night. It’s not a thing you do one time and assume you are awesome at it.

If they can stacked, fold them: If you plan to have prints standing side by side from each other and they’re the same size, you can put them in plastic mylar bags and fold them in a zig-zag accordion. When you just take it out to hang, unfold the accordion–no need to individually tape them all down!

Pre-make it before you make it: If you have a stand-alone sign, or the objects on your table are most definitely not going to move anywhere, you can pre-make the stand so you don’t have to constantly tape stuff on it. This is especially true for buttons: just pin them all on a piece of cloth or tape them on a board and never have to touch that thing again. It saves a LOT of time and effort.

Left, right, up, down: It’s good to know exactly where you want stuff to be BEFORE you stare at that blank table. Prints go on left, buttons go on right, etc. Sometimes just putting separate objects/prints in different bags/binders to distinguish groups will help. I have a separate binder for the prints I hang up so it doesn’t get mixed with the other things

Peek A Boo!: Even if you have a LOT of stuff at your table, make sure to leave a nice space so people can see where you are! You can’t buy a print if you can’t talk to anyone, right? If you’re hiding in the back, that’s no good. Remember, the more stuff you’re going to sell, the bigger the table setup will be. This is when people start stacking vertically with pvc pipes  or photo backdrops.

People walking in already? Show them something: This happens to me a lot lately because public transit can only bring me so far. When customers are walking in the room and you’re just starting to set up, find something you have that can easily be put out that they can see. So if you’re in the middle of setting it up at least people can see what you do.

Staying more than a day? Leave it there: I used to be really cautious about this, but it really saves time for the next day. Also, nowadays they have a setup time where you can go and set it up the day before the convention actually begins to save time. Just remember, ALWAYS bring your cash box and your prized belongings when you leave. Prints can be left untouched, and always leave some business cards on the table. If you’re selling stickers or buttons, only leave the minimum number on the table top, and if you’re nervous about someone stealing it, position the stuff flat on the table and pull your tablecloth over the artwork so it covers everything. Another reason why there’s a designated time for breakdown is that when everyone is done breaking down at that time, they lock the room up.

If you’re late, consider putting up certain items before another: If you’re late, but know some of your setup can be put up very quickly, go for that first. For example, your portfolio binder can be put on the table, or your sticker/button stand, while you are setting up your prints in the back. At least people walking by can see *something*.

Rules that should be followed

There are rules set by conventions, and although some sound absurd a number of times it’s actually not the convention’s policy but the hotel or building policies. Sometimes there are zero tolerance policies that are strictly enforced. If you have questions about the rules, then ask the person in charge. Don’t just start flaming on your facebook about how strict the rules are if you 1) paid money for the table, and 2) signed the contract for artist alley saying you already agree to the policy and rules.

Size, width, and height: Yes, everyone gets a designated spot. Yes sometimes there are height requirements. That is because when you have a super high stand, and it falls over a kid, you want to minimize damage and you don’t want to start any problems with the roof top. And no one hates table hoggers that take up other people’s’ spots or put a bunch of stuff forward from the table. That includes a musician sitting in front of the table.

No wall, table, or chair climbing: Doing so has a chance of falling down and getting an injury. If possible, ask staff people or some artists next to you for help. Make sure not to bother them if they’re in the middle of setup, but if they’re sitting there and need help or ask you if you need any help, might as well get some extra hands. The proper way to set up is to prepare everything that needs to be hung on top, and then with the help of a partner or nearby artist, both of you prop it up and secure it in one shot. The wrong way is to set up the vertical stand, get on a chair, and tape each piece one by one.

Pinning stuff or tape on the wall: Conventions borrow a public space. So it is not their property, thus, you cannot screw with it in any way. Tape might leave residue or even damage the walls in some way. Poking holes through the wall is no good either.

Set Up and Break Down: The convention only rents out rooms at certain times. Lagging the time by taking forever to break down is really un-cool. Staff people are waiting for you to finish packing so they can finish their job and eat.

table setup

My table layout around me from Kraken Con 2014.
Left: Magical Mangaka, Right: me

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I’ll be at Animation on Display 2014!

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If you haven’t heard the news about me going to this con, it’s likely that you don’t follow my tumblr or facebook, where I got super psyched for two weeks and made new prints. Time doesn’t allow me to make much more except a better layout for my table, but yea, I still have things to show.

Anyways, with any upcoming convention, I have a self promotion video!

So of course, it mentions my blog, and this is it, but the directory for Angry Artist Alley is here.

And if you want to order a sketch and you can’t make it to the convention, check out the brown paper sketch form here and the light paper sketch form here.

I love brown paper sketches because they’re more fun and unique, but I know some people want to stick with white. I always hate when I buy a flimsy print and come home just to find it bent on the sides, which is why I will always include a backing board with my commissions. Sorry, not prints, because backing boards cost a bit unless you cut them all by hand!

contact: jackie@jackieloart.com

Price:

Before convention (and pickup at the convention): $17, 8.5″x11″, and backing board–payment first

At convention: $20, 8.5″x11″, and backing board–payment first. I have a credit card reader this year. But please, cash would be best.

After convention (for some reason I need to mail it to you): add $3. Large envelopes can cost a bit.

After convention/Online: $25, plus $3 shipping,  8.5″x11″, and backing board. I concentrate the most time on these, and you can request on a more NSFW basis if desired. Nudity is fine to some extent, but no porn. I’m not good at drawing porn.

And I guess here are some things you should know while considering a purchase:

  • I don’t do pencil sketches because they smudge and you’re going to screw it up in a few weeks anyways. Also, my sketches are so dirty and unfinished I’m pretty sure you won’t be impressed with the giant graphite smudges.
  • I would never consider an inking commission for ten bucks. People take TIME and years of PRACTICE to draw at our pace, and so I feel that people who under price that low for their work should think a little higher than themselves. Support artists, make us feel good about ourselves! Artists are paid thousands of dollars to make a  cover pages for books or design a logo, this is already insane.
  • noncommercial use only. Give it as a gift or on the wall, but don’t you dare scan and sell it on merchandise!
  • I hate when I order something flimsy and when I get home they crinkle on the edges. All my sketches will come with a backing board to prevent that.
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Angry Artist Alley: Take what you need, get what you can

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This is a small series made from a powerpoint presentation back in Fanime 2013, where I did a lecture called “Artist Alley: Survival Guide”, in attempt to weed out the weak who were unprepared for conventions. Each one of these is a short article of one of the topics dealt with from that panel. In the panel, I tried to make it a ‘midevil’ theme, and tried to sound as mean and blunt as possible, trying to make artist alley seem impossible for the weak. Unfortunately, at the end of this panel a number of people were taking notes on paper, and I think I gave them hope. Well shit. Anyhow, anyone in artist alley should still be aware of this stuff, even if it sounds or feels awful. All the drawings were the same things I used for the powerpoint.

 Take what you need, get what you can

In personally felt this was a huge mistake when I worked this out, and hope no one ever does something as idiotic as I’ve done for years. Sometimes being thrifty is good, and sometimes you need to sacrifice what little money you have to make it better. And what’s up with now? Shit cost more, and shit you sell costs less. Article about that here: http://www.jackieloart.com/blog/angry-artist-alley-my-art-is-worth-too-much/

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Anyhow, not that I’m super pro at it, but as always, I have something to say about it.

Don’t over purchase for preparing

If you’ve never sold stickers or buttons in your life, don’t overdo it. What if people don’t like your design? Where will these little buttons go? You spent twenty bucks on prints? What if only one sells? Be prepared for a LOT of issues like this. Don’t spend more than you need. When you buy a stand, make sure you need that stand for a purpose. For me, I have no branded name yet (well, I’m trying ‘Paradox Punch‘ works, but I just started). My alias is Pineapple Pocky, but since I have no unique art, no mascot, nuthin special about me, I have not invested in a $40 banner. So same for you–if people don’t know you yet and you just started, it would be wise to start small and go up. Remember, there’s always a chance that all your money to make awesome stuff goes down the drain. I’ve gone through it a LOT of times. Very sad.

Bonus is incentive, not an obligation

Now, sometimes people love your stuff and they buy a button or a sticker. Please for the love of your own dignity don’t just start giving out free stuff just because they bought one little thing. Give free swag to people who are your buddies or deserve it. Just coz they paid you ten bucks for a print doesn’t mean you HAVE to give them a button, a sticker, and I dunno, another print. You’re not forced to give it out. You CAN if you want to, but I’ve just warned you. People might take advantage of you in future conventions. I used to ask my buddies for stuff  like this, and when my friends do it to me I can see I just lost ten bucks (and of course, if you refuse your buddy you’re an asshole). Also, don’t just ASK to have a print for free from a fellow artist, it’s more polite to either art-trade or BUY it from them. When the time comes, and it is for every single one of you artists, other artists will give you a print–at that moment, you will know that you have become enlightened as a good artist, friend, and comrade. But before that happens, please PLEASE don’t go kissing other peoples’ feet because they gave you five bucks for something and you *only* gave a print for them. They get what they pay, you’re not obliged to give them anymore than what was on that price tag.

And as a note about my own experience, nowadays I do get the occasional love of free art, but I find that taking a photo of them is worth more for me. I have a very hard time remembering names and faces, and although I can pinpoint an artist and their work, I cannot remember their name or face. When I take a photo, it’s like a happy little piece of me where I can remember who they are. So if you’ve ever heard me refuse your art but see me take a photo of you, think of it as giving me a ‘free print’ :]

Bargaining your price can be good AND bad

Another thing about licking your customer’s shoes. If they don’t like the price, don’t feel it’s the end of the world. I mean what–someone looks at your thing, you say it’s $20 and they walk away? Sure, you can lower it to $18, but you should never go down to something like $8. Just because someone LOOKS like they want to buy it, and they bargain, doesn’t mean you have to give them the lowest price ever. It’s OKAY to be a little stubborn. I mean, you’re trying to earn money here, it’s a very tedious method. Of course, don’t make the price insane as hell either. Man, I’ve seen people look at my buttons and stickers and go ‘omg two dollars?’ because other tables sell them for fifty cents or something. I mean, I’m not gonna hate them, if they don’t want it, then I guess my button was not worth two dollars to them. Pretty simple. And then sometimes, it’s nice to know that people like your work, but can’t completely afford something. That’s okay to lower the price, you know they want it, so give them a discount. There’s no set price, but you should never go overboard with every single person at the table.

Be smart, and respect yourself. Not that you need to hate everyone who doesn’t buy your work, and you can’t please the entire crowd. Just do what you can, be confident about your prices. Sometimes your ‘slightly higher’ price is bad, but you’ll notice people who buy it will actually buy it because they like the art, and not just because it’s ridiculously cheap (It’s a different feeling when they buy it). That usually makes me happy when I sell my work.

My two cents: I was given some rude comments online about how my art wasn’t ‘worth the price’. Look, I am an artist, and I have the right to charge however much I want. It’s absolutely not affecting your sales whatsoever, I honestly don’t see the problem. If you’re jealous, you have just as much rights as I do to raise yours as well. 

Featured Artists

Names: Alexis and Justin Hernandez.

Websitehttp://www.glowingraptor.com/shop/

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Their art is really cool, but I actually went to that table to get a bar of soap because I needed it to wash myself before Friday (This was Alternative Press Expo 2013 on Sunday). Thank goodness they had that table. Really nice smell, it’s handmade, and it made me squeaky clean.  You can purchase here:  http://www.glowingraptor.com/shop/product-category/bathandbody/. I bought the one called ‘Rejuvination’, but the tiny sample of ‘From Beyond’ would probably be my favorite scent. Anyways, great table, and a very happy couple. After that bar of soap, I’ve switched from liquid body wash to all natural soap bars now :D

Extra:

And another note, I’ve updated my online shop with a number of new kawaii-ness: http://www.zazzle.com/crazyapples*

And if you have a kind heart and would like to help me raise money to keep a friend alive in Portland, please donate here or request a commission

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Cyber Monday Sale!

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Psst! My online shop has a sale going on! :D

Sunday is your head start, but we know it’s Monday on the other side of the globe :P
cybermonday

store link: www.jackieloart.storenvy.com

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Online Shop….REVAMPED!

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Hey all, sorry about the lack of posts. Lately I’ve been working on ‘Destiny Limit, where I have to constantly focus my attention on art, programming, and social networking all on my own (not to mention an art show with……well I’ll talk about it through my webcomic).

Now that I have a programmer for Destiny Limit, and I’ve already typed up practically all the dialogue for a quarter of the story, AND I decided to get a programmer, I’ve finally freed up a teeeeny bit of time.

Enough time to set up for my ONLINE SHOP!

And hey ho-ho-ho, it’s just in time to get stuff for Christmas :D

Storenvy

I’ve got old and recent convention artwork that hasn’t sold yet. I’m a fan of one-of-a-kind artwork, so for anything that’s a sketch, it’s literally a first-come-first-serve kinda thing. For the brown paper sketches, I’ll be open for commissions as well.

 

Zazzle

This is professional quality art printed art on work. Cellphone cases, laptop cases, purses, etc. If for anything you see here you want another piece of my art there, you are free to ask. Or if you want a completely unique custom made piece, I can do that too.

 

With my few extra hours a week, I’ll be able to upload everything I have to these sites, so they’ll be available more than just by meeting me at conventions and art shows ^_^

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