Tag Archives: artist alley


Genghis Con 2017


Genghis Con happened last Sunday, November 26th in Lakewood, a suburb of Cleveland.

This was actually my first time in Cleveland, and I had no idea that the city was so FREAKING HUGE.

Genghis Con happened in a building that was once a former warehouse – as such, the elevator the exhibitors used was a cargo elevator.

At least attendees could take the stairs if they were able. I didn’t see a people elevator when I was there.

Anyway! I originally requested only a half table, and I was set to be seated next to my buddy Carlos Rivera, who runs Youngstown Indie Creator Expo (he was going to promote Yo-ICE at Genghis Con). However, he had to cancel at the last minute because of bronchitis. Carlos, if you’re reading this, for the love of Pete, take it easy and take care of yourself.

So yeah, I ended up having a full table.

genghis con 2017 artist alley table

I have this layout down to a SCIENCE.

I would like to tweak the table layout again, though: there are so many small things that it takes a long-ass time to set up, AND a long-ass time to break down everything.

That’s partially why I have a sale going on Storenvy. More on that in a minute.

In terms of sales (and trades – I’m always up for trading books with peeps), the show went well! It wasn’t as successful as the YWCA Mini-Con, but it was more of a success than RathaCon. Still, people got to discover my work and sign up for the email newsletter. Plus I got some cool stuff.

To top it all off, I came across my old caricature buddy, Clarence, from my days drawing caricatures at Cedar Point back in 2012. He invited me over to another caricature buddy’s house for Burger Fest – an annual-ish tradition where caricature buddies get together and eat burgers.

To which I was like “HECK YEAH.”

There’s something to be said about saying “Yes,” to the right things. Don’t say yes to everything (otherwise you’d have some weird experiences, if Yes Man is any indication). It also helps to know what your focus, or as Neil Gaiman put it once, “your mountain,” is. Anything that pulls you away from your mountain does not deserve a Yes.

To me, being in one place with people I hadn’t seen in years just after a good indie comic convention was a good reason to say Yes.

Thank you for reading.

You. Are. Awesome.

P.S. Yes, I’m running a sale on Storenvy – from now until December 18th, you can check out the new Clearance section, where things like mini-prints, mini-comics, and posters are anywhere between 20-50% off. Once these are gone, they’re GONE. So be sure to get them before December 18th.


Parkersburg Pop Con 2017


parkersburg pop con west virginia artist alley table 2017

September 30th was the day of Parkersburg Pop Con, yet another in the line of conventions I went to this year that I had NEVER been to before. This time the venue was in West Virginia.

To be honest, I almost considered not taking some things that are normally in my product line-up: specifically, these watercolor pieces.

rainbow watercolor paintings Continue reading →


The First Year of Comicon Erie


comicon erie 2017 artist alley table set up

I didn’t realize this year was Comicon Erie‘s first year until I got there and spoke with the locals. Just about every local I spoke with was SO EXCITED that a big Comicon was finally in their town.

And…It was pretty ok.

First, I’m going to get the negatives out of the way before I get to the good stuff. To be fair, the negatives are all nitpicky things, but here we go: Continue reading →


3 Things I Didn’t Expect From 3 Rivers Comic Con


3 rivers comic con artist alley table 2017
I came back Sunday night from 2 days of 3 Rivers Comic Con in Pittsburgh, and I had a BLAST! Obviously I’ve been to conventions before, but this was my first time at 3 Rivers CC. However, there were some things I did not expect from the show, but all of them were pleasant surprises. Continue reading →


How To Run a Table at Artist Alley


I was at Phoenix Comicon this past weekend. Now that it’s done, I have the focus to talk about how to run a table at Artist Alley.

I’ve had tables at conventions for a little over four years now. With all of that experience, here are some of the basics I learned. Let’s start with before and during the con:

  • Get your table number. Sounds so basic it’s dumb, but it’s super important to know where your table is at the convention. On that note, know where the Artist Alley will be in the building. Find the room number and where the bathrooms and food are located.
  • Bring water. This is especially important because you’ll be talking to a lot of folks. Bring snacks if you can, too (it’ll save you money because con food can get pricey).
  • Bring a buddy. Your buddy will help you sell your work, watch your table while you get food (or even better, get food for you both), and watch over the table while you go to the bathroom. Your buddy can be anybody: a friend, a significant other, your work partner, your mom…
  • Take breaks. You’re either doing a lot of standing or a lot of sitting. Take a second to stretch out even if you can’t leave your table. Be on your feet for a bit if you’re sitting a lot. Extensive periods of sitting is actually very bad for your health.

When you’re at the convention, you should have these things with you for your Artist Alley table:

  • Tape. To hang signs on your table, make minor repairs, or help out another artist who forgot their tape.
  • Cashbox, with $50 in bills. Really you can have over $50 if you can manage it. My point is, you NEED change. Because there will be customers who have $20 or $50 bills and they will be sad if you can’t make change for them. (People want to support you).
  • A Card Reader. You can get one from Paypal or Square. I use Square. Either way, they connect via your smart phone. So bring that with you, as well.
  • A Sketchbook and some art supplies for commissions. There will be people asking if you do commissions. Be prepared.
  • Sharpies for signing your work.
  • A Notebook for tracking sales. I track my sales by day, one day on each page. Tracking sales will tell you what’s working and what isn’t, so you know what to make for next year (or next con).
  • Scissors (optional) just in case it’s hard to cut your tape or something snags. Alternatively you can be Cosplay Medic, helping cosplayers fix their costumes on the spot.

Running sales? This will be tricky for some of you. There are tips everywhere online to help you sell better. Some articles will be linked in a moment.

However, I’ve been in retail sales for four years, not counting the convention circuit. I’ve personally found the following things to be helpful:

  • Don’t be a salesman. At least, don’t be the stereotype of a salesman. You know the stereotype: sleazy, weird, and not too interested in the people they’re talking to unless that person becomes a means to an end. Alternatively,
  • , where the customer is always right and you do everything possible to please them, even if you think they’re a grade-A creeper or a professional douche nozzle. Also, there will be people who say they will buy your work but never come back. Accept this. It will happen.
  • Talk to your customers like they’re people. Because really, your customers are people. They may be excited, bored, lost, or overwhelmed. Try to understand where they are coming from. Ask them if they’re enjoying the con so far. Pay attention to what they say and how they say it. Don’t try to change their attitude. Just meet them halfway and have a conversation. (This is a good way to make friends, too. Friends are awesome).
  • Rotate your pitch. Your pitch is how you explain your work to people. Try to have two or three different spins on your pitch so you don’t repeat yourself (that much) – or worse, annoy your table partner or neighbors.
  • At the end of the day, take some time for yourself. I’m a bit of an introvert. But when I’m selling at a con, I’m in full engagement mode and talk to almost everyone I meet. However, I take some time afterwards to be by myself and calm down so I don’t overstimulate. Do the same for yourself so you don’t drain.

If you need more pointers on selling, 99U made a good article for introverts on self promotion.

The Webcomic Alliance also have a useful post about table set-up (though be warned that it can get pretty heavy on the marketing jargon, like “optimize,” “brand,” and “content”).

Thank you for reading!

If you found this blog post useful, please let me know in comments and share it with your friends!

You. Are. Awesome.