Aistear Con 3: A Success Story (In More Ways Than 1)

my artist alley table at Aistear Con 3

Aistear Con 3 happened October 21 through 23, 2022. And for me, I succeeded (in more ways than one!)

Where Was the Show?

It took place in the same place it had in previous years – at Aistear Brewery in Bowling Green, OH. Friday is usually the most relaxed day because that’s the day the vendors set up. The show is small, too – there were 7 or 8 vendors there, including myself. All of us were local and didn’t pay for a table spot. We were, however, invited by the folks at Aistear – so it wasn’t just “show up and set up.” You had to know the peeps running the joint.

What Was the Show?

Aistear Con 3 was small, local, and indie. I mean, it’s run by an indie brewing company, and the vendors are all set up in the back of the house. The crowd we got was small – but everyone who showed up spent money on local indie creators.

a close-up shot of my artist alley table, focusing on my books.

How Was It?

By the end of all three days, I was VERY CLOSE to having a $500 sales weekend. For some that may not sound really high (like, when I worked drawing caricatures at Cedar Point, I could make that kind of money in one day). But considering how relaxed the show was, the sales I got pleased me.

It also helped that I sold out of

  • five sticker designs,
  • ALL of my pins,
  • The remainder I had of Kay the Valkyrie prints,
  • The last of my dragon Baby paintings,
  • and 2 out of 3 original white-on-black ink drawings

My goal for the show had been to sell out all of my stickers, paintings, white-on-black drawings, and prints. So it made me happy to accomplish a lot of what I set out to do.

Also! My buddy Sean made an appearance on Saturday, which helped us sell more copies of his book!

cover art for Danse Macabre And Other Works by Sean McGavin

For folks who don’t know – my buddy Sean and I worked together last year to get his book, Danse Macabre and Other Works, to print. He wrote it, I did the cover art and some editing, and my writer/editor friend Melanie Doan edited the stuff I didn’t. It took us a while to find a distributor we liked (that was NOT Amazon). Eventually, we chose Draft2Digital because it had the most reach compared to other indie book printers.

At Aistear Con 3, we had some copies of his book available to sell and sign. Sean is a regular at Aistear, so the other regulars had been absolutely surprised that Sean wrote a book. By the end of the day we sold 5 copies and he got some good tips out of it.

What Did I Take Away From This Show?

I mean, I’ll give some quick shout-outs to other vendors I got things from at the show. Dragon’s Book Hoard has delightful soy candles, and Peace, Love, Pride made my FAVORITE necklace and bracelet so far. I did not get things from the other vendors, but I’ll mention here that The Crafty Carpenter, Ignition Studios, Rich Bloom, the 3D RPG-mini printer, and the tarot card reader were delightful neighbors. 10/10, would join them again in an artist alley.

That said, what did I take away from this show as a person who sells art?

Well, this show confirmed a trend I have noticed in my sales this year. That trend is: of my best-selling categories, original art takes a larger slot of sales than I anticipated.

For context, I use Square to run my register and track sales. I have my stock split into these categories: Books, Stickers, Art, Prints (for anything 8.5×11 inches or larger), Mini-Prints (any prints smaller than 8.5×11 inches), and Misc.

(A little off-topic, but I’m overdue to reorganize this stuff. Misc encompasses pins, keychains, greeting cards, grab bags, and a lot of other things. The pins and keychains need to spin off into their own category.)

Last year, I took a look at my sales and realized two things.

  1. Books were my top-selling category by a WIDE margin. This was wild because, at the time, books had the slimmest profit margins. This year I raised prices to fix that, as well as cover increased printing costs.
  2. Last year, I carried Zines and minicomics. But they didn’t even appear in my top 5 best-selling categories.

Because of point 2, I took all of my remaining zine stock to Free Comic Book Day and gave them away for free. That actually did WONDERS for sales, because that day I made $500 in one afternoon.

This year, books are still my top-selling category. The margin is even WIDER this time. But the second best-selling category? Stickers.

Even more surprising for me – original art may move around in its position in the Top 5, but it’s still consistently in the Top 5 best-selling stuff. So clearly, I gotta make more original art for sale.

I’m surprised by this. In the convention circuit, artists make a BIG DEAL out of selling prints. (For good reason – profit margins on prints are HUGE). But in my experience, people don’t buy prints because they just don’t have the wall space to hang new work.

I took a lot of other insights from this show. But I don’t want this post to get super long, so we’ll talk about that in another post.

In Short…

Aistear Con 3 was a relaxed but successful show this year! I took a lot of good insights from how the show went, and I can’t wait to implement the stuff I’ve learned.

Also! The guy who runs Ignition Studios (Alexander) inspired me to revisit how I run commission offerings. So keep an eye out for new changes on that front! I hope that once I’m done, it’ll be more enjoyable to buy commissions from me.

That’s all for now. Thank you for reading!

You. Are. Awesome.

The Final Week of Inktober 2022?!

Hold up – the final week of Inktober 2022 is here. But this won’t capture ALL of the sketches done!

If you missed them, here are links for part 1, part 2, and part 3.

Here’s What I Drew!

Day 21

a sketch for inktober day 21. Roisin, a human with pale skin, red hair, and a dress covered in clouds.

Roisin, from Fwishi’shi (working title). A former lifeguard who currently works as a model. Her relationship with Blue is a little rocky, so she takes a small vacation to the small town of Seabank to clear her mind.

Day 22

sketch for inktober day 22. Cleaver the orc is enormous, green, and shirtless with two battle axes hung by leather straps off his back.

Cleaver the Orc from The Name of the Forest Spirit (an upcoming novel). He and Tamril are notable bounty hunters. The two started working together after he saved her from a family of cultists at a young age. He chooses his words carefully – so he doesn’t speak much. Absolute dad.

Day 23

sketch for inktober day 23. Fidget, or Claude Carpenter, is a hairy dwarf man with tattered clothes and a belt full of tools.

Claude “Fidget” Carpenter from Julia (a work in progress). He worked as a carpenter for the royal family until the coup forced the prince to go into hiding. Now Fidget and his friend Stone protect the prince from the usurper and his forces.

Day 24

sketch for inktober day 24. Rosetta is a young woman with tan skin and regal hunting garb. A red cardinal sits on her shoulder.

Princess Rosetta Abigail Jalita Maria of the House Rouse, from Rosetta and the Black Swan (working title). When she was a child, her kindness impressed the Woman of the Woods. So the enchantress gifted Rosetta with the power to talk to animals. After her parents died and her uncle took the throne by force, her only joy has been spending time with Amina Asha Zeinab. But Amina has recently gone missing…

Day 25

sketch for inktober day 25. Riley is a young adult woman with tan skin, short brown hair, and a steely gaze. She wears a cape and wields a custom-built gun.

Riley Reams, from The Uthers (a work in progress). She built her first cyborg at the age of 10, and after that, she started assisting her father in his lab. However, something happened one night at this lab. It has since burned down, her father dead, and now Riley is out searching for the last cyborg she built.

Day 26

sketch for inktober day 26. Tamril is a dark-skinned young woman with a long mohawk that extends into twin braids.

Tamril from The Name of the Forest Spirit (an upcoming novel). Adopted by Cleaver the Orc after he killed the cultists who took her. She became a feared bounty hunter (much like her adopted dad), using her powers over ice to freeze her targets. They both get hired by Auxaton because they have experience with the cult that kidnapped his people.

Day 27

sketch for inktober day 27. Amira Asha Zeinab wears a pink veil and golden crown over long, dark brown hair. Her tan skin is covered by a pink and red dress and pink veil.

Amira Asha Zeinab, from Rosetta and the Black Swan (working title). Unlike her warrior queen mother, Amira Asha is gentle and soft-spoken. She loves Rosetta, her childhood friend, and closest confidant. However, the royal advisor also has his eye on her, and when he is spurned, he turns her into a black swan and holds her hostage at Swan Lake.

Tune in this Sunday on YouTube at 2 pm EST. On that day, I’ll show my final sketches for Inktober 2022…

AND…

I’m announcing a new KickStarter! I’m hoping to fund The Stars of Fantasyville: A Sketchbook, which will collect all of these Inktober sketches into one book! Be sure to get on the email newsletter so you can see when it goes live.

That’s all for now. Thanks for reading!

You. Are. Awesome.

Subscribe Page FAQs

Let’s address some frequently asked questions regarding my Subscribe Page. My Subscribe Page launched a few weeks ago as an alternative to Patreon! For as little as $3 per month, you get supporter-exclusive content. But if you still have questions, I hope this page helps.

“Why build your own page? Why not use Ko-fi or Patreon?”

I’ve written this before in other posts and in emails. But I’ll say it again here. Patreon has, and continues to have, a lot of issues going on behind the scenes (like finding out they let go of their security team. Which – YIKES). In the past, that’s why I moved away from Patreon and towards Ko-fi.

However, Ko-fi is starting to not like the latest pages of my webcomic, The Legend of Jamie Roberts. Because how dare I depict male nipples and incorporate the F-word into my product listings?

To be honest, both of these platforms are starting to feel limiting. If I want to make the comics I want to draw and that you want to read, we have to find an alternative ourselves. That’s why I built the Subscribe Page.

“Do I have to make an account?”

Nope! Stripe processes the payments. All it needs is a name, email, address (if you’re getting things mailed to you), and a payment method. That’s it! No account needed.

“I want to Subscribe. Do I pay for one month at a time, or pay for the number of months I want to Subscribe?”

The system is set up so that when you purchase a subscription, you’re charged for your first month on checkout. After that, the subscription recharges based on your sign-up date. (e.g. if you Subscribe on the 1st, you buy for one month, and you get charged again on the 1st of the following month).

“Do you have a trial available?”

I do, actually! You can get a 1-month trial via this shop listing on Ko-fi. Alternatively, there’s also a 6-month offering if that tickles your fancy.

“Can I buy a Subscription for a year so I’m only charged once?”

As of right now, there’s only one way to Subscribe for a year. And that is to back one of my crowdfunding campaigns, like on KickStarter, Crowdfundr, or Ko-Fi. Subscriptions are available during campaigns as an add-on reward. Shorter subscription windows are available as a shop listing (see the answer above).

“My financial situation has changed. How do I cancel my Subscribe plan?”

UPDATE 10/27/22 – There is now a link for you to manage your subscription!

If all else fails, there should be a link on your email receipt with the option to cancel your subscription. If you can’t find it, reach out to me at kelcidcrawford@gmail.com and I can cancel it for you. No questions asked.

“I want to get on the Pin Club. What are your pins made of? Enamel?”

Pins for the Pin Club are acrylic. However, an Enamel Pin Club may come at a later date, depending on how successful the Subscribe page is.

“Will you list your zines or pins in your Ko-Fi shop?”

Zines and Pins for the Zine and Pin Clubs are Subscriber exclusive. Which means they won’t be available in my Ko-Fi shop. If I have extra pins after sending them to Subscribers, they will be listed as limited-time rewards on crowdfunding campaigns like KickStarter or Crowdfundr.

Still have questions? Leave a comment and let me know. I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.

That’s all for now. Thank you for reading!

You. Are. Awesome.

No Streams October 22 or 23 – I’m Away At Aistear Con!

live streams every saturday and sunday at 2 pm est*. One block says 10/22 Off - Away at Aistear Con! The second block says 10/23 Off - Away at Aistear Con! The bottom block said twitch.tv/kelcidcrawford and youtube.com/c/kelcid. *subject to change whenever the heck I feel like it - or because of conventions or the cruds.

I will not be streaming on October 22 or 23. Why? Because I’m away at Aistear Con in Bowling Green, OH! The show will be held at Aistear Brewing on Route 25 for all 3 days.

If you’re in the Toledo area, I hope to see you there. I’m marking down a lot of stickers, prints, grab bags, and other merch for clearance.

Because of that – my online store will be closed this weekend. The stock for the shop is the same as I use for conventions. Any clearance items I still have afterward will get marked down in the online store.

Stay tuned, however…

Next Weekend, I’m launching a new KickStarter campaign!

If you want to be among the first to claim rewards, be sure to get on my email newsletter. The newsletter peeps are the first to know.

After that, I return to streaming on YouTube two days in a row – October 29 and 30! More updates on that coming soon.

That’s all for now. Be sure to come back Thursday for an Inktober update.

Thank you for reading!

You. Are. Awesome.