There will be no streams during November 2022’s first week. I will be out of town on vacation from Nov 4 through 6.
However! I will be on a special stream on November 7. That’s the day What the Gnomes Know: A Comics Anthology launches on KickStarter!
Speaking of KickStarter, I have a new book! The Stars of Fantasyville: A Sketchbook collects all of my Inktober sketches in one book. You can pre-order it now, and get a variety of add-ons to customize your reward package.
Stay tuned to this blog – more posts are coming to make up for the streaming schedule disruption.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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…
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.
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.
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…
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.
Here we are, in the penultimate week of Inktober 2022. If you missed them, here are weeks 1 and 2.
For those who don’t know – Inktober is an artist’s challenge to draw in ink every day in October. Usually, people create prompt lists. I pick a theme and draw to it. This year’s theme is characters from my stories! These are from comics, written work, Dungeons & Dragons campaigns, and other places I tell stories.
Here’s what I drew for Week 3!
Archie the Vampire. I played this character in Shades of Chicago – an Actual Play I recorded with The Fourth Leg! We played Urban Shadows, a Powered by the Apocalypse game, and I got to play Archie, this absolutely fabulous he/they who knows how to slay.
Seamus from The Uthers (a comic in progress). Seamus is an informant for an underground organization of human rebels in an Uther-supremacist society.
Nautilus from The Uthers. He is a cyborg, a human constructed into a machine. Usually, The Arena commissions cyborgs as gladiators or sex slaves. But records only indicate that he is a “private commission.” He is doing everything in his power to keep disenfranchised humans safe from the Uthers.
“Angora” The Last Valkyrie. Her true name is not known. She and her five sisters destroyed their world so the Angels of Jehovah would not seize it. In retaliation, the Angels killed Angora’s sisters. Viktor tried to claim her as a “bride prize” but she resisted him, running to the Sages for refuge. There, she fell in love with Malus, and together they had Kay. As of this writing, she has been kidnapped by the Angels and has not been seen since. Malus and Kay are fighting to save her.
Auxaton the Gray, from The Name of the Forest Spirit (a yet-to-be-released novel). His people had been taken by The Brotherhood of the Demon Lords. He is now on a quest to find them and rescue them from slavery.
Runemage from The Name of the Forest Spirit. A reluctant ally to Auxaton and his cause, he initially tried to rob the elf and his friends. However, it soon became clear they were both after the Brotherhood – Auxaton to save his people, Runemage for revenge.
“Star” from Fwishi’shi (working title). She rules the seas at the cliffs of Seabank. Her name is unpronounceable to those who know common, so Fuloos gave her the nickname. It’s not the only history they share, either. She hasn’t been seen in many years, however.
Be sure to come back next Thursday for Inktober sketches from Week 4 – the final week!
The characters this week are in stories I talk about in more depth with my Digital Club Members. You can Subscribe here, or get a 1-month trial subscription on Ko-Fi. Either way, you’ll get access to scripts, sketches, and story previews no one else sees.