I keep track of every single dollar I make in my creative pursuits in a little list (inspired by Chris Jericho's list of every match he's ever wrestled) and September 5th, 2015 goes down as my first table at a convention and it happened here in little old Launceston, Tasmania.
Last year, I attended MAICon 2014 and really enjoyed myself but I had chickened out of booking a table because I was unsure about selling my own work at the time. Not to mention, I can honestly say a year later, I wasn't in the best place at the time. I had a lot of priorities to work out for myself and things to have time to grieve over and move on so I could really get to work. The next step was when Ry-Spirit
came down for his first trip to Tasmania for AICon 2015 so I hopped on a coach across the state and was executive in charge of seat warming at his stall (possibly an honorary stall elf?) where I had a great time absorbing the atmosphere and hanging out in such an inspiring environment, along with seeing my friend grandifloru
with a table out there which is the next step up from MAICon and that was a good motivator to hurry myself up too. After that weekend, I'd done a spontaneous sketch commission because fringeperson
saw me sketching and wanted to pay for one which also really
helped my get over my fear of failure.
Fast forward a couple of months to around June and I'd booked my table for MAICon 2015 here and got to work outside my TAFE hours to work on some more pieces to sell as prints and to keep working on developing my illustration skills. It wasn't long before I stopped being nervous about the convention at all until the day before it where I was a bit tense for a few hours and decided to cool off by running One Piece: Strong World in the background while making signage for the table and when Saturday came around, it was all zen. I don't feel like I worked a second of that entire day, I drew the whole time and had dozens of great conversations with people who came by to say hi or buy prints.
Deep down I was just hoping to break even on my table and transport to the venue, knowing my stock of prints can pay itself off over time (because they're start-up costs and not running costs. Blame my business plan research from my Graphic Design course for that one.
) but I managed to more than double the cost of the table by day's end and once again, being a big reason I got my butt in gear and booked a table, grandifloru
bought a copic illustration of Hoothoot I'd been drawing in the afternoon inspired by a conversation with someone about our first shiny Pokemon which put me over the $200 mark as I was packing up my stall!
While that number probably isn't that big for a day at a convention, considering the headcount and the fact that I also got to meet / geek out with a heap of really cool people, I consider it a huge success of a day and I'm definitely doing MAICon 2016 next year. (AICon 2016 is up in the air depending on accomodation / transport costs.)
I didn't take many photos on the day because I was too busy experiencing the place to see it through my phone screen instead, a habit I might want to kick if I want to be able to look back on events in my life a bit more clearly, but here's some photos I did take of the day. A bunch of my stall and a particularly awesome cosplay from the Champion for the MAICon Pokemon Challenge who was roaming around. Before & After: Running my own stall was so much fun. All the retail over the years paid off!
Champion for the Pokemon Challenge, Settra the Imperishable. What a badass cosplay!
Stuff I drew over the day: Zangoose, Seviper, Hoothoot and Dignity. Lots of Pokemon love.
Needless to say, this was an awesome convention and I'm super stoked to have done so well on the day! I just sold my other copic illustration of Thousand-Eyes Restrict earlier today so it looks like that's the kind of thing to add to the line up for future cons. I might as well open commissions while I'm at it right now. Let me know if stuff like the Hoothoot you see above and Thousand-Eyes Restrict
would interest you on a character commission basis for $20 + ($5 standard shipping.) Laters!