Tuesday, 16 April 2013

DOJ-CON Experience

Exhibiting at DOJ-CON

I've been attending D-CON/DOJ-CON for all of the years it has been in operation and each year I've thought, or have been explicitly told, 'You should have a table here!' So this year marks a notch in my belt, and I decided to book the table before I was even ready for it. No matter what, BE THERE. Be present.
"Eighty percent of success is showing up. " ~ Woody Allen
Surprising and quite relieving to find I wasn't as nervous as I expected while I was setting up my table, but I was still full of jittery energy without the sinking feeling. My mouth kept going uber-dry as I tried to settle into my 'totally needs a cushion' chair.

I used an A3 sketchbook to prop up my folio display in a stroke of last minute improvisation and Ak secured it to the table via gorilla tape. I was ready. Slight delay in the doors being opened, but holy shit when they finally did. The glacier of people sliding past the table, in assorted eccentric dress was amazing.

Brilliant fun followed while painting live, and while I've not livestreamed much in the past its a pretty solitary experience compared to being able to look up and into the eyes of people watching the monitor. Audience interaction became tactile as I could respond to comments/reactions in realtime, often I was inspired also by the amazing soundtracks being played by the organisers.

I began to settle after I'd sold some prints - my first one being Selling a Luffy print to a Luffy cosplayer. Easy sale!

My aim was to cover costs so I wasn't losing vital income, and to gain some new audience and in this I feel fulfilled. I spent my profits feeding my friends :D I retain a folio full of prints to use in the future which are available to buy for £5, and I carry with me the experience of the event itself.

What I've learned

  • I need a larger selection of prints for people to 'browse'. 7 is too low a number. People want moar.
  • People like to watch digital art being created when they don't especially understand the medium.
  • The most commonly asked question of the day was 'What sort of tablet is that? :D'
  • 1 day is not long enough, bring back the weekend event
  • Always bring along a monitor / laptop. It kicks ass!
Thanks to those who purchased prints and showed their enthusiasm, its a bolster to my ambitions to succeed as a freelancing hero artist, and to any new followers of mine online Harro! and I was super pumped that the best sellers were my original paintings over fanart.

Many thanks to my visiting friends from Edinburgh who helped keep my company, and made the evening following the event a pleasure.


Gryffindor woolen sweater for the win!