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Question for traveling artists

#1 User is offline   KurolokiRoku 

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Posted 16 March 2011 - 12:01 PM

This is going to be a totally weird question. Or, perhaps, set of questions.

For those of you who travel to multiple cons in a year selling your art (not just people who go to Acen every year), I was wondering a few things...

1. Do you sell art full-time, or is it just a hobby? i.e. How much do you care about your art?

2. How do you find the means to travel to multiple cons in a year? Do you have some tips for someone who would like to start doing this?

I'd really like to attend many conventions, as well as shows and fairs, in order to sell art, but I can't imagine how anyone could do this with a standard 9-5 job because of all the Fridays (and sometimes Thursdays) that one would have to request off. There's no way I could afford traveling so much without a day job at all though. So, any advice would be much appreciated! Thank you so much :D
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#2 User is offline   ranefea 

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Posted 16 March 2011 - 12:23 PM

I used to do the Artist Alley at other cons, but I'm down to just ACen now (I still attend YoumaCon, though). I will be adding RamenCon this summer, including the Artist Alley, but that is local for me as well.

1. I do try to sell my art as often as I can, whether it is at a con or online. My artwork is pretty much my life, whether it be drawings, graphic designs or whatever. I went college for (and am working on my Master's now) Computer Graphics.

2. I can't speak for myself but I know several other artists who basically use what they make in the AA to cover their cost of attending the con for the most part, and *if* there is anything left they use it toward the next con. That is probably what I would do, too, or something similar at least if I could.

If I could afford the time off school and work to go to more cons I would ^^;

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#3 User is offline   Manifested Dreams 

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Posted 16 March 2011 - 01:29 PM

View PostKurolokiRoku, on 16 March 2011 - 12:01 PM, said:

This is going to be a totally weird question. Or, perhaps, set of questions.

For those of you who travel to multiple cons in a year selling your art (not just people who go to Acen every year), I was wondering a few things...

1. Do you sell art full-time, or is it just a hobby? i.e. How much do you care about your art?

2. How do you find the means to travel to multiple cons in a year? Do you have some tips for someone who would like to start doing this?

I'd really like to attend many conventions, as well as shows and fairs, in order to sell art, but I can't imagine how anyone could do this with a standard 9-5 job because of all the Fridays (and sometimes Thursdays) that one would have to request off. There's no way I could afford traveling so much without a day job at all though. So, any advice would be much appreciated! Thank you so much :D



1: I sell art full-time. I don't have a day job, so I'm not under the restrictions a lot of artists may be under.

2: My best advice is find a couple friends who are also involved in AAs, or network and find one or two traveling companions. Depending on your medium and how much space it takes up, you can carpool to save on gas. Share hotel rooms to cut costs there. I have found that having a hotel room filled with other artists/assistants helps make the convention experience a lot more pleasant, mainly because you are all on the same schedule.

Also, take food when it's possible. Rice cookers can double as meat/vegetable steamers and are safe to use in hotel rooms, so you can pack up a cooler ahead of time and save a TON on food costs, since it gets expensive at shows.

Hotel rooms: Every hotel you stay at, get their membership card. They are usually free and you'll accumulate points toward free night stays. After a while you'll find hotels you prefer and, if you don't mind not staying at the convention hotel, you'll get bonuses faster. My main hotel is the Marriot chains and I get at least one free night a year. At an average of $100+/night, it adds up. On this same note, looking around for hotels. We all love staying at the convention hotels where the action is, but those hotels+parking can get expensive. If you are looking to do more than cover your convention stay, consider staying a few miles away and driving in. Even a mile away can save you $50+ a night.

When I was starting out, I tried to have at least double the cost of my trip(badge, gas, food, hotel room, table) in stock on my table. That way I could almost always ensure I'd cover my costs +profit a little.

It's not an easy thing to do. My significant other has a full time Mon-Fri 8-4 job and my income is mostly supplementary and without that net to work with, this would be a lot harder.

Forming a fanbase is key. Networking on forums and letting people know who you are, what you do and where you will be(down to specific table numbers) will increase your exposure and you'll find your sales going up.

Edit: Also worth noting. I've been doing this for a couple years now, last year I did 12 shows, give or take. I am also a textile artist so my numbers are generally higher than print artists.

This post has been edited by Manifested Dreams: 16 March 2011 - 01:31 PM


#4 User is offline   KurolokiRoku 

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Posted 16 March 2011 - 02:23 PM

Thank you SO MUCH Manifested! That is very insightful!

Both of your responses are helpful :D

If anyone has more to add, I'm all ears :D Or eyes...
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