Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Dragon*Con Part 2: So. Many. People.

Note: The purpose of these posts is to record notes for myself and share information that might be helpful to other artists.  If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask!

The art show is down in the basement, so you only really see the people who are intentionally coming into the art show.  One day everyone was complaining about how much it was raining, so I wanted to go upstairs and look.  I wasn't prepared for how many people were on the next level of the basement.  It was way too much for me and we were still in the basement!  I have no idea what the rest of the convention was like.  After that, I stayed in my dungeon.

The hours at the art show were also really long.  So we couldn't have gone to see anything anyway, really.  We had a lot of fun at the awards ceremony, but we missed part of the reception on Friday night since we desperately needed food.  We did find the best/cheapest food was in the mall food court.  We tried a couple of restaurants in the area but we weren't really impressed.  The restaurant in the Hyatt was okay, but $18 for a bowl of macaroni and cheese is pretty darn crazy where I come from.  I tried oysters at a local seafood restaurant (Ray's in the City).  They were the tiniest oysters I've ever had, and they were really overpriced.  I'll stick to Pacific oysters from here on out.

There was a restaurant selling gyros in the mall food court, and they were really, really good gyros.  The pasta salad and veggie stir-fry from the same place were also really good.  We also had some Chinese food in the food court that was really good.  Dinner at Ray's for 2 cost us about $60, but dinner for 2 at the Chinese or Greek restaurants was around $15.  You can guess what we ate a lot of during Dragon*Con!

The art show itself was pretty nuts.  My gallery and print shop stuff hardly sold at all, but my table was pretty steady.  With 2 people working at the table we almost couldn't keep up on Saturday and Sunday.  We had our best 1-day sales ever at Dragon*Con, and our best overall weekend as well.

We did have a lot of people who wanted to use credit cards, which was great, but at some point we had to institute a minimum order rule.  People wanted to charge $2 bookmarks and things like that, and we don't make any money after the credit card fees are taken out.  We'll probably put out a sign from now on that we won't charge any orders less than $10 to a credit card.

By far my most popular items were my cat paintings.  That's not really surprising, is it?  I'll definitely be working on more kitties this fall, since the demand was so incredibly high at Dragon*Con.  We made extra prints of the cats one night and still ran out of all sizes.

We took my printer along with us and I think next time we won't do that.  We did need it from time to time but it was back at our hotel room so if we ran out during the day it wasn't really helpful.  It was nice to restock at night though, so I am still torn about that.

We also took a lot of freebie postcards and gave them away.  I think we gave away around 1,500 postcards.  They were just printed on one side and had my website URL at the bottom.  I use them as if they were business cards and people really like it since they get some free artwork.  The postcards can be kind of expensive so I usually order them in massive quantities so I get a break on the price (2,500 or more).  I've also given away bookmarks in the past but I didn't feel like those were as well received and a lot of people commented that they have an e-reader and don't use bookmarks anymore.  So I suppose the bookmark is going the way of the dodo.

We had a lot of fun at the art show, though.  Our neighbors were all really wonderful guys and one in particular was so entertaining if we ever got bored all we had to do was wave at him and he would come tell us a crazy story.  So I hope that we'll be able to go back next year, but it's a juried show so we'll see!

Stay tuned for part 3 (oh yes, there's more!)...

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