I attended Kelowna Fan Xpo in March, a small con in my city that’s still starting out. I and 2 other friends shared a table, with it being my first time ever selling my art at a con.
It was a brand new experience and both exciting and nerve wracking. My friend Jamie and I had a bunch of ideas and potential plans. I made a list of possible prints and products, but was pretty overwhelmed with deciding what to do. In the months before the con, I needed to do research on costs and print options, where I could order charms, stickers or magnets, and what the time of arrival was or the price comparison. I couldn’t make use of some of it, but I’ve got the information I need for last year.
Due to time constraints, we stuck with prints and stickers this year. I had a list of sketches I could finish to make prints, and either subjects or specific ideas to make from scratch. I came up with a set of Sailor Moon prints that were going to be fairly simple (originally) and brought back an old work in progress of Link (from Zelda). I did this twice recently, but one of them was much larger of a project and so I focused on the small one. It still took me over a month to do.
The original work in Progress for link was done in 2015, revised a LITTLE bit in 2016…
…and finally fully revised in style and quality this year for the con:
The Sailor Moon set I worked on in the last several weeks, and barely made it last minute in time to print. I took a lot of time to do Usagi first, and when I got a style and technique for her colouring down, I continue while trying to be simple. I only had so much time. I went a little crazy on the backgrounds for them, and originally wanted to add each planets moon. I forgot to do this but, looking back, it wouldn’t have worked because there would likely be no photos available. I would like to revisit this idea in an entirely illustrative version and using no photos, with simple shapes for the planets and moons. Maybe vectors.
I came up with a Jake Bookmark fairly early on that I almost forgot to make. It was one of the first ideas I had specific to the con.
One of the things in my list of desired subjects was something to do with Voltron. I especially wanted to do a concept of paladin hoodies, designed to look like their armor but with cat ears. I did a lance sketch first and soon planned it into a set.
Unfortunately these weren’t completed in time, whatsoever, and I changed my plan to chibi voltron stickers. Only LANCE was fully coloured, though I may change the colouring style.
The Voltron chibis were planned to be stickers, using higher quality cricut sticker paper and printed at my friends. She had a really good printer for the job, but I finished these so very last minute that she brought the results to the con for me to cut while there.
Another set of items I planned from the beginning were pokemon stickers, though they were made in the last week and printed at my friends the Thursday before the con.
In that week I made the Voltron set, 2 of the Pokemon stickers, coloured an old Princess Bubblegum/Marceline sketch, and coloured a sketch of a Shark mermaid.
I also took a previously coloured Adventure Zone print of the characters Taako and Kravitz, as well as my “Steven the Goldfish” emblem. Both were very small amounts printed at the house and both no longer selling, due to the wishes of the Mcelroy brothers to not sell fanart. I did get to meet fans of the podcast, though, which I didn’t expect.
I had mixed feelings overall, though. Everytime I made a sale, I was super happy. But I sold almost NO actually prints, particularly the big ones I worked for weeks or MONTHS on. I sold ONE Link and ONE Sailor Jupiter and that was it. I sold ONE Jake the Dog, that I thought would do better, and so I felt..dejected.
BUT…because I now had all these prints, I wanted to look into a way to sell the remaining ones. I asked around to figure out what another con member used and found that Tictail was what was needed for this specific purpose. Whereas Redbubble and Society6 are good for selling designs on the products the company gives, I needed a place to sell already existing product: the prints I had.
I’ve still registered for both Redbubble and Society6 but will look into using it later, more specifically for original and design work.
-YOU CAN FIND MY TICTAIL SHOP HERE-
The experience was still very fun, both prepping and attending. And I’m excited to go again next year, as well as try to expand towards other cons.