Being as this was my first convention experience being BEHIND the artists table, I had only a vague idea of how to set thing up. I wanted to maximize the amount of stuff visible that would potentially bring people to my table. I accomplished this with various stands and some disposable hand-made signs advertising sketch commissions and displaying a recent sketch.
Additionally, I realized that being one of the artists with a piece in the 2012 Monsters & Dames Artbook was going to have a lot of people looking for my table. So not only did I want to make it highly visible that I was in the book, but I also wanted to make it as quick and easy for people passing by my table to find the page my work was on. This was accomplished with a nice display stand for the book with a piece of paper inserted into the book in nice clear lettering stating “I’m on page 77!” This was extremely effective. There are a number of tools that I found to be extremely useful for table setup (so listen up, prospective booth-goers!)
- Double-stick tape – This can be a useful tool for setting up signage and keeping prints organized and neat in a portfolio binder.
- Money organizer – It’s important to be able to make and give change quickly at times. A small organizer with individual slots or even just a secure bag or pouch to keep money in does this well.
- Hand sanitizer – This should really go without saying. With all of the people scrunched in close-quarters touching everything all around the con, who knows what kind of biological terrors could be lurking in wait, ready to pounce and cause downtime!
- Post-it notes – Invaluable way to quickly add/change pricing or annotate items with special deals or announcements!
- Medium-sized organizer bin – Keeps all prints, envelopes, and original art organized and ready to be handed out.
- Print portfolio – a quick and easy way to display available prints and drawings.
Another important element of drawing people TO the table was a large color banner with examples of my work and my name. I was able to purchase a nice standing 6 foot banner from Vista Print for less than $100 total. Quite a deal. The color printing may not have been the best, but it did the job.
So now with plenty of things drawing people TO the table, I needed plenty of wares to keep them interested while AT the table! This was accomplished by having a free takeaway mini-comic, a fresh example sketch on display, a stack of SIEGE comics for sale, and a portfolio of my best prints available open to a page featuring the two most eye-catching ones. The “Rocketmen” print of The Rocketeer and Ironman was an instant hit among passersby!
The last and final (and perhaps most effective) way to keep people at the table interested was of course to be doing live sketching! People LOVE to watch their favorite characters come to life before their very eyes. That however, I will get into greater detail about in my next post! So stay tuned!