This became a nostalgia weekend for us... recalling decades ago in the pre-SNB days, just attending shows. Back when conventions were a hobby we enjoyed for fun.
Picture perfect weather helped too.. especially for all the outdoor events like live model sketching.
Here are the Bancroft Brothers meeting fans at their table.
I enjoyed shopping at several booths.. here are just a few examples..
Her coffee mug series is a terrific example of doing fan-art right.
Fan art is a gateway to connect with followers.. but you want to do in a way that helps them segue to your own unique brand and work. Here she celebrates the Potter fandom, but also imbues it with her signature style of wreath art.
This table for artist Isabelle Angell (right) won the engagement award, thanks to the artist's friend who was comfortable chatting with attendees.
I adored this little print.. and got Isabelle's permission to photograph it for this blog post. When I reacted to the print as I walked by, her friend engaged me and soon I was chatting with both of them.
If you're a shy artist, that's fine.... but then you need to find that extrovert to help you when you table at cons. If you want to make a living with your art you have to build a fan base. You have to connect with those 1,000 people who will buy $100 a year of product from you. Sounds impossible, but these numbers aren't unrealistic.. especially if you live in areas with a high cost of living. It's doable.. but it takes engagement with your audience. At shows. Online. Never underestimate the value of the friend/partner/colleague who will a advocate for your work to the audience at a con or event.
More art and contact info for Isabelle below...
If you're a fan of the Bancroft Bros Animation Podcast
Then you've heard them talk about one of their sponsors: Sketch Wallet. It's a wallet with a handy notebook and pencil tucked inside. Well I finally bought one and it's a super nice product.
I'm no artist, but I got one with the lined notebook option. It will be a nifty way to take notes on artists I meet while I'm at conventions and store business cards from them. This will be really helpful for writing my convention blog posts.
My pen pals get these small prints instead of a card.. and it's terrific that Chris includes a business card with each print. Very important. Help each piece of art you sell help fans of it find you again.
Here's Stuart chatting with artist
Where I got more prints for my pen pals...
A book and print by Natalie Murrow
Look how she adds a "thanks" to her signature on the back of each print! Making that personal connection with the fan that bought it.
Garden themed postcards by Megan Dillon
Excellent branding on the address area of the postcard!
Stickers and cards for my pen pals at the table of Amber Rankin
Do you see the Hedy Lamarr tribute???
artist Brett Bean
was also selling charming (no pun intended) jewelry designs by his wife Julie..
I will make good use of the middle one below... as I feel a deep kinship with the "significant otters" of the world...
Artist Elsa Chang
excels at putting her art on a wide range of merch.
Note cards. Mugs. Tote bags. Zippered make-up bags. Enamel pins. One year she even had umbrellas!
Make it once. Monetize it so many ways...
All the treasures inside the artist exhibitors tent...
and the lovely venue.. make this Expo an annual treat
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