I was EXHAUSTED after Day 1. I run marathons. I have a baby who is only quiet if you stand while holding her. I should be ready for a day of hanging out at a table covered in paintings, but constantly smiling and being as friendly as possible is taxing!
My buddy Rick couldn’t come with me both days, so I needed a new helper monkey. Movie Squirrel was at home caring for our little Bean, and even if she wasn’t, I don’t know if she has another convention in her system. My dad couldn’t be bothered. It’s not his thing. Ditto my fist-pumping brother. My other brother was MIA, and anyway, his aviary of fucks would have flown away before he spent a day at the Con. My other local friends were all recovering from a wedding. So I was the guy who worked a vendor’s table at a comic book convention with his mom.
We parked in the EXACT same is-this-a-spot parking spot as the previous day. Still no ticket.
Less than five minutes into the show, this guy who I vaguely remembered from Saturday, flew in with a red cape, sunglasses and pink-and-black Superman tee, from which I could have wrung out the three bottles of cologne he doused himself with. “THE POWER RANGERS PAINTING IS STILL HERE?!? TWO HUNDRED BUCKS, RIGHT?!?” I nodded. “I’LL BE RIGHT BACK!” And he was. Big sale to kick off the day.
My hopes were high, but it really slowed down after that. My cousin came with his kids, one of whom I have never heard speak in four years. I thought this was the day. It wasn’t.
Some lady flipped through my Muppet paintings.
“You got Elmo?”
“Sorry. I already sold that one.”
“Is there any other specific character you’re looking for?”
“Do you have Elmo?”
I hate when people stand in front of the table, milling about, planning whatever the hell they’re doing next, but not engaging me or my table. You’re just in the way and blocking people who might want to stop by and see what I’ve got.
So many inquiries on the Joker, and in my response, I was surprised no one tried to bargain with me. Maybe they thought they were being offensive? Seriously, quantifying how to sell art is so difficult. I don’t want to scare people, but I don’t want to undercut myself. Such a fine line. I’ll say this. My mom was probably right in saying I should have had a couple more sweetheart deals just to move some more work. Next time. (EDIT: Doesn’t matter. 48 hours after the show, a collector has stepped up and purchased this massive piece. So stoked.)
I came close on a couple BIG sales, but the internet screwed me over. That’s the downside of the world wide web. It removes the urgency from making impulse buys you will later regret. (This is no way to talk about my work!) I had a bunch of people say they’d get in contact with me, and truth be told, a few days after the show, some already have. And that’s where the real barometer of success is. How much residual business can you get in the aftermath of a convention like that? I’ve noticed a slight uptick in my social media pages. I mean, to anyone who’s anyone, it’s beyond negligible, but for a small-time putz like me, it’s a big deal.