You all know that social media is extremely important for doing business. The more people see your work, the more opportunities open up as a result: sales, freelance jobs, collaborations and whatever else you might be looking for.
But there is something fundamental that gets overlooked quite often: What you have with your audience is a relationship. When I see creators struggling with sharing their work online, it is often because they feel as if they're spamming and annoying people with their content. They get the impression that they're putting a burden on their followers, when in reality, they're giving them something. For so many artists, it's hard to believe that others actually want to see their work. But guess what, they do! That's why they hit that follow button.
An important piece of my studio renovations was an art cart, or to be fancy an Artist Taboret. I had an old one that was my grandmother’s old TV stand, but it was small and didn’t do everything I needed. It got me through about 7 years of painting, so if you’re on a budget remember that the most important thing is to paint!
I’m at a point in my career where I could invest a little money in making my studio exactly what I wanted, and I wanted the following from my Artist Taboret:
I recently returned home from a whirlwind two weeks, exhibiting at my first ever 10ft x 20ft vendor booth at both AwesomeCon and C2E2. I know a lot of artists like myself have debated whether it is financially worth it to upgrade out of Artist Alley and move into larger more expensive vendor booths. I hope my recent experience can give fellow artists some insight into the pros and cons of such a move…
In my last article, I made the argument that if you are a creator, you should just launch your Patreon campaign right away. No rewards, no incentives, just good faith. Since the platform is totally fluid, there is literally no downside to launching the campaign in a rough state, building it up as you go.
Had you followed that advice, you are likely feeling a little exposed. Part of that is by design. I’ve got friends who hemmed and hawed over their campaigns for months or years, promising a launch soon. But after launching an incomplete campaign, had the work done to upgrade it soon afterwards. If you aren’t launching in an embarrassing state, you waited too long.
Now that you’re ready to start bulking up your campaign, let’s talk about what works and what doesn’t.
My very first convention was C2E2 2014 and I had exactly eight — that’s right, eight — illustrations displayed on a half table. My work at this time was mainly fan art. No banner to speak of. I had two portfolios for people to page through, and when they selected the art they wanted, I signed and bagged it on the spot. It wasn’t exactly an expert set-up to start, but the art community welcomed me. They loved my style and I sold out of almost everything I had. I couldn’t have been happier! I mean, it was my first rodeo and it was a success.