1FW Community Celebration - Miranda Meeks at SLCC
One Fantastic Week started with a simple idea. Sam and I wanted to share the kinds of conversations we've had at cons with a wider audience. We didn't know where that would lead, but we knew that if all learned from each other, that we'd all grow stronger together.
Recently, we've been seeing a lot of really amazing examples of independent success from around the community and we wanted to start highlighting them. Rather than refine down the stories into a real blog format, I just want to post them as they happen. This is a recent conversation with one of our community members who I reached out to on Facebook. Oddly enough, these sorts of convention reports are starting to become a common feature of my inbox.
This weekend, I spotted this photo Miranda Meeks posted from Salt Lake City Comicon and decided to ask her how her weekend went. My assumption from the photo was that she'd recently refined her conventions setup based off of some advice I'd given on the show. I was curious how it all panned out.
This was her response:
Hey Pete, yep you're right that I took a lot of your advice from 1FW! This was actually my very first convention, so I don't have a lot to compare it to with sales, but in an effort to be more transparent, I'll share with you that I made about $4000 over the 3 days. Not sure if that's better or worse for someone's first time, but I'm really happy with how it went. I attribute a lot of that to everything I learned watching you and Sam talk about conventions and presenting artwork at 1FW. Tawny and Gavin Valentine both gave me some great advice while I was there as well. Having the prints all at one size, nicely presented, and all out in the open really helped a ton, as did letting people know that they weren't available online and telling them it was a convention deal (this really grabbed their attention). People loved the big banner in the back, and I think since this year it went so well with the one table, I am going to try it again with two tables next year. Gavin pointed out that I could put canvas prints or tapestries for sale behind me, which would become an option for people if they wanted to spend money on a higher ticket item. There are a few other things I'd like to adjust moving forward, and I'm unsure if I'm going to make conventions a regular thing in my schedule, although I had a few people recommend that I try out ECCC, Designer Con (have you heard of that one? It's in Pasadena apparently), and Denver Comic Con, but we'll see.
I have to thank you though for putting all this advice out there and being so transparent, and for encouraging people to draw what they love and remain true to their own voice. I had so many people come up to me and thank me for being a breath of fresh air at the convention. I was so worried that I wouldn't fit in, especially since it's a comic convention and pop culture is so prevalent. It turns out I had no need to be worried; it was amazing connecting with people who shared my aesthetic and were drawn to my work. I'd love to attend the workshop some year, just gotta figure out how to make it work with my schedule, but it sounds like an amazing opportunity to learn more from the best.
Anyway, I still have a lot to learn of course and I'm looking forward to trying out different things, but thank you again for helping so many artists out. Someone at SLCC was asking about my advice regarding conventions (people were surprised that it was my first time haha), and I recommended they check out 1FW, so thank you again! I'd be happy to chat about it more, but I know you're busy so just let me know if there's anything else specifically you'd like to know about my experience and how it relates to the advice given on 1FW.
Big shoutout to a couple of our core community members here, Tawny Fritz and Gavin Valentine. It's great to know that 1FW has such great people going out into the world and sharing their knowledge and resources.
Also big thanks to Miranda for giving permission to share the conversation. I'm really hoping shining a light on your experience will help illuminate the path for more people. Here's a link to her website if you want to see more of her work: http://mirandameeks.com/