In all my years of drawing anime/manga art, I’ve yet to have attended a single anime convention – partially because I’m a misanthrope with a history of anti-social tendencies, but mostly because I really like staying at home a lot (Staying home is awesome!). Now I can finally cast away my convention goer virginity and say that I’ve attended my first anime convention – now with 100% less lying about the “attended” part!
Earlier this week on July 23rd, the first MiniComi convention was held in Vancouver, BC and I got my very first gig as a vendor selling prints of my artwork with all proceeds going to help Japan via the charity organization Direct Relief International. I would like to thank all those who looked through my work and purchased prints, this endeavor would not have been possible without you! – well technically, it would have still been “possible”, but in the same way that crashing a car into a convenience store is still technically “entering” it.
The two months leading up to the event was like a crash course in Murphy’s Law 101 as prints that I’ve ordered encountered existence failure issues, unpredictable events in the town I grew up in had me emotionally divided, and my limited budget started to wear frighteningly thin so that my idea of fine dining became a hotdog from Costco (They are crazy delicious though!). Also, the whole “Massive Artist’s Block” thing that I’ve been already going through for the last few months wasn’t doing wonders for my self confidence. In the end though, it all worked out with the help of some very good friends and family and it was worth every minute of it!
Here’s a picture of my humble little corner of heaven at MiniComi taken by fellow artist and good friend Albert of www.albertart.net, who has also written an article about the convention complete with pictures of many of the best cosplay outfits that were there! Albert was also the one who convinced me to participate in the first place to the point where he was practically dragged me across the road to do at least one convention this Summer, for which I am very grateful of now in hindsight.
A heart felt thanks also goes to a certain follower of my work on Flickr who gave me some incredible words of encouragement right at the point where I thought I had run out of options. Thank you, it meant the world to me, you know who you are out there! ^_^
Now without further ado…
The Top 5 Things I Learned about Being a Vendor at MiniComi!
1. When in doubt, you WILL run out of table space – think vertical boards, hangers or use albums or portfolios!
2. Variety might be the spice of life, but it sucks at retaining customer attention – Pick your best stuff and focus on it!
3. If it can be read, the customer will not read it – prioritize text and make the letters freaken’ ginourmas!
4. Always be open to negotiation and feedback, the customer always comes first!
5. Female cosplayers are extremely attracted to plushies in the shape of a giant Pepperidge Goldfish cracker!