Curious & Curiouser: Things you should know before getting an Artist alley spot

Monday, July 04, 2016

Hola, Curiosos. Long time no see. The true is since I move from south america to Europe things have change a lot in my routine. Nowadays I sit to work from home which is being a pleasure but I have to admite that sometimes I found it a bit difficult. Why? Well, it's difficult to concentrate to work when you have Netflix and a kitchen full of candy if you guys know what I mean... well.
However, I have manage to give a jump into the right direction and I feel pretty proud of myself for confront my fear of failure and rejection of my work as a illustrator and products development. That's why I wanted to make a list of simple steps to start in events, it doesn't have to be scary at all and I don't have tons of experience but I am sure that I can talk about how things work in the country where I am living at the moment: Austria.

I should start by saying that when I started GroovyRoo I had no idea what I wanted to do with it. Back then, I didn't care that much about it and now I look back and I think that perhaps I always knew but I was way too afraid to face it. If that is your case I have to tell you please don't panic everything is fine. Let's start by saying this...

1.- Define your style:

I know it sound pretty lame to say this but let's be real. Tons of designers & illustrators get stuck in the "Anime/Manga" and that is okay if you think that is the one thing you would like to develop yourself has an illustrator but let me tell you, comfort zone will not pay your bill and make stand up outta the rest. You can be awesome doing it but surely will not put you into a Behance popular research illustrator and either will attract the right kinda client in the end the one who can send you the moon and back just keep that in mind. Illustrators are usually recognise by their style and that is what makes them unique 'cause probably nobody will have a style just like yours but kinda resemble somebody you have influences from is always a good thing. 

2.- Leave the self criticisms at home:

"Hey! WHY?" you are saying at the moment... *Giggles* Let's say that if you don't faith in the kinda work you do how you will expect somebody will believe in you? For being available to sell your work to people you need to be completely secure that your work is the best one in the style that you have chosen. 

3.- Take criticisms lightly:

Learn to be a fighter when it comes to defending your work. I had listen a bunch of things from people good, bad and ugly but that hasn't stop me and It would not do it anymore. My first time in a convention was HORRIBLE.. why? Well, the people were there not for Kawaii-Naive art and colourful handmade jewellery and the comments fight away from there mouths like knife towers me... It wasn't cool... but the worst it didn't took that much back then break me... Ask me now if will take me the same time to break now? Obviously no, but my point is, people will have their opinions but only you is the one that would make those opinions matter. My advice: Only take real criticisms from potential clients. 

4.- Too much effort for no sales:

People go to conventions to look pretty specific merch, that is the true and we must be aware of this. That you didn't make that many sells doesn't me that everything is lost. Ask your potential buyers what they would like to see from you that doesn't mean you have to be a sell out but to study the costumers needs. 

5.- Fanarts, Fanarts, Fanarts...:

This is a long and extend topic but really the point is this one: Fanarts can be a very good away to attract buyers and possible clients but your merch should be only that. Always learn that the creation of characters has illustrations is a difficult process I know (Being there) but that doesn't mean we are only take pre-existing characters and built a complete gallery of products with it, 'cause there is always the risk of facing legal rights, etc. Personally I believe that is depending of how you want to build you target of possible costumers but always remember popular characters always work and in the first couple of months could help you to have so money flowing in the store. 

6.- Don't be afraid of ask:

Artists, Illustrators and Designers are usually pretty introvert that doesn't mean you can't achieve anything. Asking is one of the key things you should do for getting spots in events. The way of do it is always straight to the point but a bit of info. Remember you are selling your service and if you want to stand up against the competition having a good presentation is always good.

  1. Be polite.
  2. Concrete idea in your e-mails.
  3. Have presentation of your work prepare to be send: ex. Instagram feed pictures or products photos.
  4. Be organise. 

I hope those tips will help you to get started and lose a bit the fear of being ashamed for who you are. Always repeat to yourself your work is one of kind and so are you.

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