As someone who used to draw once in a blue moon, diving headfirst into joining an art group (please check SumiKami out) and participating in an artist market is wild. Past me would have had the Surprised Pikachu meme face had she been told of this decision. Even current me is still unsure of what happened that weekend but it’s not a bad thing, truth be told. It’s more of a “holy cow, I really did that” thing.
I had fun and the experience was great. I was with and met good people. I did sticker trades (that was the best thing ever!). I gained perspective on what’s it like to be on the other side of the artist table since I’ve always been the consumer for the longest time.
I didn’t have a lot of prior expectations because I’m the “roll with the punches” type. I was able to earn the amount equal to my share of the table rental fee but not so much the cost of printing. Not that I was expecting to re-earn everything I’ve spent, let alone make a profit. My catalog was too small, I made “mistakes” with my printing choices (i.e. matte printing is a big no-no and maybe I should try thicker paper), I didn’t give myself enough time to get ready, and some of my drawing subject choices were too niche.
The biggest takeaway that I had, though, is that I still want to push for making my items functional. Stickers, charms, and prints are cute and all but I want to reach the point where people buy my stuff not only because they like my drawings. I want my items to be helpful to the people who buy them. That’s the goal.
One of these days, I’m going to develop my own essential oil blend and package it with my own artwork. I’m not kidding.
All in all, trial one is very fruitful. There are just some things you won’t be able to learn on your own and will only realize once you’ve done the thing you’ve been fearing. Sure, some of that might seem like common sense but hindsight is 20/20. Experience is indeed a great teacher. Now, I have lot of things I resolve to do/want to try and I hope to be more prepared for the next few conventions I’ll be able to join.
Please wish me luck!
Note: I was planning to add photos of my personal Komiket haul but I forgot where I kept my stuff when I tidied up my table before. I’ll share them in my next 9 Happy Things post when I can.