Category: DragonCon Diary 09

DragonCon Diary 09 – Video & Photo Stream

Diary Entries Thus Far:
Dragon Con Diary 09: Pre-Con Prep
Dragon Con Diary 09: To Charge or Not to Charge?
Dragon Con Diary 09: The Rush Begins
Dragon Con Diary 09: The Calm Before the Storm
Dragon Con Diary 09: Matting Madness!
Dragon Con Diary 09: The Aftermath
Dragon Con Diary 09: Video & Photo Stream


Here’s the promised image stream of this year’s Dragon Con!

Ang’s Artist’s Bazaar Table & Gallery Panel Display


Ang's Gallery Panel Display for Dragon Con 2009 Ang's Table Display for Dragon Con 2009

It’s hard to see all of my table, but it is adorned with mousepads, necklaces, calendars, a tiered rack filled with matted 5×7 prints, and a spinning rack with a mix of matted 4×6 prints and unmatted 5×7 prints at varying prices. The awesome vinyl banner was courtesy of my talented brother, Roland, of Graphic Signs Atlanta. There’s the silver velvet I talked about in my last post which proved a perfect backdrop for the art. It had just enough give to allow me to poke through, but wasn’t too slippery as to come out of its clamps. Next year, I think I’ll have a bit of ivy to cover the top, or clear clips, if I can find them.

And here’s the video footage I took at the con. I swear, that beer is not mine!

The 2009 Dragon Con Parade – Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4

Dragon Con Clips: The Crowd, Conan, & Not My Beer!

This isn’t my video, but it’s amusing anyways! Alien Dances the Thriller at Dragon Con

Fun bit of info, my mother danced the Thriller this year to help break the world record. She is officially my hero! (I was sick and exhausted at the time so had to nap during the final recital :< ) Next year, I WILL be there to dance! We’ll break our own record of 903 for sure!

DragonCon Diary 09: The Aftermath

Diary Entries Thus Far:
Dragon Con Diary 09: Pre-Con Prep
Dragon Con Diary 09: To Charge or Not to Charge?
Dragon Con Diary 09: The Rush Begins
Dragon Con Diary 09: The Calm Before the Storm
Dragon Con Diary 09: Matting Madness!
Dragon Con Diary 09: The Aftermath
Dragon Con Diary 09: Video & Photo Stream


It seems I have survived my first Dragon Con as a vendor! This convention never ceases to amaze me with its enthusiastic fans, wonderful costumery, and sheer size. Statistics say that over 30,000 people venture to this convention, a number which grows every year! As for being a business venture, I have mixed feelings.

The Good

I can’t describe how heartwarming it was to meet so many people I haven’t seen in so many years! Many old college friends stopped by my table to express how happy they were to see a colleague of theirs succeed, and even bought items to show their support. I also had more fun sitting and chatting at my table with con-goers and other artists than I’ve had in years past rushing to panels, standing in mind-numbingly long lines, and otherwise running around like a chicken with its head cut off. It was so nice to just sit and talk, which I find also helps you sell your work. All in all, I must have given out over 500 of the business cards I purchased in bulk from vistaprints. I even met a couple of artists and professionals who seemed very interested in commissioning work or collaborating on future ventures. I am hoping this bodes well for my future!

The Bad

The strained economy really showed this year at the art show. Barely any pieces went to voice auction and many things did not get bid up as much as they had last year. For instance, the community art canvas where all the artists get together and draw on a huge canvas to be auctioned for charity sold for $400 last year, while this year it went for half that much. By the same token, many folks seemed to be buying at Quick Sale prices just to be sure that their item wasn’t bid up, which can be advantageous for artists.

I personally did not sell exceedingly well in my gallery panel, and yet, I had so many folks buy directly from my artist’s table where they could talk to me and be persuaded to purchase something. Unfortunately, my table items were small and did not equal the amount of profit I would’ve gotten if more expensive original art had sold. This means I’ll either have to raise prices on small stuff, lower prices on originals, come up with higher priced items for the table, OR lower my convention expenses so I can break even more easily.

The Ugly

I operated at a loss this time around thanks to some bad decisions on my part. The cost of food, a hotel room, and parking really ate into profits and I am considering driving in next year (as I am only 30-45 minutes away from the con). After going for 5 years as a non-vendor, I really have no interest in the night life and was far too exhausted after a day of peddling my wares that I really have no interest in staying at the hotel during this convention to party anymore.

I caught one concert that I enjoyed and had much fun chilling with my artist hotel roomies, but all in all, it was exhausting to try and combine vacation time with trying to sell things. With the art show hours ranging from 10am to 8pm, it was murder to stay up late and get up early for 3 days in a row after already pulling all-nighters just to get things prepped in time to stock the table, the gallery panel, AND the print shop. I just don’t have the energy to do it all anymore (oy makes me feel old saying that!).

Things I Learned:

  • GET A CREDIT CARD PROCESSOR! Many people moved on once they learned I only took cash. I suspect my sales would have been very much higher with a processor. I saw folks using their phones to process things. I may have to try that!
  • Bring your own food! It’s never priced reasonably at the hotels. We asked for a fridge, but it was never brought to us and therefore we had to subsist on overpriced sustenance.
  • People like small things that are not just flat art! I had many folks say they are avid collectors with walls too full with art and closets overflowing with art they have no room to hang anything anymore. My best selling item, hands down, were my art tile pendants. I even had requests for post cards as well. Seems to be a trend towards art they can use.
  • People want to talk to the artist. If they can connect with you on a personal level, they are more apt to buy your stuff.
  • Don’t put a business card in each print package. People buying multiple prints end up with multiple cards when it’s much easier (and cheaper) to simply use a mailing label with your info on it for each print instead.
  • Ugly pegboard can be covered with a variety of creative material! I saw people using canvas cloth with velcro so they could easily attach it to the boards. I used silver velvet which isn’t slippery, but still resilient enough to allow me to poke through it without damaging the cloth overmuch. It greatly improved the look of my panel.

    In the end, it was a sobering and enlightening convention. As with every year, I’ve left the art show feeling inspired to really pull out my big guns and do all I can to improve myself and my work.

    Till next time, Dragon Con! I will miss you and your $4 hamburgers:)

    Stay tuned for some picture and video spam from the con. It should all be processed and uploaded by the end of the week!

  • DragonCon Diary 09 – Matting Madness!

    Diary Entries Thus Far:
    Dragon Con Diary 09: Pre-Con Prep
    Dragon Con Diary 09: To Charge or Not to Charge?
    Dragon Con Diary 09: The Rush Begins
    Dragon Con Diary 09: The Calm Before the Storm
    Dragon Con Diary 09: Matting Madness!
    Dragon Con Diary 09: The Aftermath
    Dragon Con Diary 09: Video & Photo Stream


    For this week’s blog, we have a video instead! Go check it out on DeviantART or my channel at YouTube. Or just click play on the handy little embedded link.

    Pardon my zits! I am about as ragged and unkempt as a tired artist can get right now. When I am stressed, my body says MAKE ZITS!

    TMI, I know, but enjoy the video, regardless!

    DragonCon Diary 09 – The Calm Before the Storm

    Diary Entries Thus Far:
    Dragon Con Diary 09: Pre-Con Prep
    Dragon Con Diary 09: To Charge or Not to Charge?
    Dragon Con Diary 09: The Rush Begins
    Dragon Con Diary 09: The Calm Before the Storm
    Dragon Con Diary 09: Matting Madness!
    Dragon Con Diary 09: The Aftermath
    Dragon Con Diary 09: Video & Photo Stream


    It’s been a quiet week on this blog and for that, I apologize. Life has a way of catching up to us and it doesn’t help that I decided to take on the task of entering a contest at the very last minute. I took a quick break from convention prep to try for the OnAngels Magazine art & literature contest, where they have promised to match the prize money for a charity or college department. It was an opportunity I couldn’t miss. If you’re curious to see my entries for it, you can spy me at the bottom of the entrants page.

    Now, it’s back to the grind, and back to flailing and trying to get things done for Dragon Con and AWA! All while still keeping up with deadlines and commissions. The lists continue to shrink and evolve and look something like this now:


    Things I’ve finished:

  • Applied for the EIN, but now it seems they’re taking a long time to get back to me about what my number is. If I can’t get it sorted out, than I may have to take cash only for a little bit longer.
  • Finished 3 sets of cameo necklaces with matching earrings. They were super fun to make, so expect more, once I find a good wholesale source for supplies. (Sneaky peek of necklaces).
  • Finished the contest entry, which will also be doubling as the centerpiece painting for my Dragon Con display. (Sneaky peek of the painting, a special treat for those who watch this blog)
  • I don’t have time to make the brochures I’d planned, so I made little magnets with a picture and my website on them instead.
  • All my prints are bagged, tagged, and ready for new homes!

  • The Current Workload

  • Working on more glass tile art pendants. I’ll be gussying them up with Swavroski crystals and other shiny beads.
  • Also gussying up matboard with acrylic paint and sponge texture to make some unique mats for display. I’ll be custom painting some of the mats with acrylic too.
  • Drawing out the design for the Dawn mask I’ll be making out of leather. It will be my first try at a mask and is inspired by the Comedy/Tragedy theme of Linsner’s comic. There might also be chains, roses, and rhinestones involved. I still have the wrist rose to figure out. I’m thinking floral wire and a fake rose. I’ve finally bought the perfect bodice to go with the outfit.

  • Things that still need doing!

  • 3 ceramic charity pigs still need to be designed.
  • Saving the matting for last, as usual. I’m waiting on a v-grooving tool I ordered so I can do my own decorative matting.
  • What am I forgetting???

  • Things are wrapping up quite nicely and I’m very hopeful for a successful con! Once the con arrives, I’m hoping to continue blogging as things happen and also might bring the camcorder along to document the chaos.

    Right now, it’s only the calm before the storm!

    DragonCon Diary 09 – The Rush Begins

    Diary Entries Thus Far:
    Dragon Con Diary 09: Pre-Con Prep
    Dragon Con Diary 09: To Charge or Not to Charge?
    Dragon Con Diary 09: The Rush Begins
    Dragon Con Diary 09: The Calm Before the Storm
    Dragon Con Diary 09: Matting Madness!
    Dragon Con Diary 09: The Aftermath
    Dragon Con Diary 09: Video & Photo Stream


    With a little over a month until Dragon Con, it seems like it will take a miracle to get everything I’d like to do done. Now it seems I’ve been accepted into the Artist Alley of Anime Weekend Atlanta (table 38), which means I’m preparing for this convention at the same time as Dcon, since AWA is a mere week after it.

    The plan? To sell off any extra I might have leftover from dcon at AWA, but also to have enough prepared so that there will BE extra items for the pandering after Dragon Con. San Diego Comic Con has just finished so I’m hoping my artwork will be returned in time to use for the next few cons. I’m also hoping I did well so that any sales will help fund the incoming round of craziness!

    Without further ado, here are the ultra fun lists of my progress thus far!


    Things I’ve completed (Hurray!):

  • Finished my layout for my art show panel at Dragon Con. (Get a sneak peek at my layout here)
  • Applied for and waiting on my EIN (employer tax ID number) so I can be eligible for merchant status and fun things like credit card chargers
  • Ordered print and products for standing inventory and sorted it into an Access database
  • Started keeping better records of receipts and invoices in Quicken
  • Got a shiny beautiful vinyl banner for my table printed by my awesome brother, Roland.

  • Things I’m currently doing:

  • Working on a new batch of cameo and art tile necklaces
  • Sketching the centerpiece painting for my Dragon Con layout (It needs to be done by August 15th for a contest I want to enter, as well!)
  • Developing a hopefully healthy addiction to green tea

  • Things I still need to do!:

  • Work on designs for my three ceramic piggy banks for the charity auction. I’m thinking a Three Muses theme with gold leaf and rhinestones! I love some blingy pigs.
  • Fill two Itoya portfolios with pretties for people to look at
  • Ponder if I’ll need a pvc frame to hang my banner on or if I can use my backdrop set to double as a hangy thingie. Experimentation is in order.
  • Mat about 40 or more things! I’m avoiding this currently because I REALLY hate matting. I also want to play with the mats by dripping some paint on them or doing some custom designs in acrylic. Still pondering what to do!
  • Received my dcon barcodes and now ready to attach lots of sticky things to my stuff bound for Dcon’s artist alley and art show!
  • Design and print bookmark brochures for my freebie items
  • Working on a makeshift homage costume of Dawn just for kicks (because I’m masochist and don’t already have enough to do). Currently searching for a corset and preparing to make a leather mask and wrist rose.
  • Organize an unofficial little luncheon for artists at the con. I’m looking into reserving space at the Brazilian restaurant, Fire on Brazil on Saturday. Will be sending emails about this one as soon as I know more details!

  • And somewhere during all that, I’ve got to keep working on my book, which is coming along nicely! I’ve reached the halfway mark and will soon be able to reveal a little more about what has been secretly keeping me busy for the past few months. I’ve got many more plans for the future AFTER the con, but I’ll save that for another entry.

    Right now, let us drink in the glory and the caffeine of the pre-con rush!

    DragonCon Diary 09 – To Charge or Not to Charge?

    Diary Entries Thus Far:
    Dragon Con Diary 09: Pre-Con Prep
    Dragon Con Diary 09: To Charge or Not to Charge?
    Dragon Con Diary 09: The Rush Begins
    Dragon Con Diary 09: The Calm Before the Storm
    Dragon Con Diary 09: Matting Madness!
    Dragon Con Diary 09: The Aftermath
    Dragon Con Diary 09: Video & Photo Stream


    When last we left our hero, she was buried under a deadly pile of things to do! But with truth and justice (and coffee!), she has managed to whittle down the lists into something like this:

    I’ve managed to do much of the following for Dragon Con this past week:

  • I split up the print inventory between the print shop, art show, and table at the artist’s alley. Phew! Got a butt load of prints to handle this year! About 3 times the amount I’ve ever had at about 27 pieces for the show, 64 for the print shop, and about 50 more for the table itself. Got all the paperwork turned in with a week to spare instead of the night before!
  • I’ve entered said inventory into Microsoft Access and categorized it all. Egads! Organization?? It can be done!
  • I’ve made about 20 new glass tile art pendants and am waiting for some new cabochon settings to arrive so I can play around with a more elegant jewelry design.
  • Planning an Artist’s Alley Table
    I’ve been researching displays of other folks at artist alleys and there’s a few things that I’ve noticed everyone seems to be doing.

  • PVC Display Frame – This seems like a neat way to display your banner and any signs or art you’d like to draw attention to. Displaying the banner across the top of the frame would be much more visible than hanging it from the front where casual browsers will block it. It looks a little ghetto, though. I’m trying to think of ways to spruce it up.
  • Display Portfolios – I still need to sit and prioritize what goes into the portfolio people will be browsing through at the table and make sure there isn’t anything family unfriendly in it. I’m pondering limiting the portfolio to 10-15 of my best pieces, or raising the number to give people a longer journey through the art?
  • Brochures? – I’ve read of other artists who hand out a brochure showing their process, contact info, links, and fun biographical info about them. I’m wondering if this would be worth the extra expense so people have a freebie to take with them?
  • Freebies – Buy 2 prints, get 1 free! Or maybe not. Things are costing me much this year and I am not sure if a sale like that would be smart. Perhaps I can do that on the last day?

    But of course, there will also be free candy with shiny stuff on it to lure people in! Besides that, there are still many things to do! Including the matting of prints and art for display and making sure everything is autographed, bagged, tagged, and ready to go.

    To Charge or Not to Charge?
    But then what happens when people want to pay? I am considering accepting credit cards, but that has opened up a whole other arena of information to explore.

    First off, most of these places charge per transaction and a monthly fee and require you to be a business (which I am not just yet.) Also, there’s extra equipment to carry and so many choices of services that it makes my head spin!

    And let’s not forget how easy it is these days for people to pay with a fake credit card at the expense of the poor sap (me)! It has me considering accepting debit and cash only.

    The Legend Continues…
    Sadly, I won’t be participating in the Dawn Lookalike Contest this year to give my friend some time to really put her all in it, but I am still planning to deck myself out in the 3 tears of the Goddess, tragedy mask, and wrist rose/chain she is so famous for. Now, I just need to sit and make all of that too! (Masochist much?)

    With 52 days left, and counting, it seems there will be never a dull moment around here!

  • DragonCon Diary 09 – Pre-con Prep

    Diary Entries Thus Far:
    Dragon Con Diary 09: Pre-Con Prep
    Dragon Con Diary 09: To Charge or Not to Charge?
    Dragon Con Diary 09: The Rush Begins
    Dragon Con Diary 09: The Calm Before the Storm
    Dragon Con Diary 09: Matting Madness!
    Dragon Con Diary 09: The Aftermath
    Dragon Con Diary 09: Video & Photo Stream


    In order to give others an idea of what the life of a convention artist is like, I thought I’d keep an ongoing diary of this year’s preparation and main events for Dragon Con. I attend this convention every year when possible and have done so for the past 5 years or so since it’s the largest one local to me. I may be whipping out the video camera to document the chaos as well once my room is a proper mess of convention madness.

    This will be my first year having a table in the Artist Alley and the largest size panel display possible in the gallery. That’s four beautiful 4×4 foot pegboards all for me! Now to figure out how the heck to fill them!

    So without further ado, let the convention season begin!

    Things I’ve done already:

  • Updated inventory files with new prints
  • Updated website with new shop (still need to make it pretty)
  • Uploaded products to the web (including zazzle & deviantart. Considering Redbubble and others as well). Gotta make sure my online presence is thoroughly fluffed and updated for ensuing convention driven traffic.
  • Purchased a 12 pocket rotating countertop rack for display of small matted prints and a tiered magazine display for showing off the larger matted prints (both from www.displays2go.com)
  • Purchased 500 foil accented business cards from vistaprint.com
  • Things I need to do:

  • Re-learn Microsoft Access so I can keep better books
  • Create convention budget and profit/loss projection
  • Recreate inventory master list in Access
  • Design and print the vinyl banner for the table
  • Start matting all the prints to fit in all my shiny spinny displays (50+ 4×6’s to mat?)
  • Handcraft about 25 more art tile and cameo necklaces
  • Estimate how many and which paintings I can complete for display at Dragon Con so I can get my control sheets turned in to the staff
  • Buy proper frames for already matted pieces to display
  • Order more print inventory from iprintfromhome.com
  • Tone up for the Dawn Lookalike Contest (Egads I’m going to be a model??)
  • With only 64 days left till dragon con, the next couple of months are going to be interesting!