Heroescon 2017

Just recently returned from Heroescon in Charlotte, NC. Last year, HC 2016 was my first time ever tabling in an Artist Alley. I've learned a lot since then, but probably the most important thing that I've learned about the Artist Alley is how to measure your expectations. 

For me, Heroes has always been an expensive con. Attending alone if you are going to purchase a table costs around $500 and that is if you bundle up with friends in a hotel. Fortunately I was able to do just that. And this time I split a table with another artist friend of mine who's first experience was this convention. Overall, it was a great experience as Heroes tends to be. A lot of amazing artists to meet, interesting customers, beautiful city. In terms of sales, we had a disappointing weekend. The reason for this is hard to pin down. Some may say that the general excitement for pop culture and consuming it at a convention has waned for many due to the climate of the economy and the state of affairs. But I don't intend to get political. I think mostly it was the type of merchandise that myself and my partner had to offer. 

Heroescon is a comic book convention first and foremost. As illustrators, we had no real connection to the consumers coming in, despite some relevant fan art here and there (My thoughts on fan art deserves its own blog post). One thing that felt like it was consistently missing from our interactions with customers was that we had no book or collection of stories to offer. Our imagery was personal and well, illustrative. But not sequential. The closest I came was my coloring book. This book is a prototype that I brought along because of the numerous requests and suggestions made by friends and fans alike. However, not a single book sold. This may be the convention, it may be my sales pitch, or it may have simply been a fluke. Analyzing it is what will help me make better decisions in the future.

All in all, I really enjoyed the experience. The response from a customer that is genuinely engaged in your art, especially when it's a personal piece, is truly addicting. And I am glad that my partner got to experience some of that as well. I am not discouraged to continue tabling at the Artist Alley, but I may need to come to terms with the fact that Heroes is not going to be the right place for my brand, unless something changes. I'm excited for more to come this year and I have plenty of projects in the works to keep me busy and help me grow. For those interested in the leftover books, they can be found in my Store. 

The most important lesson is working on my confidence in my work. Letting people enjoy it for its own aesthetics. I am excited to have my own products with my brand associated someday.