Earlier this year I purchased booth space at an Artist Alley at a video game convention. It was pretty much a huge disaster. A scene that epitomized the whole experience happened when a shirtless man carrying a giant faux battle-axe walked through the mostly deserted aisle where my table was located. He was dragging his significant other by the hand, and said in a very loud voice, “We are not here to buy ART!” So yeah.
Even though I had tried to mentally prepare for the fact that I was experimenting with a new venue, and that it might not turn out that great, it still put me in a huge artistic funk. I just felt burnt out on the whole convention experience, and was not in the mood to keep coming up with ideas for new products to sell. Putting pen to paper was a super frustrating experience, so I was not looking forward to Salt Lake Comic Con this year, even though I had already purchased the booth space.
I packed up what few things I had available and trudged to the Salt Palace on Thursday morning. My son Nate had some space at the table as well, and I was grateful I didn’t have to try and fill it. I was actually kind of pissy as we set up the booth. I was not looking forward to dealing with my social anxiety for the next three days.
Thankfully, I have a good friend who recently introduced me to some techniques for dealing with anxiety. I won’t go into the details, but these combined with the atmosphere that is Comic Con combined to lift my spirits immensely. Out of the streams of people walking past my booth for the next couple of days, it was great to see the various reactions to my Storybook Cover parody prints, among several of my other drawings; and I was able to push through my introversion to have a few great conversations with some truly awesome people.
So, although I made most of my table money back, it wasn’t a great success nor a huge disaster. However, the experience has motivated me to create like I haven’t done in a long time. I’m in full-on writing mode for my next Cooties book, and hope to have it completed in time for next year’s convention, along with as much other stuff as I can create. I’m so grateful to be a part of the great community of artists in Utah!