This is a very strange feeling. I’m packed, ready to head to Gemucon in the morning to make Arcadia publicly available for sale on my first ever artist alley. I have 100 copies of the comic (which may prove to be an optimistic volume, we’ll see), 100 comic bags, 100 comic boards, 200 carrier bags, multiple art prints, various display stands, a price list, markers with a bleedproof pad (for doing on-the-day commissions), change (and lots of it, I jingle), few sets of clothes, a toiletries bag (just because it’s a convention, doesn’t mean I won’t have to shower), 100 bookmarks, 250 business cards, hotel and train booking references, tablecloth, a PSP (hey, it’s a long journey and the other half won’t let me take the Vita out of the house) with earphones (because I’m considerate to other travelers like that), Bakuman volume 6, my phone (filled with reference images of popular characters, just in case) and all the other essentials. Hell, I even called ahead to the event organizers to ask whether I head to normal registrations or whether I need to be elsewhere when I arrive so that I have a rough idea of what I’m doing!
Taking all of the above into consideration, why do I still feel nervously unprepared? First time jitters are certainly a possibility. It could be the fact that, up until now, everyone who has viewed or commented on my work face-to-face has been a friend or family member. Yes, my work has been seen on several occasions by the online community, but those perfect strangers are at a distance, so I’ve still been in a relatively safe comfort zone. I would suppose that, overall, this weekend confirms whether or not my plans to sell comics and artwork I have created at various conventions is a viable one. This is where I discover whether my artwork is up to scratch, whether I have the people skills to get people interested and invested in my work, and how I cope being away from my fiancee and daughter for four days. Ultimately, my greatest fear is that I don’t measure up and I discover that my boring, dull-as-dishwater, barely pays the bills day job is all I will amount to for the time being.
I’m setting those fears aside, or at the very least doing my best to, being optimistic, and hoping that I will see a lot of new faces, sell enough comics and make enough contacts that the cost of going to the convention is more or less covered, and, most importantly, have fun! So, if you’re at Gemucon this weekend, come find me on the artist alley and say hi, will you?