Back in October 2011 I got this crazy idea. I was cruising the web for ideas - I wanted to start doing tree sculpture pendants and was looking to see what others were already doing. I ran across a blog of a jewelry maker who had just returned home from San Diego Comic Con where she had been vending. VENDING? What would a respectable jewelry maker who makes all her own stuff be doing at Comic Con? Who would be buying her stuff and how could she afford a table, they must be sooooo expensive. So I went to my local Comic Con - Philly and it was only $300 for 3 days. Well, I have spent the same amount to reach way fewer people at a "craft" show where frankly, not everyone makes their own stuff anyway - a rant for a later date - so I took the plunge and signed up, figuring if they didn't want me they'd let me know.
Can you see the big smile on my face? That's because I truly had a fantastic time, met a LOT of great people and it was way more fun than a lot of craft shows.
So, reasons I do Cons -
1. I LOVE the people I meet, I love dressing up, I love Science Fiction, Steampunk and I have so much in common with the people there I find it easy to talk to them. Shock upon shock - I'm really a shy person. I don't like talking to people, I have social anxiety and it sucks when you're trying to sell stuff!
2. Cons are FUN! People step outside of themselves, many are in character and sometimes I get to dress up and be in character, too. Yes, that makes it even easier to leave the whole social anxiety thing behind. Because I can BE someone who doesn't have it, lol!
My booth at "Wicked Faire"
3. People who go to Cons are often Makers themselves, so they never say stupid crap like, "I could make that myself." Number one - because they very well may be able to and Number two - because it's crass, and it's poor manners and these people as makers themselves know what it's like to be on the receiving end of these comments. They put hard work into their costumes and come to me at times to put finishing touches on their outfit or to get ideas, and sometimes give me ideas as well.
4. There is no pretense. Some people make their own stuff and some don't. They don't lie about it. Most of the time you know if you're buying from a true maker or someone who imports their stuff. There is something for every budget but people genuinely appreciate the person who hand makes their wares, even if they don't buy.
Me in my "Idris" cosplay
5. The money isn't any different going into a "Craft" show or a "Con." They cost about the same. Bigger cons cost more money, bigger Craft/Art shows cost more money. Cons generally have a richer mix of merchandise though and aren't so jewelry "heavy."
6. People weren't buying at the Craft/Art shows anymore. Yes, that's right. If you don't buy my stuff, I can't afford to do these things. This is not a complaint per se, just a fact. If people don't buy my things at Cons I won't be able to afford to do them either but I'm giving them a chance.
and lastly - and most importantly, I repeat reason numero UNO - I'm having fun -and fun is something in short supply some days!
Two of my fun new friends - JP Porter and Judy - me in my Gender-bending Steampunk 10th Doctor Cosplay (contact him here for bookings)
So, I have cut down on my Art and Craft Shows for now. Next show is Zenkaikon, March 22-24th in downtown Lancaster- www.zenkaikon.com.
and after that is Steampunk at Gettysburg, March 29th-31st in, well, Gettysburg PA. www.steampunkatgettysburg.com.
Check it out - it's going to be a blast!!