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Hey guys I've done some searching about upcoming conventions and now I'm to stage 2: Asking.
I'm looking for the next strategy in promoting myself and finding work. I think going to some conventions with my portfolio would be a good start. I've never been to one so I'm pretty clueless. I'm not even sure which ones would be suitable for me or even the names of many of them. For example, would comicon even help me since I have no interest in comics or working in comics?
Does anyone know of a good resource for these conventions? I live in Arizona so I could make it out to California for them I reckon.
So...what was it you wanted to do?
I want to find info about the conventions. I don't even know many of them. I'll need to know at the very least, the names of some of them, then I can look at their website to see where and when, and who will be there (art directors or companies viewing portfolios).
Also, well, I might not recommend on running around cons just trying to promote yourself; cons are ten times more fun if you actually want to be there and see the stuff they offer. Especially since you have to pay to go there, so if you lose money, don't find anything interesting and fail to get into contact with the professionals/guests, it can leave a bad taste in your mouth.
Last edited by TinyBird; May 18th, 2011 at 04:52 AM.
Good point tinybird lol. And ty for links. When google fails, I seem to assume that's pretty much the end of the line.
Hopefully I can find something I like also. Anyone been to any of these? Can you recommend something you enjoyed? Or have you been successful in showing your portfolio at any of them?
Thanks for asking Noah bradley. I want to do freelance illustrations of scifi and fantasy. So book covers or cards or the like. I don't want to do visual development where I draw 10 different types of helmets or something, but if the development needed a finished illustration then I'm their guy. But game companies hire people who want to do both, so I think that's out of the question.
Check out my sig to see where I am at.
Jeffx99 recommended these: Illuxcon was mentioned, World Fantasy, World Horror, Dragoncon...maybe others I'm unaware of.
Some of the names might be throwing me off. I don't do much horror, but most of the cons are pretty broad right? So world horror might still be suitable for me? I'll have to check out their website and see...hopefully it'll describe it a bit.
If you want to do fantasy/sci-fi, you probably can't beat Illuxcon. Tons of professional artists and ADs, and it's small enough that you've got easy access to all of them. Gencon might be good as well, since a lot of the companies send ADs there.
If you are just trying to "promote yourself", I don't know that bringing your portfolio to a con is going to net that much results. Other than the occasional Art Director panels, there isn't much you'll be able to do just by carrying your shit around with you. Other artists, for example, are doing their own things at these cons so they are not gonna be interested in doing anything other than crit.
Yes, the AD panels are neat..but it's my opinion that they serve to gain critique and advice, mostly. The competition with the ridiculous line of artists out the door means that you would pretty much have to be able to look at your stuff and say "Yeah, I could easily get a job" at WOTC or TOR or whatever high-tier AD would be there. Not saying don't do it, I think it's very valuable. I'm just saying it's not really great "promotion" considering the AD that looks at your work will likely forget about as soon as you walk away from the table.
Now....have you thought about finding a convention near you and setting up in Artist Alley? You pay a table fee (usually anywhere from 150-300 bucks) to stand at a table for 2-3 days with one sole puprose: PROMOTION. You could sell prints, Tshirts, buttons, trading cards, self-published comics, traditional paintings, sculptures, toys, commissions, sketches whatever you want that is self-made.
I've been doing it for 3 years now and I can definitely see my "presence" increasing. My website traffic is going on, searches for my own work have gone up, jobs have gone up, etc. Not only all of that, but it's just FUN. You meet so many different people, each with their own interests and you really start feel alive as an artist getting out there with your work.
It's a little bit of an investment in yourself and your time, but so worth it in the end.
I looked at your site and you are definitely good enough to at least do that. Think about it.
Uh...I meant what Noah said. What JOB are you trying to get? What industry? There are a LOT of conventions with different intentions.
Dragon*Con is not the place for industry for book covers, as most of the people promoting there are authors or small publishers. There is no concept industry at all. Decent enough for SELLING "fine" fantasy art or comic work, since their art show and alleys are juried and pretty well run, but not for rubbing elbows with industry. D*C is mostly a (very large) fan con.
Comic Con has a lot of industry, but unless you are already in it, or you know somebody, GOOD LUCK getting where you need to be to schmooze. For example, even lining up to get portfolio reviews gets full BEFORE THE DOORS OPEN because "Professional" and "Dealer" badge holders get in first. Most of the ADs and editors hatehate portfolio reviews on the public floor because it's largely a waste of time. I've seen them HIDE from their booth to get out of doing it, haha.
Your best bet is to go to the sites of the companies or people who work for them and find out what they list their events as. Very few cons (comparatively) have industry, and of that, fewer will have what you're interested in, OR a way to get in front of those ADs/Editors. They can be quite an investment of money, so make sure they've got what you want. You might find out that it's easier just to send your portfolio to them through the normal channels.
I really appreciate the info guys. See I had no idea about any of that.
mirana when you say normal channels...you mean the blackhole? Sending a tear sheet to an address?
If you have any tips in that regard, I have another thread called, how to contact the bigwigs
I'm in a different business really, so I can't tell you much about the traditional book illustration contacts. I'm just trying to help you out with the convention info since I've done a ridiculous number of them. Hopefully Elwell's advice will help.