How do you talk to people at conventions/workshops?
 
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  1. #1
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    How do you talk to people at conventions/workshops?

    Hey guys, so like the title says.. I was just wondering.. like, how do you that? like for networking and stuff. Talking to pros at their tables or whatever. Im kinda shy when talking to strangers and stuff, like, nothing comes out lol. But there is some events coming up this year and I really want to do it, like just go and meet people and network. But what the hell do you even say?

    I tried before in a smaller conventions with some fantasy artist .. and all I could come up with was "Hey man, thats pretty good stuff you got there" and their response would be like " Yea thanks man" and thats it.. haha it'd just die there and move on to the next table.. and repeat.

    I guess i just want to hear peoples opinion on the matter and their experiences of what you guys say to people and the artist you admire when you meet them at these events.

    Like im planning on going to the massive black workshop in december or whenever it happens this year and i don't wanna fuck it up. I want to make the most of it.

    So.. thoughts?

    Last edited by The Jeso; April 23rd, 2014 at 06:37 PM.
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  3. #2
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    Just be yourself, I have found that 99.5 % of pro artists are humble, awesome people.
    Ask open ended questions, try thinking of them as friends you have yet to meet.
    I went to a supanova here in Brisbane, and I am hooked, made a good friend there, and had some great long conversations with some amazing people, who also just happen to be amazing artists too.
    We put these incredibly skilled people on a pedestal, (and I do too) but they are people just like us, and love a good chat, eat, and breathe just like us mere mortals .

    I should have started going to such things years ago, all these like minded people that love art just like me, who actually treated me as an equal, it was a very valuable and uplifting experience.

    Rock on you pro artists who have time for the little guy/girl, you know who you are

    Last edited by illoostrader; April 23rd, 2014 at 05:16 AM. Reason: Forgot to subscribe
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  5. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by illoostrader View Post
    Just be yourself
    OP's problem is that this is not going to work, as she is kinda shy...

    Grinnikend door het leven...
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    Simple but reasonable questions (as in no "how are you so awesome!?!") are pretty good ways to break the ice, I'd think (even if you'd know the answer). They usually open a way for you to talk a bit about yourself, which gets you off from the "another random face" level.
    Stuff like, what type of ink/watercolour/paper/etc brands they use or maybe have tried, how can they draw X amount of time without getting sore shoulders, if they have anything similar to you (I once approached a comic artist I admired because I noticed we had very similar tattoos, which also gave me time to mention that I was an artist too and so on so when we meet in some other comic place he might remember who I was), or if you carry a small portfolio sketchbook, you could ask if they could critique it or if you could do a sketchswap (draw on each other's sketch books) etc etc....
    Just do not self-deprecate, like "oh, I suck at this, you are so great" and so on. Being a sadsack is definitely not what you want to come through as on the first meet.

    I guess this might be hard if you are one that lacks confidence or is shy, but try to approach the people as equivalent humans or as two people sharing the same interest, not as "I the noob, you the pro", even if you might so feel.

    Last edited by TinyBird; April 23rd, 2014 at 07:07 AM.
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    I always try and be polite but ask for what I want. Usually the direct approach works best. So go up to someone and talk to them when they don't look busy and just say hi I'm so and so and I want to be an artist and was wondering if you had some time to give me some advice. Or I'm and artist and I'm struggling with this and I like the way you handle it, any tips for me? things like that. One of the things you can do if you are shy is be aware of how you present yourself to people. People like to be around positive confident people.

    This TED talk deals with body language
    http://www.ted.com/talks/amy_cuddy_y...es_who_you_are

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  10. #6
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    There is some good advice going on here guys, thank you.

    Yea i guess i could be just straight forward about it and just ask the questions n stuff.. but i just imagine like.. at some point they feel like people coming are just like drones just asking the same questions over and over and that's all they say and they just leave. I guess i don't wanna come up as just the same drone type of person, but more of like, i don't know, like, is not like I'm looking to go and become their best buddy, but at least having some back and forth conversation that goes deeper than "hey what brushes do you use?" So at least they remember me or whatever.

    -We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit.

    -Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon 'em.

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Jeso View Post
    There is some good advice going on here guys, thank you.

    Yea i guess i could be just straight forward about it and just ask the questions n stuff.. but i just imagine like.. at some point they feel like people coming are just like drones just asking the same questions over and over and that's all they say and they just leave. I guess i don't wanna come up as just the same drone type of person, but more of like, i don't know, like, is not like I'm looking to go and become their best buddy, but at least having some back and forth conversation that goes deeper than "hey what brushes do you use?" So at least they remember me or whatever.
    I can understand that. I'd like to be able to walk up to people at conventions and I'm going to need to at some point, but I'm not sure how to do that either without getting lost in sameness. There's some great advice above that's helped though.

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    It works both ways. Pro's like to be treated as individuals too, not just a guy that has answers because he's on the other side of a booth or table from you.

    Before you go to a convention learn about the artist guests so that if you talk to them you know something about what they do or who they are. As opposed to, I don't know anything about you or your work will you look at my portfolio?

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    I think what is always important to keep in mind is that these guys are probably exactly like you. Geeky people that one day had a dream of drawing robots and dragons for a living. You probably have tons and tons in common with them. They aren't trying to be impressed or sucked up to.
    What I love to do at conventions is asking them about other random things. Like "Hey man, this piece is sweet. Makes me think about that one castle in Game of Thrones. You see that last episode? Jeez." Or anything like that, I promise you the minute you find common ground you are in for a really cool conversation.

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  14. #10
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    For me the problem is finding conventions in Toronto Canada. But it's good to hear that the 95 percent are humble people.

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  15. #11
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    General question about conventions. If there's an opportunity to have work reviewed by an art director or other illustrator, do they not mind reviewing the work on a tablet or ipad?

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  16. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZombieMariachis View Post
    General question about conventions. If there's an opportunity to have work reviewed by an art director or other illustrator, do they not mind reviewing the work on a tablet or ipad?
    Haven't tried it yet, but people say artwork in tablets its pretty well received. Just don't show it on your phone.

    -We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit.

    -Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon 'em.

    My SKETCHbook
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  17. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by NesanJanan View Post
    For me the problem is finding conventions in Toronto Canada. But it's good to hear that the 95 percent are humble people.
    hm yes in Toronto I only know of FanExpo. And I also went to an anime convention once...but I don't know if its a recurring thing...

    But there are other events for networking actually, things like meet-ups or parties that some companies put together.
    For example the Toronto Animation Festival is starting soon, http://taafi.com/
    and there is CASO, which is also for artists, http://www.casont.ca/
    Maybe some of them will interest you

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