I do my best to attend as many conventions as I can to showcase and sell my artwork. I also do my best to help many of my other artist friends to find cons as well. It’s to a point where one of my friends thinks I’m some kind of con-finding super wizard. It’s not hard to find conventions and events, it mostly just a lot of time to spend outside of actually making artwork. This article is a few of my methods of finding comic cons and events so that I don’t have to answer as many repeat questions.
Go to Conventions
In order to find conventions, you’d need to go to conventions. It’s where people go to enjoy the things they like after all! There’s usually a convention for everything, comics, anime, tabletop gaming, books, fishing, cars, guns, tattoos, flowers, restaurants, and much more!
When you go to a convention, you meet like-minded people who like the things that you like, and you’ll probably meet people who were involved in the making of the things you love, whether they did the artwork, performed the acting, helped find the talents, published the media to people, or just simply being a superfan and chatting about it to everyone they meet.
Representatives and promoters from other conventions maybe have a booth at a con to promote their own upcoming convention. You can step up and ask them a question about the event. Chat for a bit and don’t be shy, they’re normal people. A good ice breaker question is to simply ask where the venue is located and if they’re currently accepting artists for their Artist Alleys.
At conventions, you can also check out interesting panels where someone or a group will lecture about a topic. Panels can range from, fans talking about making cosplays of favorite characters, voice actors answering questions about the show or movie they’re acting in, artists, editors, and producers explaining how the art industry works and how you can get into it.
There are a few rare panels where business guys and lawyers who are good at explaining the more boring aspects of making media such as intellectual property laws, contracts writing, and payments. You might find some cool info about other places a panel host will be at or learn about your craft in general!
This is the modern internet era, so many conventions and events will have some kind of website or social media account with their information on it.
Website are also the most likely to have all of their information about the con there such as the list of attending guests, a list of artists in artists alley, panel and description of their subjects, and discount affiliate links to hotels or restaurants near the venue for when you need to travel.
Join their email list to get all news about when a con starts and when vendors booths and artist alley table spaces are selling.
Recommended Places to start finding conventions.
Attend Meetups and Groups
Many art events are not strictly comic conventions. Some could art galleries, classes, or hangouts. They might not be strictly times to sell your work, but you can get opportunities to show your work.
Meetup.com is a great website to search up groups in your area who like activities that you also like.
Going to meetups, hangouts, and events will let you take some breaks and recharge from the monotony of the drawing board. You might get some newer ideas or thoughts that you otherwise wouldn’t have if you weren’t out and about bouncing ideas and thoughts on others. Plus, it’ll make you a more rounded person in general.
Attending art classes is obviously a good way to learn new techniques or get some practice in, but it’s also a good place to meet people and hear about their lives. Places like Palette and Chisel in Chicago or online classes like Schoolism are good spots to check out. Many attendees might just be hobbyist who aren’t in the industry, but they might tell you about alternatives to promote your work.
Talk to Artists
Artist who have tabled at cons before have a pretty good idea what conventions are like in the areas you’re in.
Stop by the Artist Alleys when at cons, ask them questions, maybe buy some tiny stuff. Many are willing to help especially if you’re an artist yourself trying to get out there.
Since you’re an artist, you should have a portfolio with you. Just telling then you’re an artist without some art to show is useless to them. Have your artwork close by, mention it to them and ask if they’re interested in looking and you work and giving you feedback.
You don’t have to be at a con to meet artists, again in the age of the internet and social media, you can drop a comment or message to any artist who’s currently out there!
Here’s a small list of artist I recommend saying hi and asking any questions:
This advice is not the end all be all advice, but this is my current experience, I’m sure I’ll change or the methods will be completely different, but I hope this all helps.