Robot 6

Spectrum’s Arnie Fenner on how to run a convention booth


At the Muddy Colors illustration collective, Arnie Fenner (art director of the sci-fi/fantasy art bible Spectrum) is offering his advice to artists on how best to exhibit their work during the upcoming convention season. It’s fascinating stuff, even for the non-professional, offering everyone an insight into just how much time, expense and sheer hard work your favorite artists have to put into making a successful and profitable appearance in artist alley. As well as being eminently sensible, Fenner has a great sense of humor that comes out in tips such as this:

“Be a pro. Everybody likes to have a good time, particularly when they’re among friends and the after hours booze is flowing—but don’t party so much that it affects your ability to run your booth properly and interact with potential customers. And remember that everybody you encounter at a show is a potential customer or client and they’ll remember everything they see and hear (and with camera phones these days, snap embarrassing pix or video and post them to the internet). In other words, keep your pants on when in public, don’t get into fisticuffs, and don’t barf in the shrubbery (at least when people are watching). Definitely socialize and network after hours—get the most you can out of the opportunities being offered. Chatting with fans can lead to commissions; networking with your fellow artists and art directors may lead to new work. But plan to be ready to go every morning when the show opens, if not exactly bright-eyed at least not severely hung-over.”

Of course, comics would be a much duller place without convention horror stories. That tradition must never end. Oh, no.

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