Last weekend I had the pleasure of having a stall at the London Film & Comic Con at Kensington Olympia. I had attended, as a regular ticket-holder, two or three times in the past, and had noticed a clear hole in the market regarding pixel art. So this year I took the plunge and decided to see how my artwork would go down! It was my biggest event yet - the pic above shows part of the hall I was in (there were two trading halls, as well as areas for gaming, autographs and young authors).
I had spent the last few weeks creating art based on movies and comics, specifically for the LFCC crowd. You can see in the pic some of the bigger pieces – Deadpool, Harley Quinn and Pulp Fiction. I also made a lot of game sprites and mounted them on comic cover backgrounds, like so:
I thought this was a good marriage of videogames and comics, and would go down well with the Comic Con crowd. Well, as is often the case with selling at markets, you never know what is going to be popular! Most of my larger pieces went unsold, and a lot of the smaller ones I thought would sell also failed to move. And a lot of the ones I didn’t think would sell, did! Luckily I made a little catalogue for people to browse all the art I had with me, rather than just what was on display. And I could also accept card payments via my new PayPal card reader, which certainly helped secure a few sales! While I certainly sold enough to cover costs and make the event worthwhile, let’s just say that in three days of trading at the Comic Con I made less money than one day of trading at the last London Gaming Market. I put this down to a few factors:
· Increased competition – while I was the only pixel artist there, there were a lot of other stalls selling art, as well as all kinds of geeky goodies. I had a hard time not buying lots of art myself!
· Lacklustre celebrity lineup – Ron Perlman cancelled, leaving Jeremy Renner and Dolph Lundgren as the main names on the bill. Compared to last year, when the main stars of Back To The Future were present, and the year before, when Stan Lee was a guest, this year’s lineup wasn’t amazing.
· A broad range of interests – by this I mean that the convention appeals to those with an interest in films, comics, games, and geek culture in general. I tried to make my range of products as wide as possible, but it was hard to target all interests. And basically, not everyone is into pixel art. At a retro games market however, pixel art is likely to be popular due to the pixellation of old game graphics, and it is easier to target gamers specifically, especially since I now have a knowledge of what gaming art is likely to sell well.
So I might not be doing a comic con again for a while! Not that I didn’t enjoy it – it was awesome having a reason to be there for 3 days, and meeting a variety of people and seeing all the cosplayers come by the stall. It’s just that for the cost of the stall (it was the most expensive one I’ve had yet), and the amount of work and admin involved, I’ll be better off sticking to smaller gaming markets for now.
Like I said though, I was tempted by so much artwork, and I did end up buying this alternate Terminator poster from Mondo:
So what is happening in the Cave of Pixels now then? Well I have a few commissions to get on with, as I had previously delayed them until after the Comic Con. Pics of those to follow! Also, I’ve decided to utilise an Etsy page to sell some of the pixel art I’ve made that isn’t based on games. I’ve put a few listings on already, and I’ll be gradually updating it over the coming weeks, so please take a look sometime if you want something quirky to spice up your walls! More of my gaming art will soon be available on Game Over Gaming too – updates to follow when that happens.
My name is Iain and my addiction is making pixel bead art. My main inspirations are comics, video games and movies.