Random Con Art Ramblings

I’m starting to think there’s an actual statistical thingy at work here. I mean, sure, the first couple times, I just chalked it up to blowing everything out of proportion from stress and whatnot–it was like when you notice something and suddenly you start seeing it everywhere. It was always like this, you’re just peculiarly sensitized at the moment. But I’m starting to wonder.

No, I’m not talking about the election. I’m done with that. I’m talking about pre-Con art sales.

I swear, they can smell my fear of the con on the wind, and they’re comin’ for the art.

Caveat–I’m delighted to sell it, grateful people want to buy it, and would rather be up late working on art for this reason than any other (except maybe “Oh my god, best idea I’ve had in years,” the importance of which shouldn’t be underestimated.) And I would much rather have too little to sell because people are buying big originals unexpectedly and whatnot than have too much because nobody wants my crap. As dilemnas go, it’s a happy one, akin to somebody giving you fifty pounds of really killer steaks and realizing you don’t have the freezer space and will have to chuck that half bag of frozen mixed veggies and the ice encased enchilada that has been quietly migrating towards the back of the freezer over the course of the last decade, silently hoping that it would be found a few centuries hence in a glacier and be catapulted to international scientific celebrity. Then the other enchiladas would be sorry. Yes, they would. Bastards. Mock a man’s tortilla, will they?! He’d show them. He’d show them ALL!

Ahem. What was I saying?

Ah, yes. In some cases, we can assume there’s a direct causal relationship, as in “Better get this before it goes to the art show and maybe sells,” (and sometimes they even say that!) In others, though, we can be pretty sure it isn’t. In the past, we could also chalk it up to doing a lot of art right before a con, posting it, and having people buy it online, but since I’ve learned my lesson and am not putting the vast majority of the new stuff up yet, that’s not happening now.

Whether or not this is an actual increase over my average rate of original sales, mind you, I have no idea, since I’ve got exactly no spreadsheets on this matter, although it might be kinda interesting, and my New Years Resolution should probably be to set up a database about print sales and at least track original sales by price in the future. Various people have offered to help, and eventually I may take someone up on that.

However, the long and short of it is that I’ve unexpectedly sold some of the bigger showy pieces that I had kinda planned as the draw to the panel, and while I’ve done a number of little watercolors of hamsters killing one another and sea serpents (why do I always revert to sea serpents under stress? I don’t even particularly like sea serpents.) and was pretty optimistic about my chances of hammering out a half dozen more little inexpensive pieces, which are the real bread-and-potatoes of the con art sales, the big showy ones do actually kinda require a muse and are sort of hit or miss. The little ones require a coupla hours at most and a brief “Hee!” moment. Big, impressive things require inspiration and passion and work, which are in much shorter supply. Selling them is a GOOD thing, mind you, because the big pieces are fairly unlikely to sell at the Con (at least at my prices) and naturally sell more slowly than the little ones even online, but it does leave me in a last minute scramble.

There are a few half-done things lying around my studio that I could try and finish, but the peril there is that a piece abandoned is often abandoned for a reason, and it’s possible to burn two or three days, stare at something, and go “Man, this sucks,” and then you’re back to square one, only with half the time.

About all you can do–other than whine in your blog–is work on the small stuff (and the commissions still out, since clients don’t vanish just ‘cos you’ve got a convention!) and wait for a lightning bolt of inspiration to strike from the blue.

The other option is that one of the paintings in question is on installment plan, and I can always just take it along and list it as a NFS, but I hate to do waste good potential sale space.

And that reminds me, I need to get a mat order in today…

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