EYES ON THE PRIZE:
How to get new and youthful punters to approach your table, as an art-man working largely before the current generation could even read!
Some creators find it easy — gaining fans, treating them well, and improving the social side of the industry as they get new, excited eyes on the goods that fund their lifestyles. But some! Some get a bit crusty, and start defaming the people who have no immediate interest in them. Here’s to you, old man — how many roads must you walk down, before we call you prince of It? Here are five to try.
1) Grooming is important. Try growing and maintaining a neat, minimal beard. No fancy manscaping, that’s confusing and distracting. A nice, even coverage gives you the impression of capability and warmth. And it hides part of your large expanse of “adult man’s face” — your peers value the adult male look, as it is comforting and familiar to them, but many young people may find it threatening. How’s your hair? Maybe take a trip to the salon the week before the con. If you’re bald or balding, moisturise your head! Pamper yourself and being good to others will become so easy. Every little bit helps.
2) Wear something nice. Bright colours, graphic shapes — you know, you’re an artist. Think of yourself as a “character” you need to “design.” What would make you look interesting? Try to dress in a way that reflects the aesthetic strengths of your work.
3) Do you work out? If you’re able, good core strength (stretch it out like Ronald Wimberly) can help with leaning over the table to shake hands, hefting big cases of art about, and also allow you to look at ease and relaxed. This makes you appear approachable! While you’re doing your pilates, maybe watch some of your favourite cartoons, films or listen to your best-loved music. Getting into a positive state of mind will allow your subconscious facial control to relax your head muscles into “a smile.” This will bring strangers over to meet you, as it will allow them to believe you might be a nice person!
4) Asking to take photographs with really good cosplay (after all, it’s based on the art of your peers — or even your own!) will allow attendees to see that you’re a laid back guy who’s able to converse with con-goers. This lets them see you as somebody they can approach! This give-and-take is something you can even apply to your life outside of the convention circuit. Maybe even online!
5) Offering to sketch (for free, sometimes!) anybody who comes along dressed in cosplay of one of YOUR characters — well, that’s a sure-fire way to spread some goodwill on the con floor. You can make friends, fans, and even money using this as a starting point. Talk about win-win!
— Chiquitita Cosplay (@ChiquititaCoz) February 26, 2013