Artistic Endeavors: An information letter to Artists like me
|Title:||Artistic Endeavors: An information letter to Artists like me (the first six issues were titled, "Endeavors, Artistic")|
|Publisher:||Diana Harlan Stein|
|Editor(s):||Diana Harlan Stein (with much input from Heather Bruton)|
|Date(s):||March 1992-September 1997|
|Click here for related articles on Fanlore.|
Artistic Endeavors: An information letter to Artists like me (the first six issues were titled, "Endeavors, Artistic") is a 1990s publication for fan artists. The editor was Diana Harlan Stein, with much help from Heather Bruton.
This publication was described in several ways: a fanzine, a newsletter, and on one occasion, an apa, though the latter is not correct.
This zine contains letters of comment from fans about the zine itself as well as their experiences with art shows. Many issues contains flyers and progress reports for cons (the latter with a focus of the art show), detailed write-ups from concoms about money and sales. It is a very casual, chatty zine.
Each issue has section where it list full names of artists and their home contact info including phone numbers. Most of the initial membership was procured from a mailing list out of an old ASFA membership roll.
NOTE: When fans use the word "panel" in this newsletter, they are not talking about discussions in rooms, they are instead describing physical space in which to display art.
Some Hot Topics
- how long it took for some cons to pay the artists money owed them
- mailing art to cons (cost and difficulties)
- sexually explicit art at cons, censorship
- ego, hurt feelings as they related to fans being frank about how much money they made at cons
- media art: morals and legalities
- art vs. fine art
- much about very specific art techniques
- what sort of art sells at which cons ("pretty boys," "fantasy," "American Indian themes and owls," "Tolkien")
- which cons "treated artists well"
- much about The Team, Eh?
- detailed info on how many art pieces sold and for how much money
- difficulties for Americans getting art across the Canadian border
- art archival
- one's art being uploaded to computers and BBS with and without consent, some of it even being seen on screens in Scotland!
The newsletter was initially free of charge. During the first year or two, the editor would ask fans to send her stamps and/or SASEs, but did not seem to be draconian about compliance. Fans' contributions to the newsletter was in itself, a currency. Fans who did not acknowledge receiving the newsletter in some fashion were dropped from the roster.As of issue #16, this changed, as the newsletter hit a roster of 100, and the editor did not want to absorb the costs. At that point, the subscription cost became $10 a year:
Also from the editor in issue #16:
Now I have to start charging. It s not hard to figure why. 100 copies at 75 cents each... makes Diana very poor indeed. Especially 10 times a year. The sad part is once we start charging, people will drop off the roster and we'll be down to manageable size again. *sigh* I'll start a file. Please send money in order to remain on the roster and keep geting these. A year's worth would work out to $7.50 to $10 - depending on the issue size. I intend to just take off the stamp money and a bit for envelops and such. Charges will progress as the issues do. If you guys can still manage with the less than black printing my office xerox makes, then that makes things cheapest. If things get over whelming, and too much time goes into copies, then I'll take 'em to a quick print and add those charges in too.
Local art friends who get handed copies don't have to worry. To everyone else who sent stamps lately, let me tell you I appreciated them, but they all got used, and I didn't keep track of who sent what. Sorry, but making everyone start at zero seems fair. Stamps, or SASE (that are big enough) are as good as money. I hope you all understand. I really was wanting to hold out for a good long while yet. The idea of being on the Hugo List for fanzine was very appealing (I wonder is newsletters can make it on the lists?). The idea of just geting people talking was what was behind these AEs all along - and I don't like expensive talk. Still, we seemed to have hit the nail on the head, and have become too popular for our own good. If you can't afford to be on the lists, no hard feelings. Heck. I understand - that's why I'm forced to charge. We look forward to seeing you at the shows. Drop us a letter once in a while anyway.A few sample copies will still be made available to interested new people. My apologies, but we warned you as best we could.
In order to get on the roster and receive AE. you must:
- Send money to cover stamps
- Send Stamps
- Send SASEs (Big ones preferred)
- Beg and plead
- Free issues will be given for:
- Getting art printed in an issue
- Getting a letter printed in an issue
- Getting art show sales information printed in an issue
- Someone who wants to try us to see what we are like
- Getting an issue handed to you at a eon
- Begging and pleading
Xeroxing and handing copies around is certainly encouraged!We'd rather have the issues out in everyone's hands. It's just that every once in a while the mailing costs are intimidating. Especially when I start adding them up. Permission for the Artwork printed on the edges has been given us. If you are making copies - please do not take this art for other purposes unless you have the permission of the artist. You all know that!
The name of the first six newsletters was "Endeavors, Artistic," and with the seventh issue became "Artistic Endeavors." The editor explained in issue #8: "Sure the "Endeavors, Artistic" looks good on paper, but it's hard to say aloud. I decided to call it Artistic Endeavors so I don't look like a fool while talking."
Fan CommentsFrom a fan in early 1992:
Thanks so much for the copies of Endeavor's Artistic. I've really enjoyed the two I've seen so far. It's so nice to have all the con listings in one place with comments. So often I've felt I'm sending out my work blind. I'm afraid I haven't got much to add in the way of news since I've sort of been out of the loop for the past year or so. I hope to get back into the show circuit later this year or early next. I'd like to become more involved if I can. Say are you talking $$ for this? I hate to think you're doing this al out of your own pocket. Are subscriptions available, or do you just accept donations? Also, I'd like to offer you the names of other artists who would certainly benefit from your zine; Joy Riddle & Amy Falkowitz.Please keep up EA. We so sorely need it. It's truly a news and info zine and will do us all a world of good as we can communicate with each other. I especially like the comments. Good art show directors should be praised and less-than sterling directors gently nudged in the right direction. (Having been an art show director, I know how frustrating it can be when you feel all you get are complaints and no one cares you busted your chops to see the artists treated well.) 
Comments in Specific Issues
The comments excerpted below from specific issues were chosen to illustrate style, flavor, and general feel.
They are only a tiny fraction of the many, many comments about individual conventions (both factual and opinions), as well as the many letters fans wrote into regarding technique, marketing, and other topics.
Endeavors, Artistic 1 was published in March 1992.
Hiya This odd little fanzine is being sent out cause Diana knows you are an artist, and these little oddities might interest you. It's mostly because she admires your work. Heather Bruton and I get together periodically and go over our convention listings and sources and talk about SF art shows. Where we did well, where we did not and why. Addresses, and if we've heard back from the concom. Things of this type. We also have noted that several of our artist friends also want to talk about this too. It gets very odd looks when we all break out our notebooks, daytimers and con flyer collections. I thought it would be fun to pass this information around for awhile (I have a newsletter fixation, as many of you might have kinda noticed). After all, inquiring minds wanna know. Please take all this information with a serious grain of salt as it is all hand gathered, gleaned and opinions have been foisted upon it. You might also want to note that a show that I make $ 100 at, I dance around the room singing haleuya [sic]. Heather making the same amount would have a different reaction. So, I'm trying to avoid talking about amounts and just talking about if the shows were good or bad.
Airisa - Jan. 3-5 I sent art down, which Nancy, Laura and Robin all helped with when they reached the show. I sent 12 pieces, of which 6 sold (which is good for me), and got very nice money for the work. I had a $4 quickly that went for $23, and a $7 that sold for $30 - so prices were good for me. Prizes were announced, but no ribbons forthcame due to error (I bought two ribbons from the Team Eh? and gave one to Tom and Robin to compensate. I love ribbons, and thought they deserved 'em. The Team was nice enough to let me be nice).
LunaCon - March 20–22 Mail in art by permission only. It cost me $32 for my 3x4. Originals only. No prints. I'm feeling a little intimidated by the art show rules and regs. New York is a good place to flash your art around to the publishers, so I thought it would be good to send there. Theyhave been efficient and communicative. I've never shown at a Lunacon before, I'll let you know. Robin tells me that on the East Coast, having a unicorn on your panel is the kiss of death. The 'real' fans won't even look at your stuff if there's a unicorn on your panel. Money Is often very good, but I always seem to have trouble registering due to various mix-ups. They pay quickly. Strictly originals, not ever hand colored prints.
Bloodsucking Contraption - May 15–17 Heather, Marg and I are doing Contraption's art show again. $0.25 per piece hanging fee plus 10% commission. Originals & prints welcome. Ribbons will be awarded.I made great money here last year, and we have a lot of fun. This is basically a Team Eh? set up, without all (but many) of the team members. Sold 10 of the 16 shown. This year's theme is Bloodsucking, and we expect a lot of Vampires. Send other stuff as well, we get a good variety of fans. The auction team has had pirate shirts made up, so some pirate art would be fun too.
Media West Con - May 22–25 This con is a limited membership, and limited art space to members only (although, you can buy a supporting membership that will let you show). They have a good sized room that they pack wall to wall with media art. If you can catch an actor's likeness, then you belong to this show. Portrait work of actors is in big-time demand (as long as the actor is). I've seen things go for $900! I have no idea if they take mail in at all - but I know Heather is attending. Last year, I took a 1/8 of a panel. Sold all of the three pieces I showed, and more than made up for the cost of it all.
BayCon - May 22–25 At Heather's urgings, I sent out $20 for space for Sandy Schrieber and I. Heather said send now, and don't wait for info, but that was Jan this year. I have been lead to believe they sell out very quickly, and the con is really great. Another very good money con. Furry, pretty boy & anime art does very well but so does just about anything. Shaun Blanchard. (who will also be running Confransico's art show) is friendly & very easy to work with. Sells out way ahead of time.
Ad Astra - June 5–7 Being a Team, Eh? show, there is no doubt that the show will be well handled. $6 for 4x4. Bidsheets and Mastersheets on request. The only real problem here is that the show itself is in Canada. Getting art across the border can be complicated, but Suzanne is getting the hang of customs and stuff. Also, the moneys are changed from American to Canadian and back again. If you're not all the put off by this stuff, contact Diana. There will be someone from my house going at least. I showed last year and sold 7 of the 14 shown. Made good money, and don't want to miss this show. A nice, big show with lots of buyers. They've got more space & are looking at setting up sketch tables inside the show itself. Often very good money, and pays AT the con (A Team, Eh? rule of thumb). Highly recommended.
Fort Fest - June 5–7 This is actually a weekend camping trip for members of Fort Weyr. We get about 100 people, and they bring their money to the campground. I made good money, and Heather did nicely too. If you've got some dragon stuff you'd like to send along, I'm sure there'll be people to look and hopefully buy.
Confluence - July 17–19 Plenty of room in the art show, and friendly artists running it. A well undiscovered con, with a ton of authors and really good panels discussions. The art buyers can be on the downtrodden side, but they do buy. Last year I sold 3 pieces. I intend to support Confluence all it's years.
DragonCon - July 17–19 This con comes under Stein's law of convention flyers: never trust a con who uses more than one color on the flyer. They have a terrific line up of guests (William Stout is one who I'm tempted by). They have a large membership, and a great art show filled with big name pros and original book covers. They also have really loose sales for the art show (Dealer's tables yes, art show - no). I attended in 90, and David auctioned. Heather sent in 91, and had nibbles instead of sales. It might be a good con to be seen at, but I'm not sure about the sales aspects for this year. Panel and mailing fees are high for few returns. I'll be skipping this one this year.
Toronto Trek VI - July 24–27 This is another Team Eh? show. It'll be a good one. Last year, I went to Ad Astra - just a bit before this con. So I figured, same place, same fans; I won't bring art. They had 3,000 some people! Sales were jumping of all kinds of stuff, not just trek. I could have killed myself. This year, I'm taking stuff! There's a big klingon contingency if you're drawing for the con.
GenCon - Sept. Milwaukee Wis. This is a good con to go to if you want to flash a portfolio around and see if you can get illustration jobs for the magazines and gaming modules (Even I got a few nibbles). The art show here is practically ignored. There are lots of good pieces on display by big names, and littler folk - but gamers don't seem to understand the concept of art shows. On the other hand, if you can get space in the artist's ghetto (side tables to hock your wares), or on the floor itself (mucho bucks) then the gamers tend to buy and buy. The best thing seems to be to couple in with someone who gets floor space, and help out at the table. The artist community is a nice undercurrent at these cons.
Darkover Grand Council - November. This show is a walk in art show, but they don't mind if you're not attending. They don't want to mind small pieces of jewelry, as they have a fear of little things walking off (I don't understand why, I have heard of no trouble they have had). They also want representational things, and seem to be getting a little tired of 'craft' items. As you can see, they have a few odd ways of looking at things. However, the sales are good. I showed 9 and sold 7. They seem to like pretty boys and pagan pieces here (although, I'm sure Nancy and Tom could talk about the show's interests better than I). Sales are often very good, but the art show's a tad odd. Getting a break down of your sales is like puiling teeth. Pretty boys and fantasy sell well.
Endeavors, Artistic 2 was published in April 1992.
This issue has an extensive Worldcon con report with a focus on the art show, a section from the San Diego Comic Con Progress Report 1 (emphasis on the art show), a Boskone report art report roundup which includes a list of the artists present.
I have often considered that mail in artists have a high percentage of prints they send around. The first reason for this is reaching many more conventions than he/she can attend means that either the artists goes into over-drive; or you make prints. Prints of a good selling picture are simple to hand color, and the return as compared to the work involved in hand coloring (All the original layout and inking pains are gone). It is a problem. I love to see originals in the shows. New things are always exciting. Some things I've seen so often, I just want to scream! But Fine Art Prints don't come in runs of 10 or 20 (what printer could afford that?). Heather sends a majority of originals. I try to send originals to outbalance the prints (although with all the shows lately, I was guilty of print stuffing). I also know that if I see something I gotta have, and the original is too expensive - I pray for prints. So as long as the buyer is aware, I suppose things are okay. Up here in Michigan, we had a Ruth Thompson print go for $200 and it was a $20 or $30 print. The guy who lost the bidding, came in the next day for Ruth's address to write for a cheaper copy. We saw a Susan VanCamp original go for minimum, and a print that could be bought from Susan, who was readily available in the dealers room, go for $70! Susan was most embarrassed and confused to find this happening. Our Dorsai auctioneering team does a great job for artists. Also, I would think that some artists would get a reputation for doing that sort of thing. Perhaps we might ad some art-show staff people to this newsletter's membership to get their point of view as well.
Endeavors, Artistic 3 was published in June 1992.
There were many, many con reports (long and short). One was for BayCon, see that page.
MagiCon - Sept 3-7 Okay, this has all kinds of intimidating paperwork and stuff. I'll muddle through, cause I don't want to miss the Worldcon art show. Heck, last ChiCon I showed 19 and sold 15! Of course, it is a floating convention, so you can't judge one show by the other. I got a confirming postcard for my reserved panel. The paperwork is rather condescending and the fees are outrageous. I know a number of usual Worldcon showies that are skipping this one. It is #50 and should be well attended. My sales at Worldcon are too high to pass up. I'll be sending with friends, not mailing (an additional $20 fee).
Visions '92 - Nov 27-29 I have no art show information, except the fact that they will be having an art show. This is a media oriented conventions, with the British media being the main part. Robin of Sherwood, Doctor Who, Blake's 7, and Red Dwarf all being on the flyer. Sometimes cons like this can be very lucrative for the artist who can capture a good likeness. Most media fen I have seen lately really love the photo-quality drawings.
Endeavors, Artistic 4 was published in August 1992. This issue has some extensive comments on Duckon, see that page.
There were many, many con reports (long and short). One was for Toronto Trek, see that page.
Artcon 4 & Galaxy Fair '92 - July 3–5 Heather sent down 11 pieces and sold 7. There were $10,000 in art sales, with $800 being made for ASFA. For the Friday night Artists Reception, the con-com invited the local Gallery owners down to scope out the talent. There were impressed people who might be making some new contacts in the SF circles for Gallery shows.
Shore Leave 14 - July 10–12 I hear the con was lots of fun. The Enterprize people had a wonderful time. I didn't get any art show report, but the con was a sucess. PJ Alexander was a dealer there. Heather sent 14 and sold 10. She was surprised by the money she managed to net from a Trek Con, as she didn't send down any Trek pieces.
Endeavors, Artistic 5 was published in September 1992.
This issue has two articles: "Presentation" by Heather Bruton and "ASFA Magicon Meeting" by Diana Harlan Stein.
There were many, many con reports (long and short). One was for MagiCon, see that page.
GenCon - Aug 20-23 There was a new location for the art show (with results both good and bad). The people running the show had no end of conflicts and difficulties, and might not be in charge of the art show next year. Liz Danforth had a part of a table on the main floor and did 'VERY well. Robin also had a part of a table, and did not do as well as she hoped (but still came home with money). Ruth Thompson was also there. I hear that there were literaly hundreds of art jobs to be had at the con this year. Anyone with talent and a portfolio could pick up a job or two. Robin took a guy she found at the con who turns out to be local around to the TSR party, and the man now has more work than he can manage easily. Of course, next years GenCon will be smaller - as it won't be Origins/GenCon again for several years.
Endeavors, Artistic 6 was published in November 1992.
There were many, many con reports (long and short).
LunaCon 36 - Mar 19-21
Originals only. Although I've never been to a Luna Con, I understand they are important cons to be 'seen' at. Last years I sent 8 and sold only 1, which leads me to believe I was out of my league.
Balticon 27 - Apr 16-18Last year I sent 9 pieces down and sold all of them (a first and only time!). If you think I'll miss this show this year, your [sic] nuts.
DisClave - Mar 28-31Originals only. I missed the last show, but 91 records show I sent 11 and sold 6. John Sapienza, the art show director, is one of those names that I've heard for the last 10 years, so he's got to know what he's doing.
GenCon - Aug 19-22, GenCon Game Fair
To be held at the MECCA Convention Center, downtown Milwaukee. Price of admission is $35 early Bird Reg - although I've found you can buy spectator passesat the con for $5 a day. There is an art show, but I've noted that the gamers tend to not know that they can purchase things available here. They, rather, look in the artist 'ghetto' row for prints and art - or they hit the dealers room for whatever. This is an excellent place for getting Black & White interior work that the Game Manufacturers need done. Take a portfolio and go visiting the booths.
San Diego Comic Con - Aug 26-294x4 pannel costs $10. There is a $15 fee for mail in art. They take 10% comission on all sales. 5 bids to auction. A Huge Show, not to be missed if at all possible. They get more people than Worldcon! Comic, Anime, Furry and pretty boy art does wel. Last year, they paid quickly. Many pros, and room for the amateurs as well.
There were many, many con reports (long and short). One was for Darkover Grand Council, see that page.
Other samples of reports and comments:
PhilCon '92 - Nov 13-15
Diana sent stuff to Philcon via a friend. I sent 7 and sold 5. One a small pieces went for over $100. when it started at $7! Heather sent 12 and sold all 12. Philcon is definately on the lists of cons-not-to-miss. Denise Satter reports she was at Philcon, and of course, had a lovely time. The programming seemed minimal, after the Worldcon, but was interesting. The art show was quite good - the a large diversity of art from amateurs to professionals, from simple B&W sketches to original paintings by Boris Vallejo. Not as much sold as last year - however, things did sell - mostly in the $I0 to $100 range. Biggest sale was to Gary Lippincott for $600.00 for a gorgeous watercolor. A local artist N. Taylor Blanchard - also did well. He sells small original acrylic paintings in the $100 range. Nice work, & affordable.I did decently, selling about 1/2 of what I displayed, plus prints in the print shop.
Silicon - Nov 27-29 (Thanksgiving) Silicon was not a good show sales wise. She showed 22 pieces and sold 5 (only 2 went for over minimum). The room was great, the setup was smooth, the staff was very helpful, and Shawn (the director) deserves multiple kudos for doing so well in the face of numerous problems that cropped up with the union facility. Part of the problem. I feel, was that Silicon had a change of locale and no one could find the show. Couple that with recessionary times and you've got a non-spender con. However, the srtist's reception was a nice, intimate little bash with great food and people actually did circulate, view the art and hobnob. A great time was had by all. Artwise, this was one of the better shows I've seen in a while. Lots of new folks and old pros showing off their new works. Heather sent art down, and it got slowed in UPS delivery, and didn't arrive until after the
LunaCon 36 - Mar 19-21 Originals only. Although I've never been to a LunaCon, I understand they are important cons to be'seen' at. Last years I sent 8 and sold only 1, which leads me to believe ! was out of my league.
[regarding Rodger Gonder's recent passing]: Gaylaxicon is a good reputation convention. Many of the volunteers feel that having the 'gay' stamp of approval on the con means they must go the extra lengths to keep it shinny [sic].
At least, this is what I have been lead to believe -- I , too, have never attended the con itself. I think if you write the con-com [about your pay-out check and non-returned art] at the address in the con-listing section. I'm sure they will be shocked and surprised to find themselves in this situation. Address the letter to the Chairman, it's probably the first time he's even thought about it.
Rodger's folks did not approve of his life choice. They went through his affairs and tossed much, SF or Gay, it didn't matter. I am pleased to hear you got your art back. Some close fannish friends tried to salvage what they could.It is greatly possible that the convention paid all the attending artists at the close of the show. If that is the case, then your money was in Rodger's keep. Rodger's affairs have been closed by closed minded, confused parents. Any money's that they do not have records of him owing (and it's possible, they just tossed any SF stuff) was probably used for funeral and hospital expenses. In which case, you'll probably have to write the price sold off.
As to what to do about these sorts of things [not getting paid], there are a number of things we can do to protect ourselves. The main thing boils down to talking amongst ourselves.
1) Has the con been around a while? If it's**** 23, then that's a safe bet they've got a system that works.
2) Do you recognize the name of the art director? Is it another artist? Do these people run other cons you've been at - if so you know how they will treat you.
3) If it's a first time to show for you at some con, do you know someone else who's going? Someone who will baby-sit your work and tell you how good/bad ajob the new con did handling your stuff? Is there someone you know/trust on the con-com?
4) Read your Endeavors! We're all talking here, and we're all opinionated people. It's amazing what you can find out!5) If something bad happens, tell people! Start out nice. Artists already have a reputation for being flighty without us helping it along. Nice, but persistent. It might take a year, but most of fandom are honest people, proud of their reputations and will try and be helpful if they can (and have time).
Laser Prints. Yipe. The subject has been let out of the barrel now. Laser Prints.
Heather did some research... After caling around and talking to many of the techs openly about who she was, and why she wanted the info, she found the following. Basically, Laser prints begin to degenerate their color quality within 3 days of expose to light (of most every kind). 3 Days. Now, it's hard to judge how quickly the degradation proceeds. It depends on the light. All of the techs that Heather spoke didn't think that Laserprints should be represented as anything nearing high quality art prints (which I'm sure none of us have ever done, but others we've seen/heard of do). I understand some of them were surprised at the idea.
Photoprints. I haven't done any major research, but I have a friend who works for Kodak, in NY (not just some little box-in-a-parking-lot). His opinions of Photoprints tend to make him buy something else. Chemicals are chemicals, and they can change. So, how DO you get inexpensive copies made? As far as I can figure - you can't. It's impossible. We are, once again, underwhelmed by technology. Museum level acid-free choice exist, but out of our budgets. Spin the dial, and take your pick of the choices open to you. If you feel comfortable, then fine. Many buyers feel perfectly happy with copies when they can't aford the original. Some people make color laser copies of color laser copies and are perfectly happy. Offer the best of things you can afford, and stand behind what you sell.
Heather and I are considering putting some kind of statement in the back of our pieces. Information like: take the Shrink Wrap OFF!' could easily be folowed by - 'This is a not fine art print that will last for the next 300 years, sorry.' Then at least we will feel eased that we warned them what to expect from their purchased art. It also sometimes seems like a pain, so we haven't done it yet. There are buyers out there who will NOT buy laser prints. At all, I hear them talking in the art show to other people. The buyer is becoming educated, and is setting itself a level of what they will (and will not) tolerate. It must vary from region to region, and even subject matter. I believe in an educated buyer, I think it's a great idea. Until technology catches up with our desires, I am trying to offer mostly hand colored prints. This way, I am trusting the media as much as I do for the originals. If something doesn't last, then I am the one ignorant. I also figure if I ever get up to seling things for big bucks at a constant rate, I too, will find someway to do prints.Ya know, a strange thought just occurred to me. Perhaps we, the fannish artists, are offering oo many prints? Of course, there are more of us then there use to be.
I understand that Ren-Fairs can be a very lucrative place to sell at. The mundanes and the normals that come to the fairs for something interesting to do that weekend have often never been exposed to our kind of art before. Some will buy it for its novelty, some for friends, and some stuff actually gets to their walls. Either way, the sales are not saturated. The New Age people are also beginning to bloom into their own. Although fandom has our share, there are still others who don't read the SF, and thus haven't found our community yet. They too, are an open market. New and looking for expression, there can be good work if you can find it and answer it in your pieces.
An Essay on Greed or Why I won't be sending work to Worldcon '93.
I've received the info package for Confrancisco '93, and happily tore it open. After reading for a few minutes, a trend appeared. When I began to add up the various mandatory charges, glee turned to wrath. Many and various four-letter words poured out. The outrage can be summed up in one sentence - 'And they want to charge a 10% commission on top of al that?!' When I added al the charges up and added the U.S. exchange (being one of them-there Canadians), I was significantly over $100.00. And then, they want to charge a 10% commission on all sales!!'
Okay, let's be serious now. This is not a money making business or professional gallery. It's suppose to be open to everyone - not just the pros! Yes, I realize that mailed-in art is a pain, but for some of us, it's the only way we can get our artwork out there - and that's what this is really about. You can't make it so difficult that only a few people professional enough to afford it can go (I.E. the people that are sure they'll make the money back). You don't want mailed in art? Fine. Say so. Be honest. You want to charge a fee? Fine. Make it reasonable, and return half of it if all the work sells. ($25.00 is not reasonable!) That is the bottom line - people running the art show are not being reasonable. Too bad.But there's always 1994. Hey! That one's in Canada, Eh?
I must admit, I have a different opinion about the art show [at ConFusion]. Of course, I'm attending. $30 for an entire panel didn't phase me (I've paid worse). Worldcon, where not merely a couple of hundred, but thousands of people can see my stuff. The odds of sales are greatly improved. For that matter, since people from areas where I don't normally show will be there, I will have new market potential. Not to mention having pros and professional industry people seeing my pieces. You are right. The mail in prices for this year are tremendous. Mail in art can be a pain. Especialy at a Worldcon, where if you don't have the staff to handle it - you're going to get into real trouble fast. Worldcon will multiply that trouble infinitely. But you can't block of the mail-in option from a Worldcon. With people all over the world receiving information - you can't just say 'we don't have the staff for mail-in'; you have to find another option. Thus, by putting a high price tag on mail-in, you are encouraging other avenues which will require less work for their staff. They are trying to make sure the show is open to everyone, it's the only way they can try. I think they are trying to get artists to consider other ways of getting their art to the con. AGENT comes to mind. Have someone else carry your stuff in for you. Find someone else who is going and beg, borrow and plead. Find another artist type if there's no one living close to you willing to shlep art around. As lo 10% -for me, no big deal. I KNOW there are costs and work involved. I've worked the Worldcon art show staff before. I KNOW that the con il self depends on a certain income from these sales in order to stay in existence. I prefer to have them in existence. In a way, this IS a money-making business; but the money goes to other things fandom needs and enjoys. They have to handle themselves like professionals, they deal with too many people not to. It's the Big Name Pros who get really burned on the 10%. The big book-cover paintings that are worth $6,000 will yield $600 on that commission. If they have a couple of sales, they are really loosing that income. I understand that some of the East Coast cons put a top limit on what that 10% will take. I like that idea. I hope it catches on.
Artistic Endeavors 1 was published in March 1993. This issue has an essay by Heather Bruton called Photo Files: Pros and Cons, see that page. This issue also has an essay by Mel White called GIFS and Scanned Images: Copyright issues, see that page.
Capricon Xlll - Feb 18-21Tina Cawi reports the show was very nice this year. Doc Passavoy and crew were in charge of the auction, and had a great time.
WolfCon - Mar 12-14The the con started out great. Unfortunately by Saturday afternoon, a good many of them had left. You know when the gamers clear out, you're in trouble. There was a lot of very good art work in the show this year. I believe most of it was maritime local. There was a good mix of pro, amateur and semi-pro. The staff brought in a local gallery owner to judge. There were two auctions, and Saturdays was scheduled against the GoH. Sales were down, but I think that was mostly due to the 'Storm of the Century'. I sold a little under half of what I brought. The bad news is the con will be put on 'hold' for two years or so.
Artistic Endeavors 10 was published in May 1993. This issue contains a lengthy comment on GIFS and Scanned Images: Copyright issues.
Continuity, Birmingham, Alabama.I have to say that I have never been at a con where artists were treated so well. All of the attending artists were given guest memberships. The mail in art was treated very carefully. With every concern given.... I sold a large percentage of the artwork, and got good prices for it. I also racked up a whole lot of commissions after the con, making it my all-time high in sales ever. Cheryl was very careful and prompt in getting cheques out to artists. Attending artists were paid on the spot and she got the other cheques out and unsold artwork returned within two weeks. All in all, I highly recommend this small con!
How to Make a fantasy picture into an SF picture by Diana Stein.
For me, that fantasy pieces are alot easier to do. Al I have to do is begin drawing, and the finished product nine times out of ten will end up fantasy. No problem, I've always been a fantasy fan. But, there are times when I think about Science Fiction pieces. They're SF cons, not fantasy cons... so I want to have some SF pieces.
So, I tried to boil down the different elements that can make SF art. And which ones I can put easily into my style and tendencies of art. I have found there are some easy visual cues that can turn a picture from one genre to the other.
Add stars. Not just any stars, but nebulas, black holes, binary suns, Saturn rings, planetscapes so you can see the details. Poof - fantasy creatures become aliens. Space suits. A helmet and a patch or rank insignia on any figure becomes SF right away.
Blasters. Advanced guns can look like anything, so they can be easy to draw. Hang them on hips, or just put them in the background. The blast ray of exotic weapons can make some interesting effects, and turn wizard pictures into strange mercs.
Cyber stuff. By this, I tend to mean computer circuits, disks, plugs and switches. Drape these accouterments on a figure/creature and you have instant cyber-tech, cutting edge pictures.
Space ships. This can be anything from a doorway to the whole ship. Iris doors, air locks, portholes. Remember space ships can come in any color and size. Put 'em in the background. Make 'em Victorian type things.
Advanced Tech stuff. Add a pair of sneakers, a computer screen. Credit caids, the IBM logo. Hmmm, I must remember to do my wizard on in-line skates.There has to be thousands of other ways. I'm just trying to get people thinking about this kind of stuff. Anyone else have some suggestions?
ClariNet contacted me for a Hugo award anthology they are publishing in electronic form. They are even doing a CD version. They wanted the fan art as well. After talking to them, their assurances boil down to "we've done everything, but..." Well, after considering it a while, I wanted to be in the CD. So I'm holding my breath and keeping my bloody fingers crossed, and have figured that's the end of those pics. Still, the whole project sounds refreshingly fun, and at least the fan categories weren't forgotten.
I've always been real pleased with my sales at Darkover but I must admit that some of the rules for the show are extremely bizarre. I put up with it though, cause the sales are so good. My, but I'm a mercenary little bitch, aren't I?
Artistic Endeavors 11 was published in June 1993.
- a reprint of an article by Joshua J. Kaufman from "The Artist's Magazine" called "Who Owns Reproductions"
- an article by Heather Bruton called "Painting Fur"
- this issue has con reports for MediaWest*Con, Ad Astra and Baycon, see those pages
- an article by Tom Dow called "Marbleizing Mat Board"
- there are some lovely comments about Elizabeth Pearse of The Team, Eh?, see that page
- many comments below are responses to the essay GIFS and Scanned Images: Copyright issues
Hi. Im a reader of "alt.fan.furry", a worldwide electronic discussion area dealing with furry art. Recently, there has been a great deal of discussion about the distribution of furry art by fans (through photocopies, electronic scanning, etc.), and the difficulty in determining whether or not the artist has approved with distribution; also, about the difficulty many new fans have in finding furry artists to purchase their works.
With the help of some of the readers of that area, I am compiling a list of artists and publishers, the sort of work they do, and the ways their work may and may not be distributed. It's hoped that such a list will make it easier for new fans to contact (and buy from ) artists and publishers, and reduce unauthorized distribution by reducing the confusion surrounding it. If you would be interested in appearing on such a list, I would greatly appreciate any information you can give me about you and your work. Here is the information I'd like to include for artists: • Your name, and/or the name of the company that distributes your work •Your preferred mailing address • Whether or not you authorize the distribution of your works by others, and if so by what means (photocopying, scanning, etc) and for what works •Whether or not people can obtain samples of your work from you, and if so how (whether you charge for samples, how much postage should go on the SASE, etc.) • Your pricing structure (roughly how much for black mid whites vs. colour, prints vs originals, etc) • If you wish, a list of some of the works you currently have for sale, mid their prices. • Whether or not you do commissions; if you do, you may want to give at least a rough idea of what subjects you will and will not do, and what your typical pricing time deal for commissions is • Anything else you would like prospective customers to know about you and about your work (but please try to keep this reasonably brief and objective; I want this list to be distributed as broadly as possible, and I don't want differences of opinion to get in the way of that).
I would like the list to include publishers and magazines that fans can contact for more information, so if you affiliated with a publisher or magazine I would greatly appreciate any basic information on them that you can give me. For publishers, it would be great to have a mailing address, whether or not a catalog is available (and if so for how much), and a brief list of some of the publishers products; for magazines, the magazine's size and format, how often it is published and subscription rates would also be appreciated.
I'd be happy to answer any questions you have concerning the list. Here are the answers to a few question others have asked; I reserve the right to edit people's information; it would be just about impossible to put the list in a coherent format otherwise. However, I will bend over backwards to avoid changing the content of information.
I want to keep the list reasonably objective, just giving the facts concerning artists and their works, and let the art speak for itself in terms of quality. In particular, I will not allow negative comments on other artists or their works, so you can rest assured that you're not going to be made to look bad on the list.
I encourage artist to state for themselves whether they consider their works erotic or non-erotic, since it's certainly a likely question to arise in a buyer's mind. However, I will not segregate the list in any way on that basis; the last thing I want to do is set myself up as a censor, and so many artists draw on both sides of the line that such a division would be meaningless anyway.I plan on making the list as widely available as possible, both through electronic and non-electronic means. I'l send you a copy of the finished list and you'l be welcome to distribute it. -- Mark Phaedrus
In response to my last letter about art uploaded to computers, Heather asked: "Just what can you do, if someone has put your art into the system without asking? I assume it's too late to get it pulled." Generally, yes. It's too late. Like I said, Internet is global and lias literally millions of modems hooked to it. Once you shunt a piece of work up in there, it is pretty much public domain. Millions of users have access to it; untold thousands with cut and paste programs that can simply nip out your signature and insert a bogus one, or none at all. The image can be altered too, positions changed and so forth. Once that has been done, you are totally screwed out of any copyright you might have had. Shockingly, an altered image falls under a new copyright in the eyes of the law. Seems unbelievable, but a few of my artist friends have had to learn the hard way that copyright laws are virtually powerless against the sheer scope of Internet. One mild example is is one of your works is shunted to say, Scotland, and some user there decides he likes it, then he can download it to disk; take it over to his friendly colour separator; (they do avast majority of colour separations in computer nowadays) have him crank out separations that he will then take to his local printer and have run off into lithos or whatever that he can sell anywhere in the world expect the USA. Why? You don't have an International Copyright. Yeah, there is such a thing. US copyrights only hold within the US and then only if the Feds decided that you're worth the trouble to help.
Plagerism is an even bigger bundle of problems. I've gone through many an art show and seen copies of everything from Boris paintings to the last cover of National Geographic. I'm not exactly sure what the laws are one this but I do know that you cannot copyright a style of drawing. If that person did Nagel like stuff they were not breaking any laws. A lack of imagination maybe but they were doing something that was perfectly legal. This happens in every art field and there really is no legal way to stop it. I do not think that it is the art show director's job to do something about this. They are there to runthe show notto pass judgment on someone else's art. Can you imagine the trouble that would cause? The most of director can do is stop the hanging or art featuring copyrighted characters and even then it's a sticky business. Some pros don't mind at all, a lot of the comic companies even encourage it at comic shows, while Disney will use your guts for garters. Again, it really isn't the director's job. So, do we turn our backs? Ignore it? Hard to say, I'm not sure on this one. Ideally I guess you should take the artist's name and address and send it to the artist they copied. I doubt they'd do anything though. I'll be very curious to hear what the rest of our readers have to sav on this one.
Artistic Endeavors 12 was published in July 1993. This issue has an article called "Pricing Your Work" by Terri Jones (Necronomicon Art Show). It also has an essay by Donna Barr called How to Fantasy.
The Art show was pretty well run, it seemed to me, though there weren't any awards given. Also, there was no distinction between Pro and Amateur, but I suppose since there wasn't a contest, it didn't matter much. I showed 13 pieces, the most I've ever had in a show, and sold 6. Unfortunately, only one went to auction, most of the rest sold for minimum bid or $5 above. The art show in general seemed rather on the slow side... I can't think of more than a handful of pieces from the whole show that went to auction. Methinks this is because people were spending all their cash in the dealers room. Not surprising for a con like this, I guess.They had an 'artists ghetto', free with a panel in the art show, which is where I spend most of the con. I did a few commissions and had people come past my table at a pretty steady rate... I did find something odd, though, A friend of mine (with permission) had made a stack of xeroxes of the drawing that I'd sent him over the past year, and brought them with him. I put the rather sizable stack on the table with a little sign saying "Xeroxes, $1). No pretense to limited print runs or anything; just B&W photocopies. And people bought them. Lots of them. Often $10 worth at a time. So help me, it was the weirdest thing I've ever seen. Not that I'm complaining., but it goes to prove that fen will buy just about anything if it's only a buck.
Went to InConJunction, took 10 (maximum limit), sold 3, did lousy. The art show staff was grouchy and unorganized and they did several things I didn't like.
The first was that when one of my pieces sold by quick bid, they allowed the buyer to take the piece then and there. I put a lot of time into my displays and it upsets the visual balance if there is a hole in the middle. Also, I have a lot of people calling me after the con to tell me that they saw my stuff and would like to order a specific piece they saw there. They won't know what's available if the pieces disappear on the first day. And if there are awards given out, it hurts when one of the best pieces is no longer there (not in this particular case, but it's happened).
The second thing they did was they pulled down pieces as they got enough bids to go to auction. They started doing this HOURS before the art show closed. As an artist/seller, and, I would think, as an art show taking a percentage, I would want to leave the art up as long as possible so as to generate as much interest (and therefor as much money) as possible. How does the buyer know what's available if everything going to auction is piled up on a table in the center of the room? Especialy if they are, for example, one of the dealers (you know, those people are actually MAKING money at a con) and this is their first opportunity to get to the art show. Not only does if discourage sales but it encourages people to paw through the pile to see what they've missed, increasing the chance to damage the art. And I know they didn't have to do this to save time because the auction didn't start until five hours after the art show closed.
The last thing they did was they told me that I should try to check out until all my sold pieces were picked up because they didn't want to be stuck with the pieces/cost. l can understand not wanting to lose the money but if you feel that this is going to be a problem set up your closing procedure to cover it. Instead of paying the artist at the con, send them a check minus whatever the unsold piece cost (plus the piece, of course). And this last problem wouldn't have been as bad if the staff would've at least SMILED when they made the request instead f making me feel like scum for wanting to pick up my stuff so that I could go home. One last thing, the auction was way too long for a con of it's size and it was a sleeper to boot.The Convention itself was fun, and I'l probably go again but if I bring anything for the art show, it will be because I happen to be there and not through any hopes of making money. Thank you for letting me rant.
Artistic Endeavors 13 was published in September 1993. This issue has several con reports for ConFrancisco.
[letter from Kaja Murphy]:
Wow, everybody seems to have something to say about plagiarism. I guess it's a worse problem than I realized. Although, now that I think of it. I have seen my share of Playboy playmates with fairy wings. A while back I was visiting a SCA event with Phil Foglio, when we came upon a stall selling, among other things, baby quilts. Hung up in prominent display was one which had been painted with a picture which was taken directly (and obviously) from one his drawings (Gleep the dragon, from the Mythadventures books). We burst out laughing like idiots, and the proprietor, after staring at the crazy people for a minute, recognized Phil (God only knows how). He was very apologetic and embarrassed, but Phil was amused and just brushed it off. What's the line on stuff like this? It was only one quilt, and the artist didn't care, but the guy really seemed to think that he would be mad (a legitimate worry). What if it had been a whole stall of nothing but stuff like this?
I think that there is a lot of ignorance about the etiquette (and laws) surrounding other people's artwork in fandom. I put a lot of it down to the fact that a lot of fen are pretty oblivious to the world at large, but that's not really an excuse. Also, as you said last issue, Fan Cliques can be formidable in such a small pond. How do you deal with some well-loved moron that everyone will defend with their dying breath who has been copying your art onto T-Shirts without asking? I can well imagine that some artists would be afraid of coming out the bad guy. Obviously, I have never had to deal with this sort of thing myself, being fairly new, but I have seen other people deal with (minor) instances of this sort of thing a few times. The way that seems to work best is to a) let them know that it isn't kosher, b) scare 'em a little, and c) get something out of it if there's anything to be got (a cut of the profits, some T-shirts, whatever), all the while operating on the assumption that they just didn't know any better, and now they do. The culprit is usually relieved that the artist is so understanding, and scared enough to not do it again. And you get a couple of T-Shirts, or whatever. As I said. I have only been witness to minor trespasses, I have no idea what you do if they KNOW that they're doing something wrong, or doing it on a grand scale, or are totally unashamed.
- Well, if Phil doesn't object, then no one else does either. I do find it suspicious that the person obviously realized that this was wrong - otherwise he wouldn't have felt so apologetic. He just figured he could get away with it.
- At least there was some reproduction work on the part of the quilt maker. It wasn't just a copy he was selling for money, but a project that required he work on it. In those cases assuring the craftsman that written permission is best and easily obtained is the best course.
- I'm certain Phil has more than his share of these problems, so I know he'll handle things well. You have to at least let the craftsman know that permission should be obtained. Even if Phil isn't going to cause a stink, other people might. A lot of course of action depends upon the scale and situation.
[comments from David Henniger, regarding a letter in the last issue]: In your July issue, [Deb] spoke of her experiences at the InConJunction Art Show. Four of us, Dennis and Lynn Ciurej, my wife Robin Brunner and myself have been running this show for the past thirteen years. We usualy don't let things like this bother us, but [Deb's] letter contained so many inaccuracies and superficial criticisms we felt a reply was in order. [Deb] complains that one of her pieces sold at quick sale was given to the buyer immediately. This is why it's caled 'quick sale'. A large portion of our atendees have purchased one day memberships and for various reasons cannot return Sunday to claim their art. If an artist makes a special request that art not be relinquished until the end of the con, we would try to accommodate him - but what if it made the difference between a sale or no sale? Quick sale is at the discretion of the artist. [Deb] states, "They pulled down pieces as they got enough bids to go to auction HOURS before the art show closed." Sorry. This is not true. One of our people may have begun to collect work work fifteen minutes before six (This is not certain). The doors were shut and people were asked to leave promptly at six. Those of us who work cons often have other duties as well. "The auction was way too long for a con of its size and it was a sleeper to boot. Dennis and I usually do the auction together, but Dennis became ill Saturday. BJ Willinger graciously volunteered to auction with me (and did wonderfully). With 74 pieces going to auction, he informed the bidders that we would skip the schtick and make it move. We sold al 74 pieces in under 2 hours (that's just under two minutes a piece), and got an ovation from the bidders at its end. Apparently [Deb's] opinion was not universal. The auction was larger than we like however. We are considering requiring three bids to go to auction. We would like to hear some opinions from artists on this. A valid complaint [Deb] has is the tables containing sold art Sunday. They were piled as nearly as they could be. There was so much art and so many people that we spent most of our time policing it rather than helping buyers to find their art. The check-out line was never this crowded before. Fortunately most fans are understanding and honest. It has been traditional for people to find their work or purchases, bring them to the desk and check them out. Yet, this allows people to "paw through the pile". This has to change but I'd hate to see it as rigid as a Worldcon show.The purposes of the InConJunction Art Show are to promote F & SF art and to make money for artists. We certainly don't get much out of it. We get our satisfaction out of making artists and buyers feel good about doing business at InConJunction. We work hard at it. As this was the largest art show at InConJunction ever in terms of number of pieces sold and dollar sales we think we did pretty good. We are always open to constructive, accurate criticism, but letters like this bother us a lot.
[another response to a letter in the last issue]: I was highly concerned when I read the leter from Deb which was highly critical of InConJunction's art show. May I respond? The complaints Deb voiced indicated a lack of knowledge about how SF convention art shows function. Let's start with the 'problem' of buyers disrupting the artist's display by removing their purchases. I've never attended an SF con of similar size that did not alow quick sale pieces to be removed by the buyer if the buyer told the art show volunteers they were leaving the convention and not returning. If Deb doesn't want her display disrupted, then she can simply not offer quick sale price and risk losing potential sales to those with one day memberships or schedule conflicts. It's her choice. Deb also said the art auction lasted too long. I disagree. InConJunction has operated under the "two-bids-to-auction" rule for a long time, but this year they had record-setting bidding. I suppose they could have changed the rules in the middle of the game, switching to three-bids-to-auction. However, that would be terribly unfair to artists and buyers alike. This happened once in my early days. InConJunction's solution was to the better one: instruct the auctioneers to keep things moving.
As for closing earlier than necessary in preparation to the auction: I'm sorry, but the closing time was consistent with many other conventions. The closing time was also dinner time, and the four volunteers had worked all day without a break.Deb complained that no one smiled and I can't help but wonder if she tried smiling herself. Volunteers give up their time, frequently miss seeing most of the convention, and work hard all weekend. Few people take the time to thank them for their contribution, but many attendees feel justified in unloading their frustrations upon them. Art show volunteers must walk a fine line to meet the sometimes opposing needs of the artists and art buyers within the restraints imposed by others. Let's try to remember that they're working without compensation as a favor to us. And above all else, please smile and speak kindly to the volunteers - or you many attend a conventions someday and find there is no art show because no one is willing to chair it.
[the editor of the newsletter responded]: Whew! Controversy. It seems that many of the difficulties have arisen because of expectations based on experience. I am use to schtick at an auction, and tend not to like ones that don't have it; on the other hand with many pieces going to auction - and not wanting a Media West 8 hour auction without proper warning (and sometimes not even then!) I understand hard choices. I am use to seeing art hung the entire run of the show till close before auction, but then I'm used to losing the one-day membership sales (which aren't as common here). Quick sales confuse me because I don't do many shows that use them, but I understand they can be a sales device. I should like to say that long before the con, David wrote me and we talked about the way the Team Eh? does things, so he could see if there was anything we did that would make his life easier. So the InConJunction people are not only experienced, but are still looking for ways to improve and refine their art show experience. We've had the report and the rebuttal, so that's all I intend to print. I'd like to try and concentrate on the more positive aspects that this raises. We should all be aware:
-That all shows are going to be different, that means different good and different bad (and everyone's opinion on what is good and bad will be different). We need to understand that not every show will get the checks out with the art, have special spot lights for all our pieces, give us artists ribbons for our badges and some nubile young thing to wait on our every need. That we need to talk about what to expect from whom.
-That everyone is trying to work to the best end possible, for everyone. Sometimes, there are other rules imposed on art show staff by the con committee, and they are forced to take the flack. Sometimes the director is new, and hasn't learned who to take advise from.-And that everyone doing this is crazy, ummm, I mean a sensitive caring and most likely over-worked volunteer (including me). And that we're crazy overworked starving artists too (although, if I'm starving then why am I so large?).
Artistic Endeavors 14 was published in November 1992.
There are several con reports for ConFrancisco. This issue has "The Care and Feeding of Artwork: Now that you've bought it, what do you do with it?" by D.C. Dedon, Mountain Regional Director ASFA, Second Edition June 1984 (reprinted from somewhere else).
San Diego Comic ConAttendance was something over 20,000, and it felt like it (crowds everywhere). The art show has much to compete with, given the very art-oriented comics field (hundreds of pro-artists in Artists Alley alone, plus many more at dealer's tables and at Comic Company booths, etc.) But still gets enough foot-traffic to make this one of the bigger shows, ion money and size, among cons. Higher-priced pieces have good chances of selling here. Comics, animation, anime and media subject matter does well, along with more traditional fantasy/SF stuff. This show ran smoothly, but experienced major problems with check-out and pick-up due to unforeseen circumstances. Most artists seemed to be selling pretty well. I did much the same as the last few years (about $500 average), so the show seemed fairly recession-proof. It is now over 30 days since the con, and I have not yet received the check or paperwork.
[Suzanne Robinson wrote]: I do have one little pet peeve I'd like to share with AE readers. It always amazes me how some buyers (and a few artists ... thankfully very much in the minority) feel no hesitation in taking out their frustrations over some policy or delay on the art show staff who - contrary to some people's beliefs - are NOT getting paid to work the art show. (Though why some people think that should excuse rudeness ... but that's another issue.) In fact I don't know anyone who does art shows and gets paid. 'We are volunteers. The Team gets free memberships and sometimes a couple of free hotel roomnights (last time that worked out to about $14 per person). In return the art show staff give up one day of their vacation to set up on Friday, work a minimum of 8 hours per day for three days and pay for two nights hotel, gas and meals. The money taken in from sales goes to the artists (we charge panel fees, no commission); panels fees cover art show expenses and if there is any money left over after expenses that money is turned over to the convention who usually keeps track of it and uses it for future capital expenditures like repairing or replacing worn art show panels. We do not make money working art shows—working art shows actually costs us money. But hey, we're crazy, this is our hobby and we get a lot of satisfaction promoting artists and SF/fantasy art. But if you hear someone talking about art show staff as if these volunteers are "paid" please set them straight. 'We'd appreciate it. And thanks for letting me blow off some steam.
Artistic Endeavors 15 was published in December 1993. There are some con reports for WindyCon in this issue, as well as several very technical articles about art techniques.
[excerpt from an article by Diana Harlan Stein called "Renaissance Fairs]:
This article based on a lengthy conversation with Lucy Synk and Erin McKee at Windycon. Diana herself only knows by asking. We've all seen 'em. We've all been to 'em. And best of all, we've all seen the bucks the mundanes pay out to get their bit of fantasy to take home. How do we get a piece of the action? The large RenFairs, as I understand them, are each run by a board of executives. They need to be incorporated to own the land, and manage all the odds and ends of this business. They will generally be contactable through whatever PO Box number is on all their mailings. When you request information, it's a cinch you'll need to show examples of your work. They will tell you what they want. Slides or samples might be requested. After all, these people are balancing the fair so they don't have too many of one kind of dealer and none of another. Make sure to appear professional, this is a business after all. If you are accepted into the show, you will need to pay up. Most fees will differ depending on the age of the show, and how many people they attract. Markets vary. Congratulations, you are basically about to open your own little store.You will be purchasing the building you will be selling from. Not rent, not just get, you will OWN the building. Most shops in a RenFair are already built, so you will be getting what's already standing. You will have to pay for repairs, upkeep, and remodeling from your own savings. This can run you in the thousands.
Cutting the schtick at art auctions as a method of keeping the auctions from getting too long? This has been a continuing debate amongst buyers, auctioneers, and artists foras long as I've been doing art in shows (much longer than like to think about). Everyone has their own theories of course and there are good and bad points to both, in my own opinion I really like the schtick, when well done and not too long and interfering with the process of selling art work I think it gets better sales than just someone standing there talking in a monotone. I can remember a number of shows I've been at where the auctioneer has come out and basically said "I'm not here to entertain you or make jokes I'm here to sell art", he then proceeded to put us all to sleep. Bidding was slow and sluggish. I was one of my lowest sales in years and when he was replaced the next year, my sales bounced up again.Now that being said, I do agree that there are times when the schtick is taken too far and interferes with the sales. This year's Windycon stepped over the line a couple of times. It's fine line between getting the audienoe loosened up and going too far. I'll always prefer a lively auction to a boring one though.
Thank you for the newest edition of AE. I wasn't expecting it since I hadn't sent any response or stamps after the previous issues. ' re: the policy of not printing dollar amounts that individual artists make at specific art shows. I think you should stick to that policy.
That opinion is based upon my own reaction to reading that April made $1,600 at Confrancisco. Since I considered myself lucky to have been able to make expenses with enough left over to afford entering one or more future art shows, it took April's statement of much she make in sales to show me how miserably I had done in comparison. After ten years of doing convention art shows, I am now making less in sales art shows then I did when I first started in 1983. That was tough enough to take. Then to discover that I made less than 1/4 in sales than another artist at the same show- right there in black and white it AE-
Hell, I'm not jealous - just horrendously depressed! While I'm very happy for April's success, and am very glad that she's done so well, having to read in dollar amounts how well she did only makes my lack of more sales even more painful for a second time around.
My daily life is rife with reminders about my financial failures as an artists: bills, dunning creditors, a disgruntled significant other who's upset (even sometimes resentful) about my lack of income from my artwork. I really don't need to have my nose rubbed in that reality by reading how much another artist made. It may give the particular artist ego-boo to talk about it, but it doesn't do much for the less successful artists except to cause discouragement, depression and even anger. There was a very small contingent of artists at Confrancisco who took to wearing spit-in-your- eye yellow buttons that practically screamed "I Hate You, I Hate You, I Hate You!" When I overcame my shock and vague paranoiac response to the hostility button, I asked one wearer what that was all about. The reply was that it was someone's idea of a 'protest' against all the pros like Michael Whelan etc. who were stealing all the attention and sales away from the lesser known and lower paid artists. At the time I thought the idea rather unfortunate and dubious about such a protests success. Mostly because the lack of mention on the button about who was targeted by the hatred Without a target stated, a person with a rather shaky self-image -like yours truly- would, at first shock, possibly take the anger personally.
Perhaps walking around with a button proclaiming "I Hate You!" thrice angrily was great therapy for the wearers or the person who had the idea gave out the buttons. I found the whole thing highly unpleasant, even it may have been intended as a joke ... which I rather doubt was the case. But then I have rarely found anger, envy, jealousy or other negative energy burning emotions to be humourous. I'm funny that way, I guess.
Because of various physical and personal traumas, too numerous and complex to mention here, my artwork output and therefore my income - has been drastically reduced in the last five years. My total gross income for 1992 was than $800. So you can perhaps understand why reading that an artist made twice that amount at one show might be more than just a little painful.
Currently I am unable to afford to make prints of any kind of my better paintings. So I'm struggling along from show to show, selling originals for less money than more successful artists are are charging for prints of their work. This isn't a complaint, just a statement of the facts. Cold hard cash reality is that financially I'm just not making a successful go at being an artist.
- First off let me explain those buttons at Worldcon since Diana and I are sort of to blame for them. Who ever talked to you told you the completely wrong reason for them. For God's sake I don't resent Michael or anyone's success, they worked hard for It and deserve every penny they get. It would be incredibly petty to resent that sort of thing and they certainly didn't take attention away from the non cover artists, there is enough attention to go around. The buttons were made up by Amy Falkowitz at Worldcon as a joke. Our group of artists, Diana, me, April, Joyce, Terrie, Frank etc etc etc, have a little joke going were If we really like something the other has done we tell them we hate them. This Is usually followed by a "well I hate you for such and such." Followed then by "oh thank you, thank you." It's sort of back patting compliment and meant all in good fun. People asked about them at Worldcon and no one complained or felt ofended by them that we talked to. Of course that doesn't mean no one was, you are a case in point. However if everyone went around not doing things because they had to worry about what everyone in the world thought about it, they'd never do anything because there's sure to be someone offended. (Wow, talk about a run on sentence....) Being an artist means you have to cultivate this attitude to a certain extent because as soon as you hang up your work you are opening yourself to leting anyone make any kind of comment they want about what you do and usualy searching you out to do so (come hurt me!). I've had some outrageously awful things said to me but I just let it bounce off since it's going to happen anyway and you better learn to live with it.
I paint the acrylic on hot-press and my production speed is not real fast yet, but I've original art hanging at Wizards Gallery here in near by Kirkland, WA, and I've just made my first colour commission. I've been using the con art shows mostly as a forum to display my improvement and meet people (preferably editor-type people with money) but DreamCon I decided to crank out a couple of fast, marketable little paintings which I could price low and send to auction for just a bundle of money. I put in a couple of evenings on each painting, which forme is fastand dirty. At the art show. Wizards Gallery, a.k.a. [M R R] bought 'Lust Demon' at mininum bid for $35. When I went to Wizards a couple of days later, he'd framed it, renamed it "The Fire Within" and was offering it to the public for $200. Go figure. I've since heard that DreamCon, being largely a gaming con, just doesn't pull people with big bucks to the artshows, and that Wizards Gallery made this kind of really great deal on several Damien Willich (sp? Sorry, I can't spell at all) originals. There's nothing underhanded in Marcus' behavoir but it's not how I wanted the money to be distributed and the promise that he'll buy me a really good dinner if it sells just doesn't improve my spirits that much.
Artistic Endeavors 16 was published in February 1994. As of this issue, there were 100 people on the mailing list roster. This was also the issue where the editor said that fans would now have to pay money to get the newsletter.
- Mail-In Pet Peeves, A Director's Nightmare, article by Terri Jones, an show director for Necronomicon
- The Ten Easiest Backgrounds, article by Diana Harlan Stein
Loscon Art Show Review - Nov 26-28Loscon usually has a membership somewhere between one and two thousand and holds a fair sized art show. This year Fuzzy Nicen was the director. It sold out a month of so before the con. I was on the waitlist but got in a week before the con. All panels were filled in the show. Bidding seemed a bit slow and a number of pieces went for mininum. Thirty four pieces went to auction. I'd say that sales were still a bit sluggish overall (I've seen participating artists do better at other art shows, anyway). I think the economy is still affecting sales here. For the record, I had two panels (6-7 pieces) and only sold two pieces to the first bidder on the sheet and made about $140, which is pretty unexciting, but only a bit below average for me (I'm not including print sales in the dealers room -- but those were small too). I agented for someone who made about five times that amount, but had also done much better at other shows I've been to this year. (Heather here, that was me April agented for, this was my first time at this show and I made around $600. Not great but a goodly amount for the pieces I had there). By the way, if people really object to dollar amounts then I will refrain in the future. I happen to find it interesting and occasionally helpful in assessing shows.
Silicon - Nov 26-28Just a report on wither Silicon "93.... it certainly did. Wither, that is. With minuscule publicity and no PR or flyers, or mailers of any kind. This year's con was even more lightly attended than last. The Art Show was in a bigger room with much better lighting than last years ill-fated event. But, even going back to the old reliable Red Lion Inn couldn't overcome the glaring lack of publicity. I think Shawn Blanchette did admirably will considering that she had to deal with a convention-gone-kaput. There were a number of empty panels. The artists who'd been unhappy with the sloppy way the con was run last year (and the long delay in receiving paychecks) were reluctant to participate. There wasn't enough bidding to generate an auction. Everyone had saved their pennies to spend at ConFransico. Lay-offs are the cold reality of the financial crisis being dealt with by a lot of fans in the area. Because I put distressedly low prices on my work, I was able to cover expenses, just barely. Out of the 15 pieces I showed, I sold 6. Some artists had no sales at all, so I consider myself fortunate.
Confusion XX - Jan 21-23 This is the second year they were in this hotel, and this year, our room was larger. The extra space was alloted for the auction, which was to held inside the art room itself. This lead to a lot of careful moving and re-arranging things on Saturday night. The show itself went very smoothly. Space was sold out before the show, hut something always seems to materialize at the show. Bill Wardrop brought a 3D civilwar airship model, handmade (he researched all the parts were available, if anyone had thought of building it). Laura Butler also had one of her magnificent pipecleaner sculptures, a dryad feeding the birds (You just have to see these to believe them!). There were some new faces amid the old, and bidding was spread accross the panels. Erin McKee brought a great amount of pieces and was really a great hit in the art show. Even though she was kept too busy to receive them, anyone spending any time in the art show at all. heard all sorts of good things. She did a wolf's head on that new suede matte board that was sensational. Bidding seemed slow until before close of Saturday. Many things seemed to go to auction at the last moment.
Present problems; what do I do, and do well, that will sell? Using photographs. I can do portraits—people and animals - and I also use my imagination as well as different books to do mythological characters and anthropomorphics. My graphics of famous personalities sell well at media cons, but I suspect I need to find something else for the other type of conventions. I'm just not sure what!
Just because I like doing bondage pictures occasionally—and they're of men, not women! - and some nude studies (male and female, and nothing obscene - more along the line of Olivia, art-wise, and David Hamilton. photography-wise) doesn't mean I want to sell them. I suspect it's my secret vice, and I reather doubt there's a market for males in bondage, anyway, even if it's obvious it's in play and not for torture (although those do come in handy for some fanzines!). But poses for those sorts of pictures are interesting, because you can twist the torso and stretch muscles taut that usually aren't drawn that way. I guess the problem is, I'm not sure quite what the traffic will allow, convention-wise. and with a lot of them no longer accepting media-orientated art. Well, I'm stuck. And doing barbarian males being adored by nude females isn't my thing, either. *sigh* As the saying goes in "The King and I, " for me, this "is a puzzlement." The only thing l've figured out, in the long run, is that the things you draw that you're not too happy with will sell quicker than the stuff you're proudest of. Which means, you either draw what YOU want and hope it sells or draw what you think the paying public wants and hope it sells too. No way out, is there? Guess I'd just draw what I want, keep try secret vices secret most of the time, and hope the more conventional, less controversial stuff sells.Wonder if there's a private outlet for secret vices?
So, where does a picture stop being an original, and become a derivative? The line is so blurred by today's technology, the the U S Copyright Office is having a hard time. We all know the olden days definition, but where do we fall today? As I see it (and I am hardly an expert) - the original is the finished product you had in mind when you started the work. All the work done before that is all preliminary. I'll admit that black copier powder isn't the best media to work in. - but most of my work is shapped and emphasized by the use of the color. I don't do Black & White copies and hold them up as anything but copies. True, there is mechanical means involved in this process. In today's world, it is hard to avoid the easy (that's what technology is all about). There are many other little mechanical means we use in our work (mechanical pencils, photographs, mass produced paper, etc) I think this is where most people start wondering. That's good. It tells us we're thinking. But even the Pros and Government have these questions, so we can not hope to answer it correctly. It must be correct for us, and we must let people know our standards so they are not fooled or think they are getting something they are not. I slave over my 'originals', I embelish and do a lot of work in color. I don't put it great black areas with the copier (although sometimes I wonder why not, some copies do well in light). I know I am making a moral choice by declaring one as the original. I treat it as such. It is the final result I had in mind. I am comfortable that I am not breaking any tenants of print making or the rules of art. It is my moral choice. If someone tell me this is wrong, and convinces me in good conscious that what I am doing is a rip off - I'll stop. I know my results are less than Mary Lynn's, or than Joyce's (or even Heather's) But I don't believe what I'm doing is wrong - it just hasn't been defined in terms of today's technology yet. I guess I'm just doing art, as opposed to Fine Art.
Since I know I will not be a top seller at most cons, I expect to hear about sales that are bigger than mine. It would be depressing if no one made more than I, since I would probably make a better living working the same hours at McDonald's. I actually find it exciting to hear about big sales. Some of my friends make more than I do at conventions and some less -- and we agent for each other and generally share information, and while checking out the art shows and auctions it is pretty easy to calculate what everyone is making, so I really don't think it was a big deal to give my dollar figures. Oh, well, live and learn! I had hoped to get some other brave people into the habit of giving figures. I show too infrequently and am too inconsistent in what I'm selling for my dollar figures to be as helpful as they could be, but other artists here have sales from show to show that could be a very telling barometer as to how good that show was (in sales), and reveal what sort of prices could be had at all those shows I know next to nothing about. I had thought that was in part the purpose of the newsletter. But if people find dollar figures offensive, I suppose I could do without.
Boo! Now I have to start charging [money for this newsletter]. It s not hard to figure why. 100 copies at 75 cents each... makes Diana very poor indeed. Especially 10 times a year. The sad part is once we start charging, people will drop off the roster, and we'll be down to manageable size again. *sigh* I'll start a file. Please send money in order to remain on the roster and keep geting these. A year's worth would work out to $7.50 to $10 - depending on the issue size. I intend to just take off the stamp money and a bit for envelopes and such. Charges will progress as the issues do. If you guys can still manage with the less than black printing my office xerox makes, then that makes things cheapest. If things get over whelming, and too much time goes into copies, then I'll take 'em to a quick print and add those charges in too. Ingrid, Lee, and Van currently have money sent in recently enough to count on their accounts. Local art friends who get handed copies don't have to worry. To everyone else who sent stamps lately, let me tell you I appreciated them, but they all got used, and I didn't keep track of who sent what. Sorry, but making everyone start at zero seems fair. Stamps, or SASE (that are big enough) are as good as money. I hope you all understand. I really was wanting to hold out for a good long while yet. The idea of being on the Hugo List for fanzine was very appealing (I wonder is newsletters can make it on the lists?). The idea of just geting people talking was what was behind these AEs all along - and I don't like expensive talk. Still, we seemed to have hit the nail on the head, and have become too popular for our own good. If you can't afford to be on the lists, no hard feelings. Heck. I understand - that's why I'm forced to charge. We look forward to seeing you at the shows. Drop us a letter once in a while anyway. A few sample copies will still be made available to interested new people. My apologies, but we warned you as best we could.
About the auctioneering schtick. Speaking as a auctioneer, let me tell you this: an amused audience buys more pictures! I can only guess that everybody is talking about something that I haven't see yet - the show going so long that people forgetting what they're there for. My point is that funny auctioneers will sometimes get people to come to auction that haven't even bid on work, just to see the show. And once they're there, some of them can be amused right into buying stuff! It's amazing!
I'd like to add my two cents worth to the discussion of including dollar amounts when comparing conventions sales. I think it's great!! What artist has never struggled with the question of a price to put on a work? Or dodged around setting a commission estimate because we're not comfortable talking money? It's great to see artists being secure enough to show figures. Actually, I'd appreciate a little more information. Like a quick bulk description of the type of stuff sold. Certainly not a piece by piece, but more "big acrylics" or "beefcake fantasies" or "Trek portraits". Just an indication of what the sales were. I also think a total of the pieces minimum bids would be helpful in appreciating the total sales figures. For example; "I sold 15 pieces for $600 ($300 min)." This might give a better idea or how active the bidding was or how successful the auction was, or just how wel the artist was received and how happy we should be for them!
Your comments about 'pandering' are taken to heart. Someone called this kind of art 'lowest common denominator' art. That means that appeals to more people for more sales, more arguments in the auction, and more prints in a print run. The thing I think we find most often is the work you do for yourself - the one you're really proud of - only garners little interest. But the piece that you whipped out in 5 minutes goes to auction lor the big bang, Oh well. I just count the money and smile. I tend to print whatever information people send me about their sales. Since this is the only place where I've seen people being outspoken about money, what kind of work -sells well, and things ol this kind - I think we should encourage that kind of information. Heather and I try to say what we see, and what we find works well. If feedback is positive (and it has been so far), maybe we'll go in that direction. We just need more infonnation coming to us (I get tired of only printing mine and Heather's figures. For a bit I was calling a couple of people - I suppose I should go back to that.)
Artistic Endeavors 18 was published in April 1994.
- an extensive list of short, factual con reports that rely what individual artists brought/sent to cons (1)
- "The Artist and the IRS," is a short article by Diana Harlan Stein (6)
- letters from artists (7)
- roster of 51 artists, their mailing addresses and phone numbers (13)
- a photocopy (from a book?) of an article called "Prismacolor Art Pencil Color and Lightfastness Guide" (14)
- a March 22, 1994 letter from Boskone XXXI Art Show organizers (Claire and Dave Anderson) that is a wrap-up of that con in regards to the art show and sales, includes summary of bidding, sales and purchases (15)
I was pleased with your final comments in reply to [Joy R] about you try to keep you work in a balance as far as amount done of just what you want to, and amount done that you know has an audience, whether or not it's a particular favorite idea of yours. Sometimes I'm a bit bothered by folks who keep asking "what sells" as far as topics for their work. My own theory is you should always do what you are interested in - it'll be your best work. Try too hard to do something just because it's the image that happens to be selling, and you run a good chance of just creating a lot of half-assed artwork. Do your own work, then see if there is an audience for it rather than trying to fit your work to the audience. A bit of both isn't bad, as long as you don't let the audience-stuff take over. Best case scenario is when what you like to do is also popular, of course!
I kinda think that SF art is the bastard son of the 'real' art world. We have different practices and customs here than they do. We tend toward cheap and techno. A lot of talk is being generated about our differences, and whether or not we should conform to outer standards or not. Are we on the cutting edge, or are we out in the Twilight Zone?
Artistic Endeavors 19 was published in May 1994.
This issue has a report on the Lunacon art show, see that page. It also has an essay in the form of a letter on art shows and conventions, see Offense, like beauty, is in the mind of the beholder. to read this, as well as comments to the essay.
Silicon - Nov 26-28Melody sends the update that nearly all the artists have been paid off now. The internal paperwork was a huge mess, and the art show director, Shawn Blanchette, has been paying the artists out of her own pocket. She is trying to straighten out a mess that was handed to her to untangle. Since she'll be taking over the headship of Silicon next year and has appointed a new art show director, there should be no problems with next year's con. People are being paid, but it is a long and drawn out process.
Con-Dor - March 3–6From Terrie - Con-Dor was a small con, this being it's second year, but I still managed to sell two pieces for minimum (minimum being $40, so that's not bad). About the same as last year, so I'm not complaining. Sales didn't go down. It's still a young con. Heather mentioned to Diana that she feels the many California cons manage to grow quite well as the years go by. Gettitig to know the art show director while the show is simple is often a boon in later years.
Phil & Ed's Excellent Convention - Mar 31-Apr 3
This being a very personal report on the convention and may not retlect other opinions!! First off, a con report of sorts. On Easter weekend, Phil (Phil Broad) and Ed's (Ed Zamora) Excellent Convention was held, Todd Hamilton was one of the guests along with John Varley, and James Hogan and we also spotted Adam West in the hallway. This con was unfortunate tor tne for a couple of reasons, one, I was not sure that I would even be able to attend the con until a couple weeks before, so I had not volunteered and, two, I was sick and more fuzzy-headed than usual. Despite this the convention was enjoyable. It was a real neo-con, something I did not think LA was capable of, however it was kind ot refreshing and I enjoyed myself. It was run by a couple of ex-Chicago fen who really did not tap into the usual LA crowd. Nor did they really advertise in the usual venues, this was more of a media convention. The con-goers were a lot of folks who I have not seen at any other convention. A lot of Neocon mistakes were made but from the outside some of these may not have been visible, with the exception of the costume show, but that is another story.Another example was that the art show director (Sam Quinn) was the third one in a year and she had NO staff (fortunately for her during the con the show was VERY small). It felt like about 600 to 800 attendees, I have no idea what the actual figures were but the art show would have been small even if the convention only had 300 attendees. Again, I was not there the Friday night and really paid little attention to the art show until the Sunday auction, except to note that on Saturday, apart from bag check there was no staff, not even to take bidder numbers. About 25 pieces went up to auction on Sunday and Todd and I had two hours to do it in which allowed us to have some fun and not be in a tearing hurry. We did it in just over an hour and went back to the art show to start 'end of con' sales. This was held up for about 15 minutes while the art director was found, once she arrived the sales started in earnest but again, she had NO staff, so my husband and I stayed for an extra couple hours to help. The show itself had mostly pieces in it by local artists (I do not know what mailing lists she had, but we have offered her ours for next year) and it varied in quality from very amateur to some truly fine pieces, about what you would expect from a neo con show. In contrast here was an excellent media props display area with the like of Robocop suits, actual props used in DSV, the DS9 bridge, Michael York's costume from Logan's Run, models from the various Supermarionation shows, and the car from Ghostbusters (ECTO1). All of this says to me that the con and show have potential and if put on again next year may be worth while. Sam Quinn, the art show director has stated she wants to do this again next year (crazy lady!!!).
I've never heard anything about artists getting anything from resale-of-art (unless of course it was a contractual thing). At one of my earliest cons I found some art I'd just had in the art auction being sold at a dealer's table. I wasn't really sure what to think of this, and definitely didn't like the sales lady's approach (not knowing I was the artist, telling me she d gotten "stuck with that piece" and would let it go for what was well over twice what I'd asked for it), but didn't see anything I could do about it. That Is commerce, after all, buy low, sell high...
As for the reproduction controversy - I've been battling that because I do use Xerox in most of my works, and I've asked artists and art show directors and Everybody. And everybody has her or his own opinion. I have come to believe, like what you said, that if is the final intent that determines originality, because if you used Real Originals, that would amount to thoughts, and even most of those would copy their own works to see how something else. Even in "the old days", artists would copy their own works to see how something would look if they did this or that, or use this idea in another situation, etc. But did that make the newer piece less. I make magnets by making a rough Xerox copy of apiece of clip art. From there I color it, re-ink the lines, change things, paint and varnish, sometimes change the size or background or the way I cut out the picture, etc., etc. Each one is different even if I use the same basic design a number of times. I consider them, therefore, originals. But if anyone should question that, I merely tell them what was involved in the process and let them decide. Those who ask, is that an original or a repro, after I explained everything, are likely not realy interested in the Art anyway (and I should think that should be the first point involved in the purchase...) .So long as one is open and honest about things, I don't think it realy matters. A reproduction is a copy made for copy's sake - to have more than one of a kind; it isn't a part of the art-making process.
Gee, it's fascinating to read about fans wanting to "make expenses " at a con'.' I guess if isn't your business -- it becomes a necessity -- then I can only attend those I think I can make more then I spend! What a luxury, to be able to go to a con for the sheer fun of it! WOW.
I've been doing cartoons and such based on media characters for many years and never had a problem until recently. Paramount has begun to crack down on any unlicensed products and that includes prints, however small the run. It was my understanding that up until recently, the studio was not concerned with small print runs, (under 250) and this was information given to me by Majel Barrett Roddenberry. She doesn't own Star Trek or have any real say in the product lines. (I've always been involved for many years with the production of Star Trek fanzines, but that's a whole 'nolher hall of legal wax as those arc supposed to be totally nonprofit.) As I understand it, the actors own the rights to their own likenesses, but the studios own the rights to the characters, and any distinctive wardrobe and accessories (like communicators). It is perfectly legal to produce a single piece of work using someone else's character, and i strongly suggest giving creator credit, even if everyone in the universe already knows Paramount owns Star Trek. Now, as to selling said work—I that gets a little more tricky. Satire in limited use seems to be fine, but people seem to get more concerned about strict portraiture. Can you hang it but not sell it or do you sell it without showing it? As near as I can determine, a onetime use of the characters is considered 'fair use'. This may well vary from state to state and certainly from artist to artist or studio to studio. As for my own part, I am far less likely to use a character created by a fellow artist than I am a more "public" media character. Of course, if l do use some other artist's character, I ask permission and they are usually more than willing to give permission and more readily accessible than any one studio. I also usually put a piece with another artist's character featured as NFS or if a prior agreement has been made, we split the proceeds- All in all, the safest case is to simply Do Your Own Thing with Your Own Characters and that way you avoid stepping on any one's toes, unintentionally or otherwise.
So few SF illustrators have had any training in fine art or conservation techniques. Most are self-taught. Sad, but true. Now we are attempting to bring legitimacy into the field, and promote our art for its own sake. We try to do our best, but we just can't afford to go all the way—or, more truthfully, our buyers can't afford it. The convention market is, essentially, kind of an artistic garage sale. People buy our work for one reason—(hey like what we draw. We owe il to them and to ourselves to do what we can to both to make a living and give our buyers affordable, quality work. We must try to the extent of our budgets to increase the permanency and quality of our work, but at current prices, that effort must have limits.
The point, long lost, was this—if you want to make this a business, stay in business, don't cripple yourself unnecessarily with super-short runs. Our low-dollar market is too unforgiving. A con is not, and never will be, a gallery, and a longer run does not harm the value of the work. Very few fans buy for pure investment, and I see nothing wrong with runs of a hundred or more prints. I even have several open runs. The current fine art trend has hit the thousands now. Ever look at the run of Rev Dolittle's work? Or Wysocki, or Bateman? Thirty thousand or more. Some limit! Gee. I didn't mean to get on the high horse... sorry. But I have been in both worlds, and have seen the difference. I have had work in everything from 50-fan minicons to the Delaware Museum, and in my experience, never the twain shall meet.
[snipped]No matter what we do the conventions will never be galleries - and well they should not be. Our art is accessible to everyone. If we are to retain this market, our art must stay affordable, and not evolve into an elitist plaything that only the wealthy can afford. I do not offer my SF and fantasy work as an investment - though I have hope it will increase in value over the years - but as an opportunity for any and every fan to own something that they like at reasonable price. I love it, and would not change that for the world. The tendency for some parties - especially some members of ASFA - to want to restrict the artists in our field to gallery-type work is alarming. I hope the fans rise up in protest. They are the ones who will have to pay that price!
To all you hard working art show directors, thank you for these many past years of happy sales. To all of you gofers out there, who volunteer your time and care, there are hundreds of us out here who want to express our gratitude. Wish I could send something to every one of you. And to all of you hard-working artists, keep up the marvelous energy. And as you get ready to mail out your next show, think, now and again, how rare is our field - nothing like this exists anywhere else. How many wildlife or western or mainstream artists can sit at home, put together their artwork, mail it out, have someone in a distant land lovingly hang it, sell it for you, collect the money, pack it all up, and, send it back to your doorstep with your winnings? We must learn to appreciate what we have - a unique field, with people who love what we do enough to give us their valuable time. These conventions are going an extra million miles for us! And for what? The cons would go on without an art show. A five thousand dollar art show at ten percent commission has only made five hundred dollars for the con, and a few hundred off that. The rooms involved can cost that much - hardly worth the hard work and headaches involved. Thank you. thank you, everyone. In all my years. I have had very few unfortunate experiences. Ours is a wonderful group of people.
Artistic Endeavors 20 was published in June 1994.
- Artist and the Taxman, article by Paul Jaquays
- a reprint of an article (from "Western Horseman") called "Interpreting Equine Photo Copyright Laws," by Leon Patenburg
- The Comprehensive and Incomplete Fan Artist's Guide to Selling Fan Artwork, see that page
MarCon 29 - May 13–15
The Artshow staff was friendly, hassled, and seemed to manage their way through all the steps. They had much of the information registered on the computer before the con. so some things went smoothly. There were troubles. I guess this was a new crew managing the show - they had their share of headaches. First was a totally new form to manage (I suppose) a placement/check-out system. This form (bigger than normal bid sheets) had to be hung with each pieces in addition to the bid sheets (also larger than normal). Space was quickly filled with paperwork rather than artwork. Their control forms were not well laid out, with information blocks, rather than lines across - so they were hard to read. Copies at the con. even though everything was on the computer, were not forth coming, so I assure we'll get copies with the checks. They were friendly to artists, and most of the volunteer workers were artists and artistical types. So everything was well cared for when it was up. The art auction was on Sunday Morning - and people obviously came to argue over pieces they already knew they wanted. A real shame, as thenight-timeparty life is non-existent, and they might have scored better with a evening auction. The auction went well with well seasoned auctioneers Mike Short and Todd Hamilton (gee. was Van doing auctioneering, or was he just there? I forget). Art programming was good. There were more demos than many of us knew what to do with. Some were held in the art show area itself (blocking the way to some of the print shop prints, but giving them good exposure). Weeveinwere granted programming space for a late night room party for us artists to kick around, talk, and sketch together. It was good to hang out with a whole different crowd of artists types! There was a nice ASFA meeting, copies of the Quarterly were freely handed out. Although it wasn't well attended being a sat morn panel, it went well. Later ASFA talking included David Pancake (who is already helping out with the printing costs) saying that a color cover would be good thing for the Fall issue (for Worldcon). He's a good worker (ASFA members might want to consider how important printing is when voting on Chesley's Contributions to ASFA).
Heather sent 5 and sold 4. One went to auction.Diana showed 15, and sold only 3. To be honest, with this sort of return, I don't think it'll be a regular convention for me.
Care+Con This is a non-profit conventions (proceeds to kids 'n kamp) with a very heavy Star Trek/media influence. They have already lined up corporate backing to pay for guests, advertising, etc. Paramount is cooperating by arranging film schedules to allow many of the big name actors and actresses to attend. Admission is steep ($75 for 3 days), but it is for a good cause. The organizers have some Marcon experience and a fair amount of business savvy. They're aiming for 10,000 attendees (tickets through TicketMaster!) Even though it is a first time con, I would consider this a MUST show for any artist who creates anything involving Star Trek. The potential is just too great to pass up.
The Paramount crackdown (such as it is)... thus far they seem to be limiting their tours to the Creation Star Trek Cons. My husband asked the license representative what the deal was in regards to selling limited edition prints of Star Trek's characters. He was told she would look into it. A few weeks later we got a legal and wordy nastygram informing us that NO unlicensed art was legal to sell and if we did sell any the consequences we would face. I do know of a couple of artists who have actually gotten cease and desist from Paramount legal and one artist who got a long letter full of ridiculous demands in addition to a request to cease and desist. While I can certainly understand Paramount's desire to protect their properly. I think a little finesse might be in order.
Jean Kluge, however, has heard from Paramount. They told her to sign a lengthy wordy, leagaleez document that confessed to selling not only named print runs, but "other previous work" as well. Such a document is not well enough defined (as long as we're talking leagaleez), so she isn't signing. Who knows where such a thing could lead.I'm reminded of the term "Disney Police". Everyone says how mean the Disney people are when their lawyers have to intervene. The problem is when they hear about something, their lawyers MUST do something - just to protect the product. Their probably just as unhappy to let loose the expensive lawyers on their fans. As I figure it - a few pictures of media work is fan work, and might fall under parody. Once you start doing a lot, and making good money on such - then you need to worry if you are straddling the line between fan work, and infringement.
Artistic Endeavors 21 was published in July 1994.
- What Shall I Draw Now?, article by Diana Harlan Stein
- a long article about color by Tom Dow
[reprinted from S&S #16 (?)]:
Phil & Ed's Excellent Convention March 31-April 3Made a last minute decision to attend Phil & Ed's Excellent Convention for four days over Easter weekend. This was the first time this con was held. They advertised heavily and put a lot of work into all the trappings (although I think the membership was still somewhere under 1000). The program book had color covers—featuring the art of Chris Achilleos, who was AGoH and there was a HUGE display room with sets and costumes and props from nearly all the SF films and series you could think of (SeaQuest control consoles, costumes from Planet of the Apes, etc.) And the masquerade was touted as being of near Worldcon quality - and it came close, with nearly 40 participants (and a terrific performance by an imitation Beatles band during the judging—which had girls in the audience screaming, for fun—creating a concert-like atmosphere with people jumping up to dance). The art show was small, though. Perhaps some 20+ artists (Achilleos had his own room, separately, to show his work). The panels were pretty mediocre, but there was a huge filk track (Leslie Fish, Heather Alexander and others, in concert all day and night). All in all, this con showed lots of promise. L.A. desperately needs another annual con, so hopefully it'll continue. I hear it will, but it will skip next year.
BayCon '94 - May 27–30I didn't see as much of the art show action as I would have wished due to being a dealer. The show was noticeably smaller than past years, but the overall quality of the art seemed higher. The staff was new, and there were some communications problems, and mistakes were made, but nothing so grievous a little diplomatic action on the part of the artists and crew couldn't smooth over. There was a bit of a flap over one nude, which was later removed due to someone over the Art Show director ordering its removal. Otherwise, things seemed to flow smoothly after a slow start. The art auction was a little slow. A good auctioneer was in place, but he needed to pick up his pace a bit. The promised payoff within 2 weeks has not materialized, but I thought that was a bit ambitious and unrealistic. I have been informed the paperwork has been done and turned over to the person holding the purse strings. We shall see... Sales-wise, I did far better than expected, due largely to one gent who snapped up several of my pieces. But overall, sales were up for me and I made more money than I have at this show in the past couple of years. And as usual, prints sold better than originals for me. I hung 24 and sold 19; 2 went to auction. Diana hung 18 and sold thetn all! Heather hung 19 and sold 12; at least one went to auction.
[reprinted from S&S #16 (?)]: WorldCon or major regional would probably have exceeded my limit in the written and bidding and then gone on to the voice auction and sold for $200 to $300. The second one was a cute little piece. "Orange Fairy Cat" an ornate tabby cat with wings, which I got in auction for $16 (again, at a big con. it would have done $30 or so). Our own Heather did well; she had the highest selling price at $230. Melody Rondeau had a new one called "Beached Babes" (a bunch of mermaids boywatching on the beach) that sold at auction for $100. which was good for her. And Diana did ok too. I think.
San Diego Comic Con - Aug 4-7One of Ihe largest conventions in our pond! Many artists you see here in AE will be attending this con. YIKES! Rumor has it that the new art show director for the con has never run an art show before (let alone a major art show like this one). Reservation forms were suppose to have already been long out, and nothing has yet been heard! Approach with Caution! Local consensus: worry about disasters!
Re: Star Trek and Other such characters. My basic opinion is... Yes. there's money in it. But since it's illegal, do you really have so little imagination that you can't think of something else to paint? Imagination is the reason why Mercedes Lackey doesn't have to write hobbit stories. Lack of imagination is what another popular author started writing talking horse stories. For me, it's a simple matter of realizing that there is a while world of inspiration out there. From songs to poetry, to novels, to that freak of nature you saw on the bus three days ago. When we stop using our minds, our imagination, then we stagnate. We are artists. We are the ones who make dreams and fantasies visible for all the world. When you have the power to take one frozen moment from the creation to the destruction of a thousand worlds, to take a small infested nightmare and cotton candy dreams, and spread it out on canvas... when we can do all of this, then why paint one more velvet Elvis (I start to sound like the Larry Kramer of the art set). Of course, all of this is simply my opinion, and that being the case, if you 're happy with painting smurfs then by all means... paint smurfs.
The people who are learning to dream the big dreams often start with things that they know. Media fans grow up inspired by their shows to make a difference in life (McCoy inspired many doctors, Uhura was excellent role-model for young black women). There is nothing wrong with wanting artwork that contains the nuggets of your dreams. There is nothing wrong with presenting these concepts with familiar faces! Yes, there can be legalities involved, but one or two works are considered to be acceptable within an adoring framework. If an artist wants to make his meat there, then they need to be aware of their legal stand point (and that's why we talk about it here. Many people just have no idea). You sound like you are the sort of person who would not walk on what someone else holds dear (don't start me on my Misty Lackey tirade). (I confess, I own a velvet Elvis, given to me by dear friends - it even is hanging on a wall downstairs in the basement bathroom). When I first saw Smurfs, before the show started, I was interested in what they were about from a faerie point of view. Also, I know how hard portrait artwork really is, and I have a great respect for those people who can capture not only a likeness but the inner humor of a character.
Artistic Endeavors 22 was published in September 1994.
- Ya Wanna Come Up and See My Etchings by Ellen M. "Blade" McMicking, an article about etching glass
- several reports on San Diego Comic Con
- this issue's content is primarily long, long letters on technical things about art, photocopiers, color, and archival methods
Artistic Endeavors 23 was published in December 1994.
Here is my current phone number: [redacted]. I would like to apologize to the nameless subscriber who called the outdated phone number listed herein and wound up talking to my ex-husband. Sorry about that.
On media art... I do a lot of media cartoons, and the occasional portrait myself. No one's ever slapped me for it. and as long as it isn't employing someone's logo, being cruel, or a direct rip-off of something. I don't think anyone minds if it is done on a small scale or in parody. When it crosses that grey line (and unfortunately it is a line dependent on the show/individual/etc. you are playing with - no defined rules apply) then people do tend to get upset. I know Jonathan Frid (original Barnabas Collins on Dark Shadows) was very displeased with his likeness being used in a nationally syndicated newspaper comic strip without his being asked; and Leonard Nimoy didn't care for a few Spock-ly uses. etc., and of course Disney gets riled over anything so you have to use some common sense (when in doubt, ask!). A friend of mine had wanted to put out a sci-fi media needlepoint chart book, primarily Star Trek designs. She asked Paramount, and they said they'd have no problem with it AS LONG AS most of the booklet (at least 51%) was non-Trek... over that line it ran into licensing walls. So, like so many other areas in this field, it's wide-open to interpretation... some are more reasonable or more ridiculous than others though. It's on thing to draw Batman in your own style and stick him in a funny cartoon situation; it's quite another to copy over a comic book cover and sell it as your own! Like the difference in borrowing and stealing....
Artistic Endeavors 24 was published in February 1995. It contains the first part of "So You Want to Draw Comics."
ConFurence 6 - Jan 13-15
I didn't show at this, but can give you an attendee's view; This is a con for fans of anthropomorphics, although it is the only major con in the L.A./Orange County area other than Loscon, and so is attracting more non-furries, and is growing yearly. Membership was 800 or so. Number of artists showing: same as at last few Worldcons - mostly due to free panel to members on request. The art show is jammed into a too-small space, however, and it is all furry art, with the odd wildlife, animal/fantasy, cartoon or anime piece, there is also a special NG-17 section. Upside: a very art-intensive con, and there was money to be made if you do the right kind of art. There were two auctions held, both with over 40 pieces per (the last auction lasted over 3 hours - and pick-up for buyers lasted longer!), there were some 500 registered bidders - more than at your average Worldcon. A top-seliing, popular furry artist can make over $4,000 with a booth selling low-end prints, and in the show, but this can be a iess-than average showfor more traditional SF/Fantasy artists.
They had 150 artists exhibiting, and sold 680 pieces of the 1400 shown. The art show totals were a new record of $25,800.
Heather sent work, and sold all but one.
Diana Sent 9 and sold ail! Diana also sent a series of color lazer copies down, and made over $100 bucks.
Terrie had 40 pieces in the show, and sold 28 - 8 at auction. Frank cleaned up at the con too!Jim sent work down.
"...it was a dark and stormy night in Niagara..."
Actually it was. I went up to Niagara Fails last weekend for Contradiction 14 an despite the fact that it rained all weekend it was a wonderful time. One of the nice things about being in Toronto is I'm much closer to these places, and now can get to them! Everybody told me how small Contradiction usually is but I found it to be a comfortable size -- mind you I'm used to small cons. Halcon being gone by roadside years ago. But, onto the art show. I finally got to meet Karen Klinck - I've been sending work to her for years; I saw a lot of really nice work; and got to know some insane artists better. (No, I didn't tromp out to the Falls at 3 am Friday morning with Heather and assorted others).The art show seemed to me to run without a hitch, everyone was nice and helpful. There was a fairly good sized auction, but most of the work tended to go for low bids. A drawback of a smaller con I suppose, is that only a certain number of people go for art, and they know what they want and don't have to fight for it. I had a lot of work there, and ended up selling a few of the more expensive pieces, two of which were a pair, inspired by "Gargoyles" both going to the same person - which was nice. It was also my first big showing for my "naked men" and they were well received - I even sold one. However, I've had Heather blazing the trail before me for years so anyone with delicate sensibilities probably cleared out years ago. To top the weekend off, I won three ribbons in the amateur category. So yes, a good weekend all around and I'll probably be back next year. There was an interesting roving artists party on Friday night. Not really an official one but a lot of the artists gathered in Heather's room and traveled every few others to other rooms.
Artistic Endeavors 25 was published in March 1995.
This issue has much about cons, and some letters.
It contains part two of "So You Want to Draw Comics."
Artistic Endeavors 26 was published in April 1995.
This issue has much about cons, and some letters.
It contains part three of "So You Want to Draw Comics."
Artistic Endeavors 27 was published in May 1995.
This issue has much about cons, but just a handful of letters. It also has extensive flyers for "Intersection," the 53rd Worldcon.
It contains part four of "So You Want to Draw Comics."
Artistic Endeavors 28 was published in June 1995.
I sent a SESA to the art show director for Dragoncon? NASFIC back last October, asking for info. I get the envelope back, very thick, with $0.46 postage due yesterday. Well, okay I'll pay, guess they went ahead and sent a lot of forms and such. Well no... They just stuffed in one of the huge newspaper flyers on the show - stuff I've already gotten a half a dozen times. And the only info within it on the art show says to send a SASE to the art show director. Fine, screw that, I already had a bad taste in my mouth with the NASFiC being absorbed as just another arm of the Dragoncon conglomerate, but THIS is ridiculous!
The main problem with our 'industry' of Convention Art Sales is that most of the Art Show people you deal with are doing this as a fannish endeavor. They are volunteers, and often times, it shows.Many artists are busy trying to interface with cons for their livelihood, and it gets cumbersome and bothersome when the responses back are not as professional as we want. For that matter, when the cupboard is empty, it's hard to remember that often times these volunteers are in the midst of their own trials and tribulations.
LepreCon 21 - May 26–29Leslie D'Allesandro Hill was here and reported that Ray GIsh (the director) took great care of her.
AmigoCon - April 21–23AmigoCon will probably be my last con this year. Sales have always been very slow, but I've wanted to help support this con. it's no longer fesable, despite the good feellnsg I have for these fine folks. Last show I sold just enough to cover mailing costs to and from and my panel fees. I can't afford too much of this.
Britannicon - June 2–4
It's a small media con in its 2nd or 3rd year. The art show was small, perhaps 15-20 artists, mostly local talent. Pagan themes were heavily In evidence, with some very promising work on display (give these folks a few years to really learn humanoid anatomy & great art will come of it). They also had a "no censorship" policy witha warning sign on the door. Most of the adult material was very poorly executed and even laughable in some instances (I have no problem with adult material per se, but bad art is bad art). Disturbing was the one piece that was very obviously a rip off of one of Ruth Thompson's pieces. I couldn't cite the exact piece, but it was far too close for comfort. Ribbons were awarded In several (if usual) categories w/prizes going exculsively to the local talent. (I suspect a wee bit of ballot box stuffing went on with the local favorites). When our paperwork arrived, we noticed one sale was missing (a quick sale of a Jean Kluge print), so we'll have to write them & prompt them to check their records. My sales were pretty good forthe first time there and the small attendance of the show (maybe 150 souls). Most went for min, with one going to auction and selling for $5 over the stated quick sale price.A nice surprise was opeining up the envelope and finding a 3rd place ribbon (albeit a bit manged in transit) for humor for my piece "Saturday Night in the Tardis". I'll definitely show again next year. If we can get out there. These folks seem quite earnest, but the artist/agent had better double check the paperwork.
Primedia 2 - Oct 27-29
Payout: At con or soon afterward.A media show, with some Team Eh? people helping out at the art show. Should be a good art show team to deal with, sales will build as the con grows. Also, they understand and make it easy to get work over the border.
As to the sexual content of the shows, I too have noticed that there is a recent trend upward. I, too, have no problem withthls (as we have already discussed in past AE's). Mature fans have mature tastes that might include sexual possibilities in space or with fantasy people. Since the genre is already smal enough, finding erotica of this nature is even rarer. Thus today's bolder and unabashed artists are tapping into a strong market potential. Sometimes, this pays off well. With the appearance of more and more of this sort of work (and perhaps with note of its sales and popularity) this encourages more of this kind of work to be done. A kind of safety in numbers sort of thing.
As for a special section for showing of such pieces, it does make sense it is awkward when artist's work is split off from their main display to be hung somewhere else. But, with time and familiarity with the artist's body of work and the special section in the art show - I can't see that this would be terribly damaging to sales. I think more of 3 logistic problem develops when the show sells art space as opposed to the per piece method.So I suppose the subject of special sections is ultimately left to the art show director, the concom, and the values of the viewing community. Also, space considerations might play a part of the decision to split off a section (which certainly wouldn't have worked at Duckcon this year).
Artistic Endeavors 30 was published in February 1996.
There were a number of comments about 1995 Dragon*Con's disastrous art sales and show, see that page.
Confurence 7 - Jan 12-14
Diana went to this con this year, and found it to be a most unusual con. Sales were good at the art show, and there are a lot of sales in the dealers room of color xerox prints as well. They have 5 bids to auction, and they held two auctions. The piece that went for the most was $850, and some of the jump bids were in 100 dollar incriments! It was a print (#1 of 1) of a bunch of different kinds of cats (not furries) on a branch. Patterned furries went best at the show (tigers, foxes, zerbras, leapords, etc.) There was good money at the con. Frank Gembeck, Joyce Norton, Terrie Smith, Michele Light, April Lee. Jim Pigtain, Monika Livingston and other artists were there. We tended to bunch together in the evenings for dinner and talking. Forthose people worried about the oddness of'fan-boys', there's enough artists around to be comfortable.Laura and Kelly Freas were artists GoH, but I hardley saw them.
ConFusion 22 - Jan 12-14The con was small and intimate this year, and there were people at the show who came with money to buy things. Heather Bruton sold one of her litho originals, and Robin Wood was making good money on the prototypes she did up for TSR. Brenda did a good job running the art show, and people should be hearing from her soon with the checks. Next Year, Randy Asplund Faith is in charge of the show, and we're hoping the show will be better than the last time he was in charge.
Boskone 33 - Feb 16-18A standard, of course. Good sales, and a good place to get your work seen by the professionals of the SF industry. Both the big splashy stuff and the little stuff for the fans to take home do well here
Artistic Endeavors 31 was published in March 1996.
MediaWest Con 16 - May 24–26A Media oriented convention, and you need at least a supporting membership in order to get work in the show. Buyers often bring their 'get-a-life-savings' in order to find that special picture of their fantasy friend. Sometimes you can really hit it big, sometimes you miss altogether.
The Collectible Card Game Market by Heather Bruton
If you've been around any conventions In the last year or two you cannot help but be aware of the immense impact collectible card games have made on the gaming market. Led by the wildly popular "Magic:the Gathering", the market has literally exploded. While this has to come to an end at some point I have little doubt that the market will stabilize to support the best games. Until then, there are literally hundreds of games out there looking for artists. Even after the inevitable happens there will be lots of work out there for those willing to seek it out.
Most card games are based on traditional fantasy type worlds but there is a wide variety from hard sf to fantasy football available. Working for card companies is pretty easy as long as you can deal with a couple realities of this market.
The number one drawback is time. Most companies function on the hurry up and wait system. Sometimes you only get a couple weeks to do sketches, get them approved and get the finished paintings back to the company. Fax machines will become your friend! You must be able to produce work accurate to their needs in short amounts of time Often you can get extended deadlines but don't depend upon it. On the good side though, the size you are painting in is usually small (5x7 and similar) so it's not as bad as it sounds. Some companies give detailed ideas of what they want, others leave it pretty much up to you.The other main drawback is that some companies take forever to pay up. Most say they will pay thirty days after publication after the game; some do, some don't. You do the work way ahead of time so don't expect to see the money very quickly. Most companies pay anywhere between $100 per card up to $400 per card. $100 is pretty average. Most companies also offer royalties paid per card you did for the deck. Some companies offer only royalties and no up from payment. When accepting work find out what the offer is and decide if you can live with it. that way there are no nasty surprises. Royalty cheques can be very haphazard in coming so don't depend on them to pay the rent. Consider them cream and found money. Overall the industry can be pretty erratic when it comes to money and payments. Keep that in mind.
Artistic Endeavors 32 was published in June 1996.
MediaWest Con 16 - May 24–26
There seemed to be a money wall at $ 100. People stopped bidding around there. The high piece went for about $450.
The two bids to auction is really beginning to bug just about everyone. The real workers of the art show dislike it, but the main guy in charge keeps the auction there. Well, there's always a ton of stuff in the auction.There is some interest in more fantasy oriented work at this show as well. Cute sells well here.
Wiscon 20 - May 24–26I hear the con was very exciting, but they really didn't have an art show. They had charity pieces, but no real show. I think we'll take WisCon off the lists.
DragonCon 10 - June 21–23Rosanne Stutts runs this show, and has for years. Last year, they crammed the place far too thin for people to view the art at all properly and sales seriously suffered. However, Rosanne is more than aware of the problem, and will be extra cautious of her artists this year. Attendance has always been good, but last year's fiasco might effect people's ideas of the con. Take your chances...
Gaylaxicon 7 - July 5–7A real hoot of a con. Lots of fun. Gay art prominent in the sales, some lesbian. The emphasis that's popular is feelings, not just sex.
Confluence 9 - July 26–28A great iittie con, filled with good writers. The artshow is developing into a good place to show. Attendance is smallish, but growing, and they know what to do at an artshow.
LA Con/Worldcon - Aug 27-Sept 2This is the first time worldcon has been in country for a couple of years. Also, California generally attracks good sales at reasonable figures. While the art show crew is from across the country, they have run many an art show before (they just don't have their local base of workers).
MosCon XVIII - Sept 13-15NOTE: Absolutely No Media Art will be shown without written permission for the studio involved.
WindyCon 23-Nov 8-10An excellent show, but for walk-in only (no mail in art. Find someone who is going and send stuff along). A great art show, a marvelous print shop, a fine auction crew, a well established con. What else do you need? Astronomicals sell well here, along with everything else.
Artistic Endeavors 33, after nearly a year long hiatus, was published in April 1997. It was the last issue.
TSR has been bought by Wizards of the Coast. There is no current plans to really interrupt business more than it already has been. The gaming industry did take a collective gasp, has gone back to business as usual.
GenCon - Aug 96Slowly the number of artists on the main floor begin to sneak up. The huge gamer attendance still supports having a booth in the dealer's room - if you can afford it! $$$$ For artists, the big sales at the start of the con are the true collectors buying the originals that are available for sale. Most will let you keep the painting in the booth for display until the close of the con too. If you are lucky. The sales then settle into a sparse pattern at the start of the con. Most gamers are interested in getting games and cards rather than art. In the first few days, you begin to wonder if you made a mistake buying the space in the first place. Saturday and Sun are the best sales days for most artists. People have bought all the games, cards and dice they can - they are now looking for art. Sometimes it's art to take home for friends. The inexpensive stuff goes best. There are a lot of art directors and there are jobs to be had. You need a portfolio case and time to walk around and show your stuff about. Samples to leave with the art directors works well too.
LoneStar Con - Worldcon - Aug 29-Sept 1
Team Pegasus ran a nice art show. There were a lot of artists, and a diversity that made the show interesting. A good number of pros sprinkled in with the newbees and amateurs, which meant you had visual interest as you wandered around the large room. It was 4 bids to auction and the auction was packed. They drafted more people from the Dorsai Irregulars (doing Art Show security) to help out with the auction - and a good thing too! They couldn't have managed the one auction without them. 280 pieces in 5 hours! whew! About $26k in sales.
This years big item of interest were the hand-painted feathers. That seems quite natural considering the area.
Oddly, they had quick sale prices at this Woridcon. Not bad for the people attending for only one day - but... many artists had put down very small amounts for their quick sale prices, and pieces were disappearing from the show fast. In fact, one of my pieces was sold as QS, when I didn't even have QS prices! Anyway, it did leave holes in displays and probable loss of revenue to many artists who put down fairly low Quick Sales prices.
Check in and out went smoothly.
The Print shop was well attended as it was in the same room. Sales seemed brisk. I managed to be granted space at a very last minute deal (Thank you very much to several people), and hung 8 pieces - sold 5.The best of my sales seemed to be the black and white collections that I put in the print shop.
- from Artistic Endeavors #3
- this letter's author corrects this number to "30,000" in the next issue