Last weekend was APE–the Alternative Press Expo in San Francisco. It was my first time attending, and exhibiting! I shared a table with fellow illustrator and CCA graduate Colin Nitta. It was my first time really selling my wares, so it was a great learning experience. Special thanks to Jackie Lo for taking pictures at the event.
I felt major CCA pride at the Expo. First of all, I graduated at the Concourse Exhibition Center, and it was just a jog away from the campus. My fellow alumni also had awesome tables, including: Michael Manomivibul, Jose Moreno, Grim Wilkins, Dean Stuart, Kevin Wada, Jenna Trost, Jenny Parks and Fuji Dreskin as well as instructor and illustrator legend Barron Storey. I also made a ton of new friends, and new artists to follow and admire!
One of the items I had was a temporary tattoo of my Robo-Robin. I got the idea to do this from the Victory Garden of Tomorrow, which I happened upon at the Fremont Arts and Wine Festival. The artist offered temporary tattoos of a chicken, and I wanted one so badly! Plus, my robin painting had a particular history regarding tattoos. Someone has it tattooed permanently (without my permission, but that’s another story), and others have asked about it. So I figured… turn its ink appeal into a promotion piece!
Colin and I did a collaboration that we presented at our table. We both painted our favorite Arthurian knight. Colin chose Sir Balan and I chose Sir Kay! I love Kay because he’s such a sourpuss. My painting of him was on display, as well as special matted prints. I sold other prints as well, of various sizes. The ones that were most popular were the Rabbits of Watership Down and my Little Red Riding Hood in the broken mirror. What also gained a lot of attention was my Corgi with fairy wings. Corgis were BIG this year, guys. And pugs… some folks were quite disappointed that I had no pug paintings. I gained a lot of insight into why people buy prints and what appeals. Invaluable knowledge!
I also made a set of paper dolls centered around Silent Film actress Edna Purviance. Got me compliments from ladies who appreciate fashion history, as I did a ton of research into women’s clothing of the 1910’s. A lot of people liked the idea of a paper doll, so I definitely plan to make more. APE also inspired me to open an Etsy store, as people inquired if I sold my things online. All of the above items are available on Etsy now. If you mention it, I’ll throw in a robin tattoo. All in all, my APE experience was fantastic! Thanks to anyone who stopped by my table. See you next year!