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Unread 03-16-2014, 05:46 PM   #1
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Free Keychain Idea

ALSO SORRY IF THIS IS IN THE WRONG SECTION. No idea where to post this. D:

I have asked this idea in a different forum before but I didn't get a response so I was hoping I get some feedbacks from here. ^^;

//you can skip to the bottom for my actual question.

You see, I've been thinking a lot lately about joining the Artist Alley, but how horribly complicated it is for me to actually get a tablet nowadays (Especially due to me never making it in or have enough NEW examples xD). So I thought, what would be a good way to advertise? Then I began browsing the deviant art and saw a lot of Charity Journals and Artbooks and thought, "I want to contribute to this... But how would I do it?"

A lot of these kind of advertisement are looking for artists with professionalism or uniqueness in which I don't have (Since I'm one of those generic anime artist) and that's what got me thinking; "What if I gave away free keychains to those at the con itself?"

I understand it's hard for some people to get art because they are low on budget, or like some, don't have a pass to get into the con. But at the same time, isn't it nice to get something free every now and then?
Of course, I won't be drawing EVERY popular anime, but mostly what I cosplay or what my friends cosplay as.

For example, I'm going as Add from Elsword (And two others that I won't state yet).

So I have a preview of a chibi sketch that I'll be handing out at Kumoricon 2014. ADD Chibi.

Budget will be a problem for me, so I'm thinking of what ways to keep this going. I want everyone to have a great time at the con (And to bring a smile here and there), so getting a little keychain every now and then would be kind of awesome right? I was thinking of doing the Convention's Mascot, but I didn't think it would be right because I want to cosplay things I like, y'know?

I'll be making it more fun by having people answer questions about:

1. Where I'm from (Like what anime or game).
2. What character I am

Sure it wouldn't be stuff OTHER people would like, but hey, who can complain about free things? ^^

I wanted to ask for donations if possible ONLY at the con, but then it would be like asking to buy my art which I thought would be the complete opposite of what I want!

So do you think this would be a good idea?
What ways can I keep this going?
Should I do more popular animes?
Would this cause any problem for other artists? (More of a sense like competition. I'm not trying to steal costumers or anything, but I want to know if this will become a real problem D: )
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Unread 03-16-2014, 06:04 PM   #2
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To start, I think from one seller to another, making art of characters YOU like, but many don't recognize, is a bad way to go about it. Yes you can have a few here and there, but you can't cater to just yours and your friend's intrests, but everyone elses. Almost no one actually knows what Elsword is, in fact I've never once seen a cosplay of one up here (I'm in Washington so I go to Kumoricon too..), so having 4 or 5 of those will not get you any money where Naruto art WILL. I've already done a table at Akicon so I sorta have experience, as well as being in retail for every job I've had..So I know more about catering to others and learning what others want. People aren't gonna see your art and ask where the character is from if that's what you mean. They could care less if it's free..But free things draw crowds. We literally had people come back with their friends to get our free rings we had and then they bought stuff. So it's good, but it only works if you have other things people want. So if you give them a free Chibi ADD keychain (going off your one link), but you have nothing that they know what any of it is for sale, you aren't gona make money..In fact, the money spent on those keychains now puts you further in the red.. If you have free unknown character keychains but a lot of stuff people would be buying normally, it's a good way to help get them to stop and look. We had pokemon, zelda, one piece, Lolita, and rave items which are all REALLY popular, and the rings were simple cupcake toppers, but it got people to stop, as well as we had things that would be recognized. If say, zelda was extremely unpopular, we wouldn't make stuf for it, just like esword is very unknown, so as much as I'm a HUGE Elesis fan, I won't bring anything related to her to sell because it'll sit there unwanted..
Does this make sense? I know I rambled a bit but I made pretty good points.

As for your questions:

So do you think this would be a good idea?
You probably noticed from above, I did the same. It's only a good idea if you have things people would actually recognize. One or 2 people buying an ADD picture is nowhere near enough when you could make Naruto and get maybe 50 people buying..

What ways can I keep this going?
Like I said, make things OTHERS like, not things YOU like. You can mix them as in if you like popular things, like Naruto, that's perfect, if you hate Naruto, but you wanna make money, draw him anyway..

Should I do more popular animes?
Do you wanna make any money? Selling things no one knows about will not make you profit at all. People go in and buy tstuff in the AA for one reason. Either they or someone they really wanna get it for likes that character. If you have pictures of characters almost the entire con likes, you will sell them. If you only have pictures of stuff no one has any idea who they are, who's gonna buy it?

Would this cause any problem for other artists? (More of a sense like competition. I'm not trying to steal costumers or anything, but I want to know if this will become a real problem D: )
No, in fact, the artists that were around me told me it was a good idea and they are upset they they didn't think of it..Other artists even came up and wanted to look at our stuff because they got free stuff. And if you are not trying to steal customers, you are not a retail business person. That's the whole point of having a business. You want people to buy YOUR stuff, because if they buy everyone elses stuff, then you make nothing. If you talk to a customer about how much better someone is than you or that they should go to another artist you think is good, they will more than likely do it..Without buying a single thing from you..It's not a problem. It's called running a business. Every business in the world does it. Notice how walmart has a "New sale on this awesome item, get it lower than anywhere else!!"? This is how they steal customers. They want people to shop them and not the other place, because if they are not there, that business doesn't make as much.

Technically you are not stealing customers. They have just as much opportunity to go to any other artist as they do with you.

Oh yea, along with the rings, we also had free keychains....They were official pics from google laminated, since it's illegal to sell them we thought giving away that kinda thing would be a good way to get customers lol
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Last edited by Jei-Cos : 03-16-2014 at 06:09 PM.
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Unread 03-16-2014, 06:39 PM   #3
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Oh thanks for the feedback! But I'm not trying to sell my art at all. xD
It's more of just giving it away without any intention of advertising to actually selling anything.

I just want to hand them out for free, but yeah I was talking to my friends about it because popular animes can swing both ways and anything could be popular for some people.
So exactly what would be popular? I know My Little Pony can be a thing, but I can't really draw ponies at all nor do I want to stress out different designs on them because I don't actually watch the show... (I also do not want to use other people's design).

We're not really concern about the money deal at the moment because my friends and I are all contributing to this and we all have well paying jobs (One being a nurse intern, waitress, etc).

This is more of a charitable thing, not trying to make money kind of thing. xD

I was concern about being seen as competition because I don't want to be seen as that one artist giving away free art while other artists are trying to make profit, kind of thing.

I was simply putting out the donation thing out there because there will be a point in some time that materials run low and we're trying to focus on our cosplays and whatnot. It's completely optional though!

I just wanted to see if this would be fun for people because I found out a lot of Elsword Players are going to Sakuracon and Anime Expo (I was asking on their forums since I was doing commissions there).
So one reason why I was adding Elsword ADD as a example xD.

Last edited by Senaru : 03-16-2014 at 06:42 PM.
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Unread 03-16-2014, 07:23 PM   #4
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The people you'll be giving these keychains to are not short of cute images (there's the entire internet) and probably aren't desperate for keychains either. Do you want to spend your own hard-earned money to give people something they don't need and are only mildly interested in? You mentioned having budget problems of your own. This sounds like a good way to make those problems worse and gain little or nothing by it.

Focus your limited funds on things that will give better returns, like food while you live and practice your art. Do $1 on-demand portraits or something, that's practice and it'll raise funds instead of depleting them. If nothing else they'll usually pay for an artist's meals at con.
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Last edited by Mangochutney : 03-16-2014 at 07:27 PM.
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