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Comic-Calm: How to Survive San Diego



I’m imagining a commercial for some new drug made especially for us gallery owners who are freaking out about the HP con and the San Diego Comic-Con.  

You know, maybe Jon Favreau or Kevin Smith is the spokesman, and it’s called 



Kevin Smith says, “Use new Calm-i-Con for “CON STRESS”  Side effects include patience, a wicked sense of humour, and an ability to get everything done in less time than you ever thought possible!


Because when your partner of 10 years says you’re “ill tempered” and that you should “have a drink”, its time to take stock about just how much con stress is oozing into your interactions with the ones you love…


Mind, i’m aware i’m not brokering peace in the middle east, I mean, i sell cartoons for a living after all…but the folks who broker peace in the middle east DO buy from me, (umm, well, at least one of them does) and so i know animation, illustration, and film art is important in at least one way that inspires and motivates me to find as many new and interested clients as i can: the art i sell can reframe someone’s day in seconds, pull them from the intensity of their work day, be that peace talks, experimental brain surgery, wall street trading, or 3 screaming toddlers.  


My personal experience with the power of animation and film art is from when my sister was killed.  I was told about her car accident while i was at work.  (which i wouldn’t recommend…the gallery had a pall over it for a long time even the most insensitive of foot traffic could discern) At first, for about six months or so, I could barely look at the cels of Winnie the Pooh, Bugs, etc.  It was like they were mocking my grief.  At the time I remember wishing i worked anywhere else…but within a few months after that i starting really understanding the power of the art.  It was like the movie “Sullivan’s Travels”. (google, imdb, or watch that if you don’t know the reference..it’s worth your time. Joel McCrea and Veronica Lake, directed by Preston Sturges) No one could ever talk me out of the power i believe cartoon and film art has to bring people joy and a feeling of warm nostalgia.  Even the art from Alien and Blade Runner does that!


The point is I take selling this art, and my place in this corner of the art community very seriously, and I’d certainly rather be the one to bring the above mentioned joy than one of my competitors, not because i aim to own a house in Hawaii, but because we give to charity, tend to be less hard sell, strive to educate our clients and have really wonderful partnerships with the artists and collectors/folks from whom we buy art.  To be found and appreciated by new clients is a huge part of success in small business.  


Well, the cons are a major part of finding new clients.  In my case, they are also a way of educating them.  I’m going to be presenting or taking part in 3 classes and panels relating to Harry Potter, one shows the history and design of the official art released by Warner Brothers of Harry Potter, and one is a workshop where we’re storyboarding 

either HP fan fiction or scenes from Deathly Hallows.  I’m also on an HP panel at Comic-Con (which i’m excited about.  We get special stinking badges) So this stuff requires preparation, packing up, compiling, shipping…Oh. We also got 2 worldwide exclusives, AND our gallery is the only one in the whole of Comic-Con that will have original art by John Alvin, which is getting harder to find by the day!  So there’s the preselling, (don’t want my current fabulous clients to get wadded undergarments)…


sidebar:  The weirdest thing about my job is as i’m building the website, writing our blog, twittering, facebooking, finding new art and artists, interviewing for my videos, creating new educational series vids, etc, i remember…


oops.  I’m supposed to SELL ART!  


Anyway, this lead me to being so stressed out some of my clients/friends came to the gallery in a sort of cartoon art sales intervention, and went about the place doing my bidding so i could get everything done in time.  Did i mention there are only two of us?  Which leads me to ask, why do small businesses that only have a few people running it pretend they have a huge staff?  Why isn’t it more impressive that everything runs and is successful with only a few making it all happen?  Doesn’t that prove the business runs well and smartly and as a client you’ll be dealing directly with ONE WHO KNOWS THE ANSWERS?  I love that we don’t have a bunch of people working for us.  (except in the last few days!) 


There are only a few of us in the animation and illustrative art sales business doing truly well at this moment.  Two of them are run by trust fund babies.  In our gallery there isn’t a cash infusion waiting in case we make bad choices or no one shows up.  But our clients DO show up.  And they tell their friends.  And people find us on the web.  (working on our site!  know its hard to maneuver!   please just call me if you can’t find what you want…as god/goddess is my witness, we are soon  going to have a site that is educational AND easy and searchable!)


Meanwhile, tell your friends.  Watch my vids relating to HP…    We loved  the different cool t shirts we created that my little sister and I wore–the one that says “hey, fan boy, soap is sexy” was created by a client as a gift.   


Wish me luck. Don’t worry.   I’ll be taking my “Calm-i-con”




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