I just got back from my first fivepoints fest, and I'm generally overwhelmed by the amount of talent in the art toy world.
I got to talk to lots of amazing humans who are just as passion about toys and art, and who love discussing the ins and outs of their craft.
The amount of talent on display was giving me both impostor syndrome and the urge to work my ass off to be half as good. While it was a bit rough to feel unworthy of the event, I'm feeling really inspired so that next year if I get to participate I can come in swinging.
Why do all the cool events have to happen in cities so far away from me? I was very fortunate that my brother currently lives in Brooklyn. It meant that attending wasn't going to break the bank. However, the trip out to New York was not easy(thanks southwest for the canceled flight -_-), and packing everything was very stressful.
I did not sell as much as I would have liked. With any new event my first sales goal is to make back the money for the table/booth, then any expense that come along with getting to the location. This event covered the first one but not the second, and if I'd had a hotel room it would have been a lot worse.
It's tough being an unknown artist working in a different medium then the majority of the people there. On the one hand my work stands out, on the other, not many people are looking for paper dinosaurs (their loss).
Would I go back? Yes, not a doubt in my mind. Having done it once I would use a different strategy and probably gear my product selection a little more away from paper, not completely, but I'd love to see if I could get my capsule toys done in a less time consuming manner so I could sell them for less.
Did I make some good contacts? You better believe it! A small gallery owner has invited me to participate in an upcoming toy show, I gave, what I'm guessing will be an awkward interview, to a small internet media group and was invited to participate in a pop convention.
Stuff to Consider
Bring a show piece- it probably won't sell but the artists with at least 1 large beautiful work over $100 seemed to have more traffic then those with only tiny things
Maybe go back to casting in resin. I used to cast a lot but got away from it because of time, expense and the fun rash I get
My capsule characters were very popular and I'd love to expand on the idea. I've always been a fan of things where the container is part of the actual piece.
Pack less paper stuff? Its so hard to predict what people will find interesting, but clearly this is a crowd after figures. They love collecting and they love a rare item, I'd like to find more ways to incorporate that into my work without too much compromise.