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About Digital Art / Student Premium Member Jemaica MurphyFemale/United States Recent Activity
Deviant for 7 Years
12 Month Premium Membership
Statistics 107 Deviations 1,573 Comments 20,534 Pageviews


Finding conventions

Look online for some local conventions and start small if it is your first time selling. I've sold mostly at college conventions where the booth costs no more than $100. When you find one, send them a nice email or fill out their vendor or artist alley application. Do so very early! 
It's a good idea to try to keep your costs down at your first convention, so decide on one or two things to sell (shirts and buttons for example) and see what sells best so you know what to bring to future conventions. 

If you are selling at a very specific convention, do your research and make products that appeal to the audience. My biggest profit was at a My Little Pony convention, where I learned how to draw ponies for quick sketch commissions at $10. With those commissions I made $300 by the end of the day! 

You are going to be confused about how many prints to bring, and I always am as well. It's easier once you have done a convention already and know which of your prints sell the best. prints of popular characters and fan art will usually sell the most. Make sure to have original art at your booth as well, many conventions have 50/50 fan art/original art rules. Look up the rules of whatever convention you are attending! 

You can make a booth with a nice tablecloth and either wire storage cubes, PVC pipe, or a combination of both! I use wire storage cubes from Amazon to build around my booth and then attach my best selling sample prints to the front. I also keep an 11x17 binder so people have something to flip through and can see all of my prints. Don't forget to put some free business cards out on your booth as well! 
Make sure to check out examples of other booths before creating yours! 

Where to get prints is the most recommended website I've heard of to get prints online, but if you are cheap like me you could print at your local college or good print shop. Just keep in mind this is not the place to print your more sexy artwork, as that gets awkward fast. Never print somewhere like Staples as the quality has always been horrible in my experience! 
At my college, prints are under a dollar each, which I then sell for $15 each. Aw yeah! If the convention is particularly small I will sell for much cheaper, so more poor college students can afford the work.

Don't forget snacks, because unless you have a trustworthy booth mate or helper there you will not be able to get up to get food for many, many hours. Bring paper to draw commissions on as well if you are doing them. Different art materials never hurt to bring, I once had someone request a commission drawn on a CD and I had to get some sharpies to complete it!

Invest in getting a card reader, at multiple conventions I have been the only one who takes card and it helps SO much with profit! :) get the Square or Paypal one, they reimburse you so it is free and then they take a percentage of your profits but it is still super worth it to get. 

At the convention

Get there as early as possible to set up! this part is always the most stressful for me. I put together my display as fast as possible, and I often try to bring pieces of it already put together. I lay it out looking all nice and keep my money, phone, and some prints on my lap. I try to keep one of each print at hand and the rest underneath my booth in a storage container, organized with sticky notes with the name of each print on them (like a bookmark!) This way they are easy to find and you can quickly give someone a print and exchange money!

Before setting up prices, I like to look around at other vendors booths to see what their prints are selling for and adjust mine accordingly! If everyone is selling prints for $15, I don't want to be selling at $25 unless my art is much better than theirs and vice versa! Make sure your price signs are super visible, many people are too shy to ask the price on a print and will pass by without asking. 
Another fun strategy is to include some deals in your pricing, like Buy 3 get one free! or something similar. This helps drive funds like no other, and your customers will love saving money. 

as always, take payment upfront. Once at a convention I had the same person come up to me multiple times, saying how my art was too expensive for them but that they really wanted it. eventually they grabbed some of it and said they would take it now and pay me later if I gave them my address (ha!) I politely declined, although I wanted to go on a huge rant. 
Convention goers are often annoying, and will place food or drinks on your table or sneeze on your artwork, but try your best to be polite to them as well as your booth mates and neighbors, as you can get awesome help from a nice booth mate (bathroom breaks! snack sharing!) 

Happy convention-ing and I hope this helped some of you out! If you have any questions, please submit them to the comments below! 

Art college vs teaching yourself

I am currently an art major at a normal college, one that is not only art focused. Out of all the art students, I am the ONLY digital artist. There was one more, but they have graduated by now. 
This school focuses on traditional art and gallery showings, and many of the teachers know nothing about digital art. In three years of college, I can honestly say I have learned NOTHING from my professors to help me improve my digital art; besides one teacher who taught perspective (Which I could have learned online!) If you are looking into a college please call them and speak with them about digital art to see if they even teach it! 

to make up for lost time, I've been self-teaching with the help of patreon creators, helpful youtubers, online courses like Chris Oatley's art academy, and most importantly working my ass off. I draw for at least 20 hours a week but I need to start keeping track.
I would not be in this school if I hadn't already invested so much time into it!
So if you are thinking of majoring in art at a non-art school, for the love of god please don't! 

If you are deciding whether or not to go to college for art remember:
A degree will never get you an art job
only your portfolio will get you a job
The only reason I get jobs is because I am doing work outside of class assignments, work that I love to do! 

If you have a crap ton of money (or are okay with taking out loans) and you need a structured environment to be able to improve, by all means go to a school like DigiPen. I've had 3 friends that have gone to Digipen; 
one of them was successful and got a job at Disney straight out of school!
the other two dropped out and wasted tons of money. They either couldn't afford it or couldn't take the stress of the curriculum. Only go to art college if you are really motivated to work hard, and to work hard on your own time. 

If you really want to go to art college it may help you, if not there are other ways!
I HIGHLY recommend everything that Noah Bradley has to say, if you are on the fence about art college please read his take on it here
Noah gives you another path where you can have an excellent art education- far better than you can get at college, for a fraction of the price. I am personally reading a lot of the books he recommends and I will be taking a handful of the classes. I wish I had seen ths before I started my education, so again, please read it

Overall I highly recommend using online resources for your education, instead of the college approach if you want to be an illustrator. 
Hope this helped some of you, feel free to ask me any questions at and I will respond ASAP!


my name is Jemaica
I am an art student
and freelance illustrator

email me at
and visit my website at


I have just started a new blog with posts about improving and selling your digital art,
to read them click the link below!

view my works in progress and other updates on my facebook



:icondragons-and-girls: :iconamericanhorrorstory: :iconfantasy-npc: :iconwine-and-women:


Add a Comment:
Sir-LeX Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2015   Digital Artist
You have some nice paintings in your gallery :)
jemaica Featured By Owner Jan 13, 2015  Student Digital Artist
thank you! 
LJEKC Featured By Owner Dec 22, 2014

Welcome to Fantasy-NPC :)


jemaica Featured By Owner Dec 22, 2014  Student Digital Artist
thank you!
firstedition Featured By Owner Dec 22, 2014
Holy moly!  I stumbled onto your page and WOW!  For someone as talented as you are I'm shocked that you have less than 20k pageviews!  O_o

Your digital painting really looks fantastic.  I WISH I was as good at it as you are.

Will be watching,

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