Thursday, April 26, 2012

Post: c2e2 2012


I am back from my San Diego vacation!  Prior to that, I attended the third c2e2 at Chicago's McCormick Place.  It was a blast!  I definitely had a little pep in my step because I was well into my Kickstarter campaign for Heart.  It was also the debut of Playing with the Alphabet, my flashcards about games and activities to do when you are little.

We started out the day pretty earlier and it gave us time to walk around and scope out the lay out of the show.  As the show opened, Joe Foo and Mike Roll were all set up and the self proclaimed Almost Asian Tour was ready to roll!

Friday was slower than previous years but the traffic came mid afternoon.  I was doing my best to promote Heart and luckily Nicole was there to pick up my slack.  She was such a huge trooper and I really couldn't have done it without her. 

Saturday was the heavy traffic day.  I saw a lot of regulars and met a lot of new people also.  Every book, sketch, or card set sold, I made sure to include the Heart promo card.  Also a lot of family and friends came out on Saturday to support me and that is always such a warm welcome.  A big shout out to Rene and Dave of Instant Press Comics and Victor from Vantage In:House who were kind enough to have some of those promo cards at their tables.  When I had caught up with my sketch work Nic and I would frequent Artist Alley and scope out some of the more interesting tables.  I also made a point to visit some creative colleagues that I am continuing to grow friendships with. 

Afterwards Nic and I treated my table mates to a really late dinner at Jerry's.  We waited a LONG time for our food but it made for good conversation and some hilarious stories by the great Joe Foo.  Afterwards we hit up some even later karaoke at this speakeasy club called Brando's.  Joe got me to sing Tenacious D's Wonderboy and we went boy band and belted  98 Degrees' Tell Me Why to a bachelorette party.  It was insanely fun and one of the best nights I've had in a long while.

Sunday was kid's day. Not much of a big crowd than the last two days.  It made sense, but there were definitely a lot more families in attendance.  It was also a big day as the Heart cards and word of mouth kicked the campaign into over drive.  We made a big jump in those two days and we broke 2.5k!  I also did an interview with the amazing Lora Innes for her Paper Wings Podcast show which she co-hosts with the also amazing Chris Oatley.  It was definitely one of the highlights of the show for me and really pumped me up to finish Sunday strong.

And I felt like I did.  By the end of the week I had mad a 50% jump in my goal and by Tuesday night I had achieved it!

This year's c2e2 was definitely an education in networking.  Not only did I become more comfortable speaking to strangers and pitching my story, I grew confident and positive in my way of thinking.  After Saturday it wasn't I MIGHT make my goal it was more like I WILL make my goal.  When that was instilled, that passion for the project started to come out more when I was speaking.  It definitely shows in the art but it started to show in my speech.  I was more expressive and I engaged in conversation more, not only with people stopping at the table but with my convention friends as well. The experience is something I will carry with me forever.  Not because I got people to donate to my book but because the passion for wanting to be in this industry burned brighter than ever.  There's no reason it should go out.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Packaging the Alphabet and preppin' for c2e2!

Hi all,

We are getting ready for the big c2e2 Convention this Friday-Sunday at McCormick Place.  I will be at table E5 with Joe Foo and Mike Roll and I will have a lot of new stuff on hand!

 Today I received the first set of Playing The Alphabet,  my flashcards devoted to playing games and having fun.  I was happy to this massive heavy package waiting for me downstairs and when I cracked it open I had the biggest smile on my face.  Something the stress of preparing for this month had taken away. It all paid off as the cards came nicely glossed on a rich card stock.  The images are pretty vibrant and colorful and emulated everything I wanted in my own version of the alphabet.

I also ordered some boxes with clear tops to display them  in.  I was nervous at first that they weren't going to fit.  I was thinking they were too big or that the box might be too small. Luckily, they worked out great with enough room for kids to reach in and take out.

So tonight, Nic and I have been counting prints, packing the cards, and doing book counts.  It's been a productive evening but still SUPER SUPER fun because I have no product for the show and the rest of the season and it turned out great.  Check'em out.

A big thanks to Greko Printer and Mike Roll who also helped print my Coloring books last year.  They were efficient, affordable, and even packed the cards with rubber bands to keep'em safe.  I would recommend for all your print needs for sure.  They do great work.

Here's the final product shot you will see at my table:

Hope to see you at the show this weekend! Remember, Table E5!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Come play the alphabet!

Hi all,

It's been a bit quiet on this side after DanCon 2012.  I'm not slacking that's for sure, I've been busy working on a multitude of projects.

Can I take the time to say that I have a Kickstarter going for my new book, Heart.  I think you should all check it out, donate and pass it along!  I have a widget that I added to the right that show's the campaign's progress and sure do hope you click on over once you've read this post.

Ok, I am happy to announce the newest edition to the WIWL family:

That's right, WIWL is tackling the alphabet.  After I released a successful Coloring book, I wanted to keep helping kids learn in a fun way.  I thought about what else I could put a WIWL stamp on and I came up with an alphabet book.  I was going to call it The little Alphabet Book.  It was going to focus on little things, objects, animals, etc.  Even the letters were going to be kept at lowercase.  A book where they can flip through and learn their letters.  It was also going to be the first book that wasn't named like the other books.

I thought about it some more. After doing four books I wanted to keep going in that direction of having the kids interact with whatever I put out.  I wanted something fresh.  So I scratched the book idea and decided to do them as flashcards.  That way kids can learn the order of the alphabet too.  Parents can shuffle the cards around and ask them to put it in the correct order.  Now when I did research, I noticed that some of the alphabet sets were pretty random.  I like to have themes for my projects, like the coloring book was focused on sports, events, seasons, and holidays.

When I was thinking of the project as a book I noticed some of the little things I picked were toys and games.  I eventually decided on the idea of things you can play as the theme for these flashcards.  The only things I kept from  the initial idea were it was going to be lower case focused and the name was not going to precede the original title, When I Was Little.  The name Playing the Alphabet came much later...actually I think it was during one of Nicole and I's brainstorm conversations at the end of Dan Con last month.

So the way the cards are going to be shown are like this:

The front is designed with the letter and an image showing the letter being "played":

The back shows what it is, so k is for kazoo.  Here are some more samples of fronts, I tried to keep it a good mix of boys, girls, and everyone activities.

I had a lot of fun creating these and hope that the kids will have fun with the cards.  My plan is to have some sets available for the upcoming c2e2 show in Chicago.  The cards will be 5 1/2" x 7 1/2" and come in a clear case.

Hope to see you there!