Art Buyers Guide to San Diego Comic Con 2019 Edition PT 1
Happy Monday Readers!
As we count down the days this year a good amount of you will be attending San Diego Comic Con there's always a lot of amazing things to buy, especially when it comes to art!! There's tons of booths with great artists, fine art publishers, comic book art, art toys, and collectibles. So many in fact that it's hard to know what you're looking at! Some people have the time to explain, but since the show is so overwhelmingly busy you can get lost in the shuffle and it can all be a bit daunting, especially as a newbie and seasoned professional.
In an effort aid in your conquest of great stuff here is a brief guide to buying art at a show! This year the dates are starting Thursday, July 18 and ends on Sunday, July 21 2019.
First, knowing what you're looking for in a piece of art is key. What I mean by that is does the art work within your space(be it office, home, or Nerd Cave), are you looking for a collectors item for later down the road to have it gain in value, or do you just want something new and original? Are you looking for a specific licensed art print, or are you looking for a creator driven item? Once you've got that comes art terminology.
Within the world of printing there are a lot of different terms for different printing methods which if you're unfamiliar can be confusing.
The closest you can get to an original piece of artwork is a Giclee print (a fancy term for inkjet print (literally a spurt of some liquid)). A Giclee is a very high quality accurate reperentation/inkjet print on a substrate ( paper, canvas, or other). If done properly they can last a really long time, and retain their color, and look gorgeous matted or framed. These can get a little expensive because of the way they are printed, the expenses of scanning and reproduction, and treatment to preserve them properly. Knowing why helps ease the sticker shock for most. The majority of artists who reproduce their artwork offer this type of product when there is an original. The printers, like Static Medium, who are very well known for this type of work end up painstakingly shooting and color correcting the art/file/print to match the original. Also knowing most are limited editions, a fair amount hand signed by the artists, and the years they will last, will also aid in this. A fair amount will range for small at 35, all the way up to big canvas wraps that are 695 and over.
Next, we come to Silkscreens and Lithographs. These tend to be higher production runs, still limiteds, but the higher the run the cheaper the cost on the consumer. These style prints are run on a press and printed in larger quantities as mass production is easier to maintain a consistent level of reproduction. A lithograph can run you 15 to 40 dollars on a limited edition depending on size, artist, license, etc. Lithos are still great output as they tend to be full color. Silkscreens are printed using a method of ink being pulled through a mesh screen in pre-planned areas to make an image utilizing a limited color pallet. Prints can run you 35 to 55 depending on complexity and if it's an Artists proof will run you more ( smaller edition sizes make for higher prices).
Last we have production art and animation cells. In the development of comics or animation, they have preliminary drawings that help make the final product. Artists tend to get to keep some of this as they are practice or not full assets, and some companies house the art and get to sell it to collectors.
Once you've made up your mind there, you're already on your way!!!
If you're still indecisive but, but know you want a specific type of art, we have art publishers. Here you can get framed editions, loose prints, smaller items like Lapel Pins, and more. You're going to be able to paruse multiple properties as these guys retain multiple licenses and have multiple methods of output from giclee, silk screen, and lithograph. These are companies like Mondo and Acme Archives. They employ artists of many varieties, styles, and mediums. Digital and traditional. It absolutely helps to find these guys if you're unfamiliar with artists names and truly need a good starting point point. It absolutely helps to find these guys if you're unfamiliar with artists and truly need a good starting point point.
Artist alley is an excellent place for something you can commission, grab a sketch for a sketchbook or find a small print. These artists are usually comic book artists, painters, and various other vocations and happy to discuss projects with you and talk about the art they create. Some have prints small in small giclee and a few lithographs, but a lot have small originals. You're always in good shape here and it's always good to support these guys!
If you're looking to find some really excellent art prints of fantasy, horror, pop culture and creator driven original art, you can head on over to the Independant Illustrator booths, guys I've spoken about here before like Brian Miller, Jason Edmiston , Anthony Petrie, Brian Ewing Kim Jung Gi, and more. Here you can talk shop with the guys, ask them questions about how they create the art, negotiate sketches, snag Artist Proofs of sold out editions of silkscreens, lithos and Giclees, and small merch they've designed that goes along with their personal brands. They also tend to have one or two of sold out editions the publishers dont have any more of.
Hope this guide is helpful, and you can snag some sincerely awesome art this con as there's really great stuff! Stay Tuned for Part 2 Coming later this week about Designer Toys!