August 10, 2016
My Dual Life: Reflections of a Con Artist
By Myranda Harnage
For three years, UPBrand has been fortunate enough to have a legitimate ComCon artist as our designer, social media content expert and jack-of-all-art-trades. We are anticipating that time we'll say, "…we knew her when…" But, for now we benefit from her unique style and some great stories. We think you will too.
For a little over a year now, I’ve been selling my artwork in the Comic Con circuit across the Midwest. I surprise myself at how little effort it takes me, the poster-child of introverts, to warmly greet and engage with hundreds, or thousands, of people at each show. The truth is, it’s easy because I’m hopelessly in love with working conventions. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve done some pretty terrible shows, but at their core they all share fantastic traits that draw me in. And, wouldn’t you know it, these traits align pretty damn well with some of the core values we hold at UPBrand.
Let's jump into three of those core values. For our full list, learn more about who we are.
One of the things that inspires me most is seeing the drive and desire in artists around me. Imagine being in a room full of gorgeous artwork that ranges from nostalgic fan-art to original masterpieces. It’s difficult for me to not run home with the urge to create!
The thing I was most nervous about when first starting out was the competition. What if I wasn’t as good as the other artists? What if it was too difficult to attract customers? What if I was doing things completely wrong? To my relief, I have found that Con Artists and Con Goers alike are some of the most incredible people on the planet. Fellow artists jump at the chance to offer advice or suggest other shows that would be great to attend. I have made life-long friends in this business and still learn something new at every show.
This isn’t a job full of whimsy and spontaneity. It takes huge planning and dedication to my art to make this a successful career. Being a Con Artist requires more hours of my time than anything else in my life. I have to find the shows, choose which are best for my time, apply for them (sometimes several months in advance), make sure both my husband and I can have that time off from our real jobs, drive hundreds of miles, lug cart-fulls of art and setup equipment, and give somewhere between 6 and 12 hours a day to run my booth at each show (some of which can be four days long). Phew! Writing that run on sentence was exhausting enough and it didn’t even include the days and weeks of painting, designing, crafting, and printing that I put into making the art I sell at shows.
It’s no coincidence that I love both my jobs when they revolve around such a strong foundation of creativity and commitment. In both lives, I feel accepted, respected, and encouraged to push further and I couldn’t ask for more.
Check out her work at DesignsByMyranda.com! And, if you want to see Myranda in action, she'll be in the Artist Alley at Kansas City Comic Con on August 12-14 and has a booth at the St. Louis World’s Fare on August 19-21. Get your con on!