THURSDAY, MARCH 28, 2013
We've been getting quite a few requests for convention sketches and commissions lately. My first thought is that no one is reading the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page I spent time putting together. No, don't rush over there and read it now (as if anyone would); I can tell you what it says here and now: For the time being, Adam does not have room in his work schedule to take on commissions, and he no longer does conventions sketches and hasn't since May of 2011. That's almost 2 years since Adam announced that he was no longer going to be sketching at conventions. So I can't help but wonder why people are still so shocked to learn that Adam isn't taking sketch requests at shows, as if it happened last week. Or a better question might be: I can't understand why people are shocked, as if they were going to get one anyway?
Yes, you heard me right; you weren't going to get one anyway.
That's the real driving force behind why Adam stopped doing fully rendered sketches at conventions. Most people that wanted a sketch went home empty handed. We'd take a list of 50 or more names in the first 10 minutes of any given show. And then, over the following two or three days (depending on the length of the event) Adam would maybe get one or two drawings done. With the number of fans that wanted books signed, or 5 minutes to chat with their favorite artist, maybe get a portfolio review or an interview in for their blog, it didn't leave much time for sketching. We'd spend the Sunday of the show apologizing to 48 or 49 people, telling them they didn't get one this weekend, but maybe they'd get one next time. Essentially lying to them, telling them to keep hoping against hope that suddenly Adam would draw faster (but still as detailed), or that less people would start wanting sketches, evening the odds a bit.
I hate lying. It doesn't sit well with me. And I hate disappointing people. So we realized that something drastic had to be done, and announced that Adam would no longer be doing convention sketches.
Wait, you say; Wasn't there some story about a guy eBaying his sketch that was the catalyst for all of this? Sure there was; there's always some disreputable person eBaying the sketch they bought that very day when someone else would have taken with them to the grave. When you have that many people wanting something so underpriced it's almost idiotic, of course you will have people hoping to take advantage and make a profit from it. And that not only makes Adam and I look like schmucks, but it really enrages the fans that didn't get that sketch they wanted.
So; that is the reason why we have no more convention sketch list, and no more convention sketches. For a little while, we tried eBaying a sketch a day at shows. A week or so prior to any event, we'd run an auction for a convention sketch- one for each day that the event was going on. It seemed fair enough to begin with. But again, Adam never seemed to have enough time to complete them, and found himself taking them home to work on, and getting back logged with them. Also, people began to complain about the costs; convention sketches that seemed expensive when they were $400 were now quite out of the price range of many collectors and fans when eBay drove the prices up to market value; well over $2,000 for each sketch. And with Adam getting backlogged on them, it didn't seem right to be selling these sketches every show, when there were ones at home that people were very patiently waiting for. Now I want to point out that I try and not be a scumbag: I have offered everyone that is waiting for their sketches refunds. I don't ever want people upset that they paid for a sketch that is likely taking way too long to be finished. But everyone seems happy enough to wait for their drawings; I guess they know that there's not a whole lot of chance to get a sketch again in the future, at the rate we are going. At some point, Adam will get caught up with these sketches; when he does (hopefully soon) we'll consider offering them again.
So where does that leave us? Quick head-sketches. At most shows, Adam will offer to do head-sketches for fans at designated times during the day. They aren't free; we ask a minimum donation of $20 to whatever the featured charity of that weekend is, and we ask that the sketches are one per person (though I have no real way of enforcing this). This has enabled a significantly larger number of people to get sketches than has ever gotten them in the past. At our first show of 2013, Adam was able to do almost 200 head sketches for fans! It also means that everyone that wanted books signed, portfolios reviewed, interviews, and just a friendly chat, photo and handshake was able to get them.
Yes, a number of people that wanted fully rendered convention sketches from Adam for $400 are disappointed. But in comparison to the hundreds and even thousands that are now getting quick sketches and some of Adam's time at shows, it seems a fair trade off to us. So there it is; the full explanation of why we are doing what we are doing regarding sketching at shows. It's unfortunate if you are disappointed; but I'm not sorry. Remember what I said in the beginning; the vast majority of people wanting sketches weren't going to be able to get them anyway. Merely wanting it and saving the money for it was no longer enough; there just aren't enough hours in the day and days in the weekend of a convention for Adam to draw for everyone that wants a drawing.