Event Recap: StickerConMNL2018

It’s been a little over a year since my colleagues at Canva and I have embarked on this journey to sell our creations, mainly in the form of stickers, but we also sell a few pins, postcards, keychains and whatnot. We started at Komiket last February 2017, but have also dabbled in the BGC Art Mart and other creative events. We joined Komiket as well this year, and StickerConMNL.

What is StickerConMNL? Check out this article by When in Manila to get caught up! Fandom Feels PH Presents Sticker Con MNL 2018!

I heard about StickerCon last year, but I didn’t know it was my friend Grace of Fandom Feels PH who was spearheading this venture. This made me more excited. I rallied my officemates, and finally got a list of who will join me in this adventure.

I have to say that I was very unprepared for StickerCon, despite the long lead time. I left a lot of things at the last minute, thinking that I’ll be able to do things in two, then one, week. Nope. Instead of getting new stuff printed, I ended up hoping that my remaining stock will suffice.

Then came the news that my fellow artists will be going away for a business trip. That left just me to man the booth. The good thing with StickerCon it was just one day, unlike Komiket. However, I’ve never manned our booth for a whole event just by myself. Usually I’d pick up from the last person, but this time, it’ll be from start to finish. Thankfully, Drew and Ryan came by and kept me company for a bit.

I wasn’t expecting the crowd. A quick chat with my friends and they said it was totally unexpected too. Their last count was about 1,700 people (based on the number of tickets sold), and that didn’t count the number of artists, assistants, staff, and complimentary tickets. Towards the end of the day, they let in the attendees of another event happening in the same venue.

The sales were amazing. There were always people at the table, buying one or two stickers. One lady had an amazing haul of nearly 20 stickers. Another guy got all the retro gaming stuff we had, and quite a few dropped by to get more of their favorites. Almost all of the stock I had on hand were gone, and many last minute buyers were disappointed that we ran out of stuff. [Lesson: Come early as possible].

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With the organizers and staff of StickerConMNL

Congratulations to the team of StickerConMNL! Hope this will be an annual event, and maybe have some small pop-ups too?

Gratitude Post for 2017

Happy New Year!

I’ll make this quick. I’m so grateful for the many blessings in 2017. Nothing major, but adding them up made for a pretty good year.

Creative Ventures

To start, I had the opportunities to be more involved in art. Early in 2017, a few of my office friends decided to participate in bazaars to sell stickers. I jumped in, made a few simple designs, and was pleasantly surprised that there were a good many people who liked it. We’ve been doing it for a year now, establishing Kamote PH. I’m looking to expanding it further this year.

I also painted some notebooks for Jamilton in Fully Booked last April, and they all were sold. There’s also a possible revenue stream thanks to my calligraphy and lettering hobby.

Another creative venture was my writing. It’s not a secret that I’ve been joining NaNoWriMo and #romanceclass sessions, but rarely ever finishing it. Early in 2017, I submitted a story fo #SummerFeels, and in October for 12 Months of Romance, 24 Reasons to Love: A Holiday Anthology. Both were published under my pen name Kit Salazar, and I’ve had some pretty good reviews for my story.

Family

My nephew Cooper was born on June 9, 2017 to my brother Miks and his wife Diane. He is such a charmer, and is always laughing or smiling. My brother tells me that people are always looking at him. There was a time when they went for Cooper’s checkup, and a woman there found him so cute she asked to carry him. Fast food crew would give him a balloon. Their family is in Qatar though, which means I can’t physically see Cooper move from milestone to milestone as he grows. I’m grateful that my brother and sis-in-law regular post photos and videos of little Cooper, so we see a lot of his antics. I hope to meet him really soon.

Here’s something I made towards the end of 2017. I’m grateful that I can do this: physically that my body can, that I have the skills, and I have the freedom to do.

I also got to speak in front of my colleagues about public speaking for introverts, which is a big thing for someone like me who dislikes speaking in public. It was scary, but when done, I felt so good.

Here’s to 2018! I haven’t really written down any goals, but here’s to doing more things this year.

Support Local This Christmas

I found this over on Facebook and thought it was a nice idea.

Pasko na naman!

For those who are going to buy Christmas presents, here’s a suggestion: Buy gifts from small businesses, the neighbor who sells from the catalogue, women and mother entrepreneurs, artisans, shops in the neighborhood, the baker who makes handmade sweets and eat in a diner that serves great food. Let the money reach ordinary people so that there will be more people who will have a better Christmas. Let us support our people! If you think it’s a good idea, copy and paste this on your wall. ☺️🎄 #supportlokal

I added this bit when I reposted: Friends, if you have a business/product/service, feel free to post links to you site/page/ social media account in the comments. Post is public so you can share it.

Here’s the businesses in the comments. I’ll be editing this post as more get added. Feel free to let me know if you have something to add.

Komiket2017 Part 2: Bigger and Better

Komiket held its second event in Manila last October 14 & 15, and the crew of Kamote Kollektiv was again there. This time, we were present for both days, making the most of the weekend crowd (many of whom likely just got their salaries and/or allowances).

We’re a lot more organized now compared to last February, thanks to our experience then and the few other bazaars we’ve joined in the last few months. We have more stickers, and we also have a few more people in our group selling. We also have a better inventory system, where we can keep track of what sells and who owns them, as opposed to the old one when we did it willy-nilly.

I made more designs too!

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Compared to last February.

According to sales, the best seller was the Don’t Forget to Save one. I should print more of it for next time.

Verdict? Sales were much better this time. I’m inspired to do more fanart stuff.

Art inspiration

I was able to go around a bit to check on other artists. It was great to see the tables of popular artists who became popular online like Hunghang Flashbacks (their table was right behind us) and Libreng Komiks. Artist favorites were also present, like Manix Abrera (also a table neighbor) and Pol Medina Jr. I missed Gerry Alanguilan, as I only went on Sunday.

I also found new artists to look up: Corinne Caro (who does this really great illustrations of Filipino streetscapes), and Victoria Tadiar a.k.a. Haitori who wrote Sagala, a Filipino steampunk comic.

The best thing about this? We were tablemates with Fandom Feels PH and Numinous Studio, both of which are run by my friends Grace and Rai, respectively. I didn’t miss out hanging with my friends while trying to earn money, which was awesome.

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Sepanx magnet at work at Komikon!

Kamote Kollektiv will be back at the BGC Art Mart this November 24-25!

Found! Corner Craft Punch

I’ve been looking for a corner craft punch for a while now. I have one that’s great for big projects, but not suitable for smaller pieces like postcards or calling cards. I ordered one online but due to a mix-up on the part of the shop, I never got it.

There’s a shop in Greenbelt 5 called Noteworthy. I try to avoid this shop because it’s a big temptation. Last Saturday though, I couldn’t resist going in. Guess what they had? A corner punch.

What made this so great is that it was perfectly sized for the projects I had in mind. Not only that, it already had three different sizes. I didn’t have to look for anything else, plus, no worries about twisting or moving any parts.

I didn’t buy it immediately, though I went back today to get it. I’m pretty excited to use it.

Another interesting thing about this is the packaging. The craft punch comes in a plastic shell with cardboard backing, which is standard for a lot of products. I hate this packaging, purely because it’s such a hassle to open. Most use a stapler to keep the cardboard and the plastic splitting, and removing that is a pain (literally and figuratively) if you don’t have a stable remover.

What made this ingenious is that you don’t need to use stapler or tape to keep it together. There’s a small slot in the plastic, where an extended part on the cardboard slides into, effectively holding it all together. You can either cut it off, or slightly turn the plastic back to let the cardboard slide. The latter will let you reuse the packaging if you need to.

Neat, eh?

Adventures in Hong Kong: Exploring

It was raining when Hansel and I left Manila last Wednesday. The sky was dark grey, the rain lashing against the plane’s windows as it prepared to take off. I’m a bit of a nervous traveller, so I pushed myself to sleep.

I don’t think I slept at all. I may have, but I was still too aware of the goings on around me. Plus, I was hungry.

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This trip began as a spur of the moment idea with my officemate Lud last year. He got a few others — Hansel, Rainier, Aileen — on board, and we took advantage of the seat sale. We got tickets at different times, hence our staggered arrival.

The flight took a little under two hours, with the captain boasting that we were actually early. We didn’t have much to wait as Hansel and neither had check in luggage. Grabbed a few maps and fliers, breezed through immigration and got ourselves Octopus cards. Located the queue for the A21 bus and we were off.

The last time I was in Hong Kong was five years ago. I arrived late evening, so I couldn’t see much of HK. Today I arrived with the sun still up, but by the time the bus left, it was early evening. Not much to say about the bus ride, but it was a double decker so yay. And free WiFi.

The hotel was located in Tsim Sha Tsui along the busy Nathan Road. It wasn’t a hotel that occupied the whole building, but rather a hotel located inside a building and was compromised of small rooms. My and Aileen’s room was very small, enough to fit a bunk bed and an open shelf. It at least had its own bathroom and toilet, which was considered a deluxe upgrade. The bed was surprisingly comfortable.

After stopping off my things, we headed out to find a place to eat. Lack of planning led us to one of the side streets along Nathan Rd., and ending up in a Chinese restaurant called Ming Yuen Congee and Noodle Restaurant. Thankfully they had an English menu.

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To be honest I don’t know if the food was that good, or I was just that hungry. I finished my meal, thanks to Handel’s help, and we went off to find dessert. Aileen and I ended up at Cotton On/Typo. Massive sale; massive self-control.

Walked back to the hostel. H, R, and I went exploring further, while L and A decided to get some rest. That’s where we found a side street with some cheap street food and a recommended noodle shop. Walked further up Nathan and back down again. Despite the late hour, there were still a lot of people around.

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Finally, exhaustion came. Needed sleep, because the next day we were going to Disneyland.

Komiket 2017: Post event

I’m no stranger to cons. I’ve attended a lot over the years, and have gone to so much more since I got into Doctor Who and met my Sepanx friends. However, it was my first time to sell something last February 25, at the Komiket in Centris Elements.

I can’t recall how it all started, really, but suddenly a few of my officemates and I were talking about getting a table at Komiket and selling stickers that we designed. Next thing I knew, Kate was getting us a table, and everyone was preparing for it.

As usual, I procrastinated, thinking that I had enough time. Unlike my friends, I wasn’t a designer and dabbled only in drawing and graphic design. Not only did I have to brainstorm sticker ideas, I had to learn how to create them in digital form using software like Adobe Illustrator.

Long story short, I crammed. I finalized my designs barely two weeks before, and had things printed less than 36 hours before. Stayed up all night to cut them (because I didn’t go for the digital-cut service) and woke up early on the 25th to set things up.

Thankfully, things worked out well despite all the rush. My simple designs actually got sold, and I managed to earn back the amount I spent for printing. We even had a lady inquire about our commission prices (to which we all replied with a blank stare). It wasn’t perfect, but I’d like to think we learned a lot from this venture. We’re now planning to doing this on a regular basis, setting up a collective name and all that.

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Stickers galore!

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Here’s mine.

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Thanks for checking out our work!

Photo by @steldevera
Artists and friends

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Legit

Lessons learned:

  • Having a brand helps get people to buy from you, or at least have a way to reach out to you if the want to avail of your services and buy more of your products.
  • Have an inventory of your products, and clearly label the price of each one.
  • If you can have a system of how you sell and split the cost, that will help.
  • Signs and display cases are hella useful.
  • Promote, promote, promote!

I’m excited to see this grow. It’s a great way for me to keep creating and improve on my designing chops, and who knows how it’ll grow as a business? Too early to tell, but hey, all the possibilities!