Speaking up is a hard thing to do for many creators, because as freelancers they often work at the whim of others. But Sean Murphy has made a name for himself beyond his actual work as an outspoken member of the artist community. Recently, he took to his deviantART page to pull back the curtain on an overlooked aspect of a creator's life -- one rife with doubts and unfulfilled promises, but with the occasional bright spot: conventions.
"While many of my pro friends are eternally grateful for their careers and for these generous invites, some of the shows are taking advantage of creators -- ALL levels of creators -- and not following through with what's promised," Murphy wrote. "Believe me, I love traveling and I want to visit all my readers in every country I can, but there's nothing worse than getting to the 'convention reserved' hotel room and finding out you wasted your money staying in some foreign ghetto."
While Murphy might now be in the upper echelon of creators vied for by conventions and stores, the New England artist has been attending cons for more than a decade.
Murphy is doing more than just complaining, however; he's offering a solution -- what he calls a list of "Creator's Rights" pertaining to conventions.
"This is also meant to help conventions," Murphy points out. "There's a lot of money at stake and if [your] guests aren't happy, then creator word-of-mouth can sink you. We all gain from communication, so hopefully this will start the ball rolling."
Murphy hits upon five bullet points, talking about sketching for fans, agreed upon schedules, guest relations, accommodations and, probably the most intangible but valuable selling point, camaraderie.
"Here's a convention insurance policy I can't stress enough: invite a group of creators that you know get along, and give them amazing food," he offers.
If you're a convention organizer, creator or just someone interested in this aspect of the industry, make sure you give a full read to Murphy's proposal.