- My images are uploading, but all I see are little red Xs.
- I don't have any sketches yet, but I'm going to a con soon. What's the deal?
- I've never used tags before. What kinds of things should I be putting in tags?
- What are personal galleries?
- Can I get notified when someone comments on one of my sketches?
My images are uploading, but all I see are little red Xs.
Sometimes, for some unknown reason, the system just doesn't like an image file. This image might look fine on your computer, but it's a no-go here. We recommend opening the file in a graphics program and saving it back out in a different format. Perhaps your images is a .jpg file, so try saving it as a .gif, or vice-versa. 99% of the time this fixes the problem.
I don't have any sketches yet, but I'm going to a con soon. What's the deal?
Getting convention sketches is fun, but there is a bit to learn. Let's start at the beginning. There are two kinds of convention sketches. Freebies are often found from the big publishers. If you wait in line at the DC or Marvel booth you can usually get a free sketch or two from the creative team behind the table. Usually fans bring their own sketch books or many will use backing boards since they are cheap and readily available at shows.
The next kind of sketch is the one you pay for. Most artists in artist alley will have signs posted with their rates. Don't insult them by trying to negociate. They post the prices because that's how much they want. Either it's worth it to you or not. 99% of artists only accept cash, so hit the ATM before you come to the con. Usually payment is made when you accept your sketch. Most artists will have sign up sheets. They can only do a certain number of sketches per day, so it's important to get to them first thing in the morning to ensure your spot on the list. Some big name artists even have raffles to decide who can get on the list. So good luck. If you want your sketch done in a sketch book be prepared to leave it with the artist. They usually never know when they are going to get to your sketch. So if you want multiple sketches in one day, you may need two sketch books or you might need to closly coordinate with the artists. Many artists who charge will provide paper if you don't want your drawing in a sketchbook, but it is safer to bring your own paper just in case.
And most importantly, bring reference material. Just because you know exactly what the Silver Samurai's first appearance costume looks like, doesn't mean they do. Have several comics with you that feature the character, or better yet prepare full color printouts with the character in multiple poses and from multiple angles.
And don't forget to be nice! If you want to get the best sketch possible, kill them with kindness. Being rude is only going to encourage the artist to go quick and dirty on your sketch, and you certainly don't want that.
I've never used tags before. What kinds of things should I be putting in tags?
We decided to use tags because they are a very flexible way of organizing data. If we forced people to enter artist and character the system wouldn't be capable of handling an image with multiple artists and characters and who knows what else.
When tagging your sketch you should include anything that you feel like. Let's say I got a Doc Ock sketch from Jim Lee at San Diego. I would tag the image with the following tags: Jim Lee, Dr. Octopus, San Diego Comic Con 2006. Now, if I was in the mood, I could also tag it with Marvel, Pen & Ink, Doc Ock, Spider-man, etc. You really can go nuts. The more tags you give it, the more likely your sketch is to turn up in a search.
Also remember that when you are logged in, you can tag other peoples' sketches. If you notice that someone missed a tag or you just think it needs another one, add it! Don't be shy. Tags are the life-blood of the system. Please help make the site better.
What are personal galleries?
Each person likes to organize their sketches in different ways. That's why we have personal galleries.
Let's say your favorite character is Paste Pot Pete. You have 17 sketchs of Pete. But you also have 20 other sketches that don't feature Pete. When you are posting on a forum somewhere about how awesome your Paste Pot Pete sketch collection is, it would be great to send people to a gallery of just those images, not all of your sketches. Well that's exactly what you can do.
Just go to your sketchbook page and scroll down. You will see a link to "Add a Gallery", just click it. It will ask your for a title for your gallery. In this case type Paste Pot Pete and then click continue. On the next screen you simply click the images in the right column that you want to put in your gallery and then they show up in the left. It's that simple. Then you can forward your gallery link to all of your friends and they can bask in the glory of all that Paste Pot Pete.
Can I get notified when someone comments on one of my sketches?
Yes! Simple click on the "Edit Profile" link in the menu at the top of the screen. On that page enter your email address (this stays private, it is not viewable by other users). Now you will automatically get an email notification when someone comments on your sketch.
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