Self Portrait by Kristin Tipping
Self Portrait by Kristin Tipping

What does it take to be a top seller at the annual MCAD Art Sale? We asked Kristin Tipping, one of the best of the last two decades, to talk us through her experience and share her secrets. 

Kristin Tipping ’16, MFA, is a graphic artist and comic creator known for her strangely endearing bittersweet work full of fluffy animals, queer feelings, and existential dread. Her work includes the award-winning comic Evil Witch Allie and the short picture book A Book For Sad Pets. She is a recipient of the 2019 Artist Initiative Grant.

What mediums do you primarily work in?

I mostly draw in Clip Studio Paint and Adobe Photoshop.

What has MCAD meant for you in terms of launching your creative career?

I think the most valuable part of MCAD's master of fine arts program for me was the connections I made while I was there. That and space it provided me to focus on my artistic practice. There's a thriving comic art scene in Minneapolis that I stumbled into it completely by accident. I never felt like I was part of a community until I moved to Minneapolis, and that never would have happened without MCAD. 

What does your primary artist practice look like?

Truth be told, I'm not particularly successful, at least not monetarily. My impression of the comics world is that most people aren't.

My first couple of years after MCAD I was going after a lot of professional comics and illustration gigs, but I've been veering away from that recently. Working on my own projects has been more satisfying, and, surprisingly, more lucrative as well.

Can you describe a memorable sale or moment from the Art Sale?

When I was tabling in the Artists' Alley one year, a little girl bought a bunch of stickers from me and then stuck them all directly to her face. It was a good look.

What do you love about making art?

It allows me to express things I otherwise couldn't. Speaking up and expressing myself has always been difficult for me. Art allows me to do that in an environment where I feel safe.

Is there any Art Sale work that has inspired you? Describe it!

Yes. I'm constantly inspired by the work of people around me. Especially everything my friends Niky Motekallem and Alex Mitchell make. I'm sure both of them will be in the Art Sale this year.

What Art Sale advice would you give to young MCAD artists?

Don't be afraid to experiment. Try a bunch of different things and see what sells best. Then double down on that thing.

Also, frame all of your prints. They're way more likely to sell if they're framed.


Additional Top Sellers

*Note that the term "Top Seller" is defined both in sales and number of pieces sold.