Why I do Artist Alleys

May 2, 2013 at 5:21 am 4 comments

The other day I took a night off and just laid around and read one of my all time favorite mangas – Dramacon. It’s about Christie and her adventures selling in the artist alley at an anime con. The series is three books long and starts with her first con experience ever and progresses from there. Of course, there is a love interest angle too. As cheesy as it sounds I think one of the reasons that I love these books (other than the fact that they are well written) is it just takes me back to my artist alley experiences.

Granted, I’ve never met the love of my life or been offered a dream job at any of the AA’s I’ve attended (I can only hope that one or the other will happen at a future con when the time is right), but so many other aspects of the books I can relate to.

When you look at it from a purely financial viewpoint, it probably doesn’t make much sense to do these things. We are fighting an uphill battle against a public who is trained in what I call the Walmart Mentality. EVERYTHING should be as cheap as Walmart and if not, it’s too expensive or overpriced. And yet, most of us are setting our prices to be competitive, but working for way lower than minimum wage. When you throw in the cost of cons – registration, AA table, travel, hotel and food, a lot of us are barely breaking even.

We work marathon hours often right up to con on creating inventory. We all freak out and sweat when registration time approaches, canceling social engagements and praying that the power won’t go out or the internet won’t go down. Then, if we get in, we agonize over our table placement and how to get all our stuff there to the con. It can be quite a chaotic ride!

And yet, I keep going back and trying to find more cons to attend. You just can’t put a price on the feeling of interacting with your customers face to face or seeing people getting genuine enjoyment out of your designs. I sell prints with bad puns and I love seeing people halt in their rushing by to look at get a good laugh. And it’s just an awesome atmosphere to be surrounded by 100-300 other creative people. Often, I sit next to total strangers, but by the end of con we’re talking about all kinds of things and exchanging cards. I just feel an ease in an Artist Alley that I don’t get anywhere else. It really is my mother ship πŸ™‚

I’m eagerly awaiting my next con!

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ASAHiCon 2013 Review Here Comes the Bride…

4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. illeander  |  May 3, 2013 at 1:01 am

    I’ve been concerned about the finances of attending an artist alley, thats what kept me from applying sooner. I figured this year I would bite the bullet and hope to break even.

    Reply
    • 2. kimchikawaii  |  May 8, 2013 at 2:49 am

      Good luck at your first AA! Sometimes, you just gotta take that leap. And AA’s still remain my top method of exposure for my brand.

      Reply
  • 3. buy pinterest followers  |  July 10, 2013 at 10:06 pm

    Hello are using WordPress for your blog platform?
    I’m new to the blog world but I’m trying to get started and create my own.
    Do you need any html coding expertise to make your own blog?
    Any help would be greatly appreciated!

    Reply
    • 4. kimchikawaii  |  July 23, 2013 at 5:14 am

      Hi, sorry for the late reply! I am using WordPress and if you want to do basic blogging, you don’t really need to know that much in the way of html coding. They keep it pretty user friendly πŸ™‚

      Reply

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