Posts tagged ‘anime con’

Otakon 2015: Artist Alley Review

This was my second year at Otakon and things got off to a rough start and I didn’t make goal, but I survived. I kind of have mixed feelings about this weekend. At least my flight got me there without a hitch like what happened with Anime Boston!

Steamed Bun plush and Hamburger Bun plush toys on display.

Steamy rolls out the unwelcome wagon for Hammy.

A highlight of the weekend was that I got to meet a lot of artists I correspond with online in the Facebook artist alley group. I also got to finally meet Tonya from Shinedown Productions who’s been doing my Punny Buns plush. She brought me the final Hamburger Bun prototype on Saturday. I had Hammy out for display at my table and got a lot of positive reaction to him. Honey Bun didn’t make it to this con due to luggage space. I was able to get some pre-orders for him. I’m excited for 2016 when I have the Punny Buns with me for the con season. I think this will really help me get to the next level with Kimchi Kawaii.

I had planned on bringing over 100 plush, but due to the fast turnover time between Anime Expo and this one, I didn’t complete as many as I would have liked. I did rush through a bunch so I could send them ahead of me. Plush sell well, but boy are they bulky. Shipping has now become a part of my artist alley prep. I guess it keeps me on track, especially for east coast cons since I have to factor in cross country shipping time.

Sales seemed slower this year on the first day compared to the previous year and general sales all weekend seemed lower for everyone I spoke to in the AA. This year, Otakon only saw about 28,000 which was a significant drop in attendance. I think there were two main factors in this – they did away with one day passes so that meant someone who wanted to just come on say, Saturday, still had to pay around $100 for registration. Also, even though it was months ago, the riots in Baltimore seemed to keep some people away as well.

I had hoped that with the increased plush variety, I would make a certain sales goal, but I came in well short of it. Honestly, it was a bit disappointing with all the work and headache I had leading up to this con – extreme time crunches, other obligations cutting into prep time, wrong items being shipped, items missing all together from orders, etc. This is the last travel con for my 2015 season and I’m pretty happy to be putting the suitcases away until next year. I’ll have the Punny Buns arriving from the Kickstarter so will be focusing on that and getting ready for my dealers booth at SacAnime on Labor Day weekend.

My plush did sell out and this was the first con where I actually sold out of the Sweet Dreams Strawberries by the second day. Usually, those are a hard sell – lots of people think they’re super cute, but they just won’t buy. However, the prints were slow to move and I had a hard time selling the deco den phone cases that I carry.

Even before this con, I’ve decided to discontinue them as it’s just too difficult to keep up with the new models coming out everyArtist alley table for Kimchi Kawaii at Otakon, 2015. year. Plush making is also taking up a significant chunk of my time. Additionally, the market is just getting flooded and a lot of people are underpricing their cases which means I can’t compete. Side note to artists: PLEASE don’t undervalue your work! It just hurts you and your fellow artists and gives the buying public the expectation that they shouldn’t pay more than $5 for anything we do (ends soapbox).

So to sum it all up – for those of you considering selling at this con, it has had the potential for good sales, but this year was just an off year for whatever reason. It will be interesting to see if they lower prices or bring back the one day pass again for next year which could up sales again. They will also be moving to the D.C. area for 2017.

Also know that Otakon has some of the longest artist alley hours out there. Friday was from 1pm – 11pm. Saturday was from 10am – 11pm. Sunday is more normal in hours. If you can swing it, I definitely recommend bringing a helper to give you breaks or make sure you are neighbors with friends!

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August 11, 2015 at 6:00 am 2 comments

Artist Alley Review: SacAnime Winter 2015

SacAnime Winter was another great show for me. I had a great time visiting some fellow artists who I follow. Sales continued to be strong and my totals came in pretty close to the summer show which is great for a smaller con.

Continue Reading January 27, 2015 at 5:09 am Leave a comment

Anime Weekend Atlanta 2014: Artist Alley Review

Heading back from my last con for the 2014 season. Long, cross country flights are a great time to draft blogs for posting later. 🙂

The popular Steamed Bun plush for sale at my AWA artist alley table.

The popular Steamed Bun plush for sale at my AWA artist alley table.

This was Kimchi Kawaii’s second year of doing Anime Weekend Atlanta (AWA). I started going to AWA as I have some artist friends who do this one every year and I wanted to meet them in person. Sales were good in 2013 and my friend from Sweet Fancy Cuteness was going again this year so I signed up to return. It was a lot of fun hanging out with her and meeting her friend who runs ShouYume. We had our tables next to each other and also shared a hotel room. I always enjoy doing artist alleys cause where else can you be in a room with fellow creators who understand the ins and outs of being an artist?

Sales-wise, well, that’s where this con was a bit lacking. I had set a sales goal (as I always do) and this was the first con where I didn’t make or exceed it. I guess having done 20+ cons by now, I’m pretty blessed to only now have this happen. It wasn’t just me either. Many artists were posting on social media and talking in person about slow, even outright dismal sales. And even the dealers’ were saying their sales were low as well which is a clear indicator that it’s not just you.

Usually, you see people coming through the AA with their hands full of stuff from the dealers’ room – collectables, plush, etc. – and you can tell where their con budget went. However, this year not too many people seemed to be carrying ANYTHING. I saw a lot of browsers, but people didn’t seem to be buying.

Friday sales for me were probably some of the worst I’ve seen. As a rule, first day sales are usually the lowest for the whole con as a lot of people are still in school or at work. Hours are usually shorter as well. However, Friday at AWA was abnormally slow. I don’t even think it was this slow for me at my first artist alley table (Fanime). One friend got up to roam around as she said she was about to fall asleep at her table. Yeah, it was that bad.

Saturday everyone was hoping sales would pick up. Second days are usually the high point. While sales picked up a bit, it was still really slow for a Saturday. Once again a lot of looking, not much buying. I did finally manage to clear my overhead for this con (cross country flight, hotel, registration, food) late in the day on Saturday. The slow sales left most of us hoping and praying for a really strong last day.

Sunday, I did pretty well and this brought my AWA profit about equal to what I made in 2013. Last day sales can really blossom as people start making those last minute purchases before leaving. Some artists only sell at cons and for those of us who do sell online, well, why pay for shipping if you can get it in person?

As I stated earlier, I had a sales goal in mind going into this one. I based it on last year’s sales and the fact that I had plushies with me now which have been strong sellers all summer and really helped push up my totals significantly. I was also basing things on attendance totals. I had just done a local con about three weeks earlier (SacAnime) which has about 11-13k attendees. AWA usually brings in about 20k, so I set my goal to be what I had brought in at SacAnime figuring that was more than doable considering the additional 10k people at this one.

In the end, I made about $600 LESS than SacAnime. I’m actually coming home with a majority of my plushies, which is rare. The Steamed Buns were the only ones that sold out. I guess that’s less that I have to sew for my online shop for the holidays which is sort of bittersweet. On one hand, less sewing which means more time to focus on my 2d art. On the other hand, I had some plans to use the AWA money for some new products for Kimchi Kawaii. I’ll still be able to get them, but it’s going to be a lot slower now and I may not have them for the start of the 2015 con season. Hopefully, will have them by my next big con which I hope is Anime Boston.

Most of us were scratching our heads wondering what was causing the lack in sales. Someone had suggested that it was the proximity of another large convention that had happened about a week or so earlier and that people were financially drained after that one. There was speculation that attendance had dropped. Others wondered if there were too many artists for a convention that size though I heard that they dropped the number of artists this year. I believe there were about 150 tables vs. 200 from 2013. Considering SacAnime Summer had a lower attendance, but upped their total number of AA tables and people still made good sales, I’m not sure that the ratio of artists to attendees is the issue.

I don’t know if anyone who runs AWA reads this, but I do have two suggestions. PLEASE move the events hall away from the AA. The constant bass from the concerts right next door was extremely uncomfortable. It was hard to talk to customers and in these halls with cement floors, it just echoes like crazy and becomes even more annoying. There were times when I could feel the bass in my body. I’m not a decibel prude. I go to concerts. I go to clubs blasting EDM. However, when I’m trying to interact with my customers, it would be really nice to not have to shout and miss half the conversation.

The other suggestion I have is probably harder to fix, but I’m just going to throw this out there. Please put fan artists, especially studios with multiple tables and large amounts of fan art prints along the wall and not in the islands. I was across from a studio like this. They were nice people, I’m not coming down on them. But their placement meant that our aisle was frequently congested. There were many times when there was a large crowd in front of their table with people looking at all their prints up on display or waiting to flip through their portfolios on the tables. Many times it was to the point where people couldn’t get by or get to my neighbors’ or my table.

I’m not sure if I will be returning to AWA for 2015. I put my name down on the email list to be notified early, but I’m also waiting to see what others say about some of the late fall conventions. Part of it is the sales since I do have such a large overhead coming from CA. The other part is due to timing. AWA falls at the end of September which coincides with Fall Welcome at my full time job at the university. The students are coming back and it’s the busiest time for me of the whole academic year as I have a lot of welcome events that I work at. Preparing for a con and preparing for work events leads to a lot of overtime and late nights all at once. I’m actually returning to four tabling events and two overtime days right off the bat.

Basically, I’m trying to decide if profits from AWA are worth the stress. If they were like Boston, I would just down a ton of Starbucks and nose to the grindstone in silence, lol! But they aren’t so I have a lot of thinking to do. We’ll see what 2015 holds.

October 23, 2014 at 6:02 am 1 comment

SacAnime Summer Artist Alley 2014 Review

Running a little late on this artist alley review for SacAnime Summer. It’s been pretty much nonstop this summer. Am actually typing this up as I fly to my last con of the year, Anime Weekend Atlanta.

I had heard from some artists that the summer show was usually the weaker one for them, sales-wise even though attendance numbers are always higher than the winter show. It could be cause SacAnime Summer falls towards the end of the convention season. Attendees in CA have already had Fanime (May) and Anime Expo (July). By the end of summer, money is starting to run a bit dry.

I was curious to see how this one would go for me. SacAnime is my ‘local’ con and I am able to bus in and skip the hotel cost. This would be the first time I would have my minky plushies for sale at this one as well. I started sewing them in March of this year and had been able to really push sales up with them. A lot of anime con attendees are vulnerable to the cute, soft, fuzzy thing syndrome. I’m not immune!

My new tiger bun plushies.

My new tiger bun plushies.

In addition, I was also putting a lot of pressure on myself for sales at this one as it was coming at the tail end of my Kickstarter. I had started my second Kickstarter in early August, right before Otakon so I could promote it at both cons – one in the beginning and one at the tail end. I was planning on using SacAnime profits as ‘rescue funding’. I had set a goal mentally for what I wanted to make.

SacAnime has been experiencing growth every year. They moved out of the Woodlake Hotel a few years ago to the Sacramento Convention Center. They have the advantage of being a large con, but not overwhelmingly so. The dealers and artist alley share one exhibit hall and this helps bring in traffic to the AA. And because it’s not the beaumoth that AX has turned into, the attendees aren’t on total visual overload by the time they get to us.

Let’s just say that SacAnime sales came through in amazing fashion! I made my goal and a little beyond. Thing is, when I had set my goal, I had based it off the previous summer’s convention and added on what I thought was a reasonable increase. Well, when I looked at my sales sheets for that year, I realized that I was off by a significant amount. So my sales goal was suddenly not looking so reasonable.

My table at SacAnime Summer (2014).

My table at SacAnime Summer (2014).

I sewed as many plushies as I could, including sewing when I got home from the first day. The Steamed Buns and Roary Tiger Buns went really well. They’ve been good sellers at the all the cons I’ve taken them to.

I was off to a very slow start on Friday. I know that first days are usually the slowest in sales (except Otakon where I was told that ‘they shop HARD on the first day’ and I found that to be true) since the hours are shorter and a lot of people are still at work or in school. However, this year’s SacAnime sales seemed a lot slower than usual. I talked with some fellow artists and we were all kind of worried, especially the ones that drove up from Southern California. Making my sales goal was looking like an impossible dream since it was already a pretty steep number to begin with.

Saturday was a lot better and then Sunday I posted totals for last day sales that I haven’t even pulled in at AX! Sunday definitely made up for the disappointing Friday and then some. I was able to pass my goal and have a little extra. I was pretty blown away.

I was able to pour the money into the Kickstarter via a friend who upped their pledge. About a week later, I closed out my first successful Kickstarter! The extra money went into funding my SacAnime Winter table.

For those of you wondering if SacAnime is worth it, I would say yes for locals and in-state. If you are thinking of flying in, you may or may not break even, but in a few years, I think it will be big enough to make the trip worth it. Added bonus, the summer show shares the convention center with the Greek Festival and SacAnime attendees get in free with their badges. It’s kind of nice to get good food and escape the usual overpriced, subpar con food. And GREEK DONUTS – totally yummy fried goodness topped with sugar, cinnamon and honey. Definitely get the greek donuts!

September 27, 2014 at 4:59 am 1 comment

Super Behind and Anime Weekend Atlanta

Hi everyone,

I’m so behind on my posts here. I still have the SacAnime Summer AA review and my Kickstarter 2.0 review to write up. Quick nutshells of both: SacAnime totally rocked and the KS was a success.

Anyway, I’m currently scrambling to get all my inventory done and ready for Anime Weekend Atlanta which is coming up faster than I would like to admit. Here is my location in the artist alley. I’ll be there with all my plush (lots of Steamed Buns need homes) and other kawaii items. Hope you’ll come see me!

Added bonus – two cross country flights mean lots of time on a plane and in airports so I’ll be able to write up the other two blog posts and have them ready to post when I return 🙂

Kimchi Kawai will be at table H8 in the Anime Weekend Atlanta Artist Alley.

Kimchi Kawai will be at table H8 in the Anime Weekend Atlanta Artist Alley.

 

September 20, 2014 at 8:29 am Leave a comment

Artist Alley Review: Anime Expo 2014

Anime Expo 2014 has wrapped up so once again it’s time for another artist alley review. This was one is best summed up in the words of Charles Dickens – ‘It was the best of times, it was the worst of times’. Sales were decent and I exceeded my sales goal, but it was a close one, marred by the insane lines that everyone was complaining about pretty much all con.

AX is the largest anime con in Northern California and the sheer numbers of potential customers is the reason I keep going, however this year was trying my patience and at one point, I wasn’t sure I was going to come back. I thought of getting my badge on Day 0 (something that many cons allow attendees to do so they have the full time when con is running), but I kept hearing horror stories on the lines through my Facebook feed so decided to skip. I heard people waited up to 8+ hours in full sun and 90+ temperatures to get their badges due to sheer volume and numerous technical glitches. I was so glad that AX had a separate check in for artist alley participants so just figured I wouldn’t have an issue the morning of Day 1.

Ha. Hope springs eternal.

Angry plush bunny, steamed buns in the registration line.

Steamed Buns is not a fan of Line Con, especially in the artist alley check-in.

My helper and I got there around 9:30 figuring that was enough time to check-in and have a decent amount of time to set up before the hall opened to VIPs at 11:30. Instead, we stood in one line and then were shifted over to another line that started to snake out the door. No one seemed to know where we were supposed to be going. The artists were mostly left to their own organizing further down the line. I never saw an AX staff person directing traffic. We ended up waiting about an hour to get checked in and then had to work our way through the massive crowds in the lobby to the entrance to the exhibit hall. By the time I got to my table, I had about 30 minutes to set up. I can (and did) do it, but I really hate starting a con like that. I was hot and flustered by the time I finally sat down, just as the general public was let in.

I was also frustrated by the fact that the AX system messed up my helper’s reg and had her listed as a general attendee. I brought this to the staff’s attention. They said to change her badge, I had to pay $10 extra as that matched the current reg fees. Many artists who had the same problem were puzzled by this as this has happened in the past and we’ve never had to pay a difference. Also, I don’t think this was fair as I had registered her properly as my helper long before con. But at this point, I was watching the clock tick away and just wanted to get to my table with more than 10 minutes to set up so I forked over the money. I also didn’t want her to get shifted over to the general reg line cause then I wouldn’t see her til like Day 3.

If any AX staff are reading this, please address this glitch that keeps happening year after year in your system. Or don’t penalize the artists for your system’s mistakes. It’s hardly fair.

Day 1 sales were pretty bad, honestly. There’s no sugar coating that. For a con the size of AX, I should have made more than I did. I knew I was in trouble when I barely filled one sales sheet. Normally, I can fill two. I spoke with other artists who said the same thing. Sales were described as ‘slow’, ‘bad’ and ‘abysmal’. The ridiculous lines for pre-reg badge pick up meant that  most attendees were either standing outside or by the time they got their badges, so hot and tired that they just weren’t shopping (or didn’t care). At this point, I was thinking that if the rest of con continued that way, I was going to drop AX from my line up.

Day 2, my helper and I got there earlier so we could walk around the exhibit hall a bit together before things opened. I had a new set up this time to accommodate my plushies which had the added bonus of an easy close and opening. I was able to just clip my sheet over the front. We got to look at stuff before the masses came in and then got down to business. Sales picked up and I had my highest totals for the con that day. But boy was it HOT in there! I don’t remember seeing so many people fanning themselves as I did at this con. The temps remained an issue throughout con. I don’t know if someone forgot to turn on the ac or it just couldn’t handle the crowds, but I found myself really glad that I had picked up the free Hello Kitty fan earlier.

Me at my crowded little table on Day 2 of Anime Expo.

Me at my crowded little table on Day 2 of Anime Expo.

Day 3 also posted strong sales. It was a strange trend though as the customers’ buying habits were a bit like the last day for me where there aren’t as many people visiting the table, but the ones who do, buy higher amounts. I cosplayed as Sailor Mars to deal with the heat, but I still made use of the fan.

AX opens up next year’s artist alley reg to all artists currently selling on the third day at a discount rate. I was told it would open at 3pm this day. So at 2:30, I went to the designated area and waited.

And waited.

And waited some more.

I was paying cash for my table for 2015. Apparently, the ONE person who was authorized to handle cash decided to go to lunch around that time. They started filtering us in from the cash only line to the credit payment line which further slowed the lines for everyone. This just smacked of horrible planning and communication. The cashier had all day to go to lunch and everyone knew prior to con that reg was going to open that day at that time. It’s not like it was some last minute decision. I have no idea why they weren’t told to take lunch earlier. Horrible communication. And when they finally got back, registration was marred once again by technical issues which took like 10-15 minutes to resolve for each person trying to sign up. I was the first person in the line to actually have my reg go smoothly. I ended up waiting about two and a half hours to register. I heard that other artists got stuck in that line for even longer.

Day 4 was a partial day (ended three hours earlier) and sales were once again good so I was able to meet my sales goal. Each year, I’ve been able to increase sales totals from the year before. After Day 1, I wasn’t so sure, but strong sales the following three days helped greatly.

I was also aided by my plushies. This was the second con where I had a bunch of plushies (Anime Boston I only had eggplants and fortune cookies as I had just started sewing them). The steamed buns in their bamboo steamers were a hit and some people bought the other mochi buns with steamers as well. I was sold out of nearly all buns by the end of Day 2. The eggplants all went to good homes by the end of con and the Sweet Dreams Strawberries also sold out. This just proved my theory that there is a different mind set in artist alleys that benefit custom plush vs. the dealers hall where I had to compete against mass produced plush from China and barely moved the berries. Sadly, I ran out of time to make my fortune and misfortune cookies which were big hits at both Anime Boston and Fanime. I will have them for Otakon though!

Despite all this, I went ahead and purchased two tables for 2015. Going from a 10×10 square foot dealers’ booth to a 6’ artist alley table was ROUGH. I was so cramped and I wonder if that was part of the reason some of my items didn’t sell as well – that customers just didn’t see them. As things started to sell out, I would rearrange stuff and then notice that those items would finally start to move. The second table wasn’t too much more and this will give me space to really display my product effectively. I’ll also have more storage space underneath so we aren’t as crammed in.

So, there is my experience of AX in a (rather large) nutshell. I heard that they reached their attendance cap of 85k paid attendees and stopped accepting same day registrations. That’s a whole lotta people, folks! This was my third time doing AX’s artist alley. Customers are starting to remember me and look for me each year now at this con. Sales totals are among my top three highest cons, so I would like to continue coming to this one. At this point, it’s up to Anime Expo to work out their communication, staffing and technical issues to keep me coming back.

And from the chatter I’m hearing on FB, there are a lot of attendees who would agree.

 

July 8, 2014 at 9:03 pm 1 comment

Artist Alley Con Review: Anime Boston 2014

The front of the  Hynes Convention Center, the home of Anime Boston.

The front of the Hynes Convention Center, the home of Anime Boston.

I had heard from a lot of people that Anime Boston had one of the best artist alley’s around. I’m part of a Facebook group called Artist Alley Network International (AANI) and everyone on there was always talking about Anime Boston. So this year, in an effort to expand my cons, I decided to give it a go.

They have two levels in the AA – pro-row where for a higher price (2014’s was $300) you can get an 8ft table and prime placement. This level is juried and requires you to have mostly original artwork (vs. fan art which makes use of existing characters like Pokemon or other popular animes). Then, there is the regular level which is cheaper, but you take the chance of having to fight a first come, first serve system and could get a smaller table. I figured since I tend to do pretty well at cons that I would just spring for the pro-row. I also wanted to guarantee that I had a good spot since there was going to be the added cost of flying cross country. Flight schedules also meant that I had to take two extra days.

This was my first time ever being in Boston period – con or otherwise. I was feeling a bit apprehensive in the days right before con. All of a sudden, my nerves hit like a Mack truck. I would be on my own, relying on public transit and my hotel wasn’t the one attached to the con. Plus, the AA is a 12.5 hour alley two of the days. LOOONG hours.

I knew I wanted a ton of product so I would be in position to sell as much as possible so I packed up my suitcases to their max limit of 50lbs and loaded up my carry on and personal item. I also shipped a box out via FedEx as I had heard that there was a location in the Hynes Convention Center where AB is located and I could do hold at arrival and pick it up there. Sounded easy peasy, right?

Ok, that was a HUGE mistake. FedEx apparently doesn’t know which locations don’t do hold at arrival and let me ship. Long story short, they delivered it only to have it denied and I had to spend most of my first day at con manning my table while being shuttled around the FedEx phone tree, getting increasingly frustrated only to be told that there was nothing they could do and it was in Connecticut ready to head back to California. And this was after they had told me that it was going to be taken care of and dropped off at a FedEx near the convention center. I really wanted to cry when it was all over cause it was so frustrating. I was also saying a lot of Very Bad Words in my head (and I admit, some out loud). They will be getting a very angry message from me and owe me a refund on my shipping.

Inside the box, were a majority of my bucket bags, nearly all my deco jars and all my Samsung deco cases. I also had some display items in there. At least, I had the presence (or paranoia) of mind to not put all my eggs in one box. I had split most of my inventory just in case something happened to the box. Good thing I did. If I had ended up in Boston with zero inventory, I would have been even more incensed (though not sure how that’s possible). I do estimate that FedEx’s incompetence cost me a couple hundred as I had a lot of people asking me about Samsung cases as those are harder to find.

Despite that hitch, Anime Boston turned out to be an AMAZING con. First day was crazy and nonstop. I had made back my table fee in little more than an hour. My previous first day

The Kimchi Kawaii table on Day 2 at Anime Boston.

The Kimchi Kawaii table on Day 2 at Anime Boston.

sales record had been $400 and I was amazed at that at the time. My first day at Boston, I made what I bring in at some cons for the entire con. The second and third days continued to blow me away. It was incredible. I felt like I was in some crazy dream. I remember a few nights before Boston, I had a dream that someone came up to me and wanted to buy 500 prints from me. I woke up feeling super excited and then immediately bummed that it had been a dream. This con was like that dream, but in reality.

One of the signs that I was in a good artist alley were the comments of con goers. I heard ‘The artist alley has way better stuff than dealer’s’ and ‘I’m just gonna spend all my time here (in the AA)’. I also had con staff coming to my table to buy things and then returning or referring friends over. I had many repeat customers which is always flattering.

One of my FB friends who lives in Boston came to the con to meet me and brought me lunch which was greatly appreciated (and tasty). I also got to meet some of my fellow artists from AANI. The group is largely made up of east coasters so most I only knew from correspondence on Facebook. I was doing this con alone so I didn’t get to get out and explore much, but a lot came by my table and I was next to Nancy from Lucky Squid Studios. Everyone was super friendly and another brought me green tea every day. I did explore the alley a bit in the mornings before con would open, but artists are notorious night owls so most didn’t get there til right when it opened or even later. I’m hoping to have a helper next year so I can explore a bit more.

The location of the con was also great. The Hynes is attached to the Prudential Center which had a nice food court (yay for no overpriced subpar con food!!) and also had a T station inside (the subway). My hotel was about a mile away and some days I just walked it, but in the evenings, I would take the T which was really convenient.

One of the many old buildings close to my hotel. This one was facing Boston Commons.

One of the many old buildings close to my hotel. This one was facing Boston Commons.

I got to explore the area a little as well. I got up early on Day One so I could walk and take pictures along the way. I also did some exploring Sunday after con wrapped up at 3. One thing I regret was that I didn’t pack my zoom lens in the name of luggage space. There were so many old buildings there and I would have loved to capture some of the architectural details. Especially on the old gothic cathedrals I saw. Will not make that mistake again!

I had intended to explore some more on Monday before my 12:30pm pick up to fly out, but the temps plummeted. It was a bracing 20 degrees with wind in the morning and this CA girl just wasn’t feeling it. I didn’t have a scarf or earmuffs so I felt like my ears were going to fall off when I took a short walk to the bank to deposit the cash from con. I was also feeling pretty exhausted after all the prep, nights of 4-5 hours of sleep and nerves, so I just took it easy in the hotel. Am actually tying up this review on the plane back. We are somewhere over the Great Plains right now (though by the time I publish, I’ll be back home).

All in all, it was an amazing experience and I already knew halfway through Day One that I will be adding this to my list of cons to do on a regular basis. This one will actually be considered a ‘drop everything and do it’ con, even if it trumps a CA con. Even with travel expenses, I suspect this one is going to rank as one of my highest net cons. I need to compare notes from last year.

Next up will be Fanime in San Jose, CA which was my first con ever, my first artist alley and this year, will be my first foray into the world of the Dealer’s Hall. I’m gonna take a few days off to just sit and slack off as it’s been a warp speed start to 2014 already. Then it’s time to hit the production super highway for that one. I am also prepping a Kickstarter to fund a plushie that I’ll be selling at future cons and in my Storenvy shop.

March 26, 2014 at 6:14 am 5 comments

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