Posts tagged ‘artist’

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

Small Businesses Need You!

The year is flying by and unless you’ve been hiding out from all contact with the internet, television, stores, newspapers and people in general, you know that the holiday season is rapidly approaching. And of course, the big kick off for the shopping season, at least in America is the day after Thanksgiving, also known as Black Friday. Ok, I know that stores are creeping it up earlier and earlier each year and now some are opening ON Thanksgiving which I think is rather grinchy, but I’ll refrain from ranting in this post.

I’m sure some of you have a plan of attack all laid out on how to hit all the best sales on Friday and get a head start on holiday shopping or a little something for yourself. I hope that you will consider also spending some money at small businesses. There is even a movement encouraging people to shop small called Small Business Saturday.  Ever since I started my own small business with Kimchi Kawaii, this has become something that resonates very closely with me. I am also a member of the deviantART community – a social network site for artists and have met many other people on there also running their own small business, selling their wares through sites like Etsy, Store Envy, Zazzle or direct sale. Many of us are passionate about our work and spend hours pouring our creativity into  pieces that we hope will bring enjoyment to our customers. Some of us also work closely with customers on special commissions for something truly unique. We also often get our supplies in our communities which help local economies. These are things you are not going to find in a big box store selling mass produced items!

This year, check out that little boutique in your town that you may have overlooked in previous years. Take a look at the above mentioned sites or any others that feature independent artists or small businesses. Shop small, it’s a big deal to us!

November 14, 2012 at 6:17 am Leave a comment

A Complaint…

Ok, I try to keep it pretty positive on here and not make everyone listen to my rants, but I need to complain. If you don’t feel like listening to artistic grievances, you may want to find another thing to look at on the web  right now.

Anyway, I’ve been getting some inquiries in my inbox that go along the vein of ‘I really like your art! I want to start a business and need a logo. Would you do one for me?’ to which I reply, ‘Thanks for contacting me. Yes, I would do a logo, here are my rates’ and then it’s cue the crickets and they drop off the face of the earth. Or the other scenario is ‘I really like that item you crafted! How much?’ and then I tell them and they kinda back off and go ‘Oh. Really? That much? Can you take off [so and so amount so that I don’t even make a profit]’. Cue more crickets. Another one is ‘I really like your art and want to use it on t-shirts to sell. Can I have the rights to your design?’

ARGH! Geez people….

I’m sorry, but am tired of people wanting something for nothing. It’s like they disregard the fact that someone put creative energy and time into coming up with the design. And that not all artists want to be starving. I do like to eat every now and then. And pay my rent. My ultimate dream is to be able to fully support myself through my art, but that won’t happen if I give away designs to everyone who asks. I guess I should be grateful that at least they are asking and not just helping themselves to my stuff carte blanche. At least for now….

So here’s my plea to whoever reads this – remember, that someone took the time to come up with the art that you are buying and that they put a lot of time, energy and effort into it! Support your artists!

November 9, 2010 at 4:11 pm 1 comment


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