Cleaning my workspace

Since a lot of convention has been cancelled and the convention season might be starting after the summer, I will take the change to update the blog with non convention stuff (and working on the convention back log sstt hahaha ^^;; )

Abunai 2019 | Artists review

I didn’t had a table at Abunai this year, because I was helping CheeseCake! Studio. Nevertheless, I want to make this post due to Abunai’s first artist alley. As earlier this year, Animecon was having their Artist alley again, after five years. I knew that Abunai was planning on this for the longest time. Perhaps they were waiting or something, because they were waiting for other convention to take the first step again?

Anyway, a lot had changed in the Dutch artist convention scene in the past few years. It was almost unthinkable that a big convention in the Netherlands wouldn’t implement a space for artists all together, though Artist alleys are quite common across the border. Dutch people are always skeptical by nature. But in the last few years, the artist attending more and more foreign conventions booting the table to sell their merch in the artist alley. The idea of having a table between dealers to make more income isn’t the reason anymore for not being in the artist alley. I must disclaim that the artist alley shouldn’t be placed in a remote area though.

This as proven this weekend. The Brabant’s zaal was an area that you must walk through. Lot of visitors where hanging around, especially before the dealer room were opened. I heard that some of the artist there already made the table back in the first four hours. The artist alley was open from 14.00 and the dealer room from 18.00 After the dealer room opened the
artist alley was empty. It was incredible busy on a Friday. It died slowly of
after nine.

The dealer room

The dealer room was busy as always. As I as I can see the list of dealers, a lot of artists are have a table here. Half of the dealers might have been artists.

CheeseCake! Studio was facing the wall. The placement is not the end of the world, but it’s not good either. What annoys me the most there was too little walking space left between the the DIP (Dealer info point), red lower left corner and the dealer tables. I talk with the dealer manager about it and suggest a different set up of the DIP, but he was half listening and wasn’t even bother to do anything. Isn’t traffic jam in the dealer room, something that a dealer room manager needs to keep an eye on?!

Abunai also send the floor plan of the artist alley. This was actually the second layout. I took picture of three points on Sunday morning. To be honest, the artist alley looked quite cozy. Every time, I was passing by, there were always people browsing. I was talking to a few artists and the overall verdict was okay-ish after all. Some were happy mainly because of the Friday sales helped a lot.

When introducing the artist alley, there were no announce made by Abunai, only a small tick box in the application whether you want to be in the artist alley. Some artists tick the box by mistake. I can imagine that artists were wary about this artist alley idea, which it’s not even placed near the dealer room. But in the end, it seemed it wasn’t such a bad idea.

Hotel room

I don’t go further about Abunai. It was a regular convention for me and there’s not much to talk about, which I haven’t written. One thing is worth to mention and was frustrating to the max: hotel room. Abunai was always known for a convention with battle of the rooms. Some people were not going to Abunai because of this. The dealers get the priority to make a reservation. This year not every room was available due to renovation. First, mail was send out that some dealers have to look for a hotel room themselves, but then not long after the mail was send, Abunai released some rooms to the public, because those rooms weren’t paid on time or were cancelled, without notifying the dealers who missed out of rooms. Luckily, I didn’t happened to me or my closed friends, but know a few people with had happened this to them. I don’t know why this edition so much problem with communication. For dealers having room priority is an extra which the convention offers and we should be grateful, but if a convention offer this, please do it right. 

Next year?

As for me the rest of the weekend okay behind the CheeseCake! Studio table. Though I’m used to be very busy at Abunai tabling on my own. I think, I’ll table again next year. I’m not sure it will be in the dealer room or in the artist alley.

Animecon 2018 – Artists review

AnimeCon 2019 is already over and this blog about Animecon 2018 is still standing. So, I’m going to finish this post first before doing the one of this year.

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I’m sometimes so tired of myself. It seems like that I’ve deleted the whole blog about AnimeCon 2018. There’s nothing to do about it than write another.

Animecon 2018 was held 15 to 17 of June in The Hague. It’s so close to my home town that I decided not to take hotel so save some costs. Using the public transport still took an hour. It was far easier to go by car, 20 min, but didn’t had that luxury this time.

Animecon is considered the best and biggest Anime convention in this category in the Netherlands organized by volunteers who worked their ass off during their free time. It also considered to be the best convention for cosplayers because of the many prof and amateur contests and has loads of other events during the weekend.

Because Dokomi was only a few weeks before, I don’t need much to prep. It was so great! And the luggage was already packed in the weekend before. No stress, right?? I wasn’t stress prepping for myself but now for our doujinshi circle CheeseCake! Studio. I was like pressing buttons till one o’clock in the morning. Got up at six, took everything very slow because I’m not a morning person and after playing with our two mini potato heads, I ran to the station, but only to wave the train goodbye because I’d missed it. At Holland Spoor where we suppose to meet with friend, I was waiting for an hour, because they were late too. Oh boy! A nice way to start the weekend. The public transport connection to World forum in The Hague was great, because I don’t need to walk a lot from home the dealer room.

Dealer badge for AnimeCon 2018

We were finally arrived at the location and need to check in. I mailed the head of the Dealer room already of the problem with the extra ticket, which we didn’t saw in our account, but was included in the order. Checking in went very smooth, we could just pass the main registration by showing our eticket and reported at the entrance of the dealer room! It wasn’t busy at all. (We were there at one o’clock, though!)

We got our table spot appointed at the main traffic road and was one the best spot in my opinion.

After we found our other part of our stuff in crates (We let it transport ahead, that’s why I needed to pack everything during the weekend before the convention 😉 and set up, it was 5 o clock and the dealer room opened.

This is the booth set up for the weekend. De dealer room is dark, because it has only spots lights, but also my phone make dark pictures… and can’t edit it right now. So in real life, yes it was dark, but no not as dark as this picture ^^;;

I kinda like how it set up this way. Art is visuable from both ways. Though, if I could change something, it would have been the prints. It would be one grid taller and the A3 posters would be swapped into A4 prints, so It could for more different artwork.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The rest of the week was a blur, but there are few things that I would like to mention:

Before the con, the artist tables were sold out. The artists were placed in the waiting list. I can’t remember if this happen before at AnimeCon, because it was for me a long time ago before I went there, but Cheesecake went there before. It seems that there are always the applications filled quickly for the artist table nowadays, I won’t be surprised. The artist tables where located in the dealer room between the dealers. And the dealer room was too small and cramps anyway. The artists were asked if someone is willing to move from the dealer room to the foyer in front of the room, in exchange for deduction of the table fee.

 

We supposed to be in area F. Where exactly, that was a surprise. It sucked when we didn’t know how to prepair for set up. The artist alley was at the left site, behind the doors (yellew)

 

Being the foyer is that you can set your own opening and ending hours, but the foyer is a public space, so you need take your stuff with you at the end of the day. In the end, little to no responded, figures. The artists were determined by lottery. The unlucky artists were of cause not amused. Fortunate, me and cheesecake were not among them.

I always find that the floorplan that Anime send us through mail is not helpful, cause what we want to know where we will sit and prepare our table set up. At least we were not placed in the corner of the room. In the end we did got a good spot, but it could be worse, though.

The artist who placed in the corner of the room are not lucky too. The dealer room it self was not very lit except in the middle. I’ve got some fairy lights and spots so lent them to a few artist friends. I also heard that a dealer didn’t show up and the artist in the foyer where not allowed to relocate.

These stuffs were not easily dealed with by the new coordinator of the dealer room. I can image that these things are hard for the first year, but don’t know, though…

As for me, the weekend was a blast and the sales were awesome! Up until now my sales at Animecon were mediocre, because that is a lot of big events happening. I think this is thanks to be having more merch and having a better location. The location was at a cross point where lot of people passing by.

Am I going next year again? Yes, of couse, this a big convention and a local one too.

Tomofair Amsterdam 2019

Tomofair Amsterdam 2019 was held on the first week of the year. I hesitated to participate because it was held right after the holidays and people would have spent their money. I’ve been to Tomofair before but at the Nijmegen edition. Tomofair let vendors pay a large part of the rent of the building and other costs and kept the ticket a slow as possible to get a large number of visitors. They can promote their event being popular and being sold out really fast. Vending at Tomofair is okay-ish because the visitors will mostly have a tight budget and never have been in at an anime convention before. For artists who vent for the first time, Tomofair is definitely recommended because of small scale.

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Dutch Comiccon 2018 | artist review

With DCC being the last convention of this year, the con season 2019 has ended. It was a blast! Let’s look at how DCC had been. I’ll keep this blog post very short.

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Vienna comic con 2018 | artist review

Previously, I wrote about Applying, preparing en communications with the staff, please look here. For tips on travel and my trip to Vienna look here.

We got the time schedule in the mail before hand, and also it was clearly stated (for visitors) at the back of the badges.

I extracted everything i should know from the emails and pasted in the pinned note in Google keep, to avoid looking through the mail. I also added floor plan and such to share with my table helper. It super easy and good overview.

Build up:
Friday 12.00 – 18.00
Saturday 08.00 – 9.15
The mail never mentioned setting up and disassemble on Sunday. For setting up is the same as Saturday I guess.

Opening hours for visitors:
Saturday 10.00 – 19.00
Sunday 10.00 – 17.00

The VIP ticket holders already allowed to access the con floor half an hour prior the official opening hours.

I’ve put the overview of the halls and the close up of the foyer D into one pic.

We got of the subway at Krieau instead of Messse-Prater, because it was near Hall D. The check in went pretty fast, but that is because we were there already at 13.00 and it was super quiet. I was afraid the correction of my table number didn’t got through the administration, but went fine.

VieCC has two halls. The artist alley is placed in Hall D right after e-sport.

This is the artist alley. Left is is the entrance to the artist alley. My booth was located on the first table on the left. As you can see, there were spaces between table, a great plus!

View of the artist alley at the entrance.

We left a part of the set up at home, because it was too heavy. I notice how I kinda missing a part of the table set up. Nonetheless this had to for this weekend and we took our time, but still spend 2,5 hours to set up.

The placement of the booth was very good, the only thing is that I wasn’t able to bring an extra table. If it wasn’t for the charms my table would be very much unnoticed. The problem was that there wasn’t a vertical eye catcher to hold on the attention. With a new set up design for next year, i hope to keep it light to travel and keep the attention flow into account.

Not every booth got the same exposure. For example the row in the end near the window or near/ behind the toilets. Even though, main roads are wide, but the spaces to the other events were quite narrow. (Even one artist sits beside his table, because of his setup, and blocks the already narrow path.

It was my first time selling wall scrolls and I love wall scrolls. It turned out so pretty. People who bought it were impressed of the quality.

There was also a lot of interest in the travel wallet, but the choice of the artwork was very limited. Some suggest fire emblem, but I’m not to keep using too many fan art on product. I already have prints and charms.

There were lot of variety of visitor, cosplayed and not cosplayed. Sunday a lot of small children with their parents. Everyone was actually paying cash and bills. It may went for some artist great, but most artists the Sunday was especially slow. The organization conformed that they had less visitors on Sunday then expected.

The big question, how did the sales go?

In the end I made back for my table, hotel, travel expenses and merch production costs. The especially the travel expenses were high since i had to fly in.

I’ve sold a little bit less of everything. To my surprise, two wall scrolls were sold, so I counted it was a success. About comic con and my art, being aware that my target group is shoujo loving girls and young woman, had a lot of guys who took a long look at my table and decided disappointed not to buy anything, because it was not within their subject. It came clear to me how much I lack for that part of visitors and why I do better at anime con than comic con. It’s probably not the style, but the content. I’m struggling what are comic con visitors do like. If I can to into both direction and also draw still draw what I like, it would be different next year.

I was incredibly productive during my stay in Vienna and finish a sketchbook, something I never did! The last few pages is filled with drafts of new fire emblem and magi charms (at least 12 designs), two new wall scrolls, two acrylic standees and a mug designs. And I’ve also have a couple of other ideas in side my head.

Will I come back next year?

We got the opportunity to get the early bird price if we turn in the form at Sunday. Because having a lovely time, i decided to try this con again and will come back next year. The early bird price, by the way, differs only by 5 euro a table. So year, it was not that much.

Have I told you already about how fast the staff were in communication. No it didn’t got conformation of the application. They thanked the artists for being at Viecc 2018 and apologizing about the placements. The layout will be changed back how it was in 2017. Apparently, it means that the artist alley 2019 will be moved to the direct entranc3e of Hall C. I’m now even more looking forward to next year.

Pre Vienna Comic con 2018

I’m going to Vienna Comic con artist alley!! Fortunately, it isn’t in the same weekend as Dutch comic con. I wanted to to viecc last year, but couldn’t. I’ve applied this year and got in!

Vienna Comic con is a large comic convention with 26.600 visitors in 2017. It was going to be held on the 17th and 18th November 2018. I heard a lot of good stories about the artist alley and having nice coordinators.

I’ve contacted Meika artist alley representative, to add me to the mailing list and got at 22 Feb the mass mail with application form. I’m still surprised that most big cons aren’t using digital forms yet.

Some details:

1 unit costs € 80 excel vat and comes with:

  • 1 table à L120/W70/H72 cm
  • 1 chair “Tosca”
  • listing in the exhibitor catalogue
  • 1 exhibitor pass
  • 1 marketing and service fee

It would could 10% more if you would order after 2 September.

It seemed that Viecc artist alley application was first come first served based.

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On our way to VieCC 2018

I was up in bed at half past five, the alarm went an half hour ago. Urgh it was so early. Why did we booked the plane this early again? It seemed like a good idea at that moment. Yes! We were going to Vienna! After splashing cold onto my face, I was awake again. Because of the overweight luggages we repacked it yesterday. I was so glad to start packing in the weekend wasn’t looking forward to our walk to the train station. There weren’t any tram this early. We just made in time to catch the train without hurrying up too much hurry, also we shouldn’t had walked few minute slower.

I’ve learned a lot about packing luggage for flying to a con. Ditch everything that you think that you might use. In the end you will never use it. Also ditch everything that you can buy over there and isn’t not too expensive. Needless to say, find an alternative for metal parts for table setup. I wanted a have a light weighted setup, but didn’t want have a simple setup. I borrowed the interlocking plastic sheet from a friend (was already looking into a purple set for myself).

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Pre Dokomi 2018

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(Wrote this a few weeks before Dokomi)

I just recovered from Jpopcon and getting into my regular schedule, but Dokomi around the corner, it will be hectic again. Dokomi 2018 will be my third time being there in the artist alley. I’m incredibly looking forward to it. Dokomi 2018 will be huge again, so I split it up into two parts. This part is a bit boring with a lot of text, but might be useful for artist who were interested to go to Dokomi as an artist in the future.

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Dokomi 2017 – review part 2

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This is part two of my review on Dokomi 2017 which was hold on 3 to 4 June in Düsseldorf, Germany. I have written this blog last year, but got now time to finalize it.

You can find part one here. It was about several pre-con stuff, like commutation with the organization, booth prices and con preps. This part will going to the con and being at con itself.

We planned to head out at 12 pm on Friday to be there around 3 pm. So, we would have plenty of time in case of traffic jams. As always everything was delayed. We picked up Superkip on our way (Sorry, girl, to make you all nervous ^-^;; ) and arrived at the congress center around 7 pm. We couldn’t find the exhibitors parking place, so after driven all the place we just parked at the nearest place close to hall 14. It was only 5 minutes walk to the hall and only € 5 a day. It was much cheaper than € 45 for an exhibitors parking for the weekend.

We finally arrived at the site at 7, unpacked our stuff and set up the booth. I had such huge booth space and could display any I had. Initially, I planned to have a grid wall for original watercolor paint, but couldn’t finish the artworks. Instead, I put my new Okami poster and other popular posters there. The other posters were hanging behind me on a backdrop, like usual.

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My booth at Dokomi 2017.

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