Dokomi 2017 – review part 1

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I got back from Dokomi, Germany, and had a great weekend. I had a booth in the Artist Alley and believe that it was one of the biggest Artist Alley in Europe with 400+ artists. I went there in 2015 as well, and was held in a big room. Dokomi moved it to the expo halls, because they had four time the amount of applications than booth were available. The Artist Alley of this size was very intimidating! The upside was that no lottery was needed anymore.

The convention was from Saturday 3 to Sunday 4 June. Lucky, was Monday a holiday, like two years back. I felt exhausted, because I was a worry tart and everything needs to go as planned. A rest day after a convention was more than welcome. I hope that Dokomi aimed for that weekend because of the extra day.

I decided to split this post into two parts due to the amount text. Please stay tuned for part 2.

;3

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Tomofair 2015 – review

I don’t  remember much of Tomofair 2015 except that we didn’t had much space behind our stand and being nauseous all the time.

Tomofair 2016 will be held in a month and I’ll compare it with last year. It will be interesting how a fair holds up for two days instead of one like last year. 

I’m afraid tomo will be more like a con (wannabe); kinda like the anime/manga expo feeling it had in the previous years.

I need to start with conprepping!
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Abunai 2015 – review

I don’t think that we had any picture of the stand or convention. What I can say is that in overall we did extreme well. We had two tables and one was dedicated to artists taking commissions. It was a good move to make a big sign. At the end we couldn’t handle it the amount of request that weekend and need to send by mail afterwards. Like usual, I didn’t do any commissions because of my snail speed level.

Okay, on to the review. (I don’t have much to write about, because Abunai is a bit hazy for me.)

Disclaimer, everything in this blog post is according to my own perspective and opinion. This post is to help other artists.

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First impression

First thing I remembered from Abunai last year that it was hot. It was always muggy in the dealers room every year, but it was extreme this time. They opened a few hatches at some point so fresh air would float in. I wouldn’t be surprised if someone had fainted.

Communication

Not much to say. Abunai is Abunai. We signed in, got in and just a day or two max before the festival we got our table placement. It’s nothing we can do about it, but I wish that we got it to know it earlier and so we make a moke up based on the location.

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Location of our booth!

New merchandise

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Sold out the left over acrylic keychains. It’s time for something new!

Dealer/Artist space

It was bizarre small behind the table. The island were smaller. We could barely sit behind the booth and we have a half a meter space for our stuff. In other island across us they have plenty of room. Like at Japan Expo, we divided the tables into selling merchandise and the other part dedicated in commission. It worked splendid!

We have a lot of buttons nowadays, so I did some research and made this monster: A buttonbox!! Room for 60 new designs! Just choose, slide it open and grab the button. It’s all about self service.

I spend 5 freaking evening XD XD on measuring, cutting and everything. Even though, it doesn’t look it would took much time.

Attendance and sales

The sales at Abunai is for me so that the best even tho they have less visitors than animecon. Perhaps the location, people willing to spend money, or there aren’t much to do at the event than spending time in the Dealer room. We sold many of the buttons and needed to restock at the end of the day.

Return?

Most definitely! Despite the of space behind the tables, afterall Abunai is the second biggest Dutch convention. The sales were good, the and I got time to spend with my fellow cheesecakers!

Genki 2015 – 1th impression

 

 

I have a lot of reviews to catch up. Genki is one of them. Previous year was the first time I went there as an artist. Since it’s almost a year ago, hopefully, my memory is not going to fail on me.

 

Back from Denmark, actually yesterday afternoon, I’m now on my way to work and feel terribly awful, because it’s way too early in the morning.

I’ve a nice weekend at Genki in farum. This is my first time having a booth there.

Thank you all for visiting my table !!

It was interesting to see how dealer room / artist alley was organized.

We went to a few friends place after the weekend, just to chill out. It was nice *-* thank you for having us, Mads!

 

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Check in

* build up time was from 15.00 Friday (?) to 12.00 the next day. Seriously, if you want, you could set up at midnight. We arrived somewhat in the evening, total being wasted from the 8 hours plus car ride. We decided to set up at nine the next day.

Exhibition hall

The exhibition hall was basically a gym hall, divided into a dealer and an artist area. See floor plan and photo’s for the impression. The whole area was quite small.

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The blue squares are the artist booths. My booth was P

The tables at the front are where the artists.

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Staff

* lovely staff and sweet head artist alley asking from time to time how we were doing.

Dealer/Artist space

Still, it was an interesting experience. The artist alley had 18 tables. It was possible to reserve a table beforehand, online, and pay on site 100 DKK (about € 13, exclusive ticket). You have to be very fast to sign up for a table, because it will be sold out in a wink! It was also possible to buy a Sunday ticket and sell the merchandise only on Sunday.

After getting my entry pass, I began to arrange the table to be presentable. No taping on the wall was allowed, never got the memo. Luckily, we had the PVC pipes with us. Dashed to the car and set it up right before the opening.

The table itself was 2 meter and about 1-meter space behind the table. It was a lucky guess to choose to sit against the wall, because the other table didn’t had any back walls. What I also notice it that the artists lay everything flat on the table. It was like the same in the Dutch artist scene a couple years ago, before Cheesecake studio introduce to present the goods vertical.

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I’m happy how my booth with a big banner screaming artist here. I need MORE posters though  x’D

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The table with the merch. It’s a bit crowded.

 

* long opening hours are long! I think it’s a Danish con thing. The hall was open on Friday from 13.00 till 21.00, Saturday from 10.00 till 22.00, Sunday from 10.00 till 16.00. A few artists just left their booth for a break as it is, without someone to keep an eye on their stuff or covering their merch. I wouldn’t dare to do that at Japan Expo, but it seems to be alright here.

Demographics

There were lots of young people at the convention. As expected from their age, they don’t have much money to spend. What I didn’t know was a free entry in the Expo hall on Sunday. More other people than anime/manga fans are looking into the hall for curiosity.

Prices and sales

I was still used to the prices at Japan Expo, meaning it’s rather low to be competitive. The prices in Denmark are ‘normal’, a bit higher than in the Netherlands.

A lot of people was asking me for commissions, because I didn’t have a sign taking them. Normally, I rather not doing commissions during the con, because I’m terribly slow. The sales on Saturday was so slow and I was bored, eventually did a few commissions.

So, decided to offer chibi commissions on Saturday. One asked for a chibi Sinon with her rifle. I love the drawing so much (the others chibis too), hate to have to give it away xD, but I know the commissioner would treat her right ^^;;

I never ever expected to have slow sales on Saturday, even Friday was much better. Usually, Saturday was the best day. What I didn’t know was the free entry on Sunday, plus many artist/ dealers were holding discounts. It wasn’t surprised that most people waited a day before purchasing. Sunday was indeed the busiest day.
I’ve got mix feeling doing last day sales. Sales on Friday…maybe. My prices are fine (cheap) as they were xD and didn’t join the ride.

 

I’ve got lot compliments on my art 🙂 (thank you guys!).

MobilePay

The thing worth to mention is MobilePay. I’ve never heard of it, but it’s frequently used in Denmark. It’s basically an app on a phone, which the cell phone number is coupled with the credit card or bank account. Payment can be made when the sellers phone number is known.

Things I notice/ learned

  • Be super fast when signing up for a table and have online samples of your work ready.
  • My little Pony is a thing in Denmark.
  • Sales on Saturday are slow.
  • The expo hall will be open for public on Sunday.
  • Most artist/dealers are holding a discount on Sunday.
  • Bring something to drink or eat, because of the long hours.
  • MobilePay.

Language

Language is not much of an issue. Danish people speaks English perfectly and are not afraid to use it. In contrary at Japan expo, even though there are more international artists present.

Return?

Maybe. I wouldn’t go back to the artist alley for the sales, because it’s just too slow. Other than tagging with someone else along the way, maybe then. The other Danish convention is Jpopcon. It has more visitors, I might try that in the future.

Japan expo 16th impact – 1th impression

Lets see… This was written almost about a year ago. I hope to remember enough of the the expo to get the complete picture of my experience during that time.

Whoa, I’m back again from Paris. Technically Monday, but had a lot of unpacking to do and my apartment is looks like it was exploded due to conprep. Omg, I’m still dead tired, and Japan Expo was an amazing experience. It’s an honor to be at the standing at the same convention as the artists I followed for so long at Deviantart! Overall I’d a great time and learned a lot!!

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One thing should mention, before I go on with the review. I consider an event as a Expo(sition), when the focus is on famous people and exhibition, aka shops and artists and everything in between. In other words, one big dealer room. Other kind is the convention, also with an dealers room, but a lot smaller. The focus are the visitors and entertaining the visitors.
Sooo, a comic con is my eyes an Expo.

Back to Japan Expo. The one with a huge dealer room. We were like, what the heck why not going the biggest Expo in Europe. It’s my own (and our studio) first time being there as and having an artist booth.  That said, we all were extremely nervous.

Back in 2014, my boyfriend and I went there for the first time as a visitor were overwhelmed by the size of the expo. There were a lot of big companies out there with their one space and incredible decorated. My favorite was, of course, the artist area. It was divided into into two part. I’ll come back on that later on. If you wishes to participate in the artist alley, I suggest you visit it first before applying. Otherwise you’ll spend hundreds euro’s or dollars and wishing you would have done otherwise. So learn a lot pros and cons.

 

Communication
JP is an professional organization, not run by fan and voluntarism. You can notice that on the application form. Every little thing cost extra. The application start begin February and ends somewhere in April. The pros of apply asap and pay is that you can choose tables. Though it’s rumored that they reserved the best booth for French artists. Dunno what I should think about it, then again, what can you do about it… We still got the chance to chose a stand on the corner. So I replied as soon as I could.

One more thing about the form, which surprise me is, is that for a big event as Japan Expo that they didn’t have digital application system. Oh well, on second thought, you won’t have the US scenario big con in US of crashing server, because every artist wanna to get in at the same time.

The funny thing about applying, was that I need to send my paycheck and a copy of my ID card. They want to check if I’m earn my income be doing art. If so, I might have to rent an young professional booth instead of an amateur, which is a lot expensive. I never needed included my paycheck in the application in the past, so yeah… it was the first time and though it was amusing.

 

Table and space
Japan Expo had two kind of booth available, depending how you price you goods and what your main profession is.
For artist who needs a lot of space and prices their items over €12, needs to get a Young professional booth. Which is twice as much expense, but has more space and traffic. I’m hoping to afford that some day in the future.

We just went for a basic Amateur option with two tables (2 m each). We had a back wall. However the wall was too far in the back (2,5m) to see the even an a3 poster clearly. Mental note: bigger of the best selling poster of something decorative. I saw someone has printed a whole fantasy scenery as a background. Impressive!

This is were we stand and our table.

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The Location of our booth


We should get and extra table for the corner. I saw that not everyone did, it but it would be nice to get more space for the next time.

Is was HOT at Japan Expo, extremely hot. Even though, they have air ventilation on, I felt like being in an sauna. Being outside was anything better. Saturday was the worst day, because of the huge amount of visitors. Luckily we have the back wall which give us some kind of shade, not much, but is was  a lot better than sitting in the sun the whole day. I have empathy with the artists behind us. The sun was shining through the window on them at noon.

About the extra table and chairs, it seemed you had to pick up your own at the check- in booth, somewhere. We didn’t order any extra but still needed our tickets. After localated our studio’s booth, we went on to the check-in desk. .

 

Check in
It was a little confusing where the check in was, but after a while with the help of the staff, we finally found booth. (Did I said that the expo was huge?) At the desk we bought our parking ticket. I showed desk clerk the form and my ID, in return I got an envelop with vouches for everyone. So basically, we need to show them exchange these vouches for wristband, personally, each day. lol, this was new for me, I’m used to badges with my name on it and no more hassle. When you in the expo hall, you cannot re-enter the expo again. (Can you imagine how expensive the food at the expo was!) We went back to our stand and unpacked some stuff, prepped for tomorrow and looked about around.

Next day, Thursday, the day of the opening of the expo itself, we got out of bed around six am, after having breakfast we went on our way. It seemed that we went through the wrong gate or something, because it should be closed for pass through. A staff pointed us the way through to the security check where we can exchange the passes for wristbands.

The following day we were allowed to use the same (wrong) entrance, near the parking place for exhibitors and get our armbands. That was so much easier!

We could build up at 8 am, the visitors are allow to the expo at 9. They still need to get all the way through the temptations of the shops. So yeah, it was very quite at the start of the day. We didn’t mind and just relaxed.

 

Exhibition hall
Like I mentions before, the artists where divided into two locations. The young profession where near the big companies (Hall 5) and the amateur booths where in the back of Hall 6. Even though it was in the back, amateur exhibition was, you just simply can’t miss it.

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Locations of Young Professional booths and Amateur booths

 

Prices
Before we went to the Japan expo, I did my homework thoroughly. It wasn’t a shock that the price of artist products were so cheap. The quality was decent to very good! Many artist lower there prices due to increase in competition. We kept our prices as it was, because it was cheap enough and we don’t make hundred of each, like some well known artists do. These go to almost every convention and expo like if its they main income.

Price samples I came across:
– A3 Poster for € 3 to 4
– A4 Print for € 2 to 3
– A5 Print for € 1 to 2
– A6 Postcard size for € 1 or a set for € 1
– Buttons/ Badge mostly for € 1
– Bookmarks for €0.50 to 1,50
– Acrylic charms for € 3 to 6
– Laminated charms for € 1 to 2
– Sticker sheet (kiss-cut) for € 1 to 2 (depends on how big the stickers are)
– Tote bags for € 4 to 8

 

Sales
It depends on different factors, like languages. Overall, I did had good sales, even subtracting the costs, I got break even. For the first time an expo of this sized, it was okay. Most costs went into food and traveling expenses.

Almost every visitors don’t know English. It was hard to have a conversation with them, but more importantly was that you understand a few sentences (“How much is it? I want that one!”), can count aloud, and ask about the size (for posters). Just some basics. However I would do better if I knew more French, though.
Thursday was slow. Friday was better (we left early, because my boyfriend got sick). Saturday was amazing. Sunday was okay too.

One of the big sellers were commissions. My friend did them, so we made a big sign with samples for her. She drew all the four days non stop! In the end, she had to decline commissions, because she had no time to finish them and her hand/arm hurt!
(One of the reason, I don’t do much commissions on spot and I also just a slowpoke).

The only commissions, I did:

 

I sold a lot of buttons, though they were pricey (€ 2 ea) for Japan expo standards, but were discounted if you buy more. That attracted a lot of people. One visitor bought even 10 buttons at same time. The second place of best sellers were the acrylic key chains and the posters. Unfortunately, I didn’t many key chains left from the previous conventions. After Japan Expo, I have sold out on them.

Fan art! There is a lot of fan art and they sale, like expected, very well. My originals designs, didn’t do any good. Luckily, my products are a mix of fan- and original art.

We didn’t sale much of our booklets. When the visitors knew that it was only in English, they put book down and look for something else. Hahaha, we should include a translate sheet.

 

Things I noticed / Learned

  1. Find lots of friends and travel by car! If we decide to go back to Japan expo again, we need to rent a van and split the cost.
  2. Buy a parking ticket before hand.
  3. Rent an apartment with air-conditioning! Japan expo is in the middle of the summer and will be hot. We rented a simple 3/4 person room and paid like € 30 a night. Super cheap. There was no breakfast included.
  4. Take a cool-box with you and do groceries at a cheap supermarket for breakfast. Also do groceries for lunch and snacks. Don’t forget to bring a lot and a lot of water.
  5. Yogurt or cream-cheese are very good as snack in-between meals.
  6. Don’t everyday go out eat. It’s very expensive (other than fast food)! Maybe we could do a BBQ as for dinner or something.
  7. Better booth layout.
  8. More stuff. Buttons, key chains, poster, prints, everything!
  9. Better use of the corners (rent another table)
  10. Bigger poster(s) on the back wall.
  11. Include a translate sheet for our booklets.
  12. If you want to do commissions, make a huge sign with samples!

 

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Our tiny room.

Before the day starts:

I made lot of photo for references, but can find a lot pictures by google it.

Overall Comment
Yes, definitely! It was fun, especially with friends. It was tiring to get up at six every day, but worth the experience being at the larges expo in Europe.  The sales were good, could be better though, like having more different designs and so on.
We have to something to reduce the cost and something to make our booth to stand out.

 

 

 

 

Gamepitcon 2016 – review

Because I’m incredible late with the review, here is just a sum up:

(sorry for the bad English ^^; )

  • I could only attend conventions at the beginning of the year, because of circumstances.
  • Gamepitcon was a one day convention on a Saturday in January. It was a small convention with only 811 visitors. I enjoy one day conventions especially when it’s on a Saturday, because it means 1) not rushing with breaking down, and 2) having good rest the next day.
  • A big disadvantage of a convention being in a church is that is getting dark fast in the evening. In the Netherlands, it’ll be dark at 4 or 5 PM. We learned from the last Gamepitcon and had our spots with us. Good thing that the electricity was free. I think that we should keep the spots in our inventory. (You have to pay for electricity at some cons, but that’s another issue)

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  • It was pretty cool of the organizers to give discount for returning dealers.
  • The convention had the policy of having two of each stand with the same kind of products. This means that they only allowed two artists.
  • We didn’t got the floor plan mailed beforehand and the organizers weren’t there to guide the dealers. It was all for ourselves. The name was written on a paper on the table. The dealer room was small, so we found our table pretty fast.
  • There weren’t any chairs when we arrived, so we looked for them.
  • The convention itself was tiny. I think after an hour or so, you saw everything.
  • I heard later that the second floor events were even canceled.
  • There were almost non existing promotion or announcement their Facebook page. (Gamepit only uses Facebook)
  • The floor was not waxed this time, luckily​.
  • The dealer room was behind the main stage and it was noisy the whole day. I saw some people getting fresh air outside and took a break from the noise. Was it this bad? Yes, it was.

 

  • The dealer room was open from 12 pm tot 7 pm. We were there at half past nine. Never been relaxed like this before during the set up.
  • Despite the closing of the dealer was at seven, some of the dealers were already starting to pack around six. I gathered my stuff at seven, because who know there will be some last-minute buyers. And there were.

 

  • For the first time we used a photo backdrop. I wanted to get those for a long time, but it was so expensive, but decided to give it a try. It would like a charm! I sold a lot more posters than before.
  • It was extremely hectic at the convention, I was doing nonstop doing commissions. Luckily my helper could do the sales in the meanwhile.
  • A girl browsed through my stuff on the booth and exclaimed that the original was so expensive. I don’t think that she knew it was an original, but the price seems fair to me. After she was gone, I’d put a price tag for prints and posters so people could see the difference.
  • I think I’m going to frame originals from now on. It gave more value to the orignal art.
  • I think the reason why I got a lot of commission was that I’d put my commission folder next to the print/poster folder. People where like: ‘Nice art, oh awesome she also does commissions!’ At some point, the commission folder was taken from the booth, only to get some time to finished the one I already had.
  • We introduced a ‘spinning grid set up (?)’ to attach straps and bookmarks. It saved space on the booth.
  • There were request for Free and Owatari no Seraph, but I only had fairytale and a few straps of Fire emblem. hmmm, need find time to get updated.
  • Hubby came of with a few jokes for bookmarks and those attracted some male visitors. My art/style is more for girls. But I wanted a broader audience.
  • I’d lot of compliments about my art. Some asks what my next conventions are and if I had a shop or if I do workshops.

 

  • I made my table, travel costs, food and print costs back with extras. So, it was a good con for me, but I think that the main reason was that there wasn’t much competition.

NOTE: 2016 was the last Gamepitcon

Anime 2015 – review

Look! Another overdue artist convention review post. The convention season is over so I’ve more time on my hands.
My fourth convention of this year, this time with CheeseCake! Studio, was in June at Anime 2015, The Hague. It was one of the two largest anime convention here.
It wasn’t my first time being there. So, I kinda expect that there will be a lot of attendance. This year had our booth in the Event Plaza, a big foyer where the entrance and exit ends up to. Instead of the big packed and crowded dealerroom. I was very anxious how this would turned out for us.

Note: this review is only from my own perspective. By all means, it might different from someone else who had been there or from a different year.

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Communication

If I must choose a convention with the best method to apply for a table, that would be Anime. Everything goes digital. You’ll get a mail that you can start apply for a table, rigister for an account or sign in with your existing account. and change everything through the account. Every thing was sellted in just a few minuten. Anime con is an first come first served convention for artist.

Maybe its just me, I don’t how it is in other convention where I have not been. There are here still lot of conventionele with anoying paperwork.

New merchandise

I didnt have much new merchandise, because i was still recovering from DoKoMi. The only new was a buttonset of A certain scientific railgun and the chibi bookmarks.

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One thing that I’ve learned from Dokomi is, to sell buttons separately, because people like to chose. So borrowed a beautiful black fluwel ring display and pinned our buttons on. In front we have a box with deviders with buttons in so people self pick up the one they want. The buttons did incredible well during the weekend.

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And first time making bookmarks with their names cut out by hand from metalic foil. It looks cute and adorable. but is also an incredible lot of work to cut those letters.

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Lay out

The tables for these large convention in the Netherlands are pretty expensive, about € 65 a meter. A table (2 m) at Anime 2015 cost us € 130. With amout of the stuff Cheesecake! Studio got, 2 metre wasn’t enough. Because we were in the eventplaza, did little workshops, events and a lecture, we got a extra table in return.

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We had one table for merchandises, the other for books and behind the table a pvc stelling with posters. We made one big mistake! We forgot to put up a commissionboard, so no one knew that we do commissions! And we were wondering and wondering about the locations and stuff. Lesson learned.

Good thing that we were placed where we were wat that’s tegenover the exit of the dealers. Visitors who goes out of the dealersroom will see us strait away. It can be argumented that they have already spend  all their money. It also can be said that opvallen is what count. yes visitors have to walk by in able to notice you, but I personally think it wouldn’t help if an artist sit in the room where lot of dealers are crammed in, but with a lot of visitor. You just don’t stand out with only one table again a dealer island of merchandise; with exceptions. Moreover the compitation in the dealerroom is huge. I have some pro’s and cons for having a table in the dealerroom, but save that for another discussion.

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We sat right beneath the stairs and next to Mangaschool and had a good time. Thankfully the lighting is good. It was too dark last year. The placed behind the table was very large. We could have done something more with the space, for example making a little expo out of it or something. The major problem with being in the event plaza is that we have to tear everything up in the evening, because the foyer couldn’t be locked. Fortunately, we don’t have too much stuff that can’t be stored. Oh well, we needed to get up a little earlier.

At Mangaschool, there were a few things missing, because they had left things behind the stand.
The hours were from Friday 15.00 to 22.00 and Saterday van 10.00 18.00 en Sunday 10.00 to 15.00. I was so bored in the evening if we didn’t hang out. The content of the events weren’t for me.

The only thing I was that I have time to walk around to socialise other artist.

Sales and Attendees

There were continue flow of visitors and who bought something. We made more than last year in the dealers room, even without commissions. We had more merchandise plus two table to stand out and no competitions nearby in the eventplaza. I was very happy it turned out okay.

There was an amazing cosplay, I just have to take this picture. The little goku is so cute. When they posed, the other visitors also took their picture lol and suddenly a crowd was formed around them. Goku wanted to escape from the  dad, because it all took too long. His father apologize who couldn’t took a photo.

During the convention we saw them a couple of time with goku racing through the hall.

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Return?

Most positive. The organisation are nice and so are the visitors. But I still don’t like the idea of being crammed with a little booth in the dealers room. If we do get in the dealer room in 2016, we need to think a lot about the set up of our table in able to stand out.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Improvement meme 2003 – 2015

I did this long time ago and forgot to updated it since 2009… hmm don’t know what to make of it…

 

 

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DoKoMi 2015 – review

Post from May 2015:

I got back from Dokomi yesterday evening and have settled down at last, more or less. Even though today it’s a holiday (T-T *cries of joy) we were incredible busy with tided up the apartment from remodeling from the past few months.
I went to Dokomi as a first timer, never been there as a visitor. The only anime convention I went to in Germany was Connichi in 2013. We stayed at NH north in Dusseldorf, which was only 10 minutes away by car, and excluded breakfast. The hotel fee was pretty ok especially without breakfast. It saves us € 80!

First impression:

I had an amazing time and met a lot splendid artist. This was my third convention as a solo artist. I have never seen so much high skilled artists concentrated in one location. The artist alley was huge and 158 tables (single and double tables) were booked. I was kind of intimated and was nervous as hell. Will people notice me or even look at my art? Is my art good enough for people to like it; everyone are so incredibly skilled! I can’t even speak German. And so on, and so on, and more doubts went through my head. I hadn’t slept much on the night before the con, due to con prep, was not helping much. Dokomi itself was like a maze. If you’ve been at Abunai (Veldhoven) before, you’ll what I meant. You’ll get the same lost feeling. I was mainly in the artist alley, but took a little look at the other part of the convention as well.

Note: this review is only from my own perspective. By all means, it might different from someone else who had been there or from a different year.

 

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DoKoMi was held through the whole weekend in Dusseldorf and about 19,000 (not unique) visitors. What I’ve noticed is that the convention started a day before Saturday only with a concert. There wasn’t any activity for the convention visitors. We were on Friday to set up our booth, in the meantime a concert was being and notice how quiet it was. Only people the staff and the exhibitors where allow to the convention area. BTW I’ve never seen the concert goers. They were probably went through another access. Seems like DoKoMi closed the entire convention area when something big was going on. The same goes for Saturday evening. People, including exhibitors, must leave at 8 PM, because of the cosplay ball. I can image how people were looking forward to it. When we were packed and went through the front gate, we saw people dressed up in incredible beautiful big dress and smoking hot suit.

 

Communication

I applied mid January for a table through their website and got immediately a conformation mail, but it’s not only two months before the actual convention date they send me an approvement mail I got in or not. Very interesting to know that in Germany they have a lottery/review system to let artist in the artist ally. So I was overjoyed when I got the approvement mail.

New merchandise

New merchandise! I can proudly say I can add acrylic keychains to my inventory. The edges aren’t transparent as perfered, but it will do for now. The first batch was 12 fairytail characters. Some of the artwork was already the laminated charm form. I don’t know what to do with the laminated ones. The acrylic keychains needed to be packed of course. I love packaging. I used preprinted book scrapping paper for the back and printed my logo as the top label. The only thing I need to do is, is buying cello bags with hanging holes.

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Dealer/Artist space

 

I booked 1 table for € 30. Totally not expensive compared to Dutch conventions. It goes with one artist ticket. Extra ticket was € 25.

Artist were suggested to set up on Friday, the building was open from 15.00 to 22.00, which we did, but arrived at 20.00 because the long ride. Saturdays, we are allowed to into the hall at 8.00. If you wanted to park near the entrance, you’ve got to arrive early or all the good spots have been taken! That was a mistake we made on Sunday. The hall at was open to visitors around 11.00?

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I sat next to dreamchaser art. She is such a sweet person and is an amazing artist. I especially love her jellyfish poster. Hopefully we can sit next to each other on other conventions too. The other side of was Henriette Eliz Jenkins. I was her first time and we were both idolizing Rilakuma like crazy xD. I hope to see her next time, it was fun to talk to her and her boyfriend.

The artist ally hours were long. On Saturday from 10-ish am to 8 pm and on Sunday from 10-ish am to 6 pm. However I didn’t want it other wise. Compared to the visitors in the Netherlands, German people are more art collectors and art lovers. I saw a lot of ‘older people’ who where really enjoying in the artist alley.
The other things what difference from Holland, there were a lot of ACEO’s (Kakao), Tombola (raffle), Conhon (sketchbook), Conhon request (sketchbook entry commissions) and the white wall thing. Also, German artists love to do traditional artwork.

The traditional work I sold were 2 original Kraft cards with envelop in the first few hours on Saturday. (That were the only originals I had xD) I was stunned. Back in The Netherlands, no one would be one and would look down on the artist work. It was too expensive or ‘they can draw it themselves’.

Sales and Attendees

I did great sales-wise, people like my fire emblem art (X3 Thank you!). Kinda felt sorry for people who wanted to have a smaller size. I only have a few A4. Maybe I’ll do postcards in general in the future.  My fairy tail key-chains were also in favor. I think will do a few from the Fate/something series or Fire emblem. Any other suggestions? In the end of Saturday, my whole box of my business cards were gone. Need to make some new ones…

 Things I noticed:

–       I was asked many time if you have a smaller size of a specific print. I think those format will sell good. A3 sizes are good for attracting attentions.

–       German Artist Alley has more postcards.

–       Tombola: For € 1 or 2 euro people can get a lottery ticket and see if they have won something. Mostly in combination with ‘ Keine Nieten’ (always price). The prices variate from original art to stickers or a little bag of candy. Some artists make a limited edition for example ACEO especially for the tombola. This limited can also been bought, when the costumer really want to have it.

–       Mystery box: I have seen these at the commercial sellers in the Netherlands but it was the first time to see these packages at the artist stand.

–       Aceo (kakao) is very known in USA and Germany. Just a handful people know what it is. The artist in Germany really put some effort into these little cards; and there some big collectors running through the conventions.

–       Lot of original and traditional art for sale.

 

Will translate an other time:

–       Conhon: boekjes waar oa commiessies staan. Eigenlijk kan er van alles instaan, het is een soort boekje waar herinneringswaarde op de con op te slaan. De conhons worden ook verkocht door de tekenaars en vaak heeft dat een bruin papier als omslag, dat maakt het mooi als je met wit in inkleurt. Het zijn vaak boekjes van A5 formaat. Soms vragen ze om een conhon comissie maar zijn hun boekje vergeten dan plakken de art erin.

–       Conhon enty: gewoon een commissie, maar dan in een conhonboekje.

–       De mensen zijn veel vriendelijker dan in nl heb ik gemerkt. Je zou bv geen persoon tegenkomen die zegt dat ze het zelf ook kan of dat ze haar vriendin stopt om te kopen dat ze wel voor haar kan maken. Aan de andere kant is het ook dat het niveau in du veel hoger ligt dan in nl. Ik zag wat enkele personen een handje vol aceo kaarten en bood een zakje aan. Ze was echt helemaal blij, wat mij ook super blij maakt, het is maar een zakje. Ook bij het uitrijken van mijn kaartje zijn ze super blij.

–       Mensen varieren van leeftijd. Ik heb kinderen gezien die samen met hun ouders rond liepen en diverse dingen kopen die hun kinderen leuk vinden. En soms zelf voorstellen wat ze ervan vonden. Ook wat oudere mensen gezien die zaten echt ontzettend te genieten van alle mooie dingen die mensen maken.

–       Zoals ik zei, verzamelaars. Enkele mensen die elke stand aflopen om een visitekaartje mee te nemen. Zag ze met een groot stapel rondliepen. Ik weet niet of ze al die artisten opzoeken, maar volgens mij vooral voor het verzamelen van de art op de kaartjes en een beetje als herinnering van de con. Ik heb voor dit weekend circa 100 meegenomen en opgegeven moment op zaterdag ging ik er rustig aandoen want voor de grootste gedeelte alweer weg. Dus ik heb er helemaal niets meer van.

–       De du mensen vaker een mooiere stands dan in nl. in nl zijn hebben ze hun waren vaak plat op tafels staan. Du maken echt werk van om dingen richtop te zetten. En ze gebruiken dan ook vaak de witte grid wall dingen.

–       Vooral veel vrouwen. Je moet goed zoeken om een man eruit te zoeken. Die zijn er wel hoor.

– conventie is gesloten tijdens twee evenementen: concert op vrijdag en cosplaybal. In nl zal alles gewoon de conventie gewoon doorgaan.
– als je geen brandwerende doek heb, dan zijn E te verkrijgen op zaterdag tijdens opbouw, maar ze zijn dan alleen zwart verkrijgbaar. Ik weet niet of je voor moet betalen of dat je terug moet geven, want ik had mijn eigen doek gekocht.

Everyone was very nice and people complimented on my art being good and looking different that the most art in the Artist alley. I’ve notice that a lot of artist is going for the cute theme.

Return?

Most definitely! I had an amazing time there.

The funny thing is on Sunday, there were two girls who offer apples, biscuits and other snacks to artists. I don’t who you are, but I love you girls, I was craving for some fruit T-T (cries of happiness, I can finally believe there are still good people). I didn’t catch your name, the guy seller at Caydance, but thank you for the haribo bears (love haribo!)

In short. I love the con to bits!!! If I have the chance to get back next year, I definitely will!! And I forgot to take pictures of all the conhon entries. *sigh.

 

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2015 overview

2015 has almost come to an end. This year was a lot more hectic than that I expected, because I was very busy with convention stuff through the year. I’ve just read 2014’s overview, and feel like that everything happens ages ago! Time passes by too fast!

First of all, my husband and I finally officially got to live together. It’s so great to be able to be with the one you love every day. It also brings lots of obligations and chores to deal with, but all went well. We didn’t even have a fight lol, and can’t wait to move to our new and bigger house next year!

That aside, we also remodel our current apartment and got a new kitchen, bathroom and toilet, but still need to do the rest. As it looks, the rest will be planned in end 2016 or beginning of 2017.

On the artpart. I was this year a lot more productive than in 2014. The source was being at conventions with myself as an individual artist. LIke predicted, I was so nervous and still will be, standing there all alone behind the artist table. On the other hand, it also feel so great to be an artist from who people bought the stuff and to get compliments. I planned to make new stuff every convention I went.

New stuff I did / introduced:
– acrylic keychains: It was an incredible success at conventions. I only had 5 pieces of 13 designs as on try out and most of the batch was sold out at the first conventions. I didn’t make more, because wanted to make even more designs.
– bookmarks: I always wanted to make these things, but also wanted to make it something different than just an image on an rectangle. I’m still working on those
– Buttons: I already had an 25mm button maker, and this year got 38 mm one. The buttons where a hit. I have mainly fairy tail buttons, and so sold mainly fairy tail buttons. I have still have a lot of other idea’s in mind.
– New posters: I’ve made like 3 new posters. Sounds like not much, but for me to be able to draw 3 detailed full illustrations is a lot. Moreover, I spent lot of time on images for other merchandises.
– Awesome buttonbox: Because I have a lot of buttons these these days, a board won’t fixed the need anymore. So, I bought a little toolbox and added the buttons in front. Customers just open the little boxes and grab the buttons they wanted.
– Packaging: That is so important!

I went to like 8 conventions this year, which 3 of them are aboard. It was so exciting to do convention in other countries. I will do them when I get the change in the future. My time, this year, was spend mostly on work, drawing, preparing for conventions, contacting convention originators, and repeat. Every day, every week. I was so tired! An convention was over, and omg in about 2 weeks there will be another! Oh no, I need to restock and make new art. Not much time! Sleep? Where? Exhausted? Definitely!
I’m not going to do convention season this stressful ever again!!

hmm I also got a lot of draft convention review and need to publish it.

My plans for 2015 where:
• Starting an art book – research what about what/theme and planning the layout.
=> I’ve got some idea’s. Yay! Missions achieved.
• Make a sketchbook (probably for Yaycon?)
=> nope, hahaha, didn’t happen. Mission failed. I’m still planning to make one though.
• Preparing for Japan expo (Paris) in July. Have to starting on expand my inventory.
=> Yep, it did happen. ^^V
• Draw 20 concepts for prints/posters once a month
=> Hahaha serious. No, I only did it in feb and that was the only time I did 20 sketches.

It seems like did got the half of it. On the other hand, my main goal was to draw more and that was accomplished successfully!

My plans for 2016 are:
• Starting an artbook/sketchbook – not necessary to be in a final state
• Focus more on background – already doing it this year, but I want at least 1/3 of my finished illutrations to have backgrounds
• Try new things – I wanted to do e-sumi. Hopefully, I can get time to sit down an just do it.
• Finish a manga short story? maybe?
• Make new bookmarks, ACEO, postcards, posters, prints, buttons, straps, keychaings

Okay! Happy holidays everyone! Let’s see what 2016 brings!!