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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