Hi!! It’s that time of year and this time, I took the preemptive to make plans to participate in several artist alleys this year.
Ninja-con happens to be my first convention this year, and I shared my table with the lovely Le Mishie! This was her first artist alley, and I’m pleased to hear that she had a great time. If you’re interested, feel free to read her perspective!
We also established a circle website called Pastel Crown. This website makes it easier to publicize ourselves without struggling to choose whose website to apply to the application among other matters, haha.
Without further ado, I would like to begin briefly describing my experience at Ninja-con.
[ Particulars ]
Ninja-con was held on June 7, 2014. Artist Alley runs from 10:30AM-6:00PM.
It was a single day, small anime convention held in the heart of Little Tokyo. This is its second year, and as it remains budding (ie: new), purchasing my participation to its artist alley was relatively inexpensive (especially after splitting it), and further communication was stellar. There were links to artist websites/portfolios on the main website. Also, we were able to choose our table locations! It was on a first come, first serve basis.
[ Preparation ]
About Prints: I had a lot of leftover prints, posters, charms, and such from AM^2 so I chose to make a few prints this time around.
- Some had to be altered and/or edited to become proper candidates as prints, lol.
- Most of the edits involved extending the canvas and filling in the gaps.
- The print with the largest amount of edits and modifications was my RWBY poster. It was originally intended to be a standard print, but I ended up choosing to extend the illustration into a poster.
For the new prints, and a few reprints, I visited Office Depot because I had such a good experience two years ago.
- Much to my dismay, while print quality was similar, there were some noticeable differences.
- No more 1/4 inch print margins. Now it’s about 1/2 of an inch margin all around. D:
- Color quality varied. A few of my prints appeared mildly saturated than my sources.
- That saturation actually murdered one of my posters LOL. I encountered this issue before too, but I had more time to revisit.
- I had to rescind production of that print at the time. Instead, I will include the print in a bulk order to another printer that can produce full-bleed posters.
About Organization & Setup:
Instead of a travel luggage I previously used for my first artist alley, I used a pulling fuchsia duffel-bag-shaped luggage. It was easier to transport my goods as I only had to bring my prints and such a long. For the next con though, I will have to use the luggage again for it was the only one that housed the wire cubes well.
- I still had lots of charms, and the way I organized them irked me so I finally found a solution: insert charms (w/0 straps) into card sleeves and insert them into card holder pages. At least, that was my intent. I ended up using a 4 card-per-page book to hold them until I could purchase said pages.
- I left some wire cubes under the care of Le Mishie prior to the con. Thank you so much!! >w<
- I had thought of organizing bookmarks elsewhere, but they remained in the same compact blue folio.
- Mini-prints remained in the album(s), so there’s little change to that except for the addition of new prints.
- I bought an blue album for the posters! They don’t fit exactly, but it was useful. Otherwise most posters ended up remaining in the bag.
- Bought a cork board to display charms. Used round pins, but I plan to upgrade to flatter ones in the future.
- I should invest in my own table cloth in the future… this time LeMishie volunteered to bring the table cloth. Thank you~~
- She also bought mini display easels~~ o:
About Packing: Posters were placed in the bottom/back, and the rest were stacked up in the bag. Not too special of an arrangement, haha.
[ Going to Ninja-con ]
About Travel: I chose to ride the bus to LA. I missed my first intended bus ride due to a cargo train blocking my way to the stop. By the time I got across, the bus left LOL. So my brother and I waited till the next one came.
- We arrived during the set up time (a little after 9:35AM), and I checked in first.
- My brother bought his badge on-site, and it wasn’t marked up (yet?) as I feared so he paid $20 instead of $25. That was really awesome!
[ Ninja-con’s Artist Alley ]
Ninja-con’s artist alley was set in a separate room on the first/ground floor of the JACCC (Japanese-American Cultural & Community Center in Little Tokyo, Los Angeles, CA. The convention was actually set in various parts of Little Tokyo, but most events were held in the JACCC.
The artist alley set up began at 9AM or so, and opened from 10:30AM-6:00PM. The room being used for the artist alley appeared snug, but it’s actually quite spacious for a small artist alley. There was ample room for customers to browse, and there was a decent amount of isle room in-between the table and the wall, which was most welcome considering the complications I heard of having too little isle space in-between tables.
The only minor complaint I had would be the general room temperature. It wasn’t unpleasant, but it definitely wasn’t terribly cool or refreshing either. I’m unsure if the room had air-conditioning, though.
Anyway, we were situated on table #20. Most artist alley tables hugged the wall perimeter of the room so ours were no exception, and the “island” in the center were for those who could afford the hefty (relatively) sum of the table.
Le Mishie and her helper/friend/chaperone Yang ran late in the morning (not to mention getting lost as reported in Le Mishie’s impressions) so I had a impromptu set up until they arrived. Otherwise I largely spent time fumbling around on how to organize my things. I also spent some time making new price signs for my goods. xD
- When they arrived, we had a frenzy of setting up after AA formally opened. Thank goodness we planned the setup ahead of time! Otherwise, it would have taken longer to set up while fumbling around with the wire cubes.
- They also had to get guest badges because the registrar hadn’t registered them for reasons unbeknownst to me. I’m glad there weren’t many complications!
Most of the time, I stayed behind the table, hahaha. It’s been two years since I attended artist alley so I was eager to be behind the table. :3
- On the side.. I drew 2-3 chibis? I recall one was Violette (Sound Horizon’s Roman), and the other A’milia (Zektbach) which began an art trade.
- For a while, Le Mishie and I tried to continue our Magi doodle spread in my sketchbook. I, as a pathetic fan, could not even recall character designs for characters I liked, and for characters that had semi-regular appearances in the story LOL. Soo sorry for having you draw 3x more chibis than me LeMishie!
In regards to business (on my end)…
- I received two chibi commissions! The first one was a couple from Final Fantasy Tactics (a good tactics game with a compelling plot!). I believe they were Agrias and Ramza? The second commission I received was Kushina Uzumaki from Naruto.
- I was superbly delighted that some of my posters sold (for the first time)!! *A* Thank you soo much to the buyers who bought them!!
- I sold quite a lot of mini-prints too- even some I hadn’t thought would ever sell (filler and old stock). oAo
- I ran out of business cards?! I daresay I didn’t bring enough, though. I was pretty adamant on having enough at hhand though… I shall have to the double-check. Midway, I had to furnish some minuscule and hastily cut business cards. In the end, I was left with one shoddy card.
- I was surprised that my mid-tier prints didn’t sell at all. It was either big or small, haha.
- I also sold several bookmarks, including a pair I had for a very long time.
- I had my brother make a emergency run (for the first time) to the nearest Office Depot to make extra RWBY poster prints. I had made only a extremely small run so I was surprised (and impressed) that quite a few got sold. It was unwarranted in the end, but they can still doubly serve as emergency prints.
- By closing, I sold two Umineko charms (finally~~~) and a puella magi charm (yay!!). I still have soo many (relatively speaking) left in stock though. I hope they sell at least half of its stock at AX. =[
As I remained mostly behind the table, I didn’t participate in any event nor purchased goods/souvenirs for myself.
- Although, for most of the day, Yang and an acquaintance-in-cosplay named Edward participated in scavenger hunts and raffles. They won assorted prizes amid the craze (and race??).
- I heard Yang took my brother around too at one point, and he even participated in a scavenger hunt.
- I briefly browsed around the Tokari Lounge and whatnot during my few breaks, but it was mostly glancing around than being attentive.
- In the middle of the artist alley island, there was a secondhand artbook exhibitor. Sadly, any artbooks I have some interest in were far too expensive for my meager budget and earnings.
.. but there were all sorts of food!
- Getting goods may be lacking, but there was no shortage of food.
- At one point, our table had assorted drinks bought by our friends.
- The same goes for snacks. There was mochi, portable nutella, pastries, and so on.
- My brother got me takoyaki, and later I had him go and buy real food. Sadly, I ended up being unable to enjoy my teriyaki rice bowl as I chose to devote myself to the commissions I received. Instead, I ended up taking it home and eating it in my house.
- I should add that there was even a super nice maid from the maid cafe who served us cold barley tea! She was going around the artist alley and served all of the artists there. *A* Thank you kind maid!!
In closing, we cleaned up the table and my brother and I made the trek back home. There was a brief stop to Kinokuniya since it was on the way, though, haha. Sadly, nothing caught my immediate attention and I left empty-handed.
[ Overall ]
As I haven’t participated in an artist alley for two years, this first one was very enjoyable! It was really fun meeting all sorts of people, and tabling with Le Mishie~~ she’s such a sweet and fun person, and it was so pleasant tabling with her! If anything, I’m surprised that she tolerated me all that time. I mean, I’m such a boring person, ahahaa. *A*
I should add that I made a decent profit! I broke even, and earned money. I can kind of see the charm of small anime conventions versus larger ones now.. but I really should hold that judgment until I experience AX, which is considerably longer and heavier in activity.
Lastly, I quite like the atmosphere! It’s easy-going and not nearly as stressful as the previous conventions I attended both as an artist and an attendee, haha.
In other words: I would like to participate in Ninja-con’s artist alley again~~~ it’d be a pleasure to see it grow and prosper. C:
Whew! Finished with this report. Like my past reports, it goes without saying that I am willing to go and revise the report to make it more accurate. That also means I may add more details I can recall after having posted this.
Well, I hope you enjoyed reading this report, and I hope you’ll look forward to my next exploits at Anime Expo 2014!!