Hello~ here is my report on my artist alley experience for the second year of Anime California. I tabled with the lovely LeMishie again. <3
[ Particulars ]
Anime California relocated to the Anaheim Marriott, Anaheim for the second year. Parking rates were at a flat $10 at the tiered parking structure situated by the hotel. I commuted all three days.
Artist alley hours were from 12-7PM (Day 1), 10AM-6PM (Day 2), and 10AM-5PM (Day 3).
Badge pick-up was a smooth affair. All I needed to show was my state ID. The Anime California loot bag was altered to match the theme this year, and the guidebook had extra pages this year to accommodate new content as a artist/vendor list. Each bag had assorted granola snacks too. <3
LeMishie and I were at table A5 this year. It’s a front row table, but somewhere in the middle this time. My brother became a a helper again, and Yang was a staff member.
Compared to last year, the table was considerably wider, and there was sufficient isle space to traverse through.
I didn’t really make new artworks to debut at the convention. Instead, I had artwork that I had lately submitted to a GUST anthology artbook to get printed as standalone prints. That was the extent of my newer content.
This time, I concentrated on reprinting my most popular work as I had nearly ran out of stock by AX’s end, which were select posters, medium-size versions of said work, and worked on replenishing my Atelier bookmark stock. The stock should last for quite a while. I usually have trouble keeping bookmark sizes consistent, so I printed more than usual to prevent that issue from cropping up for a long while.
I also moved my mini prints back to a mini album, because I ran out of room in my letter-size print portfolio. I may keep this set up for a while, even though I originally moved the mini prints to share with the main album just to conserve space and make it mildly easier for a customer to browse, haha.
[ Report ]
[ Day 1 ]
I had an engagement earlier in the day, so I dropped off LeMishie and my brother to the hotel to set up and take care of the table while I was absent. Morning traffic was fairly insufferable, and I had arrived a few minutes later than I had hoped… oh well. I’ll be more careful next time.
Fortunately, I was able to return just minutes after artist alley officially opened. The given artist alley times were slightly different from the website offhand, but that wasn’t terribly major.
Due to expecting that I was going to held back longer than I imagined, I merely wore casual clothing, haha. I would cosplay the next two days, though.
I spent some time sketching in my sketchbooks to pas the time. I also spent a bit of time drawing a new chibi lineart commission sample, because I couldn’t recall where I put my default ones. I thought about retiring from commissions, but they do help pass the time should a patron be interested in my offering.
Kindly enough, staff gave us water and chips to each member behind the table. This would repeat in the following days. Thank you~~
Ah, speaking of drinks, there was a coca cola booth.. that gave out novelty bottles of coke!! This too would reprise in the following days. My brother and I obtained plenty of cokes, haha. xD
I received one commission from a staff member. Thank you!
I also traded with Calpi~! Thank you!! It’s amazing to even see Umineko artworks at a artist alley nowadays!
As hours passed by, we noticed that foot traffic was fairly light, if not seemingly lighter than last year. A passing remark I heard was that perhaps AA customers had already gotten their fill from Anime Expo, and there’s a possibility of that since the event was merely nearly two months ago. Despite that, I had hoped that activity would improve by the next day.
[ Day 2 ]
I picked LeMishie and Yang up, and LeMishie bought some bread for the day at a local market bakery. Thank you!! <3 I was in my Tateyama Ayano (from Kagerou Project) cosplay at the time, so I felt kind of odd wandering around with it in the market, lol.
I then speedily drove everyone to the con, and due to the inner lot getting full, we had to park on the rooftop, which was quite lucky since I noticed later on that the con’s website listed a few nearby hotels willing to partake in parking overflow at a increased fee.
Compared to day 1, my hopes were dashed when I found that foot traffic diminished more than the previous day. I ended up spending most of the day dividing my time on reading, drawing, or if time permits, occasionally browse around the hall during my announced break times. There was one occasion where I was asked to have a photo taken. Thanks for recognizing my cosplay~~
I spotted these neat unique marker sketches for sale at Vincent Ramos’ table~ He also gave me his and his table partner’s bonus swag to me too ahhh! Thank you!! >A<
By the way, I gifted Naru to my table partner, since seeing her cosplay as Naru made me read the manga and watch the anime (which was incredibly fantastic!). <3
I also traded with Masa for her lovely Princess Tutu prints. <3 She’s also a Sound Horizon fan!! I gifted Molques a (discontinued) Malchut bookmark, since she had announced herself as a Zektbach fan by our table, and I couldn’t help but give a small gift to a fan of such a niche fandom!! >w<
I also worked on contributing a small artwork to a birthday collage planned by the staff to give to the CEO of the con. These were collected at the end of the day, and a oral report was given the day after.
As I was about to leave, I was asked to take a photo with genderbent!Shintaro (another KagePro character). It’s so cute that they recognized me as Ayano ehehe~~ >w<
[ Day 3 ]
Like the day before, I commuted to the convention, but without having to assist in carpooling since LeMishie and Yang spent the night at the hotel. I left later than usual, but there was hardly any traffic to contend to.
Upon arrival, I went to change into my Phrygia (from Sound Horizon’s 6th album “Roman”) cosplay. After wearing the costume a few times, I think I finally mastered the most efficient way of changing into my cloth-heavy costume. Yay! xD
I thought Saturday was slow, but Sunday appeared and felt increasingly slower…
I managed to finish my reading, and drew some more to pass the time. I also played a little bit of a mobile rhythm game called Deemo to pass the time, but I ceased playing when I figured that doing this won’t do for customer service. >w<;
Milques also paid me a visit to gift me a precious sketch of Matin as a response to the mini bookmark/laminated tiny print I gave her ahh!! ;A; Thank you so much!
The staff that collected the birthday gift artworks visited each contributing artist to report on the result. She (the CEO) loved it, and the staff were thankful to each artist that contributed. I am still looking forward to a e-mail detailing the outcome~~
Compared to the past two days, I finally cranked out my color pencils and colored a few of my doodles~ I finally drew some Sound Horizon fanart, and drew a fanart of harmonicblend’s reyvateil maiden from the CD cover artwork of “Sol=Akata.”
I also recall that Yang dropped by the table to quickly deliver some bagel sandwiches and snacks. Many thanks!!
The day closed uneventfully, haha. At least I got to pet a in-training German Shepherd up close. Cute doggie~ >w< I forgot to note, but there were three dogs that made an appearance at the con: a corgi, German shepherd, and a poodle. The former two were in-training, and I had no idea what was the poodle’s status. xD
[ Conclusion ]
Unfortunately, and to put it bluntly, I did not break even. My interpretation on breaking even is based on material cost devoted to the con, table space, and additional fees. I merely earned enough to cover my table space, various fees like parking and taxes, and a portion of the material cost.
Needless to say, I felt pretty disappointed in regards to that detail, but perhaps this streak is a lesson to recall in the future. I had a string of fairly successful runs so far, so I had inflated expectations as a result. On the bright side, I wasn’t deep in the red, and I could carry over the material costs towards the next con I will attend within the next few weeks.
Overall, the experience overall was pleasant and enjoyable (bored moments aside)~ AA staff were attentive, tables were wider and clothed, artists were given beverages and snacks daily, and there weren’t any problems or issues. I made a few new friends (shoutout to Emu and Calpi!!), which by and by is a rarity for someone as timid and reserved as me, and had the opportunity to do print trades with several artists. <3 These positive aspects overall was a pleasure provided by this convention so far, and I couldn’t be happier.
I reserved a table for next year, and I hope to experience a more fruitful time. Thanks for reading my report!