This report is understandably overdue and I am sorry about it! Anyway, here is my forth and possibly my last artist alley report this year.
Touhou Con (2014) was a brand new convention held at the Anaheim Marriott Hotel at Anaheim, California on September 20-21, 2014.
The convention’s location was just a few blocks from the venue Anime California 2014 was held, and is very close to Disneyland and the Anaheim Convention Center. A few meeting and ballrooms were rented on the ground floor for the venue.
If it weren’t for hearing about Touhou Con at Anime California by a representative, I probably wouldn’t have registered as an artist let alone attend Touhou Con. Most communication was by mouth and several social network websites, and it remains to be one of the widely used platforms for spreading awareness.
Anyway, as I attended as a single artist, my table registration was named under Kari Avalon [name] instead of Pastel Crown [circle].
Instead of just bringing what I usually brought in the past few conventions, I also brought along the rest of the wire cube panels as I had the entire table to myself for once. I previously just used 1/3 of the wire cubes because it was enough for setting up my half of the table.
[Going to Touhou Con]
I commuted (ie: drove) to Touhou Con both days. My brother was my helper again.
I parked at the hotel’s structure. Each day costs $16, and that was validated parking. I hope next year’s won’t be nearly as expensive.
[ Touhou Con’s Artist Alley ]
Table Assignment: What made this experience very interesting was that while there were [two rows of about 10-11 tables facing forward], all participating artists are able to choose their own table assignments starting on Day 0. I was anxious about table assignments because none were given prior to Day 0, and that all participating artists were sent an e-mail explaining that artists will get to choose their own tables beginning on Day 0.
I wasn’t aware of how small the artist alley was, so the thought of getting a less-than-ideal spot was of some concern. By the time I arrived on Day 1, I found I was perhaps the 4th or 5th registered artist to arrive? Surprisingly enough, some of the artists that arrived earlier chose tables that were more distant from the entrance.
With glee, I chose the second table to the front row as my base~
Setting up with Painter’s Tape: Set up took somewhat longer (
I previously was in a 3-4 person team helping with set up, lol) and ingeniously enough, we used blue painter’s tape to hold up the rest of the structure that were short on connectors. I could have sworn I had more connectors.. but I suppose the number provided was merely to construct the cubicle storage in question, not as a print and storage stand.
Anyway, while this set up is pretty ugly and messy, covering it up with mostly posters and medium prints concealed most of what went behind the construction, haha.
The actual report below is actually copy and pasted from my reports posted at my art tumblr with some omission and/or corrections. I may even revise this later if I recall anything I missed.. which is unlikely, but it could happen.
- Badge pick-up was quick and easy.
- AA tables were first-come, first-serve because there was so few artists participating. xD
- In the program guide, it only lists 13 participating “artists.”
- As I described earlier, there were two rows of front-facing tables. There was a curtain divider to protect the front row’s backside privacy.
- Although the two sections (exhibit and artist alley) shared the room, I believe the exhibit hall is visible first, but the artist alley is within view from the left so the artist alley wasn’t terribly overshadowed.
- About my Table: I chose the second table closest to the entrance. Set up took some time because it was the first time tabling alone. I also suddenly had all this additional space to use up which were fantastic for the albums I have.
- The pluses [+] indicates that I like the motions Touhou Con undertook for their artist alley. I hope a good number of them can continue to be practiced next year.
- [+] Tables are of ordinary length and width this time! Anime California’s tables were narrower than usual so it was nice to have ample extraneous table space again. I do not criticize their choice of tables, but it was mildly odd to have a narrow table to work with.
- [+] The tables were were also kindly covered and curtained~ the colors even matches the convention’s color scheme!
- [+] There was enough isle space in the back and from both sides since there was ample room, and the two rows weren’t arranged back to back (that means I didn’t have to be concerned with bothering my neighbor from behind). Instead, it was arranged in a way that all rows were facing forward. The backside of the front row was covered with a curtain divider.
- [+] There were trash cans provided for each table~ it was super convenient because I had a lot of trash to throw away.
- My helper and I constructed half of the grid cube set up with blue painter’s tape (.. the kind he described as terrible for legit art use) as there weren’t enough connectors in the box of grid cubes.
- I had the entire table estate to use, so my print albums were placed normally without being stacked on top of each other.
- I also ditched the mini print album this time around and chose to display all eligible mini prints for sale together. I figured it would eliminate a customer’s stress of flipping through too many potential print albums. Downside is that they had to be taped to the display so that they would remain hanging and it would prevent theft.
- Touhou con attendee goodie bags contained a program guide with nice a nice Reimu artwork on the cover, separate schedule page, ads to other conventions and such, and a box of Pocky! *A* … it honestly served as my breakfast, loool.
- Business: I got a fair amount of chibi lineart commissions today~ It goes without saying that all of them were of Touhou characters. ^^ I’ll eventually post up a photoset or something with all of them. Characters I drew over time were Yuuka (2x), Wriggle, Nitori, Tenshi, and Nue.
- Near closing, a staff member reacted with joy after learning that I offered commissions. I didn’t browse around thoroughly, but it appears that commission options aren’t plentiful.
- A customer came by asking if I am willing to be commissioned to draw a original artwork on a card game playmat. I declined in the end because I had no idea how to make a suitable artwork for a mat that won’t get ruined with my meager toolset, and I simply didn’t have a lot of spare time to attempt such a commission.
- Met with a Atelier fan!! *A* Even toted her friend to my table later in the day!
- Food: For lunch, my brother got me a 6” subway sandwich at past 3P.M., haha.
- That was when I was able to get my first real break, too.
- I likewise skimmed through the room. Both exhibition and artist alley were small so it was very quick to get around, haha.
- Overall, the day was quite slow and easy~
- In the end, I didn’t go to any panels or try playing any of the Touhou games since I got busy with working on commissions and manning my table.
- I think I was the first artist to arrive to the artist alley in the morning. I arrived about the same time as on Day 1.
- I found that the painter’s taped-based metal grid structure survived the night!
- I still had to patch up the places that might be troublesome, though.
- .. so while I don’t recommend this method, it’s not too bad for a makeshift set up with just metal grid cubes that do not have enough spare connectors, lol.
- After the hall opened, I left shortly to register for next year’s artist alley~~
- I was the first to register for artist alley.
- The staff were pretty baffled for a while trying to figure out how to account for my registration choice, haha.
- I heard that it will be three days and that the special convention rates are the same as this year’s.
- I chose to register up front because I already broke even on all sections (ie: registration, parking, production, etc.) by the end of Day 1.
- For a while, there was a flute player wandering around the hall~ it was really nice listening to the music (sadly, I cannot identify the songs). <3
- I had a pleasant time, and did reasonably well, so I figured I can participate Touhou con 2015. I heard it’ll be three days long, and that the event would be managed better than this year’s initial attempt.
- I didn’t go to any panels/events today, but I heard some GoH meet and greet panels were canceled because no one showed up, and some were asleep during their scheduled panels?
- Worked on 3 chibi lineart commissions today~ one of Utsuho, Peacock from Skullgirls, and a original character.
- I deal with low print runs (on purpose; I don’t want to be left with too much leftover), but I’m impressed that I was able to sell out a few of my posters’ internal (ie: hidden) stocks.
- One of the artists under Niandni visited my table and initiated a print trade with me~~ thank you very much!!
- I also ran around and initiated print trades with several other artists near the end of the convention. One of them was one I traded two years ago at AM^2! Many thanks for trading with me~~
- Overall, I felt Sunday was slower than Saturday, but I did reasonably well nonetheless~ yay!
- By closing, my brother and I were able to accrue several spare pocky snack boxes and bags, haha. Thanks Touhou Con!
[ Overall ]
Touhou Con was a very tiny convention! I’ve been to small conventions before, but I hadn’t imagined that I would witness a convention smaller than the ones I’ve previous attended. It looks like those that attended had some fun~ it was very casual and small, so I saw a lot of repeat attendees pass by. Almost half of the repeat passerby were in costume, and a majority were from Touhou.
The few staff I’ve talked to were also very courteous and helpful. ^^
All of my customers were very nice, and some extended far more kindness than I imagined ever receiving. Thank you!!
I also had cool neighbors with a variety of neat art! Thanks for trading with me~~
Overall, I did reasonably well~ it was enough for me to attend next year’s convention. :3
[ Tips for Myself Next Year ]
- I think by the time I attend the next convention, I may consider getting a credit card reader like square. However, it really depends on whether I can get a functional smartphone-like device (namely internet!) or not, however. I noticed that I had to turn down at least 1-3 customers because I do not accept (and am unable to receive) credit.
- Although some conventions are very kind to provide one… I should probably invest in a table cloth. Some conventions do not provide one, and I definitely got luck with this convention being generous to their artists.
- If I am able, I should get some poster bags and use them to hold my display posters. It’ll make me feel less terrible for selling off the display ones to eager customers.
- I should buy some poster bags. I got lucky so far because I had LeMishie let me use her stock (bless you) and I had some spare Touhou Con bags I could use.
- I should practice setting up my display since painter’s tape can’t possibly do well in the long term if I end up with a table to myself again.
I believe that’s all I have to say about Touhou Con. Thanks for reading!
See you soon at Touhou Con 2015~