Thursday, November 25, 2010

[Pic] How to Get Fat and Celebrate Things

>Draw one picture for /co/

Today's mission for the Batfamily is to go undercover as a regular family enjoying a regular holiday. Regularly.

So... I guess that would be internet-regifting? I'm sorry!

Hope everyone had a lovely Thanksgiving! Some people have extravagant parties and other do not celebrate at all, but regardless of what the day means to you, I hope it was a good one!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

How to Be the Flash and Get Tables

It's a Race! It's a Race!
So, honestly, I've never really had the full Artist's Alley experience before this week.  I've been going to AAs for years and all that, but all of those were small, local cons where the demand for tables was relatively mild. They always sell out, but if you can wheedle people enough, you can usually get yourself a spot. In the case of Fanime, which is the only relatively large con I've been to, I've always been fortunate enough to get complimentary tables from the Artist's Pool because I'm on staff.  Getting tables have never been a huge worry for me.

This week, however, I applied to two Artist Alleys that have a history of selling out in minutes. The first was Anime Los Angeles.  It's a small con, but its location is convenient to a shitload of artists and cosplayers in the area, hence why demand for tables is so high. The second was SakuraCon, which is a pretty massive con to begin with, so it's unsurprising that it sold out so quickly.

Wait, I mentioned minutes earlier, didn't I? ALA sold out in minutes. SakuraCon sold out in seconds. I shit you not.

There was once a halcyon era where you could apply to Artist's Alleys at your leisure, whenever the thought occurred to you, and still be able to snag a spot with relative ease.  That time is, unfortunately, no longer.  If you want a fighting chance at getting a table, hell even if you've entertained the idea of getting a table, you have to participate in the frantic little rat race that hundreds of other people participate in just to hopefully maybe possibly get a table. It kind of sucks.

Friday, November 19, 2010

How to Display Stuff And Look Cool

How do you like to carry Artist Alley merchandise around the con?

First productive post!  So yeah. ANSWER THE QUESTION, INTERNET.

Most people seem to appreciate the plastic bags I store my prints in, and you can get them for really really ridiculously cheap. On the other hand, I've been getting some feedback from others that a rolled format would be more convenient, because even though the plastic bag protects stuff like prints it can still be crushed or folded. An alternative would be mailing tubes, and they're pretty easy to find in bulk.  Failing that, there are always rubber bands. Either way, having some way of bundling up your products is really good for business and people definitely appreciate it. 

The best place for a lot of different storage/display options is

I feel like they deliberately named their website this way so artists everywhere could indulge in that little moment of abashment because it's so goddamn obvious.  And yet, it's not. So silly.


Sweet and sturdy design on a budget.  I'll have to track down the artist who came up with this later, but for now, credit goes to anonymous.
Do you prefer hanging prints and overhead displays, or binders on a table? A degree of decor and clutter or something clean-cut and neat?  I always thought hanging displays were the best option because they give me room to draw on the table, but I've been noticing less and less people actually looking up and more people just looking downward on the table. A little perplexing! People also seem to like flipping through things like albums or portfolios, and I do know a number of artists who always have an album handy for people to look through.   You can always put copies of your prints in the album as well as hang it up on a display, because I'm pretty sure a good chunk of people just won't notice it in one place or the other. May as well cover both of your bases, you know? It doesn't even have to be filled with prints for sale. People just really like looking through things!

 A common set-up for stand-up displays is PVC piping+Table clamps. The one I see most and the ones I use are the blue-and-yellow Irwin clamps

I think you can get two for like $15 if not cheaper depending on where you go, so your entire display will probably come out to less than $20.  Grab some PVC piping and those connector bits and things and you're good to go!

Regarding PVC piping...
If you travel a lot or require a fairly large display, don't be afraid to chop up your piping into a lot of smaller pieces! I'd say having a good handful of PVC segments from 1.5'~2' each would be ideal. One of my friends in the Alley has a good buttload of these things so she can customize her display stand to her liking/the table size. Sometimes she has some left over too, which she lends out to people who might need to expand their display stands. She keeps them all in a little drawstring bag and tosses those in her luggage case for easy traveling. Pretty sweet idea!

The diameter of the tube isn't really that important, I think. 1/2" is pretty study on its own and is more than enough to support art prints. If you want to hang heavier stuff on, though, 1" or greater would be your best bet. 

Those connector bits also help stabilize/strengthen longer segments. I brought in two reaaaallly looooong pipe segments for my display stand at Fanime this year and it kinda sucked because it was always leaning back/wobbling/was unstable. It fell like once during the convention, but having to deal with all that (and risking hitting someone) is kiiiiind of a hassle. Smaller segments=sturdier, and if you attach them securely and correctly, the connector bits will help reinforce their structure. It seems kind of obvious, but it's also easy to overlook!

In terms of hanging things up onto your piping, there are a variety of ways of doing that too. Scotch tape is ghetto as hell, but effective. For the most part, if you're going to use tape, stick (Ha ha, pun so not intended) to something transparent because it looks nicer. Scotch/invisible tape is good because it's also easy to pull off. I've also seen artists use paperclips or bulldog clips to hang prints onto each other. This is nice because it makes tear-down easy. Other options are binder rings to hang the prints to the top of your display.  You can more or less ransack your office supply store and find tons of great knicknacks for displaying things. Ikea's photo frame section also has a lot of really cool stuff you can use to display your art for really cheap. Root around! Be unconventional! 


This is my current WIP. I'll probably post these a lot on this blog, both for feedback and to look like a totally hip and cool and productive artiste, which, I'm sure we all know, is complete horseshit! It's a commission of Dr. Raymond Stantz from Ghostbusters! Which... I should...probably watchokayI'mgoingnowdon'tjudgeme.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

First post!

I guess it is the cool thing to do to have several pieces of the internet staked out in your name, huh. Guess I'm gonna add to the billions and billions of people on here posting stuff!

This will most likely be an art/sketch dump, but in the interest of not being a complete waste of cyberspace, I'm going to also add information, resources, and experiences concerning Artist's Alleys at conventions.  Hopefully, it'll be cool! Stay tuned!