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On that note, anyone have any suggestions on something easy, cheap but neat to put with a special purchase of four comics? So far the "paper dolls" idea is still winnning...

Bookmarks. It's a little better if you have a small laminating machine to reinforce them, but hand drawn bookmarks to go with whatever comics they're buying kind of encourages the use of what you're selling.
Zaerin Grey's avatar

Girl-Crazy Man-Lover

16,800 Points
  • Way Too Many Pies 300
  • Conventioneer 300
  • Partygoer 500
Hmm, well I will be going at this from a small con perspective, so if you are planning on selling at a convention larger than say, 500 to 800 people, I don't know how helpful this will be

Part A- Getting the table:
1. How many months in advance do conventions usually release tables, in your experience? The ones I have been to range from a month in advance to walk in and grab one. Keep an eye on the conventions website, if it says reserve seats now, do it! They always fill up fast.
2. How much does a table usually cost? Anywhere between 5 dollars to 100 dollars. Make sure you know a general estimate of how much you will sell before settling into a table. If you think you are only going to sell 100 dollars worth of merc, don't get a table for 150.
3. How quickly are the tables reserved? _extremely_ fast. All the cons I go to are small and personal, meaning very limited space. This becomes a problem with over 70% of the con attendies are artists razz . If you can reserve a seat online, do it the first day they open up. Also, if you have to reserve by the day, only reserve for the days and times that you absolutely know you will be selling merc. If you aren't going to be there for a day, leave the table open for someone else to give it a go. If it is a first come first serve type, I would show up at least 2 hours early. If anything, it will ensure you have a table, and maybe talk to some of the other artists there for the day before it gets busy
4. What complications should one be prepared for? No chairs, bad seating (in a corner away from everyone), no power outlets. If you need a seat with something that isn't common, make sure the people in charge know. Also, make sure you bring as little as possible with you. Sometimes, there isn't enough room for everything you would want to put out.
5. Anything else?Make sure you have fun while peddling your wares!!! Nothing sucks more than someone who sits down with the soul goal of selling stuff and then gets cranky when business is slow. Bring something to do, a sketch book, clay, whatever. Might even get some comissions if you play your cards right wink
Optional: What skill level would you suggest entering the AA at? If possible, please provide examples. I don't have examples, because I'm hit or miss on the stuff I sell. It's very interest based, but in general make sure your level is up there if you want to make money. I would also ask around to some friends that you know you can get honest opinions from about your work. If you have ever sold art before (especially to a company) then you are probably golden. If you have people beating down your door for artwork, you are probably golden. If you have a DA account that no one has favorited any of your work and people just glance over your stuff without thinking in real life, I would hold off.

Part B- Preparing to sell:
1. What sort of merchandise would you advise selling? Con appropriate merc. If you are at an anime con, most likely a sculpture representing your emotion towards salad isn't going to sell well.
2. What sort of merchandise would you advise against selling? Things strictly stated in the cons policies not to sell. Read the rules carefully, don't want to be in violation.
3. What sort of stuff sells best? In my experience, things that you wouldn't expect. If you bring something that is applicable to the con, but out of the ordinary (say a charcoal sketch of anime characters with a more realistic setting) it will probably sell. My best sellers were more on the experimental side and less complicated. Oh, and origionals. Prints do well, but for some reason, people love to buy one-of-a-kinds. If you can bring yourself to part ways with some of your origional work, this is a way to make money.
4. Where would you suggest going to get things printed? If you aren't lucky enough to have your own awsome printer or just sell origionals, I would suggest someplace you can get them professionally matted. I was using a university's scanner/printer for a while. Good stuff and for free at that time, no more though sad
5. If printing at home, what preparations should one make? Use high grade paper, make sure you have a good printer, do a test print first, watch your ink levels.
6. How far in advance should one have one's merchandise finished? If it's for a big con, a week. If you're like me, print them the day of and fret over it razz . It just depends how professional you are trying to be, and how worry free you want your experience. Just because you waited till day 0 to print, doesn't mean your work will sell less than had you printed a week ahead of time at the same quality and same quantity.
7. Anything else?

Part C- At the Con:
1. How early should one arrive to be sure of reserving a good table? Early as possible! at least 2 hours if you know it is going to be a small area. It's time to camp outside in the hall and make some art friends smile
2. When setting up one's table, what sort of layout would you suggest? Pricing at the front, first of all. I wanna know how much i"m paying for stuff. If you have individual pieces at different prices, mark them. Don't make the customer guess. Put your best stuff forward. make sure you clearly mark the difference in prices, make sure all your stuff is in protective sleeves so no one smudges it as they thumb, and on every sign you put out for your stuff, put a graphic of some kind on it. Draws the attention of customers and makes you seem friendly. If you are doing commissions, make a sign that says so, and have your art stuffs out and ready. People like to see you working, makes them want some of the action. Also, if you are brave, put a bowl of free candy or something out. Draws people to you, but don't make it sticky/stainable. Might ruin your art if people are handling it without protection.
3. There are some pretty bratty congoers out there. How would you suggest dealing with assholes? If someone mocks your work, just inform them where to.... nevermind smile . Actually, best thing to do is just keep your calm, smile, shrug it off, and remind them that there are plenty of other artists around if they don't like your work. Don't take it personally, people like different stuff, yours might not have been up their alley, doesn't excuse rudeness, but hey. Roll with the punches.
4. Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong. What issues should one be prepared for when running a table at the Artists alley? spills, thieves, sticky fingers, no one to watch your stuff when you need to use the bathroom. This last one sucks. Make sure you know at least one other person at the con that you can trust to eye your stuff while you take a break. Oh, and just be smart. If you are using ink wells, don't sit them right on top/next to your stuff you are selling!! It might spill smile (the permanent stain on a con floor that I left can vouch for that. Poor Skip, his shoes never did turn white again!)
5. Anything else? Have fun, don't sweat the small stuff, make sure you bring enough prints, but don't over stack your portfolio!
my art is in a mesuem its true it is i really cant belieif it myself
I was going to bump for the sheer awesomeness of this thread, but I have a question...

Okay, so I know that you're allowed to sell fanart, since it was your own artwork (even if the characters are copyright, I have read up on all that fun legal stuff), and I also know that you are not allowed to sell a product, even if it was handmade by you, if it is a replica of an already existing licensed product.

So, what if I made my art into stickers? I'm sure that somewhere in the world, stickers exist for almost every anime.

I'm asking because although it is my own art, it also more than a mere print.

Any thoughts? Was it a stupid question?
Most alleys do not have a problem with stickers, they're essentially a print of your work.

Stickers of copyrighted material though made by someone else = no-no.

I've seen lots of people with stickers this year and the last. Seems to be popular, particularly with chibi art.
Lol this is such a...um...weird forum

Shorry, this isn't really the kind of forum i'm expecting bahahaha.

so I guess I should leave...
Thanks, and again, bump for awesomeness
Hoshit, AX is less than a month away! *scribbles madly*
Yeah, stickers of copyrighted characters are okay by most cons. And while the characters you're drawing may have been made into stickers before, especially if they're from a popular series, your design will probably be original enough to keep you out of trouble.

(Still, it's a good idea to check, especially for those popular series. If you were to draw stickers of Naruto doing a funny walk, you might look like a copycat, because there's already a series of stickers like that. It's fairly easy to see what's already been done. Just go on eBay and do a search for "_____ stickers", with whatever series you're investigating.)

And on the subject of stickers, I have a question:

I'm planning on getting a table at an anime convention next year, and stickers are one of the things I'd like to offer. (Along with bookmarks and maybe keychains or prints.) It's a small-ish con, with only a couple thousand guests total. I'd like to sell stickers from both super-popular and lesser-known titles, with the popular series "weighed" more heavily. (ie, 3 Naruto stickers per every Utena one.)

My question is, about how many stickers should I make? I want to have enough for everyone who wants one to get one, but I don't want to be left with a whole tableful of stickers. Any advice?
I'd say about 10 of each sticker, 20-30 of the ones you expect to be popular. And bring something with you so that you can get more printed if necessary.

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