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Selling at Cons is best during the...

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I already filled out this survey under my main account ^^; But since I'm peeking in once more and you have more questions, I will fill those out too~

Especially since I found that if I accidently spit on the photopaper and wipe it off.. the ink comes off.. Dx I'm guessing this happens with all prints? Is laminating the work recommended and cost efficient? And where could you get it done if you don't have the machine?

The girl I shared a table with last year had the spitting problem a lot actually ;___; She had a really nice printer that she actually brought with her to print out more copies as she needed. I noticed she had some spots on her sample pics that looked like water spots or something and she told me they occoured when she had printed the copy, set it to dry on the table as she ran out of room beneath it, and random people who passed by and talked to her would spray spittle on them ;___; She said it was amazing the amount of spit people expunge when they talk. So I guess a good idea would be to print them out only one or two at a time and let them dry away from the public. As for lamanating... I really only see that for keychains and bookmarks. I personally don't like how it looks for a nice print, so I wouldn't suggest it for such (just the bookmarks and keychains where the added strength of the lamination is a plus)

has anyone ever had anything printed from Costco? Is it cheap and is the quality good? I don't really want to go to Staples or Office Max or Office Depot.

I don't recall where I got my stickers printed... it was a small printing place not too far from the convention center. They were rather expensive but the quality of the stickers was great.

Is it wise to have large and small prints of the same image? Or would that just force people to buy the larger or smaller depending on preference or price?

I suppose 8x10 is the typical print size you see. I think a lot of times people base what size they buy on price and how much they like the image. The girl I shared a table with last year actually had two sizes that she typically sold, 8x10 and a larger 15x13 or something. She said that she usually sells a fair amount of both, so either way you wanna look at it I guess ^^

And bookmarks, are smaller or larger ones preferred? What about tassles, would people be interested in tassled bookmarks?

I haven't seen a whole lot of bookmarks... Most of them were lower quality prints that were laminated. They varied in size but most of them were about an inch and a half wide and between 6 and 8 inches long. Some had tassels but most didn't. I think it's mostly a preference.

Eee! And one more thing, how well do people take to... "Write your name, address, email address, if you have a paypal account, number, and description of the commission on this clipboard if you want to order a commission." That way.. you can accept commissions, but do them after the con, but the people will have paid first? And refunds can always be given through paypal, etc. O_O; And then the artwork will be mailed after it's finished?

It's a little surprising at how many people will give you the cash now for you to make a commision then mail it to them after you finish (I myself purchased 4 last year, although one of them was actually from a girl who had to mail it to me because she flaked x__x) I didn't do any paypal, they were all cash. It's kind of nice for if a lot of people want to commision you or if they want a media you don't have readily available at the con (on of the girls I commisioned was an awesome watercolor artist and forgot to bring her paints that year ^^;; And someone commisioned me to do a digital piece, which I didn't have the equipment to do there)

And one more thing, do a lot of people sign up for Gaia commissions if those are offered as well?

Hehe... Good question ^^; I didn't offer it to anyone, although at the Gaia meet up at AD last year there were people who took down usernames so they could contact the artist about commisions at a later date. Otherwise I used it mostly as contact info while I was at Otakon ^^;
Good advice on the printing thing. Dx Though I don't think I'd be able to bring a printer with me anyways. O_O

Hmm.. so the prints will pretty much break even because it mainly depends on the preference of the person? I guess so. But I think in such a case, she must have made her prices reasonable enough that people wouldn't give up a size they actually wanted for the other.

I guess it depends on your popularity before you do tassles because those would add to cost. xD You have to make sure people will buy your work I guess. That's strange though, most of the bookmarks I've seen are high quality.

That's true. I want to tote my stand of markers over there and do some commissions right there. xD Provided that they have good references. O_O I think it's better not to pay for the commission first and have it mailed later, but maybe leave contact information and then deal with the money at a later date when the commission is down later. I guess it seems more trustworthy and less shady.

I think maybe a separate clipboard would suffice for Gaia commissions. xD

Thanks for the response to my questions! This was really helpful!
Thanks for answering those questions, look!

As far as the printing goes, things like that are the reason I started this. Everyone can contribute what they know, and if there's a specific place someone wants to know about we might find someone willing to test it.
Don't want people looking to miss this. :3
Bump for usefulness XD

I just came back from a local con. I just went to survey the area so I know what to prepare for next time I go.

An interesting thing I saw was a pair doing anime-style portraits of people. It was a nifty idea and was pretty popular.

In addition, I think it's a good idea to sort of make a name for yourself in the con before you actually attend it, if you can. My local con has a manga contest, and the creator of one manga (my favorite one out of the lot XD) got a lot of attention. Lots of people came to her table. In addition, she had a snazzy art style (kind of like Hail-Nekoyasha from DA).

But yeah. This thread is fantasticcc~
Shadow Ivy's avatar

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You've got a good point--anime-styled portraits are pretty popular; I had a few commissions for those at the last con I AA'd at. I'll have to make a mental note to advertise that I do that at my table! 3nodding

(Also; I know there was talk earlier in the thread about printing services, and I'd be interested to know if there's been any followups on bestcolorphoto.com and ezprints.com).
I'll do a bit of first-post updating. biggrin
-bump for usefulness-
I got a table at Anime Expo! (AKA excuse to let more people see this thread)
Isn't it illegal to sell prints and stickers of fanart characters? I mean, will you get in trouble for that if you're selling them at a con?
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Isn't it illegal to sell prints and stickers of fanart characters? I mean, will you get in trouble for that if you're selling them at a con?

Not that I've seen at the cons I've been to--I myself sell fanart prints and stickers, and haven't gotten into any kind of trouble, since there's no rules at the cons that I hit up that ban selling fanart.
I guess I should fill this out... my main experience is Fanime and Yaoicon

We're currently looking for reviews of different printing services. Just go ahead and post what you know!

Lulu.com - I don't like it. I've created a couple of calenders through there and their printing wasn't very good. It looked like it was running out of ink because there was a faint lighter area running through all the pages on both my orders which were several months apart.

Shutterfly - I love Shutterfly. I go there for my photos. They have other services including items (mugs, calenders, puzzles) and books. I made a Yearbook of my plushies and it turned out fabulous. Shutterfly is decent for printing out digital artwork too if the resolution is high enough.

Kinkos - The place I usually use for copying. Although I always feel a little lost. Cardstock and the color copier is my friend... but they don't pick up all the detail. Oh well.

Part A- Getting the table:
1. How many months in advance do conventions usually release tables, in your experience?

I think Fanime (end of May) released it's tables in February. Yaoicon released their's in... summer.

2. How much does a table usually cost?

Fanime - Free, Yaoicon - $25 a day

3. How quickly are the tables reserved?

Within a couple of weeks.

4. What complications should one be prepared for?

Since space is limited a lot of people don't get a table. It's good to send your paperwork in as soon as possible.

5. Anything else?

Since there is limited space there is the potential to be squatters who decide to take over your table. Don't let them. You have a contract and paperwork on file with the convention and they probably don't.

Optional: What skill level would you suggest entering the AA at? If possible, please provide examples.

I've seen many different skill levels. Although it's doubtful a beginner will get much business. To counter that... be cheap or make and sell cutesy things.

Part B- Preparing to sell:
1. What sort of merchandise would you advise selling?

Anything in your niche. People don't always go for prints. They like keychains and magnets and other cheap, small things. They also really like fanart of their favorite characters.

2. What sort of merchandise would you advise against selling?

Bootleg copies of already existing items. And on the same level... nothing with official artwork on it. Most conventions I've seen have policies against copies and bootlegs and use of artwork you didn't draw.

Expensive items are also hard to sell because people don't carry a lot of cash on them. At Yaoicon last year I offered the layaway and paypal option in which I would put the item on hold and they could paypal me the money when they got near a computer. I would then send the item to them in the mail after the convention.

3. What sort of stuff sells best?

Cute stuff. At Yaoicon my hot sellers were the Mini Plushies I brought. At Fanime my hot sellers were the Gaia hats (this was before the officials were created).

4. Where would you suggest going to get things printed?


5. If printing at home, what preparations should one make?

Don't forget to change the print quality to "best." I forgot and my print came out faded...

6. How far in advance should one have one's merchandise finished?

I give myself a week of wiggle room... that way I get enough sleep.

7. Anything else?

You can also inform the person that you take commissions. Bring some order sheets to put the person's name and contact information if they commission you at the con and you have to finish it at home.

I even offer free shipping to those who pay at con... to encourage commissions.

Part C- At the Con:
1. How early should one arrive to be sure of reserving a good table?

Dawn. No... I'm kidding. Yaoicon stated what time you had to be there in order to not be counted as a no show. I went about a half an hour before the earliest time to get a spot.

For Fanime I had to go pick up my badge first... so it had to be after badges were handed out.

2. When setting up one's table, what sort of layout would you suggest?

I put the sample book in front and arrange the other items around it... small things in front and larger in back. I heard somewhere that odd numbers work well for groupings... threes and fives... not twos and fours.

3. There are some pretty bratty congoers out there. How would you suggest dealing with assholes?

Ignore them... ask them to leave. Tell them sorry that you can't help them... alert security if you have to.

4. Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong. What issues should one be prepared for when running a table at the Artists alley?

Someone stole my table. They removed my "I'll return at this time" placeholder I had put down. I was very heavily pregnant at the time... and the table was right next to a friend's so she could watch over it if I had to rush to the bathroom (as heavily pregnant women often do). I went to con ops and complained. The person in charge of Artist Alley escorted me back to the table and evicted the squatters. The squatters claimed they had been evicted from their own table and so they just decided to bump someone else out. As I told the Artist Alley organizer, I had been there for two days already and I had a contract with the convention and I didn't know if these people even actually HAD a table to begin with. For all we know they could be people who didn't get their table registration in on time and they decided to crash the Artist Alley to take an "empty table".

5. Anything else?

Bring plenty of food and liquid. For food I usually bring something salty, something sweet, something with protein. I also bring Gatorade because it has electrolytes. One day I forgot my Gatorade and I got a dehydration headache. I didn't forget on day 2.
Isn't it illegal to sell prints and stickers of fanart characters? I mean, will you get in trouble for that if you're selling them at a con?

Short answer: Yes, it's illegal. No, you won't get in trouble

Long Answer: Fanart is, technically, the use of somebody else's characters and thus intellectual property. Unless you have permission and are giving the owner royalties and s**t, it's illegal. Most creators of anime, manga, books, ect., don't care about fanart, however, and some even encourage it. Because of this attitude, unless the comic creator walks right up to you and says "Don't sell this," conventions generally allow the sale of fanart.
Oh! And thanks to leloi! (Sorry for the belated thanks, I never scrolled past the farnart question).
Gah, that's kind of a downer. Dx Sell cutesy things? Dx My art isn't cute, at best it's more like.. cool looking I guess. I'm not too skilled with Chibis though I could learn before AX comes.

I don't think I consider myself a beginner, but I want to make up the $50 the table cost at least. xD I know most of the people attending the con like cute things better, but I'm hoping they'll like.. the more mature kind of art? Not mature as in smutty, but not necessarily cute.. more serious? Dx

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