Just got back from Animarathon today! Animarathon is an annual one-day mini convention held by the BSGU anime club, Anime in Northwest Ohio. An Artist Alley table is free there, so I always try to make the trip up, and this is my second year doing the Artist Alley. It’s always a blast, and I’m able to make a ton of money in just a few hours, so there’s definitely a lot of bang for my buck.
This year I drew about 62 people, not including the ones I did for the scavenger hunt. I’m friends with the people who were running the scavenger hunt this year, so one of the things the players had to get for the hunt was “A ‘dumb’ drawing from Alex Heberling in Artist Alley”, which is a silly stick figure on an index card, as opposed to the regular Dollar Drawings, which actually look like the recipient in anime form. Naturally, I gave out one free Dumb Drawing to groups for the scavenger hunt, and while they were there, several of people got Good Drawings, too. I love suggestive selling!
My favorite general reaction is Chris saying to passers-by, “Draw your face for a dollar?”, the pause as they consider this, then a “Why not?” as they reach for the dollar bill in their pocket.
A couple readers of my comics actually came by, too! One gentleman actually used to read Jigworthy, and recognized from afar the comics I had at my table. It was really cool that he recognized me, since I’ve never had someone come up who read Jigworthy who wasn’t a friend of mine already. Another girl in her teens also said she’d just recently found Garanos, and really enjoyed it. It folks like that that make me want to go to more conventions and get my name out there! It’s really satisfying to actually be recognized by strangers for my comics.
My Artist Alley arsenal consists of many knicknacks; keychains, coasters, buttons, and soot sprites (from the film Spirited Away) made of yarn. I tend to call myself the Dollar Spot of the Artist Alley, since most of my wares are under $5, with most of them being only $1. I also sell the Dollar Drawings (quick Sharpie portraits on an index card) and will do commissions if requested.
Other crafty things come and go, like the scarves I crocheted a couple years ago after a scarf belonging to a character from Fruits Basket. I made about 12 of those, and several cons later I’m down to two. I usually sell one or two per con, so hopefully I’ll be rid of the last two soon. At this con, I also had tea tins painted to look like the Weighted Companion Cube from Portal, which I made at the last minute after a stroke of brilliance. I had these rectangular tea tins that I took from the bookstore I used to work at, when they were just going to be thrown away, and I’m glad I finally found something to do with them.
I ended up talking to Mike Beargie, a friend of AnimePunch, since he just recently got added to my Artist Alley for this year. I was quite impressed by his new button catalog, and since I just got into button making myself, we got to chat about that for a few minutes. My button machine starter kit only came with supplies for 100 buttons, which I went through pretty quickly for this con, but I have an order for more parts which should get in on Tuesday, so I may borrow his catalog idea to save table space in the future. (Perhaps I’ll make a tri-fold brochure to differentiate between the two of us.) This order has 1000 sets, so the number of designs I can make is far less limited than it was.
My next con is AnimePunch, but since I’m staffing full-time for that, I wont be able to sell. After that, I may be able to get a table at ColossalCon, but if not, then I will spend my time preparing for the big one: Connecticon 08. I’m so excited, and it’s still four months away!