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Hi there deviantart guinea pigs! 8D I'm preparing an outline for a panel at A-kon! I have vast experience attending conventions and displaying my work. What I've written here are my total thoughts on how to do your first artist alley. It has not been made into an outline yet. What I'm needing is feedback, questions, and conversations about this information so I can decide what I might add or take away from this discussion before creating a final outline and hand out! Please help me! I'd really appreciate any comments you feel ready to leave! I am not really a comfortable public speaker, I only feel capable once I have prepared material extensively for the occasion.

Why to do an artist alley:
AA can turn a nice profit for a lot of people, but more often than not, First Con Ever is a learning experience more than a bountiful retail extravaganza. But before you shy away from losing money, consider that you'll probably pay more for a single college class and you'll probably learn just as much about art as a business and have a lot more fun doing an AA. Ultimately, an artist decides to do their first AA with the intent of learning a lot so that their SECOND AA will be better.

The professional side of WHEN to do an AA:
Most cons require you to be 16. Check the con's rules. If you're over the age limit, a good time is always now. Start by observing artists at AA tables. Consider how they display their work. Ask them before you photograph their display. You need to also consider the finances involved. Pick a local show for your first learning experience. Count on at least 100$ for the table, 100$ for printing and display material, and another 100$ for random unforeseen expenditures. You will hopefully make some of this back, but this needs to be 300$ you can live without incase everything imaginable goes horribly wrong (and it may not even be your fault. The shit. It happens.)

The personal side of WHEN to do an AA:
Are you good enough? Can you emotionally handle it? Artists are the biggest pile of self doubters the professional world has ever seen! It is because our work is more intimately associated with our hearts than, say, flipping burger might be. These questions are difficult to answer and may not be answered until you're in the middle of the experience. The best way to prepare yourself is to establish beforehand how you will react if everything ever is a complete failure. Having a sucky first AA is never a reason to quit drawing or to quit striving for a dream. Before entering into the challenge, confirm with yourself that your first AA is unlikely to be the beginning or end of anything. It is a middle rung in the latter.

Where to do an AA:
A local show is always best to start out with. Something you can drive to. If you absolutely must fly, A-kon and Otakon are each huge, very well attended anime themed shows that are most likely to merit a plane ticket. Before signing up for a con, it is always good to visit the convention's forums so that you may read advice from veterans on how sign ups usually go. Some AA sign ups are incredibly fast paced and you will need to be punctual and organized beforehand.

HOW to do an AA: What to sell, which designs to sell, how to display it, how to sell it!

What to sell:
Items with varied prices and functions. 1$ buttons can prompt impulse buys, 10$ prints can pay for your entire convention. Having items with differing functions is a good idea, too. Buttons, prints, key chains, charms, postcards, stickers, shirts, and books are just a couple ideas. When starting out, you need to consider items that will give you the best unit cost without you having to order a giant inventory of things. Ordering large quantities will get you a better unit cost for a better long term profit, but in the short term, if you're only doing one convention a year, a large order might not be necessary. Especially if you're doing your first AA and you have no idea what's going to sell. Posters in varying sizes and buttons are good first time con items.  

Which designs to sell:
Deviantart popularity can be a good indicator of how well a design may sell ... but it can also be misleading. Consider what prompts a person to fav an image on deviantart vs. what prompts a person to make a purchase. A purchase is based on quality and longevity where as a fav is frequently based on the immediate gratification a lolcat gif may provide. A funny cartoony image might make a very good button, but it may sell less a poster which is meant to be a wall decoration. Pick a mixture of things, then! At your first AA, it is most important to experiment. Don't be afraid to print a few copies of a poster you personally like but think may not sell. They can always be good display items.

The Fanart Debate:
Currently a major point of contention is whether an artist should be allowed to sell fanart or not. Fanart is defined here as a composition and drawing of one's own making, not a trace of an existing image. It has to do with copyright laws, which protect things like character likenesses and licensed art, while leaving the realm of "parody" and "free use" open for exploration. The question is what constitutes as parody or free use? The answer is one that so far, most conventions leave up to the artist to decide based on individual morality. The best way to decide your feelings on the matter is to ask yourself if you would let a fan of your work sell a drawing they did of your character.
*** Please note that copyrights and trademarks are completely separate pieces of law. A character can have a copyright on it, but a logo is trademarked. If you draw fanart, you must not put the official logo on your fanart. Copyright laws are designed to encourage creativity. Trademark laws are designed to give absolute power when a case ends up in a court.

Whether to Sell Fanart?:
A good rule to follow might be the half n' half rule. Your works should be roughly half fanart, half your own intellectual property. Fanart does sell very well, and especially when starting out, the extra money can make all the difference in breaking even. But don't forget about your own brainchildren. It is more frequently your own original ideas with which you will be identified. Build your own brand, don't build someone else's. In the here and now, fanart can help you if you want to sell it. But in the long term, your own characters and stories will be what make you memorable.

How to display work:
There is no substitute for going to an artist alley and looking at the multitudes of displays. But here are some basics that every good AA display should have:
- 1. A tablecloth in whatever color makes you happy. Sometimes AA tables don't come with table cloths and you end up with a naked, beat up table that can give you splinters!
- 2. A binder of prints. 11x17 is the standard, 8.5 x11 binders are also common. It allows for a viewer to easily access your designs while not touching or damaging the posters inside. Some people have begun to use ipads as print binders, and that can help, but it is usually best to allow a possible buyer to get up close and personal with the real item they might actually buy.
- 3. Some kind of display that rises off the table so that you may display a few prints vertically in the line of site of viewers. This can be as simple has putting your favorite print in a mat and propping it up against a box (please wrap the box in a 2nd tablecloth, it will look nicer) or as many artists do, they create pvc pipe frames over their tables from which they tape prints. Wire storage cubicles are also used in place of pvc.

(picture of box. picture of pvc. picture of wire cubicle.)

- 4. It is ok to have some items loose around your table! Especially durable items like buttons, bookmarks, or postcards. Having a button bowl or pile can encourage people to rummage through and make a discovery. Not having a perfectly neat table can let people know its ok to handle the items. When a person picks up a thing, they are more likely to consider it theirs, which makes them more likely to buy.

How to sell work:
If you have ever worked in retail, you might have learned how to greet possible customers. AA is not dissimilar from that. As artists, we are frequently shy and lacking social skills from so many hours spent hidden in a dark cave drawing things. But being in the AA is going to challenge this and pull out the conversational human you didn't know you could be. You don't have to talk to EVERYONE. Wait for them to slow and register what they're looking at on your table. Then you might say hello and ask them how they're enjoying the con so far? Don't be TOO shy to admit you're feeling shy and this is your first attempt at displaying your work. There is a genuine human connection there. It is good to give a person a few sentences of talk and time to look around or to walk away before you offer up a sales pitch. Follow their eyes and listen to what they say so you can figure out what part of your work they're interested in, and then go from there. If they're looking at your pikachu print, tell them the cost of the print and then tell them why you drew pikachu. They'll need to know the cost if they're considering buying it. They'll need extra conversation from you so they can keep thinking while not feeling pressured. Some artists take commissions, which can hinder conversation, but they can effectively distract you and take the pressure off would be buyers while they look around comfortably and make their decisions. When a person is ready to walk away without buying something or maybe they say they'll come back later, you can offer them a business card to look you up online or to remember you by incase they decide to return. You should avoid offering up the free item before they're ready to leave as it frequently feels like a sale and is a queue for a possible buyer to now leave the table, transaction done. 

How to PRICE things:
The three most important aspects of pricing are firstly having prices that are easy to make change for, secondly having a wide variety of items at different prices, and thirdly having prices that can build on each other.
-1. Round numbers are a good thing. 1s, 5s, 10s, and 20s prices are easy to make change for. If you price an item at 6 dollars, you will run out of ones much to fast and run out of sanity counting out the ones because most everyone will pay with 10s or 20s for a 6$ item, so every transation will involve you giving 4 ones.
-2. You want a variety of items at different price points. 1$ buttons prompt impulse buys, 3$ postcards are impulsive, but a bigger commitment for a bigger, better item. 15$ 11x17s are for the people who love the work too much to get the small thing.
-3. Your prices need to build on each other so that you can offer good deals for multiple item purchases. A postcard is 3$, but TWO postcards are 5$. A poster is 15$, but TWO posters are 20$! A buyer could even pair up with their friend and split the cost. 4 out of 5 people will take the upsell because they had a hard time deciding which item they wanted, anyway.
-4. This is optional, but having one or two items around at a higher price point can be a good thing. The large, 50$ 20x30 poster in a mat, for instance. The big, beautiful display item usually serves to sell its smaller counterparts, but those one or two giant purchases can make a huge difference for your profit margin. Don't be afraid to have at least one Big N' Shiny at your table.

How is your customer going to take that print home?
The more a customer pays for an item, the more important it is to them to take that item home in mint condition. So don't worry too much about having a bag for every button. They're just going to rip the button out of the bag and pin it on their shirt. A durable item like a postcard can probably make due with an average business sized envelope. But the 11x17 and larger prints would benefit very much when you tell your customer "the 11x17 prints are 15$ or 20 for 20$, and I even have an archival bag for you to take it home in." This is especially pertinent information when doing an artist alley during winter or in a city prone to bad weather. Also consider the free advertising you gain by putting posters in clear bags. That buyer is going to be your personal walking billboard. If clear bags are hard to come by, Staples, Office Max, Office Depot, and other stores offering printing are usually willing to give you more than one paper bag with your purchase. Or you can offer to pay for extra bags with your printing. Paper bags make excellent Bags of Desperation, when necessary.  

What about sales tax?
In the US, each state has separate departments for issueing temporary sales permits. Remember, your sales tax goes to the state in which the sale is made, not the federal government. You should refer to the convention's artist ally FAQ to see if the convention you're exhibiting at requires a tax permit. If the show does require a temporary permit, the show will usually provide extra information about how to get the permit. Usually the process is pretty simple. If reporting your sales tax is necessary, it is easier to take that tax out of your gross sales total at the end of the con than calculate individual sales tax during each transaction. Maybe that means you make 9% less per sale, but time is money, and you could be missing out on new sales if you're preoccupied with typing in tax decimal points on your calculator.

Are commissions important?
At your first artist alley, you should experiment! If you find all your time is consumed with talking to possible customers, don't take commissions. If the convention is slow and there aren't many buyers, absolutely offer commissions! They are a service in high demand, for sure, but they are also an extremely time consuming service to render. Here are some pros and cons associated with commissions:
Pros: They don't cost you much of anything to produce. They can challenge you as an artist.
Cons: If you're so consumed with commissions, you might miss out on the conversations that will prompt purchases of your prepared merchandise.
Whatever you do, don't take so many commissions that you can't sleep at night. Some freshness the next morning is necessary if you don't want to scare people away with your panda eyes.

check list of stuff you wouldn't think about:
besides all your merch and display materials, there are other things you probably won't think to bring! But you'll find yourself wishing intensely for them halfway through the con. If you're driving, pack extra food and water, you're about to be trapped behind a table for possibly more than 12 hours strait. Packaging tape AND skotch tape AND artist tape, you just never know. A sweater, even if it's hot outside the air conditioning inside might be its own weather pattern. A swiss army knife if you have one, scissors, blades, bottle openers and tweazers all in one place can be handy (put it in your CHECKED luggage if flying.) Wet wipes to sanitize your hands or clean your print binder after a child with candy fingers has pawed all over it.

Consider also the con you might be attending, always read the con's rules carefully! Most cons have different rules! Some have bans on stickers, some ban fanart, some categorize you by what type of merchendise you specialize in and if you're selling prints, you can't sell 3D items like buttons or shirts. Just read the rules carefully and ask questions in the con's forum if you need to. Also consider the theme of a convention. If the theme is My Little Pony, your recent fanart of Deadpool may not sell so well. Anime cons, fantasy cons, and American cons can all be similar, sometimes its good to be the artist selling the slightly different variety of art and sometimes its a death mark, but from con to con it's almost impossible to say until you've been there and done that. The best thing to do is to find other artists who are selling work that targets the audience your work also targets. Follow what those artists say about shows. Attend the conventions they are repeat visitors to.

Some printing resources:
It can be worth it to order online from printers that are far away. Some items can easily be accomplished locally, like posters and stickers from places like Office Max, Staples, Office Depot, or Fedex Office. But for specialty items, paying shipping might save you money and get you a better product from a specialized printer.

Online Art and Frame Supplies: Jerry's Artarama, Daniel Smith
Printed books (short run digital printed): Kablam
8x10 + 11x17 prints: Printkeg (sometimes bad print quality, but customer service has always replaced bad prints,) Cat Print, Fedex Office, Office Max, Costco, Jakprints (email for specialized quote)
screen printed shirts: jakprints, brunetto's
postcards, bookmarks, business cards: Overnightprints (warning: slow production, allow at least a month, but good quality,) Gotprint
vinyl stickers: standoutstickers (expensive, but all stickers are gloss laminated), stickeryou (no minimum order), jakprints (Holy Crazy Sticker Papers Batman)
Paper stickers: Office Max, Staples, and Fedex Office all carry sticker paper for printers.
pin back buttons: purebuttons
canvas prints: Costco
20x30 or larger posters: El Co Color (GET THE FUJI METALLIC PAPER. I'M SERIOUS.)
clear bags for posters: Unique Packing's Ebay Store, Clearbags, Jerry's Artarama
business envelopes for postcards: just about anywhere, but Costco has some good prices on bulk
pvc pipe for your display: Home Depot. They have many sizes of pvc and many sizes of utility clamps. A common choice are irwin quick grip clamps + 1/2 inch diameter gray pvc with threaded ends.
grid walls for display: hold up, I need to ask some people where they buy these, I've never used them.

Many of these suppliers offer an email subscription. Do it. There are coupons.

I really hope this pile of information is helpful to you! Please please please leave comments if you have complements or criticisms! It would help me very much in creating a panel for the good attendees of A-kon ~

thank you!

Yep, pretty much wrote everything I needed to write up there.

Hopefully the final hand out to attendees at A-kon who come to the panel will include at least one amusing illustration. I'd like to draw the three major types of displays. The minimalist, the cubist, and the quilter. :P

AAAAAAAAAAAAA between now and A-kon I'll also be at Fanime, but being that Fanime doesn't include me doing any public speaking except idle conversation at my table and BSing it at other peoples' tables, Fanime will practically be a vacation compared to A-kon. T_T

Thank you very much for your comments and for helping me with your feedback on this document that is probably much more crucial to me than it should be. ^^;
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CKDreamer Featured By Owner 1 day ago  Hobbyist General Artist
I just did my second artist alley and am absolutely perplexed,
my buisness cards were all taken, by different people i'm sure,
I had 40 and they're all gone....
the funny this is out of those 40 people sure about 30 of them talked talked to me said they liked my work complimented my colors and painting blah blah
but only about 5 of them bought some of my postcards LOL.
now i go for fun, i don't make profit basically i make back the price of what I paid for a table.

I don't even do prints yet, i sell my originals.
So it really bugs me that people take all my business cards >_>; but don't buy anything,
they are nicely printed business cards and cost me about 30 cents a pop.... and I feel that if people are just taking them because they 'collect' business cards, next con i might only give them to people who purchase something or genuinely tell me they want to commission me later.
Anyone else have this weird buisness card problem? >_>
squidbrains Featured By Owner May 26, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
About to have my first con in July at Anime Expo and out of all of the tips, blogs and info I've found online---your's is the best yet =)

Thank you!
Seiya-Fantasy Featured By Owner May 14, 2014  Student Traditional Artist
I'm about to do my first artist alley at a local con this summer. This was very helpful to me! Thank you :D
Angel-Creations Featured By Owner Apr 13, 2014  Professional General Artist
How bizarre, I've recently submitted to do a  Artist Alley 101 panel at a Canadian Con this summer and I'm planing on doing a run through in a couple of weeks - we should swap notes!
sinribbon Featured By Owner Mar 4, 2014  Student General Artist
great resource! thank you!
CorgiFoxi Featured By Owner Dec 6, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
First I want to say a big thank you for posting this. It's so helpful and answers some questions I had and some I didn't even think about! Your advice for first time con goers like myself (I've yet to go to one though!) to sell posters of various sizes and buttons is very helpful. Your message of selling your own brand of art to be known for and by is good for me too as right now I draw more fanart than my own art, a fact that I'm slowly changing.

I really like how you described how to display your merchandise. It wouldn't have occurred to me to bring a table cloth with me before reading this or bringing a binder to display my prints or even a display that rises off the table.

I was also very glad when you described how to price things. It's a question I've asked myself and have been asked by others how much I would price a piece I made and didn't know how to answer.
Mentioning sales tax was helpful too and something that completely slipped my mind until I read it here. Also thank you for listing some great business who make prints for you professionally. I have wondered how people get such great prints to sell.

I do have a question about when you said that many of the printing suppliers offer an e-mail subscription.  If you sign up do you have to pay a fee every month or is it free?

I also wanted to ask how would you find out where possible local art shows you might go to to get experience are? For example, I live in California so where and what would you suggest are good ones to go to?

I know this is alot so please take your time, I'm curious what you'll say. :)
outlire Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you for writing and sharing this guide! It would be helpful for people planning to participate in Artist Alley.
JL010203 Featured By Owner Sep 30, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
any luck on grid walls?

DeeplyDapper Featured By Owner Mar 8, 2015  Professional General Artist
Pretty much everyone sells them online. Home Depot, Amazon, Target, Bed Bath And Beyond. Just search for "Metal Grid" SO far Home Depot seems to have the best price, but they are only available in Chrome Silver, which seems a little flashy for shelves at a con.
DeeplyDapper Featured By Owner Mar 8, 2015  Professional General Artist
My bad, Amazon's cheapest if HD isn't having a sale.
keropanda Featured By Owner Sep 29, 2013  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Hi!  I would like to know if you would approve me to use your picture as my cover page to my facebook page:…  I would give full credit to where the picture came from.  Also I'd like to know if I could link people to this post you've made?  Thanks :)
Yumix17 Featured By Owner Sep 6, 2013  Student Digital Artist
What things, like anime or video games series are you allowed to sell? Because I know you're not allowed to sell homestuck items
To-Ka-Ro Featured By Owner Jul 10, 2013  Professional General Artist
Very good article! I did not first Artist Alley a few years ago and loved it :) The only thing I would add is keep organized and arrive early (These things I unfortunately did not do my first year) .
Melody-in-the-Air Featured By Owner Jul 7, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
thank you so much for the awesome advice~! I'm going to prepare WAYYY earlier XD
RabidxToaster Featured By Owner Jun 26, 2013  Professional Filmographer
I've gotten the grid storage cages from Amazon ( or I've seen then at Target for like a dollar or two more in the storage/shelves section
3rdplanet42 Featured By Owner Jun 10, 2013
Thanks for the great information! I just ordered some prints from Catprint, $0.75 per print for 11 x 17 on heavy glossy stock. Also used coupon code WizardWorld for 20% off, not sure how long it will be good for, but got a great deal.
Thanks for the heads up on where to get the plastic bags! :phew:
the-hangman-project Featured By Owner Apr 9, 2013  Professional General Artist
this was increabily helpful :D thank you very much! im going into my first AA in a few weeks and im so nervous XD this really helped get my head straight!
blix-it Featured By Owner Apr 9, 2013
I'm so happy the tutorial was helpful! >< If you have questions, please ask, I'll try and answer.

Get ready for a great learning experience! c:
Umberink Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2013  Professional General Artist
I've been considering setting up a table at Otakon for a few years now. This really inspired me to give it a shot! Do you have any advice about how many prints to make prior to the con? How many of each piece in each size is a good number?? I just have no concept of what a good number would be ^^;
xxMystery Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2013
wow this was extremely helpful! I'm so glad you posted places where you could get things printed, I'v been looking for a place to get art books printed!
blix-it Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2013
Oh, hey, new rec on art books! Artscow for experimental copies, artbookbindery for longer runs (50+ or so)
xxMystery Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2013
cool! thanks!
LadyAsakura Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
hey guys is there space available?
on artists alley?
theartslave Featured By Owner Jan 2, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
grid walls for display: hold up, I need to ask some people where they buy these, I've never used them.

I recently asked someone at a convention where they got those, and apparently you can get them at Bed Bath & Beyond. They come with enough pieces to make a few squares for about $20 or so. Hope that helps!
jemaica Featured By Owner Dec 24, 2012  Student Digital Artist
thanks for the amazing 101! I was wondering, if I will be selling at a very small con, maybe 500 attendees, how many prints would you recommend me having?
blix-it Featured By Owner Dec 24, 2012
That sounds like a really good opportunity to learn! Small cons are great like that. Also, less competition, so it might be a money maker!

If you can easily print more, at say an Office Max or Costco, pick your favorite 5 - 10 illustrations and print 3 - 5 of each of those in 11x17. I say print them that size because you want your work to fill the space. You don't want a skimpy display.

If you can't print more, but you plan on doing more cons, print 10 of each.

It never hurts to have a professional looking order form done up so you can take down names, addresses, and emails if anyone wants to place a mail order.
jemaica Featured By Owner Dec 24, 2012  Student Digital Artist
wow thank you so much for the advice! sounds like a good game plan to me :)
blix-it Featured By Owner Dec 25, 2012
I hope it goes well for you! X3 Don't be afraid of losing a bit of money on learning! I certainly didn't profit at my first show. :/ But I really paid attention and watched what other vendors did to be successful. That was worth the money!
jemaica Featured By Owner Dec 25, 2012  Student Digital Artist
ill keep that in mind! thankfully the table will be very cheap at this con, only $20! :)
Lycorine Featured By Owner Dec 6, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I was actually going to try to get an Akon table this year (hopefully) This is extremely helpful, Thank you!
KittieShade Featured By Owner Dec 4, 2012
Hi! So this is a question for the after AA event. How do you store your large amount of posters after the event?
blix-it Featured By Owner Dec 5, 2012
They need to lay flat, they can't be tilted at an angle or leaned against a wall. I usually buy shelving or a folding table or something that can be put in a closet or in a garage or basement where I can set boxes. Sometimes I also put narrow boxes under my bed. :P Heat and humidity are an issue. I just pick the least hot, humid location and deal with it.
rocket-child Featured By Owner Nov 14, 2012
After not doing it for a few years I've been thinking of having a stall at the next Anime con in Sydney, Aus. So reading this was really helpful and interesting. The examples on where to get things printed online was a really good idea (even though I don't live in America).
Zwaa Featured By Owner Oct 25, 2012  Student Artist
Oh my! This is very much helpful! :+favlove:


1) Lots of people now-a-days use credit cards. Should a vender invest in one of those credit card machines [link], or a smartphone square [link]?

2) How dose a first time vender figure out how they should price their merchandise?
Would it be wise for a vender show up at a show with a table and no idea on how to price their merchandise, and:
A. price them after seeing other venders price?
B. haggle with buyers?
C. No, it's not a good idea to show up with no idea how to price.

3) What places ( walk-in or online ) can a vender go to get their merchandise cut in acrylic? and/or made into jewelry?

4) How well dose traditional art sell as opposed to digital art?

And I think that is it for now...
otakulena Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2012  Student Artist
omg i just realised AA means anime convention XDD im so slow lol but thanks for the info~ :D
evilkitten101 Featured By Owner Oct 1, 2012  Student General Artist
This is absolutely wonderful *_*. I'm currently waiting to hear back from Katsucon to see if I was accepted for the AA, and hoping that I am, this is all really helpful information. Thanks a bunch for posting this :')
nessperez Featured By Owner Sep 28, 2012
Any updates on what those grid wall things are? I have no idea what to search for owo;;; Great guide!
blix-it Featured By Owner Sep 29, 2012
Yeah it was recommended to me by others (never owned these myself) that purchasing "mini grid panels" through Amazon is probably best. [link] Here is a promising listing I found. There are other options to be found for this product around Amazon.
nessperez Featured By Owner Sep 30, 2012
Thank you so much!
AngelERenoir Featured By Owner Sep 13, 2012  Student Digital Artist
Wow, thanks for this. Is an AA n00b who is trying to gather courage to set up a stand :/
PaulMichaels Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I would add credit card sales to this, people can get a Free "PayPal Here" or "Square" for iPhones/Androids if they have one, just download the apps and follow the screens to setup to get one. I got both just in case one fails. Not everything will be cash sales. I'm not sure of other services right now, because I have not looked into them. I would also give a cash price and a little more for Credit Card price, most will take the lesser cash price. Since there are fee's for Credit Card Sales, plus the tax you already have to pay. And make sure you display the sign they supply you with the device or print out a Credit Card Sign to let people know you accept CC, because sometimes visitors run out of Cash and the ATM is to far away, and hey you accept CC's :)

I've been looking into [link] for Signage and Business cards they offer other things as well that could be used by a new artist doing AA.

And [link] for displays to use at your table.

Think it would help to offer the website links to the website in the article to make it easier when people are reading this.

I also like the signing up for email subscriptions. I save so much from Michaels Stores that way. I use the 45% off all art supplies pencils, brushes etc.. The buy one paper get the 2nd Free. The 40% off 1 item, go everyday for a week with the printout, take someone with you get them to buy one item too or use the iphone app. Get the Michaels Card and get another $5 off once in awhile. The coupons seem to cycle every few weeks if you can wait for something and use a coupon.

Well that's a little input from me, how it helps, if I think of something else I'll post it.
PaulMichaels Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Oh almost forgot, for your cash box, keep a receipt book, and a Money Test Pen. Also, be very careful with Travelers Checks, I know about 5 artist that where giving fake checks. If there is a phone number on it, I would call first. Really how many people use Travels Checks these days?
PinkuArt Featured By Owner Jul 18, 2012  Professional Artisan Crafter
haha,the part about being shy because we are hiding in a true. :giggle:
kamakane Featured By Owner Jul 5, 2012
very nice and well thought out tutorial for beginner artists. I have done one before but am still keeping my eyes open for advice because i want to start doing more and even though at the moment art is not my primary product i still found a few tidbits that i could find useful out of this.
MsPtilopsis Featured By Owner Jul 1, 2012  Student Digital Artist
Very helpful I loved it and I have a feeling I'll refer back to time tie and time again.
relzodiac Featured By Owner Jun 30, 2012
Adorable XD
KiomyNightmare Featured By Owner Jun 29, 2012  Student General Artist
This is the best thing I have seen for the artist alley prep! Totally wish I had seen this when I first started AA! Thanks for posting :)
Kafae-Latte Featured By Owner Jun 27, 2012  Professional Filmographer
Also, I'm trying to find another place for those clear plastic bags with a hole for handle in them. It seems like that web site is a rip off for how many bags you get, and I need them to fit 11"X17" prints... I can't find other sellers anywhere. Am i using the wrong search keywords? 'clear plastic bags'
Kafae-Latte Featured By Owner Jun 27, 2012  Professional Filmographer
Thanks so much for this info! I'm doing my first AA at Natsucon this August and I'm so excited! This helped reassure what research I'd already done online and after years of paying attention to AAs from the outside looking in. I think all this info is perfect! ^_^ Linking pictures of well presented tables and bad presented tables might be a good idea, and I would definitally mention FIRE HAZARDS! and falling hazards. Some people cram too much behind them, have tripping hazards in front of them, or have fire hazards blocking their back.
You could also mention what to do to prevent or deal with stealing.
Also, i'd like to mention not to cram your table with TOO MUCH on vertical displays. Sometimes people's faces can hardly be seen inside a cave of hanging merchandise and walls of prints.
Keeping a giant plastic bin of merch under the table is good (especially with a tableskirt) and having a lockbox for money with change.

Also... could you tell a little about what people do at night when the AA is closed but the hallway where the AA was is still open? Do they take all merch back to the room, car or just cover it with a cloth? ALso do you have tips on transporting stuff and which displays to buy which can be fit into a moderately sized car. Thanks again for making this! <3
NikkiWardArt Featured By Owner Jun 11, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
This was super amazingly helpful! I am getting my first AA table at Austin Comic Con this year, and I've been scouring the internet for something exactly like the article you've written. Thank you SO much! :hug:
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