Artists Alley Memories of the First AA

Anime would be nothing without art. This forum is here for artists to discuss the art show and artists' alley.
Post Reply
User avatar
Tuberat
AB Staff
Posts: 1684
Joined: Tue Jun 13, 2006 12:20 am
Location: Nashua
Contact:

Artists Alley Memories of the First AA

Post by Tuberat » Thu Jun 10, 2010 2:23 am

Just a fun little post since its so dead in here :-P

Something brought to mind the very first time I ever saw an Artists Alley - and i was describing how different it felt and seemed from the ones we see today, but i fell in love with the Artists Alley at first sight!!

It was Otakon 1997 ( i believe) at the Hunt Valley Inn in Maryland - was my first Anime con, though i was no stranger to cons in general, and was a sophomore in college

I spent almost all my time in there - a hallway filled with tables set up like little islands, artists mostly just SHOWING stuff, Mostly comic originals and character creation etc, though a few people sold commissions. There were no great big setups or anything other than paper products (except for Ippongi Bang - a table that was ALWAYS crowded, but on the very (front) edge of the Alley and she had some really pretty custom stationary, among other things though i don't recall them.)

Adam Warren was doing free quickie sketches for anybody who asked and always had a crowd around his table - i snagged two. i THINK Rob DeJesus was there, but it was so long ago, i don't recall if it was that year or the following years that i had run into him. I commissioned this HUGE Gourry Gabriev pencil piece off somebody (will have to hunt down the pic for a name) for a mere $5.oo

and then i started the short lived "she always gets everything for free" legend. One guy was showing and selling Tenchi Muyo Comics - said if i bought all four, he'd sketch me anything i wanted for free. cost ? 20 dollars. what was in my pocket? NOTHING because of paycheck screwup (i had two in my pocket and couldn't cash 'em)

I apologized and explained i had no cash and why, then thumbed through his comics, squeeing at Ryo-Ohki. He had a friend visiting him at his booth and the friend nudges him, hands him a twenty and says "draw her a picture, though i think i know what she's gonna get" btw, his guess was correct, and i walked away with all four comics and a picture.


I didn't attempt the AA that year, or the year after, but the first year in the Baltimore Convention center, i did sorta try it - i had no idea how to get a table, couldn't find somebody to ask. asked the artists there and they said "just sit down...." so i did. didn't really sell much, just wasn't the right time for me, artwise, so i held back another couple of years till i made a small standing book of black and white original fantasy prints and asked John Barret if i could steel just enough space to put the book down at his table.

That was the con we dubbed "Hang Out Con" held in our very own Hynes Convention Center back in *thinks* 2001 or maybe 2002

and i've never gone back. Call me an Artist Alley Lifer!
[color:red]
So tell us your first experiences in the AA! Share your stories![/color]
Nikki O'Shea Bean
http://www.dragonpressgraphics.com
http://www.bardscomic.com

Artists Alley Manager 2008-2017
Artists Alley Co-Manager 2005-07
Attendee 2004
Artists Alley Accidental Volunteer 2003

User avatar
Kogarashi
I'm Special!
Posts: 907
Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2007 3:14 pm
Location: Ithaca, NY
Contact:

Artists Alley Memories of the First AA

Post by Kogarashi » Thu Jun 10, 2010 1:01 pm

I don't think mine was nearly so awesome as yours, Nikki. ;)

I briefly perused the Alley at the first two cons I ever attended (Otakon '02 and Anime Expo '03) which was interesting. Otakon's was already quite large by that point, and noisy, but I don't recall seeing that many vertical displays. It was mostly loose art directly on the tables. AX's Alley was still in the hallway that year, and quite cramped, but pretty large itself.

For AX '04, a bunch of friends and I decided to go for an Alley table of our own, split the cost, and have fun. I whipped up a bunch of fanart stuff to sell and pooled it with my friends, and also took a large print to put in the Art Show. There were five of us at two eight-foot tables, and you couldn't see any of the table through our stuff.

Somehow, despite my participation being last-minute, I did fairly well out of the group. I made enough to pay for my share of the hotel room, which was awesome, even if the con itself was an overall loss.

I do remember, though, that traffic at that Alley wasn't as great as it could have been. That was the year AX had it's own version of Linecon. Those of us who pre-registered had to wait in line for six hours on Friday to pick up our badges and bags because the check-in was horribly understaffed. Initially, at-con registration went faster, as one friend who came with us who didn't get the pre-reg rate got through her line well before we did, but even that slowed down after a while.

The biggest problem, for the Alley, was that the Alley was in one little corner of the massive exhibit hall that registration was in. An exhibit hall that nothing else was held in for the entire weekend. It was out-of-the-way, it was empty-feeling, and no-one who waited in that humongous line wanted to go near that room again, which hurt traffic for the Alley.

About a month after the con, I got married, and couldn't afford to go to AX anymore. I had to wait until we moved out here for Hubby's grad school before I could make it to another con (AB), and I've been an Alley lifer since.

Hobbs_11
Getting the hang of this...
Posts: 10
Joined: Fri Aug 01, 2008 10:24 am

Artists Alley Memories of the First AA

Post by Hobbs_11 » Sun Jun 13, 2010 4:34 pm

my first incounter with the artists alley was anime boston 2008.
it was me and my brothers first year going to a con, a few friends told us about it, so we decided to go on the saturday. I'm sure all of you know about the registration fiasco of 2008, and since it was our first year and knew little about cons, we did not pre register.
Meaning me, my little brother and our friends waited for 7 hours in line and by the time we got into the con pretty much everything was closing, the only thing i could find was....da daa da daaaaa THE ARTISTS ALLEY! even though i was exhausted from waiting in line, i spent the rest of my time i had in the con looking around the artists alley and fell in love.
The next year i bought a button maker and a 2ft table, excited about actually being in the con! and this year i had 2 button makers and a 6ft table!
though i havent experienced much out of anime boston, i love the artists alley and i hope to continue participating throughout the years. Ive been sooo excited for 2011 and have been working on so many projects! I've found that though i spend a large chunk of the con behind a table at AA, its still a ridiculous amount of fun!!! i love the environment and hope to attend more cons!

thanks anime boston for giving me such a great experience for the past 3 years (minus the 7 hour line haha but i forgive you)

User avatar
Kogarashi
I'm Special!
Posts: 907
Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2007 3:14 pm
Location: Ithaca, NY
Contact:

Artists Alley Memories of the First AA

Post by Kogarashi » Sun Jun 13, 2010 10:23 pm

[quote=Kogarashi]I do remember, though, that traffic at that Alley wasn't as great as it could have been. That was the year AX had it's own version of Linecon.[/quote]

Interesting. Hit by a filter. The above (from my previous entry in this thread) gets confusing when you take out AB'08's unfortunate nickname.

Post Reply