vendor alley

A Collection of Smol Rants About Consuming Fanworks

Fan creators is the term I’m using for the people that make all that cool fan content that you spend hours a day looking at. They are the authors, artists, voice actors, cosplay artists, artist alley vendors, and everyone in between, who fill a fandom with content based on the source material. Anyone can do it, and all of them should be respected as the human being they are behind the screen. 

I keep seeing fans fail to do that. If the most respectful thing you can manage towards a creator is to walk away and keep your mouth shut. Do it. Just walk away. Consuming fan works is completely optional.

Sometimes, fans don’t even realize that they’re about to be disrespectful, or think that what they have to say is just too important to care. I want to try and help fix that.

Think the quality is poor? Maybe they haven’t ever drawn anything, but they had an idea they liked and they wanted to share it with the fandom. If they liked it, then others probably do as well. Maybe this is how they start learning how to draw better. Maybe this is the birth of an amazing writer. Even if it isn’t, and they just do a little here and there, be supportive, not belittling.

If other fans, people who this person identifies with, come along and just have to tell them how bad their work is, that potential dies. Responses like that can kill any desire to share future ideas with the fandom. Glorious fan works fail to exist, and the fandom is all the poorer for it.

Bonus! A creator has put a note on their work expressing interest in criticism on the work. Here’s a little guide to giving them that criticism in a respectful and constructive manner.

  • Express what you liked about the work. This isn’t just ego soothing, though it does feel good to the creator, I guarantee. Creators can learn a lot by knowing what they got right. They can apply this information to future works and refine their strengths even further.
  • Don’t just say that something is bad. Tell the creator why. Did it give you the wrong feeling? Was it confusing? Just knowing that something didn’t work isn’t going to help them fix it. They need to know how it didn’t work, so that they can hone in on the problem. 
  • Be polite about it. Even if they invited your feedback, that’s no reason to be pushy about it. Express your feedback as opinion and suggestion. They are under no obligation to agree with your assessment, and other commenters might express completely opposite views. It’s up to the creator to take feedback and decide what to discard and what to apply to their work.

Is a creator you like changing/stopping what they make? Of course disappointment can stem from a situation like this. The key to handling that disappointment properly is to remember that they have no obligation to keep making one thing. As people discover new fandoms they might find that they want to create fanworks for that instead of the fandom they were making things for. They might decide to make works for both. In a month they might move on to something else entirely. They might quit making stuff all together. No one has any right to treat them as though they are in the wrong for doing so or demand to know why. Fan creators provide free content to the fandom, and can choose to stop doing so at any point. Guilt free. I don’t care if their fic/comic/whatever ended on a cliffhanger. You’ll live.

Taking a while to get the next part of something? In the infinity that is the internet, there are many things for the bored consumer to, well, consume. Rushing creators is a great way to stress a creator out and kill their excitement for the very thing you want to see. Many things can lead to delays, but there’s one very important thing I want you to remember: They don’t have to explain themselves to you! If they do, great, but you don’t get to demand an explanation or even a timeframe from them. They could be putting it off because they’re feeling lazy, so what! They are making fan works with their free time. That time doesn’t belong to you and you have no say over how they use it!

A creator is making something and it takes direction you don’t like? You really have two options. Keep consuming the thing and see if they do something with it that you like. Stop consuming the thing. If you worry that just stopping without a word would worry or upset the creator, feel free to let them know in a polite or respectful manner. Sending them a message demanding that they go back to what you liked or berating them for not creating exactly what you were expecting is selfish and immature. It’s important to keep in mind that creators are not there to cater to your tastes. They are making these works because they like them and want to see them brought to life. Treating them like they somehow work for you, the person they are sharing their creations with for free, is more likely to make them stop than anything else.

Please, share as appropriate. ^_^

AMKE 2017 shenanigans

SO overall, AMKE 2017 was pretty good. There were a lot of things I liked and some that I thought could use some improvement. I thought that the vendor hall/artist alley was great this year. I spent more of my time at artist alley but I loved how it was on the 3rd floor. The mapping out of the whole convention was actually really good this year and I thought that providing food stands was a great idea. Everyone I met at AMKE were overall nice people! @nevararaven set up a last minute Mystic messenger meet up on Friday night. A ton of awesome mysmes cosplayers came to take photos and we had a great time! I apologize for those that pointed me out as Katarina on Saturday and I didn’t acknowledge you!! My hearing is not the greatest and I had to have Liam tell me every time I was spotted so I feel kind of bad about that ;^_^… 

Something I was not impressed with at all was the masquerade. It wasn’t any of the contestants that I wasn’t impressed with, but the whole organization of the masquerade was just poorly executed. I was in the third row on the right side of the catwalk. Where was the music?? I feel that contributed to the fact that there was 0 cheering or clapping. It was sad and just really awkward. There also seemed to just be a lot of technical difficulties in general. It just didn’t seem very well rehearsed in my opinion. Not only did they not officially announce best in show (which I now understand was princess tutu congrats :)), but they didn’t announce the hallway masquerade winners. Liam @xerkseesall entered in on Friday and ended up getting placed. I was so proud of him but he didn’t even figure that out until he had to go ask a staff member after the masquerade :. 

All in all it was a pretty good con. I have been going for 7 years now and it’s just kind of getting repetitive. I plan on going to Daisho for the first time this year to get a feel for other conventions. It’s not that AMKE was bad, I’ve just been going for so long lol. 

I also just remembered how I got dragged at bad hentai dubbing for being embarrassed in the audience on friday night and how they have that shit on video lolol i want to die. :’) 

Where to start to get a table at Artist Alley?

Looking to get a table at artist alley and not sure how? Well hopefully I can fill you in. 

When it comes to becoming a vendor at artist alley, each organization or show have their own set of rules. 

However the process usually goes as follows, each anime or comic con will open an application page to apply to be an artist at their show. When the application day opens, you normally fill out a form that discusses info about you, show samples of your work, what type of craft or artwork you create and info about how many badges you will need. 

These forms are usually brief just so the people in charge can see the applications and determine who may be a good fit for the show. If you are accepted, a follow up email will explain to you the next following steps whether it be visiting their web page and filling out the official application form, or simply making a Paypal payment.  

Bigger and more established shows who know they are in demand may have a different method to apply. This year at Anime Expo 2016— you had to purchase an Eventbrite ticket package in order to apply. They would review your information and artwork/crafts to make sure you aren’t selling copyrighted material or bootleg goods and if you are good to go, you fill out further forms on their web page to officially get your details and application form. C2E2 on the other hand have a staff that curates their vendors and artists to have the best possible experience for their guests. They learn more about you and your recent projects, if you are published and what recent work you’ve done and any type of info that they deem informative will assist them in determining who gets accepted into the show. 

Depending on the organizations who run trade shows, each have a method that they use to determine who gets accepted, some choose the lottery method, some first come first serve, some have to pay while applying depending on how many tables they have, and how many applicants there are. 

There isn’t a sure way to get in so keep trying and if you really want to get into a certain convention, you can always email them to request to be on the waiting list. Usually, many conventions do multiple rounds of drawing depending on how many people drop out, miss payment deadlines or any other issue. 

Due to the large majority of cons being free to apply at first, artists apply to many shows and then later determine that they can’t get into a specific one due to scheduling conflict with another, its always best to be communicative and ask if they have any open spots. 

Once you are accepted, organizations will send you info regarding their rules, operating times for vendors and artists and payment information. They may also ask for further information regarding Seller’s Permit so be sure to have one for each state you operate in. 

When the day finally arrives, go set up your table during their open hours for vendors and artists and have a great time! 

Just a general rule of thumb, don’t be so sad if you didn’t do too well. Usually Fridays are mediocre in sales, Saturdays are best, and Sundays should be better than Friday’s in most cases.

Peace out.