Toshocon is a free to the public convention held at East Orange Public Library in New Jersey. Artist Alley tables were a $10 donation. They have a great Anime/Comic community and service several events through out the year.
Jan 20th: I applied to Toshocon.
May 20th: Received acceptance email for Artist Alley. This email was detailed with everything I needed to know: Where the event was, what was near the event area, how many artists were accepted, contact info and phone numbers, a event flyer to share on social media, information on parking... like everything. I did send an email asking about wifi, electricity, table size and how many helpers I was allowed. I received a response within minutes. So helpful, organized and detailed. <3
Their facebook page was updated frequently as well as the event page. They posted links for all their artists and guests. Super nice of them, I got to check out some of the artists before the event. Program schedules were released as well.
June 18th: CONVENTION TIME
AT THE CON:
I left my house at 6.30am with Yaya and KpopTokki. They were my helpers for the day. I felt sick all morning as I did not sleep and stayed up all night drawing last minute stuff (Sailor Moon) and organizing things. I am such a worrier and tend to not be able to sleep before events. We took the subway ($2.75 each way) to make our way to NY Penn Station ($6.75 each way). There we took the 8.11am train to NJ. It took approximately 30mins from the city to get there.
When we arrived at East Orange, NJ, the library was a short distance from the station. It was such a relief. We arrived there alittle before 9am which was our set up time. The main entrance was closed but we walked around and met with a Janitor at the side entrance and he showed us were to go. He was super excited for the event. I was drained already but my team was lively.
We took the elevator where a woman greeted us and asked us where we were heading. We told her the artist alley area and she happily took us up to where we needed to go. We made our way and were greeted by staff that were so nice and helpful. We found our table which had my name on it. Also on the table were our badges and a bag. Inside the bag was a bookmark/event calendar thing, a pen, famous amos chocolate chip cookies, a bag of chocolate chip muffins, and a bottle of water. I was loving this place already.
My team helped set up as I sat down and got myself together. The sleep deprivation was taking its toll early. Since my last con experience was alittle iffy as far as selling was concerned, I was really nervous about if I would do ok here.
Staff continued to walk around, introduced themselves and make sure it was known that they were available if anyone needed help. They were all dressed up in cosplay. My favorite was Cruella DeVille as I have a soft spot for 101 Dalmatians.
People came in exactly when the doors opened at 10am and strolled thru artist alley before some people were finished setting up. Maybe a warning of someone yelling "Doors will open in 5mins" or something would have been helpful but my team and I were ready before then. :)
Alot of kids and cosplayers at the event. Super cute to see all the kids dressed up as superheroes thanks to the free event area for them to make masks and capes.
This time I had some more anime stuff than the last convention. That was a smart move thanks to KpopTokki for being my advisor on what to make. My across the way artist alley neighbors were the sweet and super sparkly Valley of Stars (definitely check them out, they have some soap that smells of amazingness and unicorn horns, just sparkly goodness.)
Tons of people passed my table, stopped by to say hi and check out my work. My sis and her bunch came by to support me as well as an unexpected visit from my friends. I am grateful for all of it. It was fantastic.
I also had the pleasure of meeting the amazing Brimstone, who was superbly awesome. We spoke for a while and it was just great. He is all over the place, a true hustler for his brand and I am so glad to have met him.
And I met ThaGataNegrra who was great and her team was so pumped and lively.
Highlights included a few interviews, pictures and a young girl that bought a Vampy pic and asked me to sign it. *swoons* It was great. I sold some original print pieces and buttons...tons of buttons.
Main sales at my booth were misprints of prints that I may have cut wrong or just printed on different paper, stickers and buttons. Sailor Moon and Danganropa. Cosplayers of Undertale, Danganropa, Sailor Moon, Naruto seemed to be the bigger crowds.
Overall: WAY better than I expected. I got a lot of great feedback and comments. It was surreal. Everything was great. I will definitely love to do this next year. Super excited for it.
MY MISTAKE: Not enough sleep. Not enough clay charms. The donut rings and charms were a hit. I did not bring any notebooks, which would have probably done well too. This time I did have anime stuff AND I had a square so I could take credit/debit cards at the event, which was my mistakes from last event.
I crashed hard when I got home and am still recovering.
Take care and Stay Creative.