Kogaracon is a free convention in New Jersey. It was held at Cook Campus at Rutger University. Artist alley tables were free as well.
Feb.1st : I received the acceptance into Kogaracon's artist alley.
Feb 5th: I sent out an email with a dozen and one questions because when I applied there wasn't any details for artist alley or pretty much anything else. (No response)
March 5th: Messaged the con on facebook regarding any rules, regulations and information on the convention. Received a response that as they were still working on these technicalities with the school, please allow a week for more info to be released.
March 15th: I messaged them asking if there were any updates. Though it was viewed on March 15th on their end, I did not receive a response.
March 19th: I resent my email from Feb. 5th. with my questions for the convention. As this was my first con, I was starting to freak out.
March 20th: Received an email apologizing for the late response. Majority of my questions were answered but not all. Was told there was a 50/50 rule at the convention. (50/50 rule means that 50 percent of the work I have must be original and the other 50 can be fan art. Fan art cannot exceed 50% but it is OK to have more original work than fan art.) Was also told that the tables are about half the size of regular con tables but they are working on getting bigger tables.
March 30th: After finding out that it seemed like I was the only artist told about the 50/50 rule, I posted on their facebook page in hopes of clarification.
April ??: On their page a post was made for artist alley. It included info that there was NO 50/50 rule. (I was pissed as I spent my last materials like button pieces on original work to even out my display.) Table size still no disclosed. Tables were also first come, first serve. Now that wording alone freaked out a lot of the artist as no clarification was made as to if their were enough tables for everyone and your PLACEMENT was first come first serve or if there were not enough tables and if you came early you get in, and if not too bad.
April 7th: Convention program and maps released.
April 9th: Last minute packing and freaking out. No sleep. Work, work, work...
April 10th: CONVENTION TIME
AT THE CON:
With the first come first serve table situation, I was eager to get a good spot. I did not sleep on Saturday and stayed up all night in order to make more buttons (which I figured would be a good seller, but I was wrong, at least at my table it wasn't.)
I left home with my team of 3 helpers at 4.30am. I was coming from NY and do not have a car to head to Jersey. If you know NY transportation, then you know Sundays are the worst days for it.
Took the subway to Penn Station ($2.75 each way) , took a NJ Transit train to New Brunswick, NJ. ($14.00 each way) and then took a cab ($8) from the train station to the school since I didn't want to risk taking the bus and being late, as I had no idea where I was going.
We arrived around 7.30am. Was the first to arrive. (Yes!) The campus looked lovely. I met with Jaren and he was super helpful and concerned with how we were doing during the whole convention. This really eased my nervousness about the con. Thanks Jaren.
We were let in to set up at around 8am and I immediately when into a panic mode. After seeing a fellow artist alley members table set up, my mind went blank. They set up so nicely, with so much work, such high displays...I am so dead. After that initial shock, I snapped out of it and stopped looking at everyone else, just focused on my table.
My table cloths were too short for the table, because I set up for a half table and we actually got a huge con table instead. It was a bittersweet moment for me. Luckily my helpers stayed focused and we rearranged the set up a few times til we got it just right. Thanks guys.
Cosplayers were awesome. Everyone was amazing. Dory came by to check up on us as she was taking care of the artist alley area. (Super sweet, thanks Dory.) Met up with a few people from the Kogaracon Artist Alley group, who were also sweet and awesome. Bands were great, loved Pixel Face (who I originally thought were called Pencil Face...lol)
Lots of people passed my table, stopped by to say hi and check out my work. For that I am grateful. Even if you didn't buy anything from me, I appreciate the time to check out my stuff. It means a lot to me.
Free Hugs Deadpool checkout of my chibi Deadpool.
Gambit spotted my chibi Gambit.
Awesome time, ran smoothly, smoother than I expected. Overall, great experience, fun time.
MY MISTAKE: Not enough anime fan art. That was obviously the biggest seller at an anime convention. Why did I not have enough? Because while I freaked out about the pre-con stuff, I feel into a pit of "I am not going to this con." and "I can't draw well enough so I am not drawing at all" moments that hindered my progress throughout the months of preparation.
I sold more original art than fan art. Mainly because I didn't have a lot of anime stuff, but I did have cute art, so that was a good move. The Ice Cream Buddies and Cookie Cat art were my best sellers. I sold enough to make my transportation and lunch. I did have Yaya with me and I paid her way too so because of that I didn't break even. And we bought stuff and traded with some great artists there. (thanks guys.) Overall, can't complain. I learned a lot, made new friends, got cool art and am looking forward to coming back next year, for an even better time at Kogaracon 2017.
I will make another post soon on what I brought to the convention and my pricing if anyone is interested. Thanks for reading the hella long post. <3
Take care and Stay Creative.