Banzai Aftermath

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Banzai Aftermath

Post  Ellen-Natalie on Sun Oct 23, 2011 8:31 pm

Wow, the weekend flew by. First off, a big thanks to everyone who stopped by the table! Whether you bought something or just signed my souvenir shirt, it was great meeting old fans and introduce FE to new readers. If you didn't have a chance to stop by, no worries. I plan to have the same merchandise available to purchase online.

I'll post more details about Banzai tomorrow, but tonight I'm going to relax in my autographed shirt and rest up my drawing wrist. (I drew for 12 hours straight on Saturday! More about that tomorrow ^^ )
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Re: Banzai Aftermath

Post  Ellen-Natalie on Mon Oct 24, 2011 7:13 pm

Okay, so for those interested, here's a more detailed account of Anime Banzai:

We arrived at the hotel Thursday night, and I was a bundle of nerves. There'd been some printing complications with the FE comic, so the printers arranged my order to be sent to the hotel's front desk Friday morning in time for the convention. It's something I'd never done before, and was worried something would happen to the comics.
Fortunately, all the other merchandise was safe-the Perky Goth comics, mini posters, bookmarks, and wallets made from manga magazines. Luckier still, we'd managed to get a room in the hotel attached to the convention center, complete with a fridge and microwave. Since outdoor food of any kind is prohibited in the convention center, zipping up an elevator to eat lunch in our hotel room would take a lot less time than leaving the grounds.

Friday morning came, and as promised, my FE comics were safe and ready at the front desk-just in time to start setup at the Artist's Alley. Fortunately all the merchandise fit on the half table pretty well-including the sign for commissions and t-shirt I'd set up for people to scribble a signature on.
Now, the T-shirt was an experiment for me. When ordering from the printer, they offered the opportunity to add a shirt to your order for a small additional fee, with the promise if you sent them pictures of you wearing the shirt to an event, you'd receive free printing credits on your next order. I decided to try it, but when the shirt arrived it was so...white. Large, white T-shirts do not look good on me. I needed a way to make the shirt more patterned and colorful. I also wanted to offer an activity to attract people to my table, and wanted an extra-special souvenir from the convention. Having the shirt signed by everyone, then wearing it on the last day was a solution that solved all three problems~

Saturday was by far the busiest day. On Friday, everyone was looking at what was available, deciding what to spend their money on. Saturday was when they spent it. The wallets went pretty quickly, but the most popular item was a big surprise to me: the commissions. I'd get a pile of orders, and once I'd finish them all I'd get another pile. A group of steampunk cosplayers wanted a full-color piece of all five of them in their elaborate costumes. I ended up drawing for twelve hours straight, getting them all done for their owners. Didn't even notice how long it'd been until I looked outside and saw it was dark. That night in the hotel room my husband made an ice pack for my wrist. (Let that be a warning to those who don't use a wrist brace ^^; )
Though my wrist hurt, I was very much in awe about the whole experience. The last time I tried selling commissions at a convention, I only sold one right before the con closed-and from the look on his face, he didn't like my work. Of course, that was before four years of art school-it feels good to know that was time spent well. And seeing the face of every single customer light up when seeing my artwork...it's an inspiration I'll never forget.

Sunday came around, and I set up shop for the last time. (Yes, I was at an Anime Con on Sunday >.> ) It was a slow day, most people had already left. Those who had stayed had spent most of their money the day before. I dropped my merchandise prices a dollar each to help sales, (Commission prices stayed the same though,) but it didn't make much of a difference. Finally, the time came to pack up and head home, where my husband was waiting in the car with cookies and a Jimmy Jones sandwich.

Overall, it was a pretty good con experience. I didn't break even, but I did make enough money to cover the hotel room and travel expenses. And since the printing costs came exclusively from my paypal account instead of our paychecks or savings, my husband considers it a win-win situation. (All of you who've bought commission from me in the past, YOU paid for printing and registration of this trip. You all ROCK!) I had some drama with the staff which I vented about for awhile, but I'm starting to believe I need to stop obsessing and let it go. The woman did buy a commission from me, after all...

So in the following week, I'll be posting detours about mini adventures had during the con while I catch up on schoolwork and comic pages, (there's a few more mashups planned,) and merchandise that didn't get sold at the con will be available in my Etsy store this week. Thanks to everyone for reading FE!
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Re: Banzai Aftermath

Post  LeonMcBane on Mon Oct 24, 2011 7:41 pm

That's wonderful that you had a good time! I would have loved to have gone, but college won't let me. I'm looking forward to hear more
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Re: Banzai Aftermath

Post  Cutekitty on Mon Oct 24, 2011 9:38 pm

Glad you had a good time! I've never been to any event like an Anime Banzai... School keeps me busy. Ah well, maybe someday I'll attend one. ^^
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