Thoughts on "Next Year" Signups.

Moderators: Spizzy, meauho, Hastur, Starrydance

Would YOU, yes you prefer

Pure FCFS
12
20%
FCFS Jury
24
40%
Lottery
0
No votes
Pure Jury
10
17%
Combination
10
17%
Other
4
7%
 
Total votes : 60

Re: Thoughts on "Next Year" Signups.

Postby Starrydance » Sun May 05, 2013 4:27 pm

lilindar wrote:Yes, do Pro Row sign ups first!

This is how most other shows do it as well and it seems to work okay for them.

That way, if some people aren't accepted to a pro row, probably their work is still good if they were even considering applying and paying a higher price?? They can still go apply to the regular artist alley!



Dont get your hopes up, however, thats something that would have to be approved and well...

Thats a slow process.
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Re: Thoughts on "Next Year" Signups.

Postby lilindar » Sun May 05, 2013 5:02 pm

yeah, I know, any change is a slow process. Certainly nothing is changing for this year.

And I don't think you guys are looking for people to volunteer? I've seen other people offer to volunteer and they've been turned down.

BUT I do at least want to offer to volunteer, especially for the new organization of a small press or pro row area. It's a subject I'm pretty passionate about AND I do have a LOT of experience actually sitting in a variety of selling locations at all sorts of different shows. I'm excited to promote original properties, but I've frequently argued in favor of creating (and even selling) fanart, so I'm not coming at this from some holier than thou OC viewpoint. I'm not local to Texas. 8( But a lot can be done over the internet and it's been on my mind for a while now that I love going to conventions, I'm ready to take my participation to the next level and actually help organize these things. If I'm so passionate about seeing changes take place, I have to be willing to put my time where my words are.
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Re: Thoughts on "Next Year" Signups.

Postby Spizzy » Sun May 05, 2013 5:13 pm

When it comes to volunteering, mostly we need people physically at the con to help with things, such as con-ops helpers and people to run around the alley, set up/tear down etc (thursday set up and sunday tear down are the big things I think need help with consistently). They have to register under A-kon to be volunteers I think but may also be able to volunteer onsite.

I like your ideas on how to do a pro-row, and I think it's something that will be proposed for next year for sure.
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Re: Thoughts on "Next Year" Signups.

Postby lilindar » Sun May 05, 2013 8:27 pm

I'm not opposed to helping out around the alley during the show, but actually being an AA participant does preclude a lot of those activities, I'm sure you're aware of this. XD

Associated with a pro row or small press, here are some things I might be able to volunteer with:
Map - handling everyone's seating arrangement requests and fitting them all into the allocated tables
correspondence - all the emails
reaching out to artists who might potentially be interested in the new section - I thing the new section would advertise itself pretty well, but especially Year 1 some initial word of mouth would be a boost
judging applicants - either in judging or in helping judges to be found
coming up with a system of judging standards and application requirements
creating the actual application form
if a fanart percentage was instated, potentially there would be policing involved, if I were organizing a small press section this is a responsibility I'd expect would probably be mine, but it wouldn't bring me joy.
receiving artists at the con, getting them their badges, dispatching them to their tables

Most of these duties take place long before we're at the place, doing the thing.
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Re: Thoughts on "Next Year" Signups.

Postby meauho » Sun May 05, 2013 9:24 pm

lilindar wrote:And I don't think you guys are looking for people to volunteer? I've seen other people offer to volunteer and they've been turned down.



I turn down volunteers who
1. Aren't available during the hours we're open. Seriously - this is a big problem.
2. Want to pick up their volunteer badge on Thursday or Friday, not start work until late Saturday or all day Sunday, AND don't have a history working the AA or volunteering with me.
3. Are under 18. Because some of the art is 18+ and a volunteer may be exposed to it, all volunteers have to be 18+ - we don't want to end up in jail.

__________________________________
1. A lot of the people who offer to volunteer on the forums aren't offering to volunteer at the con - they are offering to volunteer before the con, and for a very select purpose.
2. It is easier for us to do the job than keep track of those who only want to help with the jury, or only want to email notices, or are only available for one small task.
3. Additionally, from years in the military - occasionally involved in things that never happened, in places that don't exist, or other activities that lead to contact with actual foreign spies trying to convert me - I'm slightly more than a little paranoid about people's motives. So, if somebody is only willing to volunteer for the jury and not the hundreds of hours before or after, I have to wonder what problem they expect us to have with their art.
*NOTE: IF the jury is ever expanded, it will not have anybody who can't meet jury requirements in the first place - and they don't get a pass to stop meeting those requirements.
4. EVERY volunteer for the AA has to be willing to help out where needed. Yes, some people do have specific duties - but that's after years working the AA. As far as the booths are concerned - if you work in one section, you work in them all. This will remain true until I get 120+ volunteers each year (currently we average 10 per year, with 85 being the minimum we need if people ONLY work the minimum required by the con).
5. MAP: Sorry, NO. Maps are solely the realm of whoever is in charge, no exceptions. They may ask somebody's opinion, but that is it. Maps CANNOT be a committee decision.



To ANYBODY who is actually interested in Volunteering:
If you are truly willing to help out and not just try to ensure you get some extra advantage, then volunteer with the con. It can be done with a booth - even a booth that you are physically working - several artists have done it. I can schedule you for Wednesday packet building, Thursday setup and check in, and tear down on Sunday (*Note: Skipping out on tear down if you are scheduled WILL affect your chances of getting a booth in the future). Everybody who works behind the scenes either started or continues to work in the public eye actually at the con. NOBODY was invited to work AA Administration without multiple years experience on site with various duties.
- Volunteers get the same benefits that I get: hours of work without any special privilege received, and a LOT of grief from attendees, artists, and other staffs.
- Volunteers who prove themselves willing to continuously go above an beyond get the honor of working more hours, getting more grief, and often spending more money out of pocket (arriving early, leaving late, and meetings in Houston - whether you live here or not).
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Re: Thoughts on "Next Year" Signups.

Postby lilindar » Sun May 05, 2013 9:50 pm

The best I can do is to offer a lot of time and care towards the formation of a pro row or small press area in most any desired capacity. I'm not volunteering as grunt labor. I'm volunteering my expertise and experience, having done a lot of shows and having tabled in AA, small press, pro row, and full dealer at so many different shows. My motives are to provide a great section dedicated to the sale and promotion of original art. c: If I didn't want to personally be placed in that section (or didn't think I deserved to be placed in that section) then I wouldn't offer to help get it going. I definitely don't want to oversell myself as THE BEST AND BRIGHTEST PERSON EVER. But, I do have a lot of experience and I'm willing to dedicate my time to the place I feel I'd be best serving.

My broader goals at this time are to apply my skills and experience to my own profession. That means producing more art and promoting my own IP. This goal is served by offering up my services to a pro row or small press. However, I don't think volunteering as grunt labor for the general AA serves my goals currently. If my status changes in the future, I will be sure to apply as a general AA volunteer. c:

If I could draw an armed services parallel to AA volunteering ... were I to apply to a branch of the US armed services today, I would be applying for officers' training. I have the proper education, resume, and background to make me a candidate. My skills and experience would be wasted in lesser positions.
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Re: Thoughts on "Next Year" Signups.

Postby Starrydance » Mon May 06, 2013 8:10 am

Meauho pretty much covered it, but generally - and while I dont believe its purely self motivated - folks offer to help with things either we cant really do anything with (For exampe: help with something we are purposefully waiting for either something outside our control or for a set reason), or something that is a bit clear helps them more than a few hours assistance is going to help us.

And while thats fine, most "I will help"! is stuff like the map, or to organize information that would take us longer to show them how to get to than to well, just do. And sometimes? We arent sharing that because its not ready, or Hastur/staff has decided not to.
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Re: Thoughts on "Next Year" Signups.

Postby Starrydance » Mon May 06, 2013 1:26 pm

And because Ive gotten a few worried private messages, if we do a primo artist row, thered be fan art as long as Akon allows it.

Its an artist alley at an anime convention.


Even as someone who goes original art strong, the decks not gonna stack towards original artists. Just because you do fanart, doesnt mean you arent pro.

Ill just point towards Amelie in awed silence. Yup.

Edit: Comparing Dragoncon (a convention based HEAVILY towards artists) and Akon (um, not) isnt really fair.

The convention puts artist alley last, and theres a VERY limited number of tables. Free / comped / extra tables arent available for just about, well, anything. Im sure in the past Panelists have gotten free tables, and guests do every year (some!), and Im sure it will happen again - but its not the norm.
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Re: Thoughts on "Next Year" Signups.

Postby lilindar » Mon May 06, 2013 1:54 pm

I feel I've done the best I can here with offering suggestions and offering help. c: What will be will be!
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Re: Thoughts on "Next Year" Signups.

Postby Starrydance » Mon May 06, 2013 2:09 pm

lilindar wrote:I feel I've done the best I can here with offering suggestions and offering help. c: What will be will be!



We'll defintely discuss them when "Next year" comes into actual converstation past screams of AAACK WELL NEXT YEAR!

(you meddling kids!)
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Re: Thoughts on "Next Year" Signups.

Postby Spizzy » Mon May 06, 2013 2:11 pm

lilindar wrote:I feel I've done the best I can here with offering suggestions and offering help. c: What will be will be!



We certainly appreciate it blix -- I'm not sure how we always come across but I assure you anything that might seem counter to accepting help is just us trying to give a clear idea on things and thinking aloud in some cases. We definitely take it into consideration that you are available and have some nice ideas, thank you!
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Re: Thoughts on "Next Year" Signups.

Postby KrisCynical » Wed May 08, 2013 10:30 am

EDIT: After reading this again I realized it might come across as me trying to tell the AA heads what to do or something, so I just want to clarify that I'm absolutely not. I'm just talking about the concept of the "pro row" as was presented in this thread: the $500/original art. I know y'all don't plan to do this. I'm not against the idea of a "pro row" if it's handled fairly, and I know you guys would be fair about it if you ever decide to have one.

So. Um. Yeah.

=============================================

I had a much, MUCH longer quote by quote response to this whole "$500 pro row" thing and the nonsense of "pros don't do fanart so it would be limited to a certain percentage" thing because frankly the principle of it torques me, but I'm not going to post it. I know it's been a few days since this happened, but since I was replied to I don't want to ignore it. I take it personally as a professional myself, and having the concept explained to me as though I just "didn't understand the advantages" torqued me as well because I found it a bit condescending whether it was meant to be or not -- I've been doing this long enough, art panels and all, to know how the convention art market works, thanks. : \

So I'll just say this in general:

Table placement (or "good spots", that is) shouldn't be determined by money. It should be determined by the quality of the product, the display, and professionalism shown by the artist. Basically, the way it's always been determined: working your tail off. NOT by buying it. (And that's not to say that everyone else in the alley doesn't work their tail off, either, because that would be a ridiculous thing to say, but you get my drift.)

Nobody is ever handed a good table spot here without earning it. I'm not against the basic concept of a pro row, I just think it should be a reward, not an option for people with enough money to burn.

Throwing deep wallets into the mix isn't fair, and as Starry put it, it "stacks the deck" against those of us here who can't (or find it absurd to) burn $500 for a simple table placement. From the years I've been in artist alleys (2014 will be 10 years), I know the vast majority of the artists around here are still in college. How many college students have $500 to burn on something so frivolous? That automatically puts them –- and even people who aren’t in college but still don’t have that kind of money to blow –- at a very unfair disadvantage. I could pay that much, but I absolutely wouldn't because it’s not fair, and it slopes the playing field in directions it ought not be sloped in, mainly "original art" and above everything else, "money". There are people here who have to scrape to afford a table at the CURRENT cost. How on earth would they afford paying literally three times more? Saying "they can just be in the regular alley then" isn't okay, either, because they have then been kept out of this supposed "pro row" not because of their work, but because of their finances.

All of the "advantages" that were listed for this $500 original art "pro row" would be achieved by moving to straight up jury without the FCFS element, and it would be without that obscene price tag and implied statement that "professionals don't do fanart/only focus on original art", which is... not correct, not true, whatever you want to call it. It was stated that this row would be a place to "promote artists as professionals" or whathaveyou, but not really. It would really only promote artists with original stuff on their table. If you have fanart -- even if it was of professional quality -- you wouldn't be allowed. (I know it wasn't stated "no fanart", but "limiting fanart to a certain percentage" just sounds like a nice way of saying NO FANART ALLOWED.) This would essentially be barring an artist from being in the pro row just because they don't focus on original art at cons. That raises this question with me: Why do they not deserve to promote themselves as professionals unless they have original work on their table? Is skill only valid or worthy of promotion if it's used to make original work?

Professionals do fanart, as has already been stated in other posts. I am one! I'm still a professional even when selling fanart, despite the implied statement that real professionals don't WANT to do that. The truth, though? I've gotten work from being at cons even though I had nothing but fanart on display. The skill set is still there even if the work isn't original. Fanart even helped me get accepted into art school for illustration! True "cool story bro", I swear.

As Starry said, it's an anime convention. There will be fanart. Anime cons are for wallowing in your fandom vices! There's no reason why artists can't enjoy those vices in their natural way -- their art -- and not be labeled as (or implied to be) less professional than heavily original oriented artists. This “thing” about original art vs. fanart at anime conventions (and in general) just needs to stop, seriously. It's completely pointless.

CAN'T WE ALL JUST GET ALONG? THINK OF THE UNICORNS.

(And if I stepped out of line here, guys, I apologize.)
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Re: Thoughts on "Next Year" Signups.

Postby lilindar » Wed May 08, 2013 5:11 pm

You're really putting some words in my mouth, here. ^^; Words that I didn't say. You've picked me up and put me on such a hard position against fanart, I'm not sure where you're getting it. I feel like you're just flying out of nowhere and attacking me, like this has ceased to be about the possibilities available and has become you deciding that you hate me. SO I'm just going to let you be. Neither you nor I need to be making the decisions, all I've done is offer possibilities and help, we're all cool here.
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Re: Thoughts on "Next Year" Signups.

Postby KrisCynical » Thu May 09, 2013 2:21 am

lilindar wrote:You're really putting some words in my mouth, here. ^^; Words that I didn't say. You've picked me up and put me on such a hard position against fanart, I'm not sure where you're getting it. I feel like you're just flying out of nowhere and attacking me, like this has ceased to be about the possibilities available and has become you deciding that you hate me. SO I'm just going to let you be. Neither you nor I need to be making the decisions, all I've done is offer possibilities and help, we're all cool here.


First, I'm very aware of who makes the decisions around here, which is why the edit exists at the very beginning of that post.

Second, "flying out of nowhere and attacking you" and "hating you"? Seriously? I didn't attack YOU, I disagreed with your pro row proposal and what the parameters of it imply. There is a stark difference between the two, and if you think that equates with "attack" or "hate" then you are seriously mistaken. It's no different than criticism of a piece of art being criticism about the art, NOT the artist. In this case, it is civilly expressed disagreement about a concept without any insults or name calling, and it was a disagreement I expressed after you replied to me. How is that "flying out of nowhere"? Was I not supposed to respond to you? I disagreed with you the first time, and I still disagreed with you the second time. That shouldn't have been a surprise or "flying out of nowhere".

Third, I wasn't going to go through and quote you repeatedly but I guess I have to since you're claiming I'm putting words in your mouth. You said in this thread, and I quote:

lilindar wrote:Considering the big kerfuffle over fanart that all cons are having with their AAs right now, this section should focus on original art. Any sort of original art, clothing, games, books, whatever. A limit on fanart in this section might be best, but a total ban would probably not work if the rest of the AA is still selling fanart willy nilly.


That implies that you'd be okay with a complete ban of fanart from the pro row, but as it is you want to limit it to a "percentage". Besides sloping the playing field in favor of original art as Starry mentioned, putting ANY limits like that -- not just to the extent of a full ban, but in ANY capacity at all -- on certain sections of the alley but not ALL of it would, at its core, be restraint of trade.

lilindar wrote:My motives are to provide a great section dedicated to the sale and promotion of original art. c:

lilindar wrote:And this is why I'd pay 500$ for a priority, original art supporting location. ^^


That is you proposing that original art get a priority location. Not its own section, but a PRIORITY section, meaning that if you focus on fanart instead of original art, you're SOL for a good location. When you repeatedly call it a "pro" row for professionals to promote themselves and then say stuff like this:

lilindar wrote:If a person is interested in sitting in this location, presumably they're interested in selling their original art.


it is going to imply that if a person is interested in sitting in the professional row to promote themselves, they would only be interested in original art. This in turn implies that if you want to focus on fanart at conventions, you wouldn't belong in the professional row to promote yourself as an artist. I am not the only one who interpreted what you said in this way.

lilindar wrote:2. You don't have to sign up in first come / first serve mode, though that could be a back up if one fails to make it through jury. I really don't care for fcfs, I'd rather avoid it as much as possible and have my work be the deciding factor, not my typing.

3. You would get a more visible location than the traditional AA spots.

For these factors, I would absolutely pay 500$ to A-kon for a spot.


That is switching out "typing" with "wallet size", which I have an ENORMOUS issue with. That is also what made me state what I firmly believe in my response: "Table placement (or "good spots", that is) shouldn't be determined by money. It should be determined by the quality of the product, the display, and professionalism shown by the artist. Basically, the way it's always been determined: working your tail off. NOT by buying it."

Your criteria for this professional area would mean that even if your work is of professional quality and/or you ARE a professional artist, you wouldn't qualify for the professional area (and thus a "priority location") if you:

1. Focus on fanart instead of original art at anime conventions.
2. Don't want to or don't have the ability to cough up $500.

That is a LOT of money. As I already stated, there are plenty of people here who would probably have good enough product to qualify for a professional area BUT there's no way they could afford such an obscenely high price tag. They would therefore be disqualified because of their financial situation, NOT the quality of their work. That is an obvious flaw. Lastly:

lilindar wrote:I think MORE professional artists would come to A-kon if the sign ups were made easier for them.


Jacking up table prices 3x wouldn't make sign ups easier, it would just exclude anyone who can't afford to or refuses to pay that much.



I don't put words in peoples' mouths, nor do I attack them personally, nor do I "HATE" anybody just because they present a proposal or opinion I don't agree with. The above is what I interpreted out of what you said, copied and pasted with nothing more than bolded emphases by me. Please let me note that in THIS response, yet again, I didn't call you names or attack you. I disagreed with what you proposed and listed the negative implications, kinks, and side effects of it. If you want to take it deathly personal, well, that's your choice and something I can't really help. I just don't like the parameters of your proposal. It's not war.
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Re: Thoughts on "Next Year" Signups.

Postby Adyon » Thu May 09, 2013 10:26 am

KrisCynical wrote:I know the vast majority of the artists around here are still in college. How many college students have $500 to burn on something so frivolous? That automatically puts them –- and even people who aren’t in college but still don’t have that kind of money to blow –- at a very unfair disadvantage. I could pay that much, but I absolutely wouldn't because it’s not fair, and it slopes the playing field in directions it ought not be sloped in, mainly "original art" and above everything else, "money". There are people here who have to scrape to afford a table at the CURRENT cost. How on earth would they afford paying literally three times more? Saying "they can just be in the regular alley then" isn't okay, either, because they have then been kept out of this supposed "pro row" not because of their work, but because of their finances.

While I agree that original art shouldn't be priority in a "pro row", despite your qualms with Lilindar's thoughts about it, it isn't necessarily the case that it HAS to be primarily original art. Not am I truly on board with the idea of needing a "Pro Row" or not. I would argue the that when you say, "How many college students have $500 to burn on something so frivolous?" and so on, it goes against what the concept of a professional row is about anyway. This SHOULDN'T be college students who can't afford it. This would be professional artists who have the kind of money, know they will make up for it, and are willing to submit for a place in that spot ahead of the actual Artist Alley registration. You're putting extra money in the Alley for the preferred spot, and in turn you get a better spot as well as don't have to do the last minute FCFS rush that happens at normal sign-up. I know several artists, myself included, that would gladly pay it to not worry about missing A-Kon. If you somehow get beat out by the Jury process for a Pro Row, you could still sign up for A-Kon normally when it comes around.

Like I said, I don't know if that's how things should change or not. I do think there's a place for it for a percentage of the Artist Alley if they choose to do so. However, if so, it's obviously going to come with a slightly higher tag, because although a simple jury like you said may solve the problems a bit, it doesn't change something already mentioned earlier this thread. People are going to want to get paid if they're jurying work. There's going to be some increased price tag for at least the affected tables. So if not $500, it's going to be a bit higher in some way to have jurying.
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