Artist Alley 2018 Changes and FAQ

A little bit about us: Chibi Chibi Con has grown a lot over the past few years, but it’s still a student-run convention. This means every year is a learning experience; coordinator turnover is high, and most people involved with the convention leave in four years or less. For example, the coordinators this year? That’s myself (Helena, she/her, community outreach) and Gerri (they/them, contest coordination). We both volunteered at CCC last year, but neither of us have coordinated a student group before this year, let alone set up an event of CCC’s magnitude. We have the support of previous coordinators (markedly Quinn—thank you, Quinn!), which we’re very grateful for, but I’ll be honest; it’s still a wild, confusing, and paperwork-ridden ride. We’re doing this because we love Chibi Chibi Con, its community, and everyone involved! CCC is a volunteer-run community event, not a business, and we greatly appreciate your patience and participation. Thank you!

Please email us at evergreenchibicon@gmail.com if you have any questions, concerns, or comments.

AA 2018 changes

Artist applications: Artists will be accepted through panel reviewed applications and a random lottery. The review process is different for artists than it is for vendors. The artist rubric can be found here.

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62.8% of artists requested panel reviewed applications. 35.1% also favored a lottery being included, compared to 27.7%, which preferred no lottery. The majority of artists who desired a lottery being included requested a random lottery (compared to a local lottery).

Vendor applications: Vendors will be accepted through panel reviewed applications. The review process is different for vendors that it is for artists. The vendor rubric can be found here.

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60% of vendors requested panel reviewed applications.

Lottery tables: We will be offering 12 tables (to artists) by lottery.

Table prices:

2-foot/card table (roughly 2 feet squared) – $15
4-foot – $25
8-foot (a folding table–there is a crease between the 4-foot sections. Some artists will be issued 8 feet of table space composed of two 4-foot tables.) – $50

Please note that if you pay online before the convention, you will receive a $5 discount.

Prices for larger tables have gone up, because they take up more space and allow for fewer artists at the convention, and prices for smaller tables have gone down to allow us to host more artists and provide options for beginners and those with less means.

Online payments: 98% of respondents said they would pay online if they received a $5 discount. This year we will open discussions with Evergreen about offering the ability to pay online to artists from time of AA acceptance to 1 week in advance of CCC.

Table amounts: This year we plan to offer 10 card/2-foot tables (which we are planning to phase out of the AA in 2019), 32 4-foot tables, and 24 8-foot (or 2 4-foot) tables. Our total capacity in the AA this year will be 66 artists. About 2/3 of respondents preferred 8-foot tables, so we are offering more than we originally planned, but we decided to still offer a majority of 4-foot tables in the interest of including more artists.

Trash cans: We will request that small trash cans be provided for us to include within the AA rows. If this goes poorly, we can always remove them!

Special con commission events: Just over 50% of respondents said they would participate in either of the special con commission events, and 11% said they thought it would negatively effect them. We’ve decided to go through with ordering materials for tests to make sure such services would run smoothly. If we will be offering one of these services we will let you know at least 2 weeks ahead of the convention so everyone has some time to prepare as they see fit. There will be another survey post-convention – if this service hurts artists more than it helps we will discontinue it in 2019.

FAQ

When will you open AA applications?
January 6, 10 AM. They close January 8, 10 PM. You should receive a response about your application by January 12.

What’s the difference between an artist and a vendor?
We define “vendors” as merchants conducting mostly resale, in that they have personally made or designed 20% or less of their stock. Examples: local comic or anime stores tabling at CCC, artists’ guilds selling mostly the work of artists not present, or publishers. We define “artists” as merchants who have personally made or designed 80% or more of their stock. Please apply for the appropriate category according to these definitions–our review processes for artists and vendors are designed around these definitions, and if miscategorized you may receive poor panel review results.

How will people who’d like to share a table apply together?
Artists interested in tabling together will apply as a “studio,” and submit a portfolio, table layout, blurb, and category list that include work from all interested parties. These will be evaluated as we would a single artist.

Will power be available?
If you require power, we will do our best to assign you a space near power outlets. You must bring your own extension cords, keep them safely out of throughways, and make sure no one will be tripped by them. If you’re worried about your phone having battery to process card transactions, I recommend purchasing a mobile rechargeable battery bank! Most cost $7-$15.

Artists can’t compete with vendors in a panel review!
Don’t worry, artists and vendors are going through separate application processes. 10% of our AA (six tables) have been set aside for vendors according to the response we got on our survey. Artists will not be reviewed in comparison to vendors or vice versa.

AA review is needed to help keep bootleg artist and vendors from your con. There have been instances where tracers and art thieves have been at your AA.
We discussed that this year. Our AA/VH guidelines have been modified to include these new rules: “Plagiarized art is NOT allowed in the AA. If art or merch is determined to have been plagiarized, traced, or copied from other art, official art, or merchandise, the artist selling it will be expelled from the AA. They will not be invited back.”
Bootleg or pirated merchandise is not allowed in the VH. If a vendor is found to be selling physical merchandise impersonating a brand or replicating a copyrighted design (like unauthorized plushies, figures, or apparel) or unauthorized copies of digital content (like CDs, DVDs, Blu-rays, or video games) they will be expelled from the VH. They will not be invited back.”
Additionally, we have put a system in place to handle reports of plagiarized/pirated/bootlegged art and merch. Report AA/VH policy infringement here.

Why won’t you tell us our review results? How will we know how to improve?
My bad! I wanted to make it clear that we weren’t intending to publicly rank artists, as that would be demeaning (I’ve seen cons do this before, to much understandable dismay and backlash). If you would like to know the reasons for the results of your review, simply request them by email once you’ve received the results.

Last year the AA was too small / was sad / sucked.
Strong wording, but a common sentiment, and I understand where you’re coming from. In 2016 the AA had over 100 vendors, which was widely regarded by both the vendors and the attendees as too many. The 2017 convention had just over 40, which vendors said cut many regulars out of the con and attendees complained too were few and lacking in variety. This year Gerri and I are trying to strike a good balance with space for 66 vendors.

How much “portfolio” information will be required for the panel review?
Artists will be asked to submit:

  • A link to an online portfolio, like a tumblr tag, imgur, or website (this should contain several examples of recent work that you’re proud of)
  • A picture of a past con table setup if applicable (for first-timers, a mockup would be great but is not required)
  • A blurb about you and your art/wares
  • A list of categories your wares belong to (prints, charms, plushies, jewelry, etc.)

More directional/wayfinding signage, please.
This is in the plan! We have a bunch of signs we’ll set up to help direct artists and vendors this year. We’re also going to try and have more volunteers out and about if we have people to spare.

Last year the card tables were smaller than advertised.
This is a tough one—facilities tell us the tables are 3×3’, but past coordinators say they’re closer to 2×2’. You can see how we’ve been advertising them. I’ll measure them personally this year when we get ahold of them to settle this.

With your current process of first-come-first-served there are still tables left vacant. There should be an option for artists to either move to an open table if they think it’s a better location, or if it’s next to them, buy the table and spread out onto it.
We have far greater demand for tables then we have space (as evidenced by this survey – 106 responses, 66 spots in the AA), so there are no vacancies, but sometimes artists don’t show up day-of. If that happens, we usually sell their space to an artist at the convention. We do not allow artists to move tables without approval.

Previous vendors should get priority.
Sorry, but we will not be giving priority to returning artists this year.

I think it would be great if there was a $5 non-refundable application fee, subtracted from table cost if accepted.
Our reviewers aren’t paid (we are all volunteers), so we don’t charge for their time. Plus, we don’t want to take someone’s money if they aren’t going to have the chance to make it back at the convention.

If I have to put any money into the special buttons you’re asking about, I would not participate.
These services/special con commission events would not cost artists anything—only the attendees who commission you will pay for them (or if you bring a drawing you would like to have turned into a sticker or a button for yourself).

Thank you guys for all your hard work! I am super excited to potentially get a chance at selling my art here. Thank you all!
You’re so welcome! Thanks for your interest in our convention! 🙂

Please email us at evergreenchibicon@gmail.com if you have any questions, concerns, or comments.

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