Since the last journal was getting quite long, here is a new journal lol.
I sent the following response regarding the AA:
I appreciate your response. Also, I appreciate that you are an actual staff member hahah...
Although it may seem like the event is making "concessions" for the artists, it is not entirely so. A substantial chunk of attendees are greatly attracted by the AA, if it isn't the sole reason for them to go. In fact, photographers and cosplayers are artists themselves, so they do appreciate having the AA with other fellow artists.
I agree with you that the past "abandonment" of tables has been rather unsightly, if not unfair to other artists who didn't manage to get tables. Personally, I usually do stay the full duration of the convention, and I am glad to hear about the lenience of the policy regarding emergencies and such. I know that my table mate could not attend the entire convention last AE due to an emergency. Perhaps you could arrange for a list of backup artists if this sort of thing happens?
My main objection to the imposed fee is that, it changes the entire loose and artistic atmosphere of the AA, turning it into a setting no different from, or worse than the Dealer's room. It is a most unappealing "vibe", as a fellow artist has told me. And especially since it's such a closed space, the "prison" vibe is certainly plausible.
Also, may I have some details regarding the screening process of AA applicants? I know that 3-5 samples are reviewed, but I don't know what constitutes acceptance. Thank you for your time.
No problem! As long as we're able, we do our best to reply to every question or concern.
Yep, it's true! artists can add a lot to an event, just like a dealers section. That was something we considered as well, when we decided to have the Artist Alley at Cos & Effect.
I'm not sure about backup artists, but we'll have a waiting list made up of everyone who applies who isn't able to get a table. But if people skip out during the convention itself, it's very unlikely any artist would be able to drop everything and fill in a spot for half a day or a day, as well as have enough artwork immediately on hand to sell.
We're open to alternative suggestions regarding the fee for abandoning tables early, but we're just shy of the deadline for releasing the final artist alley application details. Also, I think this may be a good way for some artists to learn that even just their PRESENCE has value at a convention. For instance, when I visit an artist alley, I may only buy art from a handful of tables, but I still want to stop and see each one, and I enjoy each table's unique offerings. When an artist leaves early, they deprive potentially hundreds of people, or even sometimes thousands, or more, of the enjoyment of browsing their table.
Regarding the screening process, we've asked the panel of judges from Cloudscape to screen based on overall quality of work (regardless of artistic style, or form), as well as based on how likely the items are to be popular with the kind of people that attendeed AE. So if you are selling pefect replications of the Mona Lisa, you may not get in, because it probably won't appeal to the attendees. If are selling perfect replications of the Mona Lisa, in different cosplays, you might stand a better chance (possibly a horrible example there, but hopefully you get the idea?). Also, bringing a variety of types of products will help, but you won't get a table just based off of that. For instance, if you have awesome art and you bring just prints, and someone else has equally awesome art, and they bring prints, and buttons, they'll have a slight edge. But someone with unrelated, or generally poor art, even if they have prints, and buttons, and bookmarks, and wrist bands, and plushies, will be at a disadvantage compared to the others. I hope that makes sense?
So guys, if you have any suggestions as to what they should do about artists skippin' out for the vast majority of the con, fire them away, and I'll deliver it to Greg. I am sending ideas of my own, too. I hope this helps. (: