Artist Alley at Aki-con 2012

This is usually my resources post day, but there was a much more important thing to address; Aki-con’s artist alley.

First off, I haven’t attended Aki-con at any point. This was brought to my attention by several con-goers by links to the threads on the Aki-con forums to 2012 Feedback and the Artist Alley Suggestion Box. I’ve been made aware of a third forum thread, but never got to see it. The reason why? The forum threads each got locked down and then the forums went down for maintenance early in the afternoon of October 30th. Bit of a coincidence, so I’ll have to keep an eye on when those reappear in hopes to link them. I have worked artist alley at other conventions, and this is something that has to be addressed.

The threads basically were filled with valid complaints about the Artist Alley this year. It was located in the parking garage of the hotel, with water buckets placed everywhere on the floor and ceiling to collect leaking liquids, with were quite brown and disgusting in color. There was this brown water falling on merchandise, which ended up damaging many goods, and the temperature was chilling to the bone. On top of that, power cords were all over the place, exposed to dripping water and causing tripping hazards throughout the “alley”. Many artists didn’t even break even on their tables ($75 a pop), because of poor placement all-around.

I never saw responses to these complaints on the forums, but have been led to believe that the issues were never addressed, but basically ignored in their answers. People asked for answers, refunds, even simple apologies for the whole debacle, but I saw nothing in my reading through the posts to respond to them.

First and foremost, this is unacceptable. If the convention had issues with their venue, they should have changed venues or juggled out a panel or video room and make it the artist alley. Yes, there would have been a small place for this, but at least it wouldn’t have been a flippin’ parking garage. They should have made the artists knowledgable about where they were going to be, apologized, and offered refunds if it wasn’t acceptable to them. As is, refunds should be issued, especially to those whose merchandise was damaged over the weekend. There should be apologies to everyone that was in artist alley this year, as this was bad judgment to place anyone in there.

Secondly, to the artists, if they do not offer anything to make up for this mess, boycott the heck out of this convention. This is not your fault and is ridiculous that you were placed here and have been ignored. Stand up for yourselves, spread the word, and try to not let this happen again by making everyone aware.

After everything is said and done, there is only one thing to say at this point.

Your move, Aki-con. Your move.

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About Yunie

I am a cosplayer, a nerd, a geek. I am whatever you call me. However, I have a brain and tend to use it.
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9 Responses to Artist Alley at Aki-con 2012

  1. HOLY! What the heck? D8

  2. This situation is absurd.
    Some South Eastern artists are starting up a nonprofit and will be launching the informative website soon. The Akicon issues along with some recent issues my Artist friends and I personally went through at other conventions have inspired us to make a website dedicated to providing information to artists new and old, to include lists of conventions, dates, application information, deadlines, artist alley ratings, “what to expect”, “what not to expect”, and more. It is our belief that the artists of Akicon were scammed, as the booths they purchased were misrepresented as being inside the convention hotel.
    We’ll start by launching with a basic page and a forum, and will be building a list of Artists that attend/vend at conventions and craft fairs. Please look for us on Facebook. We are Artist Alley Central – facebook.com/artistalleycentral
    Let’s stick together and protect each other from this kind of mistreatment.

  3. Dea Thea says:

    Thank you Yunie for writing about this, it’s good to know it is getting around and other people from anywhere care on this matter. I have been in artist alley 3x now and this year it was bad. I finally seem to be getting over my cold I got from being in there, and while I haven’t rechecked my merchandise, I did notice my wood arrows, made for costume, got damaged. I doubt aki con will do anything. The girls running it don’t really give a hoot about it’s vendors or artists. But yes I will be boycotting it and if I do go I’ll only be going to hang out with my friends who go to it just to drink and party.
    and Ashley your site sounds great! let me know if you need any help!
    Thanks, Dea

  4. Youko says:

    The saddest part about this is the two people who run the convention, Danielle and Nicole Pelham, are actually artists themselves. They published the book “So You Want to be a Manga Artist” and have lectured at several major universities. As such, I cannot understand how they could treat fellow artists so poorly, less their talents have gone so far to their heads that they see themselves as above everyone else.

    I will say I’m grateful I didn’t go this year myself (I did attend in 2010). I had been considering doing AA or becoming a vendor and selling yukata and kimono, but Aki-con just kept putting me off for a total of 6 months. When they did answer me, they only gave me a ballpark figure for a vendor table and a statement of “We’re still finalizing the location of the Artist Alley and Vendor’s Hall with the hotel.” I’m the kind of person who plans down to the last detail, so this relaxed attitude towards everything paired with the fact that I had never been a vendor/artist at a convention just made me too uneasy and I dropped the idea altogether.

    I thank my lucky stars I didn’t go, but I am also sickened about what they did to the artists, one of which is a long time friend of mine. I am crossing my fingers in hopes that some sort of compensation is made to them.

    • Yunie says:

      That is just sad. : / I didn’t even know that’s who ran the AA!

      I don’t blame you for not going. I like planning to that extent as well, and I would be reipping my hair out if someone was being so flippant with details for such a large thing as Artist Alley.

      I really hope the artists get compensated, or at least apologized to. : / Last I heard, the con was talking about just disbanding the AA, which will solve nothing.

  5. Pingback: Artist Alley: You’re Doing it Wrong *AkiCon Edition* | Artist Alley Central

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