Thanks to Living the Nerd Life for the photo!
I’ve been selling my work at craft shows for over 3 years now(!!!), but last weekend I sold at my first anime convention!
It was the artist alley at Anime Central in 2012 that really got me motivated and thinking about selling my work at shows in the first place. I even chose the name “Creature Type” because I thought it was a cute, quirky name that carried a subtle nerd reference and could easily cross over to selling nerd/fan goods. I love well-designed things that reference a tv show or video game. It’s like an inside-joke between you and other fans, plus it just looks better. :)
I was a huge anime nerd basically from ages 12-17. My interest in the shows themselves has kind of waned over the years–and my social skills have definitely improved haha–but I still love the wild aesthetics and strong feminine imagery. My friends and I go to Acen every year and let loose like it’s Mardi Gras, but one of my favorite parts is visiting the artist alley. I love buying accessories from artists and handmade vendors that are totally unique! I love that girls there just totally indulge their obsession with all things cute.
I knew my accessories probably do well because of the cute girly vibes, but I wasn’t sure how people would respond to the fact that my art style isn’t overtly anime or that I don’t sell much fan art. I didn’t want to churn out tons of fan art prints just for one con and then be stuck with them, unable to sell them at future craft shows. Plus cons are way harder to get into than craft shows! You need to watch out for applications sometimes 6 months in advance and know the right person to email. Spots fill up super fast and sometimes they’re first-come-first-serve.
I finally got into Anime STL, which was perfect. A local show was so easy! I had a fantastic time. The crowd was busy all weekend, but never overwhelming so. I met so many adorable people! Nothing warms my heart more than a teen girl’s excited face when they see my table. Everyone was seriously so so nice. I honestly expected more cringe-worthy experiences. Creepy dudes lingering around, tragic nerds telling me about their fan fiction for an hour… hey, I’m a nerd myself and grew up around them–I know my people. But I only met really sweet folks. I had crushes on all the nerd girls and we all cooed over how cute everyone was. :)
My friends came by on Saturday night, so we got a hotel room and enjoyed the con after hours. It was so fun to have a little Acen pre-party and play games, karaoke, and visit the rave. Seriously, you guys. The Lion King dub step remix gave me life. Anime raves are hilarious and basically my favorite thing.
I ended up having an amazing weekend in terms of sales! Second only to last year’s Strange Folk Festival! It was super encouraging and I’m really looking forward to expanding my biz and doing more cons. I wasn’t even super well prepared or overly-stocked. All of my favorite, quirky things that don’t go over well at craft shows sold out at Anime STL! That was so fun to see. Anime kids get me and my taste. I feel a lot of potential and it’s exciting!
I’m a bit late to get on board for other cons this year–most take place over the summer–but I’m definitely going to try and do more around the midwest in 2016! Do any of you guys go to cons? What are your favorites? xo