EtherFuture survived yet another Artist Alley at our home convention, AnimeNEXT. With this being only our second time tabling at ANEXT (and our third time overall), we want to first thank those who stopped by our booth (the one with the LCD display showing off our webcomic, Dance of Heart) and showed their support for the hard work for our earnest efforts to bring quality artwork to our fellow enthusiasts. We really had a blast, and was, by far, the best Artist Alley experience we’ve had yet!
KOU and I walked away from this convention having learned a little more about you (the anime/manga/game fan) and about ourselves as a team. For starters, there was a large number of you who really appreciated the traditional watercolor artwork of KOU and his talented girlfriend, SHAIAN, whom we let get her feet wet with selling at our table. KOU has been mixing traditional style with digital coloring for about a year or so now, but SHAIAN has remained purely traditional and doesn’t seem to be changing it up anytime soon. For us, this was a pleasant surprise, as we all know that there is a high quantity of pure CG art displayed every year that seemingly overwhelms the competition. With your interests in mind, KOU has already pitched the idea of doing a new watercolor illustrative piece as a EF exclusive for our next appearance.
We also learned that a few of you have been holding onto creative ideas, whether drafted in text or storyboard form, because you are unable to either write or draw well. We’re already in collaboration with one of those people. Those with those concepts that you want to bring to life in a manga short (1-5pgs) or full doujinshi (10+pgs) presentation are the people EtherFuture really wants to work with. If you fit that description even a bit, contact us. We’re more than willing to have a conversation with you that costs you nothing but a few minutes to write us a quick e-mail explaining your ideas and needs.
Finally, we learned that a ton of you still highly prefer having work commissioned for you. This is something we learned from our first Artist Alley at MangaNEXT, and have been experimenting with with each subsequent one. However, KOU and I need to discuss how we can properly meet this need without completely burning him out every year. If you have any ideas, let us know. We also need your feedback to let us know what you like and go crazy for.
There are a number of other tips and tricks we picked up from being a part of such an awesome year of Artist Alley. So we’re hoping to refine our next appearance. When will that be? Well, I’m really adamant about MangaNEXT. We may show up as attendees, but chances are that our next Artist Alley appearance will be at next year’s con due to money constraints. ::sadface::
Lastly, I want to give some shout-outs.
The first goes to our favorite Artist Alley group that we’ve been tabling next to consistently since MangaNEXT 2008, Cross Academy Crafts. I adore these girls (including their mother XD) and highly admire the passion and dedication their leader has shown consistently throughout the years. I’m always impressed with her variety of stitched accessories and totally recommend her to anyone with an appreciation for cute, handcrafted works.
The second goes to Yiheng of ChinAnime. I had the pleasure of chatting with her for a long while about her doujin circle’s artbooks that completely blew me away. We also chatted it up over drinks at the 5th annual Artist Alley Networking Gathering that Inyx, this year’s A-A Coordinator, brought over from Conneticon. With around six years under her belt collaborating internationally with her circle members, she proved to me that such high quality work, if created with personal pleasure, creative strategy, and like-minded people, can mature and reap success regardless of the price tag. I highly recommend them if you are into collaborative CG anime-style illustrations bundled with other goodies. I hope to meet her again next year.
That about wraps up my ANEXT 2010 Artist Alley report. KOU and I walked away from this con feeling reenergized and inspired with fresh motivation to make EtherFuture better and stronger than before. New ideas and changes are on the horizon. All that’s left is to take hold of the future.
Hope to see you there!