EDIT: Updated a bit to include the entirety of our e-mails.
Hey, guys. I heard some interesting rumors about Artist Alley this year, so I took it upon myself to e-mail this years Artist Alley head, Josh Elliott, and get the complete scoop.
AkiAmeko: "Forgive me for bothering you, as I'm sure you're already working hard getting artist alley information ready to put up. I was wondering how soon artists can expect the registration form up? What do you anticipate a table costing this year? How much for power?"
Josh Elliott: "Attached is the Dealers form, Artist alley has been rolled into the dealers room"
AkiAmeko: "...Really. This is a problem. I know I and other artists have been waiting for a formal announcement on artist alley, and many are not going to even imagine that artist alley and dealers have been combined. I suggest that AnimeIowa make a formal announcement on the site explaining the situation and the reasons why. This needs to be made clear to everyone in detail."
Josh Elliott: "I'm not sure what your asking for, why its in the dealers room, or why the price changes, or something else. Unfortunately, I don't write the copy for the website, but I have requested that the artist alley event information page point to the dealers room page with a short explanation regarding they are being rolled into one.
If you have some specific questions I would be happy to answer them."
AkiAmeko: "What I am asking for: Ask whoever is responsible for updating the site to make a formal announcement explaining the situation publicly and making it clear to everyone that artists and dealers have been combined.
I already know that artists and dealers are in the same room. That's not a problem to me. In fact, that's good. But what I do have a problem with is treating artists, most of which do not make their living off of their work, the same way as the dealers as far as price goes.
What I personally want to know: Why has this been changed? Why is the price the same for artists now as it is for dealers? Are artists simply considered dealers now, thus technically eliminating artist alley? What restrictions would artists now be under as dealers that they were not under before?"
Josh Elliott: "You are asking for a very open announcement, I think that all the information that you want is in the process of going up on the website or is already there in some format. I have not yet gone through the artist from previous years and sent them the registration forms and updated information. when I have time to edit the information that was given to me so that such a mailing can go out it will.
I'm sorry that you feel that we are short changing artists, last year we lost money on every single artist that was in the dealers room, after subtracting the price for convention badges for the artists, there was around $20 left over (on average) and then turn around and take the $50 charge for the table and a charge for the draperies in the dealers room and we ended up loosing money. My take on the dealers room is that its a service to the convention and all it needs to do is break even So I figured out the lowest price per table to "break even" for the cost of the room and the room setup. There are a lot of arguments both ways regarding why Dealers or Artists should be cheaper, and the line between who is a dealer and who is an artist asks an unanswerable question (ie is ___ art) which is a question that I may have a significantly different opinion than you or the next person on ( for the Record I have an art degree and made a success from it in a completely different venue)
This year Artists have to explicitly follow the same rules as the dealers, previously the expectation was implied. The majority of the rules implemented by AI are reinforcement of Laws ( ie you cant sell copyrighted images w/o permission of the copyright holder) or ways to make the room manageable by volunteers, this year we put out a few new rules to prevent folks from getting around those laws (specifically the no grab bag policy) and rules.
I Hope this explains the changes to you, if you would like more information or have any follow up questions please feel free to ask."
AkiAmeko: "I can respect that if AnimeIowa is losing money, that that is grounds for raising the price for artists. However I have a few more questions:"
Josh Elliott: "This part of AI is certainly loosing money"
AkiAmeko "What is the difference between a table and a booth? If you have 1 booth and 2 tables, is it just two tables in the same space as one would normally be, or is it the space of two booths?"
Josh Elliott: "Booth Description
Each booth will be 10' wide by 10' deep. This area will be marked out on the floor. Short pipe and
drape will be used to mark off around each combined reservation area. Each booth will come with
one skirted 72” table, two chairs, and trash can. Dealers are responsible for keeping all items within
their marked area. No alterations to booths will be allowed without express prior consent from
AnimeIowa Dealer Room staff.
you can then get additional tables to fit inside your booth."
AkiAmeko: "The Dealer's room information doesn't actually say much about art. Are they saying that any fanart will be considered a bootleg? I am aware of the no fanart rules from past years and I agree to comply with them."
Josh Elliott: "the no fanart rules we somethig that was reactionary and changed in 2009, AI continued to run off the more restrictive rules for some reason (mainly hearsay I belive)
please look at mindbridge.org/by-laws/mindbri… for the policy that we be using."
AkiAmeko: "I still recommend that an open announcement may be made. I have friends who are artists and I'm sure they will want to know immediately."
Josh Elliott: "Ive done all I can in getting the web guys to do this, it will go up eventually."
AkiAmeko: "May I share the information you have shared with me on the deviantART AnimeIowa-Club page? animeiowa-club.deviantart.com/ This is an AnimeIowa fan-page I run within deviantART.com to network with artists who go to AnimeIowa. It is in no way associated with AnimeIowa or deviantART themselves. (I.E. I am NOT a member of staff on either AnimeIowa or deviantART)"
Josh Elliott: "Sure you can share it, if you quote me indepth or assign my name to a bunch of stuff copy me with the text of the post so im not blind sided by a bunch of " but you saids" that being said I would encourage people that have questions to post in the official forums."
Quotes directly from correspondence between AkiAmeko and Josh Elliott. Shared with permission.
I still don't really agree with the policy, but I can understand the reasons for it. I felt this was vital enough to share with everyone as soon as possible.
Personally, within the realms of convention purposes, I would define an artist apart from a dealer as someone who makes their own merchandise, as opposed to someone who is just the retailer for the merchandise they sell. Whether you make your own merchandise or not should be easy enough to prove. I still argue in favor of lower prices for artists because most of us do not make our living off of artist alley, whereas dealers, according to my understanding, make their living off of selling the anime merchandise. But, for now I accept and agree to comply by the terms.
Please go Here: www.animeiowa.com/cgi-bin/smf/… as requested by Josh to discuss the new policy.
Dealer's Room Sign-up is located here: animeiowa.com/dealers/dealer-s…