Katsucon Artist Alley 2018: Application and Tips

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The applications for 2018 have closed.  Thank you all that applied; nearly 800 of you!  Some of you may be contacted in the coming month for additional info, and we have gotten your letters, as will respond to them.  Please check @Katsucon Twitter for any updates.  As always, if you have questions, please contact [email protected].

You will have one full week to send in your application.  No applications will be accepted outside of that window.  No applications will be allowed via any other method (no emails, phone, in person, postal mail, etc).  The acceptance policy is juried, so that everyone who sends in an application in that week will have the same chances.  Please take the time and effort to check your application (especially contact info) before sending. ONLY ONE ENTRY PER ARTIST.  Multiple applications will be rejected.

Click here to read the Artist Alley Rules

Tips for Application Process

In 2017, we had over 650 applications and less than 150 tables.  We are juried so the person who submits the first application gets the same chances as the person who submitted the last one.  Right away, we rejected almost 300 of them last year during the first pass for the following violations:

  1. Multiple applications.  Only one entry per artist/art studio please.  If you make a grave mistake, point it out in your next application.
  2. People who violated the rules, probably because they didn’t read them.  Notably the ones that said “no stickers” (A Gaylord rule, not our fault), who listed what they sold as “stickers.”  
  3. Incomplete applications.  No names, no websites, no examples

What Exactly is “Juried?”

We have a team of artist alley staff review each application.  They number it based on a points system of 1-10 which judge on several criteria:

  1. Originality.  We’re not concerned so much about “fanart vs. 100% your stuff” as we are about “is this a new and fresh approach?”  We want to keep the artist alley vibrant and interesting, not just a “poor man’s merchant hall.”  This helps not only your chances, but the chances of other artists.
  2. Professionalism.  Do you look like you know what you’re doing?  This is why we have staff roaming at other craft shows and conventions.  
  3. Relation to anime, Japan, and animation culture.  This is not a hardcore requirement, but we are an anime convention, so if it’s a toss up between raver boots and someone who makes stuffed chibi kanji … we’re going with the stuffed chibi kanji.

Things that help get a good rating:

  1. Good presentation.  A professional website helps more than a hastily-assembled Deviantart page or a Tumblr blog.  Not that you get points off for those two things, because those can be dressed up professionally.  But if all you have is a few images, no descriptions, and no real proof that’s actually your art… pass.
  2. A picture of your booth.  You don’t have to present a picture of yourself, but we want to see how your booth looks.  Do you have a nice display?  Would someone want to buy stuff? Note that we have KAA staff at various conventions (as attendees, staff, or they are artists themselves) who report on exceptionally good booths as “if they apply, take note!”
  3. If you have been proven at Katsucon Artist Alley before.  We have some oft-requested regulars who do really well.  If you had a lot of people at your booth and made sacks of money, we want you to continue to make sacks of money.  That doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be invited back (see originality above), but it helps.  And just because you didn’t make it THIS year doesn’t mean you won’t make it NEXT year.

Why was I not Accepted?

We keep our jury secret because we don’t want them picked on, yelled at, bribed, or otherwise used as a pawn in some con drama.  Some things that can lead to not being accepted this year.

  1. An incomplete application.  Please fill out every blank, even if it doesn’t apply (put “not applicable” at least).  
  2. Your contact info got rejected.  If we can’t email you, we can’t accept you.  Please check your spelling.
  3. You didn’t read our rules and sent in an application outside of the cut off dates, you sell stickers, also have a table in the dealer’s room, violate trademarks, and so on. Click here to read the Artist Alley Rules
  4. If you have been blacklisted for various severe violations like fraud, blatant disregard of the rules, harassing other vendors, or have been proven to be a huge hassle for the staff at our artist alley or at other conventions.  In over two decades of Katsucon Artist Alley, there have only been a handful of those, so you REALLY have to screw up to get blacklisted.
  5. Sometimes it just happens.  This doesn’t mean you’re a bad artist or you did something wrong.  Maybe we had too many hat vendors this year.  Maybe it was a math thing with the points system.  You could do everything totally right and not get accepted; that’s not a weakness, that’s just a fact of life.  

Please don’t contact us to ask why you got rejected.  All decisions are final, and not personal.  

Final Note: Artists often report to us if another artist is violating rules.  So just because you hid a violation from us does not mean you’re not going to be reported.  If any artist makes a legitimate report of cheating, harassing, or other rule violations, the Katsucon Artist Alley staff will likely investigate, and if found, you may be rejected.  

Good luck!  We hope to see you and your table staff at Katsucon in 2018!