Monday, July 30, 2012

Otakon Report

This past weekend, I flew into my hometown of Baltimore for some good, nerdy fun at Otakon. For those who don't know, Otakon is an anime convention held yearly at our huge convention center in the Inner Harbour, where tons of silly people gather to share their love of Otaku-culture by dressing up in crazy anime outfits, having ninja battles in the lobby, drinking way too much coffee, spouting off random japanese words, and hugging pretty much every other person in the building.

Or, if you're me, Otakon is the best 3 days of people-watching on the planet earth and an opportunity to not only promote my art, but make bank and talk to some pretty interesting people.

I have been doing conventions for three years in a row now, and I can say that, as crazy as they are, they are mad fun. After working and prepping for 4 months in advance of the show, my goal this year was to make enough to cover my fall tuition at SCAD... and as I handed a print of my Black Swan to a very sweet young lady, I got the chance to hug her and thank her for the sale that hit the mark.

Highlights included:

1. My crazy booth that took me 3 hours to set up! Had my own little art cave.
2. Tons of prepwork and charm-army!
3. Hot pink mustaches that brought on exclamations of "MUSTACHE!" and excited, pointy fingers.
4. Rows and rows of bows.
5. My special VIP Artist Alley ribbon that earned me the question of, "So, you're working at the freak convention?" from a very (not-so) pleasant gentleman while getting my morning coffee.
6. Oreo Brownie bar bestowed upon me by a nerd who was "astounded by my beauty", which caught me very off-guard. My booth neighbor and I decided that it was most likely not poisoned. (Given that I am writing this post, nothing too disastrous occurred.)
7. Test-driving mustache rings before the con.
8. Print inventory and taking stock!
9. Charm bracelets that sold super well!
10. Illuminated monograms that brought lots of oo's and ah's.
11. Coffee that should've been the best coffee of my entire life, considering I waited 45 minutes in line for it, got yelled at by an exasperated barista for it, and dodged an epic sailor moon battle to obtain it.
12. More mustache rings that drew people to my table like kids to cupcakes.

Highlights not pictured: 
1. Seeing familiar friendly faces and chatting with friends; particularly my friend Rob who I haven't seen in a long time, and my friend Mckenzie's husband Greg, who was so sweet and brought me a beer that he home-brewed himself!

2. Making friends with my booth-mates, swapping art, and planning drinking games based on how many times I said, "How ya'll doin?" and "They're all adjustable and nickel-free" in a single day.

3. Chatting up about the back-stories of some of my prints, and watching people get really excited about the works. Particularly my favourite story behind Dia De Los Muertos, where I had one of the worst nightmares of my life after watching Pan's Labyrinth for the first time, shooting straight up in bed, and grabbing for my sketchbook to draw thousands of fingers crawling up my neck. Followed swiftly by being referred to as the "awesome creepy Pan's Labyrinth girl" when they brought their friends over. And being referred to as the "fish girl" or the "jellyfish lady" because of all the sea creatures in my paintings.

4. Funny jokes about the fruit-basket and how all of us in our section of the alley should dress up in giant banana costumes and dance. (Awkwaaaaaard!)

5. Surviving 8 blocks of Baltimore city at midnight to get back to my car.

6. My most wonderful mom, who was the cutest mom in the whole world and packed me awesome lunches.

And finally... the best highlight of all: 

Putting my tuition payment through, knowing that I reached my goal, had a blast doing it, and would be paying a little less loan money back to the powers-that-be.


  1. Again with the Instagram, I have got to get on the bandwagon! Great collage of pictures!

  2. Woo hoo! Congrats on meeting your goal!

    I was wondering what kind of convention you'd be doing, and that crowd would be a ton of fun to sell to.

  3. So great. Love the highlights included =D


  4. thats great! i used to go to conventions ages ago (around 2004, 2005), kinda missed the now..

    highlights are just awesome to read! fight for a coffee girl!

  5. Congrats! Looks like a great time (and I'm with you on the people-watching.)

  6. i enjoyed looking at your photos! congrats for doing a great job on your own booth! and how nice of that person who was astounded by your beauty to give you an Oreo brownie bar! so sweet! <3 :-)

  7. Congrats! Looks like all the hard work paid off :)

  8. Thank you guys so much for your comments, I really appreciate them :)


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