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Saturday, August 13, 2011

Preparing for AnimeFest

As I've announced previously, I am officially in the artist alley this year at AnimeFest, and I'm very excited about it. I've attended artist alley's before at anime conventions, but never with any serious conviction. This will be my first official convention/art show/event/whatever you want to call it as an official business.

Yeah, I've done it before and I've had my state tax ID for a long while, but I've never put it to use. This will be a big first, and I am so jazzed. AnimeFest traditionally I've always done the best at sales wise. I'm hoping that history is willing to repeat itself. I didn't attend last year due to some familial issues that need taking care of first, but I did attend the year before.

That year was also the first year I ever sold more than one or two pieces of my jewelry. In fact, the number of pieces of jewelry I sold out-performed the artwork and commissions I took while I was there! I was positively blown away. That's part of why my art here lately has been more intently focused on artisan crafts rather than my illustration work. I love both dearly, but if there's even half a chance that I can somehow turn a profit doing something I love you can bet that's the route I'm going to take.

That all having been said, I am amping up at the moment to finish up displays and product for the show. I'm a little (more like a LOT) stressed between Day Job work, home, and this but I'm handling it well. I had to wait until the last moment to really do any spending for the supplies I needed because of my mother's unemployment. That isn't something I'm going to dwell on right now, though. Staying positive here!

The table is paid for. Badges for me and my assistants are paid for. Funds for the hotel room have been budgeted and set aside. The rest is all icing on the cake and can be adjusted as needed according to said budget.

Check me out and my extra monitor! Yes, that is my artwork on the screen. :D
One really fun thing I'm tinkering with is having dual monitors to go with my laptop! It's going to be a pain to set up and drag up and down from my hotel room, but I think it will be worth it. I've seen it done a couple of times by people before at conventions, and it has always entranced me. I also recall other people enjoying the display, too.

Specifically what I'll be displaying is a slideshow on one monitor of my digital artwork. Or, if I'm working on something in Photoshop, people would be able to watch. In person. Right there. LIVE! Which could also lead to my being able to do digital art commissions at the convention. That would be SO great, because digital media is way more economical than traditional media. It's hard to run out of pixels in Photoshop pending your machine is in working order.

That's the idea anyway! I'm actually trying to hook up two monitors to my laptop. My laptop's video card so far seems powerful enough to swing it, but we'll see. I'm still tinkering and trying to determine if getting just a basic Y-cable will work, or if I should opt for a powered cable. I have a feeling I'll probably need the powered cable which is a bit pricier, but we'll just have to wait and see after a bit more experimentation.

If the two extra monitors are a no-go, well, one extra will do the job just fine. Why do I need three in the first place? Well... the idea is to have a monitor off to the side that I work off of for business transactions that no one can see. I'll be using my laptop to process credit cards, and also I'll have spreadsheets up to track my inventory and sales.

Speaking of which! I need to dig up my old sales sheets and get them updated and functional again. I love making spreadsheets and lists. Weird, I know. Plus I can plug in all of my expenses for the show itself to track my progress. I'm hoping to break even. I usually do. At the very least, I would like to make back the money I've spent on the hotel room itself as that is my biggest cost for this show.

That's enough tinkering for today, though. I've still got a lot to do this weekend plus household stuff that needs taking care of.

Thanks for reading!

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