So, for many people in California, water is literally going to run out for them before the end of the year, which is a completely ridiculous thing to ever have happen. Bottled water companies and various companies who use excessive water for extracurricular activities are not really taking into consideration the environment surrounding their area, and are pretty much bleeding California dry.
I don’t really have much in the way of helping, but not supporting those companies is always a great idea, which is why I personally recommend Bobbles.
They’re reusable plastic bottles that are fairly cheap and utilize a carbon filter that usually runs you less than $5 per filter and typically come two filters to a pack, and lasts you a good couple of months. You can buy them on Amazon, and I’ve seen them in places like Best Buy and Walgreens, so they’re bound to be in all sorts of places outside of that.
Tap water in most areas has been found to basically not be any more dangerous to your health than bottled water, but if you’re really unsure or paranoid like me, these filters do a great job without having to buy an attachment filter for your sink faucet.
There are TONS of short term solutions to help you guys out, but I figure having a reference or two drop on your dash might make the decision to jump to filters as opposed to traditional bottled water a little simpler to make.
bottled water is a SCAM and one that literally is endangering the environment and contributing to the horrific wildfires CA experiences every year. Get a filtered bottle like this, or something similar. Way cheaper and better for the environment! Remember, water, like any other resource, is valuable. Don’t waste it!
I have a Bobble bottle and it’s fucking great. I got it for school because our dorms have shitty-tasting water from the tap but I use it everywhere. It filters the water and makes it taste way better. Also it looks cool and is durable enough that I’ve knocked it off my desk many times at school and it’s not dented or broken or even barely scratched at all.
I know that I usually keep Homestuck off of here, because I know I have followers who don’t enjoy it, but I was bored so I took a midi of Eridan’s Theme (by Radiation) and turned it into a full orchestral piece. Enjoy.
THIS IS THE BEST THING OKAY.
this is instantly one of my favorite pieces of anything to come out of the homestuck fandom. wow!
IM GONNA SCREAM SO FUCKING LOUDLY MY EYEBALLS WILL POP OUT OF MY HEAD OH MY GOD
HMMMM I made a post about this before but I guess I should do one that’s more in-depth.
OK SO TO PREPARE FOR ARTIST’S ALLEY:
1. Know what you’re willing to spend on AA. Artists alleys can be a great place to make money but they also can be a great way to lose money if you’re not prepared. Generally AA tables aren’t THAT expensive (AX’s is the most expensive i’ve seen - 215$ i think it was?) but when you consider the amount of people the go through the AA and impulse buy things (because lbr AAs are basically just one giant checkout counter candy aisle) you can actually make up your capital and come out with decent profit if you’re smart about it.
2. Find someone to table with, if you can. Someone who is into similar fandoms is a good idea. Try an artist friend or maybe someone from the internet who’s looking to get a spot. This increases your chances of actually getting a spot at an AA and also gives you someone to talk to and throw ideas back and forth when it comes to figuring out how you want to market yourself.
3. PREPARE IN ADVANCE. i can’t say this enough but if the con is 5 months away, you should be like, in the thick of conselling preparation. You need:
- a seller’s license/permit. Usually you can get these for free or for a meager cost through your county or state’s website (they usually end with a .gov so that is an indication that youre in the right place.) get these early and ask questions if youre confused about what theyre for or what they do and do not allow you to sell.
- a display. A lot of first time consellers tend to just kind of spread their stuff out on their table which requires the people walking past the table to look down. This is not a bad idea per se, but you’ll get less business this way. Ever wonder why expensive toys are generally at eye-level in toystores? It’s a selling tactic. People buy what they can immediately see and what catches their eye. Build a nice display for yourself, and make sure it fits your table and the rules and guidelines for the AA. Try to stay away from a lot of over the top display decorations. You can just build a simple and lightweight one with PVC or those interlocking wire shelving units that walmart carries.
- product. This sounds like a no-brainer but honestly it is a place where a lot of artists kinda… end up lost, especially first timers. Make sure you have product that is directed at the audience you’re selling at. Consider which series are popular (or are projected to be popular) at the time of the con. Consider what your financial limits are when it comes to producing product. A lot of sellers drop hundreds of dollars on product but they’re usually more experienced and really know what’s up. I’d recommend making simple buttons, laminated keychains, bookmarks, prints, and other small things that people can just buy immediately. Yknow like instant satisfaction type stuff. Be aware of how much money you’re putting into the product vs how much you’re selling it for, and also consider how much money your potential buyers are going to have on them to spend.
- commissions. This is something that I personally dislike doing, but it’s kind of a huge benefit to be able to do it at a con. Taking commissions at your table for people to come pick up later on or at the end of the con can suuuuper boost your sales because that person is getting something custom for them, and it’s tangible — they can take it with them. My advice for this is to only take five slots, and when you’re done with them, IF you get finished with them at the con, then open up for more if you feel confident enough to. Don’t take more than you are capable of handling though, because then you’re stuck producing realmedia commissions after the con, spending money to post them out, worrying about them getting damaged in the main, etc. It’s best to not overwhelm yourself.
- have a helper. Generally, most AAs allow each seller to have at least one helper with them. Your helper will help you pack up sales, exchange money, keep track of sales, bring you food and drink, relieve you when you need to go to the bathroom, etc. I would NOT sell without one. Most AAs also require the seller to be there most, if not all of the day while AA is open, so it can get stressful and tiring to sit there for 8 hours without being able to get up to pee or get something to eat.
- Understand tax. Are you going to be charging sales tax? Are you required to charge sales tax? Do you have to report those figures anywhere on your income tax reports at the end of the year? Look at this closely before you bust out into the AA scene. Learn first, do later.
Make sure you set up and take down your display BEFORE the con. Understand how much space you’ll have and how much room you will have to move behind your display. Set up your display so that it looks visually appealing, but is also not particularly complex to take apart and set up, and also make sure it isn’t delicate or fragile. Most people will, without thinking, touch the product you have on display because that’s what people like to do. If your product just falls of your display, figure out a better way to display it. When you’ve finalised your display setup, draft a schematic of it and take a photo of it so you have reference when it comes time to set it up.
Also understand that if you are not successful at the con, or not as successful as you had hoped to be, don’t get discouraged! Learn from what happened, what products you saw other sellers peddling, which of your products sold the worst, which ones sold the best, so on and so forth. Study what happened and recycle that information for the next time you do an artist alley table.
GET A PAYPAL CARD READER. I’M SERIOUS. If you have a smartphone, GET ONE. Some people just don’t have cash on hand or don’t have ‘enough’ to get what they want at your table, but DO have money in a card or in a bank account, and don’t want to go to an ATM to withdraw 3$ for a keychain. Make sure you get yourself a card reader if you have a smartphone. It’ll enable you to make WAY more sales.
There’s probably more I’m missing but thats the gist of it and i hope it helps!
answered this question late last night & thought it might be worth a read!
Sorry not sorry. Song is Agony from Into the Woods. I just livestreamed this for no reason.
That song really fits with amporas dang
Look guys, I know the challenge is for a good cause but if you live in California please don’t do it! We’re in the middle of a serious drought and all the water that you use, counts! The water you use for the challenge including the ice, is contributing to this emergency level drought! If you really feel the need to do the challenge, change it so it won’t affect our water usage! Cram a shit ton of ice cream in your mouth if you have to but PLEASE stop doing the challenge if you live in California! Spread the word! Here are some links to educate yourself. A serious one: http://nationalreport.net/ice-bucket-challenge-contributing-california-drought/
A funny yet logical one:
This is a damn good point. If you live in California maybe wait till the drought is over before you do it.
Man this is what has been pissing me off the most. Please stop wasting water!
OK to whomever submitted this … “I don’t want to sound mean” - but you do sound mean, and you are being mean.
I do get the sense that you are wanting to set some sort of realistic expectations for people who think they can make a lot of money at artist alleys. I also get and agree with the sense of frustration for people who complain about sales/how “good” an artist alley is when their work is not the most appropriate for the audience of a particular event.
But your phrasing comes off as elitist, and worst of all, discouraging to the people who have the most to benefit from the artist alley experience.
We all had to start from somewhere. Artist alley is great especially for amateurs. You get to interact in a (more often than not) welcoming, positive environment with other people who love doing the same things you love doing, in the physical world! You get to see in-person consumer reaction to your work! You get to meet and make friends with other artists who can support you as you all grow! You get to learn! This isn’t a professional art gallery for the established or something. I can’t think of many better opportunities than an artist alley for a young artist.
What’s more, people have a hard enough time building self-confidence in their own work. You hear this over and over and you can see it over and over in social media everywhere - artists are their own worst critic. The attitude given in the message above is one of the most disheartening things, another voice in the back of your head wondering if you will ever be good enough.
What is your definition of ready? How do you know when you’re ready? It isn’t a black and white answer. For god’s sake, you will never know if you are good enough. You will always have self-doubt. This happens to professionals who’ve been doing it for decades too.
I have events that I do well at and events I don’t. There are artists whose work sell better than mine, and artists who don’t, and it’s not always immediately obvious who they are based on the subject matter or quality of their work.
Sales happen or don’t happen for lots of reasons - the perception of your art skill is certainly a factor you want to consider. But it is also one of many factors.
So yes, be realistic with your expectations, but at the same time, don’t forget: You will NEVER know if you’re ready for something until you do it.
Also, this is a whole other rant, but people really need to stop selling/buying the myth that original work/OCs don’t sell. I know quite a few artists who sell mostly or exclusively work of original characters (including those with no story behind it). Heck, I probably count as one of them.
Sure, depending on the event, most people may be looking for fanart, and fanart definitely has higher visibility and accessibility to most of the audience. Yes, if you want immediate, short term return, fanart is an easier route to go.
What people for some bizarre reason don’t seem to understand is that when you create and sell original work, you’re building an audience for your own art independent of someone else’s established creation. Building an audience for original work takes longer, so you need to commit more time to it - but it is how you get beyond simply drawing fanart forever and being at the whim of whatever next new thing hits the street. (Also it’s probably a much more acceptable way to build a sustainable art career. :p)
I have a whole other long post in me about this, but I’ll save it for another day. I don’t rant often, so not sure if I will regret posting this later, but this is something that bothers me a great deal. Anyways, had to get this out.
A rant response I had posted a short while back. Some things to keep in mind when you approach and evaluate your own artist alley experience!
Money is extremely tight right now and I desperately need to make about $450 by next month for rent, so I’m opening 5 commission slots! Please message me here or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’re interested, and please signal boost this if you can!
My store envy is also open! I’m still…
Frienem’s stuff is really awesome! Get these commissions while you can!