Just another ANGRY artist alley day


This is a personal rant about a convention I went to, with several explanations of stupid Artist Alley mistakes. I bet if it wasn’t for my medication’s ‘happy’ side effects, I would have tossed a chair at the wall. But…you know, shit happens. People can be ignorant, and my hopes for starting this whole ‘Angry Artist Alley’ was for noobies to NOT make dumb mistakes. I’ve been mentally trained volunteering at an elementary school, so I know it’s more because of their ignorance, and not out of spite.


Photo was actually from Fanime 2013 and not Sac Con ; I couldn’t help but shove this pic in my article XD I was so preoccupied with shit that I could not take out my camera to take photos of this con.

Artist: Jason Bastos

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I feel like I should write more of these real life experiences in the future. But then that would just be a hate post (which is why I don’t mention bad conventions in my blog very often) You always learn from your mistakes, and even better, you don’t have to make those mistakes to learn it because someone like me already experienced it and taught you first. Of course, I’m sure many of you had worse times, and one of the experiences I had in this convention was so bad that I cannot open up to talk about it here  (sorry, I have my limits too!)

Also, SacCon I don’t hate you that much yet. It was a seriously shitty experience, but it was just because of the people sitting next to me and not the convention or customers (even though I barely made enough). So I’ll consider going again. Just hope that if I take Amtrak up there and not get a table until around 11:30 in that situation because of some serious misunderstanding, and you say ‘I’ll give you a refund if I call some people on the waitlist and they decide to come buy the table here………I honestly think giving a 25 dollar refund can’t possibly be too hard.

So, on to my day to SacCon:

Introduction: I took the Amtrak from Oakland to Sacramento early in the morning. Then after some trouble, I found the bus stop and took it. It was across the college campus and I decided to take a detour because there was no sidewalk for my wheeled cart to lug around. Apparently the Sacramento College only had enough money to buy a single entrance/exit fence door for the campus, and thus, I made an entire 360 and finally walked out, where I finally found the sidewalk.

My lesson? CSUS has one entrance and exit. Everything else is fenced all around except for that area. You have to walk around from one side of the campus because…there’s only one opening in that campus.

Preparing for Artist Alley:

I finally arrive at this place to find some lady who brought me to the room. I had to carry my wheeled briefcase by hand, which was quite a load. I don’t get why dollies are allowed to roll around but not briefcases with wheels here. Anyways, I I find the guy who was second-in-charge, I assume, because he had the artist alley wrist tags and sat in the same table as the guy in charge of artist alley, and was told to meet him. I got a hand tie, but I could not find any tables in artist alley that were open. He couldn’t either. EEEHH?! Seems like the trouble starts. I quietly sat on a chair nearby and waited for the guy in charge of Artist Alley tables to come back to help me out on this situation.

Lesson for artist alley staff? Don’t have a single guy memorize all the tables and not write it down for the other staff. When you leave to do your business, make sure you have someone who has the same amount of knowledge as you do before you leave. Or at least, leave a sheet of paper for your staff with the table numbers and name according to them. 

Setup….and breakdown?

And so, after what was about half an hour, this nice guy told me I could unpack my stuff at a table outside. Okay, fair enough. So I did. Later I saw the guy in charge of Artist Alley arrive at his table to sell his stuff, but did not come to my table so I assumed it was okay. Guess not.Then when I was about done unpacking, the table people next to me said they got a phone call and the artist that was supposed to sit at my spot was about to arrive in 10 minutes. Okay…so I unpacked.

Lesson for the artist alley helper? When there is a table change or issue and the guy in charge arrives, please notify them. Even if it’s minor it may pose an issue. I was ignored this whole time and then……….

Setup….can I get a refund?

Finally in contact with the guy in charge and pointed out my issue with AA and his problem, I asked for a refund because of negligence. Well, he said ‘NO’ and said that I could get one when he calls the people on the waiting list and see if anyone wants to buy the table from me. If they say yes I could get a refund. It was about 11:30 by now.

My lesson? No refunds for negligence. If I want a refund, I’ve got to wait for someone in waiting list to say “yes I’ll buy that table and come right away to sell for five and a half hours for $25”.

Getting my table…….

Oh boy, this was the the skull crusher. And this is why I write these articles, so things like this don’t happen. The person in charge of artist alley brought me to my table in about five seconds. But then I raised an eyebrow, and said ‘wait…THIS is my table?’ I said that twice and he said yes twice. The table was filled with paper, and one was a GIANT paper with doodles on it. Apparently, the two girls next to my table were so ‘clever’ enough to use my table, put their ‘draw on this paper’ thing and some other whatevers to cover the table. They claimed they came half an hour ago, which means they put stuff on the table the moment they saw no one was sitting there for ten minutes or something. Obviously I couldn’t find my table because their shit covered it. Also, my name tag wasn’t there either, so either they threw it away or no one wrote it there on the first place

Their lesson? When an artist does not arrive the moment the convention starts, you do not suddenly put your work on the table AND LEAVE IT THERE. Waiting for at least two hours would be wise, as I have experienced several artists who have arrived more than an hour late before. If you want to stick your artwork on the table, you must ask the artist alley person in charge, or you’ll get in trouble and either end up paying for that table or in extreme cases, kicked out. Sometimes you can get lucky….AFTER asking the person in charge. 

Story: I wish I knew the guy in charge of artist alley tables in Big WOW! con two weeks ago. Anyhow, first day my tablemate and I just sat staring at the empty chair.  The next day, I FINALLY found the guy in charge and told him no one was sitting at the table. He was like ‘well, since you asked first, you can have it for today’. Heh…mooched it before the guy who sat on the other side of the empty table got it :3 As etiquette  you always ask the AA director first–even the person who sat on the right side of the empty table didn’t touch it that day. And so was another untouched table on the other side of the row. It may be great to take the table, but always ask first. Be polite and considerate!

You are so clever, aren’t you?

I just wanted to make sure if these ‘kids’ were ignorant and not selfish assholes. I asked them how long they’ve been in artist alley. One girl said ‘since I was twelve (she looked like she was 17 or so)’–this girl stole my chair too, and I was standing up for quite a bit before she realized and gave me MY chair back which originally was at MY table. The other two girls said they did it for about a year and a half (or was it two years?). Anyways, I assumed they were just happy ignorant kids, so I just let this crazy shit hell go and wrote this article. I hope they learned their lesson though.

Their lesson? Well….now they know. And knowing is half the battle. No, I lied. Now they know and they better not repeat this again. 

There were a few other things, but cannot be mentioned here. To the three girls who sat next to me: If you’re reading this, I was super pissed for five minutes and it dulled down, so no, I’m not going to rip all three of your heads into shreds, but I hope you learned a valuable lesson. Just don’t do it next time, or ever.



4 thoughts on “Just another ANGRY artist alley day

  1. Wow! I will say that you should definitely tell your complaints to Jason Dube. He is pretty much the main guy to talk to concerning any Artists Alley related issues for both Sac Con and Sac Anime.

    My buddy and I have had tables at 2 Sac Cons over the last year.And we finally got a table at Sac Anime in early September. I’m sorry to hear about your bad experience. We haven’t had any issues with Sac con yet. But I always been a little concerned about how loosely organized it is. And you pretty much brought to light a worst case scenario.

    Small Cons are popping up all over these days. Some are a lot better organized than others. I will have table at a con in my town this week. Its called Stockton Con. It had its first show last year it did very well. So well it had over 4,000 people show up. And made the front page of the local newspaper.
    The reason for its success is that its a charity sponsored event. It costs under 10 bucks to get in if you donate canned food or gently used clothing. And the guy who got it going really has a passion for pop culture and the local and area art scene.

    This years show is at the city’s Stockton Arena which is home to the ECHL Hockey team the Stockton Thunder. Its a little too late to get a table.But I feel if your up to it its worth checking out.

    • I don’t think it was specifically the convention, it was more that those two newbie artists in that convention are very….unexperienced. Like they just jumped in there without knowing what the table was for or something. More of those pop up every year, which is another reason why I have my ‘Angry Artist Alley’ blog series to inform people about problems that occur.

  2. No, it’s Jason Dube and crazy, immature artists. I did Sac-con once and that was enough. Tables weren’t labeled, you walked in and if you were lucky enough to find somebody who worked the convention, they said pick whatever table you wanted. I had the unfortunate experience of sitting next to a highly immature pixel bead artist. Half the time if she wasn’t interrupting me when I was talking to customers and hitting me in the shoulder to shove some piece of crap she bought in my face, she was screeching at the top of her lungs when she saw a cosplay she liked. Now for Jason Dube, I have been doing or trying to do SacAnime for the last 4 years. He rarely answers emails, always denies requests for refunds (even if its months before the con and there is a waitlist) and generally doesn’t do jack squat. He is “Artist Alley Head” in name only. Lauren actually does all the work but doesn’t get decision making powers or credit. She’s great. Jason’s only concerned with selling his stuff.

    • Man, that kid had a serious case of the ‘I’m-too-excited-for-my-first-con-how-am-I-doing?’ syndrome. Actually I could say I was probably like that before, but that’s due to the fact I was sitting next to people who were just sitting around next to me that I knew. But you know, If Jason is like this, I have a feeling a LOT of artist alley people are run by negligent people ( *cough* Fanime *cough*). Also, with Sac Con/Sac Anime, amateur art is highly focused (art contests and stuff), so I bet one reason why stuff like this happens is that cons like these appeal to newer artists (wheras something like Big WOW! Con have a number of professionals around the place).

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