Updated: Jun 24, 2019
If you are reading this, that means that you are interested in how to get into artist alleys. So I will cut to the chase and give some insight on how to get into them.
Just to be clear, everything I will be saying is based on my personal experiences and what I've observed from watching other artists do the same things I do. None of these tips will guarantee that you get into ANY convention but will give you higher chances of it.
So buckle up as I throw a list of things at you, BuzzFeed style! (But without the constant ads and "relatable" gifs)
1. Have Things to Sell
Let's get the most important thing out of the ballpark first. You have to have things to sell. Like with any business, you need products first before you think about applying to be a vendor at any event.
(I can write a whole blog post about what popular types of items artist alley artists tend to carry so let me know if you guys want me to write that post.)
An essential item that a lot of artists swear by is vinyl stickers. They're cheap to make, usable and one of my shop's most popular things. Feel free to use my referral code to get stickers made at my favorite place.
2. Jury Process & Lotteries
Typically cons/events you want to apply to will have a jury process and a lottery process.
Jury processes is a popular way of deciding which artists to be a vendor at their event(s). A group of people would be looking through your work to see if your works/merch are strong enough to be at their event. So having very striking works would help you in this process. Always send people samples of your best selling/popular works. Sometimes they'll even ask for a link to where you share your work. Often, a social media page like Instagram will do if you don't have a portfolio site.
Lottery processes mean that the organizers won't even look at your works and your name will go in a box (not sure if this is literal), and they pull out names randomly. So this means that anybody could get in even if all they have is two art prints.
3. Watch Out for Application Deadlines
Meeting application deadlines and knowing about them is crucial because application deadlines can go away in a snap of a finger.
A lot of conventions will release their applications like 3-8 months before the event. So keep that in mind if you see a big convention that you're interested in. It's easy to miss an application deadline.
Waitlists is a thing, and this doesn't mean that you are out of having a table. This means you will be queued in a list of people and if people drop out of the con, you will be moved up in the list and you will get a table once enough people drop out. This is assuming that all conventions do it this way.
As a reward for sticking to the end and reading everything above, here's an extra tip.
5. Knowing The Right People
I think this is a huge thing to keep in mind, especially if you want to be in Artist Alleys or want to be a vendor at events as a long term thing. Become friends with other artist alley folks.
Often time, I find myself in a position where friends of mine have started their very own events and have given me spaces to be a vendor at even if I did not apply to their event. I am so thankful for the connections I've made through being a vendor because they help keep my business alive! X'D
Thanks to everyone for reading this FIRST list of tips for people who wants to get into the AA scene. I will be writing many more guides in the future. So if you liked this and want more in the future, feel free to support me and my business by following us on social media or through merch purchase~ <3
If you like this and want more: "Where to Find Artist Alley & Vendoring Opportunities"
- Johnson Do (Creator of JDoArts)