05 July 2011 @ 10:18 am
Since I was a babbling mess of nerves before the con, I figured I'd reassure everyone that I'm still a babbling mess of nerves after it.   Delta H Con was a bust, financially, and I'm beginning to understand why it's getting a negative reputation.  Which is sad as it has a lot of potential. 

DHC has taken place at the University of Houston (UoH) for the past four years.  From what I understand, it had rather rough beginnings that have simply not been ironed out.  It's major issue seems to be that it thinks it's larger than it is.  There's been a long-running suggestion that the con needs to be a one-day event, and I have to say that I agree.  Based upon attendance and the singular ability for all the con's events to fall flat on their proverbial faces, it just doesn't have the strength to run a full three days.  The management seems to disagree.

What really stood out to me in the first five minutes was the utter lack of organization.  I arrived and parked at the university Hilton, and wandered around until I figured out where the student center was located.  After managing to find someone to direct me up to registration on the second floor, I stood around for a good ten minutes listening to the con staff bicker before they finally acknowledged me.  I told them I needed to sign in to the artist alley and get set up.  What should have happened was me signing in and picking up my badge.  Instead, they had a short consultation amongst five or six of them about "Where is the AA again?," finally figured it out, and then sent me on a journey three stories down (underground), through a tunnel, around a lobby, and into another hallway where the artist alley was hidden away inside the Maid Cafe.  There were a couple of other panel rooms down there as well, but the main con was half a building away.

Eventually someone brought me my badge, and the con president wondered why so many artists hadn't signed in when they'd gotten there. She didn't seem to understand when I pointed out that her staff had less idea of what to do than most of the guests. 

Though the con was supposed to start at three, set up continued at least until around six pm.  Not that it mattered, as there were maybe five guests that found the AA in that time.  Maybe. 

The University didn't help, either, as they took down any sign that the con attempted to put up.  Because no signs were allowed, most people had little idea where the panel rooms or the AA was.  Many didn't even realize that either existed (by their own admission, when one of the artists tried to go find people and point them in the right direction).  By 10pm on Saturday, the AA had seen around sixty or seventy people, total.  I managed to make back the cost of the table and decided that Sunday wasn't worth bothering with.

This isn't to say that the con was a complete disaster, but I did find that most of the fun had was in spite the con staff.  Come late Saturday evening, guests had pretty much petered out and some of we artists, vendors, and security staff all sat around in a corner to chat, cut up, and have a grand old time.  Afterward, we all packed up and several of us went up to the late night "rave" in the main event room.

It was fun for a while, though the DJ was insistent upon blowing his tweeter.  Unfortunately, he was also very skilled at picking out great music, only to cut the song short just as everyone began to enjoy themselves.  He'd then switch in something completely un-danceable.  After several instances of this, all the dancers left in a huff.  We sat out in the lobby outside and talked some more, while the DJ kept trucking on terribly.

None of the con staff seemed to understand, or wanted to understand, what the problem was--though they asked us.  They seemed to live in a state of perpetual confusion, and utter refusal to listen to any ideas or suggestions that were not their own.  Taking all of this into account, I have to say that unless someone I trust implicitly gives me indication that it's turned around in the next few years, I'm never going back to this con as an artist or otherwise.  I'll be pretty surprised if it lasts a fifth run. 

30 June 2011 @ 10:04 am
There are so many things to do! 

Delta H starts tomorrow, at 3pm if I'm reading this correctly.   Set up is 10am to 3pm, and since I have jack squat to set up, I'll probably be there at about 1pm--just to make sure that nothing goes wrong.  It'll also be the day I get to man my table alone, and I'd be lying if I said I weren't freaking out about that a little.  I'm a bit of a pessimist by nature, and I keep expecting something to go horridly wrong.  Not that Ami will be much help against things going wrong, but at least she'd provide a witness and good commentary.   Anyway, she's due to arrive sometime Friday night or Saturday morning, and will be with me the rest of the con.  My BFF rules.

Everything else is running...quasi-smooth.  About the time I went to make art prints I realize that I have very little I am comfortable selling in a roomful of children.  Though artistic nudity isn't banned by the cons, there are some display measures that have to be taken, which I'm really not sure about.  If I have time I may ask the director and figure something out.  But that still leaves the fact that I have a hang up about selling things with nudity in front of children, plus the idea that I might mistakenly sell some to a minor and what that could bring on my head.

Which I have mixed feelings about.  On one hand, I find it incredibly silly that a little nudity is such a big issue.  It's just skin (fictional skin at that) and completely tasteful.  On the other hand, I was as much raised in this puritanical society as everyone else that makes said puritanical society, and my sensibilities are bruised at even the thought of taking these prints to a print shop--much less trying to sell them. 

When I take the nude works out of the equation, I'm left with four things I am not entirely ashamed to ask money for.  Five, if you count the 4x6 sailor moon chibi (which I'll have a small number of prints of).  This is somewhat pathetic and I should really do something about that.  But not right now, I don't have time.

I got my first print run done last night, and for cheaper than I thought I'd be able to.  I also printed some very simple business cards that I plan to hand out to anyone who wants to look me up after the con.  The backs are blank, and I intend to doodle on them if I have time.  Beyond that, my prints are going into a binder that people can flip through, and I'm making a card to display the buttons on which I'll have one of my dolls (Tarnish) holding.  After debating it, I figured her in her most "animu" outfit might help me attrack some attention.  There will be a few other people from the doll group there, so if they bring some of theirs we may just end up with a random doll shoot.

Which reminds me that I still haven't gotten a replacement battery for my camera.  So, if I have pictures of the con itself, they're very likely to be terrible cell phone pictures.  Sorry! 

Other than that, I need to get a tablecloth for the table (I'm thinking something obnoxious and bright), make sure I have drawing supplies handy, and to complete my inventory.  Oh, and make sandwiches to bring.  And charge my cell phone. And bring headphones.  And a water bottle.  And transfer my writing files to my netbook so that I can plug away at the novel if there's a lull and I have nothing else to do.  And hope there's somewhere to plug in the net-book. 

Speaking of, I'm making a cursory attempt at Camp NaNoWriMo.  Finishing TSM has put me into a state of "oh, hay, maybe I can finish something!" Not that TSM doesn't have it's faults (I will be going back and editing it, especially those first two chapters), but it is at least a novel-length work that got finished.  Sorta.  Kinda.  Maybe.  I need to stop thinking about this.

Not promising I'll ever finish a Nano, though, since I keep piddling out on things like Mango every month.  Wind Spirits isn't dead, either, for anyone actually wondering.  It is slow as frozen molasses, but it isn't dead.  I will, hopefully, get back to working on it more regularly once Delta H is past me. 

Frankly, even if this weekend bombs entirely it will still be worth a four-day weekend. 

27 June 2011 @ 09:25 pm

They came in!! :D

27 June 2011 @ 09:23 pm

They came in!! :D

24 March 2010 @ 11:41 am
Random Ideas for Conning )

IN OTHER NEWS:   Nick is still being far more friendly on the TSM front.  So.. he's a small preview for those who have been waiting:

TSM Excerpt ) 

22 March 2010 @ 12:03 pm
This morning's moment of funny:

For those who don't know, I work for a liquor wholesale company--restaurants call us to place their orders, we deliver, blah blah blah.  Considering the area (SE Texas), we get a lot of A) Mexican restaurants, and B) restaurant owners/employees that speak little to no English, or who have C) extremely garbled accents. As no one in our office speaks fluent Spanish, at current, this can lead to the occasional issue, but we usually manage to work around it.

First thing in the morning, I come in and check our voice mail to see who placed orders there over the weekend. There were only two messages, and one was not an order.  The one that was I listened to five times to get all the information.  Most of it made sense, except for the name of the restaurant:

Super Tardis ala Coco

After searching through quickbooks for awhile, I found the correct name: Super Tortas Acapulco. XD

In other news, I was mildly productive this weekend! :3 Just... not in the way I was supposed to be. D:  I got most of my room cleaned and re-organized--all that is left is the bedroom area, which doesn't really bother me so much.  I need to strip the bed and wash the linens, but I can do that tonight.  The business end of the room is nearly complete, however.

I moved furniture, dusted everything, and basically got myself set up with a much better work-space than I had before.  I really, really wish I had a place for my old art-desk, but that isn't going to happen--at least not until I get rid of some shit.  I wouldn't mind being able to take down the rickety make-shift "shelves" my cousin rigged up in there, but that is the sort of job that requires a weekends worth of full-time attention to, plus enlisting Jr.'s strength. (The structure is part aluminum siding, part concrete blocks stacked to the ceiling. It's dangerous, and not at all attached to the wall. x.x)

If I were to get rid of those, I could find a cheap desk/shelving unit at IKEA or something that would give me MUCH more organization and work space (hell, I already picked out two from their uncatalogued that would be awesome)... shit, now I want to do that. =.=  But I shouldn't.  Not, at least, until I know if I'll be moving soon or not.

All this uncertainty is ruining my nesting tendencies.

Another product of this weekend is that I'm thinking about getting into the Artist Alley con-life. I've thought about it before, but I now that I have friends who are doing it, and I'm not in school anymore, it seems like it could be fun.  Navigating the tax laws for it is difficult, but I think with a little bit of research that it's navigate-able.

The bigger issue is about things to sell, and if I even have a chance at it.  Original works are all well and good--and I would obviously be trying to produce some for con purposes--fanart sells better. I wouldn't (and don't) really expect conning to be lucrative, but I would hope to be able to at least make back my investment, after taxes and everything is concerned. The only real "issue" with this is that I don't have much to do with the current anime fads.

I'm going to be going to the Anime Matsuri con two weeks from now--for Saturday, at least, and maaaybe Sunday--and doing some market "research" there.  What people are offering, the major characters...but more importantly, what characters are missing.  I have a strong feeling that doing buttons or the like of characters who are lesser known might have a bit of a market.  For instance, Sailor Moon is still VERY popular, but I rarely see any buttons/chibis/etc of the Amazon Quartet, even though they have a fanbase. Or the Shitennou for that matter.  Most of what gets made are the Senshi and/or Tux Max.  

Granted, this might not be true at all cons, but I don't remember seeing anything of the like at the few I've been to, or posted to places like dA, where button designs are often displayed with a "will be at X con" note.

If anyone has suggestions of lesser-noted characters from like... Naruto, Death Note, Soul Eater, Kingdom Hearts, etc... pls to be mentioning it.  XD

Right now I'm looking at getting a table at the Delta H con in august as a test run.  Mostly because it's a tiny, second year con with cheap tables.  So if I hate it, I haven't wasted that much money.  I'll also (probably) be dragging Ami with me, who is uber excited.  She was supposed to go to Matsuri with me, too, but that is, sadly, not working out. D:

Which reminds me, if anyone is going to be at Matsuri on Sat, and you wanna get together, SAY SOMETHING. :D I would love to have company!  I know I need to mention it to you, Natalie, since you asked a few weeks ago, but there are a few other Texans on my f-list....

Hmmm, what else.

V, you need to help me beat Keanu into shape or something if you want that chapter.  Though Nick has been making noise that his chapter might come first.  If you're wondering what is taking so freaking long, it's the fact that I ended up writing 6k words of useless material for Keanu because I started the chapter "too soon."  (I seriously had to cut it, or else the chapter would go massively slow and be about fifty pages long--aka, the problem with MIN.)

Also, I cannot breathe.  GD I LOVE ALLERGY SEASON. /slits wrist/