This topic has probably been brought up before, but as a disclaimer this is something based on my own experience and is not necessarily experience by others. I may have a personal bias since I happen to know both artists who I commission from. The two times that I have specifically asked for commissions are surprisingly done in conjunction with AnimeNEXT which had an artist alley that is position specifically across from the Dealer’s Room at the Garden State Exhibition Center.
Consistently, I have had a love and hate feeling for AnimeNEXT’s Artist Alley…well hate is a pretty strong word, so I should say Love and Tears. Love because I always always love a lot of things that I see in the Artist Alley and Tears because, well the money that goes flying out of my wallet. Personally speaking, what I see at AnimeNEXT is at times not seen at other conventions. I am mostly going on about their availability for origami crafts jewelry. But enough gushing about what I see at AnimeNEXT’s artist alley.
Typically artists at the convention alleys often purchase table space to sell their products to attendees. To earn beyond the cost of purchasing the table space equals to a profit for artists. It is also as I learned a great place to network, and get exposure. A great deal of artists typically has prints, buttons or comics to sell. I also see fashion accessories, plushies or all types of crafts. If the artist is an illustrator, there’s most likely an advertisement on their booth that offers commissions for a fee to be completed during the course of the convention.
How does a person go about commissioning artwork? Well there should be an interest in artwork, and appreciating an artist enough to throw money at them. An artist does a lot of their artwork out of love for the subject and a commission is a transaction that is done one on one with a fan seeking an artist to use their artistic trade to create a custom image. These tips are also done within a very short period of time, if this is typically the first time commissioning a artwork or product.
- Hold onto your wallets, because the goal is to keep within a budget. Yes an artist would probably want you to throw as much money as you can to them.
- Give a walk around the artist alley once without buying anything. Observe, giggle and yes this may be best done alone or with a small group of friends. There is often not enough space to have a large crowd. Do a couple of walk rounds if you have time.
- Make mental observations to art styles or mediums used by the artists. Inquire about pricing and commission sizes. What are negotiable is the anime character, (more for one character), position, and tone of the product. Different prices are set between colors, or black and white. You can ask if you would want to have the artist emulate the official art or use their art style to convey that character.
- Inquire first if the artist knows the character/series you’re talking about, if not then have a reference handy.
- Settle on price and leave payment.
- Wait to pick up product.
The two commissions I have complete are actually tapped to by wall, protected in their original plastic coverings. If there is ever room, the option is also in my mind to frame the artwork. Yes this is not original artwork by the creator, but to appreciate a fandom and love in an artistic manner. Commissions are one way to support and have an enjoyable experience. Thanks to Juri and Lily for drawing your versions of Arale for me!
Whenever I think about fashion shows, that song by Right Said Fred for I’m Too Sexy always starts to echo in my mind. The song might be a one hit wonder, but there was definitely a catwalk set up for the fashion show for Mint Neko and Baby, The Stars Shine Bright. Both designers are Japanese well known labels and were invited to Anime NEXT as guests. Convention goers were also able to purchase the designer’s goods at the dealer’s room over the weekend.
Mint Neko’s fashion show was first, followed by BTSSB, and after every fashion show, there was a short Q/A with the audience. Convention attendees were allowed to line up and ask questions. During Mint Neko’s Q&A, it was revealed by the designer that he got into fashion to meet girls, and of course he was currently single and looking for a girlfriend. This pleased many female admirers in the audience. Mint Neko is a designer that uses a neko motif in his trendy urban and mod fashion lines. His style has been worn and modeled by Jun, a member of the Golden Bomber, a Japanese visual kei rock group. His fashion line is produced in limited quantities every season, so it would sell out.
Baby, The Star Shine Bright walked through their fashion show, while video was shown on the two screens to the far side of the cat walk on both sides. During the Q/A session following, it was vey apparent that Akinori Isobe, the CEO of BTSSB, Masumi Kano and Saki Tachibana, BTSSB designers were all quite soft spoken. If there’s any interest in dressing up in the fashions of sweet lolita style, then anyone not located in Japan or San Francisco can look up Tokyo Rebel to shop. The fashion show that BTSSB did also included two additional Anime Next guests, with participation from Moon Stream.
Check out Anime Diet’s Flickr to see more additional photos from the fashion show.
At AnimeNext this year, there were only two industry panels with Aniplex and Vertical. I was able to attend the manga industry panel. This is going to be a summary of what was presented at Anime NEXT. More importantly, there has been no new announcements, so Vertical presents a repeat of what was done at A-Kon.
- Limit volume, 5 has been released around May. It is a shojo title that should appeal to readers of both genders.
- GTO: 14 Days in Shonan, volume 9 also released around May. This is the final volume, and brings full circle of the teacher known as GTO, from when he was introduced to the American readers in Tokyopop’s manga to now. Onizuka grows up.
- Knights of Sidonia, volume 3 was released just in time for June, so convention goers had the opportunity to pick it up early.
- Flowers of Evil, with the recent anime being aired on Crunchy Roll has been a seller for Vertical. Six volumes were available at Vertical booth during the convention. Ed spoke about the anime has been a positive correlation for manga sales.
- Gundam: The Origins Part 2. This is a love song that Vertical had thrown their money and effort into translating for overseas fans. This second volume just got released in English. It is a book series that is worth’s its weight in content.
- Wolfsmund part 1 was available at this convention. It is a series created from a former assistant to Emma and Beserk. It has German on the cover, so reading it out loud is an activity I heard over the weekend.
- Twin Knights is the sequel to Princess Knight and would be available around July. Vertical mentions as a publisher that they are probably going to be publishing fewer classic titles in the future.
- Helter Skelter is going to be on sale around August. This is a Josei title that deals with physical beauty and the spiral of a model who changed her entire appearance by plastic surgery.
- Chi Sweet Home’s success has pushed the series to be extended to about 13 volumes. Vertical is going to be releasing volume 10 by August, with volume 11 being release next year.
- Summer Wars Part 1 is going to be out by NYCC. This is the manga adaptation of the hit movie adaptation. Vertical is condensing its original Japanese three volume release to a two volume set.
- Tropic of the Sea is the only manga ever written by the late great Satoshi Kon. A great feature of this book is an essay from Kon, that details his transformation from mangaka to animator.
- Sickness Unto Death is going to be a two volume manga series modern retelling of the same title from Danish philosopher Soren Kierkegaard. This is expected to be sold later this year around September and November.
- Pink – Love and Crocodiles by Kyoko Okazaki is a collected manga, that was initially published in magazines and later reprinted into this one volume book. This is a coming of age tale of seeking happiness.
- Sushi Simplicity is a cookbook that details 60 different recipes on making sushi in about 20 minutes or so. No need for any fancy sushi presses or cutters.
- A Dog in Water was the only novel that was presented at this panel. It is a crime fiction novel from Kazuhiro Kiuchi who created Be-Bop High School.
- From the New World volume 1 is going to be on sale around November. This is the manga adaption for the light novel and anime series of Shin Sekai Yori that is currently streaming on Crunchy Roll.
- I became aware that Vertical is slated to publish more origami books in the future.