First off, Chapter 4 page 16 has been updated 😀 Yay! Now from this point I shall be doing my recap of Anime Iowa~
Okay so my memory is a little jumbled because of exhaustion but I will try to do my best to type out everything that happened while I was tabling at the Artist Alley in Anime Iowa.
Okay so there was a huge issue with me getting my rental car from the place where I reserved it and I was pretty heated because I still had about and hour and a half to drive up to the convention and get into my outfit and then set up my pictures. When I made the reservation for the car on Hotwire I didn’t realize that the company that I was getting the car from only took Credit cards and because of the discount hotwire was doing I wouldn’t know what company that I would be renting from until after I paid for it and even after that all sales are final so I couldn’t receive my refund because I didn’t have a credit card to check out the car from the car company. So I was pretty mad at myself and at Hotwire and vowed to never use them ever again to do a car rental >C
So now that I was out of a good chunk of money and really upset I decided to go ahead and go with my trusted Hertz to rent a car and thankfully they were having a sale on the full size cars, so with my car key in hand I was finally able to hit the rode to the convention.
I was a little afraid to were my big puffy princess dress to the convention but after getting some encouragement from my sisters and husband I decided to go ahead and squeeze myself in it and drove over to the convention center and diligently made my long walk down to the anime marketplace room, which was the artist alley and dealer room. Once I got there I was tired and hot because of the poofy dress and art luggage that I had to drag around, before I could even make it through the doors I first had to kind of push my way through a crowd of people that were standing around watching some Deadpool people doing some odd dance in the middle of the floor right outside the artist alley. After I set everything up and sat down I ended up being commissioned by a kind young lady who was tabling across from me. I can’t remember any really eventful things that happened on Friday and I think that was mostly because of the pain that my clothes were causing me. I was sitting there thinking in my head how much I couldn’t wait to get home and take this dress off. I received to more commission near the closing time of the artist alley and I had one finished before it closed but unfortunately the young lady wasn’t able to come pick it up until the next day. So once the artist alley closed for the night I packed up and hurried to my car so I could make it back to my hotel room, which was about 12 miles away from the comic convention. I was kind of glad that my hotel was so far away because apparently there were some complaints from people, that stayed at that hotel, about room parties and drinking and smoking and immature behavior.
On Saturday I woke up really exhausted but I was able to make it back to the comic convention with about an hour to spare so that I could make some more prints from the ones that sold out yesterday. Unfortunately the copier at the printer place kept jamming so by the time I got back to the convention center it was already about 49 minutes after the Artist Alley had opened so I wasn’t very happy about that but I was glad to have been able to make more prints and get back safely. I met some really nice people on Saturday and was able to take some nice pictures from my table but I wasn’t able to walk around like I wanted to because I was the only one tabling so I had to keep watch of my things. Saturday was pretty slow but that gave me some time to rest up from all the drawing that I did on Friday.
Sunday:By Sunday I was ready to finally go home. I was so exhausted from everything and since Saturday was a kind of slow day I wasn’t sure how things would turn out on Sunday but thankfully I was able to meet so many nice people on Sunday, some didn’t even know that I was tabling there or didn’t notice my table until now. I also met a few people that saw my work online or that have contacted me through my website so that was a lot of fun! A few instances that stick out in my memory is when people would walk past and then stop and walk back to my table and talk to me about my characters and how rare it was to see black people in manga or anime. I kind of had to laugh to myself because it seemed like a lot of people were a little shy about saying the words “Black people” or they probably didn’t know how to say it without being afraid that I might get offended. There was even one gentleman who said to me “I don’t want to sound like a racist but you don’t see a lot of black people in anime.” and that just made me bust out laughing and I agreed with him that there really isn’t a lot. I didn’t think that was racist at all so for some reason his comment really made me laugh. I’m a pretty laid back type of person so I don’t mind being called black or brown. I prefer being called by my skin color then someone calling me by a certain stereotypical nationality. Not all black people are from Africa so I don’t want to be called African American because that isn’t correct and most people wouldn’t know that because they don’t know my family history, my grandfather is mixed, his parents are white and Indian so you can see how me and my sisters are kind of jumbled together in a mixing pot of different races. Now some would rather be called that which is okay but that’s not for me because I’d rather not go all in to my family history so that a stranger will understand why they are incorrect when they might call me African American. I’m just an American or if you want a black or brown American. So after that funny little chatter between that young man I had the pleasure to met two very kind young ladies who are actually from the same city as me. I remember one of the girls name was Montgomery and I only remember this because I had some issues spelling it because my brain was so tired and just about wiped out ^^; Anyways I had so much fun talking with her and was so touched by how happy she was to see a comic/manga with a heavy set darker skinned girl. She was such a pleasure to talk to and I hope to see her and her friend again at the local comic conventions, one being the Iowa Comic Book Club that should be in October.
I was so grateful for all the commissions that I received during my time at the artist alley and was so happy to meet so many new people and other people that recognized my work, that was a really big shocker because I wasn’t expecting to meet anyone that new about me. Now that the convention is over I’ll have to think about whether I will try to get a table for next years convention. I’ll have to keep everyone posted on that one 😉 For now here are a few pictures that I took while I was there.
Now for a side note, for all of you who might be in the neighboring area, I received an email from Ms Samantha at a local Library in Burlington, Iowa and I will be there as a guest speaker to talk about my experience with working in this comic field and some tips or pointers about comic creation and I will also be doing a drawing for a lucky someone to win their own copy of Love! Love! Fighting! Volume One. So if any of you might be nearby then feel free to stop by and say hello. The meeting is scheduled for Saturday, September 28th. I’m both nervous and excited but I hope that everyone will be able to have fun and hopefully learn something new from it.
I think that’s all that I have to say. I still have a lot of work to finish up and I’m starting to get nervous about vol.2 print but let’s keep moving forward! Also Thank you so much to all of you who have been ordering books from my online store! You might not know how much that helps me but it really does and I appreciate the support from the bottom of my heart! Thank you <3~~