Policy & Application 2023
Artist Alley Application
Artist Alley is open to all kinds of artists, including (but not limited to): fine arts, manga/doujinshi-ka, painters, crafters, sewers, jewelers, and other types of small art/craft displays such as school clubs and art organizations. Artist Alley is for showcasing an exhibitor’s personal work, therefore the sale of commercial or copyrighted merchandise is restricted to the Commercial Vendor Spaces.
Anyone interested in applying for a table in the Artist Alley must first submit their application before the Saturday May 13, 2023 deadline. Tables will be offered to artists after a review period; considering relevancy to convention and uniqueness, space constraints and originality of artwork/craft.
This document sets forth the rules for applying to the Artist Alley at Tsubasacon 2023. By applying to the Tsubasacon 2023 Artist Alley, you (the Exhibitor) agree to abide by these rules.
Quick Breakdown of Events
Application Process begins May 7, 2023 and ends May 13, 2023.
Fill out an application form on the website to apply.
Tables will be reviewed and acceptance letters will be sent out by June 30, 2023 on all accepted submissions received during the open application period.
Accepted Artists will have two (2) weeks to respond to their acceptance letter and send payment via our online payment or via check to our PO Box. Late payments or extensions will not be accepted.
All Artists who are not accepted in the first round will be placed on the Waiting List for the second and third rounds of acceptance as needed to fill any empty tables.
Wait Listed Artists will be drawn to fill any unpaid spots after July 31, 2023.
September 1, 2023 is the cancellation deadline, no tables may be refunded after this date.
September 1, 2023 is the deadline for groups to submit names of members to receive 3-Day Artist Badges.
Artists will receive an email packet of information by October 1, 2023 for check-in instructions at the convention.
Artist Alley Tables and Rates
Each space in the Artist Alley includes a 6’ x 2’ table and two chairs. Artists are limited to one (1) table per artist. Second tables will not be available due to social distancing guidelines and limited spaces. Exhibitors may configure their space as they like so long as it does not interfere with other exhibitors, infringe on social distancing guidelines at the time of the event, or violate fire codes (which includes, but is not limited to, moving a table into and impeding traffic flow of the walkway, not leaving a 3 foot gap between tables of other artists and your own, or creating walls of any sort that exceed 8 feet tall).
Rates for Artist Alley are $100 for each space. Registration for a table in Artist Alley includes one (1) 3-Day Artist Badge for Tsubasacon 2023 (you will not need to register separately to attend events). Table arrangement will be assigned by the Artist Alley Coordinator but requests may be considered as to location.
Electrical sockets may be requested for an additional fee ($20 per artist table).
Entry & Setup
Artist setup begins Thursday night before the convention for a few hours and also again on Friday morning. Thursday night setup will be conducted only through the back loading docks and artists may pick up their badges at that time. During Friday morning setup, passes must be acquired in order to enter the back dock before receiving their badges. Once the vendor room opens to the convention on Friday afternoon, the dock will not be available and artists must enter through the front and check in with convention registration.
Guidelines & Protocols
- West Virginia Business laws require you to have a WV business license with you during the convention. See the form here: https://tsubasacon.org/west-virginia-sales-tax
A representative from Charleston’s Tax office may come to check these on-site, although Tsubasacon will not require proof of prior to the convention, if you are not in compliance you might not be allowed to sell in WV, so we recommend you get your license ahead of the convention.
It is also your responsibility to pay all state and local taxes according West Virginia state law.
- Tables will be spaced according to the West Virginia State ADA guidelines at the time of the convention. Aisles must comply, so additional displays racks, or unusual setups might be limited.
- Masks are always allowed for your personal safety, but will not be required for guests unless West Virginia state guidelines at the time of the convention require it.
- Tsubasacon reserves the right to impose stricter guidelines for the safety of our guests, but will give advanced warning for preparation to comply with these rules.
Sharing and Extra Badge Policy
Artists who wish to share a table with another attendee, or groups who wish to display their artwork together, must designate one person to be their leader. This leader should fill out the registration for their group under his or her name, indicating the number of members, their names and email addresses, who may be in attendance at the table during the weekend.
You may purchase additional badges with your table at a discounted cost; however, any badges purchased after that point must go through the normal pre-registration procedure on our website. Each of the other members will then need to register for Tsubasacon 2023 3-Day Pre-Registration by Sept. 1, 2023 and must have an artist badge in order to be at the table. This also includes anyone just “watching” the table for the weekend, if they are in the alley, they must have a badge, even if they do not plan to attend other events during the weekend or they will not gain entry. After the initial payment, the group leader may request artist badges by submitting the names and email addresses of their group members who are registered to be switched to a 3-Day Artist Badge by emailing the Artist Alley Coordinator.
Proxy selling is NOT allowed. If someone is selling your artwork, we ask it be you or a helper with you.
Fan Art is acceptable in the Artist Alley. We ask you to limit the amount of Fan Art that is displayed at your table to 30% or less. Original artwork must be displayed with it, since Tsubasacon wants to see what YOU do, not just your favorite manga artist! Copied artwork, or selling of other artwork as your own, if discovered, will be caused for immediate eviction from the convention.
All types of crafts may be sold at the Artist Alley including (but not limited to): handmade jewelry, crocheted/knitted items, small hand-sewn items, sculptures, pixel bead sprites, carved wooden items, sculptures, painted figures and soaps/candles. Smaller items such as props and accessories like hats, scarves, tote-bags, gloves, ears, tails, and jewelry will be accepted.
Items that are mass-produced with an artist’s work, including but not limited to: t-shirts, stretch pants, hats, plushies, pins, books, printed fabrics, etc – ARE acceptable so long as you have proof that these designs are of your own creation or that you hold the copyright to them.
Tsubasacon is a family-friendly convention so Adult Materials should be strictly monitored. Explicit materials such as nudity, sexual situations, extreme violence and other adult rated themes should be in binders/boxes that are not available to minors. If you wish to sell these materials, please ask to see a picture ID for anyone over 18 years of age. This includes commissioned artwork. Artists who do not abide by these rules will be asked to leave the convention, with no refund, and will be banned from future Artist Alleys.
NO FOOD is allowed to be sold in the Artist Alley, no matter how crafty it is, the convention center prohibits the sale of food items.
Full cosplay costumes, kimonos, and dresses are not allowed in the artist alley as they might conflict with our arrangements with our dealers. However, you are allowed to take commissions for these items.
Licensed graphic designs carved, traced or used on other creations will not be accepted in the artist alley as they might represent copyright infringement, and interested parties are asked to apply as a Dealer unless you have certified proof you are allowed to sell using these designs.
Craft items that use items that are not copyrighted by you – items made from trading cards, small toys, artwork from someone else are NOT allowed unless that part takes up less than 10% of the total item. For example, an original art piece with small magazine clippings would be allowed, but making a necklace, earrings or pin out of someone’s artwork or a copyrighted figurine/toy would not be allowed.
Using fabrics with copyrighted designs is acceptable, but falls under the “fanart” category so please limit your stock to less than 30% of what you are bringing with you.
You also may not sell items that are made commercially as “add-ons” to created items: such as cellphone chargers, battery packs, dice, etc. For example; you sell a sewn pouch to carry a battery pack or you sell a dice pouch, you may not also sell the battery pack or commercially made dice separate from those crafted products.
If you have any questions as to whether your work might compete with our rules, vendors, or copyrights, please ask the artist alley coordinator for assistance before applying.
Artist Alley Formalities
We ask that artists show respect to attendees, convention staff and other artists. Tsubasacon is a family oriented convention so please refrain from excessive use of profanity or noise. If you wish to play music it is acceptable, but if it disturbs other artists or attendees, we will ask you to turn it down.
Please be considerate to those around you and clean up after your tables. We wish to remain in good standing with our new venue, and excessive messes might be cause for negative results for future applications.
Our artist alley will hold vendor room hours and be in the same space with our vendors. Please take this into consideration when planning on setting up your tables for maximum selling time. Hours vary, but typically run 8 hours on Friday/Saturday and 6 hours on Sunday.
As a paying ‘vendor’, you have the right to ask loiterers to move on if they are blocking your table, so long as you do it in a non-threatening way. If someone is taking photos or recording your table without your permission, you also have a right to speak with the attendee. Convention staff will be happy to assist you in any way possible.
The Artist Alley staff is more than willing to address any concerns or questions you have before and during the registration period and will be available for the majority of the weekend.
All artists/groups wishing to register for an Artist Alley table must first submit the Artist Alley Application to the Coordinator by filling out our online form. Make sure that you fill out ALL of the form, including the signature at the bottom.
Include all information specified, including links to examples of your artwork/table setup (Instagram, Facebook, DeviantART or a personal website are all accepted), or in an email to the Coordinator, you may attach example photos/artwork (JPGs, GIFs, PNGs accepted).
Examples of artwork do NOT have to encompass everything you are bringing, but must be an accurate representation of what you may sell during the weekend. (For example, you submit a table representing all sewn products and show up with only paintings, that would be frowned upon.)
Once a submission is successfully entered, you should receive a confirmation via email within a few hours. If you do not receive a confirmation within 24-hours, please notify the Artist Alley coordinator before re-submitting your application. The online application form will be taken down at the end of the day on May 13, 2023. The review approval process will take place before July 1, 2023 and if accepted you will receive an email with a link to the payment process. The Coordinator will hold your reservation for two weeks for payment once the email has been sent. After two weeks your table will be offered to another interested party. Those who lose their spot may try again if there is room still available.
Payment can be made online using our online payment form. Instructions will be included in the acceptance letter. Payment may also be made in the form of personal check, certified/cashier’s check, money order or postal money order. There will be a P.O. Box address available with the acceptance letter.
Any payments received without the approval letter will be denied and returned.
Artist Alley tables canceled after September 1, 2023 will NOT be refunded. Please be aware of this fact if you have registered at multiple conventions and wish to attend a different one after this date. If for any reason the convention itself does move forward, refunds will be offered or transferred to the following year.
The Artist Alley waiting list is used to fill last-minute spots from cancellations and unpaid tables. All artists not chosen in the first round will be placed on the wait-list to be chosen from first. Typically we have enough submissions with the first round of entries, however if you miss the application deadline and are interested in being on the waiting list to take your chances, email: email@example.com.
- Why is there a limitation on fan-art?
- Even if your style is original, we also want to see what you can do with your own characters. We still allow fan-art but restricting the amount of fan-art levels the playing field. We all know that fan-art sells better than originals, so let’s help introduce original artwork to our attendees.
- Why can’t I sell “X”?
- Many of our rules against selling certain things are mainly because of issues we have had in the past. If you have any questions about something you wish to sell that falls in a gray area, let the artist alley coordinator know and we’ll see if you will be allowed to sell it or not.
- Do I need any certificates or licenses to sell at your convention?
- Yes, West Virginia requires you to have a business license. You do not need to collect sales tax but you do need to report earnings made in WV with your income taxes to West Virginia.
- Why don’t I see the second tables available for purchase?
- Typically we like to be able to get as much variety out of our artist alley as possible, which means giving each artist a single table. On a case-by-case basis we may offer extra tables if we have cancellations, empty spaces or for special circumstances, in which case, you may always contact the artist alley coordinator to discuss extra tables once you have been accepted.
- Why aren’t Proxy sellers allowed?
- We have very limited space and our artists have a very loyal fan base they can develop by attending our convention. We understand that in order to make a living, some artists have to run multiple tables during a weekend, but if you aren’t physically at our convention, it confuses our attendees. We want our attendees to get to know you and your artwork. If you are too busy to attend our convention and would rather be at another convention instead, our attendees will know. Please consider this when applying for our convention when you have already applied to other conventions on the same weekend.
- Why do I only have a 2 week limit to paying for my table?
- We want to know you are serious about attending Tsubasacon. We’d also like to have enough time to advertise for you on our website, plan for your inclusion in the program and artist alley map, and want to give you enough time to plan for our attendees.
- If I get ‘wait-listed’ what do I do? Can I get on the “wait-list” after July 1st?
- We go through two or three rounds of acceptance, so we do not just send rejection letters to everyone who didn’t get in during the first round. You are instead placed on our wait-list until we have all tables filled and paid for, and even then we do have a short window for cancellations, in which case we may still need to pull from the wait-list. If you were unable to apply during the application period, you may be added to this wait-list below all of those who applied on time in case we are in need to fill last minute. You may also request not to be added to the wait-list (for whatever reason) either during the application process or once you have been notified of your wait-listed status.
- If I don’t get chosen, can I find out why?
- 75% of the time it is because of our size constraints (we wish we could take everyone!). 15% is because your merchandise it too similar to others who applied ahead of you. 5% of the time it is because we don’t feel your merchandise fits the criteria of our artist alley – not anime/pop culture enough or goes against one of our policies. The other 5% is usually for other reasons. We may reveal exact reasons to individuals, but it will never be because your art/craft or table setup isn’t “good enough” as we know everyone has to start somewhere!