Monday, March 19, 2012

KawaKon Review for Artists

Well, the weekend is over and I'm finally back! I figured it might be useful to share some information on how the weekend went for future artists and attendees who are on the fence about whether to attend next year.

I've been an artist at Kawa two years now and I have to admit my experience has been consistent so far.

Dealer/Artist Space: Good, bad, but not too ugly.

Vendors and artists are put into the same room, which can be both a blessing and a disaster. The artists are generally lumped together, although a few get stranded into "open spaces" between vendors or backed into corners. The good thing is the vendors will draw a lot of attendees into the shopping space. The bad thing is the artists are almost always overshadows by the gigantic vendor displays.

The table setup this year was also strange. The shape of the room was all sorts of wacked out and some tables ended up getting bumped so close together that one you couldn't even reach a few artists because a table was literally blocking them off. Of course, the hotel also misinformed KawaKon staff about the exact size of the space, which made things even more cramped. The room is also completed removed from the convention, like last year. You really have to go out of your way to get to the dealers/artists room. On the good side, the room is locked and secured each night so there's no need to take down each evening. With all the tiny jewelry I have, this is a blessing.

The hotel was very nice and the hotel staff are the best. I love the Sheraton.

Variety: My Shopping Paradise

For smaller conventions, KawaKon has a fantastic variety of artists and vendors. This might not seem so important until you hit a con where half the artists are making the same thing. They say they are first come first served but somehow always manage a good variety. There was amigurumi, plenty of print artists, jewelry, weapons, props, knick knacks, bodices and even a licensed masseuse (she's fantastic). A lot of the variety was likely due to the fact that KawaKon's programming is not your typical anime convention blurb. There were steampunk designers, comic-con and Ren-fair sellers. All sorts of great shopping and did I mention a masseuse?

Sales and Attendees: Slow and painful

I noticed last year that KawaKon had a snippier crowd attending. Not like everyone was a shrieking brat, but you get quite a few who are downright rude. It might have to do with a younger crowd. I'd say most attendees were 14 to 20. There was a lot of unnecessary commenting from quite a few bad apples. However, a majority of the crowd is just there to have a good time and they do.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Share Time: Mimosa Studios

These adorable orange charms are from Mimosa Studio by Melissa Francis. I met her at ASTL last year and fell in love with the charms she made. At the time she had polymer clay charms and a few other knick knacks. She's not got acrylic charms, a little jewelry, and Sailor Moon prints. She'll be at KawaKon in St. Louis.

I have one of these guys hanging out in my treasure box (a big golden apple) with a few other things I've picked up at different conventions.

Visit her ArtFire to support a local artist
Check out her DeviantArt