Monday, August 3, 2015

Anime Crossroads 2015: Artist Alley Review (Incomplete)

Sorry for the delay. During some chaos, all my notes for ACross disappeared and I've been trying to write this with what little other scratch notes I had taken.
This was my first year attending Anime Crossroads in Indianapolis, IN. It’s been going for a few years and I’ve heard that some years have been great, others not so great. Last year they had a winter storm over the weekend, which didn’t help the convention at all. This year we got about 8” of snow Saturday but fortunately it was all cleared by Sunday. I was afraid my little car wouldn’t be able to drive out of the parking lot for a bit there ^_^’

Located in the southwest edge of Indianapolis, the Wyndham Indianapolis West is just a few turns off Interstate 70. For me, it was a straight shot on one highway. There was a little bit of food if you wanted to drive, but not much else aside from hotels and gas stations.

The hotel was nice, we’ll go with that. It was small but the staff were very friendly and there was nothing extravagant, just simple little rooms and a small lobby. The parking lot was big enough to accommodate a lot of vehicles. The artists and dealers were able to load in through a set of side/back doors that were right next to the AA, which was nice. It was a bit tricky to find the ramp though, since it was aesthetically hidden behind a decorative wall. Decorative wall? Yeah.

Artist Space
Artists were located in an alcove-like room right around the corner from the main events room. Dealer’s were a further walk down the hall. So at first glance, it looks like we’re in a room because you walk through an open walkway to get into the AA, but at second glance I and other artists realized there were no doors. Each night, they lined up a bunch of chairs to block off the walkways but it was pretty much an open alley. I went ahead and left all my stuff behind the table and I don’t think anyone had any problems.

Fun fact: the maid cafĂ© was in the same space, but partitioned off by tables and tall drapes. The maids and butlers were the best I’ve ever seen at a con. Friendly, adorable, and very helpful. I absolutely love them.

All weekend it was cold. The wall that I was against was 90% window, like the really big ones that go all the way up. There were some heavy drapes, but we could only figure out how to draw one set closed (we pulled it really hard). Fortunately it had been a cold week anyway, so everyone had a coat somewhere and I even had an extra blanket.

The artist alley was very much geared towards crafters. Not that there weren’t very many print artists, but only one or two that were dedicated print artists. I did get to see some crafts that I’ve never encountered much of before like shadow boxes and some very different art styles.

Sales & Attendees
I had a fantastic time with great people and great sales. I had heard many ups and downs about AC from other artists, almost alternating each year. I know last year a big winter storm wiped out half the weekend and sales plummeted. Fortunately that was not the case this year despite our many inches of snowfall.

The entire weekend felt busy and the AA was pretty alive all weekend. You had your half hour here and there with nothing but in between the popular events, it was pretty crowded. I had quite a few opportunities to walk around and talk to other artists, even meeting some lovely peeps from AANI.

Staff & Volunteers
Aside from a few unanswered emails, I had no issues with any staff. They were polite and helpful when needed. I think it was a little bit disorganized since I didn’t get much information about load in, location, or policies and the way it was set up. 

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