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The Artists Alley is the space at a convention where amateur and professional artists display their work, draw commissioned sketches and badges, and may sell merchandise of their work such as prints, CDs, comic books, and buttons.
Artist's Alley vs. Dealers' Den
Most Conventions will have both an Artist's Alley and a Dealer's Den available to those wishing to sell their works, but the Artist's Alley is either cheaper or free in comparison. As such, there are several notable differences between Dealers' and Artists' tables. Compared to the Dealers' Den retailers, Artist's Alley dealers:
- are only permitted to sell their own works, whereas Dealer's Den retailers can and often do sell the works of others and general merchandise;
- are more restricted in the amount and size of signs they can display at their tables;
- are often given less table space;
- are often prohibited from using electrical outlets, telephone, or LAN connections (though they may be permitted to use battery-powered devices and wireless access);
- typically receive their space as-is on a daily basis, and are unable to leave their space for long gaps of time without ceding it to another artist. Dealers rent a space for the duration of a convention, which cannot be squatted.
Typically, professional artists rent tables at the Dealers' Den which is more commercially geared and attended by larger publishers and furry artists of notoriety, since they are able to generate enough business to afford such tables. In comparison, Artists Alley is usually a space which is not reserved in advance, so artists of all levels may showcase their work (but the odds of getting any table at all, let alone a particular table, may vary). Some artists prefer the Artists Alley because it allows them more freedom than they would have in the Dealers' Den to spend some of their time doing other things at the convention.
A common requirement is that all items for sale must be the artist's own work; that is, the artist owns the copyright to the work sold (or at least drew the works themselves, in the case of certain types of fan art depending on the convention, or commissions for clients involving the client's character or fursona).
Common merchandise for sale at Artists' tables:
- Pre-made, non-personalized Badges
- Art CDs
Depending on the convention, adult merchandise available for display may be censored or kept in a separate binder from other works.
If you are seeking a personalized sketch or Conbadge from a particular artist, they can be commissioned here. Depending on the artist, the work may be picked up later on during the convention or delivered at some point afterwards if the artist takes on more commissions than they can complete during the convention, or produces digital works.
Prices vary both by artist and by the size, medium, and content of the commission.
Some artists will have badges available for pickup only at conventions, displaying them at their tables until clients pick them up.
- Artists Alley Rules from Anthrocon's website
- Artist's Alley Policies from Furry Weekend Atlanta's website
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