I keep on wanting to write this big, long summary of Arisia Con, but then I realize that I’m way too tired and lazy to do something like that for a post that is basically about a couple of awesome days in my life. I know I keep saying I should just bullet point post like these, which in this case, I think I should. It will be a lot easier.
If I had to describe Arisia Con in one word, it would be: relaxing.
There are so many different levels of it being relaxing for me, which I’ll talk about in a bit. Let me bullet point everything though that went on.
Before Arisia Con:
- Already hitting some depression and I was still kind of, more or less, worn out from December, so I inched through completing some stuff
- Hurricane and our friend helped me make the pins while I worked on other aspects
- I made a sampler booklet that was printed the week of Arisia Con
- I made some charts that I printed out the day before Arisia Con
Arisia Con – Day 1
- I arrived early, only to be told I was two days early; there was a mix up with the tables; this happened not just to me, but also to another artist alley attendee, Loren Walker
- They got me a table by taping two smaller tables together (they originally asked the hotel staff for an actual table, but they were taking too long); I was placed in the corner between the elevator entrances and across from the up escalator (literally EVERYONE in my row was having difficulty with sales because of the location)
- I took even longer to set up because I missing most of the pieces to my original rack set AND forgot to move my car (luckily, I had another set of racks in my car)
- Eventually set up and felt relaxed
- A girl and her aunt kept coming back and bought numerous items from me; their favourite character seemed to be Deathena the Death Fairy
- Several other people stopped by, said hi, checked out my stuff
Arisia Con – Day 2
- I made yummy food before going to the convention, which resulted in us being late (trend for the entire weekend)
- Made a few more sales
- Talked to a few more people
- Continued to feel relaxed
- Derek from the table next to us remembered I wanted the They/Them/Their pronoun ribbon and grabbed it for me!!!
- I followed people on Instagram
Arisia Con – Day 3
- I moved my spot AND MADE ABOUT 4x AS MUCH MONEY
- The mother of one of the teens I met on the first/second day of the convention ended up coming across my booth and recognizing my stuff and we had a VERY nice talk!
- A 12-year-old girl who had been repeatedly coming back to the table beside me on Day 2 and didn’t even look at my stuff SAW my stuff the 3rd day and said it was the best thing she had seen that day and proceeded to use the rest of her money to buy a bunch of pins and a print (I think) from me.
Arisia Con – Day 4
- I ran out of sampler booklets
- The 12-year-old girl from the previous day actually hung out with me for most of the final day because it was slow and Hurricane didn’t come
- My last sale of the day was an 11-year-old girl and her father who came back around after I initially called out to them; she sent me my first fan letter
Despite how ROCKY the first day was, the convention was so relaxing after that. I think part of it was definitely finally setting up, but there is SO much more to it.
I realized back in December, specifically on Christmas Eve, that I was unhappy. While I am happy with certain aspects of my life, I am not happy with my life as a whole. I am working on that right now, but for me, it is taking some time simply because I have to ask myself questions of why I am I not happy and what can I do to change it.
Attending Arisia Con confirmed/revealed some fairly important things to me about my unhappiness.
The most obvious was confirming that I have been just holding myself up. After the convention, I have gone back to holding myself up. I’m excited to go to my next convention just so I can relax again. I don’t need to hold myself up there. (I stared tearing up now and have a tear rolling down my right cheek as I type this.) I feel like I’m propping myself up with a stick just to keep a float in my every day life.
The next thing was how inclusive the convention was. And I don’t use that term lightly. I don’t even like that term, but it is literally the only term I could think of to use. From the pronoun ribbons to a designated gender-neutral bathroom area, I felt unrestrained. I hadn’t realized until I attended that the environment I have been in for quite some time has been arguably excluding (whether it’s intentional or not, I don’t know). I have not been around totally like-minded people in such a long time, so Arisia Con brought a rather welcoming relief to that.
The other thing too was that I was doing something I love to do: talk about and spread my works!
When I left the convention on the final day, I had a hard time holding back tears. The young girl who hung out with me on the last day really touched my heart. Her face really lit up as I was talking about my characters and when she described my works, the only word she could use to describe it was “creative.” I heard feed back too from numerous of others in my target age group who made me realize I am already achieving my goal: to INSPIRE in positive ways! I left feeling refreshed and motivated.
I literally want to give a shout out to ALL of you guys from Arisia Con! I LOVED meeting you all! I loved seeing your faces! I wish I had taken a picture with all of you! You all are helping me to achieve my dream. Even right now when things are getting tough and I feel like I am suffocating and sinking, knowing that there are people out there who may just be waiting for my next piece, for my story, for my next panel pulls me up and out when I am not strong enough to do it alone.
Please reach out to me on social media! Drop by and say hello at conventions, if not buying something as well. I would love to stay in touch, even just a bit.
On that note, let me show you what I got at the convention from my fellow artists:
Agents of the Realm by Mildred Louis
Eko by Loren Walker