Got back from LA yesterday. I have class on Monday (today), so I had to leave AX early in order to make it back on time. I was sad, but my table mate was nice enough to continue my sales for the rest of Sunday and through Monday, so hopefully I didn't miss out on too much.
I always forget how incredibly crowded and packed AX is compared to Fanimecon. It's so much more corporate, the atmosphere is entirely different. Unlike Fanimecon, the Artist Alley area is merged into the back of the Exhibit hall. This means that when we got in early to set up, I got to, for the first time, see what the exhibit hall looked like during set up. I felt so special for some reason, like I had a VIP badge, haha. Another thing that's very different is the Artist skill level. Tables at AX are much more expensive than those at Fanime, so people that actually do end up tabling at AX are more confident in their selling power. Thus, the overall artistic and technical skill level is noticeably higher at AX. Hell, I was even placed right behind Hyperbooster, which intimidated the hell out of me. (For those of you who don't know, Hyperbooster is a professional artist who does this sort of thing for a living. He even has his own convention down in San Mateo) Fortunately he was a nice guy and pretty open to talking, so I learned a great deal about what being a professional artist is like. Nonetheless, I was very concerned that all the better artists that I was surrounded by would overshadow me completely...
I got myself a hand full of commissions and sold off a good portion of my inventory of prints. Made a decent amount of money, but there's a lot more costs involved with AX. There's hotels since I don't know anyone with a place to stay down there. There's the expensive parking for my car. There's the gallons upon gallons of gas I have to pay for. There's the food costs, which aren't too different from any other con I suppose. And of course there's the table costs, which is roughly 2.5 times that of Fanime. I thank the gods that I still have some minor edge with my traditional media and my niche work. (Thank you Valkyria Chronicles and Tales). Some people say they prefer my style over the others in the hall but I'm still not quite convinced about that one... Once I've refined myself some more, maybe I'll eventually start believing people like my style over what ever else makes me competitive. Overall it was an eye opener in how much I need to progress, but still very positive. I'm looking forward to next year when I can look back and see how much I've grown.
That being said, I'm signed up for SNAFU, which is a convention in Reno Nevada. That's at the end of September, so look forward to it!