2014 Artist Alley Survey

AAsurveyoverallFor 2013 and 2014, Devastator Press and The Beat put together a survey for comic convention exhibitors about costs and profits. The results are pretty interesting. I really wanted to see similar data for artists at anime conventions though. Though they’re two sides of the same coin and are similar in many ways, there are still huge differences in the convention cultures at comic and anime shows, and I wanted to see the figures for it.

So I made and ran a survey myself and used the Artist Alley Network International and How To Be a Con Artist communities as launch pads to collect data. The survey was live for about a month and collected 195 responses for 13 conventions from an unknown number of artists. The results are compiled in the first PDF linked below, along with some of my observations and commentary.

I know there are many more ways to analyze and sort the data than what I’ve done though, so the raw data is also provided, sorted by convention, and sans timestamps to maximize the anonymity of respondents.

The 2015 survey is now also live, with some additional and modified questions, which will hopefully help provide additional insight!

The Important Stuff:

I think I originally had a lot more to say, but I’m currently in the middle of three back-to-back conventions and am very tired. :’) I really wanted to get this report published though, especially since we just had one of the biggest convention weekends of the year! I hope folks will find this report enlightening and that there will be more respondents for the 2015 survey. More data is better data!


  1. Great info – very interesting about 10+ year veterans’ experience. I’d love to see a per-day breakdown to take into account creators who don’t stay for an entire event. Portland is a hotbed for creators and cons, including Rose City Comicon and Kumoricon.

  2. Fascinating! I belong in the 10+ years thing, and definitely noticed a huge dip in my sales. I didn’t know it happened to other people too. I *just* hit the decade mark, and when I realized this situation, I put tabling to a halt, but became active on my online shop, which has improved. I don’t table as often, but I make up for it by internet sales, and I don’t think it would have been possible without those prior years of tabling.

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