CategoryArtist Resources

The Only Way to Beat Algorithms is to Retrain Your Audience

The Internet in 1999 was comprised mostly of individual websites run by individual people. WYSIWYG website builders were new and exciting, allowing laypeople and ten year-olds to make sites without much technical expertise. People of similar interests found each other through webrings and message boards and chat rooms. Digital word-of-mouth was limited, and virality wasn’t possible.

I’ve had a personal website since this bygone era, and in those days, if people wanted to know when I updated with new art, they needed to go to the site manually and check. The Internet was small, so this wasn’t too arduous a task.

Manually announced site updates from 2002, wowee. Thanks, Wayback Machine.

Manually announced site updates from 2002, wowee. Thanks, Wayback Machine.

Nowadays, the Internet is pretty big.

It’s not practical to manually check lots of individual sites anymore. Besides, while most creators posting stuff online in 1999 had websites, this isn’t true of their 2019 brethren. Some might have both, but many artists now only have social media accounts. Social media is convenient. Not only do you not need any technical expertise, you don’t have to build anything at all. It’s much easier for people to find you, and they don’t have to manually check your feed every day. Everyone they follow is combined into one feed. So handy!

But: algorithms

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2018 Convention Artist Survey results

The 2018 Convention Artist Survey collected 987 artist responses regarding financial and other data for over 300 conventions in North America — how much they made, how much they spent, how far they traveled, how they rated staff communication and organisation, and so on.

And the corresponding report turning that data into relevant charts and graphs is finally done. Snag the 2018 report for $5 or more!

 

The survey and report still skews heavily towards anime conventions, but 2018 marks the first time there were enough responses for two furry conventions to get individual reports! Two comic cons also got individual reports, one new and one returning. I removed a few of the travel-related pages and combined some charts for brevity. Most of the travel data here didn’t change significantly between 2017 and 2018, so you can refer back to the 2017 report if you’re curious and want the visuals.

2018 Con Artist Survey genre representation

2018 Con Artist Survey genre representation.

The 2018 Report includes:

  • 24 pages of overall analysis
    • Including such graphs as Gross Revenue by Experience, by Percentile, by Convention Genre, by Convention Size, by Region, by State/Province, by Primary Product, by Artist Recommendation, and many more divisions; Convention Ratings by Size and Genre, 2015-2018 comparison of Average Gross Revenue, Top Cons by Average Gross Revenue, by Overall Rating, and much more!
  • 37 pages of individual con data
    • 18 conventions qualified for individual reports: A-Kon, Anime Central, Anime Expo, Anime Los Angeles, Anime North, Biggest Little Fur Con, Calgary Comics & Entertainment Expo, Crunchyroll Expo, FanimeCon, Further Confusion, Otakon, Otakuthon, Rose City Comic Con, SacAnime Summer, SacAnime Winter, Sakura-Con, San Japan, and Youmacon
  • 84 total tables
  • 139 total charts and graphs

Unsure the report will be useful to you? Get any of the prior years’ reports for a minimum of $0.

2019 Convention Artist Survey Report

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2017 Artist Alley Survey results

The Convention Artist Survey Report for 2017 is finally done!

For 2017, 782 responses were collected for over 300 different conventions in 49 states and provinces. A new record!

2017 Convention Artist Survey Report

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2016 Artist Alley Survey results

Well, so much for finishing mid-February, but it’s still earlier than last year!

The 2016’s survey netted 650 responses (down from 2015) for over 250 different conventions (way up from 2015!).

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How to be a con artist

Because of time constraints, I stopped writing long, detailed, individual convention reports at the end of 2014, but since mid-2013, I’ve been co-running the How To Be A Con Artist blog with fellow convention artist, watercolorist, and SCAD Sequential Art grad Becca Hillburn (Nattosoup).

There, we share resources we come across, including our own and others’ con reports, and answer dozens of questions a month about tabling at conventions, producing merchandise, printing, and other related topics.

htbaca

In three years, we’ve made over 800 posts and more than half of them are answered questions. I’ve always been pretty long-winded with my con reports, so who knows how many words that is in answered questions??

The blog has been a great way for me to continue participating in the Artist Alley community and to engage in general convention-related discourse outside of con reports. I come across AA-related resources on a regular basis, so having a place to store and share all of them is very nice. I also really do enjoy answering questions, even if some of the persistent, repetitive ones get a bit tiresome. (Please stop asking where to get stuff made and just use The Google, omg.)

I’ve been told by lots of people over the years that they’ve found my con reports helpful, and I’m glad for the opportunity to continue being helpful by sharing insights and answering questions on HTBACA.

So yeah! This is a just a post here to let you know about HTBACA because I guess I’ve never formally mentioned it, though I’ve referenced it here and there. If you have convention questions, please take a look at our extensive archive over there, and if you can’t find what you need, send us your questions! :)