Anonymous said: [same anon] thank you!! And what type of file should I save them as? Like.. JPEG or TIFF etc...??

poison-and-antidote-shop:

artistsalleyinfo:

Unless the print shop requires a specific file format, a high-quality JPEG should be fine.

I work at a print shop and typically we prefer a good quality PDF since JPEGS lower the sharpness of most images.

JPEGS work well if they are really large, but PDFs are usually the way to go. (Although I do find that the colors of a PDF tend to be slightly darker than any other format.)

Interesting point! My experience with printing 300-600 DPI high quality JPEGs vs PDFs is that there isn’t a significant difference, and that PDFs tend to be a significantly larger file size due to being a lossless format. It is true, though, that if one is extremely concerned with sharpness and fidelity to the original file and/or isn’t concerned with file size then a lossless format such as PDF or TIFF is probably better. 

yamino:

Designing a vending space: yet another thing they never teach you in art school.

Most of what I’ve learned about attending cons as a vendor I have acquired through observation and trial and error.  There’s many factors to consider:

  • What will make my work most visible and accessible?
  • Will the display be too heavy to transport together with my wares/personal luggage?
  • Will this who thing collapse and kill me?

And then there’s things you can’t account for, like rude-ass convention-goers sitting/putting their food on your display (please don’t fucking do this! ever!) and generally making a mess of your perfectly organized table.

I would like to someday collect a bunch of resources on creating your vending space.  If you have any, please send them my way!

My latest trick has been the good ol’ pipes and clamps display. it’s secure,comparatively light, lets you build very high, and can also be customized to different table shapes.

Anonymous said: How much money/different bills should I have on me at my table for change?

If there’s a bank in the immediate area then $100 in change split up into about 20 ones, 10 fives, and 5 tens should be sufficient. Play with this as you like, a lot of people just plain don’t bother with tens and more ones could be a good thing. I’ve found that at a con, you either have basically nothing but ones or you’re constantly running out of them - there is no in-between. When you’re running low on change you can take the large bills you’ve accumulated to the bank and exchange them for smaller bills. 

If there’s not a bank close to the convention then it would probably be better to bring ~$75 change per day the con lasts. Go heavy on the ones in this case, because running out of them can be disastrous. 

Tags: Anonymous

Anonymous said: [same anon] thank you!! And what type of file should I save them as? Like.. JPEG or TIFF etc...??

Unless the print shop requires a specific file format, a high-quality JPEG should be fine.

Tags: Anonymous

Anonymous said: How do I prepare my images/drawings to be printed at a print store? Like large prints, small keychains, etc.

Different print shops have different preferences, so it’s good to check with them first. You’ll always want to make sure that the file is at print resolution, at least 300 pixels per inch. Some print shops require that the file already be converted to a CYMK colour profile, whereas some require that it is in RGB because they prefer to convert it themselves. Either way, you should check over your images to make sure that there aren’t any colours that don’t work well when printed using CMYK inks. Bright reds are the worst culprit for that, but any very bright or flourescent looking colour won’t look nearly as good on paper as it does on your screen. Some print shops also require a specific file format and will charge a fee if your files are not in that format.

Tags: Anonymous

Catprint sticker semi-review

Just used Catprint for Animenext. Awesome for prints, VERY CONFUSING for custom stickers/labels. The site is is wishy washy when explaining the process and doesn’t mention you have to email them the dieline for where your stickers peel/cutout and NOT add them as a 3 page pdf file to your order like their site vaguely suggests, or just plainly doesn’t mention. (if you do that it triples the price b/c it thinks you’re printing 3 sheets instead of 1)

Also! When you’re emailing what you need printed, you may run into a lot of trouble with exporting files. For some reason the dieline I created in photoshop refused to work on their end (they say it kept dropping out?) and when I re-did the lines in illustrator like they requested, the dieline and images would not match up and it also acted as if I had saved it at 72dpi.

This is most likely be because I have no idea how to operate illustrator, and adobe never makes it easy to transition between their products, especially when it comes to document settings. 

EITHER WAY it was a pain in the butt and customer service didn’t tell me until it was too late that they had a designer I could pay 12 bucks to get them to make their own working dieline.

The sheets cost about a dollar each to print (25 sheets for 25.81 usd) and each sticker could sell for a dollar when cut out, sheets sell well (sized at 8.5” x 5.5”) priced for five dollars. Add the 12 for the designer fee and sheets cost 1.48 each to print so I think it’s worth it if you have to end up spending on the designer, especially when comparing prices to places like stickeryou (costs $15 for a single 8.5x11 sheet I think?).

They only offer one option - Label Paper Matte (60lb cover, white bg, smooth satin finish) but they’ll be good for making a profit.

Sadly I had to cancel my order because they mentioned too late about the designer and I didn’t have time to request samples (though I will now) so I didn’t get to see how exactly the come out, but I think they’d be good seeing as their regular printing came out great.


Side note their customer service is patient and AMAZING. I never had to wait more than 3 hours for an email reply, but they’ll usually reply back and forth relatively immediately. I was the one slow at replying which made our back and forth last like 6 days. I only wish they’d mentioned their designer could fix it sooner!


shattered-earth:

A little comparison shoot I did with some of my charms and charms i got at the a-kon artist alley~ Since a lot of people ask me what i use and if i knew anything about Zap. 

Disclaimer: 

  • I personally use Ink it Labs and have written a review in the past. 
  • I have never used Zap Creatives, I only own charms that were produced by them via other artists.From what i hear from various people, their staff is very sweet though some times misleading in terms of shipping times or formatting standards. I can only speak to Ink it Lab’s service ^^;;
  • The other artists are not involved with this photoshoot/review/post at all. They do not support nor have any input on these pictures.Please DO NOT pester them unless they reblog this and let you!!

The Terra charm is from mojgon, she draws beautiful work and i’m 99% sure it’s a raster file. 

The Isabelle charm is my own, it is a vector file using spot colors

The Leafeon is from maridrawsdotcom , i believe it’s a vector file but NOT using spot colors.

My own notes:

  • The thickness of the acrylic seems identical, and colors are vibrant on all of them.
  • But the zap print quality is a bit weird, the white layer is very visible around the edge esp in back view (it’s visible in darker ink it charms as well sometimes, but not as much) and in some places seem to “escape” out and create a kind of drifting ink effect? You can spot it in the 3rd photo the easiest.
  • The edge of the charms of ink it labs is much clearer and soother, while the Zap ones are banded and have little cracks here and there.
  • Zap I believe does not offer any kind of gloss finish option, so the matte/shimmer is what you get? 

Zap Creatives IS some what cheaper than Ink it, but for myself I prefer the outcome of the Ink it Labs charms more. 

I do own several more charms from both companies from different artists in different styles, but they are currently attached to my phone which i used to take the pictures. If anyone has a burning question about other charms or what not I can take some time to remove them to photo them XD. 

Again, the artists of these charms are not connected to this post in any way, take that how you want!

Anonymous said: Hello! I'm planning to make a storenvy, so I recently started looking into making products such as cosmetic bags (I always see amazing cosmetic bags on sale when I go to the Artist Alleys). I tried to see if any artist was willing to let me know where they order them, but I haven't had any luck;; I looked up online to see if there's a website, and I found a site called "Artscrow". There were mixed reviews on this site. Should I trust it? Or is there a better site? Thanks!

Artscow is the standard source for cosmetic bags in the Artist’s Alley. They can be a bit pricy, though, so it is best to wait for a sale and then order a bunch at once!

Tags: Anonymous

slckat said: What service do you use to print your books? Are there hardcover options? Thanks! You're amazing!

reapersun:

I hope you don’t mind that I publish this, since others might like to see as well.

These are some of the places I’ve used to print books so far. I’m not really particularly recommending any specific place, I think anyone looking to print a book should look into many places and choose what works for them. You can write and ask them if they’ll do a certain thing, since most of them don’t list their complete services (such as hardcover). These blurbs are based on my own experiences and might vary for you.

RA Comics Direct

Pros: super fast, super responsive, low runs, pretty reasonable pricing, does a lot of file set up for you at no charge

Cons: doesn’t print explicit/nsfw content, print quality is good for black and white or sketch collections but not artbooks, pretty limited print selection

Books printed with them: Wreck, all SFW doodlebooks, ABCs with Ben, Red Pants doodlebook

MCRL Printing

Pros: HELLA quality (uses offset printing process vs digital) good for artbooks, good pricing (last time I used them), reasonably manufacture time, a lot of print options if you know what to ask for

Cons: very slow communications, slow shipping, printed in China (bad for local business), requires files be set up at pdf in Indesign or similar program, doesn’t print nsfw content, requires very high runs

Books printed with them: 7 Patch Problem

SIPS Comics

Pros: prints nsfw content, low runs

Cons: pricing is high, charges more for nsfw content vs normal content, slow communication and slow manufacturing, print quality is grainy even for digital

Books printed with them: NSFW Doodlebook

DoujinPress

Pros: prints nsfw content, really good communication, they handle a lot of setup, pretty good quality, does low runs, fast manufacturing options

Cons: pricing is pretty high, some quality issues (i used a matte cover with black and so every book was very obviously scuffed in the print process)

Books printed with them: All the Days (30 day challenge collection)

Transcontinental (note, I’m only part of the way through the process with them and so this isn’t a full evaluation)

Pros: prints nsfw content, judging from other books I’ve bought from them they have really good quality, very good pricing, reasonable low runs (about 100)

Cons: fairly slow communications, difficult for someone inexperienced to understand a lot of their communications/directions, some kind of totally wack shipping cost that I’ve still negotiating with them, a lot of forms you have to fill out

Books printed with them: Banquet (Hannibal)

Here are also some other places that have been recommended to me but I haven’t used:

Print Ninja (does hardcover, foil, cheap but high run)

DocuCopies (cheap)

Hope that helps :))

ohlaif said: Um.. Hi! I have a friend that follows you and she tells me you have experience at running artist tables at cons. I'm planning on purchasing a spot for the very first time for a small con. Do you have any advice for first timers?

reapersun:

I hope you don’t mind that I publish this, just in case other people would like to see it as well. Also sorry for the late reply!

-Plan ahead, try setting up a mock of your table at home so you know how you will set it up when you get there. Make sure you get there before the AA opens so you have time to set up (it takes longer than you would expect tbh)

-Doublecheck all the measurements, don’t plan for a 6x3 table and then realize when you get there the table is only 6x2.

-Bring a table cloth from home, it makes you look more professional versus just using the white plastic they usually put on them, and keeps things from skidding around.

-If you have a lot of art prints, consider building a print rig of some kind: http://aatoast.tumblr.com/post/52794396535/chuuface-i-built-it-most-artists-make-them (I’m currently using the last one and it’s the best rig I’ve tried so far). If it’s a larger con, most of the other artists are going to be using rigs like that, so it will make it a lot easier for people to see your work among all the others. If it’s a small con in a hallway or something then you probably don’t need it.

-Remember when setting up that people are going to mess with EVERYTHING, so make sure everything’s secure and stable. Don’t hang prints on the front of the table unless you really have to, it’s too low for people to really see it and also they will bump into them and tear them off if they aren’t secure.

-For anything over 5 dollars, try to price them in zeroes and fives only, so you don’t have to deal with one dollar bills that much; for example, you can sell like, 2 dollar buttons (which are popular btw, they are a pretty good moneymaker for someone starting out) but don’t sell prints for 7 dollars, or 11 dollars, because then everytime someone buys one you have to wrestle out 3 dollars change, 4 dollars change, because no one carries exact change at these things.

-Make sure you bring money from home to use for change, bring about 20 dollars in 1 dollar bills and 20 in fives, if you can (the dollars are essential if you’re going to be giving dollars in change, early in the con people usually have a lot of ATM money,  which means 20s and 100s, so someone could come up to you early on and want a 2 dollar button but only have a 20 and you can’t count on having made enough sales by that point to make change for them).

-If you have a smart phone, look into getting a Square or a Paypal card reader, so you can accept credit card payments using your phone; that’s really useful.

-Bring water in bottles and snacks from home, con snacks are expensive.

-Bring a friend or table next to a friend, so you have someone to keep an eye on your table while you take bathroom breaks, or if you want to go to a panel or look around the hall or dealers’ room. I would not recommend going to many panels while tabling.

-Bring hand sanitizer and sanitize your hands before you put them anywhere near your mouth after handling any money or hugging people; con illness is actually a really serious problem, so don’t worry someone’s going to feel offended if you sanitize after touching them. I’ve picked up some pretty serious flus and sore throats from conventions.

-Bring something to do, either a game or art supplies to draw or something, so you aren’t sitting around bored when no one is walking by.

-WATCH ALL OF YOUR STUFF CAREFULLY. People steal a lot at cons. Keep your phone close/behind the table, as well as any game systems if you bring them. Keep an eye on your merch when people are hanging around your table. Keep track of where your money is at all times. Just make sure your important things aren’t ever sitting where someone could just walk by and pick it up. Don’t let your guard down during setup/cleanup either; recently someone swiped a book from my table after the hall had closed and the passerby was really sparse, so it can happen at any point. Something will probably be stolen from you at some point, just make sure it’s not your money/phone.

-If you’re in a back to back row like most AAs, be aware of the other artists around you and make sure you don’t do rude stuff by accident, like let eight of your friends sit behind your table with you and make the people sitting behind you really uncomfortable, or keep your stuff in a mess so other artists can’t get through easily, or bring super smelly foods or make a lot of noise, or have displays that encroach on other people’s table space. Don’t hang stuff on the back of your displays to try and get attention that should belong to the person behind you. Bathe every morning and wear deodorant, but not too much perfume or anything strong.

That’s about all I can think of off the top of my head… If anyone with con experience wants to add on to this post, feel free!

Some good advice from a very experienced artist!