Welcome to the AWA Artist Alley!

The AWA Artist Alley is a place for artists to sell their original, unique and handmade wares at AWA. If you are selling items of this nature, read on! If you are selling licensed or mass produced goods, please consider selling in the Dealer’s Room.

Applications for the 2018 convention are now closed. We will begin accepting applications for the 2019 convention in February. The rules and guidelines for the artist alley are below for reference purposes. Thank you for your interest in vending with us! 

Important Dates for 2018 Con Year

  • January 28, 2018 – Online Application becomes available
  • May 1, 2018 – Online Application closes
  • September 1, 2018 – Withdraw Deadline – the last day to let us know you won’t be able to vend with us after all. Please make any travel plans before this date.

General Artist Alley Rules

  • Please obey all local state and federal laws inside the Alley.
  • Please adhere to all convention rules, such as the dress code, weapons policy and code of conduct.
  • The Cobb Galleria is an alcohol and smoke-free facility. No smoking or drinking of alcohol will be permitted in the Artist Alley.
  • Professionalism is a must; no running, screaming, yelling, roughhousing, sparring, etc.
  • No equipment that will produce noxious fumes is allowed. This includes, but is not limited to, t-shirt presses, welding equipment, etc. (if you are unsure about a piece of equipment, contact us at artistalley@awa-con.com).
  • No open flames permitted, including candles.
  • No squatting. If you did not pay for the table, it is not yours and you will be asked to move. If you would like to purchase a vacant table, (though we try very hard not to have any of those), please see the Artist Alley Director, Cat S., during the convention.
  • Each table comes with 2 chairs. Please do not move provided chairs to other tables. No more than 2 Galleria-provided chairs should be behind a table at any given time (though artists may bring additional chairs from home if they wish).
  • No third party sales. Each artist must be selling their own work, not that of other people. Collaborative works (where multiple artists worked on a single project) are acceptable, but must be noted beforehand.
  • All displays must be secured and stable. Artists with wobbling stands will be asked to take them down.
  • For safety, displays should be no more than eight feet in height when measured from the floor. This will be strictly enforced, artists with displays exceeding this height will be asked to lower/take down their display.
  • Displays should not exceed the 6′ width of the table including supports.
  • The Galleria does not allow anything to be adhered to walls. Violation of this rule may result in your expulsion from the Alley.
  • Any explicit content must be unavailable to underage eyes and be clearly labeled as such.
  • No food or drink of any kind is permitted to be sold at Artist Alley tables. Dealers and food trucks with the appropriate license may sell food, but Artists may not.

Application Information

We will be send out acceptances once all Artist Alley applications have been sent in, after May 1. There is no advantage to applying right as the application opens – please take the time to ensure your portfolio is exactly what you would like to present. We will accept applications from January 28th to May 1st and the portfolio review committee will select artists to offer the chance to purchase a table based on artist’s portfolios. We strongly encourage all artists to take the time to thoroughly read the Portfolio guide and make sure the portfolio link you submit meets all the criteria and showcases your best work.

  • Space in the Artist Alley is $229. This includes one 6-foot table, two chairs, and two Exhibitor badges.
  • The primary applicant (Artist) is legally responsible for the table. The primary applicant must sign the contract and the name on their application must match their legal ID.
  • The Studio/Artist name is the publicly listed name for each Artist’s table. This will be listed by in the con guide, website and Artist Alley map. The Studio/Artist name must be unique to each application. If several members of the same studio are applying, they should differentiate somehow (e.g. “Dreams by Kelsey” and “Dreams by Mark” instead of just Dreams Studio.)
  • The email address used on the application must be current and checked often.
    • We will not accept communication on the artist’s behalf from any other email address.
    • Please note that email is our primary form of communication for status updates on applications and important updates.
    • If you would like to change the email address associated with your application, you must email us from the original email address requesting this change.
    • Please remember to set your email filters to accept all emails from @awa-con.com email addresses. It has happened in the past that artists missed their chance for a table because the acceptance email went to their spam. Don’t let this happen to you!
  • The primary applicant must pick up their packet, which includes information for getting their table and their convention badge It must be picked up during load-in hours at the loading dock at the back of the dealer’s hall. The Primary Applicant is the ONLY person who can pick up the table and are required to show ID. Table assistants, spouses, family members, etc. will NOT be able to pick up this packet.
  • The packet is required to claim your table and start setting up. Tables not claimed by 9:30am on Friday will be given to another artist and payment will not be refunded or transferred.
  • Tables MUST be manned during all hours the Artist Alley is open to attendees. If you cannot meet this requirement, please do not apply. Leaving early will hurt your chances of being approved for a table in the future. (If you run out of merchandise, you can share pictures of your work, take commissions, and otherwise socialize with attendees).
  • Only those with an exhibitor’s badge may run a table. People with a regular attendee badge may assist, but there must be someone with a Exhibitor’s badge at the table at all times.
    • No one without an Exhibitor’s badge is permitted in the exhibit hall during load-in and load-out hours.
    • Artists may purchase one additional exhibitor’s badge in addition to the 2 provided with the cost of the table by marking it so on their application.
    • Artists can give the second and third exhibitor badges to either a secondary collaborating artist or a table assistant.
    • A table assistant is someone you trust to help you set up, man your table and sell your artwork while you are not there.
  • Table sharing policy: Artists may share their table with other artists who have been accepted to the artist alley.
    • You must have included the other artist’s work as part of your portfolio submission, or they must have applied themselves before the deadline.
    • If the other artist was independently accepted, but you plan on sharing a table, please let us know via email. One artist will be the “primary applicant”, who will sign the contract and be legally responsible for the table.
    • Artists may NOT share table space with artists who were rejected, waitlisted, or whose work our Portfolio Committee did not see.
    • To add another artist to your table that was not listed on your original application, you will need to withdraw your initial application and reapply with their information included, or they will need to apply and be accepted separately. This option is not available after applications close on May 1, 2018.
  • If circumstances arise where you cannot attend the convention or attend your table for the entirety of the convention, you must email us before the withdraw deadline. If you have already paid for your table, you can transfer your table to 2019, but no refunds are available. If you inform us you will not be able to attend after the deadline, you likely will not be able to transfer your table, but dire emergencies will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Portfolio Guidelines

If your portfolio does not meet these standards, your application will be rejected.

  • Your portfolio must consist of at least 12 pictures or examples of your art *(see note below). These pieces should showcase your best work, and be representative of what you will display or sell at your table.
  • **New for 2018** Your portfolio must include a picture of your display at another convention or, if it is your first time vending at a convention, a mock-up of what you intend to display.
  • Your portfolio should be available at a single url. We do not accept emails with attachments or multiple urls. If you do not currently have such a page, you can create one for free on sites such as deviantart.com or wix.com.
  • Your portfolio link should continue to be available throughout the time you are being considered for a table. If our judges attempt to visit your site and it at any time does not meet the 12 piece minimum or is otherwise unavailable, your application will be rejected.
  • The portfolio link you submit should NOT include blog posts, profile pictures, or cosplay pictures (unless you are selling cosplay pieces).
  • **New for 2018** We will no longer accept portfolios on Tumblr, Facebook, or Photobucket. (Too many applicants with Tumblr or Facebook links violated the rules above last year and Photobucket is now too ad-laden)
  • No sketches or incomplete works.
  • All the artwork in your portfolio should be your own. We allow for collaborations with other artists, but these should be clearly identified as such.
  • There should be no tracing or reproduced art, such as cuttings from comics or photocopies from an official source.

*We may make exceptions for artists of less common types of art. Please consult with Artist Alley directly before submitting your portfolio, as the 12 piece rule may not apply to you. For instance, an author’s portfolio might consist of photos of a stack or two of books they plan on selling, a picture of the book’s cover, your table at another convention or the display you plan on using and a sample chapter for our Portfolio Review Committee judges to read.

Two types of works may be brought to the convention:

• Items for Sale – 2D or 3D artwork that you have brought to sell.
• Display Only – artwork that you are not selling. For example, original pieces to serve as examples for commissions or of which you are selling prints

The following are not permitted in the Artist Alley:

  • Duplication/Reproduction of licensed material
  • Reselling of commercial products
  • Food or drink to be sold from table as product
  • Weapons
  • Bootlegs or piracy
  • Mass-produced prints or merchandise
  • Products that can be considered edited/altered for resell
  • Garage sale-like items. If you have such items that you wish to sell, try the SuperHappyFunSale on Thursday evening

Small Press: Artists whose work is at least half sequential art, self-published art books and novels, web comics, or comic books are eligible for our Small Press section. Applicants will have the opportunity to indicate if you qualify to be in this special section on the application.

Judging Guidelines

After we determine that a portfolio has met all of the above requirements, it goes to our Portfolio Review Committee for judging. The Portfolio Review Committee judges are Assistant Director level or higher volunteers who rate artwork with a points system for the following qualities:

  • Presentation/Quality – Do they look like finished pieces? Is it easy for us to tell what it is?
  • Creativity/Uniqueness – How many other applicants do we have selling the same thing? Does your art stand out from the crowd, or use a technique we haven’t seen before? Have we seen these characters before?
  • Skill – How many other artists could make these items? Is your work composed of items bought from a store or made from scratch? How much time and effort went into creating these pieces?
  • Sale-ability – How will your items sell to our attendees? Are the prices appropriate for the items?
  • Style – Are they interesting to look at? If it is fanart, how is it different from other fanart or the original? Are they appealing/beautiful?

Fan Art Policy

If you didn’t come up with the character on your own, but you draw it in your own style, this is fan art. Both fan art and original art are acceptable, but our judges prefer at least some original art. A portfolio that is entirely fan art is unlikely to receive a table.

If you have any questions about any of our policies, our process, your application, or anything else, please email us at artistalley@awa-con.com. Thank you for your interest in vending with us and good luck!