So thanks to selling at an Artists' Alley at a con this weekend, I actually have something to post in this forum!
Overall, selling at the con was great. Most of the people who stopped by my table were great, and I didn't get anyone telling me, "Oh, I can make that myself for cheaper!" or anything stupid like that. In fact, this story isn't about any of my customers, it's about a set of non-customers that invaded.
See, the Alley at this con has specific rules about not blocking the tables for anything. The only reason there should be cosplay photos taken within the Alley is if one of the artists is either the one taking the photo or the one cosplaying, because they can't get out and wander as easily as the regular attendees. If someone has an interesting table but it's crowded, you're not supposed to block their neighbor's table while waiting for your turn. You're not supposed to use an artist's table as a repository for your bag or food or anything like that. And you're certainly not supposed to have random meet-ups and the like in front of tables that take forever to clear up. It all blocks the artists from being seen by potential customers. For the most part over the weekend, the attendees were pretty good about it.
Cue this family of four. Father, mother, pair of tweenage daughters in cute cosplay. I saw them browsing the table across the aisle from me and thought nothing of it, besides remarking to my table partner on the girls' cosplay costumes because I actually recognized them despite not watching the show in question. Then the father decides he just has
to make an important phone call. So they back away from the other table to let him make the call...
...And end up blocking my entire space. It was only four feet wide, and the parents together completely blocked my half, leaving the corner of my art binder and my partner's jewelry display barely visible. We cut them some slack at first, becuase the daughters were at least browsing our wares and because we hoped the parents would end the phone conversation quickly or at least get a clue.
No such luck.
After having enough of it (about ten minutes; I'm far too patient sometimes), I decided to make my presence known. I started by standing up to full height (just barely shy of six feet, about the same height as this family's father) and began straightening things at the front of my table (by reaching over the display, since the family was blocking the front). The girls glanced up at me and smiled, and I smiled back because they weren't the problem. The mom noticed and seemed taken aback that there was *gasp!* someone actually selling stuff at the table that was covered with prints and painted fans and jewelry and seven-foot-high displays! She kind of nudged her husband a bit and they scooted off to the side, where there was an open area not blocking anyone.
Seriously, it's in the rules in the convention guide, and it should be common sense, people! I'm trying to sell my stuff, just like the next person, and you standing in front of my space with your back to it gabbing away on your phone is Not Helping. If it's such an important phone call, take it out to the hallway
. It's not like they charge you to get into the room or anything.
Honestly, if they hadn't moved when I stood up and started rearranging, I would've then not-so-politely told them to move it or I would be getting con security over there post haste.
this one didn't involve me in a seller role, so it's more of a Sighting. But what is it with my White Mage costume attracting creepers? I don't get nearly this sort of problem in plainclothes, at the con or
at home. But when I wear my White Mage costume to conventions, I always seem to get some loser creeping on me. Last year, it was the guy in a costume I didn't recognize in the Dealer's Room who tapped on my shoulder to get my attention. When I turned around, thinking he wanted a photo (since I'd already been asked three times at that point), he propositioned me in probably the crudest way I can think of, a flat "we should f***." I gave him a glare and a flat "NO" and turned back to what I was doing, and thankfully that was the end of it.
This year, I was wandering around the Artists' Alley looking at all the pretties for sale. I'd stopped to talk to a fellow artist I knew from previous years who was suffering an advanced case of Con Plague and sympathizing with her when a guy in a face-concealing Black Mage costume came up beside me and, without preamble, just started running his hand up and down my arm.
I pried his hand off and pushed it back toward him and said, "Please don't touch me," and he kept his hands to himself. Unfortunately, he started making what I think were lewd comments. His face mask kind of muffled his voice so I'm not entirely sure on the wording, but I think he was attempting to quote a sprite comic involving the characters we were cosplaying (which actually come from a game, and the comic just reuses them to tell a different story). I'd read just enough of the beginning of that comic to get some references, but am not a fan, so I just ignored him and he wandered off.
Later, after I'd gotten around the corner to a different booth and was talking with another artist, he came up and started making more
comments! This time, I leveled the Mommy Glare at him and firmly stated, "I think you need to leave me alone now." To his credit, he asked if I knew the webcomic in question and I gave him a curt "no," at which point he left me alone. But seriously, since when does "girl in White Mage costume" equal "wants to be felt up or propositioned by random strangers"?