San Japan: Art Contest – Info & Rules

| Art Contest Rules are listed here.

Art Contest is closed for the 2014 convention.


We are holding two art contests this year. One art contest is strictly for the T-Shirt contest and for the Mega Art Contest. If you would like to see people wearing your artwork as a badge or be on front cover of the program book then you’ll want to enter the Mega Art Contest. If you would like your graphic artwork to be used to on our shirt then you’ll want to enter the T-Shirt Contest. We have made changes to the rules and guidelines so please read over them in detail.


Theme: This year’s theme is Samurai. This is up to the artist interpretation if they want to go with a traditional art style, Edo period, or even futuristic. It can be with or without a mask. No major restriction on clothing. Henchmen are perfectly acceptable to put in the background. The setting and background is up to the artist.


T-Shirt Contest

  • Here are the rules & guidelines for the T-Shirt Contest (rules written up by our T-Shirt Printer):
    Step One.

    • Create your design using a vector art program like Adobe Illustrator (PREFERRED).
      Create your design using a raster program like Adobe Photoshop.
    • Hand drawing the sketch on paper then coloring in Photoshop or Illustrator is perfectly allowed.
    • We are looking for artwork with layers to allow us to edit what is necessary.
    • If you are designing with a raster program, make sure your canvas size is 12″ x 15″, and 300 dpi (pixels per inch).
    • Use a minimum line width of 5 pixels.
    • If your design contains gradients, you must convert them to halftones. Make them 1 to 30 LPI (lines per inch).
    • Each dot that makes up your halftone must be one solid color.
    • If you are designing with a vector program, make sure the canvas is at least 5″ x 5″.
    • Use a minimum line width of 1 point.
    • If your design contains gradients, your gradients must have a minimum 15% dot in all colors. We’ll create the halftones.
    • Your fonts should be expanded or outlined in your final version.
    • Save all final vector files as an eps.

    Use a maximum of 4 colors. This includes black and white. (If we print on dark shirts, we’ll add an underbase. A base is separate from white, and NOT counted in the artist’s maximum 4 colors.) Note: if you plan to present your design on a black t-shirt, you can use the t-shirt’s color as your black line; therefore it doesn’t count as one of your max 4 colors. Colors should be Pantone Solid Coated. RGB.

    T-shirt Color:Although Black t-shirts are King, you may choose a t-shirt color that best suits your design from the following: Ash, Black, Deep Forest Green, Deep Red, Deep Royal, Gold, Light Blue, Light Steel, Maroon, Navy, Orange, Purple, White, or Yellow.

    Tee Colors


    Step Two: Please save a copy of your design as a GIF, JPG or PNG. We’ll give an option to submit your high resolution artwork but if selected we will ask for it. Please make sure your high resolution artwork has all layers in tact. Do not flatten your image when in the form of .psd, .pdf or .eps.

    The winning Artist receives an Artist Alley table with two Artist Alley badges ($165 value).

    T-Shirt Entry Example: Right Amount Of Colors

    Mega Art Contest

  • Here are the rules & guidelines for the Mega Art Contest:

    • For the Mega Art Contest, the entry may have as many colors as you’d like and no restriction on the background.
    • Mega Art Entries must be digital; traditional art submissions (i.e hand-drawn art and sketchbooks) will not be accepted. To Clarify: Hand drawing the sketch on paper then coloring in Photoshop or Illustrator is perfectly allowed.
    • Mega Art Entries relate to this year’s theme of Samurai.


    Mega Art Entry Example:
    Too many colors for a T-shirt
    but works well for the
    Mega Art Contest


    Prizes for Mega Art Contest


    • 1st Place: Art used on Program Book Cover. Winning artist will be awarded 1 table in Artist Alley with two Artist badges (good for all 3 days of the convention) for San Japan: Sinister 6 ($165 Value) [WINNER MAY REQUEST SUBSTITUTE PRIZE OF EQUAL VALUE].
    • 2nd Place: Art used on 3-Day Pre-Registration Badge + T-Shirt ($70 Value).
    • 3rd Place: Art used on VIP Gold Pass. Wins a 3-Day Pre-Registration badge ($50 Value).
    • 4th Place: Art used on 3-Day Weekend Registration Badge. Wins a Pre-Registration badge.
    • 5th Place: Art used on Saturday Badge. Wins a convention T-Shirt
    • 6th Place: Art used on Child Badge. Wins a convention T-Shirt.
    • 7th Place: Art used on Friday Badge. Wins a convention T-shirt.
    • 8th Place: Art used on Sunday Badge. Wins a convention T-shirt.
    • All awards received for the 2014 art contest apply only to San Japan: Samurai 7.
    • 2nd-8th place may give their prizes to friends if requested.

    This is what we request for all entries:

    • Unlike previous contests which we asked for artwork of our female mascot Sana and the chibis, this year we are preferably looking for MALE design artwork but we will still allow female or even non-human original artwork as long as it matches the theme. The design needs to show influence from Japanese art style. We are leaving it up to the artist to come up with the design. If you need some inspiration, be sure to look over previous entries from 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 or 2013 contest. This is a link to our teaser artwork but you do not have to use this.
    • We will accept fan art submissions based on a well-known anime/manga series. Artist creativity and interpretation is highly encouraged.
    • Fan submissions may not be a tracing that is directly lifted from an anime or manga scene even if the character design is modified to be original. Any entries discovered to be a tracing will be disqualified and the artist will not be allowed to enter future contests.
    • If you want to submit your own original work, it will be considered as long as it is in an anime/manga style or other non-traditional art style.
    • Artwork must be G or PG rated. Nothing overtly risque or offensive. Clothing must cover key areas. No suggestive posing.
    • The 2014 attendee badge template will be horizontal. Please put this into consideration when drawing for the Mega Art contest.
    • It is highly preferred that all submissions have layers if at all possible. Do not flatten your image. Submitted art needs to be in TIF or PSD/Photoshop format [preferred]. We will also accept JPG/PNG files. If submitting a JPG/PNG file, let us know if you have a EPS/PSD/PDF (Photoshop/Illustrator) file available so that we can ask for it if your entry is selected.
    • Please make sure the picture is high-resolution at 300DPI. Please be at minimum 1365 x 1024 pixels  if at all possible for MEGA Art entries. Bigger is better. The preferred canvas size for T-Shirt entries is 12″ x 15″.
    Upon submitting your entry, the artists agrees on the following:


    • We reserve the right to decide for each entry if it should be in the Mega Art Contest, Promo Art or in the T-Shirt contest. Meaning that if you submit your art to the Mega Art Contest, you could win the T-Shirt contest and vice-versa.
    • We reserve the right to use any art submissions for own promotional and media purposes until the end of San Japan: Samurai 7. After the end of the convention, we will contact the artist to ask for permission for any further use of the artwork.
    • Artists will be credited in our program book and promotional materials if the artwork is used for promotional purposes.

    Submissions for the T-Shirt contest must be made by May 20th, 2014 by 11:59PM. Submissions for the Mega Art must be made by June 1st, 2014 at 11:59PM. We have removed the Promo Art contest as we have decided to commission them.


    • There will not be a limit to the number of entries you may submit to all of the contests. Limit one 1st place winner (we won’t allow one person to win two Artist Alley tables and a pre-reg badge).
    • If the winner of either contest has already purchased an Artist Alley table then they will get a refund of $125 for their table and an additional $40 refund if purchased an additional Artist badge.
    • NEW FOR 2014: Prior year winners of either contest will no longer be able to win a second year in a row. They may submit art for the other art contest that they did not win. This is to allow new artists to have a chance to win.

    If you have any questions then fill out the form on our contact page.


    You are not required to pre-register for San Japan in order to submit an entry.