The 2020/2021 Applications have closed. We are not opening applications at all for San Japan 12.5. The only possible way to enter was through our Art Contest. The 2021 Applications date will not be opened at all on any date for our 2021 convention. We are rolling over all accepted 2020 tables which will fill our entire artist alley layout. Please do not inquire about a waitlist as do not have one.
We do not maintain any signup mailing list reminders. Artists will need to place the signup date in their calendar.
Please note: we are not enacting a full Jury system for selected applications. We are evaluating an artist based on adhering to the rules on having a Texas Sales Tax ID, adhering to the San Japan Artist Alley contract, and requested fan art rules. We are not evaluating artists based on the quality of the artwork or products for sale to be within Artist Alley then selecting them.
We are also actively watching groups like AANI when we are informed on tracers, lifters, or unauthorized reprinting sellers.
We will not be answering any questions on why an artist table was not approved or wasn’t selected. We listed above a majority of the reasons this may have happened but we will uphold all decision processes by San Japan staff. We will not be listing the approved list anymore. We will only be listing the final list of artists on August 10th, 2021.
If you have questions about your Sales Tax ID beyond what is listed in the button above, you must contact the Texas Comptroller’s Office. We can not answer any further Sales Tax IDs questions since we are not the Comptroller’s Office.
This will be the only way artists who want to get an artist table who were unable to signup. We will be selecting 4 winners and 15 finalists. Art Contest winners will win a 12′ x 10′ booth within Artist Alley plus 4 Artist Badges, a $1000 value. The booth arrangement will not be for sale to the general public.
Please take the time to read over our exhaustive FAQ which answers a vast majority of questions that we’ve received over the years. We truly try to answer every single question that we’ve received by inquiry in this FAQ. It is searchable by key terms too. The convention map is posted here to make sense of the locations listed.
|Where do we load-in and unload? Can we use the loading dock on I37?|| |
We will not allow artists to use the loading docks in the Exhibit Hall 3/4. The loading docks are reserved for San Japan staff, decorators, 3rd party contractors and dealer vendors ONLY. There are not enough space or loading docks for the dozens of people who are trying to get into the Convention Center as we will have a very limited time to get in and out of our contracted space. You will need to park in or around the convention area.
|How much are Artist Alley Tables? How many are available? When are they available? What Do I get?|| |
San Japan 2020 Artist Alley Tables Information:
|Do you verify the Sales Tax ID to name match or address match my application?||We only verify if the supplied Sales Tax ID is VALID and ACTIVE. We do not flag your application if your company name, Sales Tax name or company name matches.|
|Do I need to take my stuff when I shut down for the day?|| |
San Japan will not be providing security of personal items left at tables. It is recommended you take any items of value from your table when you shut down for the day. The responsibility is on the artist to make preparations before the convention to store your supplies each night.
|What about electricity? Is Wi-Fi available? What do you recommend for phone service to take credit cards?|| |
At this moment, electricity will not be offered inside the Exhibit Hall due to the exorbitant cost that Freeman is allowed to charges us ($160-$300 per outlet) which is well beyond what artists are willing to pay.
SmartCity, who is the only Authorized Wi-Fi provider at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center who are allowed to charge $80 PER DAY to use Wi-Fi inside the Exhibit Hall for 1.5MB Access.
(And no, there is nothing that San Japan can do about this.)
We heavily recommend making prior arrangements with your cell phone service before arriving at San Japan if data is required and planning to take credit cards. We have learned over that those who have Verizon LTE and AT&T LTE has the best reception at the HBG Convention Center. Prepaid hotspots generally go for around $50-$80 for an LTE hotspot and $20-$50 for data plans that will accommodate credit card purchases.
If your cell phone provider is Sprint or T-Mobile we can not stress in using another provider for a hotspot. Make sure that provider are using AT&T or Verizon towers.
Please take this in serious advisement in the multiple years that we've been using the HBG Convention Center unless you're okay with losing hundreds of dollars in lost sales. The exhibit halls in the HBG Convention Center are surrounded by concrete. Sprint and T-Mobile do not work well in there at this current time.
|Will chairs be provided with my artist table?|| |
Two Chairs will be placed at each table. If you need additional chairs, you can ask for them when you've checked in at the convention. There will only be two chairs guaranteed per table. If you purchase additional badges then you may request an additional chair per extra badge.
|When will be the earliest we can start selling at the convention?|| |
You may begin selling on Friday morning at 10:00 AM of the convention. The Exhibit Hall where Artist Alley will be located will be open to the public starting at 10:00 Am. You will only be allowed to set up your table on Thursday of the convention. You are not required to be on-site by Thursday as you may check-in on Friday 09/03/20 during Check-In Times of 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM.
|What are we allowed to sell at the convention?|| |
Artists will only be allowed to sell fan-created and original artwork, handmade crafts and items created at the table. We will not allow non-arts or non-crafts 'services' to be sold at San Japan. We will be stricter on modified crafts as they can no longer be from licensed items that would normally be found in the dealer room. We will be taking a heavy look at this when being considered through our review application system.
Retail items nor food will not be allowed for sale at Artist tables and will be strictly enforced. We will not allow you to sell items that have blatant copyright or trademarked logos even if engraved or printed on items. A written warning will be issued if such items are made available for sale and if multiple warnings are issued then the artist will be asked to leave San Japan then barred from returning. We will also be enforcing Funimation rules that show titles can not be listed with products for sale. For a link on their stance on Artist Alley, here is their announcement on Anime News Network.
Any vetted industry representative who requests for an item to be removed must be done by the artist or they will be removed from the convention.
|Will San Japan be providing any storage area?|| |
San Japan will not be providing a storage area for artists. Artists will need to arrange an area to safely store their items when they shut down their table for the night (ie Hotel Room, Vehicle).
|Will San Japan be providing any dollies or carts?|| |
San Japan will not be providing any dollies or carts to carry items to the artist's table. Dollies & Hand Carts can be purchased from Wal-Mart or Office Depot for around $40-$70 or at Sam's Club/Costco for around $40-$100. Our recommendation is the 3-Way Cosco Hand Truck sold only at Costco for $110+tax for its durability. For a lower cost option which doesn't require a club membership we recommend Northern Tools.
|What if I can't make it to San Japan after purchasing a table?|| |
You may request a full refund up to June 10th. A partial refund of 50% is issued if requested between June 11th and July 10th. This is to deter artists who wait until the last minute to ask for a refund as this has become problematic. No refund will be given after July 10th for any exception whatsoever.
This is including medical or catastrophic reasons.
We will no longer allow table transfer since we're moving to Lottery. We must approve all artists who have gone through our screening process after commencing the Lottery. You need to forward the confirmation e-mail that you received after made payment along with your request for an AA refund to info(at)san-japan.org. Do not e-mail artistalley(at)san-japan.org for a refund as they can not process refunds.
|What if an artist doesn't make it to San Japan, can I purchase a table at the convention?|| |
If an artist is a no-show after Saturday, September 5th, at 10:00 AM and tables are available then you may purchase a table at the convention for $110 at the artist alley check-in table. An Artist Alley badge is not included with the purchase and a badge is required to sell at your table.
|May I play music at my table?|| |
You may play music at a moderate reasonable level but only for the intention to not be bored and not to attract customers to the table. If we receive a complaint that the music was too loud San Japan reserves the right to turn it off and it will be permanent for the rest of the convention. A second time to the table due to a music complaint will be when we ask the artist to leave the convention without a refund.
|How large are the tables and where is my table located?|| |
Tables will be a standard 6 feet by 30 inches. All Artist Alley tables will be located in HALL 4A of the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center. Tables will be assigned in prior years. There will not be any space to place an additional table. The assignments will be posted several weeks before the convention. We will try to accommodate requests (all requests must be in by July 10th through the table request form). There is absolutely no guarantee of preferred placement even if you have a condition that you believe requires a certain placement within Artist Alley.
|Am I required to have an Artist Alley badge in order to sell at my table? Can my friend who doesn't have an Artist Alley badge sell at my table?|| |
The person behind the table must have purchased a badge from the convention. You are not required to have an Artist Alley badge in order to sell at your table. It can be a pre-registration badge, 3-day or even a 1-day badge. The only main requirement is that the table is purchased from the convention.
If we catch someone 'stealing' a table, if they do not immediately reimburse the convention, then they will be badge-pulled with no refund and kicked out of the convention. If we spot someone selling items outside of the Artist Alley area that is not authorized to sell stuff then they will be asked to shut down or risk expulsion from the convention.
|Am I required to get a sales/business tax license permit? If so, why?|| |
Yes, you are required to have an ACTIVE Texas sales tax ID permit upon purchasing your table. This is a requirement by the state of Texas as you are a business selling items even if you are just an individual. This must show to be active online as of February 25th of this year. We also want to ensure we are fully compliant with San Japan can get in major trouble if the Comptroller's Office decides to stop by which has happened to other conventions in the state. (FYI: A Comptroller representative was in San Japan at our 2016 - 2020 convention).
You can acquire one from the state of Texas which is completely free but you will still have to pay taxes back to the state of Texas based on your total sales. We are not trying to be harsh as this is the law when selling to people as you are a business in the eyes of the law. You can apply for one on the Texas Comptroller's Website.
We are not trying to be the bad guys on this rule as we're just enforcing a rule that's always been in every one of our Artist Alley contracts. You must have your paperwork already sorted already with the Comptroller Office prior to signup as we will not accept any applications who do not have their TX Sales Tax ID. All prior Texas Sales Tax IDs must be active as of Feb. 25th of this year. If you ask for an exception prior to the release of the tables, the answer will be no. All INACTIVE Sales Tax IDs will be skipped. We will not inform you if you Sales Tax ID was inactive. There will be a section on the form to enter your Sales Tax ID. We must see the actual certificate in person in order to set up as we will no longer accept a filed return through Webfile. We will no longer e-mail artists if their sales tax ID is invalid or inactive. ALL invalid or inactive Sales Tax ID will have their entry form skipped.
We heavily recommend to apply for your Texas Sales Tax ID by February 8th. If you need to reactivate your Sales Tax ID then you need to do so immediately.We will not accept any of the following:
|I'm applying for Texas Sales Tax ID and when I try to put in San Japan's date, it says you can't apply for more than 90 days ahead. What do I do?|| |
The best advisement we can give is to set it for 90 days ahead of when you apply. When you file your quarterly report through Webfile, just mark it as 0 in sales prior to San Japan. You must contact the Comptroller for further questions as we are not this Government Office.
|I already purchased a table, how do I acquire more Artist Alley badges after purchasing the table? How much will they be? How long are they available?|| |
We will be posting a link to the sale of additional Artist Tables Badges after April 15th to allow artists to purchase additional badges. They will be $60 - $70 for an additional badge with a maximum of 3 additional badges. The price will determine when you purchase the badges as they will go up in price after June 1st.
|If tables are already sold out then how do I acquire an artist table?|| |
Once the table signup list has filled up on February 24th and does not wish to participate in trying for one in our Art Contest then that's it. We will not be releasing tables that are refunded back up for sale. The sign-up dates for tables in 2020 will be February 21st to the 24th. We are permanently sticking with Lottery signup.
|When I sign-up for a table, must I pay immediately or can I send in a check?|| |
Payment invoices will be sent out if you're approved and make the list. Payment will be expected via Paypal. Credit Cards will be accepted. We no longer accept checks. Artists will have FIFTEEN (15) days to pay the invoice. Any extensions will have $100 tacked onto the invoice for being 1 day to 5 days late. If not payment is not received in full after that then the artist will lose their table and removed from the list. This will be listed in the contract which must be signed and agreed on to sign up for an application.
|The room where Artist Alley is located is HUGE. Why doesn't San Japan just fill the Exhibit Hall with artist tables so everyone who wants to buy one can have one|| |
Artist Alley is a service to the anime community but we also want to ensure that artists who have a table at San Japan walk away with making a reasonable profit. We have a lot of artists who come out from different states and even outside of the US for our convention. The more tables located in Artist Alley means the less money that'll go around. We put a limit so that there is a reasonable ratio of artists to the number of anticipated attendees.
|What is the policy on using tape for signs and signage?|| |
On tape & sign usage, you may not tape up any signs on any pillars. You must bring a stand or an easel to display your sign. We will be forced to have you take the sign down if you violate this policy. You may use tape on your table to display your sign.
|I've been told it can get pretty cold in the Exhibit Hall. Is this true? Any other tips you'd like to share?|| |
Artists have told us in the years that have been in Exhibit Halls that it gets pretty cold. While it might seem odd to pack a coat or blanket for a convention in the summer, we recommend it or some kind of layered clothing. If you are assigned to a table which has cold air blowing on your table then let us know as we can ask them to turn them off.
We recommend bringing snacks or sandwiches if you plan to sell all day and night. There will be a food stand set up inside the Exhibit Hall but the food will have a high markup. There is a coffee stand located by the Exhibit Hall. We also recommend bringing a water bottle and filling up at the water fountains located around the convention prior to when the doors open to the public. A San Japan staffer will try to stop by at times to see how you're doing.
|I do not have a Texas Sales Tax ID when applying. Should I even try to apply?||If you apply for our Artist Alley deciding to put in, 'PENDING', or 'I will apply for one if selected', then your application will be removed before we even begin the lottery process. We will not accept any application that does have a valid active Texas Sales ID listed on it. There are absolutely no exceptions given on this at all, ever. |
We do pre-screen all applications prior to the lottery process for invalid applications. We remove all applications and place them in the rejections if the sales tax ID is not valid which will be a 9 or 11 digit number. Up to 20% of applications are rejected from being invalid or having an inactive sales tax ID.
|Will there be a signup or lottery for Artist Alley?|| |
We are shifting to the Lottery as we have dropped First-Come/First-Serve Signup. All entries selected by lottery will still be screened to ensure that they are compliant with our rules and they have a valid active Sales Tax ID. Once the list has filled up then that's it.
We will not be keeping a waiting list for open tables in Artist Alley. We will not be selling any additional tables at any point. Your best chance to get a table will be through ourArt Contest as we will be offering artist tables to winners and at a major discount to up to 15 finalists. We will not place a full jury system in place of selecting artists nor do we plan in the foreseeable future.
|With an Artist Alley badge, can I see the rest of the convention or am I restricted to the Exhibit Hall where Artist Alley is located?|| |
An Artist Alley badge is like any other attendee badge. You will be able to attend all panels, events, and the dealer's room as long as the room/area hasn't hit max capacity.
|If we want to transfer our table to another person/group then what should we do?|| |
We do not allow a table transfer at all, ever.
|I am not happy with my table assignment. Can I get reassigned?|| |
All Artist Alley table assignments are final once they have been posted online. If you wish to move to another table you may track down a particular artist and request for a table swap. We can not give you an artist's contact information. Please remember that your table assignment will be posted in all materials.
|How will the Lottery process be handled by San Japan?|| |
At our current convention size, we have come to realize that FCFS sales of all tables no longer works. We realize we need to do a thorough job in screening our artists who abide by our rules, try not to push the limits, and submit the correct information but at the same time we need to make it so that it isn't a chaotic mess when all the tables sell out in 68 seconds (yes, that really did happen in 2017).
The form will be the same as the past. Gallery links must be to a DeviantArt gallery, Imgur gallery, Etsy or any other photo link which we will see your art or products for review. We will not accept photos of artist tables at other shows as we need to see a large sampling of products to be sold in San Japan. If we are not sent a Gallery link in the submission form or an invalid link then it will be skipped.
We will open the form up and allow up to 1000 entries. There will be a 4 1/2 day window to signup. This will allow people to take the time to fill out the application without having to rush it.
|What will invalidate my entry form?|| |
If you are selected here is a list of items that will invalidate your Artist Alley entry:
|Can I contact San Japan on the status of my application?|| |
NO. If you contact asking us about your status we will just go ahead in not approving your application. We can not spend weeks answering inquiries on the status of their application. You will be contacted if you are approved. We will send out a mass email to those who were not approved. We will be listing who has paid their invoices.
|How will approved artists be invoiced?|| |
We will be sending out Paypal invoices to ALL approved artists. Invoices will begin going to approve artists by March 5th.
If you received an e-mail that you were approved but you never saw an invoice in your inbox then login into your Paypal account. All invoices are sent to the Paypal e-mail address as listed in your in the application. If you mistyped or put the wrong e-mail address we will not make any exceptions if you do not inform us by March 20th needing it sent to a certain e-mail address.
|Will tables be put up for sale from those who got a refund?|| |
No, we will not be putting up refunded tables for sale.
|It is past the deadline for a refund. What should I do?|| |
You may contact us so that we decide if a partial refund will be given. We will not transfer the table to next year.
|What time does artist alley open and close? When do I check in for my Artist Table?|| |
Artist Alley Check-In Times:
Any artist tables not checked in by 10:00 AM Saturday will have their tables resold.
Artists are not required to check in on Thursday. They can check in during check-in Friday at the listed times above and on Saturday morning.
Artist Alley Hours:
|How big is San Japan? Will I make any money at the convention?|| |
San Japan in 2020 was 20,107 overall attendees. This attendance count was from 'warm bodies', not from turnstile. Our turnstile count for the 3-day convention was over 50,000.
We try to limit our Artist Alley section to have around 1 table per 100 attendees in expected overall attendance. We can not guarantee that your artist table will be profitable but if you follow basic guides on how to sell your art you will have a better chance to make a profit.
|Will I be forced to pay for my table during sign-up?|| |
No. The form will just be a signup list. It will be timestamp by when the server receives the form which is how we will screen entries.
|I just signed up and noticed that the information was incorrect. What should I do?|| |
It will be very important that artists review their submission entry which will be AUTOMATICALLY e-mailed upon completion. Artists must make sure their Tax ID is valid and the gallery link is correct. Artists will have up to 48 HOURS to send us corrections. After that, we will begin the process of validating all Sales Tax IDs and then review Gallery Links.
We will no longer e-mail artists on incorrect information that we have received in the form. Since we will have hundreds of applications to review will just skip by applications who did not send us the correct valid information. We do not enforce if an address or DBA matches a Sales Tax ID but it will be flagged if there is a major discrepancy.
|Does everything have to be on the table? Can I place anything in front or next to my table? What if the table next to me is empty?|| |
Artists must keep all items for sale within their 6' table space. We will allow backdrops behind the table but they may not use neighbor tables or empty tables to extend their booth. We will consider backdrops who go to a 2nd table to be a double table set up and will be forced to be taken down or risk being booted. Placing items in front are not allowed. In the past, we have been a bit lax but we will not be issuing warning and bans due to artists who have been pushing the limits on this.
|Does San Japan provide any services for Artists who need a break?|| |
San Japan Artist Alley staff will provide a short break of a MAX 10 minutes if staffing is available and you do not have any helpers. This is strictly for the restroom, snack or water breaks only. San Japan staff will not watch past that amount of time nor take any sales. After 10 minutes staff will leave your table. Artists in the past have tried to have staff watch their table for an hour or more which is now prohibited by contract.
|I am planning to have a person / group share my table. What should I know about this?|| |
To answer a litany of questions about this here is a list on this.
APPLICATION SIGNUP: You do not have to list the group or person that you're planning to share a table within the application process. The person who is signing up for the table is the only person who will be listed in all publications.
SALES TAX ID: Every individual artist if the gross sales are independent of each other that is sharing a table must have a Sales Tax ID. If you are selling under one Studio or Group then each person does not need a Tax ID but all sales made by the table must be reported as one group.
|What is proxy sales? What is your stance on it?|| |
Proxy Sales is selling multiple artists artwork when the artist or people that purchased the table is not selling it for themselves. We view it as detrimental to the artist community to allow proxy sales as it isn't fair to the hundreds of artists who want an artist space.
|Why is San Japan on Labor Day Weekend? Why can't the convention be on a summer date?|| |
We do not have much of a choice to be on this weekend as when booking our dates for our multi-year contracts we have to sync with the convention center along with our host hotels. The only dates available for us without being in a conflict of other regional fandom conventions is Labor Day Weekend. We don't foresee in moving back to a summer date. We are already contracted with our venues on Labor Day Weekend through 2024.
|Why did San Japan select Lottery instead of keeping with FCFS or Full Jury?|| |
We decided to no longer use FCFS (First Come/First Serve) after multiple years of stressful crush in getting in the applications. In 2017, after a form meltdown, everything still managed to sell out in 68 seconds and a lot of furious artists unhappy on how things were run.
The reason Full Jury isn't selected is that it takes a lot of time to screen hundreds of applications. This brings accusations of bias too if someone isn't selected. A lottery style was selected as it will not be biased as its randomly selected, we can process the applications much faster (days instead of months), and it takes a few days to select the entries. We will continue this for the foreseeable future.
|I need some more info about Proxy Selling. Can I send an assistant on my behalf or am I required to be there? How would that person check-in? What are the rules?|| |
Tables may have a proxy assistant/helper on their behalf selling for their artwork at San Japan. When checking in they must have a copy of your Sales Tax ID that matches the artist table application info.
If the helper/assistant is helping on the behalf of the original applications they are banned from selling their own artwork as they can only sell the applicants original artwork. We will scrutinize when we notice that multiple art styles are for sale that is not a table split at a table as we will classify the seller as a proxy seller which at that time by our rules will be allowed to shut them down.
|Will artists be allowed to have a bag or luggage in the Alley?|| |
Artists can bring what they need but they can not obstruct walkways (both in front of and behind the tables) or emergency exits. Artists will be solely responsible for your own property. There will be at least 5 feet behind them.
|What about Table Splits? Do I have to contact Artist Alley about it?|| |
To mitigate the e-mails about Table Splits we will have a form starting after April 16th that will make it much easier to send in the information along with their Sales Tax ID. We will be e-mailing the original artist applicant so they're aware of the table split.
If someone attempts to lie about a table split and caught they will be banned forever from San Japan Artist Alley. The form for Table Splits will open on April 16th and will be allowed up until August 5th which at that time they will be closed after we've posted the final artist assigned list in Mid-August.
|I want to share my table with someone. Is that okay? How many people can share a table?|| |
Once you purchase a table you may subdivide it for one other artist group. Even when divided we will only provide 2 chairs. We will only link to one website per table from the Artist Alley page. The maximum number of people that can be behind any single table at one time is four (4). The form is to inform us who you're splitting the table with will be posted on here on April 16th.
|Can I sit next to [Artist Name]?|| |
We will try to accommodate when requested but there is no guarantee you will be assigned to sit next to a requested person. We will be posting a form after April 15th to streamline requests so artists do not have to e-mail us their sitting requests. Requests will be up until July 10th. We will not accept any more requests after July 10th.
|How do I check-in my table? Who do I ask for?|| |
The check-in station for Artist Alley will be shifted to the West Registration by the Hall 4B entrance. There will be signage noting its location. Brianna N. will be heading the artist alley section this year. You must have your Texas Sales Tax ID to show proof that you are authorized to sell at your table.
|When will I receive my badge?|| |
Badges will be distributed when you check-in at your table. Earliest check-in time is Thursday, September 3rd, 2020 at 5:00 PM.
You are not required to pick them up or check-in on Thursday of the convention. Friday Check-In will be begin at 8:00AM.
|If I run an independent video game studio or a photography studio is this where I apply?||We have a separate section for indie gaming studios. If you are a photographer we do not allow photobooths to be setup in Artist Alley. We will not allow independant game studios to set up within the Artist Alley.|
|I missed the lottery date. Is there any kind of wait list at all for drop outs / refunds / open spaces.||We do not have a wait list at all. We will never have one, nor maintain one, or make it available. If you contact us about a wait list you will be reminded once again that we don't have a wait list. |
The only way you can get into San Japan is through the lottery system or the art contest. Once the lottery closes that will be it. This will be our permanent system. We don't mess with wait lists as we have more than enough already selected and from the art contest to fill in all tables that we arrange for the San Japan Artist Alley.
|Do you offer artist tables in the vendor / dealer room?||We only offer them to a very selective number of artists who have 100% original artwork in their portfolio. Our industry sponsors have asked us to keep fan artists to be in the artist alley section.|
|Is there an art auction as an alternative?||We removed our art auction section in 2016. We do not have any plans to bring it back due to tepid responses by our attendees.|
|I was late on my application, invoice, table split, and assignment requests. Do you give any kind of exception at all?||Due to an excessive number of artists who push for an exception when missing a date that is posted and reminded multiple times we are going to add an exception rule. If you inquire for an exception for missing the due date on an invoice or not filling out a form on time or on table splits you will be invoiced for $100 for pushing for an exception. If you do not agree to make payment then the decision will be final to not fulfill any request.|
|I filled out the application / table split / assignment request form. How do I know that you received it?||All forms will send an automatic reply confirming that the entry was received. Every single form will generate this. If you do not receive that reply then that will 100% be the case for us too. Do not presume that we received it if you did not receive the automatic reply generated by Jotform. We do not send a manual follow-up emails at all to any application.|