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If you participated in Artists' Alley this year on the floor of San Diego Comic-Con, in the far left corner of the Con by Hall G, then this is a journal especially for you. It's also a journey for readers, or members of deviantART who want to get a glimpse into something incredible deviantART's community does each year.

The event this year was brilliant. We are so incredibly proud of every exhibiting artist in the alley. And today, we're just as war-torn and beaten up from all the action as you are. This is my first productive cycle on our first day off in a few weeks. I probably should be doing what I imagine our other teammates are doing, relaxing! Instead, my heart is pounding, my mind is racing, my jaw clenching at times. Some things just need to be said and I can't rest until they are.

We're also proud of the patrons who visited Artists' Alley and either spoke with artists about their projects, commissioned or purchased illustrations, comic-books, etc. and supported the ~200 artists who came from afar to further their careers, perhaps shake a hand that could provide their next big opportunity. As a patron you are literally watching artists struggle and fight to realize their dreams. 

It's beautiful! It's humbling. This is the story of why this year was even more meaningful than others.



San Diego Comic-Con is a cultural pillar that has a deep responsibility to protect its most important asset: The Heart and Soul of Artists' Alley.  


Long before deviantART, San Diego Comic-Con and specifically Artists' Alley were home to the Frank Miller's and Kevin Eastman's of the world. This is where they'd go to take their ideas and their characters and give audiences a shot to try out a brand new story, meet a new set of characters and potentially get their first fans. From this they might get enough attention inside the industry to get a deal. This was one of the only ways to pursue the dream. The significance of Artists' Alley is a book to be written in the pages of history. Many of the stories we love owe their success to the Alley in a big way. It is where quite a bit of the magic behind THE CON comes from.

It's our 3rd year sponsoring Artists' Alley, and by sponsoring I mean providing carpeting, cushioned seats to protect artists backs, awesome jumbotron screens to draw in people that the Alley has never had before, and a deviantART Lounge where passers by can draw on Wacom Cintiq's using Autodesk's Sketchbook and deviantART Muro while others watch. It is all situated on the sacred ground of Artists' Alley; the Heart and Soul of Comic-Con.

If it were up to us, Artists' Alley would be in the center of the Con surrounded by Small Press, Mid-Sized Publishers like IDW, Dark Horse, Image, etc. and the big media companies on the outer perimeter. The big companies would be the first thing you'd see as you walked into Comic-Con, giving them the great exposure they deserve and pay for. As you continue to walk the Con, every fan, even on their very first visit, could deduce where the heart is and where the respect should be paid. 


This is My Garden and These Are My Flowers. And I Nurture Every Single One of Them.


For nearly three decades a woman by the name of Clydene Nee has been deeply involved in Artists' Alley. As lead volunteer for many of those years, she's responsible for the artists: who sits where, what is and isn't allowed, who gets in, who doesn't... She leads volunteers that enforce the rules, keep the aisles clean, and people moving. Set up, take down. The meat and potatoes. The grind. The work. The gears behind the Alley that keep it running smoothly. 


Artists' Alley at SDCC in 2010 was a ghost town. As I do at all Cons, I went to speak to the artists one by one. Hi. I'm Angelo Sotira. I run deviantART. I just wanted to say hello. How is the Con treating you? How is deviantART treating you? My standard fare. I love these conversations, they usually go quite well. 

Just not in San Diego in 2010. These people were angry. And it didn't take many of these interviews to understand why.

"The carpet ends right before the alley, so people don't come here." - Anonymous
"We're like some kind of ugly step child." - Anonymous 
"I can't afford this! It costs money to come here, they're raising rates every few years while providing us with less! I can't justify this for next year, no one comes by our booth so what's the point?" - Anonymous
 "These chairs are breaking our backs. It's 5 days for the Con. I'm 57 years old, I can't sit in a chair like this for 5 days. I go home early, and I'm in pain for a month after I leave." - Anonymous  (This person in particular was IRATE. Yelling. Red in the face.)


Four years ago, Clydene Nee and I were introduced by our mutual friend, DeevElliott, on the floor of the Alley. Like today, my jaw was clenching. Clydene was stern. She was expecting me. I started with my youthful arrogance.

"What is going on here? These artists are angry. I can't tell you how upset I am. This is ridiculous. Why isn't there carpeting? Why don't these artists have decent chairs?" -  
She didn't hear a word. Her stare completely shut me down. I didn't know what to make of her. After a long pause and a deadpan stare, we started to walk. She raised her arms to the side, palms up..
"This is my Garden, and these are my flowers. And I nurture every single one of them. Do you understand?"
What are you supposed to say to THAT? I looked at DeevElliott for comfort, he gave me the raised brow look. It wasn't comforting. It was clear that I was alone now, all Dave could do was bring me to her. He had no intention of stepping on any boundary beyond that.

Needless to say I didn't get a word in edgewise for the next 30 minutes. What became entirely apparent, however, was the strength and commitment of this woman to Artists' Alley. As we walked, I noticed a deep humbled respect given to Clydene by each artist booth we passed. And for the first time in the Alley, just by walking the floor with her, I saw artists extend a sliver of that respect to the guest she was walking with, as well. It was humbling.

A chill came over me as I started to realize the significance of this woman. I connected for the first time to the roots of a community on the floor of Artists' Alley, the depths of which I hadn't scratched. Curiosity. Respect. Intrigue. God, if there's one thing that I love in this world it's the value that a strong community can create for people. 


Comic-Con 2013 - Artists' Alley


It is our third year now sponsoring Artists' Alley. Yes, the deviantART community itself is ultimately responsible for these contributions. The difference is night and day. Just read the comments to this Journal from any participating artist this year. The traffic to the alley is off the charts, the chairs for three years now are comfortable. The black carpeting lines the Alley from wall to wall. Brilliant jumbo-tron screens rotating the artwork and names of the artists in the alley high above. The jumbo-trons are strategically positioned in the aisles so that all the way on the other side of the con, you can see them. This draws people in! And with the greatest pride, the deviantART logo flies high above the deviantART Lounge inside the Alley, inviting artists to come learn and participate.


We're proud to say, this is what Artists' Alley looks like now (in 2012, still getting shots for 2013 which are even better!): 

Comic-Con-ABCs-V by spyed

A pretty bad shot from the entrance to Hall G, but you can see the droves of people: 

SDCC-floor-Alex-Wilson by spyed

The artists point of view, their tables swarming with fans: 

ArtistAlley by spyed


Packed. Absolutely packed! Exactly what deviantART is about; Entertaining, Inspiring and Empowering the Artist in All of us. In this case, we brought the jumbotrons and the carpeting and the seats... the environment in which artists could be empowered, attracting people, creating traffic and therefore allowing artists to thrive. It's basic stuff, but it just wasn't there.

A garden was nourished that had nearly died.



We Love Artists Alley!!!!!


We'd like to thank Comic-Con International for all of the progress we've been able to make together. The Con is swamped each year, and we can understand that help is needed if we're to make things better for the Alley and for Artists. We're thrilled to continue helping to make Artists' Alley the best it can be.


Meanwhile, as Clydene and I embraced in the Alley this year, tears streamed down our faces. There is much that still needs to be done... and we do need your support. So if you were in the Alley, I'm looking for you in our comments area here on this Journal. What was your experience? Share your stories.  

Clydene we want you to know: The deviantART community is here to help water and nurture your flowers. With all of our hearts, we love you and Artists' Alley. You are legend to us. And we thank you from the bottom of our hearts for standing strong, and brave, as you are.


Angelo and Clydene by makepictures

A photo from 2011 with me and Clydene Nee. A backpack presented to me by her, signed by all the artists in Artists Alley.

(It's now framed in a glass case at deviantART HQ.)


What was it like?


I'm thrilled to announce that later this year we're going to dig deep in to the roots of SDCC Artists' Alley so we can share the wealth of history in its past. +Watch depthRADIUS for updates on this! 

Check out our updates right from the Con! 



Please Share Your Comments!


All comments are welcome, but also this is a special invitation for all artists participating in Artists' Alley each year. I encourage you to share your experiences here on this Journal in the comments area. Share your stories of the past, tell your tales of the present, as we all look forward to Comic-Con 2014! 

Add a Comment:
 
:iconchrismoreno:
ChrisMoreno Featured By Owner Jul 15, 2014  Professional General Artist
Thanks so much for your support of the Alley, Angelo. It's been felt by all of us in ways great and small, from the carpeting in the space, to the monitors displaying our work to anyone walking by. As she said, Clydene Nee cultivated the garden, and you and all your volunteers have helped tend that garden for the past three years into something that we all knew was special for all these years, but now everyone's starting to see more and more. I've been so proud and honored to be a part of Artist's Alley for many years now, and to see your organization accept that honor and run with it has been a really profound experience for me and so many others.

See you all on the Alley!
Chris Moreno
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:iconbillmausart:
billmausart Featured By Owner Edited Jul 3, 2014  Professional Traditional Artist
Angelo,
   The amount of commitment and conviction that you have shown for artists' alley--and the support to help improve and gain awareness for it as being the heart and soul of what Comic Con is all about, goes over and above what anybody could ask for. Even the idea of recognizing that this is where ideas are born and nurtured--and where future careers are born, thanks to fans gravitating to what they like and making it possible for artists to have the opportunity to be creative and find a voice and a place within this community... well, it would be impossible to grow without a place to grow from, and I thank you for that. For helping and supporting in ways that we simply are not equipped to do--and for doing it because you have a real love for the community. Supporting the Alley the way that you have has made it possible for me to be an active part of a community that I love and hope to be a part of in a significant way for the rest of my life-- I think that most of us would be invisible if not for that support. 
    You know, it was thanks to Clydene that I got to sit in artists alley when I applied the first time some years ago--she was super busy multitasking and headed in so many different directions, and she took the time to help me and get me straightened out. She really didn't have to-- but she did, and Im always so grateful for that. When somebody takes their time and attention to help somebody else like that, it has an effect on people. It made me feel welcomed and I felt like this community is where I belonged and that I had something to contribute. That's what you're doing for us artists right now as well-- I feel a little more important and I feel a larger obligation to work harder for this community and be at my best because of what you're doing--so for all of that, thanks, Angelo. It really is kind of a big deal:) 

   Can't wait to see everybody at the show and see how well the garden is growing-- so many people work so hard to make it happen and I want to thank all those people as well ( Couldn't get by without Larry and Allen and the guys! :) , but Im positive that all those people would join me in saying thanks to you, in particular, for revitalizing the alley and making it an amazing place for fans to be in and for artists to work in! I sincerely hope that you and Clydene will both know how meaningful all your hard work is to all of us:)       --:)


Bill
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:icondukstuf:
dukstuf Featured By Owner Jul 3, 2014  Professional Artist
A big thumbs up to DeviantART for watching out for we artists. Shelly and I are most appreciative of the care and attention these fine folks offer us. Comicon is, after all, about comics at it's roots. No matter how big and fancy it gets, I hope there is always a place for creators to show off their gifts.
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:icongreenestreet:
greenestreet Featured By Owner Jul 3, 2014
BIG BIG SHOUT OUT to you Angelo for ALL you hard work! You are a God send! I know one of the main reasons I've been faithful to AA is because of you and Clydeen. We must connect when I get there this year!
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:iconblasterkid:
Blasterkid Featured By Owner Jul 3, 2014
I love deviant art and always come back here to find myself...I found this community to be a very strong and tight group which is pretty amazing with the size of this place...but it still feels intimate.

I love Deviant and it's been such an important part of my artistic journey

thank you!!!
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:iconbainst:
bainst Featured By Owner Jul 3, 2014
Insightful article, and a great testament to Clydene's hard work. Thanks for joining her in her efforts, Angelo and deviantART. See you all, soon! 
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:iconkohse:
kohse Featured By Owner Jul 3, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
Artist Alley at SD Comic Con used to be a dark, back alley that no one wanted to enter.  The lack of carpeting and table drapes made it look like a storage area where the artists and writers were stacked up until one of us needed to be wheeled out for a signing at one of the big booths. It was so dark and gloomy that fans feared they would get mugged or fed upon by artists that had been chained to the tables for 4 days. It was incredibly inhospitable the first several years I had a table there.  And to add insult to injury, every couple of years the space provided became smaller and smaller until the artists were packed in like sardines, shoulder to shoulder.  The show was painful to attend as a professional.

DeviantArt has helped raise the property value.  Now there is carpeting and table drapes so it doesn't look like storage. There are awesome monitors that cycle through examples of all the artists work.  The chairs are so much more comfortable than the old folding chairs were.  Splashes of color and better aisle signs make it actually looks like part of the convention now and not like a place you would get killed by rabid flesh eating artists devoid of humanity.  We're still packed in like sardines but at least there is no longer a fear we will feed on the fans. 

Thanks Angelo :)
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:iconamkudelka:
amkudelka Featured By Owner Jul 3, 2014  Professional General Artist
Thank you, Angelo. Like a Schindler for the artists...you did some real good here. 
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:iconmarcelomatere:
MarceloMatere Featured By Owner Jul 3, 2014  Professional General Artist
Thank you Angelo! You rock! 
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:iconkenmeyerjr:
kenmeyerjr Featured By Owner Jul 3, 2014  Professional Traditional Artist
Thanks a bunch, Angelo!
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:iconmrbadjoojoo:
mrbadjoojoo Featured By Owner Jul 3, 2014  Professional Filmographer
My brother and I have been doing Artists' Alley for several years now (Tables DD23 and DD24, respectively).  Many thanks to Clydene and her team as well as DeviantArt for running the show and making Artists' Alley the success that it is, and also for their constant commitment to making things even better year after year.

Artists Alley is a great way to connect with art lovers--from other artists to potential clients to the fans who simply appreciate good art.  It's a very direct gauge to see what's connecting with people and what's not.  And it's very satisfying to see somebody select your work to take home -- it's a great ego boost.

Artists' Alley is also often the big red "X" on the calendar that tells me to start or finish up that new comic book, sketchbook, or poster project.  Frequently throughout the year, my artistic endeavors revolve around Artists Alley, and what I can output in time for the big show.  Artists Alley becomes one of my prime motivators for getting new work done every year.

So thanks, Artists' Alley-- for the pat on the back and the kick in the butt!
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:iconchukw:
chukw Featured By Owner Jul 3, 2014
Having been in Artists' Alley for well over 20 years, I can't say enough of my gratitude to you for your sponsorship.  It means so much to so many, and was in danger of being  shoved right out the door.   You've spared Clydene's marvelous garden that ignominious end, and I am so very grateful.  Cheers!

chuk
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:iconjackdante:
jackDante Featured By Owner Feb 8, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Woowwww, awesome it's  the best alley ☺️😱😄😎
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:iconconceptsbymiller:
ConceptsByMiller Featured By Owner Jan 15, 2014  Professional Traditional Artist
I have had the privilege of showing art in Artists Alley for the past 6 years.  Last year was unexpected in the least.  I wasn't granted a table and it did not look like I would be able to attend as an artist.  Enter Clydene. She got me a table. I don't know how but she did.  She magical that way. In fact she gave me a shot in the alley with a book I created called Draw With The cartoon Dude.  I never forgot that.  That is why I have always tried to honor the Alley by being accessible to collectors and helping young artists out.  Do a good deed for somebody you don't know.  Words I live by.  I don't write much. It's not my thing.  I draw . That's what I do. 
2013 was the best con in my memory, even against the con I met Frank Frazetta.  You and the guys at Madefire made me feel pretty damn good.  
I don't know if I will get into the Alley this year.  I have been wait listed again.  But if I do get a table I will look forward to shaking your hand again.  
I heard about Clydene's condition and want to find a way to help her out.  I will be donating some money tonight, but I want to do more if I can.  I want to use some of my art to raise money for her treatments. Just have to figure out a way.
Thank You again for keeping the Alley and Creativity alive for another year!
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:iconjarrodshiflett:
jarrodshiflett Featured By Owner Jul 26, 2013
Clydene is the shiz-nat. Brandon and I were in Artist Alley for umpteen years I can't even remember how long and she has always been great to us and still helps coordinate our demonstration panels. She has always been a class act and is someone I look forward to seeing every year. When we made a little ashcan/booklet her name was the first in the Thanks paragraph and we meant it, a huge, huge help to our career and I know a lot of people feel the same way.
The Alley looks better than ever with the carpets and everything ,well done to DeviantArt. So glad to see it going strong and enough credit can not be given to Clydene for her efforts over the years.

Jarrod Shiflett
www.shiflettbrothers.com
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:iconmakepictures:
makepictures Featured By Owner Jul 25, 2013
Clydene in her element at this year's Con:

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:iconfranchesco:
Franchesco Featured By Owner Jul 26, 2013
:thumbsup: Great capture, Josh! 

I can totally feel the energy that was present in the hall, with this image!
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:iconmakepictures:
makepictures Featured By Owner Jul 26, 2013
Thanks.
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:iconhodges-art:
Hodges-Art Featured By Owner Jul 24, 2013  Professional
I was an Artist Alley regular for 10 years before I got a booth on the floor in 2011. In 2012, I took a year off from working the show and went for fun. I missed being around the other artists so I wanted to return. I came back to AA this year and had one of the best experiences I have ever had in Artist Alley. I enjoyed it a great deal. The traffic was great, the set up was great and I have nothing but kudos to you guys for this.

Well done. Cannot wait for next year!
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:iconlucioparrillo:
LucioParrillo Featured By Owner Jul 24, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
hello everybody! for me it's been now about 7 years...or more...that I join Artist Alley, always a great experience, meeting new artist, meet nice people and specially meet the fantastic crew of volounteers that made all that possible, I wanna say thanks to all of you guys and specially to the person who worked hard every year to help all the artist, the nicer lady, always kind and sweet...thank you Clydene so much!!! :-)  
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:iconlucioparrillo:
LucioParrillo Featured By Owner Jul 24, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
....and let me please say a big thanks also to Larry ....this guy have been working to Artist Alley for about 20 or more years, I saw him the first time 10 years ago....always a very nice guy, thank you Larry!! :-)
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:icontillman54:
tillman54 Featured By Owner Jul 24, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
I have been there for five years running and I have to say that once DeviantART started sponsoring Artist Alley it has gotten a lot better. It is just nice to be there now. People to come by and say hi and talk to you. I have to say that I feel less like the ugly step child that no one wants to talk to.

The only thing that I can hope happens as we move forward is that Artist Alley grows instead of shrinks as it seems to do every year by a couple of tables. I would love for us in Artist Alley to have more attention and be remembered that at Comic Con we are the ones that need the most support.

I am happy and proud to say that with DeviantART's involvement I feel as though we are working our way to that and that one day we will be back the seeing that Artist Alley is were the fans want to be.

Thanks for everything DeviantART. You guys and gals make it really easy to come back every year.

Clydene if you are reading this, you are the best and I am glad to know you. Thank you for all that you do. None of this would be possible if it weren't for you. Thank you.
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:iconfranchesco:
Franchesco Featured By Owner Jul 24, 2013
This article has it all... I laughed, I cried... I give it two thumbs up, Angelo... way up!! 

I second everything everyone has posted!!!

As I sit here, basking in the afterglow of SDCC 2013... and processing all the non-stop awesomeness... I'm amazed by the hundreds and thousands of amazing people who contributed to making my San Diego Experience so spectacular.

My mind is blown when I think of how all of that... ALL OF IT... would not be possible... if not for you and Clydene.  Thank you my friend... you and your army of bright shiny DA faces make an already amazing experience... even more amazing.  Please give my best to Heidi... she was sorely missed... and hoping she gets better soon.

I already miss you all ...and looking forward when we can all be reunited once again, at the best place on Earth...  SDCC's Artists Alley!!

WE LOVE DEVIANT ART!!!  :w00t:
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:iconmikegoesgeek:
mikegoesgeek Featured By Owner Jul 23, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
Wow this was an amazing chronicle of how this has progressed. Its amazing to see the love, support and nurturing that has gone into artist alley. I am so thankful that you guys have stepped in to create a comfortable work area for us to show our art and meet new and old friends and fans. You have no idea how thankful and greatful I am for everything you and Clydene do for us. Thank you so much. :)
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:icondeevelliott:
DeevElliott Featured By Owner Jul 23, 2013
Great, great, journal Angelo.

I don't think enough people know how wonderful Clydene is and how she has been the life blood of Artists Alley for 30 years.  She has been the lone warrior at the door stopping demon t-shirt sellers and video game giants from taking away the only place these great artists still have at this show that still calls itself Comic-con. She has seen the space and facilities for these artists dwindle even as she fights to defend them tooth and claw.

Thanks to you, Clydene no longer fights alone.  A spotlight is once more on these talents and the monsters are regrouping knowing that the fight to remove the artists will be far more tougher in the years ahead.

Thank you, thank you, thank you.



For everyone else reading this, Clydene (unlike the rest of the Comic-con committee) does not get paid for this herculean effort every year.  She believes that artists are the heart and soul of the industry and the convention.  Her week at San Diego Comic-con was a vacation week from her paying job. Clydene loves everyone of us bozos that inhabit Artists Alley and fights for us though not all know at what sacrifice.  Last year she had a stroke before the show but hardly let if show.  She tweets and retweets creators efforts to get Kickstarters going, posts their news on Facebook and rallies to their cause when in need.

So as a creator myself, I want to thank DeviantART and Clydene for everything.  The world would be a whole lot darker without you both.
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:iconse9f:
se9f Featured By Owner Feb 27, 2014
Thank you for this. You sum up Clydene to a "T". She LOVES the artist, and fights hard to keep them part of the CC floor. I have gone to CC the last 4 years, buy art, and love talking to all the creative people at AA. It's where comics and Comic-Con begin and end.  
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:icondeevelliott:
DeevElliott Featured By Owner Mar 25, 2014
Clydene has been the heart and soul of Artists Alley for many years. She does not work alone and it would be remiss of me to create the impression that she is the only one who works for free at San Diego Comic-con, but Clydene works at this all year round. It is her life.

Richard Caldwell did a great interview with Clydene for the website Creator Comics News here;

comicscreatornews.com/?p=500
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:iconsraffa:
SRaffa Featured By Owner Jul 23, 2013  Professional General Artist
A meeting of historical significance-- well done, sir!
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:iconpinguino:
pinguino Featured By Owner Jul 23, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Amazing writeup. I remember meeting Clydene years ago and she is always very welcoming and caring. Happy to see she still works with SDCC, and happy to see all the artists are happier about hanging out at their booths. I love what you guys have done to the area.
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:icontessfowler:
TessFowler Featured By Owner Jul 23, 2013
Times they are a changin'. But the Alley remains.

My name is Tess Fowler. I was at FF-07 this year. Sandwiched between Peter S. Beagle, Connor and Zander Cannon. It was a homey, comfy spot. Not too far from the door. Not too close to the noisier aspects of the show. Very cozy, safe and secure.
  In the Alley we are like tiny islands in the roiling sea of people and companies and flashing lights and clanging sounds. It's a place I love. And I'm so very happy that I get to be a part of it. Two years in the Alley and counting. I've worked SDCC on the main floor before, at larger booths. But this is different. Captaining my own tiny little corner of the con is frightening, intimidating and overwhelming.
 I've worked Artist Alleys at other shows before. Some good, some not so good. But this is the first Alley where I've ever been so well taken care of, so looked after, and so respected.

   Comics have been around a long time, but in the grander scheme of history we are but a blip on the radar. And the comics world is still evolving. My heroes are those who are now grey of hair and bent of back. Those who have moved on from their underground roots to realizing their own dreams and visions of life. Comics are not an easy business to age in, as anyone will tell you. I look up to those who came before me. The trail blazers. The brave and wondrous few who took a chance. Who fought the good fight to bring art and stories to the world.  The classic illustrators, the fantasy illustrators, and the many painters and sculptors who are too numerous to name here; mad respect. Some are still on the show floor. Some are not. But I give props and kudos to them all. Those I was shoulder to shoulder with this year, those not present, and those who have moved on from this world.

  For me, sitting in Artist Alley is an opportunity to meet my audience. First and foremost. To give them a spot on a map where they can come and find me. Where we can meet face to face and exchange words about the work. About hopes. About dreams. About life. Sitting in Artist Alley is about sharing. About coming out of my cave where I create, and bearing witness to my effect. It's a humbling and gratifying experience. For one like me with such anxiety about crowds, it's difficult. I admit that. But Clydene and her army, and the folks at DA made it a painless transition for me two years in a row. Had it not been so painless I might have been too afraid to do it more than once.

  I'm still learning. I listen to the pros, the Alley staff and the vets who have been doing all of this longer than I have. My neighbors this year were far more experienced in so many ways, and I watched and ingested how they handled themselves and the crowds. Amidst this I had volunteers checking on me, asking if I needed a break, or a water, or a bit of assistance. They were around every corner, capping lines and opening walkways and just ever present. It was comforting. I feel like I am never alone there. Wheras at other shows I've worked, I've had major issues. One show in particular I left early due to security issues, and the extreme lack of support. I've had such terrible experiences and I am glad to say that the DA and SD Artist Alley teams actually renewed my faith in the experience. They took such good care of me that I don't worry. The vibes they give out are positive ones. And any introverted creative person will tell you that without positivity and support in spades...we retreat. We flee to the shadows and many times just don't ever come out again.

  Thank you to Clydene. For bringing me into the fold. For captaining the ship and for championing the cause.

Thank you to Larry, for always smiling and fist pumping to get us going. But "No running!" dangit!

Thank you to the volunteers for having my back. For the support and the smiling faces.

Thank you to DA for the support, for the bags and the goodies, and for making the rounds to check on us. (Also for the thrill of the jumbo trons. That's just NEAT)

Thank you to my fellow Alley mates for being a part of the experience.

And thank you to Comic Con for being smart enough to let Clydene do what she does. For understanding that the Alley is indeed the reason so many patrons keep coming back to the show. And that without it the heart of the con would be gone. One day, when the noise and the bells and the whistles die down in the rest of the city that is San Diego Comic Con...the Alley will remain.

We should all be thankful for that.

I for one am not only thankful, but looking forward to the day when I'm a little old lady roaming the Alley to explore the art of an entirely new generation of creatives. Telling tales of how this little spot helped launch my career.
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:iconmirz123:
Mirz123 Featured By Owner Jul 23, 2013
Honestly, this is why I want to go to SDCC, and what I love about the other cons I have attended. Seeing the creation process. Sure. we all love the "stuff" and talking to the creators and the stars. But at the end of the day, getting a sketch or simply chatting with someone who is making something is just amazing. You guys did good. Probably doesn't mean much coming from a nobody, but it's still true.
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:iconvangellj:
VAngelLJ Featured By Owner Jul 23, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Fantastic to read.
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:iconmoonbeam13:
Moonbeam13 Featured By Owner Jul 23, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
:heart: This was just beautiful.  
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:iconalexbuechel:
AlexBuechel Featured By Owner Jul 23, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
Angelo,

I want to first of all thank you. The I have been setting up at comic con for 7 years now. I know the pain of having gone from spotlight to dark corner to ugly step sister. But Not anymore!!! In short, Deviant art and the Amazing Volunteers that give their time to support us have saved the Alley.

Yesteryear
We used to sit there each year wondering, hoping and looking over our shoulders counting people if this was even worth it anymore. We would watch as others would despair and leave complaining about hotel/flight rates and taking thousands of dollars in losses. I would see them go wander the show and say "whats the point". But you are Correct, there is a keystone to what is the heart and soul of AA in San Diego. The piece that has held us together for many Artist Generations, and she stands strong and unfoldable. We are always proud to say her name and love to get but a glimpse of her passing by just to say hello and thank you for all the amazing time and effort she gives willingly. Clyedene has fought long and hard and earned the respect of her entire staff and every artist that steps into SDCC.

Today
I honestly sit there now and can only come home with possitive thoughts. Our friendship with other artist has also improved. The artist now walk the floors with positive attitudes and even collect from each other. We all make it a point to help and support each other, meet and greet and it feels like the entire mood and vibe is amazing. We can once again compete for attention and it is amazing to see more and more fans come to us and hear them say that it is the "ONE AND TRUE HEART OF THE SHOW".

Your work, vision, and support warm our hearts and have helped us in a way that we will never be able to express as there are no words that can thank You, Kay, Lauren, Ryan, and the rest of the gang. (sorry too many names to type).

I know I speak for all the Artists when I say that from the bottom of our hearts, We are grateful for all that Clydene, You and everyone else has done for us and once again are proud to stand in our small space in Artist Alley.
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:iconseane:
SeanE Featured By Owner Jul 23, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
How about doing something more for the international people who can't attend SDCC on their own steam? Something beyond the somewhat limited and to be honest paltry effort of 2 sponsored people of a year or so ago? (Which focused on US citizens first and international people a distant second... But that is purely my own perspective and opinion)

I realise entirely that you can't pay for everyone to go that wants to. But I remember getting pretty excited about the sponsorship competition only to realise I stooda flying monkeys chance of winning it based on the criteria and conditions at the time, and I consider myself to be at least semi-pro in the comics industry.

SDCC for me would have been my big chance to meet and schmooze with the major league publishers and pros, to get my face seen, to show off my stuff, and well, basically just make those network connections people need to get ahead in any industry. Instead the winners seemed to be based primarily on their art style alone and not on the bigger picture of what SDCC via this sponsorship could do for them in the long term.

That's what I think DA should do for next year, as well as everything that's being done now.

Sean
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