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July 24 - July 26, 2015
Baltimore Convention Center
Baltimore, Maryland, USA
Home  //  Artist Alley / Art Show  //  Art: The Alley - Rules
Art: The Alley - Rules

Rules and Information for Exhibitors in the Alley at Otakon 2014

Otakon welcomes the artistic members of its community to purchase space in the Otakon Artist Alley for retail sales of the artist's own works for the duration of the convention. Works displayed at the Artist Alley Tables are to conform to the guidelines outlined below.

Hours of Operation:

  • Thursday: set up 5:00pm to 9:00pm Artists only
  • Friday: 9:00am to 1:00pm Artists only.
    1:00pm to 10:00pm Open to the General Public.
    10:00pm to 11:00pm Artists only.
  • Saturday: 9:00am to 10:00am Artists only.
    10:00am to 10:00pm Open to the General Public.
    10:00pm to 11:00pm Artists only.
  • Sunday: 9:00am to 10:00am Artists only.
    10:00am to 3:00pm Open to the General Public.
    3:00pm to 4:00pm Artists only.
    Please note that all artists must be out of the Alley by 4:00pm.

Artist Early Access

Artists are permitted early access to the artist alley for setup and preparation. Please note that this year the loading docks are accessible for use on Thursday till 6:00pm. You must have completed your check in and received your badge with a artist alley flag before you can use the loading dock area. To use the loading docks on Sunday for load out you will have to get a load out ticket from the Artist Alley staff. Additionally you can also use the elevator in the Pratt Street entrance to get your merchandise to the alley as well. On Friday Early Access is only available through the Pratt Street entrance. On Saturday and Sunday early Access is only available through the Pratt Street entrance one (1) hour before the artist alley opens. Artists caught in the artist alley before this time can be subject to forfeiture of their artist alley table and flags without a refund.

General Policies:

While in the Alley all convention, local, state, and federal rules, policies and laws apply. Convention rules can be found online on the Otakon website and in your program book.

All artists must show a government-issued, photo ID to check in at the Alley. If an artist is not able to produce a valid ID at check in, their table(s)will be held until 10AM on Saturday, at which point the table(s) will be considered unclaimed and open for sale on a first come, first served basis. Accepted forms of ID include but are not limited to:

  • A state drivers' license
  • State-issued identification card
  • A passport
  • Military ID.
Other forms of Photo ID may be accepted at the discretion of the Department Head of The Alley. The name on the ID must match the name given during table registration.

In the state of Maryland, a person must be at least 18 years old in order to sign a contract. Therefore, any person who is not 18 must have an adult sign the contract on their behalf. The adult who co-signed the contract must be present to check-in for a table, must remain present at the table at all times, and must accept responsibility for any failure of the under-aged artist to comply with all convention policies as well as applicable laws.


Number of Tables: A single artist or studio is allowed a maximum of one table. You may not bring your own table(s) to supplement this amount.

Cost:All tables are $175 and do not include a membership/badge. Badges must be purchased separately.

Badges: Your artist alley table does not come with any memberships/badges. Memberships must be paid for separately. Dealers Room badges are not eligible for at door table sales.

Artist Alley Flags: Each artist alley table comes with up to 3 artist alley flags. Each person behind a table must have a membership badge with an artist alley flag attached; you are responsible for making sure that you have an artist alley flag. Selling behind an artist alley table without a flag is grounds for removal from the artist alley without a refund.

Number of people behind each table: There may only be 2 people behind each table at any time. This includes the common spaces behind the tables as well. Each table will have up to three artist/vendor flags to give you and your team enough valid sellers to rotate spots behind the table. Please take breaks for food and water!

Table Size:Table sizes are roughly 6ft long by 2ft wide and 2ft 5inches tall. These dimensions are subject to change depending on what is supplied by the decorator.

Chairs: 2 chairs are provided with each table. You may not supplement this amount with your own chairs.

Transfer of tables: Each table is registered to an artist at purchase. No purchased table may be moved to the ownership of another artist. If you need to opt out of your table, please notify the artist alley staff. Otakon will make this table available to the wait-list. Also, please note that table costs are nonrefundable.

  • If you are a registered corporation at the time of your application to the artist alley you may transfer your table to another employee of your corporation. This person may not have applied for a table in the artist alley. Additionally you must also provide the following information:
    1. The State that you have incorporated
    2. Your incorporation ID (This is not your Federal Tax ID)
    3. Your Federal Tax ID
    4. Date of incorporation
    5. Your date of incorporation must be prior to submitting an application to the artist alley.

No-Shows: If an artist fails to check in for their table by noon on Saturday, they will be considered a No-Show. At that point, their table(s) will be offered for sale at the at-con rate on a first come, first served basis. Lost tables cannot be reclaimed, and neither credit nor refund will be given for No-Show tables. The lineup location will be announced ten (10) min before we begin selling tables. You may not line up prior to this announcement.

Unsold Tables: Unsold tables will be offered for sale one (1) hour after the alley opens on Friday. The lineup location will be announced ten (10) min before we begin selling tables. You may not line up prior to this announcement. All tables are sold on a first come first serve basis and are subject to the same limitations as normal table sales.

Refunds: Tables are not refundable.

Table Signage: All table signage should match the information that you registered with. Ex: If you put down on your application that you are "Studio A" but all your signs say that you are "Studio B" this will be seen as a table transfer. Signage that does not match your registration must be removed.

Structures: Any structure brought to display artwork must be of sound construction and may not extend more than 5 feet above the table. If any structure falls down, appears unstable, or extends more than 5 feet above the table, the artist to whom it belongs will be asked to remove it by the Alley staff. In addition, all displays must reside within the confines of your area. The corners of each Island are considered to be an emergency egress for artists; as such you may not use the corners for your display. Displays behind your table may not impede upon other artists areas nor disrupt traffic flow in case of emergency.


Badges: Otakorp, Inc. badges must be worn at all times. ONLY people with an Artist ribbon will be allowed behind tables within the Artist Alley. Persons behind tables within Artist Alley without an Artist Alley ribbon are subject to removal from the convention without a refund.

Substance Use: Smoking or use of alcohol or drugs while in the Artist Alley will not be tolerated. Violations will result in removal from The Alley and convention.

Behavior: Please refrain from running, screaming, yelling, horseplay, or obscene language; all artists are expected to be courteous and polite to one another, the staff, and other convention attendees.

Noise:Overly loud music, videos, etc. will not be tolerated in the Alley. If the amount of sound coming from a table is found to be disruptive as determined by the Artist Alley Staff (For example found to be disruptive to conversation more than 6 feet away or complaints made from other artist alley tables), the artist will be asked to lower the volume. Further noise violations can result in the artist being removed from the Artist Alley.

Photograpy: Photography and video recording are permitted within The Alley, provided that the person being recorded has given permission. Similarly, pictures or videos of art are allowed only with permission of the artist. The sole exception is that photography and videography of the art show is not permitted.

Signs: Artists are requested not to move or tamper with Otakon signage without staff permission.

Artwork and Sales

Adult Materials: In recent years there has been a marked increase in the number of minors and families attending Otakon. Therefore, Otakorp, Inc. asks that all exhibitors, including artists in The Alley, please keep this in mind when setting up their displays. The acceptability of displays of adult material is at the sole discretion of the Department Head of the Artist Alley. Any materials which are sexually explicit, extremely graphically violent, or otherwise unsuitable for children must be displayed in a manner that keeps minors from seeing them. If any of these materials are found left out in the open, or the Artist Alley staff receives complaints, the artist will be asked to remove the material in question. If any artist sells inappropriate materials to minors, they will be removed from the Artist Alley, Otakon and membership in Otakorp, Inc. They may also be held accountable under Maryland and Baltimore City laws.

The following items may be sold:

  • Any product featuring an artist's original character.
  • Commissioned and hand-drawn works made during the convention, provided that they do not violate any other rule
  • Unique, individual, hand-made items
  • Fan art which clearly shows that the work is produced by the artist, rather than by the license holder.
  • Props that are clearly made by the artist that are original rather than of a licensed nature.

The following items are prohibited from sale within The Alley:

  • Any work with copyrighted materials and/or trademarked logos(official art), regardless of whether or not the work is original.
  • Craft items with official art
  • Bootleg products
  • Copyright-violating traced, photoshopped, or transferred art 2nd or 3rd party art/sales
  • Products that can be bought at a store either in Japan or the US that you did not create
  • Food, snacks or beverages.
  • Legally imported merchandise or legitimate US products. This includes, but is not limited to: wall scrolls, sharpies, art supplies, duct tape, glow sticks etc.
  • Any items for sale in the Dealers' Room regardless if you are the creator.
  • Props that are a replication of a copyrighted and/or licensed nature.

Fan Art:

  • The Alley is meant to showcase an Artist Talent and work. In this spirit the amount of Fan Art displayed by an Artist or Studio should not exceed more than 50% of their displayed work.
    • 50% shall be defined as half your table (3ft.)
    • It's okay to use a limited amount of duplicates in your display. If you need to duplicate one or two original pieces to meet the 50% rule that's fine. However it's not okay to have excessive amounts of duplicates.
    • The 50% rules for fanart applies to all mediums.
  • To better facilitate the Alley staff in identifying what is fan art and what is original artwork you must identify you fan art or original art with a single colored sticker displayed on the corner of your artwork and use a different color to note your original work (Note: This also makes a great place to display pricing as well). A limited amount of stickers will be provided upon check-in.
  • You may not have more than 2 portfolios/flip books consisting of no more than 50 pages. Your portfolios/flip books must also conform to the 50% fanart display rules (For each piece of fanart displayed you must also display an original piece of similar size). You may only display a single piece per page in each portfolio and this is the only location where you may not duplicate original art to balance out your fanart. Displaying artwork in a box will also count as a portfolio.
  • Celebrity likeness is considered to be fan art.
  • Everyone knows that copying someone else's work is wrong, but there is no "magic rule" about how much must be changed to make it an artist's own. The artist bears all responsibility and risk for the items brought for sale at Otakorp, Inc. Any questions regarding this policy will be resolved by the Department Head of The Alley, in consultation with Otakorp Inc.'s lawyer when needed. If a piece of art appears to be very similar to a licensed, copyrighted, etc. piece of art, the artist may be asked to remove it from display and sale at the discretion of the Department Head. The Department Head's decision is final.
  • The actual picture of a licensed character, vehicle, etc. produced by the actual copyright holder or under commission of the actual copyright holder is not considered to be fan art but original art.

At Con/Pre Con Commissions: Commissions taken for delivery at the convention, regardless if the commission was taken pre convention for delivery or at the convention for delivery are between the artist and commissioner, Otakon is not a party in these dealings. As such Otakon and the Alley staff cannot assist you in locating either the commissioner or the artist you commissioned. Please make sure you get contact information for one another as part of your dealings.

Giveaways: Giveaways of any type are not allowed.


Though Otakorp and the Artist Alley staff retain the right to make instantaneous changes to the Artist Alley policy's, every effort will be made to extend artists the courtesy of an announcement of the changes.

As a Reminder the Alley staff will consistently monitor and patrol the Artist Alley for policy and rules violations, any and all observed and reported violations will be acted upon. Additionally a single violation of the convention and Artist Alley rules and policies could result in the artist being removed from the Artist Alley and the convention at the discretion of the Artist Alley staff. If an individual is removed, they forfeit all fees and will receive no refund for their table or membership.

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