This is a compilation of the most commonly asked questions we hear every year about the Otakon Convention Art Show. While a lot of information is covered here, this is not the rule or registration packets for entering work into Art Show. If you don't find the information you're looking for here, please feel free to contact us and we will be happy to help.
Download the Artist Registration Form here:
Otakon Art Show Artist Registration Form
Download the Artwork Registration Form here:
Otakon Art Show Artwork Registration Form
1. What is the Art Show?
Art Show is the part of Otakon intended to give you, the fans, the opportunity to express your creativity and share it with others. Art Show is an auction comprised of two parts: The Silent Auction and the Live Auction. Members enter artwork into the Silent Auction and if it gets enough bids, it's automatically entered into the Live Auction.
2. Where is the Art Show?
We're right next door to the Dealers' Room, in Hall E. We are accessible via the Otterbein Lobby or the Pratt Street Lobby (we're in the basement of the BCC!)
3. Aren't Art Show and Artist Alley the same?
No. Artist Alley and Art Show share Hall E and there is a lot of crossover with the artists as many participants in the Alley also enter their work into Art Show. However, Artist Alley and Art Show are completely separate departments, run by different people, with different goals. Artist Alley is a place where artists can buy table space and set up booths to market merchandise. Art Show is an auction.
4. Is the Art Show open on Sunday?
Art Show is "open" Sunday, but due to the necessity of breaking down the Silent Auction in preparation for the Live Auction, there is no artwork on display for browsing through. You can, however, bid in the Live Auction or pick up artwork you've won in the Silent Auction.
5. Can anyone enter artwork into the Show?
As long as you are 18yrs old or older, you can enter artwork into the Art Show.
6. How do I enter art into the Art Show?
Participants in Art Show must purchase "lots" for the display of their work, the cost of which is $20. A "lot" is defined as display space for five pieces of artwork. There is no limit to the number of lots a member can purchase. For each $20 a member pays, they are provided space for five pieces of work. The size of the artwork does not affect the price of the lot.
7. When do I register artwork?
We've set aside 9:00 AM until 8:00 PM on Friday and 10:00 AM until 4:00 PM on Saturday just for artist registration. Of course, artists can always register at any other time the Art Show is open if they wish. Just remember to bring picture ID, as the age requirement is 18 to register as an artist. For Artists who arrive Thursday for pre-reg, the Art Show expects to be ready to register artists as early as 5:00 PM Thursday evening, closing around 10:00 PM.
8. When can I bid on Artwork?
You must come down to Art Show during the posted times when bidder registration is open and register as a bidder. You must be 18 yrs old, have a credit card/bank card and a picture ID. Once registered, you will receive your very own sheet of barcodes which will allow you to bid on anything you want.
Barcodes are the system that we use to keep track of artists, artwork and bidders. All artists get a unique number, all pieces of artwork get a unique number and all bidders get their very own barcodes to use. This ensures that everyone participating in Art Show is protected and nobody loses any artwork. All you have to do, when placing a bid, is peel off one of your barcodes and stick it in the next available space on the bid card hung with the art. Then, enter your bid and you're done!
10. What's with the credit card and picture ID?
As much fun as Art Show is, people tend to forget that it's an auction. In order for artists and bidders to participate in the auction, a contract must be signed. This is why both artists and bidders must be 18yrs of age. It is the law in the state of Maryland that anyone entering into a legally binding contract must be 18yrs old or older. This is not a convention rule, this is State Law.
As for the credit card, the Art Show's goal is to put on an event that brings our members joy. Artists who sell artwork that is not picked up or paid for do not experience joy. Therefore, all bidders are required to sign a contract and provide a credit card so that if the unfortunate should occur, the artists who have invested their time and money into their work still get paid. The credit card provided will ONLY be charged if the artwork is not picked up by the close of Art Show on Sunday.
11. Is there some sort of fee if the bidders don't pick up their art by the end of the convention?
Yes. Twenty five dollars ($25) PER PIECE will be charged to the credit card submitted at the time of bidder registration, in addition to the full winning bid plus sales tax. The pieces will, of course, be shipped to the bidder after the convention.
12. Protecting the Artist's investment is all well and good but you've got my credit card information. I need to be sure my private information is being protected, too.
As soon as all artwork that has not been picked up is shipped and all artists have been paid, all of the bidder contracts are destroyed (we burn them). Your credit card information is only kept on paper, it's never entered into our database so the moment it's destroyed, it is gone forever.
13. If I choose to enter my work into the show, what kind of security measures can I expect to protect my work?
The Art Show staff is dedicated to doing anything within our means to protect the investment of artists participating in the Art Show. We have staff assigned to patrol the show to prevent shill bidding (which is illegal, incidentally). This keeps the competition fair and ensures that bidders are getting a fair price. We do not allow cameras into Art Show so as to protect your work from being unfairly captured. Bidders are required to sign a contract and provide credit card information to ensure artists are paid. Hall E is locked down when not open so as to ensure that merchandise and artwork is secure when staff is not present. Protecting your work from theft is the secondary purpose behind your artist registration number. Without it, a person cannot pick up unsold work. We also have staff assigned to man all entrances to ensure that nobody walks out with unsold artwork and, of course, to prevent under-aged people from going into the Adult section of the Show.
14. Adult Section?!
Yes! We do have a Hentai Section in the Art Show. Hentai has a long and respected tradition in anime culture so it seems appropriate that we include it in the show. That said, Otakon is a very family friendly event and we would never wish to ostracize, offend or exclude anyone due to content that isn't appropriate for minors. As such, we have a section of the Show that is only accessible to people 18yrs of age and older.
15. But I've been to Art Show and I noticed that much of the Art in the Hentai Section is NOT Hentai. Why?
In the interest of not unintentionally offending anyone and making sure that all art displayed in the Art Show is appropriate for any member from any background, we've chosen to put any art that displays nudity of any kind in the Hentai Section. This art is also auctioned off in the Live Auction, if it gets enough bids, but a general warning to the audience is given out before it is brought out for bidding. Any piece of artwork that shows nipples, butts or genitalia is automatically put in the Hentai Section. This decision is at the discretion of Art Show staff and is not negotiable.
16. I heard a rumor that you guys allow one piece of art into the Hentai Section for free with the purchase of one lot for the public section. Is this true?
Yes! The Hentai section of the Art Show is still somewhat new and in an effort to fill it up a bit, we are offering artists the chance to enter one piece of work into the Hentai section, free of charge, with the purchase of one lot. The free piece of work MUST be Hentai in order for it to qualify.
17. What happens if I am a bidder but I lose my barcode sheet?
While it's true that the vast majority of our members are not out to rip anybody off, it only takes one jerk to make life difficult for everyone. As such, there is very little we can do if you lose your barcodes. As a bidder, the barcodes you were given are entirely your responsibility. You are responsible for any artwork that is won by your bidder number. Needless to say, losing your barcodes could be a disaster. That said, if it does happen, please let us know ASAP and we will try to help. We've had trouble in the past with members getting carried away, bidding too high and trying to get out of it by claiming to have lost their barcodes. Because of this, we deal with this problem on a case by case basis. Rest assured that we will do everything we can to ensure that you are not ripped off by someone who has your barcodes.
18. Is there any way for someone to buy artwork without registering as a bidder?
Yes. No one is required to register to view the Art Show. If you happen to see something you like that has a Quick Sale price listed, you can purchase that on the spot. Those are the only items available for sale this way. You must find a staff member, make your intention to buy that piece clear and pay for it immediately. We will not hold it for you so be aware you are going to have to carry it with you.
19. How would I know if I won the bid on a piece of art?
We recommend that you make it a point to stop by Art Show several times throughout the weekend to check up on how your bids are doing. However, you won't know for absolute certain until Sunday morning. We will have a book compiled of bidder numbers and winnings for you to look through by 11am Sunday morning. The books are posted by the first big pillar, next to our welcome desk, when you first enter Hall E from the Otterbein Lobby. Remember that something you bid on may have gone to Live Auction so make sure you check both the winner's book AND the Live Auction list before concluding that you have or have not won anything.
20. Art Show will begin the purchase process on Sunday?
Yes. With the exception of Quick Sale items, the actual pickup and purchase process begins Sunday at 10:00 AM.
21. Do I have to use a credit card to pay for art?
No. The credit information we took from you will only be used in the event that you don't pick up your artwork. When paying, you are welcome to use Visa, MasterCard or Cash. WE DO NOT ACCEPT PERSONAL CHECKS OR AMERICAN EXPRESS. Bidders can use any combination of cash, Visa and MasterCard for their purchases.
22. Will the artists be paid at the convention?
No. Checks will be mailed to the address you registered with us within six weeks after the end of the convention.
23. Why am I seeing piece in the Art Show that are in the Dealer's Room?
Dealers are allowed to submit original works to the Art Show; however they must be unique and different from pieces they are selling at their booths. This includes a signature or being a numbered copy (unique), and having an astetic difference; size, colors, and/or medium.
24. I still have questions regarding the exact process for entering work into the Show.
Please see the info packets provided under "Art Show" on the main page of this website for detailed instructions for participating in Art Show. You can also contact us directly through our help form. At Otakon we will have the registration forms and instructions available at our information desk in Hall E, near the Otterbein Lobby doors.