Make sure to stop by Artists Alley, we have some amazing artists and craftsmen this year. We’ll be directing the traffic again and (unless you have an official press badge or you are an artist taking a reference shot) photography within AA is not permitted. The artist contest is also back and better than ever.
Due to Covid-19, all dates are subject to change. Other announcements will be added closer to the convention.
- 4/9 – 5/7 sign up (miss this window and you will have to try again next year)
- Lottery winners announced – June 4
- Pre-registration validation deadline – June 30
- Contracts out – July 1 or after Pre-registration validation
- Contracts deadline- July 30
- 9/3-9/5 NDK 2021
Hours of Operation
- Friday: 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. (opens at 9 a.m. for setup)
- Saturday: 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. (9 a.m. for setup)
- Sunday: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (9 a.m. for setup)
Artists will be chased out of AA after 10 p.m. if they are still there!
Artists Alley Important Dates Updated
Please review the Important Dates information, due to COVID-19 we have updated some of our dates.
To be updated closer to the convention!
To be updated closer to the convention!
To be updated closer to the convention!
To be updated closer to the convention!
Artists Alley Signup
Thank you for your interest in Nan Desu Kan’s Artists Alley! Before continuing, please make sure to review all of the content below, and then expand the Signup Form while its available to complete your signup.
- Artists Alley Rules – Review
- Artists Alley F.A.Q’s – For each question, click to expand and review
- Allowed and Not Allowed Examples – Toggle, click to expand and review
- Artists Alley Table Contest – Toggle, click to expand and review
- Artists Alley Signup Form – Toggle, click to expand after reviewing and sign up!
Artists Alley Signup Closes for 2021
2019 Mix of Signups
We had over 315 signups for available spaces in 2019. The following is our breakdown by category off the Artist Alley participants.
- Art – Traditional 40% 40%
- Art – Expanded Media 25% 25%
- Mixed 18% 18%
- Craft 7% 7%
- Other 8% 8%
Artists Alley Rules
- Artist Alley tables are only available to artists displaying or selling original artwork, fan art, original comic, doujinshi, and fanzines. The sale of videos and software, i.e. mass produced resale items etc., is not allowed from an Artists Alley table. The Artist Alley Area Head reserves the right to prohibit the sale of any merchandise or service that they feel is inappropriate.
- All artists and artist helpers MUST be registered and have a badge for NDK. Badges must be worn at all times while on the con floor.
- Stolen or plagiarized work is strictly forbidden. All work must be entirely your own. Copying and attempting to sell any existing official or fan art, regardless of what medium it is copied into, is recognized as theft by the state of Colorado. Copying existing art and drawing in a different background or different colors is plagiarism and will not be tolerated. Artists are expected to sell their own art. This includes any and all art on buttons, badges, keychains, jewelry, and all other crafts. Any artists found to be plagiarizing will be asked ONCE to remove their copied artworks. Further violations will result in a ban. Art theft in the Artist Alley is akin to bootlegs in the Dealers Room, and will not be tolerated.
Note: The use of fabric with official/character artwork like you can find at a fabric store under licensed material or can have printed onto a material falls under this rule and using it will result in disqualification.
- Artists are also not allowed to sell any kind of art or product with any kind of official logo.
- Products released officially either in the US or Japan cannot be sold in Artists Alley, the same goes for completed works done by someone else and bought by you. We want work from you, not someone else.
- Food and/or drink cannot be sold in Artists Alley.
- There is a strict 18+ rule in Artist Alley. We take this rule very seriously, and violating this rule will have serious consequences. Prohibited 18+ materials include: any kind of pornography or otherwise excessive sexuality (hentai, yaoi, yuri,) excessive gore, or excessive violence. If you are found to be carrying any sort of 18+ material, you will be warned to put it away. Further violations will result in a ban. The acceptability of any product is the sole discretion of the Artist Alley Area Head.
- There is a strict PG-13 rule in the Artist Alley. Artists are allowed to bring PG-13 material, but due to the increasing family-friendly nature of the convention, it may not be openly displayed. Suggestive images, mild fanservice, artistic nudity, and the like, must be placed in closed binders or otherwise be hidden from public view. If you are found displaying any sort of PG-13 art, you will be warned to take it down. If you persist in openly displaying PG-13 art, or in allowing younger people to see it, you will be warned again; further violations will result in a ban. If you have any questions about an image please ask with plenty of prior notice to the convention. The acceptability of any product is the sole discretion of the Artist Alley Area Head.
- We have a number of people apply to sell the same type of items every year and we strive for variety in Artist Alley. If you are told that you cannot sell an item, please respect our request. The same goes for adding new items; if you want to sell something new then you have to get it approved beforehand. Having items on your table that has not been approved before the convention will result in a warning, and you could be asked to put the product away. This restriction goes for contest winners as well as lottery winners.
- Artists are expected to be open and available at their tables for as long as possible during daylight hours. We expect you to be at your table by 10am on Saturday and 11am on Sunday at the very latest. If something comes up or you know you won’t be able to make it for one of the days, please contact the Artist Alley Area Head as soon as possible. Please note that early closures for the Cosplay are acceptable.
Note: Artists who do not show by 10am on Saturday will have their space sold to other artists, and will not be welcome back. This is only for check in, not set up, if you checked in Friday you won’t lose your space because you set up at 10am, the Artists Alley Area head has internet on her phone so she can check for email messages if you need to contact her.
- Artists are free to arrange their table space as they see fit and may supply their own tables, racks and chairs at no additional cost, remember though that space is limited, if it moves into another artists space you will not be able to use it. NDK reserves the right to approve the setup including TVs, speakers, tables, etc. Also, staff is allowed to restrict what can be heard and viewed outside of your area.
- Please inform the Artists Alley Area Head with any changes to product inventory, or additional product approval. The same goes for a business name change. You will need to inform us of the change for our Program Book, Guidebook and the NDK website; otherwise we will use the name on file.
Artists Alley F.A.Q
Using the FAQ is easy, just click on the Question you have below, and the answer will expand out!
Q: How much does a table cost?
A: Single Table $100, Double Table $200 (very limited number).
Convention badges must be purchased separately for all members of you and your group. Weekend pre-registration passes are $55 per person.
Q: Does power cost extra?
A: Yes, and you must include your request at sign up.
Q: What is the table size?
A: Tables are 6 feet x 3 feet and they come with 2 chairs but you will need to provide your own tablecloth.
Q: Are tables First Come First Serve?
A: No, after applications are processed, they get divided into table size and category and picked by a random lottery, we have a lot of fun rolling dice.
Q: Can my group apply more than once if different members apply so that if one doesn’t get in we can share and if all get in we can have space next to each other?
A: No, doing so will get you disqualified.
Q: I have more than one person selling stuff in my group, do we sign up and/or pay separately?
A: For each group regardless of how many people there are, you must sign up and pay together. All group members must also get their products approved at sign up in order to be able to sell them.
Q: I have friends that will be watching our table from time to time, do they have to sign up if they are not selling anything?
A: No your table watchers do not have to be signed up with you BUT they must have an attendee badge for the con. Please provide their name so they can be added to your group.
Note: All helpers must have the AA sticker on their badge, or an Artists Alley Badge. People without one are not allowed behind the tables, period.
Q: If there is a table that is left open at some point during the convention, can I set my stuff up or move from my current table to the empty one?
A: No. If you attempt to do so you will have your badge punched and could get banned for life from AA. Or in extreme cases, you could be removed from the convention premises altogether. Tables are assigned before the convention, and some of the empty tables may belong to Guests who may be away running panels or hosting events. We have a procedure to fill empty spaces, and if we move someone you will be contacted directly by the AA Area Head.
Q: I have a friend who is on the wait-list and I know I’ll have some open space at my table during the convention, can they use that space?
A: If you have space that you aren’t going to use please ask for a smaller space. You cannot add friends from the waitlist to your group. If it is a new member to your already existing group then contact us ASAP so that it can be discussed in private before the convention. They will need to have their products approved before they are given the go ahead.
Note: Artists who miss the signup window cannot be added to any existing group. Sorry, we’re doing this to be fair to the artists on the wait-list.
Q: How are wait-list artists chosen?
A: Unless it’s a large group or several spaces come open at once, all spaces will be divided into single table spaces and a lottery will include single and double. However, right before pre-registration closes (in mid-August) there is a greater chance for more single table space.
Q: Can I sell some kind of food or drink product that I made myself?
A: Sorry, no. This is hotel & convention center policy, no food or drink can be sold in AA.
Q: Can I sell items I did not make myself and/or are officially released merchandise?
A: No, all items sold at your table must be made by your or your group. Selling items not approved, or belonging to someone else without approval or consent from both the maker and the Artists Alley Area Head, will get you and your entire group in trouble. Please note that there are special exceptions for collaborative work as well as Active Military; see the official rules for full details.
- Guest Artists are allowed to have agents, anyone else found acting as someone’s agent without special permission and product approval will be banned
- Make sure to check the allowed and not allowed page to avoid getting disqualified, if one member signs up with something that will disqualify them then the entire group is out of the running, period.
Q: Can I use character or series names in my art or displays?
A: The name of a series and/or character CANNOT be included in any piece of art (of any kind), on any display, or any packaging; this goes for both English and Japanese. No art or packaging containing these names can be sold in Artists Alley, you will be asked once to remove them. The same goes for using said names on a display, you will be asked to change the display. Continued use could result in a lifetime ban.
Q: Is taking pictures allowed in AA?
A: In general this answer is no unless you have a press badge, and asked permission from the table occupants. If you want to take a picture of a passing cosplayer, we ask that you do so outside of the AA area. AA staff will be enforcing this rule, and please inform us if you see anyone breaking it.
There are 2 exceptions to this rule: 1) those in AA may take pictures of their own tables and work, 2) Artists doing caricatures may take a no-flash picture of the person making the commission.
Q: Can you tell me where my spot is before the con and/or release a map of AA?
A: Sorry, no. You will have to wait until check in to find out what table you are at, the general map is always posted so you can request an area during sign up.
Requesting extra space, power, extra chairs, or placement in a certain area or next to someone does not guarantee that you will get it. We only have so many areas certain requests can be filled and they go fast. All tables are assigned and cannot be changed.
Q: Can I leave my stuff out all weekend after setting up on Friday?
A: You can leave your table set at night since we are in a room that locks but we recommend using a table covering for when you’re not there and taking your valuables like cash boxes with you.
Q: What is the table contest?
A: Every year we set up a vote box where people can vote for their favorite artists, winners are reserved a spot outside of the lottery provided they meet all deadlines.
Allowed and Not Allowed Examples - Review before signing up!
We hope this will help clarify some of what is and isn’t allowed in NDK’s AA. Much of what is allowed falls into a gray area, the point of this thread is to help make that gray area a bit clearer. Every year we end up having to disqualify some amazing artists, simply because they have something that can’t be sold at NDK. We hope that by creating this example page, we won’t have to do that quite as much.
*All images used on this page belong to their respective owners.*
Logos and Symbols
Here is a breakdown of the following three areas:
Logos – these are items we consider logos, and cannot be used at all.
Symbols – these are items that fall more in the symbol section and can be used.
Logos VS Symbols – cases where if used it would be a logo but if used differently would be considered a symbol.
Thundercats sign: it appears in the title and is easily recognizable.
From Neon Genisis Evangelion the Nerv logo
Fairy Tail: The logos used on the members by the guilds.
From Naruto; the art that appears on the headbands *note: the star and the music note are allowed because they are generic*
The 4 nations signs that appear in Avatar, you can use them but it’s better to use the other symbols for the 4 nations.
Symbol Vs. Logo Examples:
The Sailor Moon Sailor Scouts Planet signs, using the general planet signs is considered a symbol but using the alterations on some that were used for the series is considered a logo. (Yes, we know some are the same, and those ones are fine, it’s the altered for the show ones that are not allowed.)
The Tri-force from Zelda is by itself a symbol but is considered a logo since it appears in the title of the game.
The circles used in Full Metal Alchemist are considered logos, but you can use similar circles in work as symbols, the logos include the main circle and the one that appears on Ed’s jacket.
Pokeball: the original red and white pokeball is considered a logo while the others come close to being logos as well. This is for charms, plush, and buttons for the most part, you can stylize it in fan art and other mediums so that you can tell what it is without being exactly like. And for the record, outside of stylized fan art where it is only a small part of the overall image, the use of pokeballs will get you disqualified.
General Rule: if we can trace something to an officially released item, it will not be allowed no matter what medium is used. This includes plush or stuffed items: Stuffed fabric, knitted or crocheted items, felt items, etc. Basically if there’s an official stuffed version any stuffed medium is out.
Also, using official merchandise and altering it in some way, including adding something to it, is not allowed. This is considered the same as selling official merchandise, which we do not allow in AA.
The following is not a complete list, but it covers several examples. If you have questions, ask.
Dragon Ball, DBZ, DBGT: Dragon Balls are official items.
Harry Potter: While there are several official wands, the wand itself is allowed provided it doesn’t look exactly like the official ones. However- there are official robes available, so they are no longer allowed.
Kingdom Hearts: There are officially licensed keyblades out there, this includes charms and keychains
Hello Kitty: AKA Sanrio, this series is officially licensed and the use of any plush, charms, fabric, or official merchandise will get you disqualified.
My Little Pony: Plush: All forms of MLP plush are not allowed, this is because there are official plush out. This also includes characters that have not been officially released yet.
My Little Pony: Charms: Because there are a number of official MLP charms out, clay and similar material charms are not allowed.
My Little Pony: Cutie Marks: We allow the use of cutie marks only if the artist uses more than the main six. This means that we want more cutie marks to broaden this area and make it less focused on the main characters.
Pokemon Charms and Buttons: Pokemon charms are no longer allowed; this goes for creatures and pokeballs. Creatures are allowed in buttons provided the art is the artists own style (does not look like the official art); pokeball buttons will get you disqualified.
Pokemon: Hats: There are official trainer hats out there but creating hats in the likeness of a pokemon character is ok as long as it isn’t the character just slapped onto the hat.
Portal: Plush: There is now an official companion cube plush and charms so both are not allowed
Sailor Moon: Lockets, pendants, crystals, mirrors, tiaras, are all official items and cannot be sold.
Star Trek: badges and communicators are official items. Same with several kinds of plush.
Art is a bit more tricky to define but below are some general rules. If you have a piece that you’re unsure about ask, this is a HUGE gray area. Please note: the Artists Alley Area Head has final say on the propriety of any item in question.
1) Do not trace or copy an image and then use it directly or alter it by changing some of the features or colors. This is still considered using a copyright image.
2) Do not draw a character in a pose that they are already used in. AKA no finished summoning or transformation poses. No poses that the character is officially used in like Spiderman web slinging. Even if it’s in your own style, these signature poses begin to look more and more like the official art. (Again ask if you’re unsure about a piece.)
3) Make sure if you’re drawing a character from something that your art style isn’t exactly like the style used by the creator. It’s good to use other artists as a base but we want to see your own flair in your work.
4) Even in art, logos aren’t allowed. This becomes a gray area quickly with symbols, see the logos vs symbols section above, and if you still aren’t sure ask.
5) If you are doing buttons are something, make sure the art is your own, don’t just take an image you found online, be it something drawn or real, and add a saying to it.
6) No cursing or inappropriate language please, there is no reason to have art or buttons displayed where there these are involved. If you want to do so in a commission that’s ok, but it’s not ok elsewhere.
7) Do not use licensed images even as a background, an example of this would be using Hubble images or photographs not taken by you.
Fabric: many craft items are made with fabric, this is ok for the most part but there are some restrictions. Fabric containing licensed images such as: Disney, Pokemon, Hubble, Hello Kitty, My Little Pony, etc are not allowed. This is the same as using official merchandise and altering it.
Food looking items: In general food items are allowed, just be careful about not using the companies logos that are used on the actual items. (example pocky, ramune, etc.)
Artists Alley Table Contest Information
Artists Alley Table Contest on-site voting contest takes place on Sunday at NDK from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m so make sure to spread the word!
Note: Incomplete voting slips will not be counted, and ballot stuffing is against the rules. It is one vote per attendee. If ballot stuffing is discovered the artist the votes were for will earn a one year ban from AA. This policy is designed to ensure fairness and to give more people a chance to cast their vote. Once the vote slips are gone the contest is over.
There will be 7 sections for the contest:
- 4 Tables will be chosen by Nan Desu Kan attendees popular vote from each of the three categories: 2 Art, Craft, and Mixed. Please note that this prize cannot be awarded in two years back to back.
- All three winners from each category will be guaranteed a spot for the following years Artist Alley at Nan Desu Kan.
- 1 will be the Artist’s vote. As in past years, an Artists Alley staffer will come around Sunday and pass out voting slips to each artist. Artists mush turn completed voting slips into the AA staff table to cast their ballot instead; do not put them in the voting box. The winner will be guaranteed a spot for the following years Artists Alley at Nan Desu Kan; contest winners are eligible for this vote.
- The Staff Vote: The ballots for this are kept at the Artists Alley Staff table. NDK staff members can stop by at any time during the convention and place their vote. The winner will be guaranteed a spot for the next years Nan Desu Kan Artists Alley; past contest winners are eligible for this vote.
- Grand Prize: Wins a paid for table for the following years Nan Desu Kan Artists Alley AND two regular pre-registration badges.
All table winners must apply for a table just like everyone else during the three-week window artists alley is accepting applications.
Winners are guaranteed a single table provided they meet all deadlines for registering, as well as go through the product approval process.
Winners will not be placed in the lottery unless they are trying for a larger space. Winners are still subject to the same rules and processes as every other artist; winning does not mean all products will be approved.
Winners from all 7 categories will be announced online after the convention.