Anime Day at The Art Studio

Now that I’ve had some time to process everything that has happened over the weekend I can now sit down and talk to you guys about Anime Day.

I’m honored, humbled and still in shock over the amazing turn out we had on Saturday. Almost 800 people attended! I still can’t believe it. I was hoping for somewhere between 300-400 but never that amount of people. That’s astronomical!

So here’s a little back story as to how this event came about. I’m in the committee for the Hockessin Art & Book Fair (along with The Art Studio, Hockessin Community Recreation Center, The Written Remains, Hockessin Book Shelf, Hockessin Library, and Center of the Creative Arts), I’m listed as Unexpected Spark Studios. 7 months ago I spoke to my friend Carol Dougherty (who works at the Art Studio) about possibly putting together a small anime and manga convention. Something small, perhaps at one of the libraries in New Castle County. She turned to me with a small grin and said, “That’s a great idea. But how about we do it at the Art Studio?”

You didn’t have to tell me twice. I was just happy Anime Day was actually going to happen. I think it’s awesome that Delaware is starting to have so many events, but I felt that it was missing a little something. I felt like we needed something that was specifically for anime and manga. Mostly because I LOVE anime and manga! Some of my favorites are Cardcaptor Sakura, Chobits, Alice 19th, and Ceres. I was lucky that I had friends that I could share this with. I’m also a HUGE gamer girl. I grew up playing Super Mario Bros, Street Fighter, Mortal Combat, Soulcalibur, Final Fantasy X & X-II and Kingdom Hearts. (Still play those games).

The following week we met at the Art Studio and talked about what we wanted to do. First thing we needed were artists and vendors for our mini artist alley. Luckily, thanks to all the years I’ve been running around the East Coast going to comic cons and conventions I had a great list of people I could invite. So that task fell on me. First and foremost, we wanted this to be a family friendly event, and we also wanted everyone to have a good time.

We also needed, workshops, panels, food vendors, etc.

So for 7 months Carol and I communicated mostly via email and planned Anime Day. I asked my dear BFF Kristen Corbett to design the logo for our event. And I’m so glad I did. I don’t think anyone else could’ve designed a more adorable little cat. It’s a little bento cat!

And slowly, things were falling into place. I also asked the Delaware Anime Society to lend a hand and I’m so glad I did. They helped us with so much stuff and I will be eternally grateful for their help.

I can honestly tell you guys that a few days before Anime Day was supposed to take place I was a giant bundle of nerves. I was so nervous. I kept wondering if I had forgotten something. Worried that no one would attend.

But all those worries vanished the moment they opened the doors at the Art Studio on Saturday at 11AM. I will never forget that WHOOSH! And seeing people literally pouring in through the double doors.

I cried. I did. I cried for a good 30 seconds from behind my table while Kristen consoled me and patted me on the shoulders. I was just so relieved that people had attended.

I want to thank my friend Carol Dougherty, for being kind and patient with me even though I sent her a million emails (and if you know me personally then you know that I can get chatty even via email). My husband, Kurt and my children. My BFF Kristen, for listening to me going on and on (and on) about this event). My family, my parents, and my in laws, for always being there for me and for taking care of my children when I had to go to a meeting.

I also want to thank all of the artist and vendors that took a chance on me and on Anime Day. I’m so glad they did. This event couldn’t have happened without their help and incredible talent. So many of you even volunteered to run workshops and panels! Seriously, THANK YOU!

I will be sure to keep you posted for next year’s Anime Day. 😉

 

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