Below is the checklist I created for my artist alley courses back in 2017-2018, but I knew in my heart I wanted to make this list available for free for other artists to use. So here it is. ^_^
While this includes the list of supplies I used myself, I encourage you to use this list below as a list of suggestions and a beginner’s step to finding the supplies YOU will eventually need for your own care, well-being, and preparation for your artist alley travel.
We often worry about the supplies we need for our artist alley display and sales, and massively plan for those, but we often forget the supplies WE need to BE in the artist alley and enjoy our tabling experience.
Food, water, a sweater, proper weather attire, and a helper (while not a supply) can help us stay awake, healthy, and energized throughout the convention weekend. Remember, you or a helper is expected to be behind your table at all times. Consider restroom breaks and exercise as part of your convention days as well.
Speaking as an artist alley veteran, I just want to say: Please take care of yourself. I’ve observed many artists letting go of a healthy diet, sleep, and exercise to prioritize their sales and work in the artist alley.
I did that for 3 years and burned out.
Nothing is more important that your health and well-being, my friend.
You won’t be able to sell anything well unless YOU are well.
So take care of yourself. Good, GOOD care of yourself.
And with that, here is the Artist Alley Travel Supplies List, last updated in mid-2018. Enjoy!
P.S. If you haven’t already read it and need it, here is the Prepare for Your First Artist Alley Checklist.
Wishing you good health and a joyful journey. ^_^
Artist Alley Travel Supplies List
Artist Alley Check-In
- Government-issued Photo ID
- Sales Tax Permit
Artist Alley Survival Kit
- Snacks (preferably healthy)
- Napkins or paper towels
- Cell Phone
- Phone charger
- Portable battery bank
- Bag to store garbage and/or food
Varies for everyone but main things are:
- Your products
- Tall display items (i.e. display stand, PVC pipes, or wire/plastic cube grids)
- Assistant display items (i.e. clips, connectors, tape, hangers, rope, etc.)
- Signs (i.e. prices, products, credit card accepted, etc.)
- Small table stands and displays (i.e. table easels, cork boards, business card stands)
Other supplies to consider:
- Art portfolio
- Packaging materials
- Binder clips
- Tape (artist tape, masking tape, duct tape, and/or clear packaging tape)
- Hand-sanitizer or wet wipes
- Paper or Sticky notes for notes
- Business cards
Art Supplies for At-Con Product Production (i.e. commissions, etc.)
- *drawing paper or sketchbook
- *clipboard or artist drawing board
- *watercolor paper
*Depends on the artwork you create
- Cash for change*
- A money pouch, fanny pack, waist bag, or cash box
- Card reader for credit cards
- Inventory list and/or sales notebook for recordkeeping
*To bring the amount of bills suitable for you, assume the common cash type people use and check your pricing structure to predict the common bills you would use for change. Bring more of these bills with you at the convention.
i.e. In US, people commonly pay with $20 bills. If you have lots of $10 or $5 items, bring lots of $10s or $5s. If you have lots of items less than $5, bring lots of $1s)
Note: You usually can’t go wrong with bringing lots of $1s and $5s. $100 worth of $1s and $5s would suffice. You will also get the hang of how many bills to bring with you as you go to more conventions. If all else fails, ask your artist neighbors to exchange for smaller bills. We artists are always out to help ya! =D
- Containers for products and supplies
If staying for more than one night:
- Convention Clothes
- Other electronic devices and chargers you cannot live without
- Plane tickets
- Government-issued ID
- Travel size containers
- *Passport (if traveling internationally)