How To Ask For a Sketch Request at a Japanese Convention
If you ever make it to
a Kemoket / Comiket / other Japanese convention and want to get a sketch
request from an artist, here’s some info to help you out! (It’s a fairly common
thing for artists to take sketch requests, but they can only do a small number
because of time restraints.)
never asked for a sketch myself, this is just info I got from scouring the
Japanese internet. Also every artist does sketchbooking differently, but
this is some general advice!
First off, the best
thing to do is to watch the artist’s twitter and see if they mention if they’ll
be accepting sketchbook requests or not. If you can’t read Japanese that well
your second best shot is to get to the artist’s booth asap and ask them if
they’ll be accepting sketchbook requests. Some artists will say (if they are
accepting them) to come back later once the crowd’s died down (in this case
they usually announce on twitter when they start taking requests, so keep your
eyes pealed). Others may take requests on a first come first serve basis,
however, so it’s safer to ask them early.
When asking for a
request, be sure to bring your sketchbook with you. Make sure it’s a good size,
not too big not too small, and that the paper’s of a decent quality. Make sure
your name and some form of contact info (twitter, email, etc.) are written in
the sketchbook to help them contact you if necessary. There are 色紙
squares that are commonly used for autographs within Japan, but some artists
don’t take these for sketch requests — bring a sketchbook. And don’t worry
about lending them other stationery as they should have their own preferred
pens and pencils on them.
A sketch request is an
exclusive favor that the artist does for their fans, so please understand if
you get turned down. It’s a good idea to bring some kind of a gift in exchange
for the sketch. Something local works well, they’d probably love a little souvenir
from another country, or one of your own works probably fits in this gift
category as well. Also, they’re usually keen to get free snacks or drinks, so it doesn’t even have to be anything big. (Gifts aren’t a necessity, they might not even expect one, but
it’s a good idea to give one!)
- BUY SOMETHING FROM
THEM FIRST (if they’re entirely sold out it’s ok to ignore this step)
- Request sketch (If you
have a gift for them, probably best to give it after asking?)
- Come back at the end
of the day to pick it up (each sketch takes an hour or so and there might be
others who are getting sketches before you)
*Where there are blanks, fill it in with their name. This is because in Japanese,
it’s polite to speak to someone in third person instead of saying “you.”
スケブ (sukebu) is “sketchbook” and also refers to
sketch requests at a convention.
ano, sukebu o ukete imasu ka?
Excuse me, are you taking sketchbook requests?
ano, sukebu o onegai dekimasu ka?
Excuse me, could I ask for a sketchbook request?
Thank you! (say once the request has been accepted)
Thank you! (say once you have picked up the sketch)
wakarimashita. Dewa, arigatou gozaimashita.
I see. Well thank you anyway. (This is the best thing I can think of to say if
you’re turned down)
sashi ire desu
This is a snack/drink for you.
jitsu wa watashi mo ekaki wo shite imasu
Actually, I draw too.
___-san ni akogaremasu
I look up to you.
___-san no e ga watashi
mo ekaki wo hajimeta kikkake desu
Your drawings are what
made me want to draw as well.
kore o ___-san ni kakimashita.
I drew this for you.
uke totte moraetara ureshii desu.
I’d be so happy if you accepted this (you can say this when offering them a sketch
or something you’ve made yourself – might sound weird to say in English, and it’s
not necessary to say in Japanese, but it does sound nice to add on.)
*It’s not really a part of the culture to draw
sketches for each other during a convention, and if you don’t have a booth, idk
where you’d sit down to do it anyway! If you’re looking for an exchange of sketches,
in my personal opinion it’s probably best to draw a sketch ahead of time and
give it to them when you’re making the sketch request. Though tbh idk if it’s
best to give it before or after making the request ^^;