Wednesday, December 28, 2016

2016 Cosplay in Review

I'm here, I promise!

And with lots more good news and lots of hope for 2017. I know that everyone's probably heard the phrase, "Please let 2016 be over already", and while it's pretty true, it's hard to also not look back and realize that with lots of difficulties comes some of the best moments. 2016 was a difficult year for most people, and was quite the rollercoaster for myself.

I feel saddened by the loss of great celebrities and heroes, but I also mourn greatly the loss of the real people in my life and changes which, with some transitioning, will hopefully bear better news and promise as the new year begins. It's important to remember, as I often have to remind myself personally, that happiness is oftentimes the byproduct of living, which means for as much difficulties and pain we hate going through, happiness is usually the small, twinkling moments we have to live for.

So in light of this and given that it's the end of the year, I wanted to take the time to sort of make a little review of my cosplays and convention results of 2016. I'm honestly surprised and humbled to say that I never thought that this year of all years would be by far my most productive in so many ways, and it encourages me to look forward to some even bigger, better, and satisfying projects for the next year.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Best in Show @ Anime California 2016!

A happy way to kick off the cosplay season!

It was a total surprise, but I'm so happy to say that Lyric and I won Best in Show at Anime California 2016 this year! I think I'm even more over the moon by the fact that it is my first Best in Show and it had to be with Utena. It's so picture perfect. I promise to put up better pictures soon!

Shoutout to Shii's Peter Pan for letting me be part of the "No Grown Ups Allowed" Crew.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Utena...Start! Utena's log: Gathering Materials

Two Posts in One Month!?

I must be going soft.

Today culminated towards the end-ish of my hunt for fabrics for my upcoming Utena cosplay, which I probably should start sewing as I speak but the allure of resting from my first day back from class and a hectic work schedule by catching up on other projects and grasping onto the little break time that I have before tomorrow is too strong. Truthfully though, I'll be starting up over the week, likely even tomorrow since I managed to get those epaulet pieces today.

So last few entries, I went over my first Utena cosplay, which I completed in January, and it's only fitting now to kickstart my progress on with my new Utena, which is based off of the classic manga version:

Like over 9000 years in the making.
My fabric haul for Utena is probably one of my favorites since the colors are so striking. As always, my go-to place for a number of projects has been Gilack Fabrics in downtown Los Angeles in the Fabric District. They are absolutely the nicest and most helpful people, and the quality of their fabrics are amazing. So I wanted to shout-out to them in case any LA-based readers are around, because they welcome cosplayers and are such a great gem to the district, among many amazing stores.

So I thought this would be a great time to work towards being a little more active online about chronicling my cosplay work, so here's our attempt! I really need to, considering how many photos I have. I'm rivaling my mother's ratio of my baby pictures to pictures of my fabric and mockups and trim tests.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Tenjou Utena - Adolescence of Utena

The dream cosplay. It's surreal to believe that I actually completed it this year, but at the same time, 2005 was the hallmark of when I started going to cons, but 2006 was when I first started cosplaying at cons. That means that technically, 2016 is the anniversary of officially cosplaying!

So, how to do you celebrate a ten year milestone? By cosplaying as your one true hero! I've written about my early convention experiences before, but I don't think I will ever tire of writing how my love for Utena propelled my way into the world of anime. It's funny to think that I got into anime through Utena because I related to the storyline and felt so strongly connected to its intelligence. Ironically, anime isn't always the most intelligent form of art out there, but it certainly left an impression on me that's more than just obvious in my life.

So naturally, when I first got into cosplay, I wanted to cosplay as Utena. I didn't have many skills in sewing, so I originally commissioned back in 2008 her school uniform to wear to ALA. It wasn't the best made, but I wore it as a jacket to school (I was one of those) and I wore it to ALA 2009 as a jacket since I was wearing Latias at the time.

Even after I learned to sew, I avoided the idea of cosplaying as Utena because I felt so intimidated by the idea of making my dream cosplay. To be honest however, it was one of the best experiences I ever had, and overall one of my favorite cosplays to make (and why I like regularly watching ice skating on television now).

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Anime LA 2016 - Nami


It's been some time since I've made a proper post, but admittedly I've been writing them but losing my track of time before I get the chance to submit them. I've been working on trying to be active on social media, and I'm honestly stunned and in awe of the people who can manage to balance both out. I can barely reply to an email on my phone.

Since I'm knee-deep in for AX, I haven't had much of a time to discuss any of my ALA or Fanime cosplay progress, so I thought it would be a great way to retrospect on some new sewing techniques and share in general what I've been working on. Let's start with the easiest.

I freely admit that I have a love-hate relationship with One Piece. It was one of my middle school go-to anime when I was just getting into the scene and my guy friends had their subscriptions to Shounen Sunday. My best friend at the time also was a die-hard Sanji fan. Come to think of it, several of my friends throughout middle school and high school dvoted their lives to him. I wonder if any of them are Shokugeki no Souma fans now. But my "hate" portion comes with the fact that I'm not a huge fan of several of the costume choices in the series. I love so many characters and it's admirable to see how long the series has gone successfully, but some of those outfits are tough to stomach. As a true artist though, I'm sure Oda is just following his gut on what he likes, so I still give him mad respect for that.

So when ALA comes around every year, my friends and I get very nostalgic to do something old school, as if that 85% of our cosplays doesn't consist of titles prior to 2005. One Piece is one of my brother and best friend's favorite series, and generally, it is a fun cosplay group idea that anyone can jump on without much issue. At ALA 2013, I made Nico Robin and Shanks for me and my brother for our group masquerade skit.

This year, we had a new cosplay friend joining us and gave him the choice to pick a cosplay he wanted to do and we could all likely join in without sacrificing much time away from our masquerade cosplays. Naturally, he chose One Piece, and he commissioned me to make him a New World Luffy cosplay, which my brother also asked for as well. Despite detesting several designs, I had one version of Nami I actually liked, and could possibly double up as a rodeo outfit for those country music festivals we have in my city going on during the summer.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Anime Conventions 2006-2016 (and some progress updates)

My derpy posts are so long, and I've just discovered the cut function.

This past month has been pretty hectic, but I'm sort of glad to say that spring break is bringing a bit of a clearing in a number of things going on with school, work, personal life, creative things. Everything had really rolled into too much of one, massive thing. Now it's slowing down, so I'm optimistic that it will give me time to be able to tend to each priority to the best of my abilities. Always staying positive!

I've started working on Fanime plans, although to be honest, it's been quite a journey since ALA. I took a bit of a sewing break for the month of February and while I had plans already in motion for what I want to have done by Fanime, I hadn't actually done much more than some rehearsals, some patternmaking/drafting, and general fabric hunting. I hadn't really done as much as I would have hoped, but I kind of needed the break to mentally focus on school and a few work changes here and there that needed my attention. Otherwise, I wouldn't say that ALA burnt me out, but it came at a time where, because the dates were pushed to the end of the month than the first weekend of January, my brain hadn't really registered that we had more time to get things done for ALA but less time to get things done for Fanime.

I'm sort of bummed out that I was unfortunately not able to attend Hanadoki Con this year. I had plans to, but personally I felt that it would be pushing too much energy out of me than I need to right now. It's been sort of nice to take a few nights to work on things here and there and not have this pounding stress coming in from all sides. I would like to definitely attend next year; San Diego was wonderful at this time of the year and I liked how laidback it was. I also call it the "Con Checkpoint", since after Hanadoki, I know it's time to buckle down for Fanime and AX and other conventions.

The good news is that yesterday I was able to get started on sewing a small but crucial part of my masquerade costume. I started with the underdress, which I made out of a dotted swiss cotton and some eyelet trim. I wanted to make it light, airy, and have enough of a twirl to it. I managed to finish it with a part of the evening's work, and tomorrow will be starting on some mock ups for one of my dress parts. I ordered a handy pattern for the second part, and then am anticipating on getting some nice cottons for the second part of my dress. I have this beautiful yellow peachskin that I am over the moon about for the first part. *_*

So before I get to the hilarious cut, because I'm so terrible at staying on point without a derpy ramble, I do admit that most people probably go through a phase where they stop and realize that this is really their hobby, and likely a part of life in small or big ways. I started cosplaying around 2002 when I was about eleven/twelve years old, because it's hard for me to sometimes count that as cosplaying since it's often attributed now to cosplaying at conventions rather than your hometown events or really, just at home.

I didn't go to my first convention in 2005, when I was thirteen years old and it was sort of something I never anticipated that would escalate to where I am in so many amazing ways. While I wasn't part of the earlier anime convention crowd, I had been part of a phase where it was evolving, and really, it's only been a matter of short amoutn of time. It's kind of miraculous. So I supposed that while I'm no expert, I wanted to really share my point of view here in my little corner of the Internet what I have seen change, mutate, and evolve over time in the world of cosplay.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

New Year, New Projects!

I'm both humored and gutted with nostalgia when I think how about ten years ago, I was watching Onegai Twins and buying kotoko, Mizuki Nana, and angela singles, daydreaming about Utena and calling myself a prince, wearing a Nadia shirt until it mysteriously vanished, probably back into the seas, and had just gone to ALA cosplaying Sohma Kagura with my friends.

Now fast-foward to now, I got through Owari no Seraph: Battle in Nagoya and started up the winter anime season, buying Utapri, Lovelive, angela, and Faylan CDs, giggling about Fushigi Yuugi musicals, wearing a Sailormoon print shirt, and just came from ALA having cosplayed Utena, who I still daydream a lot about.

2006 is kind of a cool year to look back in some ways, and I think personally it was around that frame of time when I was having fun getting to watch more anime and be in on new titles that I could find online and not have to wait just for cons or select video stores and places to have them. It used to take a while for certain titles to come out and be dubbed, and it was around this time when it was picking up. Now people can watch subs so quickly, and even buy dubbed versions just as fast!

Cosplay-wise too, it's changed to much. The access to better materials, wigs, and cosmetics has made it significantly different in some ways, but I find it fun! I don't think without cosplay I would be able to have stopped and enjoyed learning about makeup. It's also mindboggling to realize that my craftsmanship has significantly improved too! I lacked so much knowledge about sewing machines back then.

So as I mentioned, ALA came by and it's been a whirlwind of time! I keep saying that I want to keep on updating, and I'm anticipating that this year will be hopefully more consistent. I've been working on trying to be on that social media game, but alas, I'm so derpy at it. I promise I'll work hard!

So we've got a new year and a lot of new projects, and I'm honestly looking forward to the whole experience of elevating my craftsmanship and working on some absolutely wonderful skit ideas for the upcoming conventions. It's so mindboggling that Fanime is in about three months! How?! How?!

~~~~ NEW PROJECTS ~~~~

3 Months!?!!!!!!?!?!??!?!!?!?!!!!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?

I have plans to likely go for a day to Hanadoki Con, which is in San Diego. I really liked it last year, and for being a small convention, the whole atmosphere was super nice! I likely will bring Utena because there's a rose garden.

 Fanime Projects are underway!

I currently have my masquerade cosplay in progress, and I'll be able to post pictures quite soon! I'm pretty excited about it!! I have also a group cosplay with some really lovely girlies who are doing a Lovelive constellation group cosplay!

And then likely, I'll be working on quite for a while on my next project:

Ahhhh!!! Another dream cosplay!! I've wanted to be Asuna for years and I got her wig waiting for the moment, and now I feel like I am ready to tackle this project! I really love this design so much, and we are planning on some Sword Art Online for Fanime, so my jimmies are ready! I've started working on some pattern drafting for this project!

More in the cut because I'm going to proceed to talk about ALA and a bunch of new cosplay fuzzy-feeling things.