It was my sixth year at Katsu and it had it different vibe than usual. It felt less crowded, probably thanks to the new badge policy. It also gave me a nostalgic con vibe thanks to hanging out with friends and meeting many new people. As always, I didn't run into many of the people I knew were there over the weekend, a fact of life for modern cons. Luckily I was able to have quite a few good chats with some old friends that live far away and I miss them already.
Another observation, Katsu always had a party vibe to it, but I feel as if it is becoming Dragoncon north with the partying (congregation of drunk people) in the lobby of the Gaylord which is leading to many memorable moments. See the DVD X It crossover, Mothman, or the Danny Devito shrine.
I took it relatively easy over the weekend. I managed to finish all of my costume in time with minimal hotel finishing touches (adding a handful of rhinestones to my dress and sewing down some buttons). I kept it to 3 costumes for the weekend, 1 per day and I was maybe in them for maximum 4 hours each. I find this give me more time to enjoy the con, see the sights, and relax. I'm technically there on vacation so it should feel like it by the end of each day.
Some highlights of the weekend:
What were your highlights this year? Any memorable costumes?
Katsucon is a yearly tradition for me where I look forward to seeing amazing work while also catching up with friends. With those two things in mind my mission was accomplished. I was really worried I wouldn't finish my projects in time but luckily I was able to pulled through without pushing myself too hard. The grind to finish Katsu costumes, aka "Katsucrunch", got the best of many people this year, which serves as a good reminder to take a step back and reevaluate things with high stress projects. I learned that lesson the hard way at WCS.
I have to give special thanks to a few people who made this weekend great. First off to Kurumasha for helping me finish my projects and lending me her wig. Second to VickybunnyAngel for being an amazing roomie, helping me in and out of costume, and also helping with makeup. Third to Jayuna, for helping me out of costume when Vicky wasn't there. Lastly to everyone who I caught up with ans shot with over the weekend. Thank you for your time and sharing it with me.
All right let's dive in!
All in all I had a good time despite the crowding. Honestly, I expect this every year from Katsu so it was not a surprise and honestly I thought it would be worse. I wore my cumbersome outfits on Thursday and Friday to avoid the worst of it. Crowding makes it difficult to get good photos but a little ingenuity, courtesy, and determination goes a long way. I would agree with some friends with the point that some of the usual photoshoot spots are getting overused but I think that is part of the deal when you attend a con several years in a row. However, it's still leaps and bounds better for shoots than conventions held in warehouses every year. I will be returning next year so long as my friends will be there since that is the bulk of the fun for me.
How was your Katsu? Did you run into any issues?
WHAT I LEARNED
The Sawsbuck collection of costumes hit a sweet spot for me: I got to rekindle my love of design, I got to make a bunch of fun capes, I fell in love again with crafting headpieces, I got to embellish the crap out of each design, I had fun shopping for complimentary accessories, I got to be thrifty by reusing certain parts of the costume, I improved my corset making skills, and I got to play around with some intense makeup. All-in-all good stuff, 10 out of 10 will do again.
I also did another cosplay trip out west to visit my friend the super talented Lichon Photography. We shot 5 costumes over 7 days all around Southern BC, mainly Kelowna. It was amazing and the photos are to die for.
I consider myself very fortunate to be able to judge masquerades and to be invited to events, so I would like to thank everyone who put my name forward, those who came out to see me or buy prints. Your support means a lot to me. I`m glad my costumes could bring a little joy to your day. If you would like to see me at an event near you, get in touch with your organizers or contact me.
Forward to 2018
Since I have fewer events planned for 2018, hopefully that means I can create more costumes. I have quite a few projects on the go, but the biggest one I hope to finish is Lilith from Trinity Blood. I have also been dragging my feet on a Storm for years that is finally coming together. Hopefully I can knock out some more outstanding projects in 2018.
I have another cosplay photoshoot adventure planned and it is going to be even more intense than the last ones. More details on that to come. The plan is also to produce more regular content from home. I`ll do my best to work some magic.
The urge to return to NYC is also strong, the fabric district is calling me, although I`m not sure if I can swing either NYCC or AnimeNYC in 2018.
If you want to know what I`m up to, please check out my Planning page or you can find me posting progress pics on my Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook. If you want to support my work, you can buy me Ko-fi. I hope your 2017 went well and see you in 2018!
I brought the sea goddess to Mechacon, and I was happy with how well received Tia Dalma was.
Friday was busy since I was doing craftsmanship judging for the masquerade for the most of the day. I was amazed at the amount of talent I saw in the cosplay competition. After a few hours of that I went to the opening ceremony with my fellow cosplay guests Chinasaur and Starbuxx. I was really impressed with how well produced the opening videos were for the event in addition to the talent on stage since many of the musical guests preformed throughout the ceremony.
Afterward we had a meet and greet with the guests (ambassadors) and VIP con guests. It made for a great time to meet new people and socialize. It set a great tone for the weekend.
I wrapped up the evening by grabbing dinner at a great Colombian restaurant and calling it an early night.
On Saturday, I wore Kida. Earlier in the day I was judging more entries from the cosplay contest then I got to spend some time at my booth. I met so many interesting and nice people. Thanks again to anyone who stopped by to say hi and buy a print.
Later in the day I got to watch the cosplay competition and boy was it intense. There was a crazy amount of craftsmanship on display and it was hard narrowing down the winners. I'm also used to having lengthy deliberations to determine the awards but we had to pick the winners within 15 minutes! In the end, we came to a consensus and the contestants really put on a good show.
After the con I got to catch up with Hane Cosplay over dinner and frozen rosé. Yum.
Weekend Cosplay Gallery
Sunday & Monday
Sunday was the most relaxed of the weekend. I was mostly at my table in my Ducklett costume. The AC is not a joke at this con so I was sporting a jacket most of the day.
I had a great time socializing with the attendees and the other guests in the guest table area. I've got to say that Queen D is a great cosplayer and a joy to be around. I would love to see her MC a Canadian masquerade.
Chinasaur and Starbuxx were lovely and I had a great time hanging out with them over the weekend. Also thanks to Most Flogged for swapping X-men stories and taking me to the aquarium on Monday.
Stay awesome New Orleans!
It was my first time at Yeticon and it did not disappoint. I decided to go at the last minute and I'm glad I did. It was quite a relaxing event. It was a bit of a downer that there was rain throughout the weekend but otherwise it was fun.
I drove in with some Ottawa cosplay friends and arrived at around 4pm. It quite the scenic trip, much better than driving to Toronto. I threw on Sharla in a rush and did my makeup in record time. I grabbed my badge at the event, ran into almost all my Toronto cosplay friends, then went straight to a shoot with Anna and Kay. I can't wait to have some good photos of Sharla with her prop. This costumes has been collecting dust for a few years since it doesn't travel easily. Some parts were coming apart since the glue worn down after a few years. After taking off my costume I rode the mountain coaster and hung out with friends for the rest of the day. I took it easy for the rest of the night since it was pouring rain.
Despite my best efforts I could not sleep in, so I lounged around my suite with my roommates until around noon when I got dressed in Summer Sawsbuck. I got to shoot some video with Ackson and then did a photoshoot with Anna at the top of the mountain. Even though I doused myself in bug repellent I still end up with 4 mosquito bites.
I got out of costume and was killing time until the pool party except it got cancelled due to thunder, rain, and tornado warnings. Instead I went to go visit friends in their rooms getting drenched by the rain every step of the way then headed to a suite party for the rest of the night,
There was a forecast of sporadic rain so I decided not to wear Ms. Fortune on Sunday. It was stupidly humid as well so I only imagine all my fake scars would be peeling off within a half hour. I took another ride on the roller-coaster and said goodbye to as many friends as I could.
It was nice drive back to Ottawa filled with pitching questionable skit ideas.
The resort is beautiful and great to wander around. There are tons of activities you can do in the resort for free thanks to getting a badge. There is a plethora of great photoshoot locations. The con has a lot of interesting events happening. I missed out on my free drink and open bar :( but others got to take advantage. there are a lot of food options and the hotel rooms are all great. It is very relaxing. In comparison, Colossalcon is a fun partycon while Yeticon is a laid back party con.
I want to return next year. I just hope they don't put it back to back with Colossalcon!
Being invited to Anime Matsuri was a dream come true. After hearing so many good things about this event for years and having it on my "to visit" list I finally got to experience it. Everyone was kind and polite which made my first trip to Texas a blast!
I thoroughly enjoyed Katsu this year. I decided not to push myself too hard and only booked one shoot per day and left the rest of my schedule open for quick shoots and hanging out with friends. I wasn't able to finish my big showstopper costume (Lilith - Reference here) due to health reasons. In the end it didn't bother me that much. In the past it would have bummed me out for the entire weekend which is an unhealthy habit. Instead I had fun. Here's what happened over the weekend.
Colossalcon has been consistently one of my favourite conventions every year. I ran into a few issues leader up to this year but the overall experience was great and I am very happy that I was able to attend. I met a lot of new people which gave me that old school con feel where everything is new again but you are also surrounded by old friends.
It was my first time attending this convention and I had a great time. It's held in the same venue as Otakuthon but there are significantly less crowds which is nice. I set out with the goal of pumping out a new costume to go to the masquerade. Ravenna was an easy choice since I knew exactly the skit I wanted to do. I bought a prop mirror month ahead in anticipation for the skit.
Calamity, Kudrel, and I took a bus to Montreal in the afternoon. I spent the day hanging out with friends and finishing up my costume. I actually went to bed at a decent time! No crazy late night crafting this time around.
Friday was a jam packed day. I had three shoots earlier in the day. I was my first time working with both Lexa One Photographie and Pit Fire Photography. They were both great. Very nice people and I recommend shooting with both of them if you have a chance. I also shot with an old friend, Belziir Photography, where we trekked up a small slope in a park in my ridiculous 6in heeless shoes. It was a sweaty mess of a day - 28-30C weather - and my cape was a heated blanket plus my dress was made with synthetic taffeta so it didn't breathe. After I wrapped the shoots I did some final checks on my costume then went to the masquerade.
I had a great time in the greenroom. It brought me back to the early days when I would compete to climb the rankings and meet so many new people. I made friends with two lovely first time masquerade participants as we waited to get into the greenroom. Cosplay Sempai mode activated! I gave them some tips and told them what they could expect out of the whole process. I was so proud to see them on stage. They were well prepared with audio and everything.
I also got to chat with many of my fellow den mates: Arc-Frost, Jessica Rousseau, and many more (Zelda group and friends you better send me your info if you read this).
You can watch my entry below starting at 1:19:10. Video by MrJechgo.
It was the first time in a long time I was nervous for a performance. I had quite a few lines to remember, my costume was cumbersome to move in, plus as we were lining up to go backstage I dropped my crown and even through I dropped it multiple times throughout the day on concrete, this time a piece broke off when it hit the carpet. Luckily my den mom hot glued it back together just in time and it looked good as new.
Evil queen guide for photoshoots and skits by Charlize
Casual day! I was sore all over from carrying my costume and its pieces so instead of dressing up I spent my time taking photos of other cosplayers and exploring the event. Kudrel and I also went location scouting in Old Montreal. Later that day I attended the award ceremony from the hallway. They had it in a small room and it was packed. Luckily I was able to hear my name being called. The awards I received were Best Recreation (craftsmanship) and Best Characterization (stage). I'm very glad my skit was well received.
Here's a few photos I took on Sunday of some talented cosplayers. Montreal is always filled with cool costumers.
MeltingMirror's Cosplay Blog
Learn more about my experiences in the cosplay world, from conventions to photoshoots and everything in between.