Conventions can be a place of fun, discovery, and learning. I've been going to conventions for over 10 years and I find there are many things a conventions can offer to enrich a visitor's experience. Conventions have brought me so much joy with great experiences with friends and that's why I find it great to give back to the events that have given so much to me.
Participating in an event, be it as a panelist, volunteer, or staff, can be a great way to learn about how the event is run and to create more connections with the community. It can be especially important if the convention is run by fans or volunteers, but it can still be an enriching experience when it comes to profit-based events.
I'm going to focus on cosplay-oriented activities one can do to contribute to conventions and the local cosplay community.
What a whirlwind weekend. I had a brief stint at Colossalcon this year because I had to leave early for a friend's wedding, but since this is one of my favorite cons of the year I made it happen anyway.
Kurumasha, Calamity, and I left by car for Sandusky at 5:30 am. The drive surprisingly didn't feel long and I didn't doze off for most of the 10hr trip (I almost always do). Instead I spent most of my time hand sewing parts of both of my costumes, including sewing my entire mermaid tail for Ursula. We made it to the Kalahari at about 4:30pm just about the time the rest of our friends were checking into our villa.
We quickly got settled in then went straight to the waterpark to enjoy the slides and the hot-tubs. After catching up with some friends we settled back into our villa and then the final stages of crafting began. A special thanks to Kurumasha who helped me string and apply beads until 1 am.
I got dressed in Takane first thing in the morning in time for a shoot with M1Photo at 10am, quickly followed by shoots with Eurobeat Kasumi, and Anna Fischer. In between shoots I was running into friends and catching up with them.
Then I went back to change into my second costume Ursula. Before I got dressed I helped out LunaLanie by applying her Jinx tattoos. I can't resist helping a cosplayer in need, even though I just met them.
I went to shoot with Anna again and learned quickly how impractical mermaids tails are to shoot. Having bound legs really limits your poses and you are almost always in a constant state of doing sit-ups. So most of our shots consisted of me trying to look pretty while trying not to fall off a rock and flexing my abs. We'll see how they turn out. Afterwards, I had to pack it in early since it started to rain and the outdoor waterpark was closed.
The rest of the day and night was spent hanging out with friends and partying.
This was a laid back day. I spent the morning getting ready for my friend's wedding then hanging out with my housemates before going to the airport. It was hard to say goodbye since I don't see my cosplay friends often enough.
The drive to the airport was quick and I breezed through security. I barely made it to the wedding on time due to delays... Thanks Air Canada.
Overall, even though my visit was short, I still love Colossalcon. Here's a Vine that sums up some of the fun at Colossal.
Costume write-ups and photos are coming soon.
I arrived in DC on Thursday with no issue although they bumped my initial and connecting flight an hour later. Thursday was easy going. I stitched down eight beads to finish my Beryl costume then went on to help Calamity with her projects while watching Rambo II and III.
I had a late start to Friday since my first shoot started at two, so I got dressed in Beryl at around noon. I learned the importance of planning how to put on a costume with some many layers. It went something like this: Corset on - corset off - hoopskirt, tulle, slip, skirt on - then corset on and finally put on wig and accessories. Thanks to Kudrel for lacing me up twice.
I started off the day by shooting with Anna Fischer, followed by Jason Chau. I then went to meet up with my No Flutter Sailor Moon group and everyone looked gorgeous. I’m so happy we had such a good turnout. We had scouts from all over Canada and the costumes were all well-coordinated. After we did some group shoots we went to go see the artist that designed the costumes. No Flutter was excited to see the costumes and even gave me support for my original design to match the group. It was very flattering because I tried my best to match the style. I’ll get more into that when I post my construction breakdown for the costume.
Here's a few shot of our group. First photo is by Martin Wong and all others are from Octography
After freeing ourselves from our costumes, some of us went to dinner at a nearby seafood place and stuffed our faces. The rest of the night was spent hanging out with friends and finally getting my badge. On that note: WHAT THE HELL WAS GOING ON WITH THAT LINE-UP? It really defeats the purpose of pre-registering if it ends up such a hassle. There was a 2,3,4,5, even 6hr long wait to get badges on Thursday and Friday. I waited till 11 pm Friday and waited 5 minutes.
I was only at G-anime for Saturday but I had a great time.
I spent the morning hanging out in Vickybunnyangel's room getting my costume ready. After doing some running around and errands I got changed. I ran in Elemental shooting my friend Amurita in her Mask salesman costume. We also snapped a few quick photos before I was settled in the greenroom.
I got to hang out Jayuna Cosplay and Kudrel while we waited our turn on stage. It went smoothly except for a little trip on my way off stage. I wrapped up the day by having dinner with friends. All in all a good day.
See you next year.
Greenroom photo by Katya Perin
Stage photos by Pretty & Deadly Photography
It was quieter than last year but that meant more time to catch up with friends and meet new people. I also spend a good amount of time encouraging people to enter more masquerades. I hope they go ahead and try a competition or two. I find it is such a great way to learn new tricks and to meet some really talented costumers.
I watched the masquerade and I am so proud of my WCS partner Calamity being able to judge her first competition.
Also a very big thank you to everyone who dropped by my table in the artist alley. I still get surprised whenever someone recognizes my work or name. I'm sure it helps to have a banner hanging up behind you.
My highlight for the weekend was 3 nights straight of dinner with friends, with us chatting about cosplay, B-movies, and whatever came to mind. Friends are always what make a convention for me.
Behold my photo dump of cosplays I snapped an shared on Twitter (@Meltingmirror) over the weekend. There is lots to see.
This blog details some of the advice I give at panels for cosplay beginners such as "Cosplay 101" or "How to start cosplaying" since not everyone can make it out to Canadian events. I hope you find it useful.
More blogs in the 10 year Cosplay Retrospective Series:
Week 1 -Wigs | Week 2 - Make-up | Week 3 - Armour | Week 4 - Cosplay Closet Purge | Week 5 -Planning | Week 6 - Inventory | Week 7 - Cosplay on a Budget
Thursday & Friday
Before I make my yearly trip to New York for this convention I always try to plan out as many costumes as I can for the following year because the selection of fabric in the city is ridiculous. Nothing can beat fabric shopping in the Garment district. Although I have yet to hit L.A. - maybe someday.
The first two days of the trip was devoted to getting a fabric and trims fix. Calamity and I each ended up with about 20 pounds of fabric. We both packed light to make sure we were within our luggage limits.
Must visit stores:
I only got a pass for one day and I was also taking part in the cosplay contest so I was strapped for time. In the end I didn't get to spend much time on the con floor or meet up with friends. It was go-go-go until 10pm.
I had to get up early to get dressed in Hana for pre-judging at 9:30am. It was quite a pain getting there with face paint on a rainy day with all my stuff to haul. On the plus side, I got to meet a lot of the participants including a German cosplayer. There was such a nice variety of costumes as well.
After judging I went for lunch with Calamity, then back to my hotel to get changed and remove my face paint. Then I went back to the convention to check out the con floor. I picked up some free fake nails and bought an omnibus version of Legal Drug (gotta love Clamp). I also did a quick run of the artist alley before heading back to my hotel to get dressed again for the cosplay competition at 8pm.
This time I got to bond with a local cosplayer in a stellar Vampire Hunter D costume while hanging out backstage. In the end I didn't place but I greatly enjoyed meeting everyone, but I don't think I would be doing anymore comic con competitions. It's too much of a drain of time, especially since I only had a Saturday pass.
Sunday was easy going. Calamity and I went to Times Square for some regular shopping. Most of the fabric stores are closed anyway. I managed to pick up a few pieces of clothing a tree ornament from the Disney store.
We made it to the airport much earlier than planned, and nicely enough our airline, Porter, bumped up our flights so we got home a few hours early. My fastest run through the airport ever.
Calamity and I were travel buddies for the weekend and we had the joy of getting to the airport for 5am to catch our 6am flight to start our journey. We landed in Atlanta after noon and went straight to the Hyatt to check into our room then meet up with our friends at Hooters. It was my first and last time going there. The food was bland and the service was horrible. We waited forever for our food and even longer for our bills which eventually made me miss out on a planned shoot. Anyways, the rest of the day was spent wandering the event and eventually partying the in the Marriott at night.
Friday morning I got straight into my Sharla costume for a shoot with Jason Chau Photography. It always nice to collaborate with new photographers :D Keeping with my trend of forgetting costume pieces, I forgot to put on my weird club thing on my left arm - which you can barely miss since so much is going on there. I changed out of it immediately after the shoot to easily move through the event.
Afterwards we grabbed lunch with a bunch of photographers and friends. It was nice catching up and meeting even more new people.
Calamity and I spent the afternoon browsing the dealers room. There was so much to see although I was not a fan of the layout. I much prefer open warehouse like settings for dealer's room because they are easy to navigate. There is also a noticeable variety of goods in the dealer's room compared to the typical anime convention mostly: Lots of leather, quality kimonos, belly dancing attire, pocket watches, and corsets, corsets, corsets.
Friday night I had a great dinner at Ray's. It was little expensive but the food was great! I then spent the night hanging out with friends at the Marriott lobby again.
I don't know how this con gets better every year but it does. Other conventions will have a hard time keeping up.
Anime North is my year tradition and it was a whirlwind like every other year. There are not enough hours in a day to do all the things you need to do at AN.
I'll keep my blog brief so you can all enjoy my shaky cellphone photos instead :)
MeltingMirror's Cosplay Blog
Learn more about my experiences in the cosplay world, from conventions to photoshoots and everything in between.