Anime North report
Still playing catch-up with con reports, and I'm also going to attempt regular updates once a week to help keep me on track - so here's hoping that I'll have new blog posts every Monday night as we go forward.
After completely failing at taking photos at Costume Con, I was determined to come away from my next convention with a camera full of photos. It always makes me a little sad that I have so many friends at conventions, but no photos of us having fun to enjoy between events. So AN this year became "#SelfieCon" which is to say that I tried to get a selfie with every person I know that I ran into (and any new friends too). And while it was still sometimes hard for me to ask people for photos, and I missed a handful of people because I or they were too busy to stop and pose (as happens a lot when so many friends are on staff) and there were even more people who I managed to completely miss seeing at the con... it was a resounding success. Clickity for the whole #SelfieCon gallery. (image heavy!)
Thursday: Ever since Anime North started doing Thursday night pre-reg pick up, I have taken advantage of being a local and picked up my badge early to avoid having to wait on Friday, and this year was no different. Even though being on staff in recent years means that the lines aren't a concern, it's still much more convenient for me to take Friday off of work and spend Thursday night at the con hotel since it gives me a chance to actually relax a little instead of dealing with travelling across the city on the bus, with all my luggage, during rush hour, and then immediately needing to go into con-mode on arrival on Friday. That shit is hella stressful (and is why I always have my bitch-face on if you meet me on a Friday I had to work before going to a con in the evening). This year, Thurs was all about chilling and having an excellent pre-convention dinner at Montana's with Kia, Ice Phoenix, Elle, and Cloudbreak after Elle had wrapped up her shoot with Trillance (who I finally got to meet this year, woo!).
Friday: Friday was mostly social for me, including getting to have lunch with Kildread and Lt.Finn, both of whom are long-distance cosplay friends who I don't get to see very often, so that was really nice! I also decided to try entering the "Costume Workmanship Contest" which was run for the first time this year. It was run similarly to how many American "hall cosplay" contests are run - an up close examination of the costume by a panel of judges with no stage or audience component. As someone who is highly craftsmanship-oriented, it was really nice to get to enter this contest and not have to worry about what I'm going to do on stage (and spend half of Saturday in the green room) or hope for a traditional AN hall award (which is if a wandering judge happens to see your costume and likes it). I decided to enter Mrs Impossible, since while it's a relatively simple costume, I am really proud of how cleanly I constructed it and how true to the source it is, especially considering that spandex tends to be a challenging material. And without a Venture Bros group and a comic convention audience I have no idea how I could present that costume on stage well in a masquerade setting XD
Saturday: my "serious" cosplay day, with a very not-serious costume. I wore my "T-shirt Chell" costume (check out this blog for an explanation) and was up and dressed early for my only scheduled shoot of the con with Everage. I was also really thankful for the new Starbucks at the hotel, cuz I needed that green tea frapp. In the afternoon, once Yavarice had returned from meeting Chris Hadfield at the photography expo a couple blocks away, he and Calamity and I did a quick shoot with Jenn Marvel and Rebel Shotz Photography at the Cosplay for a Cure booth since we had coordinated our outfits for masquerade staffing. (he even made each of us a custom Portal-themed badge!)
...And then came the masquerade! The last couple of years I have been a "runner" for the green room, which is mostly getting all the entrants to where they need to be and is similar to herding cats and just as frustrating. Fortunately, I really like the job I get once the show actually starts, which is taking each den of entries from the green room to the stage. There's a lot of waiting involved in the process, and also a lot of last minute nerves for the entrants, so I try to take time to talk to everyone, and getting to see all the costumes up close is a sweet bonus XD. It makes for a LONG night on my feet though, and I didn't get to see a single entry on stage *sigh*
Sunday: After the late night of masquerade, and late-late dinner afterwards, getting dressed and packed and checked out of the hotel in the morning was rough.
And Strabucks ran out of matcha which was the worst. thing. ever.
And the costume I had decided to wear, Goth Kim Pine, turned out to be a very poor choice for the day due to temperature-related reasons.
And the ATM's in the area had run out of cash - I had to go to four before being able to get some money.
And I couldn't find Kurumasha after the kimono fashion show, so I didn't see my drift partner all day, or get to say goodbye (did I mention that my cell reception was crap all weekend? yeah, that too.)
But the day wasn't actually all that bad. I got some gifts for friends and myself from vendors in the Crafters Corner (including Alex Boake Illustration), hangouts with other friends I hadn't yet seen at the con, and there was also the masquerade awards ceremony! This year, all the main costume contest results (Workmanship-only contest, Skit contest, and Masquerade) were announced at a single event on Sunday afternoon, which as an entrant/audience member I thought worked out pretty well. Also HUGE props to whoever had the idea to have photos of the winners on the screens since very few people wore the same costumes on Sunday as they did at the masq. To top off my weekend, I was awarded "Best Drafting and Fit" (master division) for Mrs. Impossible! I'm really proud of that ^_^
After heading home, Dan the Video Ninja and Kia and I discussed our AN experiences over sushi and I joined Dan for his post-con vlog. Then sleep - ALL THE SLEEP
Here Comes Costume-Con!
There's just a few days left until CC32 and I am a mix of emotions about it. As I mentioned previously, I'm not making anything new which is really one of those "disappointed in myself" things. It's not really helped by seeing so many of my friends either posting progress photos or working on things in Google Hangouts - I've also been working on costumes the last couple of weeks, but not quite with the same commitment since my next deadline isn't for a while yet and I'm doing several things at once to boot.
So what have I been working on? In my last progress blog I mentioned working on bodysuits, and that's what I've been doing, although it's been a slow process. I have 3+1 bodysuits ahead, and I'm working on Midna first, though there's some simultaneous work going on for all. Unfortunately, all the suits require different patters and they all have to be hand-drafted so... I hope I'll be really good at this by the time I'm done. Progress pics of things so far below:
Also, spending face-time with friends:
and speaking of Costume Con... my cosplay plans are below. Aside from doing Alice on Friday, I don't have plans for which costume for which day. I'm not entering any of the masquerades, but I am going to be part of the Future Fashion Folio event on Sunday, modeling a couple of dresses for Andrea Schewe. I'm excited just because I get to wear the Cercei dress XD. I might not want to take it off LOL. Looking forward to sharing photos and maybe videos from the con once it's all over <3
This set has taken me a long time to post, mainly because the set of photos I got back from Everage was huge. Like, 350 photos huge. So it's taken me a long time to sort through them and narrow it down to a set of favourites for my gallery. Annnnnnyways... This is Kim Pine's swimsuit from Volume 4 of Scott Pilgrim. I made it because I love the design of the suit, plain and simple ^_^ I haven't really worn it to anything except for photoshoots with Everage at the Toronto Harbourfront and Toronto Centre Island. Click here to see the inordinately huge gallery for a simple bathing suit XD
Same characters, new costumes
I seem to have gotten myself on a roll of being productive lately, in spite of my best efforts to be stressed out and lazy all the time ;) Not only did I finish my Stark Tech prop for Pepper Potts in time for Anime North, but I also finished my sloth onesie before the convention. With only a week and a half between the end of AN and my departure for Colossal Con, in which I suffered not one, but two injuries, I thought that there was no way I would get my Colossal projects finished. And yet, somehow, I made it happen (almost).
I had two projects in mind to take to Kalahari - both very casual costumes which would be appropriate to wear at the water park. The first was Kim Pine's bathing suit from Scott Pilgrim Gets it Together, which I have wanted to make since I started cosplaying her. Yellow isn't my best colour, but I love the cut/style of the swimsuit that O'Malley designed - it's exactly what I, Jen, want to wear in a one-piece. Unfortunately it's not something available through retail, so I figured I'd try my hand at making my own. I started years ago when I found some yellow swimwear spandex with a neat texture, but I ended up getting bogged down by the way I interpreted the seams. I figured that Colossal - a convention at a water park - would be a good time to try again. Two nights of cutting and sewing later, I had a new bathing suit and matching headband. Unfortunately, I worked right down to the last-minute with sewing the bathing suit so I didn't have time to cut/style the wig that would turn swimwear into a costume.
The second costume was yet another outfit for Triana Orpheus from Venture Bros. In a second-season episode (Assassinanny 911) she and her friend Kim hang out with the Ventures to use their pool, and I thought it would be fun to pull together her ensemble from that episode to wear to the pool/waterpark at Colossal. My Triana wig is looking a little ragged at this point, so I didn't mind if it got ruined by getting wet >_<. Painting the t-shirt was a pain since I had to pile the pink on REALLY thick to get decent coverage on the dark grey, but fortunately that was the only difficult part of the whole outfit (aside from finding dark purple shorts, which was impossible within my time frame *sigh*). We don't see Triana's actual swimsuit in the show and I didn't have time to make something custom, so I just picked out something I thought she'd wear to go with the rest of the costume. Unfortunately, my wig wouldn't stay on in the water, but in the end, that didn't really matter. I got to do a small photo shoot with SolarTempest with the costume, so look forward to seeing those in the future!
Full sets of both photos will be posted in their respective series galleries at a later date. In the meantime, enjoy the gifs that Featherweight made for The Video Ninja, Whitless, and I today <3 (There's a second one of me because clearly just standing there behind the camera is not an accurate portrayal of reality ~_^