Hello to everybody who's new to the blog! Many of you may have picked up my business card (*coughs* yes I'm working on the main site again *coughs*), and may have come to this site!
For those you who whom I've seeming dropped off the planet - I got consumed with my new Artist's Alley stuff and my Masquerade entry for ACEN. I spent the better part of April and May feverishly working on my new items - remaking your entire booth is a tad tiresome when you almost have to start from scratch! Yeep.
ANYWAY - so last weekend I was out at ACEN - Anime Central to the rest of you folks! It's a
lovely convention that takes place in Rosemont, IL (out by O'hare Airport).
Firstly, we left on Thursday morning, because I like to get there the night before to set up my artist's alley table! One of my fun hobbies is taking pictures of weird things I see while Dave drives. Weirdest one was near the start - where we found a building. It clearly had some sort of business, but by jove if I could figure out WHAT it did.
|But what do they DO?!|
So after setting up on Thursday and getting all the roomies into the room we went and hung out with Lindsey (from Steel Toed Stiletto
), and it was pretty awesome. We had my favorite favorite pizza from Giordanos - traditionally ordered at least once at ACEN).
Then we all went to bed, and then we woke up nice and early, got dressed and headed to the Alley. After finishing setting up stuff, we were ready to sell!
|Cause, you know, artists NEVER procrastinate on doing stuff.|
Only thing that was a real bummer was that my extra staff members did NOT have badges until the end of the day on Friday. There was apparently a lot of people who had this problem, and the AA staff was also frustrated, so I won't really put any gripes. They've already been alerted to problems like registration n stuff.
Registration problems aside, my biggest issue in the end was that the alley seemed to be set up in a way that did NOT generate a good flow of people. I hope next year it gets moved around for a little bit better navigation (when I keep getting lost to get to my OWN table...something's wrong), and maybe force attendees through the alley. It was kind of disheartening to watch the crowd get released, then watch them ALL walk past the alley in the distance, not even venturing in.
SO THE DAY BEGAN.
I spent a lot of time on Friday finishing up my costume. I had sewn buttons in the car, but still had to hand sew my tie together, and tack down other parts of my jacket. Masq was in a day, so it would probably be ideal to have it done soon. (And there was a Vampire Knight photo gathering Friday evening, and I CERTAINLY wanted to be there.)
The nice thing about being in Artist's Alley is that the COSPLAY comes to ME. Thankfully this time around I remembered to take a lot of images. I will have all the cosplay I found at the end of this entry, for ease of finding!
So after a bunch of hand sewing, a little bit of a mental sewing breakdown (I was all "OMG my costume is terrible and is total fail and I will suck at judging cause you can see my glue all over and the points are coming off omg omg omg" and Dave was all "No it doesn't you'll be fine"), I finally had everything done. Closed down the alley, then headed to the room for....
VAMPIRE KNIGHT GATHERING
My debut (and masquerade costume) was Zero Kiryu from Vampire Knight. Yes. It's a guy. Yes. I'm a girl. BUT the suit is SO AMAZING I had to try to make it. I couldn't help myself. I wanted the challenge.
|No really, I'm a girl.|
I attended the gathering with Amanda - going as Yuki. Her scythe is super cool, and compactable and I had to try really hard to not steal it.
|Don't mess with Yuki.|
For those unaware, Zero is a very emo character. I....I am not.
|I also can't be in character ALL the time.|
|Actually I was super tired after all that work.|
Also, check out the awesome tattoo. (NOT REAL)
GOOD NEWS: When we arrived at the gathering, there were actually other Vampire Knight people there!
"BAD" NEWS: They were mostly Yukis....and I was the only male character there.
|I get the feeling one of them didn't like me...|
As with many gatherings I have recently gone to, I end up getting "pimped out" by all the gal characters. Part of this is cause I'm usually a key male character that nobody wants to be, and probably because I'm a girl, it's actually not awkward for them to be all lovey at me. (They don't have to worry about me actually trying to date them or whatever).
|Ghetto Rose! Protect me!|
They seemed to enjoy having a Zero to
play with. But I was totally okay with this, I love playing along with other cosplayers.
|Night class students!|
|Everybody at the Gathering!|
I managed to figure out the whole tattoo business (since Zero has a tattoo), and it's kind of a Magical Tattoo, so naturally I was expecting this scene to play out:
|Yuki uses magic bracelet to the tattoo...|
|Zero gets pinned to the ground!|
For those who were there on Friday, don't worry. I actually had a BLAST and have been laughing about it for days. You guys were awesome. I will totally be your Zero again anytime.
We then proceeded outside after that and had our own Vampire Knight photoshoot - which I'll talk about in another post.
Went home, cleaned up and slept! Woke up on Saturday for AA and MASQUERADE. Naturally I was freaking out ALL DAY because I was so worried that my costume would come apart and I'd be all fail, so I didn't wear the jacket much to prevent damage.
A silver sharpie came to my rescue when it came to fixing some wear and tear on those blasted silver points I have on the jacket and such. My helpers came to me, and helped out for a few hours at the end of the day while I did the Masquerade stuff.
Green room was hectic, but to be expected! Thankfully I had my cosplay emergency kit on hand, as I was handing out Safety pins like it was going out of style. But I didn't mind at all! I like helping out, and well....I've been in that position before.
Masq went very smoothly, and they ushered us from audience, to green room, to stage, to green room, to back room, to backstage! I loved chatting it up with my fellow Masq entrants, you guys are all really cool.
I was super surprised though, I actually ended up winning a prize...
|Did NOT expect that.|
Thank you judges, and ACEN. I was truly honored and surprised. All the cosplayers backstage were darn awesome and cool, and I know what a tough job you guys all have. I've been there. It just means next time (NOT next year), I'll have to up my game some more and bring something even more spectacular!
Only downfall to Saturday was in the evening, the rooms all around my room decided to have giant loud room parties. I'm not really a partier, so I guess I don't understand having parties with extra loud music and lots of screaming and shouting. So if you were near me in the hall partying - all I ask is to keep it to a dull roar. Not wall shaking...
Sunday came around, and my adrenaline totally wussed out. I was SO EXHAUSTED that day. On the other hand, it was totally COSTUME MASHUP day for the others!
|Play the ol' switcheroo!|
It was fun seeing Vyse on somebody other than myself. Kinda makes me want to do more commission work for people....
Sunday was a bit of a blur, but we had SOME sales, so that worked out okay. There were some other pics (which I'll also talk about in another post) We packed up the table and headed back to the table where Karen showed me a couple of anime series I now want to see the rest of. Which is also, oddly enough, a tradition of ACEN.
Karen flew out, and the rest of us went through pics, and slept. Left at a decent hour on Monday, and Dave and I went sightseeing in Chicago (also a different post).