June 28, 2013

In the Land of Artist Alley Sign Ups

So, it's ARTIST ALLEY SIGN UP time apparently! 

I signed up for a show called InConJunction down in Indy the first weekend of July - it looks like a little sci-fi/fantasy con so I'm working on some new artworks to display or sell at my table along with my comic. 
Secondly, was what I liked to call YOUMAWATCH 2013. Namely, when the alley was opening. This has been elusive for the past couple years, with last year reaching the height of confusion when sign up wasn't until I think September (for a show at the end of October). However, they were at least somewhat pro-active and got the sign up opened at a decent time for us to prepare this year. 

So, yes! This means I will be vending at Youmacon this year. Tell all your friends! I hope to have a lot of cool stuff on hand (more artwork, comics, etc!)

My thoughts on the process were mixed. If you've combed the forums you'd pick up really fast that the artists are a tad disgruntled. The staff doesn't want to deal with us apparently (at least according to last year), and I can't blame them sometimes. However, at the same time, the show brings the dissent on themselves due to a slight lack of professionalism from some of the staff (not all of them though!). 

I say slight because they do other awesome things, and some stuff was out of their control and I'm not going to blame them for that. *coughwristbandscough*

THE GOOD: Fastest sign up I think I ever had. Not sure if the servers were just that good, or so few were trying to sign up. Not sure. No hang ups though.

THE WEIRD: Having to pay in full before fully getting accepted. That's weird. Please, if that's how your back end of the system works, I'd suggest trying to change it a little... Namely, having to process a bunch of refunds in the case of overbooking, that seems like a LOT more effort than just sending out confirmation sign up links. (speaking as a computer person)

THE BAD: We were given a two day window that the alley sign up would open. The first of the two days, nobody appeared to be on the forums, except the artists, and we didn't get any sort of confirm until at least 2/3rds of the way through the first day that it would be opening the NEXT day. Also, during the sign up, staff was few and far between, and provided kind of vague answers.

But I got signed up, and I'm mostly not confused. Now here's hoping the location gets fixed a little so we're not all in the back, eh?

OVERALL: It's a start.

NEXT sign up is going to be SHUTOCON. Which opens JULY 1st at Midnight. 00:00 time if I'm understanding correctly. So we stay up late June 30th, until midnight then send in our forms. I think.

...I'm gonna watch the page a little bit more to make sure. :P

June 26, 2013

Life Updates and Convention Babble!

Hey! So, lots of things happen. I will continue to apologize for not posting until I start posting more often. I, unfortunately, come from the age of people who think that my day-to-day stuff is actually kind of boring and that people might not want to know what sort of cool, mundane, stuff I do each day.

But that's what blogging's about, isn't it? Well, I'm trying to get better! Because, frankly, talking business stuff, tutorials, and the like all the time is BORING. So I'm gonna chat at you about what's going on in my world!

BIG NEWS: I have a new addition to my artistic tools here at Crash Bang Labs!

For those not in the know, I've been complaining about my computer for quite sometime as I now have a process that requires like 3 programs open and working at the same time. So I saved up, and used a lot of the money I earned at ACEN to have a friend of mine build me this wonderful desktop:

I had no idea it'd glow!

I've named him JARVIS, and honestly, this was before I knew he'd be red and black, with a glowing red fan. I also had forgotten I had a chibi Iron Man bobble head that could perch on top. It all just kind of fits which is a great sign.

I also hadn't had a new monitor since around 2000 when LCD screens were starting to be made. So my old screen was a whopping 13" diagonal size. REALLY TINY. Imagine trying to work Photoshop on one of those. AND it was all washed out. So I took some of the OTHER funding I saved up, and bought myself a monitor.

I feel like I have to turn my head to see the whole screen...
This new one's a GIANTIC 22" diagonal monitor. Which, I've never had one this large. It's so amazing how much I can fit on there and still work on things.  Just how big is all this? Well, see that little tablet like thing on the right of the computer tower? That's my 12WX Cintiq Tablet. It dwarfs the tablet.

So needless to say, this is why I haven't updated in a few days - I was busy transferring all my files and figuring out where this beast like machine was supposed to go.

And while I complain I had to move a lot of stuff around, this thing runs like a DREAM. I can't wait to work on bigger projects on this now.

....and run FFXIV at full resolution. :P HEY. I'm allowed to have some fun too, right?

June 18, 2013

Colossal Con 2013 Cosplay Roundup!

Well! Sorry for the long delay, got mired in Final Fantasy XIV beta some things over the weekend and I didn't get the chance to post my cosplay photography roundup from Colossal Con!

Since I was only visiting for one day, I played the role of not only a cosplayer, but a PHOTOG. So I tried to get some really nice pics for people. :)

If you'd like to see them a bit larger, check my new Flickr Gallery for COLOSSAL CON 2013!

Otherwise, here they are in small form! :)

Alibibi Alibooboo ALIBABA and Morigana fromMagi Labyrinth of Magic

Cloud Strife from FFVII (though I think this versions from another game...?)

Princess Vanellope! Don't cut my head off! Pleeeeeeease!

Princess Kagyuuuuuuu I don't remember how to spell it.
From Sailor Moon!

I think they're from Fire Emblem?

A lovely Zack Fair from FF VII

Prince Albert and Oh-jeez-I-can't-remember-the-princess's-name-I'm-awful

Odette from Swan Princess - She'd be fun to make myself one day!

Mary and Stein

A lot of Organization Peoples. Probably even 13 of them!

Zombie Princesses OH NOES. Move along, nothing to see here, you'll probably starve here...

A lovely close up of the Mary and Stein!

OKAY now I'm all caught up. Mayhaps I'll finally blog about things OTHER than conventions next, okay? :)

June 10, 2013

Colossal Con 2013 Recap!

DUN DUN DUN. It's time for another recap!

For those unawares, I had myself a convention that was called Colossal Con that took place in Ohio. I had been busy preparing for the show, which is why you haven't heard from me much.

Due to financial problems, and being a Responsible Adult, I was only able to attend the show for Saturday (I was already pre registered since I was part of the Masquerade). It didn't take me long to drive there in the morning, so I arrived props and set parts in tow, along with my costume for the day.

Colossal Con takes place at Kalahari Resort in OH, which is basically a hotel with a waterpark attached (there's an outdoor area + and indoor full waterpark) along with a small convention center to the side. And I say small, because I'm used to places like the Donald Stevens center in Rosemont and the Indianapolis Convention Center from GENCON.

I walked inside and there was a short (very short) line to pick up my badge. It took me like 15 minutes at most, which will pretty much tell you how small a convention it is. I'm so used to the giant ones that little ones sometimes take me by surprise.

My cosplay partner wouldn't be arriving to the show until the afternoon, so I decided that it would be a good idea to walk around for once, take pictures, and survey the show. This was one of the conventions I was listed on the waitlist for (along with many other long standing artist tables that I know), so while I was there I was AWFUL curious as to who got in, and how big it was.

But first! The wandering!

In front of the center there was this little area that was called "Savannah Grass", which had some great rocks and super tall grass and some trees that was awesome looking for pictures. I definitely made a note of this area if I come back again.

In front of the hotel side, there was this lovely pool and I saw SWANS, which was pretty exciting. Yes, they're evil, but I still think they're pretty.

Inside the convention center was kinda dark, and somewhat crowded due to the small building and many people. It definitely had a safari/tropical theme going on throughout the whole building which was kinda cool. So there were things like this cool tree thing, they had a set up for refreshments and some snacks, on top of all the rooms pretty much being used for panels and the like.

Which, if I had been staying the whole weekend, there would have probably been some panels I would have attended - their schedule was packed with a ton of stuff and rooms. There certainly wouldn't have been a shortage of things to do.

My wanderings lead me around to other various rooms, they had a boffer room, and I think some sort of zombie LARP room, and then... THIS:

They had... yes. This is a giant inflatable boat thing. It's like the bouncy houses for kids. I... I just don't get it. It confused me. It's not something I'd go hang out on, since I would be in a costume. I was still in plainclothes at this time as it was easier for me to sneak around and get photos, instead of being stopped often when dressed up.

Last but not least, I found the Alley. Oh I found the Alley.

This is about what it looked like - it's one of two hallways they had tables in. They were somewhat haphazardly placed down the hallways, and in the middle at the corner turn a giant DeathCom photos booth was there. So it was a bit of a jarring effect, and if you didn't know there was stuff back there, you might have missed the other part of the alley.

As a visitor (and longtime vendor in Artist Alleys), here's my critical thoughts:

Nice try, thanks for playing. The hallways were absymally dark. This picture lightens it only slightly. The shadows that would appear behind the booth were horribly dark - and if I had been vending there I would not have been able to see my paper well enough to draw commissions.

About one third of the tables had prints. Two of these were webcomic based. The other prints (save for one booth) had mostly BBC, Supernatural, Adventure Time, Ponies and a few really obscure series. There were a bunch of other tables that had accessories, a few plushies, a bunch of jewelry, and inbetween there were a couple of convention tables. 

Once you turned the corner at the end of the alley suddenly there were booths that looked like dealer booths? I dunno. It didn't feel very official as an alley, and honestly it would confuse people who didn't know what they were.

I am DEEPLY unsure if I would want to vend there.

ANYWAY. It was about 12ish when I decided to jump into my costume. I wandered around as Peter a good chunk of the day and got a bunch of pictures taken of myself. Which was great! I love making people happy with my cosplay, and I got a lot of OMG squeals from excited congoers. 

I then met up with Luna, and we had a photoshoot, and then we gathered our set pieces and headed to the masquerade.

We present a skit!

And low and behold! We won Masters Skit 1st place.

I then quickly changed and hopped in the car for my drive home. Which was pretty boring. Until I entered Michigan again, and wanted to stop by the welcome center as my last rest area.

Which I quickly discovered was covered in FISH FLYS. Which if you don't know what they are, they are these horrible tiny dragonfly things that live for 24 hours only to mate, leave a bunch of eggs somewhere, and then attach to a wall and then die. And they cover EVERY THING.

Needless to say, I quickly turned around.

I finally made it back home, and collapsed on the couch. :)

NEXT POST: Colossal Con Cosplay Recap!