One of my plans for next year and some thoughts.

Fall is finally here! And I can’t tell you just how happy that makes me. Fall is my favorite season after all. On top of that, it’s no longer Summer which I can’t stand because I really don’t like the heat… at all. (; ̄Д ̄)

But yeah, when I work on the Honedge outside it feels great whenever a gust of wind pops up every once in a while and it isn’t hot air that drains my energy. It’s also great because it brings back memories of when I worked on other projects around this time of the year. °˖✧◝(⁰▿⁰)◜✧˖°  So Magical…

With that said, let’s talk about one of my plans for next year. Next year I want to start entering the Artist Alleys in conventions. This year I went to my first Art Show at NDK and learned quite a bit. But as an artist that loves to draw anime and pop culture themed artwork I should make this a focal point to my survival as an artist. So having said that, I already applied to next years local Artist Alley at a convention named Animeland Wasabi.

Hmmm… I’ve been hearing some “interesting” stories that people have had with the Animeland conventions in general. Although that does raise some red flags, nothing ventured nothing gained. So if I get chosen to get a spot I’ll go for it and see for myself. Truth is that I have only gone to this convention once about three years ago or so…

Wait, so as  I was researching this convention I was also keeping my eye out for any other conventions here in Colorado and found out that there is another one named Colorado Anime Fest. Never heard of it before… Oh, it seems like it’s a new convention that just popped up this year it seems (sorry, I am writing this as I’m looking up information). The thing is that it will be going on at the same time as the Animeland convention…

Well if I had a choice, I guess I would like to give the new guys a try. And their tables seem pretty affordable as well. So if I do get a spot I’ll probably give Colorado Anime Fest the first pick. Since I’m still starting out, maybe it will be a good idea to start at a fledgling convention as well. So I will apply right after this.

Heh… That’s pretty cool. So we are getting more conventions throughout the year here in Colorado. Seems like Colorado had a reputation of not having many and or losing them quite quickly leaving NanDesuKan as the only one to survive throughout the years. This is really great news. I wonder if it has anything to do with more people moving to Colorado?

Apparently there are other conventions although they tend to deviate to other themes such as comic books, steam punk among others, but I’ll stick with the anime based ones.

So those are some of my plans for next year. Hopefully I get a spot at Colorado Anime Fest and NanDesuKan next year. Here’s hoping. ( •̀ᄇ• ́)ﻭ✧

For now I will continue to work on new pieces that will hopefully attract more people to site, and hopefully get more clients.

Oh, just a little something extra. When I did go to Animeland Wasabi I got a chance to photograph these guys.

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Jealous? ¡¡¡( •̀ ᴗ •́ )و!!!

Just kidding. Well despite what they say about Animeland, and despite it being small, it was still pretty fun.

Well that will be it for this one. Next time I want to give an update on the Honedge.

Hasta la próxima,

-Nube

CHANCE!

Honedge Woodwork I

Right after NDK I got a commission, this time though I have a chance to work on some woodwork. It’s been quite a while since I’ve worked on wood so it was no surprise that I had to relearn all the techniques I used for the Keyblades years past.

This time I will be doing a wooden sword with a sheath. This means that I will have a lot of parts and details to keep in mind. Because of this, this piece will take a while.

Back when I was still in… was it 8th grade of middle school or my first year of high school? I had tried making a sword with a sheath. The blade was done using a flat piece of aluminum I had in my backyard and made a sheath out of some wood I also had laying around.

Keep in mind that I was barely getting into woodwork by this point so I didn’t have any woodworking tools. So I just used a hammer to bend the bar of aluminum (to give it that katana like curve), and this really thick chisel, and hack saw to cut the excess of aluminum and to shape the blade.

As for the wooden sheath and handle I really only had an unused knife that was no longer useful in the kitchen. So I used that to shape the wood. As for the finishing touches for both the blade and the sheath I did get to use a hand file tool that was owned by my father. While I was getting close to finishing I did end up having to buy some sanding paper in order to smooth it all out as much as possible.

So what was the result?

Here it is:

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If you look closely you can see some etchings on the blade and the sheath. Truth is that the aluminum bar had some really bad imperfections that I couldn’t take out, so I did the only thing I could think of back then, I worked some design around it. Now as for how I did it? I actually just used a screw driver and a hammer to etch it out.

The sheath was rather problematic since I had to hollow it out in order to make the blade fit and stay in place. I think it was a combination of cutting out as much as I could with the knife and then reducing as much as I could with the sandpaper. Although I don’t quite remember the details, I do remember that it took a long time to do. Luckily I didn’t mind sitting outside and working for long hours non-stop even back then.

Now as for sticking the two pieces together I used this glue that my father used for his work. The glue was made to stick concrete blocks together but wasn’t all that great for wood. But since that was all I had to use, I used it of course. To this day it is still in one piece although it has been cracking apart since then as you can see in some of the pictures.

At some point during high school about 2 to 3 years later I tried my hand at making another one. I wanted to make a long sword, my inspiration was formed from Enishi’s sword (from Rurouni Kenshin) Except this time I was using a steel piece of metal that was no longer being used. I don’t quite remember exactly where it came from, but I do remember that i had to cut it into shape from a bigger piece.

Once I had the shape I wanted I began hammering it into the curve I wanted and even tried my hand at smelting using a grill that was no longer being used. Of course this was at a time when I had even less knowledge of how smelting worked. All I know was that blacksmiths used it to make and shape swords so I felt I had to give it a try.

As to be expected I didn’t really get much out of it. I mean, using wood and some dried out grass and plants I had around me would only get so hot after all. Although it did get hot enough to start melting the protective coating in the outer walls of the grill. I forget how hot it got, but it was nowhere near what was needed to heat up the steal so that it would be easy for me to join a folded piece of the steel onto itself (which was the whole point of doing this now that I remember). But it did give the blade this nice black coloration which took the place of the hamon.

So yes, I knew very little about swords at the time, but I did want to learn. And since I didn’t have internet at the time I had to rely solely on what I saw on tv or on movies/anime. And since that was the only way to get information, I relied on trying to reproduce what I wanted to learn more about in order to get a better understanding of how it worked.

Again since this was supposed to be a sword I made the handle and sheath out of wood. I left this piece unfinished since I didn’t know if it would be worth finishing with the little basic tools I had at the moment (I won’t).

Before I forget, here are some pictures of said sword. It’s really long. In fact it was so long when I first made it that it wobbled quite a bit and bent when extended on it’s flat side. Even after cutting the tip by quite a bit I still had this problem, but luckily not as badly.

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But anyway, I bring these two up because they serve as the basis for this next project. Although the keyblades possessed quite a lot of detail, they were still only one piece. The Honedge will be made of essentially at the very least three pieces that I have to link together. And that of course require a large amount of measuring, planning, concentration and detailing.

But rest assured that I have started working on it since quite a while ago actually. The actual Honedge didn’t take all that long to make, about a weekend. But the sheath will. I haven’t done one in a while, in fact it has been more than what 7 years?! Woah. No wonder I had forgotten some rather simple techniques…

Anyway, all the planning and measuring was done a while ago so now it’s just a matter of making it.

Sadly I was only working on it for three days a week since Japanese class was getting the better of me. But I am happy to announce that I have finally gotten a good rhythm going so I feel I can put some more time into working on this piece, finally.

Recently I changed phones, and although I remember backing all the pictures from the phone before resetting it to factory settings, it seems I didn’t get quite all of them. I had pictures of the process of the Honedge since the beginning but I can’t find them anywhere… So long story short, I think I deleted them by accident…

I know they are somewhere, if I find them I’ll post them here.

For the time being here is what I have done so far. Nothing really to say, the pictures will do all the talking really (hopefully there aren’t too many):

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That will be all for now.

Hasta la próxima,

 

-Nube

Recounting Nan Desu Kan 2016 – Day 3 The END Some More Cosplayers + Results of the Art Show an Art book Bought Plus a bonus Saturday Story

It was Sunday now, and I was exhausted. Truthfully I really didn’t want to go back. But I still had to go pick up my artwork, and my brother and friend also had to go to the live auction. Thinking back this was my first time in a live auction.

So we headed back downtown at around 11 in the morning, truthfully I was really worried about the outcome of my artwork, did I sell anything at all, did people even like my artwork, did people take any business cards? hhfffuuuu…

Whatever the case, I would find out soon enough.

But before that, here are the last pictures of cosplayers I took for this year.

Definitely one of he best Final Fantasy X-II Rikku cosplayers I’ve seen live. And it’s pretty rare to see an Akemi Homura from her initial state as a magical girl before she became so jaded.

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Let me see, the one on the left is from Black Lagoon right (haven’t seen it, is any good?)? The one on the right is obviously San from the amazing Mononoke Hime film by Ghibli. And for the one in the middle, well actually she was cosplayer that really caught my attention. She’s cosplaying Ryoga from Ranma 1/2, an anime that is rather rare to see cosplayed these days. Although I saw various Ryogas this year, is Ranma 1/2 making a comeback with the newer generations?

Before I forget, there is a story to this one (I wonder if you will find it interesting though?). So I was really looking forward to take a picture of Ryoga. But I noticed that all three of them were friends. And as I asked Ryoga for a picture I noticed that they all started to part out of the way. San really looked a bit bummed, so I asked her if she wanted to get in the photo as well and also took that opportunity to ask if Revy (I think that’s her character?) if she also wanted to be in the picture. I’m really glad I asked them because the photo came out better that way. They all look happier together, but also gives a good contrast between all three. I really like the pose of Ryoga who is most likely lost as usual.

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Steins Gate

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So… this picture was taken while me, my brother and friend were waiting in line for the live auction. I noticed that this really cute cosplayer was in front of us also waiting for the auction. So I of course went to ask for a photo. I believe she and her younger sister are cosplaying Black Butler right? Is the younger sister as well? Anyway, looking at the photo the sister is really not pleased is she? She does not aprove. ffhmmm… Oh well, the cosplay was really good so I had to ask.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/darkcloudxero/29398553540/in/dateposted-public/

Haven’t yet seen Gravity Falls (ridiculous huh, I should get on it). But I know I will soon and will most likely like it judging by what I’ve heard. So I took this opportunity to ask for a photo since they looked the part quite well. I really like this photo.

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Last cosplayers I took a picture of. I wonder from what series?

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So that’s all the cosplayers.

Also, here are some pictures of the convention on it’s last hours. On Sunday, things really die down compared to Friday and Saturday huh?

Line for the live auction. If you can see at the far left you can see a Krillin cosplayer. That’s actually a girl who went all in to make a great Krillin cosplay. Was planning to take her picture but lost sight of her after the auction (there was also a really good Android 17 who talked to her at one point, truly an opportunity lost).

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And to think these lines were at one point all packed, sometime all the way to the 7th row. These lines are for he Dealers Room by the way.

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Last one. That lady looks as though she is coming for me, in an aggressive way, hahahaha.

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Now then, before I get into the live auction and the picking up of my artwork, there is one more story I would like to tell.

So the day before (on Saturday) we had the AMV Contest, as we do every year. We go in after being in line for about an hour. We manage to get seats, but somewhere in the middle sections. We set our bags, prints and a Gun Buster action figure my brother bought from the Dealers Room. After a couple of minutes where people got situated, the room becomes dark and the show begins.

But sadly this year was rather disappointing compared to previous years. If anything most of it was rather basic and truthfully a little dull. But there were a couple of exceptions. The Evangelion one for the category x (which means it couldn’t fit in any other category like comedy, action, drama etc.) was really good. It was this rather stylized video that looked like it was from the 50s-60s? It was like a propaganda film for the communists except Evangelion themed. There was actually a reaction from the crowd for this one. Did I even mention the AMV Contest last time (on the post for Saturday)?

Wait… I got sidetracked. Back to the original story. So this was the longest run of AMV since this was their

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During the showing, I had the unfortunate luck of sitting behind a couple who decided to keep their tall hats/caps on. This meant I couldn’t see the screen completely or sometimes at all. Man was that irritating, I was actually surprised by how much of an impact this was having on me. But anyway I had to put up with that for almost all the duration of the contest. But suddenly one of them decided to leave and I could finally see the last five videos without obstruction?

By the end me and my brother had completely forgotten about what we brought with us. But I made sure to make them noticeable so that I would just pick them up as we headed out. My brother grabbed his backpack and we headed out. Fast forward a couple of hours and we are already getting back to the parking lot to go back home for the day, we are now far from the convention. That’s when my brother remembers. He doesn’t have his Gun Buster action figure with him. It’s not in his backpack. He starts panicking and realizes that he left it somewhere in the convention. We try to think of places we went to, trying to figure out when was the last time we saw that figure. That’s when we figure it out, we had it last in the AMV contest. My brother by this point was fuming and was rightly disappointed in having lost it so quickly.

I tried reassuring him that someone probably took it to lost and found. He on the other hand had already given it up as lost. But I had hope that since convention goers know about the hardships of getting money saved up for this one time in the year, that they would value morality and take it to lost and found.

Ok, so now we are back to Sunday. We are lined up for the auction, I take a picture of that cute Black Butler cosplayer and then I remember about going to lost and found. About half an hour is still left before the auction, so I convince my brother into going to lost and found to get that Gun Buster. He really didn’t want to go…

So we go to lost and found and he asks the staff if they were given an item on Saturday. He describes how it looked but the lady we were talking to was not reassuring us. In fact she said she was almost sure that there was nothing back there. But said that she would check anyway.

My brother wasn’t really expecting anything by this point. But after a couple of minutes the lady came back with the bag and box that contained the Gun Buster. My brother by this point was surprised and overjoyed. As was I. It was a NanDesuKan miracle!… Now that we had the Gun Buster we could finally head back to the line and await the auction.

So finally it was time for the auction. While we were waiting the staff was getting artwork into the room that would be used (it was right next to the Art Show room). I didn’t see any of my artwork in the piles being brought into the room while I was in line. I was hopeful that some artwork was taken inside while I went to the lost and found. But I quickly found out as I entered the room that surely enough I didn’t manage to get any of my artwork into the auction. My heart sunk at that moment. I can’t deny that I was really disappointed. I felt as though I had failed…

But such is life.

A couple of minutes in after everyone had settled in, the auction finally started. And truthfully I had a lot of fun seeing people try to outbid each other or seeing some apprehension to bidding at all (for some artwork, the bidder/s were not present). I won’t deny that some artwork I could not find the appeal, but despite that, many of them could even make it all the way to the low 100s’.

The auction made it very clear what kind of likes and dislikes certain bidders had. Heck, there was this piece with a girl that had a tattoo on her back and right after the auction started a guy made the bid go from around $25? all the way to $100 right out of the gate. Other pieces had long bidding wars that eventually reached the 100$ mark that kept going slowly till one or the other folded.

My friend went to a bidding war on two pieces, a Dratini scarf and a Sailor Moon scarf from the creator of the Mimikyu plushy he bought on the first day. Sadly he dropped out as soon as they each reached the 50$ range.

My brother also went to a bidding war for a Raven in a cat costume digital print but lost that one. He also bid on a Madoka art piece (the original art piece) that was drawn and colored with color pencils. It is a really beautiful piece and it also pops out giving it a really cool aesthetic.

This is the Madoka drawing my brother won. I really like it. The artist is really good. His control of color and color pencils is definitely at a high level. Sadly I don’t know his name, otherwise I would let you guys know so you could check him out.

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He had originally planned to just go for 50$ but it eventually surpassed that. Then my friend offered to help him out up to a 100$. But again it eventually went over. I was actually surprised my brother decided to go even further. I forget how high it got, but it was over 125$. My brother had won it. He seemed to have a bit of buyers remorse for a while. Bidding can be quite scary…

Now, one of the pieces that went to the live auction was a Mass Effect piece done by the artist that makes the artwork for the convention. I believe her name is Stephanie Kao. Anyway remember that cute Black Butler cosplayer? Well this was the piece she wanted. But as expected it started rising quickly. She started getting flustered until it eventually went too high for her. I felt really bad seeing her face turn from worry to eventually defeat when she had no choice but to give up. I noticed that a guy sitting next to her started who was bidding on the print was trying too console her. I wondered…

After a couple more pieces it all ended. This meant that the winners of the bids had to go back into the art show room to pick up their art and pay for it. Since my brother won one piece, I decided to tag along to see if my artwork got any changes.

This is what I saw first.

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All the artwork was moved, walls and all. Three of my pieces that were in the bottom right were missing and replaced with 4 other pieces of some other artist. On top of that there was also a ribbon and certificate right in the middle. I took a photo (the one you see above) and approached to see what happened. The ribbon and certificate said I won 1st place in the 3-D artwork category. Although I thought that was cool, I was really more amazed that I sold three pieces.

But that joy didn’t really last long. One of the staff members kicked us (me and my friend) out since we weren’t there to pay for artwork. So we had no choice but to step out and wait for my brother (this was the moment I took a photo of the Madoka art piece and of the Gravity Falls cosplayers.

It was also during this time that I once again saw that cute black butler cosplayer coming out of the Art Show room, holding very appreciatively and caringly the Mass Effect print from the auction. She seemed really happy. It was another NanDesuKan miracle!…

Okay, I’ll stop now.

After my brother paid, he finally popped out of the room and told us that there was veteran that was in the auction who bought the Mass Effect piece for that Black Butler cosplayer. What a cool guy huh? I’m guessing it was probably that guy that I mentioned before.

At this point we really didn’t know what else to do. In fact we felt like going back home by this point. But we had no choice but to wait till 4 pm, the time artist were allowed to pick up their artwork.

By this point it was around 2:45 so I had to wait a little over an hour. After thinking about it for a bit we decided to head over to the dealers room and see if we could get some last minute deals on some of their items. Now that I think about it, was it on Sunday or Saturday that I got that artbook? Hmmm… Anyway, either on Saturday on Sunday I did buy one item from the dealers room. And that is this:

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My brother bought the other two books that go along with this one. It not only contains all the amazingly beautiful artwork from Evangelion but also artwork from other series as well. Yoshiyuki Sadamoto is a genius, his works are so amazing. I wonder if I could even catch up to him? I’m really glad I got this book, not only can I just enjoy looking at the artwork but I can try to reproduce them so that I can learn from them (this is how I learned when I was younger). I’m really looking forward to it.

Anyway, after a while I got tired and bored so just sat down for the duration of the time remaining outside on the hall. Eventually my brother and then even later my friend popped out. My friend went to pick up these statue sets of I believe 3 ot 4 that were all about Rurouni Kenshin. He had bought them the day before but only got to pick them up on Sunday.

It wasn’t long till I would be allowed to go in and pick up my art at the art show room so we headed down and waited once more till I was allowed inside.

After a couple of minutes we were allowed to enter. I noticed a table in front of the entrance with artwork. But I ignored it and went straight for my section. All the walls were moved once more and were pushed to the back of the wall. I went ahead and made sure I really was missing three pieces. After taking all the pieces down and tying them up so that we could carry them without problems. I also looked at the card holders to see if I had people take any of them. After packing them up in the box I did notice a bit of a dent, so at least a couple of people took some. But not anywhere near as I hoped. Was it because of my artwork, the prices or did they just not know they could take any. I really didn’t know. I’ll have to make it a bit clearer (by adding a sign that says “please take one”) next time and see if it changes anything.

With that done I went to the table that was in front of the entrance. And sure enough two of my art pieces were there. The Godzilla one and the Alice one. This meant that I sold three. My artwork was good enough that people bought three pieces! I felt that it was a good accomplishment.

I grinned a little and felt it was now time to go and collect my money from the staff. They had a table right next to the entrance. A line of artist collecting their pay waited patiently for their turn. It was eventually my turn. And it was at this moment that the situation went from heaven to hell. Apparently I only sold one…

Eh?…

But, three pieces had either bids on them or a sold marked on them. No, even as I asked to make sure, I was told that I only sold that one piece. The Alice piece was not paid for so it was left behind, and apparently the Godzilla piece that had the tag with bold letters that said sold was also not sold. So I was given my money, I guess I only sold that Samus piece which was missing…

By this point I wasn’t really paying much attention, I was frozen and was just going with the flow. All I could think was, I failed… When I was handed the money I was about to go away and pick up my artwork. But I was stopped and told that that there was something else they had to give me. It was about the first place certificate and ribbon. Aside from just getting some recognition for my Oathkeeper piece apparently I also got a free weekend pass for next years NanDesuKan. And as amazing as that is, I was so numb that I didn’t feel anything. I just faked a smile and said thank you.

After all that I went to pick up the other artwork at the table and added them to the piles I already tied. I’m sure my brother and friend could see my displeased and disappointed face but said nothing (which I am thankful for). We distributed the frame piles amongst each other and I carried both Keyblades. The day was over and we could finally head home.

The End.

 

Or was it?

As it turns out, the next day I received a text from a number I didn’t know. It turned out to be one of the staff from the art show. Apparently one of the staff members friends had bought the Godzilla piece but didn’t get the chance to pick it up. There was two problems. I was told I had to take it with me, and I was only paid for one piece. After counting the money I noticed that I was only somewhat paid for the Godzilla piece and not the Samus one. And even then, I wasn’t paid the full amount.

So all that information was disclosed as we went back and forth. That’s when the staff member started noticing all their mistakes. So as it turns out I managed to sell two pieces (the Alice one was bid on, but since the bidder didn’t pay for it, it wasn’t sold). So after the staff member checking with the higher ups and checking the paperwork, we made an arrangement for me to get the rest of my money and the member would also pick up the Godzilla piece that the friend had bought.

So I may not have sold as many pieces as I had wanted, but hey, it’s two more than zero. And I got a pass for next year.

So what did I learn? I probably won’t be taking many of the originals anymore, most people probably won’t care unless you are giving them away at ridiculously low prices. This means that I will be taking prints and back them with foam board to save on cost, that way I can also start the bid at low prices. I’ll also take some decorations to announce that it is my section and to make it stand out. I’ll also add some signs to let people know to take a business card.

This was a rather painful experience, but was also very informative. Hopefully the choices I make for next year bear some fruit, otherwise I will have to rethink some more things. Of course aside from those changes I mentioned, I will also make even better art. Art that will surpass the hesitations people might have had due to the prices.

Hasta la próxima,

Oh wait, it’s the 16th of September.

Viva Mexico!

Next time I will show you guys the next project that I’ve been working on.

-Nube

Recounting Nan Desu Kan 2016 – Day 2 Cosplayer + Artwork Bought

Thinking back on day 2 not much was really done… despite that I did spend the most time at NDK on this day though… weird huh?

The day started with us getting some doughnuts since we didn’t want to go through the whole day without eating (again). Well, eating one would have been nice. But having to eat three? There was a time when I would eat them no problem. But now I can’t really stomach more than one. Could this have been a sign of what was to come?

No.

Luckily it didn’t become a problem later on.

So after having “breakfast” we  were now ready to start our day at NDK. Not many activities really captured my attention this year. Truthfully, this year was probably the weakest I’ve gone to. Luckily I don’t go alone so situations can be amplified to feel much better. Having said that, Saturdays are usually the days I take pictures of cosplayers and buy prints. And this year it wasn’t any different.

So here are the artwork bought this year. I’ll also add their business card so that you please check them out:

So I’d say Kiki’s delivery service is my favorite Studio Ghibli fim (although I really love almost all of them), so when I saw this piece I really wanted it.

Artist: channelSQUARE!

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Hmmm… I really liked this artwork. She had some really awesome selections for people to choose from. But of course the Pokemon one’s really caught my attention. Looking at them, I’m convinced that she painted these traditionally. And if so, that is awesome. (update, went to her DeviantArt account and yes, her work is traditional).

Artist: cryptovolans (I think, she has different names in different places though.)

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And of course I couldn’t pass up on this Princess Mononoke piece.

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Do check her out. She also sells other items besides prints, like tights, bags, skirts and other cool things. Finding another traditional artist comrade is kind of rare these days.

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And now, for my favorite art and artist this year!

Artist: zzyzzyy

This artist had a good range of subjects and series. I really wanted to buy most of her artwork. After talking to her a little I learned that she is actually travelling all the way from Canada! In fact, most of the artists are usually from other states outside of Colorado. I guess if I make it, I would probably have to do the same as well.

Anyway, I really wanted her to sign the prints I bought from her (sadly I didn’t have the Berserk one with me when I asked her to sign the last three).

To think I almost didn’t read Berserk! I thank my brother for getting me to experience such a masterpiece of a series.

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What do you guys think? If you also love her work, please do give her a visit.

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So those were the artists I really like this year. Only three huh, and even then, it was the last two that really captured my attention this year.

Now, on to the cosplayers!

So after much embarrassment last time. This time I tried to be a little more tactful in my approach. If they were moving too fast I wouldn’t pursue, if they were talking I wouldn’t approach, if they were doing any activity I wouldn’t ask. So with that, here are my pictures:

Note: these are not ranked (although that was the original idea), instead I will have them in the order that I took their picture.

They did a really great job with this HunterxHunter cosplay. In the past years I didn’t really see many cosplays of this series, but this year there was a lot of Gon, Killua and Kurapika cosplayers. Heck I even saw one Hisoka cosplayer. Thinking about it now, I think all of them were girls. Sadly I didn’t get to take their picture.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/darkcloudxero/28993684733/in/dateposted-public/

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Probably one the most amusing things for me is the veteran anime fans in the conventions, specially when they cosplay as well. Here is one cosplaying Inuyasha. Looking at his face, he doesn’t really seem to want to be in the photo though.

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I really liked this cosplay, and the cosplayer seemed pretty happy (unlike mister above). Who is she cosplaying, does anyone know?

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There is almost a Mami every year since Madoka came out. This one so far has been my favorite. It has a lot of detail, what really caught my attention was the corset.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/darkcloudxero/29327296410/in/dateposted-public/

Definitely one of the best and cosplays this year. And the cosplayer is absolutely beautiful. The only problem I can see is that I still don’t know who she is cosplaying, does anyone know by chance? I  really want to know from what series her character is from.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/darkcloudxero/28991832804/in/dateposted-public/

Some Daoko love. “One” of the characters from the “ME! ME! ME!” PV. Was actually one of the first cosplayers we saw on this day.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/darkcloudxero/29507195702/in/dateposted-public/

Remember when Ryu from street fighter had a beard? Well here is Super Saiyan Goku with a beard. Also I just noticed that Lunch is in the middle of sneezing, amazing attention to details.

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Really loved this Ryuko Matoi cosplay. I would even say this is my favorite one I’ve seen so far (in person). So cute…

https://www.flickr.com/photos/darkcloudxero/29507187122/in/dateposted-public/

This was guy was pretty funny. He was in character all the time, “galloping” all over the place. Surely you guys know who he is right?

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Another One Punch man cosplayer, my favorite I’ve seen so far.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/darkcloudxero/28993598823/in/dateposted-public/

This cosplayer was really cute, she not only made the poses for the photos. But she also made the mannerisms to take the cosplay to the next level.

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I wonder is she was in character or didn’t want to get her photo taken? Who is she cosplaying?

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Last cosplay of the day.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/darkcloudxero/28991737694/in/dateposted-public/

So as you can see, I’m falling behind on anime. But it’s now my job to be on the know, so I have to check more anime’s out.

Half way through I noticed how much data I was uploading, so I decided to instead upload them to flickr then add them here that way.

So that is day two. Planned to upload them sooner, but when I noticed how much data I had lost for this site I had to take a break so that I could figure out what to do.

Before that, here is a shot of me calling it a day.

Note: I  am not in the photo, just a shot of people downtown where normies and cosplayers intertwine.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/darkcloudxero/29327197090/in/dateposted-public/

 

Recounting Nan Desu Kan 2016 – 3 “Exploring, more Cosplayers and… A Burlesque Show!”

Now that my art was finally set up I was finally free to go explore and look around the convention. But we decided in the end to just wait a couple of more minutes so that they would allow us to buy some artwork right after the opening time. My friend really wanted to buy a Mimikyu yarn doll which look absolutely amazing (he didn’t waste his time bidding, he just bought it out right which I really believe was the right decision). Aside from that he and my brother went ahead and placed some bids on other artwork.

Meanwhile, now that attendees were allowed in the room, I took the chance to observe people. I wanted to know if my artwork would attract people first of all, and then see how long they lingered around looking at my work. People definitely went to go to look at my artwork (but really they went around looking around the room, so no big deal), so how about lingering? It was never the same, some did stay a bit longer but others just gave it a quick glance. Actually throughout the day I came back to see if there was any changes to the movement of people and of course if there were people who bid or just outright bought my artwork. But more on that later.

Once I did decide I looked enough, like usual we really didn’t have a plan of what we wanted to do this year, so we just walked around looking around. While doing this though I had to be mindful of the time because in a little over an hour I had to head out for a bit so that I could take care of another obligation at the house.

In any case, we went about walking first to the Artists Alley where we consider a must go every year. This year there was definitely more variety in the type of art and artists. Usually we see a lot of familiar faces and artwork, but this time there was artist I never saw before. Some were definitely starting out this year. This definitely made me hopeful for when my chance to appear in the Artist Alley would become a reality. Saying that, sadly there was only two artists that caught my attention this year. There were some artists that I had bought art from before, but this year they weren’t really offering anything new.

After looking around a bit, we decided to go to the bank to get some money. Before that I decided to go look at my artwork really fast before heading out. Once outside of the hotel, that served as an opportunity for me to go take care of that obligation I was talking about. Boring huh… Fast forward a little I made it back a little over an hour and learned that right next to the hotel about a block away there was a festival called “A taste of Colorado”. My brother and friend had bought tickets for food while I was gone, so they decided to go get something to eat there (they were starving, as was I, and had to wait for me to get back… sorry guys). As soon as we arrived we were greeted by security who were checking everyone’s bags. When it was my turn I opened all my bag pack compartments and as I was given the ok to enter. But then I was suddenly grabbed by the security guard looked directly in the eyes and was told “Don’t take out your marijuana out here you hear me, keep it packed in”. This annoyed me since I don’t smoke anything or even drink. Anyway, how was the thing? It was ok, I guess.. The food was really overpriced. I got one Korean taco for about 8$… What the heck. And wanna know the sad part, that was the only food I had all day by this point  (it was already 5 pm…).

After that most enjoyable experience, we went back to the convention. My friend wanted to check out the Dealers Room. But before that, I wanted to check if there was any activity for my artwork. That’s when I noticed that as soon as people saw the prices they just hurried off… Well, that was a great sight to behold… As I observed, I acted as a normal attendee and walked behind the moving line that went around the room looking at the artwork. Once I got to my section I looked at all the tags and noticed that they were all empty. That sure felt, awful. But as I looked closer, one of the pieces on the bottom did have a bid! So people were willing to give my artwork a try. The piece was the Samus Aran artwork.

This one:

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That calmed me down a bit, but I knew it could still be the only one I sold during the weekend. That’s when I decided that coming to check throughout the convention would just be a waste of my time and that it would only sour my experience. So I decided to just let things be and come back when I had to pick up my artwork on Sunday.

My friend and brother had already headed up the stairs to the dealers room so I went ahead and tried to find them. There was a line so I had to wait a bit, but luckily it moved rather quickly. As I got in a message was being played that announced that the dealers room was going to close in 5 minutes. I found my brother and friend and they were surprised I was even allowed to enter. It seems that they were just scouting the merchandise in order to decide what they would get on Sunday. Among the items were some Evangelion art books that my brother really wanted and some JoJo figures, specifically two Dio figures.

As we left the room my friend was looking at the schedule and noticed that a burlesque show would start in about an hour. We’ve never been to one before. And truthfully I never really had an interest in ever going to one. But this was included with the entrance and we were curious to know if it would be anime based. So we all said, what the heck let’s go.

It wasn’t a surprise when we found out that there was already a long line forming outside of the main  events hall. There was still an hour of waiting to go, so we decided to play cards in the meantime. Eventually though the line started moving and letting people into the hall. At first we sat somewhere in the first section of chairs. But just a couple of minutes of sitting down in these ok seats, we heard some very magical words (well aren’t I exaggerating?), people could actually go ahead and sit on the floor right in front of the stage. We just had to sit 8 feet away from the stage. My friend and brother were unsure but I tried convincing them. Eventually it got to the point where it was the usual, if you go I go. That’s when I decided to just stand up and start heading in that direction, they of course followed). If I’m going to watch this I might as well go all out, no? I really don’t plan on going to another burlesque show since that kind of stuff doesn’t interest me so I might as well make the most of this experience.

So we find a place that was in front of the runway but sort of at an angle which we thought would make things a bit easier to see. But right before the show started we noticed something, there was two guys sitting exactly in front of us and right next to the stage. They were the photographers for the event and they were completely blocking our view. My brother more than anyone was really annoyed. And it became even worse once it started, just as we feared, the photographer on our end really was blocking most of our view. I had to look to the side just to get a glimpse. What made things worse was that people had already filled the spaces all around the stage so we were pretty much stuck there as the first performance went on.

Almost having given up, I noticed that there was a space just enough for two people to sit right in front of the stage. It was almost as if it was there just for us. I told my brother about it and again it went to the “if you go I go”. So I just slid my cellphone to let people know I was moving over there and slid over, my brother followed (of course we did this as nothing was going on so as to not bother anyone).

These were great seats, right in front of the stage where we could see everything and were not obstructed. My brother decided to take video while I took photos (no flash, since flash is not allowed). As we thought, the show was indeed anime based (except for the first one which was Velma from Scooby Doo). Lets see, it was Velma, Articuno, Speed Racer, Espeon, Him (from Powerpuff Girls), Harley Quinn, and I’m not even kidding best for last Eevee (I may have forgotten one or two more acts, if so I apologize). In between some of the acts they also had contests where members of the audience could participate. They had contests such as filling and popping balloons by thrusting into one another, a strip tease show ( no worries, it was prop clothing on top of their own personal clothing) and musical chairs ( version I didn’t quite understand, the participants had to sit still while the burlesque members sat on them trying to disqualify one another).

On top of that they also had members of the burlesque show going around the audience getting tips. The funniest moments were probably when Speed Racer was asking for money. When he was in front of us my brother decided to tip him. As he was handing him the money Speed Racer offered the jar, but my brother went further in. Speed Racer thought my brother was aiming for the bandanna around his neck, but no my brother had a goal! He was aiming for his underwear, and when Speed Racer noticed this he presented. I couldn’t stop laughing. Just a couple of minutes later Speed Racer was crawling in front of my friend and actually pass right over him as he was heading to a girl right beside him. The look on my friends face was priceless.

That’s what I liked most about the show, more than anything it was just a lot of fun and laughter more than anything. I was worried since there was an 18+ age limit for entrance. But aside from them taking off clothes all the way to either lingerie or swimsuits it wasn’t too lewd.

Now I’d be doing a disservice if I didn’t add some pictures so here are some tasteful one’s (sorry I didn’t take pictures of all performances).

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The host was Espeon, while Eevee acted as co-host and was also in charge of picking up the props and clothes after every performance.

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This was one of the three contests where members of the audience were allowed to go up in stage. And on the left you can see the guy who was blocking our view at the beginning of the show.

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Espeon also got to perform.

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Eevee having to clean after every performance.

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People being picked for the next contest.

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And now the best performance! Did I mention Eevee was my favorite?

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Ahem!.. I will leave that for now.

But before I go, here are the best cosplayers of day one:

Does anyone know from what series she is cosplaying?

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And this one?

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Some Evangelion love. I really loved their cosplay.

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No but seriously did I mention how much I loved it?

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So kind of funny story with this one… for those not involved anyway. I wanted to take a picture of this pair (Psycho Pass right?), but they were in the middle of a conversation. So I panicked a little and just stood there like an idiot. Keep in mind that this was a circle of friends talking together and then all of a sudden some weirdo just joins in and stands there not saying anything. Once I saw an opening I asked if I could take a picture of them, but I am pretty sure they gave me a look of what is wrong with this guy (I’m pretty sure I didn’t imagine it, and I wouldn’t blame them). I took their picture and was just amazed at how great their cosplay was. Especially Tsunemori Akane. So… as I went back to my friend and brother they quickly started asking and telling me what the heck I was thinking and doing. They recounted just how weird and creepy it was as they saw me approach them and just stand there… I was so embarrased, but what could I do? I really wanted that picture, but I also didn’t want to interrupt their conversation. After this experience though I tried my best to think more tactfully about how to approach cosplayers. If you guys ever see this, I truly apologize!

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Alright, now this one also has a rather creepy story. And to be fair it was all my fault. We had called it a day (thanks to me wanting to go home and eat something). But just as we were leaving the hotel I saw this amazing Satsuki Kiryūin cosplayer. I just couldn’t give up this opportunity. So I went up to her and asked if she would allow me to take a picture. She said yes and to my surprise even changed her shoes to the ones that corresponded to the cosplay. I was really touched she was willing to go that far just so that I could take a picture.

Just as I was leaving though some really creepy old guy looked at me and started saying something like “How nice, How nice” and kept repeating that over and over again in a really creepy and truthfully disgusting voice. As soon as I saw he was heading towards her I told my friends to wait a bit till I made sure this guy wouldn’t try anything weird on her. He started talking to her about who knows what, the cosplayer seemed to be answering some questions as politely as possible. After a couple of minutes the guy finally stepped away and came back to our street where he originally came from. He looked at me with this weird grin that really irritated me. But as soon as I knew he wouldn’t bother her, we decided to head home. If you ever see this, I’m truly sorry you had to go through that. If I hadn’t approached you and asked for a picture I’m sure that guy wouldn’t have gotten the idea it was ok to get close to you. Truth is I’ve seen guys act as though they work for some modeling agency and look sketchy as heck. So if that was his shtick I really hope you didn’t fall for it, there are some really despicable people out there.

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Well, that will be all for today. Man was this a long post. Sorry about that. But this does conclude the first day.

Hasta la próxima,

-Nube

Recounting Nan Desu Kan 2016 – 2 “Setting up my art, a ‘surprise’ and Cosplayers”

After waiting for about 10 to 20 minutes just standing there looking around (not looking weird to other people at all) my brother and friend arrived at my location with our convention passes. Because the weekend passes had been sold out we were given three individual passes for each day; one for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

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Sorry I don’t have a picture of the singular and colored weekend pass. Although…

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If I remember correctly, this was the image used. If you look at the bottom of the magazine you will notice that the con is Macross based. Well… at least the title was…

Anyway, after attaching the passes to my pants we headed to the location where the art show would take place. We went in and I noticed that they had grid-like walls that were already holding artwork. There were still plenty of walls empty though. After talking a bit with the hosts about what to do, I quickly went about looking for a space for my artwork. After looking around and talking with my brother I decided to put my art in the back most corner area and took two of those wall structures. After much debate I really didn’t want to take more than two walls, so I decided to just space out my artwork enough to fit them all in and to also add the tags that contained information regarding the piece, such as who made it, title and what materials/medium was used to create it. On top of that, this also worked to give a final price and starting bid price. The tag also contained three lines that were there for bids. Why three? Well they have a system of when a piece receives three bids it goes to the live auction.

As we were setting up, my friend took the time to look around at the artwork around us and noticed that my prices were much higher than theirs. Let me be clear right now, my artwork is truthfully very underpaid. If my time on each artwork was compared to a normal job, I would be paid around 1$ per hour, sometimes less. So despite what my brother and friend said, I wouldn’t budge on the prices. But I won’t deny that it did make me feel rather uneasy. I seriously couldn’t believe that artist were willing to pretty much give their art away for 5-15 dollars (many of the starting bids).

Although a bid shaken up by the comments of my brother and friend, I went ahead and set it all up with their help. I was nervous, and I won’t deny that I was shaking a little as I was finishing up. Here are some pictures I took right after finishing up:

I apologize to my brother who I stepped on his foot to try and get this shot (twice, the last one even after he told me I stepped on him), I’m really sorry!.

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So kind of funny story, if you see the frame that contains the Godzilla vs Gypsy Danger piece, you will notice that it is being held my two small ropes. When I was setting up I noticed that I hadn’t moved the “hanger” (you know that small piece of metal that holds the frame when you hang it), so it was still on the side of the frame, ready to be hanged in the portrait orientation. I didn’t have my tools and nails to fix it, so I had to improvise using two of their hook hangers to sit it on top and then tied it with my rope so that it wouldn’t slip off. SAFE!

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After doing some final adjustments such as adding arrows pointing to the artwork that each tag corresponded to, I decided to finally look around at what the other artists had put up.

That’s when I made an irritating discovery… people were using prints of their works, and it wasn’t just digital artist either. Many traditional artist were selling pieces that were prints.

I was under the impression that they wanted the original artwork only since the Artist Alley is specifically for digital artists that sell prints.

This are the rules posted on their website.

“Accepted Mediums: Drawing and Sketches; Paintings; CGI or digital; hand-created items including Needle Point, Knitting, Sculpture, Paper Craft, Casting, etc. Photography may be reviewed on a case-by-case basis

Previous Pieces: Artists are encouraged to submit new pieces each year. As such, there may be a 2 piece restriction for the number of entries displayed or sold at previous NDK Art Shows depending on space and availability.”

Of course looking at the rules, there was no mention that one couldn’t sell prints. The only real rule is that you could only sell it once.

This would explain why all the artist had such low prices, they weren’t selling the originals. I won’t deny it, I was feeling the pressure. Maybe I had made a big mistake. Not only did I bring the original pieces, but I also went and bought frames for them. The other artists (well most of them) not only not bring their originals, but they also just backed their pieces with foam board. This of course also lowers the cost on the artist, allowing them to sell their artwork for such low prices.

So this is the difference between experienced artists and people like me…

Of course I wasn’t the only one that brought the original artwork and selling them for at the very least reasonable prices. So I at least wasn’t the only one selling my artwork for prices far above the average prices.

In the end, there wasn’t much I could do. I set up a couple of card holders for my business cards, finished all the paperwork with the art show people and decided to just leave things be and enjoy the convention.

Before I forget here is my business card, I wanted to make a post for it so that will happen soon.

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I wrote quite a bit so here are some pictures of some cosplay I saw during the day, but will hold the best for the next post.

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It’s funny I was taking a picture of this Nami cosplayer when suddenly…

This guy appeared, I’m guessing it’s her boyfriend.

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Will post some more of day one next time.

Hasta la próxima,

-Nube

 

Recounting Nan Desu Kan 2016 – 1 “The Arrival”

Sorry, I didn’t post anything yesterday because I had to go into study mode and do all the homework I had piled up and study for the test today.

But that is now finally done, for now anyway.

So let’s do some story telling of my voyage of my experience during Nan Desu Kan 2016. And to go along with that, my first taste of showcasing and selling my art at an anime convention. In a way this was my debut.

First day is Friday, September 2. I was under a lot of pressure right away, I had to take care of some obligations then finish packing all the artwork in a way that would be easy to move about to the convention. This was especially important because we (my brother and friend were helping me carry the artwork, and of course we were going together to the convention as we do every year) had to take a light rail and even then, walk part of the way.

So my original idea was to bind the frames together in reasonable amounts to distribute the weight (which I did), but I was also contemplating making them into backpacks so that it would be easier to move about and not have to carry them with our hands. But as one would expect things don’t go as planned since I was running low on time and wanted to arrive at the very least in the early minutes of 1 pm when artists were allowed to bring in their artwork. I instead decided to just bind them and drive to the light rail station and carry the artwork on the light rail and the rest of the way. Keep in mind that I also had to carry two keyblades so me and another person had to carry the frames on one hand and the keyblade on the other. This quickly became tricky because we had to be wary of the people that filled the streets of downtown where the convention is now being held since last year. I’m glad we have a bigger venue, but I really don’t like that we are downtown. With all those NORMIES… (a joke.. or is it).

Anyway I am really thankful to my brother and my friend for helping me out since carrying all that weight by grasping the small ropes must have been bothersome (I carried the frames sideways and used the rope only to keep the frames from spilling, so luckily I was ok). What I found really strange is that there was a drought of cosplayers when we got off the light rail. I was even wondering if we were going on the right day to the convention. But surely enough as we walked closer to our destination more and more people who were clearly there for the convention started to pop up and soon became plentiful. Finally after walking under the hot sun for a good couple of blocks we made it to the hotel which would hosts NDK.

This year we didn’t order our passes so we still had to buy them before we could really do anything. This is when we divided into two groups, my brother and friend would go to buy the passes and I would wait in the hotel lobby (that sentence reminds me so much of that Utada Hikaru song) in the meantime looking after my artwork. I was really unsure whether they would even allow me to hang my work without my pass while it was being purchased. So I decided to just wait and play it safe.

Here are a couple of pictures I took while waiting:

This one is of my artwork which I placed up on this wall in the lobby, if you look closely you can see the wrapping of the frames which helped us carry them to the convention.

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And these next two are of the lobby, where you can see people checking in and walking around.

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That is my arrival. I will end it here for now. But will continue tomorrow, where I finally get to set up my artwork, make an irritating discovery and showcase some Cosplayers! Tune in next time on the next episode of DarkcloudXERO Z!

Hasta la próxima,

-Nube

Getting Ready for NanDesuKan 4

Finally finished prepping the frames and artwork for tomorrow. (๑•̀ㅂ•́)و✧ The only things left are to make the labels that will be used for the silent auction. These labels will contain the name of the pieces and the starting bid. Once I have that done I just need to head over to the convention which starts… tomorrow…

“And the Con’s tomorrow~!”   ∑(゚ロ゚〃)

It has been quite stressful this past two weeks, more than I thought it would be. Getting the artwork ready to be presented took quite some time. Especially considering that I had to get 16 frames ready (this includes cleaning, painting, fitting, backing etc.). But I powered through it. ρ( ̄ヘ ̄ メ)

The thing that really has me stressed out though is that I had to do all this while attending college since last week. For this semester I decided to take Japanese II. I haven’t had a Japanese class since I was in high school. About six years ago now… it’s been quite a while… On top of that I am attending the class of my high school teacher who has been teaching at my university. I was surprised how well I was at getting right back into it and taking off from where I last left off. But on the other hand I can see quite well how much more I have to learn and also how much I have to perfect in understanding what I do “know”. This worries me because we have daily quizzes, which I luckily am able to replace by writing sentences at home (which does take quite a bit of understanding of the material in order to pull off). What really worries me is the tests, those I have to do no matter what. And as I just found out, I have a test this Tuesday. Right after NanDesuKan… (❁°͈▵°͈)

[loud exhale]…

Will I be ok? I guess I can cram as much knowledge on Monday…

Ah, I’ll figure it out. For now let’s just focus on getting a section secured tomorrow and hopefully enjoying this weekend.

Of course I will be taking pictures (…of cosplayers … and artwork of course!..). On top of that I really do wonder if I will do ok tomorrow, will my artwork move people enough for them to buy something? Let’s see if my skills are good enough.

Hasta la próxima,

-Nube

CHANCE!