Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Cardiff Comic & Animation Expo 2012

Note: I got a mention from Sidekickcast Blog and Swansea Comics Collective Blog. 

Bit of a late post, but I had to wait for the photographs to be sent to me so I could upload them here (especially the one to the right). :) With that note, the majority of the awesome cosplay ones were taken by my friends DizzieDee, Mute and Jack.

My weekend was pretty amazing, I can gladly say I wasn't expecting half the amount of fun I had at the comic expo at Cardiff. On Saturday the place was bustling with comic lovers and cosplayers. There was a section for the animation, which was mostly stalls for University courses in animation, and in my case we were representing a games design course- a fellow classmate and I had a stall to represent the Swansea Metropolitan University. The week coming up to the event was very busy and a nightmare since I also had to try to juggle my Major project, create business cards and print out my portfolio ready. As I type now I'm short on time to do some work!

I had finally decided I'd give a go at cosplaying, and I must say considering it was my first time, it went very well. While I didn't win first place in the competition, I still got a special mention (an unofficial 3rd place). This is far better than it sounds- the judges had a hard time deciding on the winners because of the amount of well hand-made female costumes (this is a category of its own). It took them 20 minutes, but from what I understood they split up the prizes initially planned for the 1st and 2nd place winners, to at least give me something for my effort. Here is the prize in all its glory:

I didn't want to open it since the package was so cool. I guess my hard work paid off! 

With so much talking "Hello!"s and "Can I take your photograph?", I got to re-acquaint myself with some old/lost friends and possibly have made new ones. A very big part of the stalls were to give me and my classmate Shane a chance to get ourselves known, I think we did a pretty good job- at least in Cardiff. This is definitely an incentive to go again :).

The comic expo was a fraction of MCM, size wise it was big enough to roam a few hours, and small enough to feel homely and casual. I quite like this feeling compared to the giant MCM. A lot of people attending were local, and of course the comic artists and store keepers were from all sorts of places, this made it all the more interesting to talk to them.

There was particularly one Japanese culture shop I liked (my prize comes from their shop!), and the owners introduced me to their online store. Just before the competition proceeded, I had expressed enthusiasm with their stock- there is a chance they knew I would like my prize? :3 This kind of thought makes me very happy.
All in all, there were a surprising amount of cosplayers, and I hear this is a more recent thing for comics and Doctor Who which started three of four years back. I heard this at a Doctor Who talk, with some of the people responsible for the comics and radio. They say they had never seen so many (in particular) teenage girls, cosplaying the characters, until three years ago. Well I'll probably will have to end it here.

Here's a video that Dizzie Dee recorded of CICAE:


And here are a few of the cosplays!

^ This is actually my friend Ricky standing besides a theatrical costume, xD still very cool!

Thursday, 23 February 2012

Business Cards

After, a bunch of feedback (thanks guys) and even some helpful tips from a lecturer and friends, I've decided the final version of my business card. Honestly, it's a rather rushed decision but I regret nothing at this point. Comic & Animation Expo is nearing (it's in two days...) and I need something to make myself look important!

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Cardiff International Comic & Animation Expo

You can see my Pixie costume's progress:
 Part 1,  Part 2

It's been a while since my last post. I've been busily doing my major project, and now I'm preparing my first ever cosplay costume for CICAE (Cardiff Comic & Animation Expo) on 25/26th Feb. Rather excited and anxious at the same time. I'm cosplaying Pixie from X-men.

One of Shane's sketches: Alpha Legion Concept
I had planned to go way back in December, but coincidentally some lecturers at my university department decided it would be a great idea to go there to showcase some Animation and Art work. From Games Design  they chose me, and an artist called Shane (he is frickin' awesome, he has true passion for what he does, and is pretty popular for it too!), whose work is dark and morbid and cool. (see image to right)

I'm a little embarrassed, I would imagine there will be tons of great comic artist that will overshadow my work by miles. Not to mention Shane's cool art- did I mention he's cool? ( /-\ ) 

The embarrassment isn't even because of the difference in skill level, it is the quantity and relativity of the work I can muster up to display that will probably make me wander from my 'table' more often than not. I've been desperately looking for any cartoon/comic/anime type thing I've done for the past two years, and to my demise there is barely any. This doesn't mean I haven't been drawing, I have been- but for my work and assignments which needed more experimentation and research than practice. As a result I have a kooky mix of retarded fan art and artist impressionism and random bits of scribbles (my games design work) all over the place. Fan art, unfortunately is a large 'no, no' in portfolio displays. So that's half my stuff in the bin. It really does make me wonder, where have I put all my creative energies into all this time? Rubbish, or maybe I'm just concentrating too much on other things un-arty?

My only defence is that I have been working my ovaries off this year and last- on university work, grasping at opportunities, and volunteering for small side projects with one of the BSC Games Developement students (programmer, basically). Much of it was to do with more technical and sometimes less visually interesting things. I'll admit sometimes I need a break, and sometimes art is far from what I consider to be a break when it's the medium for work also. These past two weeks I've been working with motion-capture, trying to get the animations on my characters and into my game. I've modeled assets for my game project, and have recently been crafting my cosplay outfit (as you'll see in the top image), I've even been designing my business card: 

Front of business card Version 1
Front of business card Version 2
Back of card
 Personally I like the second design, it looks far less like final fantasy, and more like a cool and awesome logo that belongs to a much cooler and awesome person than myself... maybe like Shane *cries*. So if anyone reading this is going to the February CICAE in Cardiff, please if you see me- have mercy and be kind on my pathetic showcase portfolio T_T.