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|My most deviations are my cosplays, so you'll see me constantly be uploading and creating new outfits. I enjoy trying to capture my costumes in intriguing photos, all thanks to my great friends and photographers. Cosplay photos and tutorials make up most of my gallery, but you will also occasionally see my drawings here as well. My professional illustration work is viewable at erinwitzel. Thanks for stopping by!|
So 2014 is finally over. Good riddance, hahah. It started with some intense cosplay work. In fact, I was too busy working on Origami Cyclone to even write a year review for 2013 at the time, hahah. Amongst the usual cosplay routine, I continued my hunt for a house to buy, and finally got one and moved-in in October. It was very scary and stressful, but even before closing on the house, I had many hardships slapping me in the face. These external events basically really took a toll and lead me straight into serious deep depression in the latter half of the year. I was (and still am maybe?) very mentally and emotionally unstable and spend most of my time incapacitated with tears. In short, not a fun time. I have many internal struggles to overcome, and I hope I can find the strength in 2015 to battle some of my inner demons with more fortitude. So, if nothing else, I want to start the new year off on a good note.
A Year of Cosplay
You can see my cosplay review of 2014 in this deviation. I accomplished a dream costume (that actually still needs some work, haha), and spend the rest of my time having fun with friends. I don’t think I leveled up my game or anything this year, but as long as I enjoyed myself, that’s a success-- and as far as cosplay goes, I did have a good time.
New Year's Resolutions
I usually fail hard at resolutions and gave up even pretending to set any. But this year, besides tying to get into a better mindset (aka not depressed 24/7), I want to draw more. A busy full-time job life leaves little time to do much, let alone when you spend most of your creative energy on cosplay. Thus, I don’t draw nearly as much as I’d like. And between wanting to drawing in two styles (simplistic illustration vs. ‘anime’), it’s hard to progress at either. But I ironically and unintentionally welcomed in the new year by looking at my plethora of art books. I’m hoping that’s some weird sign and also a spark of inspiration to make more art.
My birthday is very soon and basically I want to cry, hahah. But no really, every birthday just makes me question where I am with my life and where I should be going.
First Conventions of 2015
I’ll be attending MAGFest this year in January, which should be pretty low-key. After that it’ll soon be time for Katsucon.
Thanks to my followers for finding interest in my work. And especially thanks to those strangers who offered kind words (albeit on tumblr, not here) during some of my darkest moments this year. It’s always kind of astounding when people you don’t know extend a hand of kindness. And thank you to my friends who have put up with me this whole time, too.
Find me on the web
Here are a few other places you can find cosplay things from me, in case you didn't know!:
Recapping my weekend from last month! A group of us Digi-friends celebrated Odaiba Day together, and then there were Haikyuu times. It was a very nice weekend, though it felt incredibly too short!!
Read or skim, if you please!
Friday August 1
After work, I made my way to the bus station like I always do. I waited there for what seemed like forever since the bus was an hour late. I was pretty fed up with all the traveling since I just really wanted to be there, haha. Finally by 10ish, I made it to bluucircles 's place. Amanda, Yan, and I watched the premiere episode of the new Gravity Falls season, which certainly did not disappoint! Soon after, supitscarrie arrived, and we all chatted and watched American Ninja Warrior (which was pretty captivating to me, hahah) for a few hours before we settled down for the night.
We all leisurely got up in the morning to get ready for our Odaiba Day celebration. The actual Odaiba Day date (Aug 1st) was the day before, but the weekend really was the only time we could all gather for fun times. Odaiba Day is the anniversary of when the kids in Digimon Adventure were first brought into the Digital World in 1999. This year was extra special, as it's the 15th anniversary of that day-- 15 YEARS of Digimon. It was very nostalgic for all of us who grew up on Digimon, especially after they announced that there's going to be a new series next year with the original characters!
So yeah, a month or so in advance, we all decided we wanted to celebrate together, and have like a picnic in Central Park. Unfortunately, the weather in the morning was kinda rainy and gross, so we decided to skip the park and everyone just joined us at Amanda's place instead.
Around 10:30, lizasinger joined us, dressed as 02 Mimi, and Amanda, Carrie and I slowly got into our Tamers costumes. Gotta celebrate Odaiba Day in costume, amirite? Around 1PM, barnabunbun and Strawberryboba arrived (as 02 TK and Kari!) and thus our celebration officially begun! We had a potluck of goodies to eat. I made some macarons for the occasion, and the other yummy things included hoagies, pasta salad, onigiri, daifuku, fruit, brownies, and starfruit iced tea. Everything was so yummy! We put on the American Digimon movie (which is a mash-up of three separate Japanese movies, thus really bad) that we all grew up on as kids. And of course, there was lots of talk about Digimon in general!
Around 4:30, we headed out to the local park to take some quick photos of all of us together. Soon after we got there, these high school girls came up to us and asked what we were doing (aka. why we were wearing what we were wearing). We gave them the usual vague answer of "a school project" in hopes of avoiding further interaction. This is how cosplaying in public goes sometimes, sigh. BUT they continued following us and two of them even stood nearby and watched us take pictures. As if it couldn't get worse, when we left, they said goodbye to us!? Hahah, we just hope they were pathetically bored to passively harass us like that. Unfortunately this kind of stuff can happen sometimes and you just gotta ignore it.
Enjoy the obnoxiously bright color palette of the Digimon kids!
Now for the Tamers crew!
Anyway yes, we grabbed some quick pictures and after dropping Carrie off at the train station, we returned back to the apartment. Yan was back from work, and so we all hung around and chatted until Liza, Stef, and Manda had to leave. Yan left for a party shortly after, so Amanda and I went to town on gay sports anime, hahah.
We watched the latest episode of Free! which I hadn't gotten to watching that week yet. We also watched a bunch of Haikyuu, because we're losers like that. I think we watched the latest episode because I also hadn't had time to watch that prior either and then starting watching from the beginning. Amanda reads the manga, but hadn't seen the anime yet at that point. It was a good time watching our favorite doofuses. She also showed my the first episode or so of Polar Bear Cafe, which was kinda strange but cute, hahah. All the meantime, we ate leftovers from earlier in the day. When Yan returned, we watched Space Dandy and Barakamon, neither of which I had seen before, but were enjoyable. Soon after it was bedtime!
In the morning, Amanda wasn't feeling well because of the nightlong pain from the excessive amount of macarons she ate :C (No more macarons for you) The only way to make light of the situation was to joke that she was just like Hinata and his sensitive stomach. Luckily, she felt well enough by the time we were getting ready for our shoot.
So, like three days prior to the weekend, Amanda told me about a fanart/cosplay contest that Crunchyroll was hosting-- to dress up as your favorite Haikyuu characters in clothes they'd wear everyday. She should have known that getting the idea in my head meant that I would indeed want to make it happen (I'm stubborn like that). So, we both basically dropped everything and went out to find outfits for our boys so we could shoot it that weekend when I was already visiting. It would be the first time cosplaying Kageyama and Hinata together! We were also blessed that Kiyasea agreed the morning of to come out and take pictures of us!
So around noon-ish after Cassi arrived, we walked over to the park. We took some pictures with the fancy new volleyball me, Amanda, and janiekat pitched in for, because Haikyuu is important enough to us for warrant a $60 ball, lmao.
We took some bench shots, but not for too long, because I don't wanna be on the bench, I wanna be on the court!!
We also got a couple of super kawaii shots because we're lame like that and like doing laying-in-the-grass shots far too much. See more the shoot here.
When we were done at the park, Yan graciously came to pick us up. Back at the apartment, we had one other idea for some photos-- playing video games together! So Amanda put on one of the Jojo fighting games, and Cassi took pictures as we were legitimately playing. (With all my key-smashing I managed to win, which was pretty satisfying, lol ;D)
they are competitive at everything they do >;D
Finally, it was approaching the when I had to head out, so I finished packing and got out of costume. It was a really fun weekend, but it was still really hard leaving! :C Luckily I had Cassi for part of the subway ride back into Manhattan, and then I made the rest of the journey home.
It was really great to celebrate Odaiba Day with my fellow Digi-dorks, as Digimon is one of those things that deeply bond us together. What I mean is, Digimon is really important to those of us who grew up on it. And it's definitely something to be shared with fellow "Digidestineds"! I'm glad a bunch of my friends were able to make it, even though some couldn't!
And then, Haikyuu... It was a last minute addition to the weekend, but so so good. We just talk about Haikyuu literally everyday, so there's a lot of Kagehina in our future :'D
Recapping our photoshoot weekend almost two months. This was such a successful weekend, and although it's taken me awhile to write about it, I seemed to have really yammered on. It was a lot of fun! Bluucircles and I shot Gravity Falls and Attack on Titan with skwinkography ! Of course, feel free to read or skim or whatever.
After work I went home, grabbed some food, packed my car, and then headed over to Skwinky's apartment, about 1.25 hours away. I got there around 9 o'clock, and bluucircles had already arrived. We hung around for awhile, ate some dinner, and met Skwinky and Rae's new roommate Alan, who-- as we would learn throughout the weekend-- is a super nice dude!
Bluucircles and I quickly got into our Gravity Falls costumes (there's not much to them, so they're super easy to wear), and we started our big mysterious adventure at the golf course directly adjacent to the apartment. Ironically, and to our great delight, there was a golf cart parked right outside our door, so we took some silly photos to reenact the first episode of the series when they're being attacked by gnomes. Lighting was hard since we couldn't get the external flash to work, but fear not! Alan and Rae were our heroes for this shoot, and thanks to them and our smartphone flashlights, we were able to successfully shoot in the dark.
We wandered all around the golf course, which was super fun. It felt oddly appropriate to be wandering around in the dark in these costumes! As we were walking on a path near a pond, we heard some angry goose noises. Poor Steph was really spooked by the goose that seemed to be "following us", and as the horrible friends that we are, we exploited that fact and purposely tried to scare her. "Wait, do you guys see that? There's something up there," I said. And later Amanda joined in, "Whoa, do you see this spooky mark on the ground.?" "Did you hear that?" We are really terrible, mischievous Mystery Twins, HAHAH. At one point, we ran into a dangerous creature-- the Sprinkler Monster. There wasn't just one, but a whole HERD of them! But we bravely snuck past them and managed to come out unharmed and not soaked.
After running out of ideas for photos, we wrapped up the shoot and returned to the apartment to just relax and chat, and eventually sleep! Our night shoot was super fun, but we were in store for a double dose of Dipper and Mabel for a day shoot the next day, along with an epic Attack on Titan one! Our weekend was just beginning!
We woke up around 10am and ate some yummy eggs that Alan graciously made for us! After finishing up some costume stuff for later, we donned our Gravity Falls costumes once more. And then, around noon, we headed to the nearby Washington Park for Mystery Twins shoot number 2! Amanda and I had these costumes for over a year already, but never got to shoot in them until now.
Unlocking secrets, one mystery at a time!
We walked along a trail that followed a river, stopping whenever we saw something cool or had an idea for a photo. Skwinky had been to this location before, so we knew our goal was to take photos at the little shack further down the trail. When we got there, we took some shots, including the infamous "awkward sibling hug" hahah. Being Mystery Twins with Amanda is so much fun because we act so much like Dipper and Mabel already, so when we're cosplaying them that dynamic just comes out of us tenfold, hahah. Well, we had our second shoot of the day lined up so we wrapped up this shoot in good time and headed back to the apartment to prepare for Titan-times.
Mystery Twins! But the question is, who's the Alpha Twin? (that's right, it's me, Dipper)
We relaxed for a little bit and had some soft pretzels and other snacks for lunch. (Remember when Amanda took a bite of my pretzel when I had left the room, and acted like nothing happened when I returned. And then when Steph was passing Amanda her pretzel from out of the microwave, and I angrily ninja'd that thing and took a bite of it as payback. REMEMBER?? Because I'll never forget.) We then took our time getting into our AOT costumes, because LOL, dem straps and shit. Also, Levi is a lot of makeup for me. But we had plenty of time, as we were aiming for Golden Hour, when the sun was setting, which is pretty late in the summer.
"Hanji, you're way to excited about this"
We headed to Queen Bridge(?) Park, with 3DMG in hand! Amanda and I were lucky that the 3DMG that Steph, cafe-lalonde , and shinjaninja made were still at Steph's apartment, and they graciously agreed to let us borrow it for our shoot!! It was seriously a dream come true!
When we got to the park, we first took some "headquarter" shots at the sheltered picnic area. It was rather awkward because we kinda crashed this older couple's date, hahahh. We got some good shots drinking tea and being all serious around Hanji's map, etc.
Read the sign, bitches.
Then it was 3DMG time! We were blessed that our friends already had their "trial run" of wearing the gear and had fixed up some of the troubled issues of wearing it. It was surprising not bad to wear and stayed intact, but was somewhat cumbersome to walk around in (as expected). After gearing up, we headed for the trees! Wow what a fantastic shoot. Basically all anyone could ever want out of an Attack on Titan shoot! Steph put on the AOT soundtrack so we could listen to intense Titan-killing music as we walked around in the woods. We got lots of action-y poses, including cape flipping ones. One of my favorite moments of the shoot is when we realized there was this giant tree that had been split in two by a storm-- it looked like a Titan had trampled on it! And made for a super cinematic photo!
WTF, a Titan came through here!?! SHIT WATCH YOUR BACK.
To end our shoot, we went back to the more open field for some nice sunset shots, since that look goes so well with the aesthetic of the show. There were deer and crows galore, but neither wanted to stay in our photos, hahah. When we finished shooting, we took off all the gear and headed back for good ole sushi times!
Hello , Golden Hour, how are you?
cafe-lalonde , teastars, and jimbly were already waiting for us at the apartment to go to our beloved Sushi Palace buffet. Amanda and I changed out of costume as quickly as we could and we all headed out for dinner. And boy was it good! I love all the fancy sushi you can order, and I'm pretty sure we all needed to be rolled out of there (no pun intended). However, there's always room for tempura ice cream!
I look like death in this photo, but everyone else look cute! I guess in my defense I did just come from cosplaying Levi, lol.
Attack on Sushi!
We all returned to the apartment, where we hung around and chatted and watched silly Youtube videos with Alan and Rae. We previewed some of the shots Steph took over the weekend with everyone. Eventually, the others had to leave, so we said our goodbyes, and then rest of us continued chatting for bit before going to bed.
We leisurely woke up on Sunday since we had no scheduled plans. Steph and I chatted about Storenvy and comics for a bit-- I love talking about things like this with her! And then we got to work! Steph was kindly letting me use her button-making machine while I was there, so she showed me how to use it, and with some teamwork, I made lots of buttons with the artwork I prepared! I look forward to making more buttons sometime.
Buttons! You can check them out here!
We then had some mac-and-cheese for lunch and spent much of the rest of the afternoon playing video games, like Wii Mario Kart. We then drove over to Princeton to grab dinner-- we ate outside at Panera, and you could hear cheering for one of the World Cup games from the pub next door, hah. Soon after, we had to drop Amanda off at the train station. And then, after returning to Steph's place, I headed out as well shortly thereafter and got home around 10PM.
This was a super successful weekend! On-location photoshoot are the best, and I can't believe we squeezed so many in. Steph was a trooper for doing three shoots with us in two days! I hope there's more photo weekend in my future! T~~T
|I am a college graduate with a BFA in graphic design (interactive and illustration) and a Japanese minor, and am working as a web designer & programmer in downtown Philadelphia. I really love doing cosplay, started in 2004. I am pretty stubborn, have high-expectations, dream big, and often over-extend myself.... I'm not quite sure where my life is going, but for now, I'll just be having fun cosplaying... ^_^;|