Three Construction Notes (Ver. 1)

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Three, from the video-game Drakenguard 3, is my most ambitious cosplay. The idea of cosplaying this came from Mao-chan, last year. She is a BIG FAN of the series for a long time. When the new game was announced and the character design was slowly revealed, she started lookling into forming a group. I jumped on the occasion: it looked complicated and I wanted a challenge!

The dress itself is rather simple. I completed this with the help of my mother in a week-end; my sewing machine was in repair so we sewed at her place in Sutton. We used a prom dress pattern. The black corsage is made out of black peau de soie I bought in Toronto and the lilac damask pattern fabric was actually custom design with the help of my friend Eru. If you would like to buy this fabric for your own Three cosplay, I’ve made it available  on Spoonflower (you’re welcome! :D)

The challenging part of this cosplay was the ARMOUR. OH MY GOD.

I am quite confident in my armour making skills but making a full leg armor that doesn’t hinder movement *too much* is challenging. The knee cover were easy to make but were a challenge to attach to my legs. Having worn the costume once, I want to revisit those again.

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Once my patterns were completed, I assembled everything using worbla and foam. For the leg armor, I insisted on hiding the seams, inspired by Coregeek. Using wood filler, I covered the seam and sanded it down before  covering the whole thing with black gesso, sanded again, then applied wood glue — before more sanding. Once I was satisfied with the smoothness, I applied half beads and covered them with one last layers of wood glue. Three’s armor is covered in rivets so I used fake pearls stickers that I found at Dollorama.

I chose to paint the whole armor using spray paint to avoid brush strokes and painted the silver details with a small brush. I tried adding some dark grey shadows on some parts of the armour but it barely made a difference… haha black armours are so flat!!

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In the end, I’m very happy with the way this costume turned out for Anime North. I’m definitely going to redo my whole straps system tho: by the end of the day, some of my armor where falling out (but that’s my fault, I was out of D-rings so I experimented… didn’t work out so well XD). Also one thing I learned: black armour… don’t do in the sun.

Anime North is a convention where most people hang outside… heck I didn’t even have a badge this year. It was incredibly hot and some part of my armour ended up heating up and somewhat melting! ahhh! This is worbla we are talking about so I can reheat it and give it the shape I want but it was quite surprising! I definitely plan on staying inside at Otakuthon… it’s not like I can really walk a lot in this armour anyway ^^”

In any case! I have quite a bit of work before Otakuthon! On top of reworking Three, I working on completing both Eternal Sailor Venus, Miki Hoshii Luxury costume and maybe one secret cosplay~ Wish me luck!

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Anime North 2014 convention report

 

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It’s that time of the year! Anime North!

Truth be told, if you had asked me last year, I would have told you that I was done with Anime North, that I was never coming back. To be honest, I had a bad time last year and it was unfair to leave my last impression of a convention based on personal events. Slowly, during the year, friends started talking me into coming and managed to convince Mao-chan and I to come pretty much to the last minute!

Then it was time to decide what to wear; I don’t think a lot of cosplayers write about their thought process when choosing their cosplay line up but here goes. I didn’t want to wear Bulma so close to Katsucon since I had already got so many pictures of that cosplay. Daenerys was out of the question: long dress in a parking lot? hahahahaha no. There was Tiki and my friends were doing a FE:A group but I knew conflict would arise if I wore that so even after remaking my wig, I was back to the drawing board, with less than a month to Anime North.

I had been slowly working on Three from Drakenguard 3 since November so I decided to pick up the pace and attempt to finish a beta version of that cosplay: Mao-chan, Vickybunnyangel, MeltingMirror and I will be debuting our group at Otakuthon so this is a great time to test run all that crazy armour! For the other days, I opted for Ymir from Attack on Titan and Ai Shindou from Beyond the Boundary as a back up.

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With all that ready, Mao-chan, her boyfriend and I left on friday for Toronto. When we got to our hotel, I changed as fast as I could into my Ymir cosplay: luckily I has been practicing putting on those stupid straps so getting ready only took about 30-45 mins… as opposed to the usual 3 hours XD We met with friends and eventually got separated, as it tends to happen a lot during conventions. I shot with X110291 and we then headed to Kitsurie and Yume‘s room where they were shooting with Ray Lum. I ended up assisting them with the shoot until midnight. When I got to my room, Mao-chan and I worked on her Nui wig and finally headed to bed.
Saturday was a long day! It took us a while to get ready but we somehow made it to be convention around 12:00 and met our friends! Again, we got separated quickly, Mao-chan both had shoots all over the place XD I ended up shooting with White Specs Photography, Eleventh Photograph, X110291 and Don Dolce Photography. I would mention with whom I hung out during the whole day but honestly… it’s all a blur now haha I did help Eddie while he was shooting Coshalfnaked and somehow ended up in a pimp shot and then in a “romantic shot” with Grey… I can hear the heart shatters already… In any case, I got a horrible sunburn that day (my skin is peeling as I’m writing D: ) so around 6:30 I was done! I headed back to my hotel, showered and headed to Deltaree’s hotel for a shoot with Lillychiyo – 綸利治陽 with out lovely  Ray Lum. We had a lot of fun… I think we have a lot more derp shots than good shots XD

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Finally, on Sunday… I was in no cosplay mood. My whole buddy hurt and my hair looked like shit from being in a wig cap all week-end so I pulled a “Sachie cosplay”. 10/10 would do it again haha. I had fun walking around, taking pictures of beautiful cosplayers (having only a portray lens on my camera… derp) and buying A BAG OF ALPACAS HAHAHAHA. It was a nice day to relax, catch up with the friends I hadn’t seen during the convention yet.

Truth be told, I was sad to leave on Sunday. I arrived Friday with have no expectations for this convention and ended up not wanting to leave. Anime North might be parking con but it’s also a lot of fun and a lot of friends so you will see me again next year <3

 

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Spoiled community

Hey everyone! I’m back from Anime North and wow! I had so much fun! I will most definitely do a report later on but for now, I feel the need to rant on something totally not related to Anime North.

Lately, I’ve been seeing a lot of people asking for money for things related to cosplay or convention activities. The latest example on my feed is a photographer who takes pictures for free who is currently having camera issues. The camera needs repair which will be costly and is now reminding people of the pictures he took of them for years and pleading to have donations in “exchange for the sentimental value they hold for the pictures”

What a load of bullshit.

Bro, if you want money for your art, you ask before you snap. Otherwise, don’t come asking for some when shit hits the fan. Call me cold hearted but this is a thing call life: shit happens. I got my own life here and I’m not about to bail you out for something so superficial.

Two months ago, my dear sewing machine broke down. One thing you did not see me do is go on my social media and plead for donations to get it repaired. Or remind photographers how my cosplay helped them get traffic on their pages or how popular some of their pictures got because of me so they should help me out. Nope. We brought my sewing machine to a repair shop (really far to my place btw), patiently waited for all the parts to be in and got it repaired. It was really expensive but I didn’t cry to anyone for money.

I was raised in a way that if you need something, you work for it. I come from a family where people have made their own successes by working hard, not by getting hand outs. Yeah, life sucks sometimes but you work at it. If you can’t afford your hobby then you need to revisit your life choices, grow the fuck up and stop asking people for cash.

So for the love of God, stop asking for hand outs. You want money? Work for it, sell prints, show us what you are worth and not just “I’m cute / useful to the community, please gimme 20$”

Because I’m hot and I would totally need 5000$.

jk.

but not really.

Update

hey everyone~ it’s been a while~

I’m in the middle of finals and wow… I just want it to end! I’ve never been good at exams so I’m glad most of my course have evaluations that require me to write research studies and essays… so the exams aren’t worth too much. Still, it’s very stressful since my memory is just so bad now.  sigh

ANYWAY. It seems I will be going to Anime North this year! Mao-chan convinced me and I gave in :) it would be a shame to let a bad memory of AN make me not go back. Besides, I really want to see all my Toronto friends and after all these finals, I really need a con to get ready for!

I’ve also got news that my Taobao order is on its way! My agent, Cici from Taobaospree.com was kind enough to send me preview pictures of my order! I’m really looking forward to receiving everything!!




Both the boots and the jacket were custom made and look wonderful from the photos. Of course, I’ll do a review once I get everything.

It’s the first time I buy a cosplay and I didn’t expect myself to be this excited over it. I have to admit I have been quite judgemental of cosplays that were not “handmade” in the past but I’ve totally changed my mind about that, not only because I’m purchasing one now but also over the years, I’ve met a lot of cosplayers. Everyone has their reasons to craft or to buy things. I bought these AoT items because I couldn’t be bothered to make a jacket, belt system and boots. Simple as that.

I’m lazy. lol

I’m still looking forward to crafting my other cosplayers for AN and making a 3D manoeuvre gear~

White Hair

I’ve been through a lot of hair change lately. Getting rid of my pink hair in august left me with platinum, beige hair. It was nice but it wasn’t great. For a while, I tried to keep it the “less yellow” possible by using Lush’s Daddy-O but the shampoo only tones moderately.

In November, I started working on my Daenery cosplay and I decided to use my own hair (also because I didn’t want to but a front-lace wig just yet). The need to whiten my hair was real!

I use 3 products; Clairo Shimmer Lights  Shampoo, Conditionner and Fanci-full Rinse #42 Silver Lining. The first two are very strong purple toning shampoo that took my hair from a light yellow to white in one use. Leave it on too long, and your hair will turn slightly lilac (this is what a lot of people use to get their hair to lilac). I like the use the Silver Lining rinse to had some silver tones, sometimes just go full on gray. It’s not permanent and washes after a few days but it’s a fun colour.

I’m thinking of changing it up soon tho~

Daenerys Targaryen: Qarth dress

photo by Martin Wong

Katsucon was a dream and I have never been this happy with a cosplay before. I started planning this dress in November; I actually dreamed about it and the next day, I couldn’t get it out of my head. I had been watching Game of Thrones but I hadn’t seen The Ghost of Harrenhal yet (I watch series VERY slowly…) so I started looking at reference pictures… I simply couldn’t get this damn dress out of my head!

Later that month, Mao-chan and I visited Vickybunnyangel in Toronto and went fabric shopping. I found the perfect light blue silk Georgette and from there, it was decided! I was going to cosplay Daenerys!

I started putting the whole costume together during my Christmas vacation and completed it in 5 days. I first started by cutting my fabric, using Sonia’s pattern from I Do Things I Love, and then painted the gold pattern using sea sponges. I have to say, this was my favourite part, it was so relaxing and fun to do! I then tied my beautiful Silk Georgette in knots and rolled it balls, wet them and threw them in my drying machine so the fabric would crinkle! Also a lot of fun!

Once crinkled, I focused on assembling the dress together. It was particularly easy since the dress is made out of 4 large rectangles but having a new dress form sure made the whole process even easier!

Once the dress was mostly assembled, I focused on the filigrees and the belt. I had started with the filigrees first since they were required for me to assemble the dress. Of course, my focus was the Qarth belt and I chose my favourite thermoplastic: worbla! Using Kudrel’s pattern, the whole belt took about 16 hours to make :)

Finally, I attached the shoulder filigree to the dress simply by hand sewing them (I know, revolutionary!) and shopped for semi-precious stones with Deltaree and GiH5 to complete the belt.

I would have the say that my choice of pearl/stones and the belt would have to be my favourite part of this costume. All so shiny <3 In the future, I am considering getting a lace front wig; not that I wasn’t happy with how my hair turned out but I don’t know how long I can keep this white/blonde hair… and I don’t want it to dictate my ability to be the mother of dragons! As for my circle lenses, I was very satisfied with my choice of a light purple lens (Dueba Puffy 3 Tone Violet for the curious) since they looked natural but striking~

Not a very Khaleesi pose but – Barney Stinson! :D and you can somewhat see the nice semi precious stones~ Photo by Patrick Sun

And finally, here’s a lovely video by OTL Productions and MLZ Studios! I can’t believe we filmed in the snow O.O

My problem with cosplay photography

A picture I edited, that got shot down. Cosplay by Chaly and I.

I’ve been telling my friends for a while now how much I am annoyed with the current “meta” of cosplay photography. While I understand that in the past there have been a lot of abuse from cosplayers in regards of cosplay photographers, I feel that right now, cosplayers are stuck in this meta where we are stuck paying photographers for pictures we often have little to no control over.

But Shmuberry, Canadian photographers officially own the Copyright to all their photos. Yes, that is correct and they should. However, I find that cosplay photography stands out from regular photography as it is two artists coming together to create a beautiful image. A cosplay photographer is nothing without the skillful cosplayer who has perfected their costumes for hundreds of hours. Owning copyright doesn’t mean you have to be an ass about it, especially when you were hired to take the picture.

“Even if you hired me, I own the picture, ergo I can do whatever I wait with it.” “It’s mine, you can’t touch it”

This is the type of attitude a photographer shouldn’t have in this community.

I feel instead, it should be a collaboration between the two artists and not just in front of the lens but also when it comes to the editing process. How many of us have waited 6 months for pictures and when we got them we thought: “I waited for that? Let me quick fix this…” and here comes the photographers, insulted that you DARE smooth your skin or color correct a picture better than he did, because he owns the picture. We’re cosplayers, we’re anal about everything. It’s not that we don’t like the pictures, our idea of perfection is so different for everyone, you couldn’t possibly know that I want my nose liquified a certain way or my idea of a soft picture is actually a completely different tone curve or that I have a problem with the colour yellow.

It annoys me, because I can’t say anything but “ok, sorry” but I’m actually thinking “I waited 6 months for these pictures but it’s not quite the way we both envisioned. I thought I was doing you a favour since I’m sharing this under your name…” because then you’re guaranteed to sever ties with an otherwise talented individual. sigh.

It’s not like I’m incompetent or stupid with Photoshop and Lightroom. I’m not going to crop out your watermark or erase your metada (for those who even bother with that) !

In an ideal world, I would love to have my own contract where a photographer will agree to take pictures and submit the raws to me. In exchange, I edit the picture and credit the photographer for taking the pictures and myself for the editing. Think about it; less pictures to edit, no back log, no cosplayed lamenting over the wait and your style of editing. It seriously needs to be an option photographers should offer.

meh

Much cosplay

Happy new year everyone! I hope you all celebrated in a fun way! I did :) I’ve also been keeping myself busy since the end of the Fall semester with all my cosplay projects! I’ve turned my house in a full blown cosplay atelier — I kind of feel sorry for my brothers who are stuck with fabrics and thermoplastics everywhere… whoops.

This week, I finished my Daenerys Qarth dress cosplay and I am so happy with the result. I had picked the fabric when I was visiting my friend Vickybunnyangel in Toronto back in November and I started working on it just before Christmas. All in all, completeting this costume took less than 5 days of work :)

For anyone interested, I followed Sonia‘s pattern and tutorial :) The dress is very easy to make and for people who are new to cosplay, it is a great beginner project!

So here are a few progress pictures!

I also recorded a video of me making the belt, which took 2 days. It wasn’t really a hard pieces to make but it was really detailed so I wanted it to be perfect. I’m really happy with the results and seeing the feed back, I’m thinking of offering commissions of this piece :)

Now, I’m done with Daenerys and I’ve been working on my next project, Tiki from Fire Emblem! A lot of sewing skils are involved so I’m hoping I can do everything right ;___;

Hello again!

So things are looking different around here!

Long story short; I’ve had enough of Blogger and their crappy service >.> First it was a reader feature that they got rid of and then, I had so much trouble renewing my domain, it was a nightmare!

Emily switched her blog from Blogger to WordPress and I decided that it was time that I make the jump too. I really gotta thank her for recommending Bluehost; without their help, I couldn’t have done… seriously, it was all so complicated even with their help! @.@

Lately, I haven’t been bothered to blog because blogger has been such a pain… why blog when you hate your blog service, right? :/

But now I’m excited! Obviously, I still need to get to know WordPress again haha but I’m excited to show you all what I’ve been working on cosplay wises and what has been happened

In the meantime, enjoy this beautiful shot by Fotofong :) It was my first photo shoot wearing Janna. Michael was wonderful to work with and I absolutely love this shot! <3

So please bare with me in this period of change, while I get this blog back up and running and beautiful and all that crap!

Anime North dilemma

what do what do… share this pic I took?

I was discussing with DonDolce who was asking me if I was going to be at Anime North. Right now my answer is No.

Truth is I have no idea.
My thing about conventions is cosplay. I’m not really into anime that much these days. I game moderately but my passion is creating costumes so I look for events that are ideal for that. Otakuthon is the perfect Canadian convention for cosplay for me because not only is it my home convention but it has amazing locations nearby the convention itself in walking distance to the convention center that are ideal for photoshoots. For people who are competing, the masquerade at Otakuthon is also known for being well organized.
With Anime North… the convention center is located in the middle of parking lot with little to no locations for photoshoots; the ones that are near the conventions center are so popular that they are almost impossible to use. People now to resort to driving away from the convention center and that is just not something that attract me as a cosplayer. As for the masquerade, the AN masquerade as a bit of a different reputation…
Anime North still remains a very fun convention and I have a lot of cosplayer friends who are based in Toronto. But being older now, running from panels to panels, missing on sleep and partying all night is just something that I can’t do and it seems to that that’s what a lot of AN is about… with my condition, I really have to take care of myself ;__; for Katsucon, I even made sure that my partner and I were on the same line about going to bed early and not partying that much!
So will I be at AN? I haven’t made a decision yet… I want to go again, but I don’t know if I want to invest in a great cosplay since that’s my thing and I feel I can’t do much of it there. It’s also quite expensive to travel to a convention too…
Keep is mind too that my last Anime North was extremely bitter, but then again, you should never base your opinion on a convention on personal interactions… right?

oh what do, what do…