Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Journal of Anime Boston 2013

Anime Boston 2013... what can I say?  It was awesome!!!  It was only my second con ever and it was great!  So much to do, so little time.  So many cosplays, not enough battery power.  My group and I arrived on Thursday much later than anticipated.  Pre-registration was SOOO fast!  It literally took us a moment.  there was no wait, no line!  I hope that other cons will look at what Anime Boston did this year so that they can improve their own methods in the future.

Friday started bright and early for us.  Unfortunately we didn't wake up early enough so we missed the first panels.  I was sad as I wanted to attend the panel about costume analysis.  I cosplayed as Vana on Friday and I was in the first ever Original Cosplay Fashion Show!  We were brought on stage and asked questions about our characters.  It was a good experience for me, I think that it gave me confidence about showcasing my costumes on stage.  Perhaps I will partake in a Masquerade soon!

So I went to a few pretty cool panels on Friday.  Here are my notes for those panels:

All About Fabric

*To dye synthetics, try using half the dye and half vinegar so that the dye will take better to the fabric
*Tips for Sewing - Do your research, use the right fabric, use the right needle, use the right thread, watch the edges from the very beginning
*Leather mask molding - wet leather until it is sponge wet (not soaking wet), cut out the desired shape, place it over the mold and let it dry while on the mold.  It will hold its shape afterwards.

Saving Money and Your Mind in Cosplay

*Wig caps - use old panty hose, cut off the legs and there you have a wig cap.  To put it on pull it over your head, front first then the back to get in all your hair.
*Wigs have little flap things inside.  They are supposed to line up with your sideburns to center the wig.
*Skirt make from old t-shirt, cut off the top at armpits and add an elastic waist band.  You can use two of the same shirt to make a fuller skirt.
*Apparently there is a cosplay ice skating event every year in Boston!  Perhaps Otakuthon could organize one in Montreal... :)

I went to other panels too but they were more watching clips than note taking ones.

Saturday was the biggest day!  There were so many people!!  I went early to scope out the line (this was before the con started) and it was huge!  It moved pretty quickly though despite bag check.  It was very efficient.  The longest the line was looked like it would take at least an hour and it only took about 25 minutes.

Here are the notes that I took from the Panels on Saturday:

How to Take Commissions

*To know when you are ready - Do people want your stuff?  Do you have time?  Are there other people doing what you do, are they more skilled than you are?  Have you done your homework?  Be honest with yourself! Manage your time
*What will you offer - Create a portfolio, specify what kind of commissions you can do, show examples, keep your portfolio update (your style may change), have a price range, prices and quality are important to people
*Pricing - consider length of time, cost of materials, your market, hobby vs needs.  Don't under price yourself (or overprice), don't charge hourly at first but consider it.  If you get too busy with comissions, increase your prices.  Be confident with yourself.
*Managing Clients - Deposits can be refundable or not, give receipts, good idea to use materials cost as deposit, online payments can use paypal, square for smartphones (takes credit cards), money orders (make sure they are legit), don't take personal cheques as they can bounce, for shipping it is a good idea to take out insurance, get feedback from the clients, anonymous surveys, etc.
*Self Promotion - Follow through with what you say, put your best foot forward, create a wait list, communication is a big one!  It also helps to be interested in what the customer wants.
*Paying taxes - it's best to speak to an accountant!

We couldn't go to some of the panels that we wanted to because they were so full!  People lined up a head of time just to get into the panels.  I really wanted to see the masquerade and at around 5-ish I noticed that there was a really long line all around the second floor.  We figured out that it was the masquerade line!  Basically we waited for about an hour and a half just to get into the auditorium.  The masquerade was great though!  Some skits were really well thought out and performed.  The hall cosplay fashion show was also an event for the masquerade.  At the end, they showed the AMV contest winners.

Sunday was the quiet day.  We slept in that day and spent most of it in the dealer's room.  We did get to go to the closing ceremonies and the feedback panel.  I was able to find a Teto for my Nausicaa cosplay!!!  I have to remake it now (maybe transform it into the Manga version).

All in all Anime Boston 2013 was great and if I didn't have to worry about school then I would definitely go again next year!  (It will be held in March which means that I will be in midterms or pre-finals)

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