Monday, July 17, 2017

Little Cosplayers at a Big Con.

Ahoy lovely readers!

Writing, once again, took a backseat to another hobby this year. I'm sadly one of those people who has a truly one-track mind and needs to focus on one thing and one thing alone. Sewing and crafting cosplays has been the object of my affection for most of this year, but the results were fruitful!

So, to get me back into somewhat of a writing routine, I'm gonna marry my passions and write about my most recent convention experience at A-kon 28. 

My good buddy Nicole (@boredbarista on Instagram) and I went to A-kon last year, but this year was the first time we went to a convention with just the two of us. It was also the first time going to a convention center-based con. While we had friends, and met a few at the con, the trip was a great bonding experience and a wonderful learning experience about the new convention/cosplayer world. Remember, we did this stuff about 10 years ago and took a hiatus...

actual photo of us working on cosplays

Day 1:

Or is it Day 0? A-kon starts on a Thursday, y'all. I'm kind of happy that cons are doing the 4-day thing now, as most people get to the area on Thursdays anyway. Gives us more time to don low-key cosplays and get the lay of the land without feeling pressed for time. We trekked all the way from good ol' New Orleans, so it was nice to settle into our hotel and attend the con at our leisure.

Of course we cosplayed! We represented the best Final Fantasy game with FFX Rikku and FFX-2 Gunner Yuna. Besides a minor wardrobe malfunction, the first day was great! We got to get our badges, walk around the dealer's room and artist alley, and then we got to get our pictures taken, which is what con cosplay is all about ;)

A-kon 28 is where our bathroom selfie tradition began, as well. 

The new con location just so happens to be smack dab in the middle of downtown Ft. Worth. This was especially great, since being stuck in a con bubble the year before was a bit boring for socialites like us. We were lucky enough to be a stone's throw away from fantastic shops, restaurants, and bars. Our favorite was The Brass Tap mere blocks from the convention center. They had spacious seating, open areas, and a great happy hour to try some local brews.

no one seemed to care that we were cosplaying as underaged teens either! 

One of my favorite things to do is to people watch while sipping on booze. Friday evening was perfect for doing so, and I'm pretty sure it was one of the highlights of the trip. And so, with a belly full of beer and a heart full of cosplay memories, the curtains closed on A-Kon's first-ever Thursday.

Day 2:

Friday served as the most convention-y day of the con. After checking the panel schedule and realizing nothing fit our fancy until the afternoon, we had a lie-in at the hotel and got a late start to the day. It didn't matter, though, because we had two more days to spend at the con! Feeling a sense of relief and not being rushed as one of the best things about this A-kon.

We started the day off at an advanced sewing panel held by Sparkle Pipsi and Daydreamer Nessa, who are famous for being stellar seamstresses. This was the first panel I'd sat through...ever, and it was a really informative one! I utilized the skills learned in my Ardyn cosplay I'll be debuting at this year's Mechacon.

The rest of the day was spent wandering around the con and getting people to take photos of our Jiraiya and Rock Lee cosplays. Sadly, the Naruto photoshoot was during the same time as the cosplay contest, so we don't have good shots to show off.

We did end up going back to the Brass Tap and drinking with friends, though. So cheers to that!

Day 3:

Day 3 was the day for us to go show our stuff at the cosplay contest! I'm not gonna lie, I felt fairly confident going into this. Nicole slaved over our songstress costumes for over a year, and we even had props!

This is me confidently shining before we went to pre-judging.

...yeah, remember when I said it had been 10 years since our last legit con? Times have changed, and cosplayers got good, y'all. I mean, seriously good! The judges did give us some compliments, but I could tell that we needed to do a lot more to impress them.

Thankfully, it's still all in good fun and there was Mexican food a few meters away to wash away the self-doubt that was bubbling up. After a few margaritas and a giant fajita salad, we were ready to meet up for pre-contest lineup and strut our stuff!

backstage...for hours 

Backstage was a long wait, but we made some friends who were sitting next to us. They were in the same boat as us, just a couple of kiddos seeing where they fell in the ranks of cosplay craftsmanship, and were good company. As with all competitions, there were some divas who definitely thought they were on Dance Moms or some nonsense. The humble brags and pretentious talk was short-lived as the hours slipped away to the big time.

Personally, I love the pre-stage jitters that even the most experienced performer has. It gets the adrenaline up just enough to make something exciting! We had about 30 seconds of stage time, but we had fun rocking it out and having our first real cosplay contest experience together!

while we don't have awards, we were winners in my eyes~ 

The cosplay contest was an experience I'm glad I had, but I'm not sure I'd wanna go through it again. It's a good thing I signed up to do a skit in a week with friends so I get to do it all over again anyway! Nah, skits are in my wheel house. Got more work to do on craftsmanship, and I think I'll do a hall cosplay contest for my next seamstress test.

Day 4:

Day 4 didn't really happen. We had a mild night in after being in the cosplay contest all day and work up pretty early. We also had a nearly 9 hour drive back to New Orleans, so we walked the con floor one more time for nostalgia (also for the artist alley, but that wasn't open yet) and headed out on our way.

A-kon is a great convention, and it was a dream destination for me and Nicole for many years. I'm glad that we not only got to experience it twice in a row, but we also got to be there for its big location change.

It was also a big moment, because I finally got to debut two of my "dream cosplays." Cosplaying as girls has never been my thing, as I tend to gravitate towards male characters when choosing people I wanna be, but Rikku has always been a female character who's captivated me. She's cheerful, sassy, and she always has the coolest outfits. FFX Rikku and Songstress Rikku were two of my favorite outfits of hers, and I'm still shocked that I have both of them in my cosplay closet now. 

You'll be seeing more of them, and I'm still working toward my goal of being Thief Rikku! Always keep dreaming and striving for the best! 

but know you'll never be as graceful as me

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