2016 Highlights

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For the past few days I have been ploughing my head deciding what my personal highlights for this year were. In truth I haven’t really been trying that hard because I’ve been too busy enjoying my Christmas with my family whilst indulging in anime and my drawings.

Right now I’ll just select a few that come to mind. If I think of anything else, I’ll add them. =)

 

One: Family and Friends

They’re simply put, wonderful.

 

Two: YouTube Vlogging

I took a brave step and created my own YouTube channel discussing my weekly Fantasy Football team. This was very nerve-racking because I was opening myself up for criticism but I felt it was the right thing to do. Occasionally I did discuss the England team and general news but in truth I don’t really have any strong views and recently made the decision to solely focus on Fantasy Football. =)

 

Three: Kitacon Karnival

This year’s Kitacon was a better experience than last year’s Kitacon. Approaching new people was easier but it was just as nerve-racking as I still making small talk with cosplayers and taking their photos. I was unwell at times but luckily I didn’t feel as disorientated as I did last year.

Remarkably one of my pictures did feature in the Kitacon Karnival Booklet. It was surprising and exciting when I first found out and it’s just as exciting now, 8 months on before the New Year.

 

Four: Shopping Trip

It’s been quite some time since I’ve done a shopping binge for clothes but one day decided to give it a go shortly after my birthday. (Now that I think about it, it might have been in August… well, it’s still after my Birthday!) I struggle with crowds but I plunged through the troubles for the sake of buying new clothes. I most certainly made the most of the 8 hours outing but was glad to be home when the outing finished. =)

 

Five: Wii U at the Cinema

This is definitely one of the most unique activities I’ve ever experienced. I played the Wii U at a Cinema screening to celebrate my Brother’s birthday. It was a lot of fun and luckily there weren’t many people about because we did this in the morning! Hurray!

 

Six: Picture Requests

I’ve been uploading my anime art online for more than a year now and over the last few months I’ve been receiving a lot of requests to draw particular characters. This is a very nice situation to be in as it means that a lot of people are enjoying my art and it gives my drawing more purpose.

 

Seven: Epiphany and the Bubble of Troubles

This is definitely the most important aspect of 2016 for me. I’ve always been positive and looked on the bright side but I’ve been carrying this Bubble of Troubles that resulted in me thinking about the past and feeling sad. It was only in November that I realised why that was.

I convinced myself I was going to write an auto-bio of my life when I left school (I planned this when I was still a student). That turned to be a mistake as I kept on recalling sad memories and in turn I couldn’t let that Bubble of Trouble go… until now. I decided that I don’t want to think about my past, let alone talk about them, so, why should I? It resulted in over-thinking and letting my imaginations go wild to the point where I misconstrue reality with a mashed up fantasy.

With that I got that pin and popped that Bubble of Trouble that didn’t need to glide over my head. Since then I feel refreshed and I feel like I can be myself 100% without any burden stopping me. =D I still do have my limitations but I deal with them when I need to along with the situations which will arise every time, every day and every second. =)

 

Roll On 2017

I have many plans for 2017 (somewhat because they didn’t come to fruition this year. Whoops!) I want to release my book on kindle, I want to work more on my fantasy story, I want to try and socialise when the circumstances are right and draw more anime girls.

Something tells me that 2017 will be a very good year for me. I won’t speculate what that might be I’m just looking forward to it. =)

 

Happy New Year, everyone. =)

Ryan.^^/

Life and Decisions

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I made a big decision today over a matter that I’ve been debating for years regarding writing an auto-biography about my life with Autism. Basically, I decided against it.

Since school I always envisioned myself writing an auto-biography as I felt it was my duty to rather than wanting to. Every time I dug down to my memory roots I would always end up feeling sad and feeding myself negativity. Nowadays I’m blessed with the fact that I can move on from the past but I had big problems when I was little, especially when trying to communicate with others. It was painful and frustrating not being able to talk to the point where it felt like they happened yesterday. I can still remember the pain I was in and how sad I was.

One day, today, I thought to myself if this was really worth it. Is it worth digging into my past and re-living those painful memories for the sake of sharing my story and possibly making some money through book sales? I came to the decision that it’s not worth it. I don’t want to think about those times let alone talk about them so why should I torture myself? I have a lot of wonderful stuff going on in my life right now and no matter how I look at it, living in the present, today, is far superior than re-calling the memories of the past. =)

With that, let’s talk about how good today is. =D

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My life is wonderful at the minute. I’m editing my book after a few family discussions and I’m in the process of creating a huge database for my fantasy book so I can keep on top of my own information. =D

I’m really happy and touched by the amount of support I’m receiving throughout social media and art sites. =D I’m just happy if one person looks at my art but some of my art are getting more than 1 view. Some get over 10, some over 100 and remarkably some over 1000. Before I joined Deviantart I never would have predicted that I would receive so much activity with my art. Joining Deviantart is definitely one of my best life decisions to date.

I’m in the midst of tackling some fanart requests as I feel I’m ready to give it a go. So far I’ve completed 1 request out of 5 and at this moment I’m coping with the pressure rather well. I was asked to update my Yoko Littner picture by adding more colours and correcting the length of her right glove.

The final good news is that I recently reached the landmark of 30 completed pictures from my Manga Girls series. I find this exciting as this simple style of black and white with only the hair and eyes coloured allows me the freedom and time to complete pictures quicker. If I include backgrounds I focus too hard and take too long but if it’s just the lady, I can go all out as drawing girls seems to be my forte.

I amended and employed plenty of styles along the way and I actually think I get better every time I touch the tablet with my pen.

 

Thank you for reading, have a great weekend everyone. =D

Ryan.^^/

Anime Fall Season and My Thoughts

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I really liked the Summer season, it’s my favourite season this year. What’s your favourite? Now that Summer is over we welcome Autumn/Fall. So far the only anime that I’m planning to watch is Keijo!!!!!!!! Hip Whip Girl.

I know of Keijo and by what I’ve seen online it looks funny, quirky and offers something different. It’s basically a sport that takes place on water and you have to knock off your opponent with either your bum, your hips or your chest. This is a female only sport… if this becomes a real life sport I wonder if we will see this as an event in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics? That will be fun to debate about. =D

Keijo is only airing 12 episodes this season but I suspect that Xebec could have made 24 episodes due to the amount of manga volumes that Keijo have already published. Perhaps they’re seeing how popular this anime becomes before creating more. Maybe they have a second season planned that will air next year but haven’t announced it yet.

Whatever happens, I’m really looking forward to Keijo! =D

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Right now I’m happy and healthy. I worked out the geography map for my fictional story and I’m soon going to celebrate my Niece’s first birthday. =)

My art is going swimmingly well. I recently adopted the colouring and highlighting style from the New Game! anime and because of this I’m liking my art much more, which I didn’t think was possible.

I am taking a rest from my drawing for now as I’m getting rheumatism in my fingers which means that I’m working too hard. It’s a sign that I need to rest.

I’m getting quite a following on DeviantArt and Pixiv and I feel touched by this. It means that my followers are enjoying my work and that makes me extra happy. =)

 

Thanks for reading. =)

Ryan.^^/

Art Projects

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I’m really enjoying my art as of late and I feel as though I’m getting better with each picture that I produce. Recently, I drew a picture of Freya from Danmachi and I’m very happy with how it ended up. It turned out really well because I chose to go back to the basics with my approach to both the colouring and shading styles. I feel that because I went back to the basics, it ended up being much more effective than I anticipated.

 

Subconsciously I think I put myself under unnecessary pressure to finish my illustrations as quickly as I can and that did take away some of the enjoying from the artistic journey.  I took a step back upon my Freya picture and realised this so I told myself to slow down and when the pictures are ready to be complete, they will be complete.

 

Lately I’ve been doing these artistic projects where I’m drawing characters and sceneries for my family members. I’m enjoying doing projects for other people as it makes a nice change of pace but I don’t think I’m up for doing commissions for people that I don’t know just yet. Will my requested art meet their expectations? Will I be on a time limit? Anxious thoughts entered my head, especially regarding the time issue, so I always end up declining to avoid those self-pressure situations.

 

I think if I’m reassured that I can take my time with a project than I can probably do it and do it well. So, if anyone has a suggestion or if they have a picture that they’d like to see, just give me a shout. =)

 

Here is the list of My 8 Current Art in the Works

  • Claire Harvey (Hundred) – I’m attempting a 3D-ish type of colouring of Claire. Nothing really inspired me to give this a go, I just fancied a go. =D
  • Mi-Chan (High School Fleet) – I started this picture around the same time as Freya so the colouring and shading style will be more or less the same but with a background. =)
  • Saitama and Fubuki (One Punch Man) – I’m in the midst of doing a funny but affectionate dating scene between Saitama and Fubuki. I keep on laughing every time I focus on drawing this. XD
  • Atago (KanColle) – Atago at the beach. Originally I was going to use Galko-Chan in this summer scene but I saw this as an opportunity to draw Atago as I always wanted to draw her. =)
  • Fubuki (KanColle), Renge (Non Non Biyori) and Stera and Lotte (Atelier Shallie) – I’m doing a crossover to celebrate the fact that I earned my first ever Platinum Trophy on the PlayStation network. =D
  • Ikumi Mito (Food Wars!) – I really like Ikumi and it’s always fun to draw her, especially when she blushes.
  • Arnice and Lillysse (Nights of Azure) – I’m really enjoying playing the Nights of Azure game and I suddenly had the urge to draw these two girls. =)
  • Hotaru (Non Non Biyori), Wiz (KonoSuba) and Kirin (The Asterisk War) – A night scene with the girls and fireflies. I’m very excited about this one. =)

 

Thanks for Reading. =)

Ryan.^^/

My 2016 So Far

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Happy New Year everyone.^^/

 

2016 has been good to me. I already like it more than 2015. I have lots of exciting things planned and I’m currently in the midst of doing those exciting things too.

 

My Story

My ultimate goal this year is to publish my story on Kindle. I’ve been reading a few children’s stories recently as part of my research and it has helped me a lot. I’ve completed many drafts but now it’s nearly finished. I’m nervous but excited about the prospect of self-publishing my very own story. =)

 

I also have a fantasy story in the pipeline but that is a humongous project and I won’t complete it anytime soon. I’m especially excited about that.

 

My Art

I’m continuing to upload my works on Deviant Art but I recently created an account at Pixiv.net. Pixiv, as far as I can tell, is like Japan’s version of Deviant Art but it seems that all the art on there is anime and manga orientated, where Deviant Art is all styles of art.

 

I’ve joined Pixiv around the New Year and so far my art has been very well received. I’ve been getting plenty of nice and encouraging ratings, bookmarks and even sticker comments. I’ve gained 5 followers in the process too. It makes me happy knowing that people like what I draw. =)

 

Speaking of drawing, I have a few drawing ideas. I’m planning to draw and create my own avatar/profile picture and/or a banner/wallpaper for my profiles for my Twitter page[1], my DeviantArt[2], my Pixiv[3], my MyAnimeList[4] and potentially for my Instagram[5].

 

I have a Tumblr too but I’m considering of deactivating that account as I’ve never really been on it.

 

I’m planning on drawing a simple face portrait of Alice Nakiri from Food Wars! for my Avatars. I can’t decide if I should use Alice Nakiri for all of my Social Media Avatars or if I should use just use it for a selected.

 

For my banner I’m planning on including a few characters; Cerea from Monster Musume, the four girls from Non Non Biyori, Ouka Ohtori from Anti-Magic Academy 35th Test Platoon, Mai Kawakami from Myriad Colors Phantom World and Kyouka Kagamin from Dragons Rioting. I have a good idea how the picture will look.

 

I recently practiced sketching Mai Kawakami so I can get used to drawing her. It took me a day but it was worth it as drawing her was a lot of fun. You can find the link just below if you’re interested to have a look. =)

 

Mai Kawakami Practice Inking

 

Yoga / Pilates

My first Yoga session this year was with a lady called Becky. It was the first time that I participated in her yoga class but I very much enjoyed it. I usually struggle with sudden new faces but I really enjoyed it as the session was calm and relaxing.

 

I tried Pilates for the first time the other week after hearing that it’s very similar to Yoga. The Pilates class that I attended was not really enjoyable. There were lots of people around and the atmosphere was energetic, which I didn’t like. I was in agony a few days after the class to the point where it hurt to move. Haha.

 

I think after practising Yoga for many years I’ve come to appreciate the philosophy behind Yoga. I now prefer the quiet relaxing atmosphere and the calming of the mind rather than fast determined workouts. I can’t say that I’ve disliked Pilates as I’ve only tried it once, but I will try another class next week and see how I feel about it afterwards.

 

I may even try Rock Climbing, but I will see how I feel!

 

Kitacon 2016

I have bought a VIP ticket to attend Kitacon 2016. =) Kitacon 2015 was one of the biggest experiences in my life and I think this year’s Kitacon will be just as important.

 

I’m a bit nervous about it as it will mean spending time away from home again and potentially socialising with people who I’ve never met before in a very big building. I do have experience what it’s like and there will be things that I will do and won’t do again.

 

I intend to take lots of photos of Cosplayers as last year’s Cosplayers were awesome. I have no doubt they will be just as awesome this year. I even have plans of cosplaying as a certain person that went down well with a group of friends last year. Can you guess who I’m considering dressing up as? 🙂

 

I will worry and get anxious about this so the best thing for me to do right now is to not think about it and deal with it when April comes.

 

Anime Winter 2016

There was plenty of Anime for me to look forward to in 2015 but at this moment in time there hasn’t really been an Anime this year that has captured my interest.

I am watching two anime from this season’s line-up.

Myriad Colors Phantom World: I’m enjoying this so far. I think it’s funny and entertaining. All the girls are cute and have cool abilities. I especially like it how Reina eats up the rogue spirit people and how the battles conclude. The limbo challenge was fun to watch but it also shows that you don’t need to beat people up to win a battle. I thought that was rather cool and I will definitely watch this on a weekly basis. =)

Dagashi Kashi: What I liked about this show is that the background art and atmosphere reminds me a lot of Non Non Biyori, especially as Coconuts own a Candy Shop. =D I find it to be very eccentric and funny, especially Hotaru’s antics. Dagashi Kashi is completely different than Non Non Biyori plot wise, but like Non Non I think it will be very easy to watch and I think I will grow to like it. =)

 

THANKS FOR READING

I’ve been really enjoying myself so far and I’m especially proud as I’ve recently completed the illustration of Kirin Toudou, which you can see right at the top of the page. I feel that it’s definitely one of my best recent ones as it’s vibrant and colourful. I think I’m getting better at drawing as times goes by. For now, I will take a somewhat rest from drawing. It won’t be a long rest though. =)

 

I will now take it easy as unfortunately I caught a bug again after recovering after Christmas. I feel a bit dizzy and I have been coughing quite a lot but I’m not feeling sorry for myself as I am just watching Non Non Biyori and other anime that I’m catching up on. =)

 

I hope 2016 has been treating you all kindly.^^/

Ryan.

[1] My Twitter Page

[2] My DeviantArt Page

[3] My Pixiv Page

[4] My MyAnimeList Page

[5] My Instagram Page

My 2015 Highlights

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It’s really amazing how time flies. It took me a while to get used to the fact that we were in 2015, and now, as quick as that, 2016 is only a day away.

 

To commemorate New Year’s Eve, I will share with you my personal highlights of this year. There were plenty of them but for now I’m listing only the few that came to mind.

 

My Website – Going viral

For many years I thought about owning my own website but I was always insecure about putting my face and artistic works out there. I was concerned of being made fun of and getting harsh criticism.

Cutting a long story short, one day I broke down that barrier. Now, as well as blogging about various things I own my very own website, my own photo gallery, my own Instagram page, and even opening up a Deviant Art account.

Since going past that barrier I’ve been gaining nothing but confidence and I feel like I keep on improving on my art due to my confidence and motivation.

I’m especially proud of my Ayane fan art from the manga, Dragons Rioting. Tsuyoshi Watanabe, the author of Dragons Rioting, actually liked one of my Ayane fanarts on Twitter! That was a very proud and significant moment in my life. It’s like a couple of years ago when I received a personal message from Britt Allcroft. =)

 

A New Yoga Venue

I used to go to a regular yoga class with my sister but this year I went to a completely new venue/class. Not only did I go to a new yoga venue but I went on my own with no support. Now, I’m a regular at lotusflower. Sometimes I even stay behind at times for a lovely peppermint tea or accidentally drinking someone else’s. Haha!

 

I feel that I’ve improved on my breathing and poses but more importantly, I’ve opened myself up more to the regulars who also go to the same class as me, especially to my teacher. It probably doesn’t seem much but it’s definitely a big deal, especially when I find social situations challenging. =)

 

Passport

This was quite a big issue for me. On the pamphlet it says that I could take someone with me to the interview for support. However, when I got there, the passport people said that having someone with me during the interview was not allowed.

This did distress me as I felt misled. However, I coped very well under stress and pressure and answered all the lady’s questions rationally and truthfully. I think she knew I was genuine as I received my passport within three days! =D

 

Kitacon 2015

This was probably my personal highlight this year. In 2014 I stayed in a hotel in London and that was daunting. But this year I stayed at the Hilton Hotel in Birmingham to participate in Kitacon for two nights and three days.

I would say that this was my first official holiday and probably only the second occasion where I slept in an unfamiliar place. Kitacon was challenging for many, many reasons. There were highs and lows. The highs was talking with random people as well as friends, and, taking photos of people in their cosplay outfits. The lowest part was the hentai panel.

I would say that that was one of my most difficult experiences as I came away feeling sick, nauseous, dizzy and light headed. It was very loud and I was stuck right in the middle of the rowdy crowd. It’s something that I will definitely not want to experience again.

However, even during these low points in my life, I still coped. If I were to go to Kitacon again I would have to think about it very carefully.

 

Summer House

For many, many years I yearned to have a little summer house in my garden. I wanted to be like Roald Dahl and write and draw and generally be creative in my own little house. That very thing happened this year and I was very, very happy. I still have to pinch myself now that I have my very own house to call my own. I haven’t been out in it recently due to the weather but it will be resolved once I get a heater in there. Haha.

Due to affection and for the sake of making an Alan Partridge reference, my summer house is now known as the ‘Business Centre.’ Haha! Now, I just need to wait when spring and summer comes and then I will be able to have my own flower baskets. =)

 

My Niece – Lucy

Family wise, this is definitely among my highlights. I did wonder if becoming an uncle would be life changing and a daunting task, but in all honesty, it’s not as bad as I thought it was going to be.

I’m seeing her a lot more than I thought I would and it’s worth giving up some of my free time to watch over her. I took her for a walk at Pennington Flash (Country Park) and went with her to Bents Garden Centre.

At three months old she’s now smiling and giving out cute little giggles. It’s a massive bonus that she enjoys watching football and Only Fools and Horses!

 

Halloween Gathering

I went to a Halloween gathering for board games and I dressed up as the wrestler, Sting. This was definitely a cool moment as I tried everything I could to make myself a carbon copy of Sting. I like to think I did a good job, especially the face paint.

Playing the board games was a nice change of pace, even if I don’t always understand the rules!

 

2016

 

There are a lot of things for me to look forward to next year, but most of them are just little things.

Stuff like watching my niece grow up, looking forward to the magical season of Christmas (I’m still celebrating the festive season now!). Other things include watching football on TV, yoga, decorating my summer house, spending time with my family, but most of all, my creative works.

My children’s story is very close to being finished and was only delayed as I couldn’t get it done before Christmas. However, once it’s finished I will review it once more and hopefully publish it on Kindle.

I have plenty more of art to share as well as my stories but when they are finished, you will be the first to know. =)

 

Happy New Year, everyone.^^/

Ryan.

My Current DeviantArt Experience

It’s rather weird how much I’m sharing my art over the World Wide Web. I always lacked the confidence to do so in fear that me and my art would get ridiculed. However, a few months ago, with encouragement from my family, I created a DeviantArt account with the view to share my work.

 

I’m really enjoying the experience of sharing coloured pictures as well as rough sketches. In the space of 5 months I felt a humongous confidence and enthusiasm souring through me. I always enjoyed drawing but sharing my art with the public feels like a big achievement for me personally. I suppose you could say I’ve always locked up my expression by keeping my works to myself but now I feel like I’m able to express myself freely without worrying or over-thinking.

 

After all, I never draw to be popular, I draw for enjoyment. I could literally draw for an entire day and never lose my smile. =)

 

Strangely, since opening my Deviantart account, I actually feel that I’m improving my art style. The recent illustration, Reiko Arisugawa, represents the sort of style that I’m trying to nail down in terms of colouring and inking. I really like Reiko and I like to think that I did a good job with this picture.

 

What picture am I going to complete next? I’m not entirely sure. I have a lot of drafts in the works but the problem with me is that I get so many ideas for pictures, I tend to leave some pictures unfinished and start news ones. That’s why it takes a long time for me to finish a picture. Haha.

 

I do have some pictures that are close to being finished though. At this moment in time I’m into badass anime girls wielding kickass weapons. In the final drafting stages I have one with Aiz and Ryu from Danmachi, Jurie Crotze from Atelier Shallie, Karen from Shomin Sample, Kirin from The Asterisk War and Yukina from Strike the Blood.

 

I’m not sure which one I will ink first but I will upload all them when they are complete. However, I do have other projects that I’m planning as well. I’m planning a couple of Christmas themed pictures which I’m anticipating to draw early so I can finish them on time. Haha. I even have my own personal OC character in the works. I don’t think I will complete her anytime soon though.

 

At this moment in time I will never set a deadline for any of my pictures as they will give me an unnecessary headmush, and that would never do!

 

Thanks for Reading,

Ryan.^^/

Kitacon Part Four: Day Three

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KITACON PART ONE: THE ANTICIPATION
KITACON PART TWO: DAY ONE
KITACON PART THREE: DAY TWO

  1. The Morning

I felt that the morning was quite uneasy. We checked out at 11 O’clock. I felt insecure as this meant that I was hanging around until the closing ceremony. I didn’t have anywhere to go to relax. When I read manga or chill out I like absolute silence with no one around. Unfortunately for me there was no quietness or peace.

 

In the end I decided to try and be brave and read in the lounge. A lady came over and asked if I minded if she sat next to me. I responded that I didn’t mind but in truth I really did mind. I couldn’t fully relax but I was still able to enjoy reading a few pages of Non Non Biyori.

 

  1. More Photo-Taking Cosplayers

I did keep an eye out for more photo opportunities, and I’m glad I did as I got a few more photos of cosplayers. I felt that my confidence had grown the more I talked to different people. There were at times that I said a few quirky quips that thought “oh no, why did I say that?” The things I said weren’t necessarily inappropriate but I sort of wished I had chosen a different way to say things.

Some of you may already know that I do struggle in social situations and sometimes I tend to say things without realising what I just said. Sometimes, if I want to find a meaning but don’t know the word, I would make up a word and say it. Haha… people find it funny but it can get me into trouble even though some of the things I say are not meant to be mean or nasty.

I managed to get the One Piece crew together. I asked a lady, Robin, if I could get a photo. She asked if I wanted the whole gang together, so I said yes… with subdued excitement. I waited for a good while for the whole gang to round up but it was most certainly worth the wait. I was really happy that I managed to get them together. I managed to get someone dressed as Iron Man too. My Mum likes Iron Man so I really went out of my own way to get a picture of him dressed in the Iron Man suit.

I had a lot of pleasant small talks with quite a lot of people really, Vegeta, Super Sonico, Kotori from Love Live, the One Piece crew, Tifa, I could literally go on. There were so many people that I talked to. Because I interacted with different people I found that I was able to form my words more coherently.

 

I also learned something interesting when I got back home. I had posed for a photo in my Batman outfit with Harley Quinn. I then discovered when I got home that she is actually Rayi, an infamous cosplayer. She has her own Facebook page and DeviantArt Page. I did feel daft for not knowing who she was. However, I’m really happy because I can say to my friends and family that I actually spoken to and had a photo with Rayi. =)

 

  1. How to Draw a Manga with Sonia Leong

The event panel that I was looking forward to was the drawing workshop with Sonia Leong.  I came to learn during the workshop that Sonia is actually an infamous manga artist in the UK. Her works spreads throughout the UK and she has been drawing for many years.

 

I really enjoyed her workshop and I felt really relaxed. The atmosphere was really chilled and positive. It reminded me of the yoga class that I attend on a weekly basis. I think it’s because drawing was the only thing that I can relate to and that I am interested in. There were quite a few tips that I already knew but I still learnt a lot by watching her draw first hand. She’s a very good artist. Not only that, she’s a very nice down-to-earth person who is a social butterfly. Her workshop was very detailed, but not complicated. That’s my kind of learning. =)

 

I was determined to speak with her but there were a good number of people who were speaking with her so it was hard to get a word in. In the end, I decided to go off and come back later to see if I could. I managed to speak with her in the end and she really is a nice person. We spoke about the relationship of characters and how we implement real life into a fantasy story. I never planned to say more than a few words but I felt encouraged to say more. I was confident that I could speak without being judged.

 

In the end more people came and kept on finding pauses in our conversation to say their bit. I’m too polite for my own good so it was easy for people to talk over me and interrupt.

 

I wanted to say goodbye to Sonia and shake her hand, but it looked like that I had to wait longer. So, I decided to be bold and found a pause when the lady next to me stopped talking and asked Sonia if I could shake her hand. She obliged and I shook her hand and walked away. I felt that it was rude of me to do that but Sonia is a very popular lady so I had to be a little bold and a little rude otherwise there might not have been another good opportunity.

 

I don’t usually shake people’s hands as it’s not my style but for some reason it felt appropriate, so I did. =)

 

  1. Closing Ceremony

Day 3 was generally chilled as Days 1 and 2 were more active.

I didn’t really fancy going to the closing ceremony as I wanted to go home at that point. I did appreciate the positive atmosphere in the air but in truth I wanted to go home and I didn’t want to get involved in any more big crowded situations.

I found that the journey home was much better than the journey to Birmingham. I went to Kitacon with plenty of anxious thoughts and not really knowing what I was getting myself in to. However, I knew exactly what to expect when I travelled home.

 

  1. My Overall Thoughts

If I were to describe my time at Kitacon I would say that it was a surreal experience. It was like I was dreaming for many days and then one day I woke up and I was back in my own bed. Haha.

I have never experienced anything like it in my life. If you were to tell me that I was going to rave, in a night club, amongst a humongous live crowd with extremely loud music, I wouldn’t believe you. I thought that was actually ok to do as I mostly hung out with Bro and my new friends in the corner, out of the way of the big crowd.

I did think that my confidence in talking to people did grow, bit by bit, especially when I was taking photos. I always told myself that I was going to take photos but when I arrived at the hotel I felt somewhat scared that I was going to do it. I got over the barrier by taking my first photo of Hestia. It became easier after that. Everyone there was approachable and friendly and chatty and I really do appreciate the fact that they took their time to pose for my photos. I also appreciate getting to know my friends more and in the process gaining new friends. Of course, I also appreciate my Bro and Sarah for trying to make my time at Kitacon as comfortable as possible.

My social skills were shaky at times but I think I outdid myself.

I’m always mindful to catch the cosplayers at good moments. I was sure not to ask to take their photos if they were part of a cue or if they were running to a certain destination. I would have liked to be more creative and have more creative shots and backgrounds but in those moments it was wise to do it there and then. My most creative shot was Vegeta because I caught this nice chap at a good moment.

By what I’ve observed I get the sense that everyone generally preferred to stay in their own social circles rather than branch out and talk to new people. However, that didn’t stop them from being friendly towards me and I got the sense that they were generally appreciative of me taking their pictures.

I went through many mixed emotions, but my headaches and dizziness were the most prominent as I literally had a headache since I got there. That’s mostly because of the loud noise of the music and crowd and from the over-whelming experience of being in an unfamiliar environment.

 

5.1.            My Personal Highlights

  • Mario Kart Tournament
  • Dealers room
  • Interacting with Bro, Sarah and all my current and new friends
  • All the friendly cosplayers
  • Drawing Workshop with Sonia Leong
  • Listening and watching Non Non Biyori… Non Non never fails to cheer me up and it may seem strange to say this, but Non Non Biyori always somehow reminds me of home.
  • Eating food
  • My Hotel Room

 

  1. What I learned about myself

I learnt, as I always do, that things are not as bad as I imagined them to be, like that time when I went to London. No matter how irrational or how sick or how dizzy I get I can always cope. I never allow myself to be broken no matter how down I feel about myself. I can always cheer myself up. I never feel sorry for myself. In conclusion, I’m probably much stronger than I realise.

I also learned that I’m much better at talking to people than I realised, all I needed was a bit of a confidence. I also found that by not planning conversations in advance I can actually talk to people better. It’s all about talking in the present moment and that tactic worked very well in my favour.

 

  1. Would I Go Again?

I don’t even want to think about that right now. I just want to spend some time to myself, chill out with my family and get back into my normal routine.

At this moment I don’t know if I would go again. As soon as I got back I thought “I won’t necessarily go again” and in some ways I’m sort of sticking with that rule.

But, after digesting the whole experience after a couple of days it was actually a fun convention. I have a rough idea as to what will happen next year and I have a good idea at what I will do the next time that I go/if I go.

Next time I would probably come down on Friday and leave on a Sunday morning. I would also extend the time for my room so I am able to go up there to get my own space. Chill out more as I feel that I tried too hard to talk to people and participate in the Kitacon experience. I put too much pressure on myself and I was already under-going many anxious feelings, so next time I would plan my time better and not put myself under so much pressure.

I also may buy a VIP badge for next time as I like the sound of being a Very Important Person. Haha.

One thing I would definitely change though… my I.D. name! Honestly, being called “SirRyanFalstaff” was really embarrassing. What identity should I be? If you have a suggestion please do share.

 

THANKS FOR READING

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There were at times where I just wanted to run away and call home but I sort of willed myself to try and look on the bright side. The first time I slept away from home was last year in London but this was the first time that I spent three days away from home. I was also surrounded by many, many people who I have never met before. It’s all a completely new experience to me.

Even though I don’t think rational in new and unfamiliar situations I prove to myself time and time again that I can cope. That in itself is the biggest achievement of my Kitacon Experience.

 

Ryan.^^/