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.^^/

Negativity to Positivity: Epiphany

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I think its human nature to get down in the dumps sometimes, and it’s happened to the best of us. It happens to me from time to time, especially when I’m tired or whenever I’m anticipating the thought of socialising with people.

Sometimes when I think about going out, it can trigger negative emotions in me. However, just because you feel sad or think sad doesn’t mean you should succumb to it. I can stop it, not by fighting those feelings, but rather, override them with the positives. And when I do, I end up feeling much better.

At the beginning of the year I had a throat and a chest infection. It was really bad and I had it for weeks. I couldn’t move, I couldn’t eat, I couldn’t read or go on the laptop as it made me feel dizzy, I felt constantly sick and I couldn’t talk without coughing. All I could do was lie down. It wasn’t a very pleasant experience and it was the worst I had felt in years.

I didn’t like feeling sorry for myself so I ended up willing myself to draw. ‘One little sketch couldn’t hurt’ I thought… I ended up doing back to back drawings and actually completed a full length comic based on the DanMachi series. It was the first ever doujin (fanmade comic) I’ve ever completed. I was really happy and fulfilled with my comic and additional art and gradually, I felt myself getting better because I was ignoring my illness and indulging in my own happiness.

Since my recovery I achieved a number of other personal goals too.

I suddenly had the urge to re-write my first children’s picture book and I completed it in a single day. I’m really happy with it and I feel that it’s much better than ever before. It’s now currently in the editing stage where I’m getting the opinion of family and friends alike before publishing it on Kindle. =)

The other big achievement for me is that one of my pictures was featured in the Kitacon Karnival booklet this year. My brother encouraged me to email the picture over to them and I thought “why not?” so I submitted a picture of Kirin Toudou from The Asterisk War anime and to my surprise and delight it was in that book! =D This year’s Kitacon convention was good and I enjoyed it more than last year as I managed to be brave and speak to more people.

There has been lot of good things that has happened to. I cooked eggs benedict based on Erina’s recipe from the Food Wars anime, getting my first ever platinum trophy which I achieved on the Atelier Shallie game, creating a YouTube Vlog channel about Football and most recently I received a like on a Twitter post from the one and only Alan Shearer… that truly was a heart-stopping moment. =D

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What I’m trying to say really is that you can take the positives from the negatives, even when you are really ill. I took one positive from the time when I wasn’t in the mood to think positive and it has led to a lot of wonderful things, especially new and fresh ideas for my book which is especially important.

I will always get anxious whenever I’m about to go out as it’s an instant emotion that takes over me, but I will always claim my mind back as I should be able to think what I want, and feel how I want.

Anyway, this is the strategy that works for me and I thought I’d just share it. Now, I’m going to go and draw and make a start on my Birthday list. =)

 

Thanks for Reading,

Ryan.

Kitacon Karnival Experience: Part Two

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(Kitacon Karnival Experience: Part One)

  1. BAD START TO THE DAY

The morning was not the perfect start to the day, for many reasons. I woke up late for breakfast as my alarm didn’t go off. I also accidentally yanked off my golden wristband. I was trying to adjust it as it was giving my wrist a bit of a rash. When it came off I was like “is it really that important?” and threw it in the bin. It turns out, as I found out later, it was VERY important. I wasn’t allowed in the dealer’s room so I had to go back upstairs and retrieve it from the bin…

Then, when I went to the game’s room the crew spotted that my wristband was *cough* damaged. Zen guided me to Ops where the crew gave me a replacement. After all this I decided to go back to my room to unwind where I learned there and then that I accidentally locked myself out of the room. I left my keys inside. It just so happens that my brother had a second key.

I did feel embarrassed at my own clumsiness so I decided to spend a while in my room to chill out for a bit.

  1. DAY TWO at the KITACON and STREET FIGHTER TOURNAMENT

I spent the rest of the day mostly talking to cosplayers and taking photos. I found them all pleasant to talk to but my confidence was a little bit shaky.

Socialising is still a big learning curve for me but I feel like I’m able to read situations better than ever and gauge people’s reactions slightly better than I did the year before. I think on this day in particular I probably did put myself under unnecessary pressure to socialise and I think my approach to some conversations did come across as unnatural and nervy. Luckily all the cosplayers are very nice and understanding of each other, even though we don’t necessarily know each other all that well. That’s the kind of vibe that I get from everyone. It’s that kind of atmosphere.

At one point during the day I did feel like I’d had enough and felt I would rather be at home. But, I still tried to make the most of it whilst I was there and told myself that I was going to be more active in the evening and see what happens.

Later on I took part in the Street Fighter V Tournament despite the fact that I’ve never played the game before. I was never in it to win I just wanted to play the game as I thought it would be a lot of fun.

  1. THE MASQUERADE and the PARTY

The Masquerade was a daunting experience and it was the first ever masquerade I had ever been to. I was extremely thankful that I got a VIP badge as I was allowed front row access right on the side so I could disappear anytime if it got too overwhelming. I found that reassuring. The atmosphere was not as loud and energetic as I thought it was going to be, instead it was just cheers and clapping and I don’t mind that so much as we’re supporting the cosplayers on stage.

I did my utmost best to get as many pictures as I could but everything was happening rather quickly and unfortunately I didn’t manage to take as many photos as I would have liked. I was disappointed but I did the best I could. It went on for quite a while and I did enjoy it but I think it ended at the right time, at least for me personally, as I can’t really be in a room in a large crowd for too long.

I went to my room to have a long rest after the event was done.

A couple of hours later I found my brother and good chum Chris and we danced in the party. I liked the party on the second day more than I did on the first day and I felt that it was because I was hanging around with a group whom I was familiar with whilst interacting with new people at the same time.

I spoke to a very nice lady. I think she’s a very interesting person and I enjoyed talking to her. It felt natural and I felt comfortable, a couple of years ago I might have made a polite excuse to go away from an impromptu conversation. Instead, I braved it and spoke to her. =)

I was also part of that humongous conger line and I was near the front, right behind the person who was videoing it with her camera phone. The best part of the conger line was that a Stormtrooper was right behind me. =D That conger line was fun and when it finished I decided that it would be a good time to leave and go to bed. I was in a good mood but I still had a very bad headache. If I left now, it would be on a high.

So I did.

  1. LAST DAY

It was nice and calming on the last day even though I did feel very ill in my head and body. I think because I had been speaking to so many people over the last couple of days, I felt the energy was zapping away from me. It was the right time to go home.

I did manage to take some more pictures on the last day but I wasn’t feeling as energetic as I had been, but I think most people were probably feeling the same.

OVERALL

It was a very good experience and probably one of the best experiences I’ve ever had in my life. I think this Kitacon was a lot better than last year’s Kitacon and I think it helped that I had prior experience and that there was not as many people this time around.

I’m always going to be ill and be faint in huge crowds and socialising with people but I can will myself to ignore the negative emotions and enjoy the good times that were presented to me. I had the courage to speak to more people this year than I did last year and I even managed two parties in a row.

I had some good moments and some rather bad moments but everything I did was a big fun learning curve and I’m really glad that I went. I’m growing in confidence year by year and I’m learning to be comfortable with new people as well as with my current friends.

I’m also learning not to put unnecessary pressure on myself as things will happen naturally if you live in the moment rather than plan the future.

WILL I GO TO NEXT YEAR’S KITACON?

I’m not sure. There are more positives than negatives about this year’s Kitacon, for me, so I do feel more encouraged to go than not to go. But, I still don’t like planning or thinking too hard about it as I will feel apprehensive.

 

Thanks a bunch for reading, I’ll see you next time. =)

Ryan^^/

Kitacon Karnival Experience: Part One

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(Kitacon Karnival Experience: Part Two)

  1. LAST YEAR

I first went to Kitacon last year so I had a rough idea what it would be like this year. Big events like this can be tough and challenging for me due to my autism. This means that I tend to get overwhelmed in huge crowds, meeting new people in unfamiliar surroundings and loud noise. It was a shock to my system when I first went to Kitacon to the point where I went for long periods of time feeling faint and dizzy. I sometimes felt that I couldn’t think or move properly whenever I went to panels or spoke to new people.

I experienced a lot of highs and lows last year and admittedly I was anxious about going to this one.

  1. THE ANTICIPATION

In the end, after much discussion with my brother and my family, I decided that I wanted to go. Last year I think I put too much pressure on myself and tried too hard to experience everything about Kitacon rather than doing what I wanted to do.

When it comes to big events or social gatherings like Kitacon I will always feel faint, dizzy and suffer many headaches due to the stress of meeting new people and socialising. I’m very self-aware of who I am and I’m no longer ashamed of what I am. I will always suffer from these quirks but I’m able to cope and subdue the negative emotions that I often experience. Even if I do feel ill at certain moments I can still enjoy the times that’s given to me and think positive. =)

  1. FIRST DAY AT KITACON

I settled in the building much better than I did last year, and it helped a great deal that I got the same room from last year too. I got into the Kitacon spirit quite well. I knew that my art was going to feature in the Kitacon book but I submitted two back in January and I was not sure which one was going to feature. It was my illustration of Kirin from The Asterisk War anime. It was a really exciting moment when I saw the picture in the programme for the first time. It was a humongous achievement for me and I was excited at the prospect that a lot of people from Kitacon were going to see it. That book is definitely a special souvenir. =)

The uneasiness that I felt for obvious reasons suddenly faded to the back of my mind and I then had the confidence to go round and take photos of cosplayers in their amazing outfits. I was more confident at taking people’s pictures this year. I still had to prepare myself mentally to ask their permission but it was much easier to approach them. They were all friendly and I managed to make small conversations with some of them. This lifted my spirits and my confidence went even higher and I like to think that I was able to speak to so many people because of my photography. Taking photographs was the perfect icebreaker for me otherwise I don’t think I would have the courage to speak to anyone at all.

There were some panels that I didn’t enjoy last year, namely the Hentai Panel, because it was so crowded it made me feel unwell so I decided to leave. I decided to give the Yuri Panel a try but I was a little bit anxious about that panel as I anticipated it was going to be like the Hentai Panel from last year. Surprisingly, I really enjoyed it. The two ladies spoke about the concept of Yuri, played a few clips and showed a few photos of female couples, including Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy. There were some very risqué photos and clips but it didn’t overwhelm me once and I think it helped that I sat right in the corner near the back so I could “escape” anytime but luckily there was no need to “=)

I was nearly tempted to go to the Burlesque show but by this time I felt that I needed a rest from socialising and big crowds and I went back up to my room for a couple of hours to be on my own in the peace and quiet.

After some respite I went to the party with my brother to dance to the loud music. I didn’t really enjoy it this time around as my body started to feel light and I was suffering with a really bad headache. I was really quite ill by this point so I left the party early to go to bed.

I didn’t particularly have a good night, I was restless for stress related reasons and for the sheer fact that I was sleeping in a bed that wasn’t my own. However, I wasn’t as homesick as I was last year and that was a humongous positive. The other positive so far was that I get to spend some more time with my niece as this was her first ever holiday away from home and I can say that I was part of that. =)

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Thanks for reading, stay tuned for part two. =)

Ryan^^/