March Updates

Pre-Natal Class Picture

Hello.

Many good things are happening lately and here we are now in the third week of March. It feels as though everything is happening in such a short space of time, especially art wise. This is an exciting time for my art journey. =D

Sadly I did lose a lot of steam and I’m still ill as of now, it’s one of the reasons why I decided to not accept any more requests until April. It still hurts to talk and I was unable to vlog fantasy football for the past couple of weeks. Thankfully I’m not as bad as I was, if I keep disciplined and continue to relax I should be better sooner than later. Admittedly I never like to rest, I always like to keep busy and work from morning till night. That’s not working for me so I gave myself cutting off points to chill out a bit before bed.

I drew a picture for a dear friend of mine who is also my Yogi teacher. She asked me to draw her Pre-Natal class, I said yes and gave it a go. I don’t usually draw real life people but I worked hard at it. It’s taken me a month or so to do but she loves it and that makes me happy. =)

Ever since I finished drawing my Elf Goddess Gaia I’ve been coming up with many ideas for future manga/comic/stories etc that surrounds her. I don’t have a strong foundation for a story I just visualise her beating the stuffing out of evil myriads. For that reason it will probably work better as a manga but in truth I’m still not sure.

I won’t think too hard about it. For now I’m just happy that I managed to draw a colourful picture of her but if a story comes out of it, that’ll be a marvellous bonus. =)

 

Thanks for reading,

Ryan.^^/

My 2017 Goals

It’s a new start to a new year and I have a mind-set that’s fresh and clear. I’m already feeling positive vibes from 2017 and I’m well underway with my goals for this year.

 

Socialising and Going Out

A lot has happened throughout my life. I always struggle with crowds but things are becoming easier overtime, especially with my new mind-set. I’ve accepted my weaknesses and limitations now but I persevere when I need to, both for myself and for everyone else. Despite my anxiety going out I do feel that I’m actually a people’s person and I often find myself putting everyone’s feelings ahead of my own.

I will try to go out more but only under the right circumstances. It’s all about dealing with each moment when it’s presented to me rather than analyse possible future events.

 

My Stories

For years I’ve been writing and making amendments for my children’s story and right now its under-going another editing process. I’ve completed the first book a good number of times but it was never quite ready to be published. As a result I’ve often lost motivation and lacked ideas to change. However, this is definitely the most successful editing process I’ve ever done for this story.

I’ve polished my writing style and grammar-correcting a lot and I have to thank reading different manga and light novels for that. The only materials I can read are manga and light novels but it really does go to show that no matter what genre you read, reading makes you grow as a writer.

 

Anime Art

I’ve changed my attitude and approach to my anime art and decided to take extra time to complete each art successfully. Last year I did get in the unfortunate habit of putting a time limit on each picture. Now I have the philosophy of illustrating at my own pace which goes hand in hand with my new mind-set for this year. You could say it’s a new beginning with a better approach and from now on I will emphasize quality over quantity.

 

My Current Works in Progress

-Requests (I’m undertaking around 10 requests and nearly completed 1)

-New Game! (This is a comic style landscape that features Aoba and Hifumi)

-Gaia: Mother Goddess (a more refined version of my own character, Gaia the Elf Goddess)

-Darkness (a single portrait of the masochist knight that could feature a few versions in different clothes)

-Valentine’s Day picture (to be revealed)

-Ai-Chan (going to attempt to shade Ai-Chan in the blue chrome shading style and see how I get on)

-Keijo x One Punch Man Comic (a crossover comic that is set in the One Punch Man universe but stars Nozomi and Non from Keijo)

 

I’m enjoying all these drawings right now and I can’t wait to see how they turn out in the end. 2017 will be a great year. =)

 

Thanks for reading. =)

Ryan.^^/

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.^^/

Wii U Cinema Adventure

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This morning was a very unique experience. To celebrate my Brother’s 30th birthday he has hired a Cinema venue for a couple of hours to play Wii U games on one of the gigantic screens. =D Apparently this was the first ever time that someone has hired a Cinema screening to play Wii U games on.

The anticipation did get to me and that resulted in me losing some sleep last night wondering what was going to happen and over-analysing. Because I was nervous I started to think irrationally but eventually I managed to tell myself “pull yourself together.” Nothing has happened yet so it’s pointless to imagine scenes and picture the worst case scenario. Just go in there with a positive mind, and that’s what happened.

I went there with a small group of friends and family and we started to play the Wii U. I noticed the huge difference playing games on a small TV than playing games on a huge screen. Cinema screenings are usually filled with people but on this occasion there were only the 7 of us so I’m willing to go as far as say that this was the best filming experience ever… except, we were playing games rather than watching a film. Haha.

I tried to be a little more chatty this time around but sometimes I stayed quiet, unsure what to say so I just played the games. We played Nintendo Land and Mario Kart. I was very rusty. I wasn’t so good to begin with but I was even worse today. Not that I mind though, it was good fun and a brilliant experience.

I keep mentioning about my epiphany from months ago but it’s proving to be diffidence in my current positive way of thinking. Plus, I didn’t get trapped in the toilet this time so that’s a big bonus!

We played for two hours and it was a very good change of pace, but even so I did somewhat reached my limit because I started to get some blankess in my head. The blankness in my head usually indicates where I’ve been out for too long but it had nothing to do with the event itself. My enjoyment for the event was slightly greater so I tried to ignore the headache and just try to make the most of it.

After having fun whilst being somewhat out of my comfort zone I can relax with a nice hot chocolate. =)

Speaking of comfort zones, something completely off topic, I babysat my young niece the other day which was a bit spur of the moment. Usually I do struggle with “last minute” situations as I like routine but luckily this time around I managed to gather my thoughts and babysat her with Mum until my Brother came home.^^/

Positive thinking really does help a bundle and it’s a bonus when you go out for the sake of having fun. =)

 

Thanks for Reading. =)

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.^^/

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

*

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.

Recovering

Hi everyone.^^/

 

Usually when I’m under the weather I get the odd cold here and there, especially around Christmas. However, I’ve recently been under the curse of both a throat infection and a chest infection.

 

I’ve felt rather sick to the point where I felt dizzy when I was reading text and walking around the house. I’ve been chilling these last few weeks by watching stuff on TV. I’ve been watching Disney Films, White Chicks, Football, Marvel films, Jessica Jones, Only Fools and Horses and anime.

 

I do think I am on the mend as my appetite for food is gradually coming back and I can read text for longer periods. I can even draw on my tablet now a little bit which I’m very happy about. Not being able to draw or write did make me rather unhappy. To compromise I drew on paper for a couple of days, and I spent half an hour last night drawing Alice Nakiri from Food Wars! on the tablet. It turned out really good and I intend to use that Alice picture to be my profile picture on websites like MyAnimeList and Pixiv.

 

I still do have a few dizzy spells and coughing fits here and there but I just need to remember to take it easy. I’m not the type who likes to just chill out as I like to keep myself busy. Sometimes though you have to adapt to situations and in my case I had to do nothing in order to get better, and as of right now, I’m still recovering.

 

Right now I’m going to go and watch the latest episode of Dagashi Kashi and then watch Non Non Biyori back to back. =)

 

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.^^/

Kitacon Part Three: Day Two

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KITACON PART ONE: THE ANTICIPATION

KITACON PART TWO: DAY ONE

KITACON PART FOUR: DAY THREE

 

  1. Building a Mecha

I didn’t really get much sleep. I set my alarm for the breakfast time as I was aware that I was taking part in the Build a Mecha Challenge. However, I thought that I was going to participate in that straight away and that the “breakfast time” was a guideline rather than the act of having breakfast. Haha.

 

From that point on I was over-whelmed. I was extremely confused and everything that my brother told me completely went over my head. I wasn’t being rude I just could not digest what he was saying. I think I’m honest when I say that I didn’t really fancy building a mecha but it was an opportunity to socialise and get in with the action more so I decided to continue to be brave in socialising.

 

I thought we were going to build a Mecha with a certain group of friends, but I learnt, that we were building a Mecha with another group of friends. That isn’t really a problem but when something unexpected happens or something changes from my point of view, it really catches me off guard and throws me off. Just before we started to build a Mecha three of four other people joined and started to crack on with the crafting.

 

I honestly had no idea what was happening. Do I hold the sellotape so that anyone can cut at any time? How do I help out? Just stand back out of the way? Strangely enough I felt uncomfortable when those pro photographers were taking snaps of us building a mecha. I found it distracting. I was also surrounded by people who I never met before. Being crafty was not my thing and I felt inclined to let everyone else get on with it.

 

In the end I decided to rely on my own strengths, drawing. I drew a bell for the collar, I drew a banana wearing a British flag and I drew a gigantic face of a bull. One of my newest chums, Mat, provided the orange eyes to place on the bull face. =) In the process I managed to take a few good photos and managed to have a little talk with a few of my fellow team mates. The theme was the letter B so we had to attach parts to the mecha that began with b.

 

I do tend to be biased towards my own team but my personal favourite mecha was the orange neko mecha. It was cool and cute.

 

  1. Embarrassing Incidents

Unfortunate there were two. The first one involved room service.

I was in my room when I decided to chill out for a bit. Then, I heard footsteps and someone opening a door. I thought, “That sounded like my door. Perhaps it’s a lady coming into my room?” I laughed to myself. Then, I heard “Room service.” And then I thought. “Hmm, that sounded very loud actually.”

Then, I turned around and there was an actual lady walking into my room and as soon as she saw me she literally shrieked in surprise. I think she felt very awkward after that. It was a good job that I wasn’t getting changed!

Second incident… this one is especially embarrassing.

I needed to draw out some money from the cash machine so I asked my bro for directions. He pointed to where the cash machine was, which was on the wall on the other side of the room. We were sat in the lounge at the time.

Now, this is the perfect example of me not thinking rationally… I was looking in the direction that he was pointing but all I saw in front of me was a lady in front of a till. In my head, I just needed to go up to her and ask her to draw the money out. “Odd,” I thought, “I have never known to draw money out like that before.” …so I went up and asked.

The lady gave me such a frowning when I asked. When she understood what I was trying to ask she then directed to the actual cash machine on the wall. I apologised many, many times. I held my face in my hands after I walked away. I could not believe what had transpired.

I did manage to recover from that embarrassment afterwards.

 

  1. Name that Anime Tune

I had a headache already but I had high hopes for this competition. I was really confident in my knowledge of the anime genre… me, bro and Chris were not very… we didn’t do well. Overall we must have gotten something like 10 out of 120. Haha. That will teach us for not getting into bigger groups.

 

We were mostly silly with our answers but I personally did get a few answers right. It was really fun but at times mind-baffling. I recognised the tunes but couldn’t match them up with the anime shows. Haha.

 

  1. Cheering Up

There were other things that cheered me up apart from listening to and watching Non Non Biyori.

My confidence in photo-taking and socialising did grow, bit by bit. There were a few times when I posed with someone for a photo. I managed to pose for a photo with someone dressed as the Green Arrow. That was appropriate as I was dressed as Superman at that time.

At some point I got dressed as the Dark Knight and I had a photo with Harley Quinn. She was really cool and I enjoyed talking to her. I did get nervous when she slightly touched my arm to get into a pose. I used to dislike hugs or physical contact but now I’m not so bad. I can handle hugs and physical touches much better now as I bear in mind that a lot of people are tactile.

It was a really good photo in the end.

I enjoyed having small talks with a lot of people really. I didn’t realise that I was capable of having small talks, usually I talk in depth as I struggle to generalise conversations. I especially enjoyed talking to the lady dressed as Yuna. We were talking about the overall experience of Kitacon and I think she said that this was her first convention as well.

I bought a few DVDs and manga from the dealer’s room and I was definitely happy with my purchases, especially the No Game No Life novels and the Super Sonico figure. I spent about 20 minutes talking to this really nice chap about his costume and about helmets and gauntlets. I never planned to have a conversation with him, it just happened and I felt much better after that. I did feel a bit uneasy because it was the first time that I met him but the flow of the conversation felt natural because I didn’t plan what I was going to say, I just responded to what he was saying. =)

 

  1. Hentai Panel

Aha, the Hentai Panel… I wasn’t planning to attend this but I was somehow persuaded to go. Haha. I was sceptical. Was this going to be as rude as I imagined it to be? However, I was reassured that this was going to be more humorous and daft than showing erotic films.

I wore a jumper. Big mistake. I was really, really hot. Plus, the cue was humongous and we had to wait a good while in the corridor. When we got in I was guided to seat right bang in the middle of the right row of chairs. I sat between Sarah and a new person I’ve never met before. I usually like to sit on the ends so when I needed to go out to clear my head I could do that. However, I was stuck right in the middle and couldn’t move if it got too much.

There were quite a few moments that I found funny, like that girl who shot the rockets from her boobs and knees. It was rather cringing to watch but it was still humorous.

I did clench my teeth when the option of showing a rude Thomas picture did show. I was like “Oh no! They’re going to de-face Thomas!” Luckily, Thomas was never shown just other pictures of trains… I’ll leave the rest to your imagination. Haha.

If I’m honest I must say that this was probably my least favourite part of my Kitacon experience. I was uncomfortable to begin with, I had a slight headache and I didn’t really understand what was going on. I felt that the atmosphere was very rowdy and very loud and it got to the point when I felt dizzy and sick and I couldn’t really think straight. I had to leave in the end as according to eyewitnesses (my bro and friends) the colour drained from my face. Haha. I decided that that was the opportune time to get an early night, and so I did.

I was already over-whelmed by the whole Kitacon Experience and the Hentai Panel took it to another level. Haha. Of course I appreciate those who enjoyed the Hentai Panel but it wasn’t for me.

 

Hopefully I would get a good night’s sleep and sleep it all off. =)

 

Ryan.^^/

Kitacon Part Two: Day One

Hilton Hotel

KITACON PART ONE: THE ANTICIPATION

KITACON PART THREE: DAY TWO

KITACON PART FOUR: DAY THREE

 

  1. Travelling and Arrival

I didn’t really get much sleep to tell you the truth, I was extremely nervous and the anticipation did get the better of me at times, especially during the car travel. I felt sick. It was a mixture of lack of sleep, the long car drive to Birmingham and not knowing what to expect. I heard the hotel of Hilton was very well established but when I got there I was completely blown away.

 

I walked into the hotel and immediately the place was full of vibrant cosplayers and convention enthusiasts talking amongst themselves happily. I did feel claustrophobic as I didn’t know where to walk or what to do, so I just followed Bro and his partner, Sarah and trusted them. I don’t take lifts unless it’s very necessary so I took the stairs… it took me five minutes to find them so I had to ask someone for directions. It’s not often I talk to random people so that’s good for me. I tend to struggle a lot in social situations, most specifically in big crowds. I tend to feel squashed and get headaches and feel dizzy. Day one was especially quite troubling.

 

I really liked my room. I got the disabled room as I wanted to feel as comfortable as possible as really this was the first time that I was undergoing this kind of experience. The bed and room were exquisite and it did meet my needs and made me feel more relaxed, but it’s nothing compared to my own bed.

 

  1. Photo-Taking

What made me especially nervous was the thought of photo-taking cosplayers. I was incredibly anxious on a big scale. Usually I take pictures of landscapes and objects to distract myself from being scared in an unfamiliar environment. However, I’m always careful as to not take pictures of people as I don’t want to be seen as being inappropriate. However, I came to this convention with the intention of taking pictures of cosplayers. If I was really not up for it then I could at least try and pluck up the courage to take a photo of a person dressing up as Hestia if someone came as Hestia.

 

I was making my way to the lounge area with Bro and Sarah when the site of long black pigtails and blue ribbon caught my attention. Someone was dressing up as Hestia! In that sudden moment of not over-thinking I decided to be brave and ask her for a photo. So I did… my words was mumbled and jumbled up. Haha. She gave her approval and I took a picture of her. I felt scared but very relieved afterwards. I told her that I was uploading my photos on my blog site in case she wanted to look at her pictures online.

 

Once I got over that barrier I felt more confident to ask more cosplayers for their photos. I asked the two ladies who were dressed as the Mizukage and Hinata characters for their photos and I actually ended up having a little conversation with them. They were impeccably nice and I actually regret not keeping the conversation going as I was enjoying talking to them. I never anticipated that I was going to talk to them, it sort of came naturally. It seems like I can hold a conversation better when I let the words flow as oppose to planning a conversation.

 

Everyone was approachable and I actually gained more confidence as I spoke to more people. In some ways I don’t really know why I was worried about starting conversations to begin with. Everyone was friendly to talk to and I didn’t feel intimidated or uncomfortable at all. Well, I did feel uncomfortable but more due to the humongous amount of people and unfamiliar environment rather than the individuals themselves. =)

 

I did change my wording a little bit when I spoke to them. Instead of saying that I was uploading them on my site I told them that I would upload them onto Kitacon Facebook page. Its easy access and they would all be able to find their photos easier on Facebook then to try and remember my name. In hindsight I wonder if I should have made cards but realistically speaking it was probably for the best that I didn’t.

 

I’m not really a pro at photography. I just wanted to take photos for fun and to show off everyone and their amazing cosplay outfits. After all, everyone had worked really hard on their outfits.

 

  1. Mario Kart 8 Tournament

I was intrigued with the tournament but it never entered my mind to enter the competition. In the end I decided to compete. I was in the first round along with Bro, Sarah and another girl who joined later on. The first two would advance to the semi-finals. I like games but I’m not good as I’m not an avid gamer. In my mind, I was going to come last so I just sat back and tried to enjoy the experience.

To my surprise I actually went through to the semi-finals and in the process knocked out my brother! How the heck did that happen? I was really over the moon. Whatever happened after that was a bonus.

In the semi-finals I was actually on par with the elite gamers. In some of the races I was actually first. I was really out-doing myself. I couldn’t believe that I was doing so well. I was casually talking to my competitors in the process. That was fun because we were competing against each other but it was far from fierce.

My lack of experience in gaming did catch up to me as at times I kept on mistiming shell dodges and kept on flying off edges… I would have finished second overall but I did absolutely terrible on Rainbow Road. I think everyone does. Haha. In the end, I came third.

I think I did so well because I was the most chilled. Everyone else was more competitive and they were leaning forward whereas I was casually sitting at the back of my chair.

Sarah got through to the final and came third. The Splatoon man, who was racing as Wario, is very, very good. He’s also a very nice chap and I’m glad I had the opportunity to speak with him and had a photo taken with him. =)

I got a few good responses dressed as Superman. I didn’t get asked for photos but I don’t really mind that as this is an anime convention not a comic book convention. =)

 

  1. Raving

For those who know me well will know that raving, at night, in a crowd of people with extremely loud music is most definitely not my thing. However, I did have a bogey with Bro. Me and Bro took to the dancefloor. I showed off some of my own unique dance moves and at one point we were right bang in the middle of the crowd… strangely enough I felt ok-ish and I enjoyed interacting with a few peeps. They seemed like very nice people and I will look forward to speaking to them more if the opportunity arises. =)

 

If you were to tell me five years ago that I was going to rave at a party and stay in a hotel for three days I wouldn’t believe you. That was a very unique experience and I certainly will not forget that experience any time soon. That was probably the first and last ever time that I will rave. XD

 

  1. Evening

For some reason, I felt rather down as soon as I got to my room. I felt tired, jaded, confused, stressed, and anxious. I also realised at that point that I had a really bad headache. I think that was probably the only time that I had time to myself. I think if I’m honest, deep down, I wanted more time to myself. However, I was conflicted with my own thoughts. In one respect I wanted to make the most of the experience at Kitacon but on the other hand there were at times when I wanted to be completely alone.

 

It really is such a surreal experience. Being in this hotel, at this event, sleeping in my own room, it’s very weird. I had no idea what I was expecting and to be honest I still don’t really know what’s happening. I feel that it’s all too face paced and in some ways I probably exhausted myself and pushed myself too hard to socialise. The whole day was basically just catching up with me…

 

I felt much better when I started to watch Non Non Biyori Repeat on my laptop. I just kept on re-watching the opening song and I gradually felt my spirits lifted. Non Non always make me feel better whenever I am down. It cheered me up on the car journey to Birmingham and it cheered me up at this precise moment. Not only is it a therapeutic and cute story but it actually reminds me of home.

 

It was that moment that I felt comfortable for the first time since arriving at Kitacon. To begin with, Kitacon is what you make it, even if I do choose to spend the entire weekend chilling in my room as long as I have fun, what does it matter?

 

Roll on Day 2. =)

 

Ryan.^^/