Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Anime North 2014 Retrospective - 10th Cosplay-versary!

Hey guys! So I've been on a bit of a nostalgia trip recently because this was my 10th year attending Anime North. Easily my favourite convention of the year! I had a really great time this past weekend with friends and family! It was good to see everyone again! I finished 3 costumes for the weekend: Sakura, Isabelle, and Forest Guardian (previously known as Elven Archer). The weather was altogether pretty great (though I was hot and dehydrated on saturday...) and made for a fantastic weekend.

Friday: I got to the con a bit late (though not as late as last year) and hung around for a bit wearing Alice with my sister as Sakura. I looked around the Crafters' Corner for a bit and helped a friend set up her table before heading over to the Doubletree International Plaza for the friday night Workmanship Competition. I entered Sakura for this event, which was new to the convention! You know things are serious when your judges include Merlin, Sailormoon, Catwoman(?) and some sort of were-rabbit? (Competition results were announced sunday!) I had a nice dinner at Swiss Chalet with the family before heading home for the night.

Saturday: After some major disappointment with failed prosthetic ear (the other one worked fine?) I decided that I had worked too damn hard to let that stop me from entering Masq this year. Rather than entering as "Elven Archer" I had impulsively written "Forest Guardian" on my form the night before, which worked beautifully for me! After an initial hiccup with entering the Masq, my mum swung it for me (ex: was very persistent).

It was a bit too hot with the amount of layers I was wearing so saturday was a constant quest for water. Probably my only complaint about the con this year was that they weren't quick enough with refilling the water stations in Artist Alley/Crafters' Corner area so there was a good couple of hours during the hottest part of the day where there was no access to water in that part of the building... Mostly I spent the day walking around and posing for pictures. Though most people were confused and couldn't figure out what show/videogame I was from--answer: none! This is my original design!

After food I went to the green room for the Masq and did my photo and judging portions. My judges were Feather Weight and the were-rabbit. They were most impressed with my embroidery. I was the last entry to present, which you can check out here!

Congratulations to my fellow competitors, your costumes were fantastic and your hard work really showed! I was most impressed by the level of quality in the Novice category and a certain lack of Artisans?! If you have time, I highly suggest also checking out the rest of the entries here, or at the very least take a look at the highlights reel by Dan TheVideoNinja. Special thanks to Alex for doing my audio again this year (I have no idea what I will do next year when you are in Japan??) she found me some great music from Cirque du Soleil's "Totem" CD.

Sunday: Instead of spending my whole sunday trying to rush finish Vaporeon I opted to wear Kero! It was much cooler to wear around (having been originally designed to wear at Otakon), a great casual cosplay that received much love with the AN crowd! The day was mostly spent hanging out with friends and shopping. In the afternoon I attended the Award Ceremony. I won 4 awards this weekend! A Hall Costume award each for Isabelle and Kero. I won "Best Accessories: Master Division" in the friday night Workmanship Competition for Sakura, and "Best Embroidery: Master Division" in the Masquerade for my Forest Guardian. Super happy! Special thanks to Alli Sosnoski for her help on the Sakura costume and Harriet Lee for her work on Vaporeon (even though it didn't get finished).

I saw so many friends this weekend that I couldn't possibly mention them all, but you guys know who you are! (Unless you got amnesia in the last 2 days) You guys rock and made my 10th AN that much more memorable!


I spent the past couple of days putting together a collection of pictures including all of my Anime North Costumes from the last 10 years. So without further ado lets take a journey back in time! (If you don't want to read my sappy nostalgia commentary, feel free to just look at the pics, which are also posted on facebook.)

So to start, here is a collage of all my Anime North costumes from 2005-2014. (The only one missing is Alice from this past weekend.) If the me from now could talk to the me from 2005, oh what a conversation that would be... Never would I have dreamed that one day would spark a hobby that would change my life! I discovered a talent I never knew I had. ;D And yes, there were at least 6 years of costumes before I started Among Bobbins and Thread!

My very first costume my mum made for me! I was Tenten from the popular anime series Naruto. It was made up of modified clothing items. But we splurged on an official headband! I only attended AN for 1 day, but I wore it again to Fanexpo (then known as CNAnime) later that summer. I was accompanied by my older sister who was dressed as Rock Lee. :D So youthful!

Team 8! My favourite team in Naruto-verse (except for perhaps the Sand-squad, which we would be cosplaying later that summer.) I put up with an unbearably itchy low-quality wig for several cons in this costume. My mum is the amazing woman who took the time to craft all these cool costumes! Some pieces were from the closet, others made from scratch.

In case you aren't starting to see the pattern, we too started by cosplaying from mainstream anime and kept this up for the first few years doing several different groups from Naruto and Bleach. Our Division 11 group was our first Masquerade entry ever, for which we won a presentation award (the "We <3 Katamari Award" if my memory is correct.) Mike was added to the group as our Kenpachi, which perfectly complimented Elanne's Yachiru. Mum made all of these from scratch with several billion meters of black broadcloth! Power to her! We also wove our very own (very painful) sandals!

Pokemon Gijinkas (+Pokemon trainer)! I think this costume set was in part decided by Elanne's love of Pokemon. We entered our group in the Masq and won another presentation award for our dance skit (which is amazing because judges typically hate dance skits!) Pokemon on Broadway (or Dawn's Secret Hobby)! Another set of costumes masterfully made by Mum. :)

The first and last time we got the full family on stage! My fifth Anime North. We had attempted to finish the King of Red Lions boat for this convention, but did not get it done. On the other hand, Mike's Phantom was pretty darn impressive. We won a workmanship award in the Journeyman Division.

 Alex and I finished the King of Red Lions this year which is probably still the cosplay achievement I am most proud of. That year I also wore my first costume almost entirely by myself, which was Kiki, from Kiki's Delivery Service (first worn to Fanexpo, the previous summer!). :) In the Masq we won a workmanship award for our crazy awesome boat and I got a Props award for my Kiki costume.

My "Crow Soldier" costume from the less well-known series Princess Tutu was fun to make and wear! It was my first experiment in putting lights in costume (dollar store flashlights!) and it was a piece I used in my Ryerson Theatre School application portfolio. I also helped to make Alex's Cousin Miso costume, constructing the outfit while she and Mum made the head. This was the year I began my blog, Among Bobbins and Thread.

Our Katamari group! (minus Jen as Mag) This was a very well received group of costumes. The weather was not particularly kind to us, meaning it was just too darn hot to wear them for more than a day.  I did the majority of the construction on these with assistance from Ian and Alex, while Mum made the Katamari itself. We entered at Master Level due to our 5th member (Mai Sherie Costumes) and won a Technical Achievement award.

Another costume that I am really proud of! I just wish the armour were less heavy and strangulating... The sword was heavy enough that I couldn't lift it properly and it actually became the focus of my skit. Hahaha I won a props/accessories award for this costume, if I recall correctly. I learned how to mold and cast as well as began working with thermoplastics. All I can say is that I will need a long break before I ever attempt a costume with that much bias tape ever again...

My first con where I wore a different costume each day! This was my first year entering solo without any family members also competing in the competition. I entered my first original design costume "Forest Guardian" in the Masquerade and won an award for the Best Embroidery in the Master Division. Several hundred hours of it. I also entered my Sakura costume (made for Elanne) in the Workmanship Competition and won an award for Accessories. I also made an Isabelle (from Animal Crossing) costume for my older sister, which won a hall award, re-wore Kero (also got a hall award) and re-wore Alice. What a whirlwind weekend full of costumes! :D

Hope you enjoyed that as much as I did! Some of those old pics were REALLY hard to find.

1 comment:

  1. You are totally awesome and I could not be any prouder of you. Lots of love.