Archive for June, 2013


An Interview with ACen’s Assistant Department Head of Art and Publications

An Interview with ACen’s Assistant Department Head of Art and Publications

Anime Central is a convention run by fans for fans! As such, we like show you the faces of those who volunteer their time to help run the Convention. This week’s post is an interview with our Assistant Department Head for Art and Publications!

The Art and Pub department handles all the various art and writing that goes out to the public. Their biggest focus is the Program Guide because without that, you’d have a hard time knowing what’s going on at the Convention! In addition to the printed Program Guide, they’re also in charge of the App version of the Program Guide. Now the guide fits even better into your pocket!

So without further ado, here’s a little about the person who catches all (most) of the typos!

Name: David Ordoñez

Department: I am the Assistant Department Head Art and Publications where we create any items that go out to the public such as the Program Guide and Press Releases. Primarily, I’m the Copy Editor for all our publications (Program Guide typo-free since… well, never).

Staff/for how long: Logistics (‘05-’07); Merchandising (’08-’10); Blogger (’13-Present), Copy Editor (’11-Present), and ADH (‘12-Present) for Art & Publications

A little about yourself: By day, I’m a customer service phone rep for a medical waste disposal company and a Petty Officer in the US Navy Reserve one weekend a month (barring any deployments). I also have a BA in English from NIU, which when folded up makes a lovely hat. I also enjoy sunsets and long walks on the beach. Nobody cuddles as hardcore as the Ordomancer.

What are some of your favorite anime related media? Final Fantasy (6, 7, and 9), Cowboy Bebop, Outlaw Star, Avatar: The Last Airbender, anything Studio Ghibli and Pixar

What was your first ACen experience? My first ACen was 2002. I brought my violin with me. I can play pretty much anything by ear, and was playing themes from various video games, shows, and movies throughout the weekend. While impatiently waiting for the dance, I started playing conga music and of course, a conga line formed behind me. Because of repeated violations of the fire code, conga lines are now forbidden at ACen. You know you had a good time when you set precedent for future events (FYI, if I see anyone starting a conga line, I *will* break it up).

Why did you join staff? I wanted to go to the Convention for free! I started on the Logistics staff, which was a lot of hard work and heavy lifting, but the cool thing about it was that all our work was done before and after the Convention, so I had plenty of time to enjoy the Con itself. I got lucky to get on that staff as a lot of positions do all their work during the Convention (and now I’m in yet another position that does all their work before the Con). However, I was on the Merch staff a few years where all that work was during the Convention, but I managed to scam some extra ACen shirts and swag on the cheap! I had a lot of fun yelling at the top of my lungs hawking ACen swag. Every staff has its work to do, but every department does their fair share, and the perks are totally worth it!

What tips do you have for attendees to enjoy ACen more? Keep your packing as simple as possible. If you can’t carry all your luggage by yourself, you’d better have a big enough cart to lug all your stuff around. And for the sake of others, please bathe.

What were your most interesting experiences with the Program Guide? Did you catch any typos? Feel free to leave a coment!

Japanese Gardens in the Chicagoland Area

Anime Central isn’t just about Japanese movies and comics. We promote all the cultural aspects of Japan and encourage everyone to learn more than just Japan’s popular culture. You don’t need to go all the way around the world to learn more. There are many things you can do in the local area! This week, we’ve made a list of beautiful Japanese Gardens in the Chicagoland area. If you’re coming from afar, if you can spare the time, and if they’re on the way, make a brief stop to soak in other aspects of Japanese culture.

Osaka Garden at Jackson Park; Chicago, IL

Like most Japanese gardens in North America, Osaka Garden is a mélange of many influences, including elements of stroll, tea, and pond gardens. The site has been laid out as a stroll garden, alternately hiding and revealing its elements as one walks through it. The visitor enters through the gate and follows a stone path leading to the tea house. Along the way, one finds meandering streams, a waterfall, and a small turtle island (kame-shima). The color scheme is relatively subtle with various shades of green becoming the canvas for the rest of the garden elements.

The Fabyans’ Japanese Garden at Fabyan Woods; Geneva, IL

The Fabyan Villa was the home of Col. George and Nelle Fabyan from 1905-1939. The Frank Lloyd Wright designed Prairie-style house contains the Fabyans’ private collection of Asian artifacts, natural history specimens, original furniture and more! Documents and photographs detail Col. Fabyan’s involvement in the Treaty of Portsmouth and Japanese international relations, the Bacon/Shakespeare controversy, code-breaking that significantly influenced both World Wars and pioneering research and development in acoustics. The Japanese Garden was installed around 1910, which affords the opportunity to experience the uniqueness of Japanese gardening and enjoy a moment of harmony with nature while strolling the winding path of this 100 year-old site.

Sansho-En and the Bonsai Collection at the Chicago Botanic Gardens; Glencoe, IL

The Elizabeth Hubert Malott Japanese Garden (also called “Sansho-En”, the Garden of Three Islands) is designed in Japanese style with over 280 types of plants conducive to gardening in the Midwest United States. It is a four-season garden with curving paths and pruned trees, framing distant views of lakes, grassy hills, woods and gardens beyond. The three islands are named “Keiunto”, “Seifuto” and “Horaijima”. Additionally, the Bonsai Collection is regarded by bonsai experts as one of the best public collections in the world. It includes 200 bonsai in twenty-seven styles and more than 60 kinds of plants, including evergreen, deciduous, tropical, flowering and fruiting trees.

Anderson Japanese Gardens; Rockford, IL

Anderson Japanese Gardens were established in 1978 by John R. Anderson and landscape architect Hoichi Kurisu on the site of Anderson’s home. The gardens are designed in a 13th-century “pond strolling” garden with several waterfalls and ponds, streams, rock formations, winding paths, and a sukiya style tea house and guest house. The “Garden of Reflection” is a contemporary Japanese-inspired garden, with bronze angel sculptures. Plantings include Japanese maples, cloud pines, azaleas, magnolias, and rhododendrons. The gardens are home to many species of colorful fish, minks, and ducks. In the “Garden of Reflection” beetle traps hang over the water to encourage these fish to surface for food.

Moriyama Japanese Gardens at the Ewing Cultural Center; Bloomington, IL

The Moriyama Japanese Garden, located on the grounds of Ewing Cultural Center, was established in 1986 as an example of the friendship between the cities of Bloomington-Normal, Illinois, U.S.A., and Asahikawa, Hokkaido, Japan. Named in honor of Motoichi Moriyama, the first chairperson of the friendship committee in Asahikawa, the garden has been the site of celebrations and ceremonies and is as beautiful in spring as it is after a winter snow. It provides a place for quiet contemplation and a beautiful site for hundreds of people who enjoy it each night of the summer when they come to the Illinois Shakespeare Festival.

Are there any other Japanese Gardens you’ve been to? Feel free to leave a comment!

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