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Everything posted by Tokoz

  1. First time panelist advice?

    I'm signed up to run a panel for the very first time at this year's ACen. I've never run a panel before, ever, so I was wondering if anyone had any tips or advice to help me out? I found this post and a lot of the things covered there seem pretty evergreen, but it is from 2015. Are there any new wrinkles that have come up in the last three years? I think in 2015 panels were just starting to be in the convention center proper instead of in the hotels, are there any quirks of the convention center that a first-timer should be aware of?
  2. Hello and welcome! ACen is an amazing convention with a great Artist's Alley that can be somewhat intimidating due to it's size. That's okay. We've all been there. ACen is great in that it also has more than a decade of forum archives full of advice and anecdotes on just this topic! Not everyone enjoys trawling through 10+ years' worth of forum posts, though, so I've put together a list of some of the best advice and help threads I've found. Actually, I did most of the work back in 2013, but I feel like the topic is worth a 2018 refresh. ;) Unfortunately some of the older posts appear to have been lost in the migration to the new forum software, so where possible I've supplanted the missing official forum posts with links from archive.org and the Internet Wayback Machine. Some posts are just lost to the aether, and I am heartbroken that all that effort and advice is gone. (If anyone knows of a mirror/cache site OTHER than archive.org that would have posts from 2007 - 2009, please let me know!) With all links, make sure to pay attention to the year it was posted. Price guidelines, power drops, and credit card technology have changed in a decade or so! But much of the how-to advice remains timeless. Artist Alley for Beginners (2013, Wayback link) -- The OP in this thread asked a bunch of questions for veterans to answer, so it reads like an interview of various sellers. Very good for business-oriented questions like "how much do I make of my widget" and "How do I make a profit." Completely New to Artist Alley! (2011) -- This thread is full of great self-care advice, plus a lot of great talk about signage, displays, and table setup. Questions for Traveling Artists (2011) -- As advertised on the tin. :) This is a short post with advice for artists traveling away from home. Artist Alley 100 (2009) -- This was an amazing, year-long series done by a forum regular, that covered just about every topic imaginable. I was crushed when I found that 2/3 of it had been gobbled up by the migration. The posts that are left are still very good info, but since they're the end of the 100, they're more about polish than framework. Sadly, archive.org doesn't have a snapshot of the first pages, either. :'( AA Setup Checklist (2011, Wayback link) -- As advertised, what (and who) to bring with you. Very thorough, very full of great tips. Deep breaths. You can do this. Welcome to the AA!
  3. First time panelist advice?

    Thank you! It's good to know the older post is still good info. :) Hopefully, my audience will be engaged! I'm going over cosplay materials, and I want to have examples to pass around so people can feel and see what they are for themselves.
  4. Sailor Moon 2017

    Thank you for posting these! This is the only set I've found so far. :)
  5. Raccoon Tail Construction Help!

    Short answer: use stiff foam and make a large base. A belt or harness attachment will also increase stability. Have you looked at any tail tutorials? They're all over the internet. The livejournal fursuiting group is also a very good resource -- http://fursuit.livejournal.com/ Keep in mind that ACen is very crowded and a rigid tail standing out perpendicular to your body will likely be bumped and jostled quite a bit.
  6. AA/Exhibitor Feedback 2016?

    Was it not in the artist alley paperwork packet? In previous years (didn't get in this year so i don't have firsthand knowledge, sorry) there was a line on one of the packet pages with a link to the AA feedback. :/ ACen did tweet this general survey -- (direct link) https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1mqzqzw5t_Dz6YYwIEn4mBCBiXHfs3prAsvWj9bYadgg/viewform?c=0&w=1 But that's all I've heard. :( The facebook group has staffers occasionally reply on it, you could try there. :(
  7. Mom and I are sort of antique stitch attachment nerds, and mom just won an amazing working Singer single thread embroidery foot (it's super rare). I desperately want to use it on a cosplay, but I can't think of anyone who has a costume with the sort of filigree/soutache designs the foot would be good for. Suggestions? here's a video of the foot: (about 1:27, then again at 4:42)
  8. Here's a post I made a couple years ago with the archived "help i'm new" threads. Link to post of links Additionally, the Illinois Dept of Revenue is actually pretty helpful in this regard (or it was a few years ago when I was researching this stuff) ACen counts as an art fair/art show, so here's their page on those types of events: http://tax.illinois.gov/Individuals/SalesandRelated/fairs.htm Again, last I checked, the person behind the contact email there was nice and helpful. Hope this helps!
  9. Swimsuit Cosplay Question

    Seconding Spandex World. They're a top-notch place with good selection. They do swatches!
  10. Construction material

    Foam core poster board? Usually my go-to extra-cheap material is paper mache, but pyramidhead is really big, so I don't know how well mache would work. Scrounged corrugated cardboard would need a bit of reinforcing but could be workable. I think rigid insulation foam is also a common relatively cheap material, and it does come in very large pieces, i think.
  11. Does anyone know if the Costudio programming track and/or the Hall Cosplay Contest going to be going on this year?
  12. CoStudio and Hall Cosplay Contest?

    Yeah, it was my only chance during the year to talk shop with anyone, and I loved the challenge of competing without the panicky terror walk-ons at Masq cause me. Sigh. Maybe next year. :(
  13. CoStudio and Hall Cosplay Contest?

    Well, with the guidebook finally up, I can see that there is a fair amount of costuming and cosplay-related panels, just not in one place and not under the "CoStudio" name. As for the Hall Cosplay contest... Maybe I"m blind, or it's going to up updated later, but right now, I can't find it anywhere in the guidebook. I'm super disappointed.
  14. A costume involving soutache?

    Hmm, uniforms. That's a really good idea! And, wow, trinity blood looks great for this -- the sort of detailed ornate outfits that little looping details would fit into easily. Thanks!
  15. Cosplay Progress 2015

    I've been in cosplay freakout mode since mid-march. I have a new full-time job, and the hours are really messing with me, plus a second part-time job and an extra university class, just for funsies, and even though I'm only doing one costume this year and I've been working on it since last summer, I'm still not done! Aaahh! I feel so behind. I need to sew a lining out of canvas and somehow fake it into this premade jacket -- but do I do that before or after I figure out how to sew a circuit into it with conductive thread? And if it's after, then I need to work on the resin dodads that're supposed to be lighting up. But those really need to be done outside, and because of my job and the class, I can't really get outside during daylight anymore. Ack, Ack, Ack! *explodes*
  16. Power Drop + Internet?

    Also true. :( Forum activity HAS been awfully low this year, hasn't it? I wonder where everyone went.
  17. Searching for anime

    Doesn't ring any bells to me. Maybe it's an OC? or some kind of gijinka because of the ears? Have you tried plunking that pic into google image search?
  18. Power Drop + Internet?

    Several years ago, before ACen's artists were able to buy straight from the RES packet, the price of a power drop was the low one you've seen, around $35. I *believe* (and I have no way of knowing because I'm not part of AA staff) that the RES price was always there, but the AA had some kind of agreement, or pre-bought some number of drops and did some kind of math to get the actual cost-to-artists so low. When the AA stepped out of the middle and allowed artists to buy directly from the RES packet, that's when the high number started popping up. From talk in previous years, people who wanted power would contact the tables directly adjoining theirs and try to get a group going, to help share the cost. Hope this helps!
  19. Attending cons with phobias

    I can get panicky if I'm in areas with loud noises, like Dealer's Halls and even bars & cafeterias. It wasn't bad a t first, but it's gotten worse over time. Since it started to be a real problem, I've started carrying "high fidelity" earplugs in my pocket at all times. They take the background noise down without interfering with my ability to hear conversations (too much). They're expensive ($25 per pair and up), but they've helped so much. I also make sure to tell anyone who's with me that I have the earplugs, and they might need to tell me to put them in, because I can get so disoriented by the noise that I can't make the decision for myself. Heavy bass will straight up give me an asthma attack, so I just completely avoid it. :/
  20. Painting Stretchy Fabric

    Whatever you decide to use, make sure you do the thinnest coating possible to get the opacity you need. Thicker applications are more likely to crack and flake when the fabric flexes. You also need to make sure you don't water the paint down too much, as that will also interfere with adhesion. :/ Most paints only recommend a 20% to 30% mix with water, but check the label to make sure. You might want to see if there are any flow increasing/clear mixing mediums for use with your brand of paints, as sometimes these can help if the paint needs to be thinned beyond what's recommended with water alone. Sometimes you can find other paints or stand-alone mixing mediums labeled as "stretchy" or for use with stretchy fabrics; they can help, but they can also thicken your paint so be careful. Painting on stretchy fabric also shouldn't be thought of as "permanent," either. Even with the best precautions, the paint will eventually flake off and need touchups -- if you decide to use additives, keep track of how much/which kinds you use for later!
  21. Inori white dress tips?

    I like to start with a commercial pattern (or two or three) and go from there. If you strip out all the anime flourishes, it kind of looks like she's wearing a sheath dress of some sort, with a seam down the middle, maybe. That bodice looks tough though! here are some sheath dreses http://kwiksew.mccall.com/k3893-products-20426.php?page_id=5575 http://mccallpattern.mccall.com/m2401-products-702.php?page_id=108 http://butterick.mccall.com/b5706-products-15267.php?page_id=155 http://mccallpattern.mccall.com/m7121-products-49662.php?page_id=108 (for knits) also, you could just get a fitting shell pattern and go from there http://mccallpattern.mccall.com/m2718-products-726.php?page_id=108 otherwise, you local public library should have books on pattern drafting.
  22. Help and tips on Jinbe (One Piece)

    With a face like that, I'd think about making a whole-head mask. You could use the mouth as an eye-hole, or the eyes themselves. for the geta, i'd say just practice. :)
  23. Journey Cosplay Painting Tips?

    vinyl? oof. Is it stretchy? There are other posts floating around here that recommend a specific type of paint/dye and process for stretchy fabrics; i don't remember the brand or steps unfortunately. A forum search should turn them up, though. If it's leather/pleather with no stretch, then you're mostly worried about getting the paint to adhere to the slick surface without flaking. For that, I usually wipe the area to be painted with acetone, to remove any clear protective coats, then wipe with water (to remove the acetone residue). Then I hit the area to be painted with a bit of medium- to fine-grade sandpaper (provides a "tooth" to the surface for the paint to stick to). Wipe away all the dust, another water wipe just to be sure, THEN, if i'm really worried, or trying to cover a darker color, I use 1 to 3 layers of artists's acrylic gesso. After all that, you should have a surface that can be painted with whatever paints you have around (I use artist's acrylics). Once the paint has cured, cover with a protective clearcoat of some kind and you should be good to go. Mod Podge does a great matte, and I like water-based Polyurethanes for satin and gloss finishes (though you can find mod podge in those finishes as well). Otherwise, maybe try leather paints? I know Dharma Trading has a section of those. Can't say much about them, though, as I've never used them. Vinyl is weird. [edit] oh! and, be sure to test the acetone on a scrap of vinyl before you use it! acetone is srs bzns, and melts things you wouldn't expect sometimes.
  24. Journey Cosplay Painting Tips?

    Bright gold is what I usually use, too! It looks a little cartoony in person, but it looks great in photos, and reads as "gold" even from a distance! It is slightly transluscent, so you might need more than one coat to get full opacity. Maybe start with an 8oz bottle? You might end up needing more, but that's a good place to start, i think.
  25. Journey Cosplay Painting Tips?

    I LOVE Jacquard Lumiere (http://www.dharmatrading.com/paints/lumiere-and-neopaque.html). It's a bit pricey, but totally worth it! [edit] for something that geometric, i'd definitely measure to make sure your lines are straight, and tape off the sides to keep them crisp.