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Archive for August, 2014

Well,

as usual, Otakon 2014 was a whole lot of fun! This year, I not only made new friends, but also learned a lot from them. Running out of business cards to hand out is actually a nice feeling. I got me some pretty cool souvenirs too.

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my official staff badge.

Lesson 1: Know Your Audience

Unfortunately, I didn’t sell any pieces, but all four of them made it to the art show free of charge (staff perks). It’s an anime convention after all. Here, people seek fan art to express their fandom love. I could go on about my personal policy on fan art, but in this market, I have to throw that pride out. At least there was one original artwork that made it to live auction. I’m still challenging next year. My pride wants to see if my skills can make people want to own my art. Also, let’s be real, who doesn’t like a little extra cash? #shameless #sellout

Photo on 2014-08-12 at 14.29

Tina Lam’s adorable business card. She is the coolest. Congratulations for making $1800 in live auction!

Lesson 2: Small Talk to Networks

Working in retail for 6+ years, I have mastered the art of starting small talk. People generally enjoy sharing a little thing or two about themselves. Why not take advantage of that? Tina Lam is a professional graphic designer and master convention-goer. From job hunts to presentation, I learned so much from her through one conversation than my communications class in high school. No joke, I found myself browsing through her website for a good hour or so. Anyways, my point is, you don’t have to be an ass-kisser to make connections. Admire someone’s work ethic? Tell her, maybe she’ll share their secrets. Love an artist’s drawing? Complement him, you might learn more about each other. Warning: if it feels fake, back off, it probably is. Start small and follow your gut.

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I got a Kiiroitori “trophy”!

Lesson 3: Always Expect Long Nights

It’s inevitable. Again, my retail experience came in handy. Due to technical difficulties, art show and art auction staff stayed up till 4 AM—which outlasted the rave next door! We were running on candy and Gatorade. However, these crazy hours are what gets you staff perks from food vouchers to free art show submissions. Thanks to this experience, I got my first flair!

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Space☆Dandy couple’s cosplay.

Since we’ve been stuck running around in Staff Catering and Exhibitions departments, I couldn’t take as many pictures as I wanted. We were suppose to (because we kept forgetting) hand out ribbons to our top 3 cosplays and upload them to @Otakon. See my cosplay faves on my Tumblr!

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I’ve been hunting for this hat for a long time and now I has it!

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I know it’s on the wrong hand—the point is, he put a ring on it.

Cool souvenirs for myself include a “Miau” hat from a K-pop vendor and a very-very-VERY special ring from my now fiance! It’s got diamonds and amber with a fossilized jumping spider. He planned the whole theatrics at the Baltimore Aquarium. Literally, all our families and friends knew about it, but me. A scuba diver in the shark tank presented the plaque during feeding time. There was even a photographer who recorded every moment of the proposal. Of course, they’re not here for viewing because I looked like a total mess. I’ve never been to a wedding before, so the next step’s gonna be interesting…

Overall, this year’s Otakon was a blast. It’s always great when you get to go on vacation and gain new knowledge from it. Already can’t wait till next year!

-aKino

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