On Cons and Drive

Okay, so AmeCon. What a strange, strange weekend that is. I think the combination of lack of Anime Society, and lack of hitting the clubs with the lovely Ben has lead a bit of a lack of something in my life.

Mainly these things:

1) Getting excited about silly Japanese cartoons and comics.

2) Dressing up in frankly ridiculous outfits and mucking about without caring what you look like.

Amecon provides these things in abundance. It’s odd, for a long weekend Leicester Uni campus becomes detached from the rest of reality as a whole and is descended upon by a thousand-odd very excited geeks. And, well, it’s great. Utterly surreal and very very silly, but a lot of fun. And it gives you an excuse to BUILD THINGS which I’ve been missing right from A Level art.

(Though for the record, there were a frankly ridiculous amount of Squaresoft related cosplayers. Lots of FF and Advent Children and LOTS of Kingdom Hearts stuff going around. Okay, some of which was really nicely done. Though it’s kinda a shame there was nobody doing any Final Fantasy before 7.)

Amecon is also a good thing because it’s an excuse to meet up with some of the cool arty people I know from around the country and in my case revel in the Japanese style of stuff without having to worry about not being cool or original enough. Cause, yeah, I wanna broaden my stuff, but sometimes… well, it takes the fun out a bit to worry over everything, and here in Manc I’m surrounding by some VERY good comic artists who are mostly much more western in style, and I know it’s stupid but sometimes that gets really intimidating. (Granted, Abby, Dave, Tunney and Caddy are all older than me, more experienced and so on but still.) Like Caddy asked what I was drawing at Comics Night this week and I kinda wanted the floor to swallow me up cause man, I’m not cool enough. Most of the time since I’ve gotten here I’ve been too shy to show my sketch book any more, and it’s crept into my online stuff as well, only a few people end up seeing what I’m drawing lately.

At places like Amecon (or generally any time I hang with Hel and Scott of Makenai Team) there’s just less pressure, I’m not drawing in a style of a branch of comics half the people in the room think are crap and even if I’m maybe not pushing myself, I can draw whatever the hell I feel like and revel in that. I can draw stuff purely because it’s fun, and because it makes people happy. I can just draw to enjoy it.

(And there’s something amusing (if slightly scary) about some random girl giving you a strangle hug because you happen to be sketching a character she really likes.)

And, y’know what? In terms of making me feel good about drawing again, something which has been really lacking the last few months, It WORKS. Okay, so I don’t have the time because I’m in the middle of the dissertation stuff, but when I got back from the con I was more pumped to do creative stuff than I have been in a long while. And that’s a big thing. It’s all well and good demanding to myself that I need to get better, but it’s next to impossible to do that unless you’re actually ENJOYING what you’re doing.

So, from here on in, I’m gonna find that again. I’m going to get back into art, I’m going to try and draw the best stuff I can do but I am going to have FUN doing it.

Personal stuff aside, other things about the con in brief:

-To the crew staying at the Stoneycroft, you’re all awesome. It was a pleasure meeting you. To Matt, Rob and Lynn in particular, you guys rule and you BETTER stay in touch even though I’m no longer running HAI.

-To Hel and Scott, you two are still utter dudes, your animation was great and it is always a total pleasure hanging out with you.

-To Chloe, it was REALLY cool meeting you face to face. I totally meant what I said about you visiting, it’d be great to see you again, and I can’t wait to see your comic in print.

-I suck at Mario Kart but really need a copy now.

-I need Taiko DS even more however because GOD DAMN that is an awesome game.

-People who are good at ParaPara Paradise show up us people who such at it even more than the pros at DDR. Seriously, you people are scary. But look awesome.

-Whoever it was in the Dizzy cosplay… You are very very brave and you totally pulled it off. Nice one.

-The dealers room was all right, I was saved from spending too much due to not being into Bleach or Naruto or particularly wanting Death Note merch. I did however find a Kino’s Journey art book which made me very very happy. It is so very lovely.

-Obligatory ‘OMG CHAAAAAAIIIIIIIR WE LOVE YOU CHAAAAIIIRRR!!’.

-The DS is a great thing at cons. Partly because of multiplayer download games but mostly because of Pictochat making the wait for late starting events so much more entertaining.

-One day I will actually go to a SHOWING at an anime con. Maybe. Not this year though.

-Turns out it’s on next year, and I can’t wait. :)

In non con things, I’ve hit the half way mark on the first draft on my dissertation a couple of days ago, which is cool. I’m aiming to get another 1000 words done today (already done 1000) which takes me up to 12,000, with 8000 to go. Didn’t get so much done the couple of days before as I’ve been really tired and out of it. Working on that though, and am going to be more disciplined from now on.

Also in less than a month, not only will this essay crap be gone, but I will be GOING TO LA. Which is going to rock. Right now the ‘Oh god deadline’ is slightly dampening the excitement, but once this thing has gone to the binders, glee spazzing will commence. Because I am going to see my good buddy C from over at Dreaming in Red and that is going to ROCK. So there.

Anyhow, I should crack on with things because this has been a REALLY long post. (Geeze, it’s over 1000 words. God damn I’m verbose sometimes.)

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