MTAC 2015 Recap

16 Apr

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After longer than I thought it would take… Here is my recap of this year’s MTAC! This is a really long and image-heavy post, so click here to read~~~ —>

Thursday evening, my mom and I went to Nashville to pick up our badges at early registration and get a first look at the convention space. After standing in the registration line for a little while, we were told that the badge pick-up for artists and dealers was in the other hotel because that was where the Artist Alley and the dealers’ rooms were going to be… So we went over there only to find that the badges hadn’t arrived yet. XD; It was fine, though, because we got to take our time looking around and talking to the liaison for the artists.

Before going to the other hotel, we got to meet the lovely Mikoto and Belle from Japanese in Action, with whom I’ve been working for more than a year, and their friends. They were all super nice and I’m so glad I got to meet them in person. :3

Our introduction was funny though (lol):

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She said that in my videos I look taller XD It’s funny because I thought we would be all about the same height, and I was quite wrong XD; It really is different meeting people in real life versus just over the internet with Skype and pictures and stuff!

Friday

Friday morning we ran around getting last-minute stuff together and then headed off!

*Some pictures were taken by my mom; the rest were taken by me. No photos have filters except where noted.*

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(Filter used lol….. This was about ten minutes before that bun fell down and I had to redo it orz)

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(Taken Friday night)

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(Taken Friday night)

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(Taken Friday night)

Our cosplay was very simple for the first day; we wore kimono (mock-kimono, I guess, since we didn’t have layers or proper obi with bows in the back) that my grandmother made for us and herself for my sixteenth birthday party. ^^

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You can see I’m drawing the first commission I received–unfortunately I have no full picture of it since I forgot to take one orz

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The commission was of Sebastian and Ciel from Black Butler.

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Almost immediately after we got settled, this Deadpool went a little crazy and rolled on the floor…

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My friends stopped by early on too~~ This is Belle as Asuna from Sword Art Online. She made the cosplay herself *v*

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(I think my mom was taking a photo of the person in blue, but it’s the same group with Deadpool a few pictures up ^^)

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(Second commission – the Pokemon Braixen)

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(Third commission – Roxas from Kingdom Hearts)

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(Fourth commission – Rin from Free! – I was actually already working on this as one of my pre-drawn sketches, so I just finished this for the commission since the girl liked it)

After several hours, it came time to head over to the other hotel so I could attend the panel I wanted to see. My mom stayed behind to man the table while our friend Chad went with me.

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High five, bro!

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(This was sort of adjacent to the room the career panel was in… Hinata, Gou, and Fiona.)

The career panel was taught by John-sensei, who I have heard of before. He gave us wonderful information that confirmed a lot of things I was already thinking or aware of, but also gave me some ideas for how to actually “network”. I’ll have to read the books he recommended and write another post about them later~

As the panel was about to end, many people’s phones suddenly went off, blaring the standard “weather alert” tone that we hear on the TV and radio when the National Weather Service issues a warning about something.

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I was bewildered because that’s never happened to my phone before.

Everyone was immediately shepherded into the hallway with the aim of getting all of us into the ballroom–which effectively crashed the panel that was already going on. Chad and I sat on the floor in the nearest corner and just waited, chatting with those nearby and getting upset with people for screaming. (They kept laughing during the official updates, too, which ruined the point of the update since no one could hear what was being said…)

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(This was the state of things outside. To the right of the doors was the room the career panel was in.)

It was also when everyone was stuffed into this one room that I realized just how low my phone’s battery was, since naturally I wanted to text my mom to make sure she was okay and see if she had to move to an inner room like we did.

It was at 3%. THREE PERCENT. It was at at least 10% before going over to the Sheraton, and now having received a mass severe weather alert, it was at THREE PERCENT??!?!?! QAQ I couldn’t charge it even though there was an outlet right next to where we were sitting in the ballroom because 1) I didn’t have my charger, and 2) everyone who had a charger near me had an Android phone….. So I just…didn’t use my phone until we left QvQ

Some people thought it might turn into another “FloodCon”, since Nashville’s major flood of a few years prior happened during MTAC and left congoers stranded in the hotel. Everyone else wasn’t worried, since it hadn’t rained enough earlier in the week for it to flood that much again. It was less than half an hour before we were free to go, which was an answer to my prayer as I prayed silently over all of the area, that the storm would pass over us. Thank the Lord it did, and I think it backed off a lot after that. ;v; I’m glad.

Chad and I came back to the Marriott after that, and I stayed (charging my phone lol) until it was time for a fashion panel I was interested in.

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Back to the line we went, this time indoors because of the rain.

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It was the same group! XD

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Kenma popped out of nowhere! 😀 (Obviously you can tell that I am one of those sneaky photographers who takes pictures when people aren’t looking because I’m too shy to ask them for a picture orz orz ;A; ) …..Obviously you can also tell I like Haikyuu!….. *hides*

We took the shuttle back to the Sheraton and by myself, I went to the panel only to discover that, as Belle had informed me through text, it really was mostly about modeling.

Which meant WE HAD TO MODEL.

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We had to do one set with two poses, one with a paced runway/catwalk walk, and then a final set with one pose. QvQ They’re going to put them up on Facebook;;;;

Embarrassment aside, ScatterDOTFashion and Vedetta Marie are really fun and energetic people, so it was a fairly enjoyable panel. They did have good information for people who are seriously interested in modeling and getting into the fashion industry through that avenue.

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THIS ADORABLE CHARMANDERRRRRRR. ;v;/

I also saw the same Kaiba who bought a print from me last year, but it was only in passing. I was like “Ahh!! OvO/” but he was in a hurry and didn’t notice me lol.

I accepted another commission that I had to do the next day because of the time (but unfortunately I forgot to take a picture of that one orz). It was a realistic sketch of a boy who I think is a Korean actor or singer. They texted me a photo (a screenshot from Instagram lol) and I drew from that.

I thought we might be able to go get sushi after all, since the rain had slacked a lot (see above), but everyone we had planned to go with either felt bad, was too tired, or had already eaten… So we just ate in the room and went to bed.

Saturday

Saturday is apparently always the big day for conventions, since most people are off from work, so we wore our “best” cosplay on that day.

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My mom was Eli from Love Live!, and I was Kotori. We wore their outfits from “Bokura wa Ima no Naka de”.

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I never wear makeup, but since my face looked a little plain with this cosplay, I bought a little makeup to help. I wore an organic pencil eyeliner (Honeybee Gardens in the color Jet Set-which is black), and on my lips and cheeks I wore Burt’s Bees Lip Shimmer in Champagne (lips) and Guava (cheeks). All three are things I bought from the health food store. It’s very minimal and cheap lol;; But I really hate wearing makeup, especially on my eyes, so yeah >_<;

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(Look!! I actually asked them if I could take a picture!! Look at me being brave lol …..)

Sorry for the Haikyuu! spam….? All the cosplays I saw for Haikyuu! were just really good though! *A* (By the way, these two came back by my table later Saturday evening and bought YGO! prints and we all talked about YGO! One friend was searching each table asking if they had YGO! stuff and I just said, “Yes!” and pointed, and they freaked out XD; I’m always happy to meet fellow fans >v<)

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Our friend Chad as a more-relaxed version of Dr. Wily from Megaman. 😀

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There were several fellow Love Live! cosplayers we saw!! This Maki was amazing! And Umi’s outfit looks handmade!

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Do I look tense or nervous? That’s probably because I was…. ^^;

They wanted to take pictures with us (several people did, which was a first for me! oAo W-wow, thank you…) but I felt like such a dork. Ahaha…. orz Especially since my wig’s fringe kept getting a little messed up because I was constantly bent over drawing and I had to keep moving it out of my eyes T A T

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(Like this…)

But I think I was the only Kotori there! At least I didn’t see another one in the Artist Alley. Same for Eli. So…yay. 😀

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I will say though… It was quite cold Saturday, which did not match well with having exposed skin… I was sitting there shivering while trying to draw lol. And trying to keep fixing my wig orz

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I also barely ate… ^^;

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I saw a couple of Soras and Roxases too.

On Saturday, I was busy drawing basically nonstop the entire day lol… I had to turn away some requests because I was so swamped ;__; Here’s what I did (including the picture I mentioned earlier that I forgot to take a photo of):

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(Um… I forgot the character’s name, but she is from How to Raise a Boring Girlfriend)

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(Someone’s original character)

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(Another Sebastian. Still not happy with it though. It could be better…)

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(Yugi from Yu-gi-oh! as pharaoh hehe)

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(Eren and Levi from Attack on Titan, commissioned as a birthday gift)

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(Someone’s original character. Male, but soft features)

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(Someone’s original Tokyo Mew Mew character)

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(Sebastian again! Haha. The guy who commissioned this brought it back to have me take a photo of it signed. That was kind of cool. ^^ And you can see my last commission of the day underneath it.)

We ate dinner at Marriott’s in-house restaurant, Champions. My mom and I ordered hummus appetizer and split a salmon dish, and Chad got a burger with Japanese beef and sweet potato fries. All the food came at once though XD But it was the perfect amount. Also, I recommend carrots and ketchup/catsup!!! It’s surprisingly amazing!!!

Sunday

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Sunday we wore Lolita and went to Lolita tea party (which was at the Sheraton). We checked out of the room beforehand and I tried to calm down, since for some reason, my stomach was feeling really unsettled ;A; I was also just…really tired still.

I hated that we couldn’t go to church that day, but it would have just been really difficult with the driving and getting the timing of everything…plus factoring in checkout time…

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The tea party actually allowed for more than just lolita; you could wear Japanese street fashion or kei and still get admission. ^^

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This adorable Alice ;v; actually came up to me in the line in the hallway and asked if it was the line for the lolita tea party–in a British accent. It was a really good one too, so I was very confused when she later switched to an American accent lol. I have no idea why she put on an accent in the first place (though I guess it’s a nice defense mechanism?) but it was kind of neat. XD

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As you can see it the pictures above, there wasn’t a great amount of space in the room, so that meant some weren’t allowed into the tea party because of that alone. What was worse was that Mikoto’s outfit evidently wasn’t “Lolita enough” and they turned her away, so Belle and the others went with her ;____; But even though my mom and I got to go in…they really didn’t miss anything. The tea party was honestly quite boring… orz

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At least it was pretty.

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(Filter used)
Each person was allowed to get two sweets and one cup of tea before anyone could go get seconds. At each place was an Easter egg with two chocolates inside (I think they were all chocolate eggs…eggception lol). Every table went in a group, so that meant everyone was eating at different times and there wasn’t any time left over at the end of the event to do anything other than door prizes, which we didn’t win.

I normally don’t eat the kinds of foods that were there (including the Kit Kats that were handed out each morning at the opening of the AA) but I did that day because I was still exhausted and needed energy lol orz … I got a lemon tart and a coffee macaroon with caffeinated green tea. So much sugar QwQ

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This was the line outside the Sheraton waiting for the shuttle back to the Marriott. When we got back, there was a whole group of Kuroko no Basuke cosplayers sitting in the Artist Alley, but I didn’t get a picture of them… I also saw a small group of YGO! cosplayers (Yugi/Yami, a different Kaiba, Mai…) but I wasn’t able to get my phone out in time to get a photo of them either…

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I totally wanted some of these, but I didn’t want to spend so much on T-shirts when I already have so many. I wanted three and that would have been $60 T o T

After the pretty but boring tea party, we headed back to the Marriott and walked through the Dealer Rooms. I only took this one picture because the rooms were crowded and largely sold the same sorts of things…

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Back at the AA, we quickly set up and I finished a commission from Saturday, and unbelievably, considering Saturday’s pace, got no more commissions…

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This is quite possibly the best Mew Ichigo cosplay I have ever seen. o.o

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Clip-in ponytail from Sally’s Beauty Supply~

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My mom was blinking. ^^; Also, you can see the woman who had the table next to us. Iron Hag Studios, I believe.

That wasn’t a Spiderman, by the way. That was a guy cosplaying Deadpool cosplaying Spiderman, with another Deadpool. (There were many Deadpools there; I saw one cosplaying Captain America too.)

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To our right was Loli-pop~ She was so adorable, and so was all of her stuff *p*

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People started packing up fairly early on, and con attendees started moving in. After making some sales, I looked around the AA myself since I hadn’t gotten a chance to, and then we packed up at around 4 PM.

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That guy is eying me XD; He kept wanting me to make an evil face to take a picture of (that’s what he was doing with others too) but I didn’t. Finally I gave him an evil “thinking” face and that seemed to be fine XD;

Side note: I have no picture of him, but all weekend there was a guy wearing all-white clothes, even a white baseball cap, and having everyone sign his clothes or draw on them. It was kind of neat, because we first saw him on Friday, and when we saw him later, he was covered with various colors of Sharpie. XD

Drove home- We were going to stop by a sushi place but it was closed because of Easter, and then we decided to try our favorite Jason’s Deli, but they were closed too so we just went home lol…

Things I Bought!

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This was an art trade and not a purchase, so I’m putting it first. Seth of Seth Illustrations, who did an art trade with me last year, returned and asked if I wanted to do another one. ^^ I took the picture next to his art trade from last year ^^ Seth was very kind and encouraging, and also bought some art from me, so I was very grateful. Definitely check him out ^^/

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From Loli-Pop (the table to the right of us), I bought an adorable set of pom-pom hair ties and a cupcake bow hairclip.

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I bought this interesting marker comparison book from Nattosoup. Becca has loooots of other reviews and such online, and they are all very well done, so definitely have a look!

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I also bought this really cute skirt from Kat (JapanCandys)! She kept wanting me to try it on first, and if I hadn’t been wearing lolita already I would have, but I just really didn’t want to go through the trouble of changing lol orz… The waistband is stretchy and I figured it would fit me anyway (I’m size S/M depending on the brand and cut), and after she measured it herself, she agreed. I tried it on after we got back home and yes, it fits wonderfully and works with my existing petticoat too 😀 Thank you!

~Dealer Room stuff~

I never expect to find much in the Dealer Rooms because it’s generally a lot of the same things at each booth, or I find the stuff too expensive, but this time I did find some stuff to buy! (All of them were from the same vendor lol.)

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First was this onigiri bento box, which looked really interesting to me because it’s tiered and has its own latches so you don’t have to worry about having a band to wrap around it (though I guess you could if you wanted to). I love onigiri so I feel like I can actually use this. ovo

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I also got a package of reusable chopsticks because we only had three pairs at home and two of them were my mom’s… So now we have a lot more~

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Finally, I got these little silicon molds since my mom and I have been looking for some~ Silicon molds and cupcake liners are great for nonstick cooking, bento box “side dish” holders, and to make other things like “bar” soaps.

Final Thoughts!

This year’s MTAC was better than last year in a lot of ways. I definitely enjoyed it a lot more and wasn’t as stressed or nervous. The thing I am most amazed by and grateful for is how many people stopped by to buy prints and stickers, or to commission me, and how many people were so encouraging and supportive ;___; Thank you so much, everyone! I will do my best to keep improving and reach more of you with a bright smile!! <3 And I praise God for all of His help and guidance, protection, and wonderful blessings /;v;/

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