That Time You Have Artblock

I never claimed to be an artist. When I was going through elementary, middle, and high school, I always got the worst marks in art class. I liked to doodle, a lot, but I hated art class just for that fact (Ironically, English, one of the degrees I graduated with, was my second worst). In fact, I never thought I could draw simply because I never received much positive feedback on my work. Mind you, I had horrible luck with clay (it didn’t get along with the other pieces all too well, even if the clay was part of the same piece) and usually we had to draw silly still life things like scissors (mine always looks like some under-the-influence squished monster thing – I don’t even know…).

Of course adding eyebrows and fangs doesn’t really help…

Due to this, I even avoided taking any art classes in my undergraduate. However, it seemed, no matter how old I was, how I dressed, or how I tried to act, people who didn’t know me all too well always assumed I could draw (the same way people think I’m a vegetarian). But I can’t. I can’t draw realistically, I can’t copy the art styles of others, and my artwork is by no means consistent! I got C’s and D’s and SFRTG! (That was a keyboard slam, by the way, not an actual grade…) However, before you start trying to cheer me up, saying that was  or think that I’m just saying this nonsense to get compliments, let me get to Point 1, something a crazy professor said to me my first semester of graduate school – Everyone is an artist. Of course, like I said, this man was crazy. He would sing songs and make us act out words and dance around and we were all 21+ and sober as far as I knew…

However, his words stuck with me and I started an ask-blog, where I drew answers because I wanted to get practice for making comics. I made friends with a bunch of other people of various ages who were also doing ask-blogs. It was a great experience during the time I did it and it linked up as great experiences for talking about literacy (I used to talk to my advisor about it and she was in love with the whole idea of bringing different ages together). However, after a year, the block started. None of the questions I was getting seemed all too inspiring, and I started running out of ideas for what I wanted to draw. So against my better judgement, and going by my ask-blog community’s advice, I took a break. And then a longer break. And now the blog is in a ghost town with a bunch of other ask blogs from the same fandom as we all shifted into the rp-relm.

And it’s like writer’s block – the longer you stop, the harder it is to get back into it. After a bit, a similar thing happened with rp-ing – you decide to reinvent your muses, change characters, the works, but none of it works. After that break, you don’t feel like writing again. It’s the same as how long it’s taken me to post blogs. Strangely, I have about 11 ideas in draft. This one had to have been started maybe a year ag-

Oh okay...

Oops

Honestly, there have been long spans of time where I wouldn’t even touch these drafts and sometimes, when I noticed the link to my blog was with my main bookmarks, I would contemplate deleting my blog, believing nothing was of good quality, but that was the thing that my art in literacy professor was trying to say: when you don’t keep going with your art, soon, nothing feels good enough. So I kept the bookmark in with my everyday ones and continually returned to my drafts, working when inspiration hit. It’s important to push yourself to keep going. It doesn’t have to be magical at first, but when the real inspiration finally arrives, you’ll at least be in the pattern of actively writing about it, instead of putting off the inspiration and letting it fade away.

So now, for the x-millionth time, I’m  going to try to stay more active with this (at least between cosplay projects) and finally get those drafts done. I’m going to try to add more art of derpy scissor monsters (or maybe something more relevant) to my blogs and go from there.

 

Until then, that’s it for now,

~Hex

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Pretty Geeks – Why Elesa Totally Grew Up Playing Pokemon

As someone who is fairly used to the idea of being considered attractive (at least when makeup is attempting to cover the horror that is my face), I find it weird how people assume that just because you fit some kind of social standard of beauty, you cannot possibly be an Otaku, Gamer, or Comic-Geek(? I’m admittedly not as into Western comics as the former two, so I am not too sure if there’s a specific word for the label…)

Going around NYCC as Litchi was an interesting experience, even though I’ve done it before. I will not go into the overcrowded fire hazard that it was the whole weekend and the lack of information booklets on Friday. That’s not what this is about. Plenty of other people have addressed it already so I don’t need to.

What I am talking about in this experience is the fact that people kept asking me questions about Blazblue. While some of them genuinely wanted to talk about the game with a fellow fan, others were throwing in random facts and zingers about them, with this indescribable tone of voice that made me feel like they didn’t believe I played the game. Obviously, if I’m cosplaying it, I played the game. I might talk about doing a cosplay to something I’ve never seen before, but I never actually do that because for me, going around a convention like that would not be fun.

Of course, there is a trend called “Geek Chic” going on now, where some attractive girls pretend to be interested in this culture we have. Sometimes booths also hire girls to be ‘booth babes’. Whether or not these cosplays are being done as something to attract attention or get a foot into a modeling door is unknown. There are obviously some celebrities who pretend to be interested in the geek culture. However, why does this mean that every socially attractive girl out there cannot be a geek?

I admittedly used to watch ‘America’s Next Top Model’ all the time back in high school and even at the start of college. A lot of the girls who did really well were geeky. They grew up as the girls who were always socially considered ugly and awkward. A lot of times, the girls who would end up as one of the top model were interested in things that weren’t exactly the norm. Heather, one my favorite models who performed extremely well, had aspergers. She was also a video game designer. She had the most amazing pictures but had extreme difficulty feeling like she fit in with the other girls.

However, Tyra (I don’t know if it’s real or not, I’m not judging it), always told the girls to embrace that awkward. She constantly mentioned how that made for the prettiest models. And that is what I feel makes the difference when it comes to an being attractive cosplayer.

By this, I don’t mean for you to tell everyone you’re ugly and awkward. Not at all, unless you’re cosplaying someone who is supposed to be. What I am saying, however, is to accept how you look because everyone has something that makes them attractive (even if it isn’t by social standards). I compare it to the ugly duckling. Most of us grew up kind of segregated from our peers. While some of us decide to let ourselves fall into the label of being that ugly duck, others find out they perfectly fine not being like the rest.

I’m not saying it’s easy – Clearly it’s not. Up until college, I thought no one wanted to even poke me with a stick, no matter how much my friends tried to tell me otherwise. I was always worried about being that weird crazy girl no one ever wanted to talk to. However, most of us were socially awkward growing up. We’ve all been there so of course we all need to support each other. But, until that can happen, it’s a mindset you need to actively try to push yourself into. Once you embrace that, you are able to be that swan (not that ducks are ugly, but you get it…).

Why Writing Is So Difficult

Honestly, it’s hard thinking of what to write. I know Himechan was still having difficulty thinking of what to say on her site, but Lathya knew exactly what she wanted to do the moment she made her page and put up all kinds of articles and mostly poems she writes.

So, I wanted to leave this as something just anime and video games related but now I’m not so sure. I have a lot of articles in mind that I want to write, but you’ll soon see why I’m stuck (I currently have 4 different drafts for articles I’ve been wanting to write).

I was also considering a journal of sorts – one that would show my progress with cosplays, projects I want to work on, maybe a little about education, etcetera, but much like the journals I kept as a girl, I rarely used them. It’s weird. Mind you, I take a lot of notes, especially on things I want to recall. When a normal person writes an opinion piece that is 2 pages long, you will be lucky if I stop at 4. I’ve been scolded by professors numerous times, who do not want to be sitting there, reading my rants about the education system and all of my personal connections. Granted, if it’s a normal research paper, it’s too short, but I feel those problems are related (and I don’t mean because I like talking about myself).

I’ve even been considering making little webcomics. I’ve wanted to do that for awhile, and it has taken me awhile to grow comfortable with that (same with my writing), but the reason I don’t is the same as every other problem I have here.

And that is, I get all excited about an idea, but then midway through, I lose steam.

It’s not that I don’t know where I want to go. As I’ve mentioned before, I’m the girl who loves spoilers and checking out all the stops along the way. The biggest issue is getting there. Thus why I have the most dreadful sense of direction, both on the road, and in creating things. While I can get a gps or use mapquest to help me find the roundabout way when I’m driving, the only help you can usually get for creative story-sharing (or whatever you want to call writing articles, stories, journals, or drawing comics) are outlines that just make you specify the main points.

Sure there are character development memes you can use (I absolutely love using this one when I role play since, even though the questions are a bit obscure, they do have a good connection to things your character may encounter.). However, these mostly work just for figuring out who the main players of your story are – This wouldn’t really help you all too much with graceful transitions in your plot and certainly wouldn’t help with an article or a journal chronicling your real life adventures that have already happened (unless you’re just spicing these things up, and making them more of a work of fiction).

So, until I figure out the major cure for ‘creator’s block’, please bear with me. Maybe at some point, I will be able to shoot out for everything I plan to. But until then, I’ll just be the writer who sits there, staring at a half-written (or blank, depending on your outlook on life) paper with the blinking cursor curse haunting her.

 

That’s it for now,

~ Hex

New Game In the Blazblue Series- BlazBlue Chrono Phantasma

Okay, let’s start with:

<insert Blazblue-related-fangirling here>

Okay, now that that’s out of the way, let’s talk about some of the changes. There will be new moves for the characters (which is cool because as someone who takes MMA, I know that fighting always evolves). There will also be new neutral art and can I say it looks really good? I’m just a sucker for shiny art! Oh and speaking of shiny art, Noel has a new outfit!

Isn’t she adorable? Don’t you just want to dress her up? Now I know how Litchi feels!

Anywho, now onto the part that has driven up the biggest discussion in all the forums: new characters!

Right now, there have been 3 new characters mentioned – Amane, Bullet, and Azrael. Not quite sure how they fit in yet. I’m pretty sure none of them were members of the original 6 heroes… Looking through a lot of the discussion threads, this has been a huge concern for a lot of Blazblue fans since surprising number of them do play it for the plot (this restores my faith in gamers!). Many of them (and myself) are worried that the new characters may not be as closely knit to the story as the other characters are and are simply there to fit certain game stereotypes.

Take Amane for example. When I first heard the voice, I figured we had a new Bridget (it’s not a spoiler, it’s in the trailer! Don’t shoot me!). Then you have your mercenary and your fighting-is-life-guy. Honestly, I really don’t know what to make of any of it. I mean, we at least knew that other characters (ex: Tsubaki, Makoto, Hazama, etc)  were eventually coming into the games because they were featured in Calamity Trigger, or in the case of some DLC characters, were at least weaved into the story in same way or another. Due to this, a lot of people were expecting Kokonoe and Jubei to be playable (especially since Kokonoe was supposedly promised. Will they become DLC?)

Honestly, I’ve already dropped quite a few fighting games from my roster of games because they seemed to go for the “gimmick” over the story. However, even though it’s only been two released games so far, Blazblue has an amazingly well-tied together plot, much better than a lot of other plot-focused fighting games have. In fact, you could easily say that Blazblue is essentially a visual novel with a side of fighting. As concerned as I am about the fit of the new characters in what’s supposed to be the final installment of the Blazblue trilogy, I’m just going to keep faith that it will work out amazingly.

There is no release date set for the US, but Blazblue: Chrono Phantasma will come out in Japan this winter.

For more information:

http://www.moetron.com/2012/08/05/blazblue-chrono-phantasma-arcade-formal-announcement-first-trailer/

http://www.dustloop.com/forums/showthread.php?14675-BBCP-System-Changes-Movelist-Translations-and-Loketest-Information

http://blazblue.jp/ (Main site, Japanese)

That’s it for now,

~Hex

EDIT: Rumor now is that the new game isn’t the 3rd installment, but is rather, supposed to be more focused on the 6 heroes and Sector 7. I haven’t found solid confirmation of this yet, but that will be an interesting take.

EDIT 2: The Blazblue Wiki has some personality information for the new characters. It is a Wiki though, so keep in mind the information’s always changing.

In Baltimore, Waiting For the Fun to Start

Since I always go to Otakon with my parents, what’s supposed to be a 3.5 hour car ride ended up being a 5-6 hour one (6 due to the water-main break that made it really hard to get to the hotel), since they like to stop at almost every rest-stop along the way. No matter. I’ve turned it into a game – predict who’s going to the con. Usually I put my money on people wearing cartoon/game shirts or have funky hairstyles/hair colors. It’s always fun recognizing those people later, despite the game being very discriminating toward geek culture XP. As much as I feel bad entertaining myself this way, it is a nice feeling thinking that there are a lot of other Otaku coming from your direction to this one massive container for those on the east coast.

If you are here, you are most likely this…

Now for the con business. Let me start by saying that the line actually moved really fast for the prereg badges, which, if you’ve gone to Otakon before, is something totally new.  I was only on the line for 15 minutes! This has been, maybe my 8th or 9th year going (which, OMFG I’m old!) and never has it EVER been this fast. I was extremely impressed by how efficient it was. Hopefully, the line to enter tomorrow morning will be as amazingly fast as well.

For dinner, I ate at this noodle place called “Noodle & Company”. The awesome part is that they are open until 10, since most places in this area of Baltimore seem to close early, much to the dismay of Otaku who have weird hours during con-time. Well, after debating between curry noodles and pan noodles, I ended up with the latter. It was so hot! I think I refilled my filtered water bottle like 3-4 times. It was really good though, so it’s definitely a place for you guys to check out if you’re in the area. In the meantime, being the foodie I am, I’m really excited to eat all the snacks I bought.

How do they do it?

-coughs- Anywho, I need to set up my Janine cosplay and pincurl my hair for tomorrow. Hope to see you all there!

That’s it for now,

~Hex

Making Vs. Buying Cosplay

To me, conventions are a very good reason to dress up in costumes and get sweets, much like Halloween, and just have fun. So what’s the difference between making a costume and buying one, other than the obvious, of course?

Homemade cosplays are great, because you put everything together, you sewed it, and you have that overall feel of you worked for this. Plus, you’re in control of how it fits, so if you need more space in a certain area, you can do that without the rest of the outfit becoming a tent. Plus, one of the great things about it, is that you’re in control of the material. I know Halloween costumes are slightly different, but the shiny ones always seem a little off to me… When you’re making the costume, you can use a harder material or softer depending on the weather or if you want to use genuine school uniform materials. Also, despite the labor, they’re usually end up cheaper.

Of course, there’s there’s also a downside to this. Not everyone can sew exquisite cosplays right away. And we’ve all seen how crazy some anime characters’ outfits are. And maybe you want to be that character while the show is still hot and not after practicing how to sew sleeves for years and years on end. That’s where buying cosplay comes in.

So you’re looking for new ideas on how to put together your cosplay. Naturally, you’re going to want to see how other people have done it. So you Google it. And you’re going to stumble on online stores that sell the cosplay. It’s expensive, but it’s there and it’s looks like it’s supposed to (There are a lot of things to look out for if you go this route. For one, make sure there are good pictures of the cosplay). Why wouldn’t you want to buy something that’s already made? Especially since that shirt would be so much work to do on your own. Have you seen that collar? It looks good and definitely seems worth the money (Make sure you’ve looked around at other sites to compare prices and the S&H). So you decide to buy it. Or maybe you stumbled on someone who does commissions for cosplay and you’ve seen the work they’ve done with other cosplays and it looks good quality. So you give them what you want, ask for the price and have it done for you.

Now of course, it seems there are some I-guess-elitists who think that cosplay should only be made entirely from scratch, even a button-down shirt. Sure, you’re not the one doing the sewing work, but some people work really hard for that cosplay and, like I said, cosplay is about fun. If you want to be that character, and you don’t know how to put it together or don’t have the time, go for it! The main part of my battle outfit Litchi cosplay was actually mostly bought online (minus the staff, the hair accessories, and the bra).

In fact, when I think about it, I don’t think I’ve had a cosplay that I’ve made entirely from scratch. While my Litchi cosplay was bought, a lot of my cosplays have been taking things I could easily find in stores and changing them up. For Litchi’s doctor outift, (Which was probably the most actual work I personally to put into a cosplay), I bought a short sleeve button-down and a red dress and had my way cutting them up and giving them trim. The skirt was actually sewn, but it was essentially straight lines (which is a very good start when learning how to sew).

But, while I encourage learning how to sew (because it’s good for learning how to fix a cosplay or making a cosplay fit your body better), you don’t even have to do that. If you want to buy a costume go ahead. If you want to make it, go ahead. All that matters is that you have fun being your character, and in the words of RoyalNerd, own it!

That’s it for now,

~Hex

That Part Where I’m Actually Upset About Finding A Spoiler

People all regard spoilers differently.

Take Lathya for example. She’ll cover her ears and try to drown out the spoilers. If she’s collecting a manga and all the volumes are in the store, except for the one she has reached, she won’t buy any of them. It’s hard trying to not say too much when talking about a show because most of my friends are like La-chan and feel everything is ruined the moment they find out about something ahead of time.

Fortunately, that isn’t everyone (no offense if you don’t like them). Some people need the spoilers. Himechan gets anxious if she doesn’t know them. For a few people, if a show reaches a cliffhanger, they’re on edge.  If they don’t know what happens, they’ll never get to sleep.

Then some people (at least I hope it’s not only me) just like knowing what’s going to happen. I used to read the end of the book first. Not because I thought I would die not knowing,  but rather, because I curious what point B was and wanted to be able to see the kind of line that was drawn between this point and point A. Maybe it’s because I’ve been studying English Education and we have to look into every little thing. I don’t know. I could go into a whole tangent about how teaching books to students can be complicated because you have no idea how students in a classroom regard their spoilers. However, that is not the main point of my rant.

What is, though, is the fact that Little Miss I-Like-Spoilers-To-See-The-Process possibly stumbled on a spoiler that has ruined Pokemon BW and B2W2 for her. If you despise spoilers, TURN BACK! If you don’t mind, feel free to keep reading.

Thank you Tumblr :/

I had no words for this. My first response was to type random letters, since that is a Tumblr habit. I was so very sure that they were one in the same! I know the manga does things different from the games (since Koga, Sabrina, and Lt. Surge are Rocket members there), but they hinted so strongly in both forms of media that they were the same! This might make me not want to get the new game!

…Okay…I need to calm down now… One of my role-playing buddies who is one of the Trio is coming up with some theories for this. There’s no words on this. Maybe it’s photoshopped! Maybe I can make up how the dialogue will work! Maybe it’s a Dread Pirate Roberts thing where the role gets passed down! I like that one! Anything is possible right now!

Until more information is released, all I can do is take the hints offered and try to piece them toward the end point.

…Or make crazy captions…

“We found these in a bin in the back…”

That’s it for now,

~Hex

AMV of the Week!

Since my MP3 player is currently unusable, I’ve been stuck listening to the *gasp* radio. And of course on every station, there’s a certain song that has been playing over and over again and is now stuck in my head. So of course, I decided to look for AMV’s to this song, because that’s what any person who has a song stuck in their head usually does, right?

I stumbled onto this video, which features the song “Call Me Maybe” and used clips from “Eden of the East” (which by the way, is probably one of the best anime to use with this). The effects are really well done and the clips match up with the song perfectly, making this an adorable AMV to check out! (Warning: There is a lot of male nudity, which you will also notice if you watch this anime.)

Watch it here:

 

Like the video? Send love over to  .

 

That’s it for now,

~Hex

Samurais and Sword Action!

Since I started taking up mixed martial arts again, I’ve been in a bit of an action mood. This AMV is just that. Action! It’s all kinds of sword fighting from various anime to a remixed version of Butterfly and the pacing of the fight scene amazingly fit to the beat of the song. The transitions also keep you on your feet. Check it out:

 

Like the video? Send love to   to let them know!

 

That’s it for now,

~Hex

With Graduation Coming For Some, This Is What They’ll Have To Look Forward To…

…Or not…

I saw this video years ago and still remembered how amusing it was. The song itself is a joke on growing up and this Amv, loaded with funny and gruesome scenes from various shows to help play up up this satire. Check it out:

Like the video? Send love over to  .

 

That’s it for now,

~Hex