London MCM Expo October 2011

I spent this weekend at the Manga, Comics and Media Expo in London.  This is the second year running that I’ve attended, and I’ve got to say, I had a lot of fun.

We set off on Friday evening – took a coach up to London after everyone (there were four of us going) was finished with their classes. The journey up went all right – I think I slept for the first half of it. The downside to travelling up so late – we set off at about six thirty PM – was that it was after nine when we arrived in London. Not a huge deal, but navigating the tube and London buses is enough of a pain without it also being night-time.

The plus side of travelling up on Friday night was that it was much easier and less stressful to get to the convention on Saturday morning. For one thing, we were able to leave all our luggage etc. in our hotel room, rather than dragging it up and down the stairs to the cloakroom at the con like we did last year.

My friend and I spent the first day cosplaying as Nezumi and Sion from the anime No. 6. I feel like we could have made better costumes – something to remember for next year – but on the whole I think we did fairly well. People recognised who we were supposed to be, and we got a few compliments (and unsolicited hugs) which was nice. I enjoy cosplaying, but there’s a lot of stress involved – not only does it involve an absolutely HUGE amount of preparation time, but it makes getting ready on the day of the convention a lot more difficult than it would otherwise be, and you spend the day worrying about your wig falling off or sweating in ridiculously heavy clothes. (My costume involved about three or four layers, and my friend was wearing a leather jacket as part of hers – neither of these are good choices for a crowded dealer’s room.) Still, it’s pretty enjoyable, especially when people tell us they like our costumes. I’m hoping to do it again next year.

We spent a lot of time (not to mention a considerable amount of money!) in the dealer’s room and artist’s alley this year. One of my favourite parts of the convention is seeing people selling their work – not only do I get the chance to buy things I might not have found otherwise, I’m hoping to sell work there myself in future, so I get to do a bit of sneaky market research. One of the highlights for me this year was meeting Paul Duffield, who, among other things, did the (absolutely gorgeous) art for the webcomic FreakAngels. (I now own a signed copy of his recent comic, Signal.)

Because of how stressful it had been the first day, we didn’t bother cosplaying on the Sunday. We had enough to deal with – we had to be checked out of our hotel by ten-thirty AM, which meant – guess what? – lugging all of our bags to the convention centre. (Getting there, incidentally, involved taking the bus and then two different trains on the underground. Not a lot of fun when you’re carrying a heavy, awkward suitcase.) At least there was a cloakroom once we’d got there.

Getting home was, once again, a bit of a stressful matter. I don’t think we’d left ourselves enough time to get from the convention to the coach station, especially since we needed to stop and get food. But, as you can tell, we made it home safely, and overall the experience was a lot of fun and something I look forward to doing again next year.

Now I have to go and not spend any money for the rest of the term.


Second Year Blues

So it’s been a while since I’ve updated this thing. Just to fill you guys in, I’m now back in Bournemouth again, term has started, and I am living with three of my friends, which is cool. It’s the first time I’ve lived in a proper house that is not my parents’ house, which is also cool – and a little scary if I let myself dwell on it too much, to be quite honest.

We’re only a couple of weeks into the first term, and we’ve already had some pretty difficult assignments. (Well, it’s less the assignments and more the stupidly short deadlines.) I’m not exactly surprised by this – I knew second year was going to be tougher – but it’s kind of exhausting and scary and all sorts of other not-so-cool-things. It doesn’t help that we spent the first two weeks pretty much doing research – this is not terribly inspiring after a whole summer of reading course texts. (Or avoiding reading course texts.)

I feel like I’m starting to get into the swing of things now, which is good – for the past couple of weeks I’ve been feeling incredibly insecure about my work and my reasons for being here, and while these feelings haven’t entirely gone away, I have a slightly more positive attitude. The work I’ve produced over the last week has plenty of flaws, but there’s also stuff in there I’m proud of, and things that I would like to develop further, so there may be a light at the end of the tunnel.

One of the things I want to do more of is updating this blog – I’m the first to admit I’m not great at remembering to do so, but an internet presence is important for an illustrator. I’m actually considering switching over to Blogger – I have no personal feelings about it one way or another (actually, I like WordPress just fine) but a lot of my friends and coursemates have blogs there, so it may be better from a networking point of view. We shall see.

Anyway, I’ve got a couple ideas for blog posts lined up, which you shall hopefully be seeing soon, and I’ll probably upload some more art some time next week.

The Return of the Exhaustion Boxes

So I’ve basically spent the last couple of days packing. And procrastinating when I should be packing.

Tonight is my last night in halls before I return to Penzance for the summer. I’m… excited and not, if that makes sense. I love Penzance and I’m looking forward to coming home, but also I really don’t want to leave all my friends in Bournemouth. (Except most of them are leaving too, so it’s not so bad.)

I’m supposed to leave tomorrow morning but I’m so very, very not packed yet. Hopefully we can get it all done as quick as possible and then I will be out of here – which feels really strange.

I’ll be in a proper house next year – really looking forward to this. I’ve enjoyed my time in halls, but there are a lot of things I certainly won’t miss. Like the kitchen. Oh God, our kitchen.

Oh well. It’s been a fun first year. Roll on summer holiday! Now I just have to find a job or a work placement or something…

I am a deviant.

So my project is finally over – much relief, followed by sudden illness but never mind that. I still have, like, another month up here in Bournemouth before I head back to Cornwall, but to the best of my knowledge I only have to be in uni one more day. Except, of course, for the fact that I live on campus and am thus technically in uni every day whether I need to be or not, but you all know what I mean.

One of the side-effects of having no more classes is that I suddenly find myself with a lot more free time. Which is good, obviously, but it does mean that I feel kind of… without drive, I suppose is the way to put it. I’m certainly not producing as much artwork without a deadline immenant.

That’s not to say I haven’t done anything – but a lot of it is rough and unfinished and I don’t really want to post it. In an effort to keep my hand in, I’ve been taking part in a weekly speedpainting contest my friend runs on deviantArt – you can find details here if you’re interested in taking part. (I encourage you to do so; it’s tons of fun.) I was considering posting my efforts here, but it’s a lot easier to just link to my dA page – so here you go. I hope you’ll all check it out and maybe consider following me or commenting on my work if you have an account yourself. 🙂

This has been a thinly-veiled self-advertisement. We now return you to your regularly scheduled internet, already in progress.

The sewing machine has taken over my desk.

Well, I got back to Bournemouth about a week and a half ago and have been seriously bogged down with work since then, hence the lack of posts. My deadline is tomorrow, and I just did thirteen textile pieces in about a week. *phew* That gives me about twenty total. Would you like to see them?

Yes, yes you would.

These are all based on my location drawings, some of which I posted in a previous artdump, by the way.

Just a quick FYI.

This is my last week of uni before the Easter holidays, and this Saturday I’ll be heading back home for a couple of weeks to see friends and family. I’ll have internet access and I’ll try to post while I’m there, but I may or may not have access to a scanner, so it’ll probably be a couple of weeks before you see any more art dumps. Just a heads-up.

Sun, sun, sun.

I’ve been doing a lot of location drawing lately – officially it’s for my course, but in practice it’s an excuse for me to walk into town and enjoy the nice weather we’ve been having lately. (It was really hot today, considering it’s only April. I was at the beach and there were guys running around in swimming trunks.)

Just to prove I’ve been making productive use of this weather, here are some of the location drawings I’ve done over the past couple of weeks.

Church Door.

A house. Or possibly a hotel.

Bournemouth beach.

Hills near the beach.

Beach huts.