Monday, May 23, 2011

Pre-Con Stress

It's Monday, May 23, and I have four work days left before Animazement. As usual, I'm not even remotely ready (rushing to get stuff done is why there are no pictures in this blog today). I suppose it's worth mentioning that I'm doing better than most years at this time. In this blog, I'm going to go through a little of what I do to prepare for conventions--this season will include a record number of 5 cons starting with Animazement and ending with Magfest next January.

First, cosplay has always been a large part of the con experience for me. I have been going to Animazement since 2000. I have had new cosplays for our family every year since then. Admittedly this wasn't that hard to begin with. In 2000, it was just my husband and I. In 2001 we added monkey #1, and in 2003, there was monkey #2. Even then, it wasn't so bad. Cosplay for small children is fairly easy. Luke's, my #2, first cosplay took me only 2 hours to make--it was an infant Final Fantasy I Black Mage. This year, however, I am making 5 costumes for my family, and the kids are getting older which means more complicated costumes for them. On top of our family costumes, I am making one costume for one friend and helping another with significant parts of his costume. It's amazing how that starts adding up.

Add, on top of that preparations, for Artist Alley. I did my first AA at Animazement in 2009 (first AA ever was Anime USA 2008). That adds a whole new dynamic to the list of things to do. To start with, it usually involves sorting through whatever was left from the previous convention, taking inventory, and deciding what needs to be restocked. Then, there's the new stuff. I try to have new stuff at my table for each convention--I see a lot of the same people at the conventions I go to, particularly Anime Weekend Atlanta to Animazement or Animazement to Anime USA, and it's always nice to say hi and point out what I've done since they saw me a couple of months earlier. Even though I'm still wait-listed for Animazement, a friend of mine who did get a half table offered to let me share a corner of her space, so there's that, and there's also the chance that I will end up getting a table. So, being prepared is a good thing. The worst case scenario is that I will have less to do when preparation time comes around for Otakon in July.

Thankfully, for most of the conventions I go to, I don't bother with new costumes; that's just for Animazement. This leads up to the blog title: Pre-Con Stress. As I mentioned earlier, I'm not even close to being finished with preparations. I have 1 costume out of 5 finished--3 of those left have at least been started, but there's still 1 costume I haven't even started yet. I have new stuff and old stuff printed for the table, and I got the badges cut out, but I still need to cut out the bookmarks, the text for the back of the badges, and laminate the whole stack of stuff. I meant to have the Beholder plushie, 3 11x17 prints, and a quilt ready for the Art Show; the Beholder plushie is the only thing finished. One out of the 3 prints is almost finished; the other 2... I won't even go there. The quilt--it's ready to be quilted, but that's only because I started the project 3 years ago. XD I haven't gotten any work on it done recently.

It gets a little daunting when looking at a To-Do List like that--of course it's been worse... like the year where I had no finished costumes at this point and 3 out of 5 not even started. XD I keep saying that I'm not going to be up at 1am the night before the convention laminating stuff or doing last minute throw-together stuff for unfinished costumes (<3 safety pins, duct tape, and hot glue), but so far, that has yet to happen. I'm going to blame pre-con stress for missing Friday's post--I had plans, but in the chaos of trying to get parts of cosplays finished, record the audio for our skit (first year doing this), and *trying* to squeeze in a few moments to try and get the 3-4 pieces left I wanted to have ready for the auction... it didn't happen. To make up for it, if I can figure out how to upload pictures to Blogger from my phone, I'll post an extra Convention blog this Saturday. In the mean time, here's hoping I can wrap all this stuff up (reasonably) before Friday morning, although this wouldn't be the first year either the sewing machine, the laminator, or both got packed. =P

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