Sunday, August 8, 2010

Japanese anyone? Top 5 websites

Is anyone out there learning Japanese?? I assume a lot of people are. I know I am studying Japanese, sometimes I uh, skip some study sessions, but I'm learnin alright??

   Anyway, for anyone that is studying Japanese, or even wants to start studying, here's one of those top w/e lists.

    This site is, well in the words of Koichi Tofugu, flashcards on crack. It's got a ton of stuff you can learn but you're just here for the Japanese right?
  First you learn some words, then you review the words. They have a dictation option as well that has a native speaker talk and then you have to type out what they said by ear. It's really good listening practice. They also have a mini game you can play to practice and you can make a list of vocabulary words you want to study!

#2: Lang-8

    This site is really great for solidifying stuff you've learned and writing practice. You write journal entries in the language you're studying (I assume Japanese if you're reading this) and then native speakers correct your mistakes. You can also correct other people's journal's who are learning your native language. There's nothing better than having a native speaker talk to you about the language!


     This site is a lifesaver for looking up kanji or other words. You guessed it, it's an online dictionary and it's really simple and easy to use which is always a plus.

#4: Tae Kim's Guide to Japanese

     Yes it's literally a guide to Japanese. Probably the closest thing you'll get to an online textbook (that's free). It explains pretty much everything about grammar and it even has practice exercises! Definitely look here if you need something explained.


    This site is similar to Tae Kim's guide, it's got a lot of grammar explained and the best part is probably the quiz's they have on there so go check it out!

That's all for now! seeya!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Suikoden Review!

      Hey all, I just played the RPG Suikoden!

Suikoden is a role playing game. You play as a kid with an imperial general for a father. When his dad goes up north (I think) you begin running errands for the empire. But what happens when a visit to a mysterious mage turns you into a liberation army leader??

   I liked Suikoden mostly because I love to play RPGs! I started a bit slow at the beginning but once I picked it up again after a week or so I couldn't put it back down!

 I liked this game because I thought it was pretty fast paced. The story goes along nicely, and there's still extra things you can do before progressing with the storyline as well! side quests if you will, since we all know RPGs would be bad without them!

     I also didn't think that the game was too hard or too easy, just right for someone like me. If a game is too easy you get bored, and if it's too hard, well be prepared to buy a new controller after chucking it against a wall..

    The game was also a decent length. I did not feel as if there should have been something more when I beat the final boss and I didn't think the game was dragged out too much.

  Something else I found interesting about it was the battles.. The game centers around war and fighting like most RPGs do, and so some of the battles were between large armies. You get an army and can control what they do, while the other side's tactics will be somewhat unpredictable. you know, to keep it interesting.

     Another cool thing about Suikoden is that you don't get magic per-see, you get items called runes. You attach the rune to a character, and then based on that character's stats, they get a bunch of spells to use in the battles! I thought that was a new concept to the magic thing :)

   Now for negatives about the game..
       hmm I think the only negative things I have to say are that some of the characters impose themselves on you. It's cool if it's part of the storyline and they gotta go in your party for a little while, but some of them are kind of annoying. Especially if you gotta have a level 1 guy in your party cuz he sucks and you never trained him, while the rest of your party is oh say, level 45.. yeah, annoying.
  Another annoying thing was the random battles. I know I know, random battles are an essential part of RPGs and leveling up!! I know, and that's ok. But sometimes in the game the random battles were a little too random. Like, a ton of monsters showing up every 5 seconds when you don't want to fight or are just tryin to get somewhere. and then, barely any monsters when you're actually trying to level up or get money.. yeah, annoying.

  Overall the game was cool, it has an interesting storyline with plenty of unpredictable twists! The characters have cool designs and there's pretty much a character for everyone. The battle systems are unique to other RPGs and there's plenty of stuff to do before progressing in the story. Also the graphics and music are great :)

 Over all I give Suikoden a.... 4/5!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Reviewing Gainax anime on my other blog!

     Hi everyone! 

     Have a nice 4th of July? so my other blog is all about reviews and I was thinking of reviewing anime series by Gainax. and since this blog is about anime conventions, it only makes sense right? so here goes,

So lately I've been thinking that I should watch some Gainax series or watch ones I already watched over or actually finish watching..

      Well that's when I figured that I should watch every single Gainax series ever made.. and review each one... on this blog. The only series I won't review a lot is Evangelion since you can find tons of info about that fucked up thing all over the place so I'll focus more on unpopular series like Nadia, Abenobashi and princess yucie and also some even more unpopular ones lol.
   So anyway, I'm gonna go in chronological order so that means I'll start with Nadia, the Secret of Blue Water! By the way this is my favorite anime EVER.

well here's the list of anime by gainax according to wikipedia:


I CAN'T WAIT TO WATCH ABENO haven't seen it in a long time ^^; anyway I'll also be doing other reviews in between these since anime takes awhile to watch. So look out for the "Gainax Review: -insert anime-" titles if you want to read the reviews. or if you just haven't watched said anime and want to see if it's any good before you watch. I'm doing the work for you! 

        To see the reviews (as I post them) check out my reviewing blog thing here:

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Nadia Pinky Custom!!

  ok just had to share this on a blog post since Pinky:St garage kits are sold at conventions sometimes.
I've been trying to make a Pinky street custom doll for a while, had a lot of screw ups but I was finally successful in making this Nadia Pinky:st custom doll!

Also here's a link to a bigger version :3


ok I've got the table, how do I get people to come over!?

      Wondering what's a good approach to get people to come to your table? Are you bored with no customers? Are you some kind of shy quiet artist person!?? Well hopefully this very insightful blog post will help you get some people attracted to your table..

      ok so first of all, you might want to have a nice pretty display. Nothing too bulky but not too plain either. If you refer to the pictures page up there you can see our table both years at Castle Point Anime Convention. Here's a link for you. Pictures  If you looked, you can see that the first year we had a bland table, sure it had some posters hanging up but it just looked boring :(
The next year we went we had the right idea, those stackable cube things are really great! Although we kind of overdid it and it looked kind of cluttered. It's up to you what you want to do but in my opinion you want to have those cool stacking things, probably two towers on each side and only put up your best work or work that you can see well from far away!

     Well ok so you've got your table set nice and pretty, but you're still not getting that many customers... what now?

    A good way to draw people over is to be active at your table. If you're going to do commissions all day then you won't seem very active, or friendly to some people. You might want to bring a friend along that can stand up behind or in front of the table and greet people, and socialize.

   When we went to the convention this year I wore a Princess Peach cosplay and Joao dawned a Mario hat. I decided to stand out in front of the table (not blocking the artwork of course) and wave and smile at people. Ah, just like royalty :) well needless to say I got a lot of pictures, and those people who took the photos of me then took a look at our wares. Anyone that walked by our table I would say hello to them.
It's also fun to call out the name of a character someone else might be cosplaying.
So if you see Morrigan walking past your table, don't just stand there gawking, yell out something like, "hey it's Morrigan! Morrigan come over here and kick my ass!" The person cosplaying might not come to your table straight away but they'll see you and your table, and probably stop over later if not at that moment.

      If you're shy, cosplaying can also make you feel more self assured. You're not simply putting on a costume, sure you might look silly but you'll also FEEL like the character you're wearing. Most cosplayers know this feeling. Therefore when I had a princess Peach dress and crown on, I felt like I could reach out to people especially other cosplayers. Because I was a famous character that everyone knew. So if no one knows who you are personally, they'll know the character you're portraying and feel closer to you!

    If you're not comfortable with cosplaying, at least dress to impress. No don't show up wearing a prom dress or tux, just put on your coolest most badass clothes B) or at least wear a funny shirt or something.. and if you don't want to stand out in front of the table, try standing up behind the table or if you sit down, do something like tidy up the table cuz a lot of stuff will be getting shuffled around anyway.

     So what have we learned? if you want to draw more people to your table stand up and shuffle around or pretend to be doing something. Try to cosplay as a known character, but still a character you like, or bring someone who is cosplaying so you can show em off in front of the table. Dress in cool clothes if you're not going to cosplay and remember to HAVE FUN!! I think that there's nothing better than just chilling in the alley, talking to other artists and whatever cool people show up at your table. and of course the best part, when someone buys your art because they genuinely love it :)

Monday, June 28, 2010

OMG! I'm next to a popular table! Blessing or Curse?

     Has anyone out there ever had their table next to a popular table? Well our first year having an artist alley table was at a convention called Castle Point Anime Convention. And what do you know, we were set up right next to a table that proved to be very popular. The artists at this table were none other than JJ and Vilsy!

     JJ and Vilsy call themselves Geek Mythology. Isn't that clever? I think it is. well they don't do prints, stickers, buttons or jewelry. Nope these two do something else. Bead sprites. That's right have you ever did those things where you put the beads on the peg board and then iron em together? no? well check these two out at their website and you'll see what I mean!

    Anyways back to my main point. Instead of ranting and raving and explaining stuff like I normally do I'm gonna tell you all a story.

   So here we are, Joao and I, at our very first convention in the artist alley. CPAC is a one day convention but it's still really fun! so we had our table all set up (very crappily) and the table right next to us just happens to be JJ and Vilsy. Upon seeing their wares, I mean art, I thought it was really cool! I had done the bead thing before but I never thought of doing it with sprites like they were. I wanted the Sonic one, the Zelda one, the Tingle one, well you get the picture.
We made friends with the duo and everything was good. They got a lot of customers and in turn those customers ended up coming over to our table. I even heard JJ sending us customers, telling them to go and check us out! That was pretty awesome. So we ended up doing well for our first time all thanks to our new friends :)

     Needless to say we enjoyed sitting next to them so much that we requested to be seated next to them the next year. So this time we had a better display, complete with those ikea stacking cubes! ok it was a bit too much but we still stood out A LOT..
     We were seated next to JJ and Vilsy again and we still did pretty well for ourselves but this time Geek mythology wasn't exactly giving us customers..
They were a very popular table of course and a lot of times during the day there was a big crowd around their table. Sometimes the crowd would get so big that some of the people would be standing in front of my drawings :(
   Not only that, but once in awhile we'd lose a customer to them because they would look at our table then notice, hey that looks cool, what is that? and then wander over to their table..

     I don't have anything bad to say about JJ and Vilsy because they're cool peeps and they make cool shit. I also wouldn't mind sitting next to them a 3rd time just because I think they're good friends and I don't mind losing a customer to them once in awhile because there is a benefit of us getting some customers to our table as well.

But of course what my point is, sometimes sitting next to a popular table can be a curse. Especially if they have artwork that's different from yours. At the same time if you have an artist friend you see at a convention, that's pretty cool and I think that should be treasured :)

What about the Pricing..

      Are you not sure how to price your shit? well I'm going to share my insight with you..

To start you might want to factor in the cost to make the print or keychain or whatever it is you make. How much did it cost you to make each print? How much was the paper, how much was photoshop, how much was your computer? Well ok maybe you don't have to factor in the price of the computer or photoshop cuz who the heck buys photoshop? hahaha!!! ..erm.. just kidding..

     Anyway, think about the cost of the paper you used, or how much the print shop charged you per print. What about the gas and the money you used to pay for the hotel? You might want to factor that in. And don't forget the effort and time you put in to make that picture or pair of earrings!
     But don't forget to make the price reasonable.

  I usually charge $5 for 8x10 prints and $7 for 11x17 prints. You can add or subtract from that price, but I think those prices are really the lowest anyone goes!
      Jewelry and keychain stuff like that I charge around $5-$6 and the same for DS cases. Ipod cases I part with for $3 mostly because I get all the fabric I use for those for free :)

Sometimes I'll have a set price for an item but no one seems to be buying it. Usually if the item isn't exactly flying off the shelf, I'll lower the price by $1 during dead time until the end of the convention. Sometimes I just want to get rid of some things!

     Also try to price things in whole numbers, like $5, $6, or $4.50. It's a lot easier to do math fast when it's simple numbers like that. Can you subtract $7.86 from $20 as fast as $5 from $20? Even if you do price with simple whole numbers make sure to bring a calculator! It may seem trivial but when you've been handling money all day you too, can get a brain fart.

    So that is my experience with pricing!

Everybody Loves a Dead Guy!


yeah I said it! Kamina!! I don't know anyone who doesn't love Kamina.. and that is why he sold out at the last anime convention I went to! But not as a print.. No, I sold Kamina as... a bookmark!

    Bookmarks are convenient things no? even if you don't read actual books, no one wants to dog ear the pages in their precious manga! and who else would you want on your bookmark besides Kamina?
   I made a bunch of different bookmarks to sell at the convention including Pikachu, Link, Princess Peach and Zelda.

Bookmarks are another thing that are small and since they are actually useful, people will be willing to buy them. I sold my bookmarks for $1 each and I even had a special where if you buy 5 or more bookmarks they'll cost 50 cents each! Only a couple of people actually bought 5 bookmarks but that's ok for me cuz I'll get more money if they only buy 1 haha. So that is another thing you can sell if you're not crafty. And remember that you can sell whatever you want at an anime convention!

ok, what should I make???

     If you don't draw or you like to do other arts and crafty things like sew or knit then you should make things!

    People don't always like buying prints.. especially if they've already bought so many at other cons that there's no room on their walls. Someone commented that there was no room for any more prints on his walls so he didn't want to buy prints. so for those people that don't like buying prints or don't want to spend $10 what can you do?

     I like to sew and work with clay, so in addition to prints, I make keychains and jewelry :)

People love to buy items that are tangible, that they can hold and look at all the sides of. That's not to say a print isn't tangible.. but a print is just a piece of photo paper with artwork on it. Yeah you hang it on the wall and it's very pretty and stuff yes. But to be honest, I've never bought a print. I want to buy a print yes, but I want a print that I just must have! Otherwise I don't really want to spend $10 on something I can just print out from the person's website.

     No what I really love to buy from other artists, is stickers and buttons. They're perfect. Small, you can put them virtually anywhere you want, carry them around with you, and when it comes to stickers I like putting em on my bedroom door :)

      Now that's not to say that you absolutely must buy a button machine and some fancy sticky paper to print on to make stickers. Unless you really want to and you think you can make some good money with it. No there are other things you can make that are small and that people like.

Now where's that remote.. what? oh you want me to elaborate? oh sorry.. well let's see, let's start with telling you what I do instead of selling buttons and stickers.
    I make things like jewelry, charms, DS and Ipod cases.

Here's a picture of a charm I made
Now this charm you can put on your phone, DS, or your keychain!

I also make jewelry with clay, like necklaces and bracelets. The most popular jewelry I sell are earrings, and I also provide clip-on versions of the earings I sell just in case :)

Here's a picture of a set of earrings I made that are Sega Genesis controllers.

I also sold some cases for a DS and Ipod. There are a lot of people who own a DS at these conventions so it's pretty good if you have some DS cases y'know, just lying around :)

again a picture of a DS case I sell at conventions for your convenience.

Remember, a lot of people don't want to spend too much money at your table. And not everybody wants to buy a print. Small things that are around $5 will sell very quickly especially because who doesn't like a keychain? so you could try to make something small to sell that is relatively cheap. Most people will at least buy a small thing especially if they like the stuff at your table and they want something to remember you :)

Soo, what do I draw??

     So you don't know what to draw huh? well I noticed that people like drawings that make them laugh or drawings that are cute. Although that doesn't always mean they'll buy it.

     let's take a look at my inventory book shall we? ah, eh herm..          Deviantart

The prints that sold the most were my Princess Peach, K-On, Jirachi, and Drifloon. As you can tell just from the names, those prints are of popular characters or pokemon. My partner Joao also sold most of his prints of Kirby, Link and pokemon like charizard.

    But those prints that sold the most? they were all pinups. Pinups are pictures that are designed and meant to hang on a wall and don't have to be funny or cute or whatever. Here's what my Princess Peach picture looks like -->
    As you can see, it is a simple pin-up of the princess looking regal and delicate.

My partner Joao also sold a lot of prints of the oh-so-popular Kirby with different hats on like this pikachu one

Both kirby and pikachu are pretty popular so this picture sold well especially to people who play Super Smash Brothers.
     There is also a rather funny picture of Link that almost everyone who was at least familiar with the character giggled and laughed at. How many prints did he sell of those? NONE. It's pretty surprising but somehow even though the picture shown to the right is funny, no one bought it.
I'm not sure if it is normal for this to happen but I think that people just want to have a nice picture of their favorite character that they can hang on the wall. And that is probably the reason why this picture of Link that Joao did sold out completely.

   Also one more thing about prints, try to draw a character that you like because then you'll enjoy doing it and people will be able to see the passion! I don't draw Naruto and Bleach cuz I just don't watch or like those shows. erm also if you can avoid drawing super totally popular characters like Naruto or L or something because well, everyone else will be doing the same thing! Try to draw a secondary character because there are fans of those other characters who will want to buy whatever pics they can find of that character.
People who bought my K-On picture commented on how Yui and Ritsu are less popular and everyone only likes Mio. Well I happen to love Yui and Ritsu because they are so silly and cute and Mio is too moe for me so fans of yui or ritsu would want to buy my K-On pinup because not only did it have their favorite character but Mio wasn't in there haha.

    So if you just haave to draw a popular character like Naruto, draw it really good! you'll probably be competing with at least one other artist.

As for me and Joao, you can visit us on our deviantart galleries!
      convenient link and another convenient link

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Sharing a Table

    Have you ever shared a table with another artist or your friend? I always share a table with my cartoonist boyfriend Joao.

    Sharing a table is a really good idea, whether it's with another artist, your friend, or even your parent. although it's probably not a good idea to bring your rents to a convention in the first place..
      sharing a table has a lot of benefits! first of all you've got someone to watch the table for you if ya need a food or potty break, or just want to look at all the other pretty arts :)
plus sharing a table makes the day less boring at dead time!

sharing a table is fun but if you're sharing it with another artist can also be kind of a hassle.

since both my boyfriend and I are artists, sometimes he steals the spotlight :(
luckily our drawing skills are both around the same level and I also sell crafts so I have things to offer that he doesn't and vice versa so we both get customers. But if you're not careful about who you're sharing a table with, then you'll probably lose customers.
For example, if you're an amateur artist with work that kind of sucks, and the person you're sharing with is an expert and went to art school, guess who's gonna get more customers? yeeaaah

in other words, sharing a table with your friend = great company, watchdog for the table and money :)
sharing a table with another artist = be wary of skill sets, they might steal your customers

happy arting!

Do you know how to get a table?

    So how much do tables usually cost? Around $15-$35, something like that, although it depends on the convention. One day cons could cost less, while 3 days cons probably cost more.
    What about signing up? well of course you can sign up for a table on the convention's website, when you do it though will either guarantee you a spot, or you just won't get one :(
   How many months in advance? well if you really want a table for a con watch the website around 1 or 2 months in advance. Usually conventions put up the registration around 1 month before the actual convention, of course it depends.
Also be careful with really popular conventions like Otakon because you'll need some fast fingers to get a table there.
If you don't get the table you can always try asking someone who did to share with you although I wouldn't recommend doing that with a perfect stranger..

An Experience

   Hello everybody! con-goers, and artists a like, this blog is meant to detail my experiences with the artist alley at conventions! I've been in the alley for 2 conventions and I'm certainly going to be going to more.
   So sit back and check out the artist alley, an experience.. feel free to comment on any of my posts and tell me about your experience as well! :)