Friday, January 8, 2016

Year end review of 2015

*warning super long post ahead*

We are definitely well into the way of the new year and I am still trying to play catch up on some old entries...whoops, but maybe all that will be nulled after I do this year-end review or recap of what happened n 2015. I feel I have a hard time remembering what has happened lOL and have to rely heavily on SM to remind me. Whoops. For that, I went to my twitter and IG for some good ol' recap reminders...

I feel like as with every year, when we get to the end of the year it feels like the year just flew us right by. To me, 2015 was no different. It kept me busy throughout the year with so many life events happening and a lot of waiting in preparation to bigger projects. It has definitely been a year of growth for me. I experimented and learned a lot in 2015 and have pushed myself further out to pursuing other projects and improving on my current skills and then some.

Its been a year of aesthetic discoveries and improvements if I say so myself! I spent the majority of the year glued to my sewing machine - which I felt has taken a hiatus and collected dust for the most of 2013-2014. I took up sketching even after my sketch classes finished. I probably spent more time in airports (independently) this past year than I have had in 2013-2014 combined.

I wouldn't want to say I discovered myself or anything to that extent, but it was definitely an eye opening year full of thanksgiving, long hours and gratification in the end. So lets begin with the recap!!!

As much as I love movies I'm actually quite lazy to go to the theatre LOL! And for the last 2 years I pretty much lived under a rock since I was juggling school and a fulltime job. Unbroken was one of the movies I was looking forward to see (I'm a big WW2 buff and also a vigei weeb who grew up listening to Miyabi before he turned to Miyavi then MYV Rocks whoops Due le Quartz days haha)

I also rang in the new year with shaved eyebrows LOOOOoooOOoo Don't ask, it was definitely a phase but ngl. 10/10 would do it again but I just got expensive afk eyebrow mascara loooo so I should probably keep my brow hairs for a while before going back to redrawing them like commas on your face lol

 but really, this same look can be achieved by covering your brows too bruh...Sad I also lost that harness that I had on this photo...IDK where I placed it and am contemplating having to just reorder it =3=;;



Instead of going to ALA like all the kool kids were doing, I jet setted off to the bay area to spend ALA weekend /New years weekend with friends :3 We had big plans to go and explore the city, alkatraz and whatnot, china town and etc but we're lame and old and ended up just bar hopping through Jtown and then shopping the following day.

Went to the Castro for the first time too. It was not as eventful as we thought it would be lol but we all had fun anyway, it could have been coz we went on a Thursday or Friday night /: but oh well, still a great time clubbing and dancing with friends :3 Thanks to Mike and his bf for showing us around!!!

The journey back home was no joke though, it was rather annoying and long. What normally would have been an hr or less flight, had me camping at the airport for 3-4 hours ):< due to a lot of the other airlines having to redirect their flights due to a storm in Chicago. Yeah that wasn't fun.

As soon as I got back to SD it was straight to working on a commission due for Katsucon and I remember I had 3 full weekends to work on this and have it shipped out intime for the con. I was riled up, I was ready, I will be sleep deprived but I was ready LOL. I had always wanted to make a hanfu and this was a lovely excuse to try my hand at making one.

I was able to wrap up the costume within the timeframe and thankfully enough my classs didn't start till a week or two of me receiving the materials so I was able to hack away at it slowly. So long as I am motivated (or more like fire is lit under my ass I will get to it) I can pretty much do anything...
February rang in and it was time for the archery championships in Vegas. My lil bro does archery and I went in as morale support, unfortunately things didn't go exactly as planned and as soon as I drove in that same night, I had to turn right back around to go back to San Diego coz, bs. Just. No. I was really looking forward to seeing the Mob Museum and having a few days out in Vegas (not on  the strip!)

Being the angry little shit that I was, I took my power nap after arriving back to San Diego around 7am, I left Vegas around 230-3Am and was juiced up on Monster and Coffee for the drive back...
I went and got my cartilage pierced.  I've been talking about going back to get a few more done but hasn't quite done it yet...I really need to get to it though...cartilage piercings just take a long time to heal ):< damn and I keep sleeping on that side. Whoops.

February was the insane month. Our lease at the apartment was up for renewal and we've only been ther for a year, but the stupid company was raising rent on everyone! Hectic hectic decissions were made and in the end we ended up buying a house. It was in a whole new community away from where I've always been used to living :x but hey, its a house! For years I've lived in apartments, condos and room rentals... so I guess it was nice to have finally more space to move around and have a designated work room! :o
We were definitely in a crunch, the house was bought and signed within the span of a 2-3 weeks :x
But the good thing about having your own house now means you can paint everything to your liking! My last room was purple and the one before that was a green screen colored green LOL I was tempted to go back to purple but went with a Boudoir color palette instead, Black x Red and the walls already have built in panel indents on them already which made paneling it out a no-brainer.
Around this time was when I first started stripping my hair color from purple to blonde. IDK what I was thinking but I had initially told myself I'll never go grey or silver again coz of how much damage it brought to my hair, but welps. Glad to know that even a year later I'm still good and light since I remember when I was younger I would throw on every color possible coz I would get bored with my hair color :x my reasoning right now is that it took so long to get this light I better damn well keep it lol....but I do miss the dark purple weaves...

 I was also pretty adamant on finding or having a makeshift vanity area, one thing that I have always missed having one :x and so far this is what I had working with me. Shelve space is always very important to me.

 Furnishing room is always awork-in progresss, I was adamant  to try and make this the best space I can for myself since I plan on being here for a while. I'm so used to moving so its hard to really 'set roots' when you know you gotta move again so I had been used to living out of crates and boxes for as long as I can remember and never bothered really decorating... BUT THIS WAS MY EFFORT IN IT.

Had this desk for as long as I can remember, it needed a face lift so gave it a new paint job.

Tip: The table was pre-painted with a gloss finish paint, for new paint to adhere to it you wanna roughen up the surface first, so I sanded it down completely as best as I can then painted right over it.

2015 was also the year I got back into cosplaying...I've always done costumes for other people but this was the year I went ahead and made a few costumes for myself. Like woah :x
Naruto~ Sheryl Nome (green costume) and of course my waifu~~ Saber Nero!

I'm hoping I can poop out Arturia intime for Katsucon but IDK tho QvQ;;; I'd still like to make all the Saibassss...And I also still wanna make the red uniform for Sheryl Nome...I'm still far from confident/comfortable cosplaying myself but oh well...

 It has been quite a long while since I've drafted a costume that required armor/craftfoam pieces or even boot covers for that matter. I walked in pretty nervous on tackling this but if there is a will there is a way. Breakking down the costume and pieces in a blue print format really helps.

Bought all the materials at the Fashion District and the trims off Taobao. I started this project March-April and wrapped it up before I flew out to Fanime LOL! Whoops. I had other projects and school in between too...Now that I've survived that, I'd prefer to remake the bodice part but oh well :x

Spring 2015 also marked the return of Dungeon Fighters! HUZZAH though it was taken by a 3rd party company since Nexon dropped the N/A server a few years back :x

Before and after~ the journey to bleaching my hair to death to get it silver/grey. It still pretty patchy here. I eventually went into my friends salon to get it done completely.

Ying came to visit San Diego and we just spent a weekend hanging out, hiking and chilling. For once hanging out outside of a con! The hike felt a lot longer than we had expected...
mostlycozwedidntfollowthetrail... heading back was definitely a lot shorter coz we actually followed the right path...It was definitely ve
ry warm ): I'm surprised the creek/river area even had water since the drought!

April flew by and then we were upon May~ my birthday month. This past year I definitely spoiled myself. I bought myself a new desktop since I've really needed one :x since my laptop is years old and it was just all the nopes trying to play league on it...
As I mentioned, the past year was definitely the year of new discoveries for me and going out of my comfort zone and artistic improvements. I learned a lot and tried new things in terms of sewing. I took up sketching (fsshion sketching class was the year before) I can tell you right now I am atrocious when it comes to the figures and croquis but I am fairly confident and happy with my flats. Especially the drapes! This was also the year I sewed the most costumes I have ever sewn in years LOL....

 Along with my birthday in May, one of the biggest events that I always look forward to is FANIME.
Which is always a nice treat since I get to see friends all over again, my best friend for yuears who I haven't seen in a long time came back tot he states for Fanime and to hang out >w< Lynn also flew in from Orlando for the con :D yassss. I also debuted Nero Saber this convention!

Me and Toshi once again proved to ourselves we have 0 cosplay stamina and was only in costumes for about 30-60 mins LOL........but it takes us hours to get ready...boy do we suck...
Shin and I flew in to Hayward Day 0 to help CJ wrap up last minute cosplay suff and I swear we pulled an all nighter trying to get everything done and all I remember was 4am drive to Walmart to buy a drill....

2015 was the year I got back to spending my hard earned cash on weeb trash, it was also the year my feels for Fate took to a whole new level... 


Also the year I went to Universal Studio for  with friends! Its been a while since I've gone to an amusement park with friends. All or most of the rides we went on were 3D and just made me sick )': I sat out the Jurassic Park one. No thanks. Not a fan LOL I rode it before when it first opened up a decade ago. 

2015 was a big concert year for me. I went to 2 big concerts in the span of spring to summer :3 and I'm so glad and their both very unforgettable shows. Then again I'm sure every show I go to is pretty unforgettable!

For my birthday/mothers day mi madre and I treated to see JOURNEY. YASSSSS.
#1 karaoke band for me! It was definitely a great show!


June-July rolled along and AX was definitely my Fate trash weekend. I added on 2 more Fate costumes to my arsenal ahahaha...I last minute made Rin and Maid Saber lul~~~ Yassss

Anime Expo also marked the life event that made us form SQUAD! Just a bunch of nerdy weebs who shares the same passion get together to plan this insane project that we are trying to do. I will be posting more of that as this year rolls on. Yes! We've been planning this since last summer!
I met a few incredible individuals during AX/Summer and I'm so glad we all bonded together :3 After AX Cindy and Mari came back to Sd with me, and it was great. We ended up shooting a few of their costumes. Which I felt was the pinacle of getting me back into cos shooting and have learned to experiment more and more with different styles and set dressing/building. It was also the year I learned to play with LEDs and not to rely on fancy equipment to take good shots. Long live my ghetto ways!



 Unfortunately, the end of AX/July brought in both good news and bad news...
At the end of July my grandmother who practically raised me passed away. She was an incredible woman who was a doctor, a mother, an educator, a seamstress, a baker. She just was amazing. I learned so much just from watching her. I learned how to bake, sew and etc all just from watching her. She hasn't seen any of the costumes I've made...but... :') I know she's watching and I hope I've made her proud.

She never formally taught me how to sew but I just remember growing up watching her slave away at the sewing machine. The first machine I used to sew my first few sets of naruto costumes was on the machine she used when she was back in SD with us when she would visit...


 This was also the year I finally buckled down and tried to sew ready to wear clothing and not just costumes/cosplay. This was also the year I got commissioned by a new up coming Japanese Visual Kei band called DECADE. I had to keep this quiet for a while as I wasn't able to release the name of the band till now! I made the official announcement on my Facebook page this morning!

This was also the year I experimented on printing a photobook! Now that I've tested the paper quality and had a chance to try out different outlines for the book I am definitely planning on releasing new books for 2016.

End of summer was a big year for concerts and shows for me, one of the biggest ones was BIG BANG. A birthday gift to my sister.  It was definitely a well produced show.  The tour was mostly based on their new cd MADE but glad that they did a few throw backs of songs that I actually recognized :x whoops. The seats werent bad, and even better that there were cocktails LOOOO

I feel the rest of 2015 was mostly spent prepping for the bigger shoots of 2016 which you guys will slowly see trickling on my page and other social media handles :') and deadly excited to get them started. Not enough time or energy to do everything but patience is key!
At the beginning of the year and onto the end of Spring we had all planned a vegas trip. A trip where we all would take and meet up outside of a con. Skeptical that this wasnt going to happen. As with most trips, you plan it with a huge group and it slowly trickles down ): to a few core people but man atleast we made it happen!
We even got to stay in a fancy hotel - The Venetian. Which was one of my favorite hotels at Vegas to boot! We werent able to see any shows (lul) or even see the Mob Museum (whoopps) but its not like Vegas is awfully far from me :x I'll be back again someday...
It was a chill weekend. Pools, drinks, chills and clubbing. Lots of grubbing and walking and some shopping. Overall was a nice weekend getaway. We could have probably dont more but we are lames.  Maybe next time a cruise??? LOL
First time for many of them to be at Vegas! Ironically I was the eldest in the group and I was probably the only one who kept getting carded every casino/hotel we went to =3=;;

My hair had faded significantly at the trip since I went yolo to the pool like 2-3x that weekend, that was probably the first time I've gone swimming since the gym a long time ago :x it was very luxurious LOL and didn't care~ we even got free samples at LUSH to do a hair mask loooo

It was also the first time that many of us had similar flight times to go back to our respective cities. It was fun dicking around a very empty airport before it got busy hehehe. My flight was at 6am??? and we were at the airport by 4 LOL

 Originally as soon as I landed we were going to rush a Halloween shoot since I flew back the weekend before Halloween but I was so tired so we ended up pushing our Alice Madness Returns shoot the weekend after. It was pretty unprepared??? Well, we tried to be prepared but we also learned a lot...especially working with dry ice lol..welp.

The rest of the year was back to prepping for 2016 shoots again and opening up with more planning on projects, as I mentioned before my biggest goal is to put together more photobooks :D and definitely one of them is a Ai Yazawa Cosplay Photobook! Project 707

More information is on my facebook fanpage! Its basically a photobook dedicated to Ai Yazawa's famous works like NANA and Paradise Kiss. I hope to travel around and collaborate with many people to put this project together and release it by 7.7.17 so I got a whole year and a half to put it together. Whoops.

One of the last shoots I did before the end of 2015 was KANTAI COLLECTION: KANCOLLE :D
This was a super rushed, last minute but super fun project. Instead of going for the traditional pretty cosplay shoot I really wanted to push the subject a little more and do a distressed costume and shoot.

So yes, we shot this in the beginning of December, at the beach :'D it wasn't as cold to be honest...

Last year also marked the year I finally caved in and bought myself a lolita dress (from an independent designer. Support independent designers!!!) I've always gone back and forth on my love for the Lolita style. I definitely am no lifestyle Lolita but I do appreciate the goth aesthetics and this print just screams yessss. (Also because everyone and their mom has holy lantern which I still love tbh :x but yeah)  So stoked to get this in the mail. It should be arriving mid or end of January. So It'll be here before I jet set off to KATSU.

Speaking of Katsu. I ended my year with a bigger bang. I finally nut up, bit my lip and shut up and went ahead and booked myself a round trip ticket to Washington and going to my first East Coast convention. Two years ago I went to Houston. Now I'm making my way to the east coast! //nervous
even bigger for me is that I was able to book several shoots :x totally unexpected honestly since I feel not many people pay for booking shoots in California - also coz it feels like such an over saturated market. but I'm very excited for new opportunities, meeting new friends and trying out more and more styles of photography and whatnot.
I had closed down my listings already since I wanted to make sure I left enough room for myself to wonder around the con and still have time to do hall shots and hang with friends and do shoots with them too :D Totally looking forward to this and pray that there is no issues! Its going to be a long 6 hour flight to get there QvQ with a stop over in Dallas (wow never been to Dallas either :'D hehe) and an even longer 7hr flight home with a stop over in Chicago...which makes me extremely nervous LOL coz I dont know how the weather is in Chicago or in Washington. Pray I dont freeze ahaha...
I'm very excited for what 2016 has to offer. Please be kind to me 2016 :'D;;;

1 comment: