Sunday, 16 September 2012

Event:: J-Con 2012!

 Hi all! I came back from J-Con 2012 yesterday so I have been pretty exhausted, phew! I had such an awesome time, it was over two days, Friday and Saturday, and I had a stall selling my 8th Sin products like I did last year! I'm very happy to report I did very well, better than expected, and I saw lots of new faces that will hopefully remember 8th Sin in the future. I wore Gyaru fashion on the Friday night and Lolita for the Saturday. I was far too rushed to take photos of my make-up on Saturday but here's mine from Friday! I think I did quite well on it - I also spent an hour and a half curling my hair but, well, look at the photos! It obviously did not stay in and I sprayed it tons with hairspray! T_T



Friday was a band night starting from 6pm and ending at around 11pm. They had a few live acts on, starting with a few songs from J-Con's mascot, Johnny Reaper. She/he (depending; Angie is a girl but her persona, Johnny Reaper, is guy) is in a band so she sang an originally wrote song as well as one based from The Ramones' "Hey Ho". Next was Ziggy Newman, or Zonic as is her stage name! She was really good, very energetic and kept the crowd entertained, clapping along, waving their arms, etc. She sings with backing tracks under her, including songs she has wrote herself to Sonic the Hedgehog video game music such as The Green Hill Zone theme! Then Area 11 played, who are a full band with a very J-rock style sound to them. They also use anime music in their original songs which is a nice touch and definitely has a place at a convention. After all the live acts, a DJ was one for the couple of hours that was left of the event and played well-known, popular songs such as Kyary's Pon Pon Pon, Gangnam Style and Perfume! They also played the obligitary anime music too, obviously. And Caramell Dansen, but that's a given.

I started setting up my stall on the Friday but I actually forgot my fabric to lay over the table. I started doing the displays so I could just place them on the table Saturday morning but as people started arriving, they started looking at my stuff so I had to have a makeshift table with no fabric! It was good though, because I was pretty much the only trader there. Others were setting up but weren't selling so I had the market capitalised! XD It's okay though, I just picked up my fabric at home and took it in the next day.

The Saturday was the full convention day, starting at 9am for Fast Track ticket holders and 10am for everyone else. Fast Track tickets are like VIP tickets; they allow you into the venue an hour earlier than everyone else so you have first choice of traders' items, you get a goodie bag full of treats (this year's included a box of Pepero, a squeaky Pikachu keyring, a pair of decorated chopsticks and an exclusive con badge, as well as flyers and a programme for the day) and there was a special panel on Japanese snacks held by Tofu Cute that included free samples.


I managed to get my stall set up on time and it looked much nicer on the Saturday with my fabric! There were some really awesome traders at J-Con, including Tofu Cute, Viva Hate, Otaku.co.uk, Khaos Creations and some J-fashion and Lolita sellers including Rocking Horse Designs, Stocking Shock, Drix Productions and obviously me! Most of the day I spent at my stall as I like to represent my goods and keep an eye on everything lol! Rob got a couple of our friends to keep his stall running all day, Tom and Jen, so they also kept an eye on my stall when I went for a wander and to conduct my panels.


I attended the Lolita Tea Party and conducted the Lolita 101 panel afterwards. The Lolita tea party was full of lots of lovely sweets and drinks and I met a lovely girl from Hawaii called Allegra who has come over to the UK for a little bit to attend conventions here with her mother! Isn't that awesome?! Especially that she chose to come to J-Con. :3 She brought some sweets over from Hawaii which were chocolates dusted with icing sugar and a macadamia nut in the middle; they were delicious and had a praline, nutty-chocolate taste to them. I then hosted the Lolita 101 panel along with my friend Joanne from Rocking Horse Designs. I made a slideshow with lots of information and pictures to illustrate. The Lolita 101 was an introduction to Lolita fashion, with all the rules and guidelines detailed as well as the different styles, basic coordinates, tips, brands and shops, sellers and communities in the UK, etc. We were both super nervous but I managed to conquer it and expand on each point with Joanne. I think it went very well, I'm never quite sure how people will react as some people think just listening to other people is boring but everyone seemed quite interested and I got a couple of compliments from it, saying it was very thorough and had pretty much everything they needed to know for a beginner! I can't wait to do it next year!

I also conducted a Basic Japanese panel towards the end of the day. To be honest, I wasn't expecting too many people to come as it's the end of the day and everyone is tired and going home. I actually had around 25 people there. I actually overplanned the panel sooo much! I had all the hiragana tables as well as katakana and useful kanji; I also had small activities to do around every 2 slides, the first one being to write your name in Japanese. I thought the activities would take, like, 5 minutes but obviously they don't! I had around 24 slides but by the time I got to around 14, I was already half an hour over! So I cut it short a little but there is a handout sheet you can download and learn the other stuff I didn't teach. I was nervous again for the Japanese panel, especially since I don't like speaking other languages in front of people but I was okay! Again, the panel went better than expected and everyone told me it was really interesting and just the kind of stuff they wanted to learn at the end! So I think I'll be doing it again next year and maybe I'll teach the other half of the stuff I didn't get to show? XD

 

I saw a lot of friends at J-Con, mostly from my Lolita community but it was still really good to see them again. My friend Abbey cosplayed as Pretty Cure from Fresh Pretty Cure and she was just so cute! She looked such an adorable magical girl, she fits the part perfectly. The day was pretty long, especially for me as I arrived at J-Con around 7.20am and didn't get to go home until about 8pm as me and Rob had to clear everything up and wait for everyone to go home. It was so much fun though and I really enjoyed having a stall again and seeing my friends as well as conducting panels! Now that J-Con 2012 is over, you'd think Rob would take a break but no, he's planning J-Con 2013 soon! Typical!

J-Con stands for Japanese Convention but also includes other cult subcultures such as video games, comic books, Japanese fashion, trading cards and other geeky hobbies. It's in Derby at the Riverside Conference Centre near Pride Park Stadium and the website is here! No, this post isn't sponsored but my boyfriend does run and organise it, and I mean EVERYTHING - paying for the venue, organising traders and artists, panels, events, competitions, prizes, raffle prizes and more so the least I can do is advertise it! I started going to it before I knew Rob though, it's still an amazingly lot of fun! 

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