I heart Ai-kon! It really is one of the best and most fun events for both me personally and as an artist to attend here in Manitoba.
I enjoy it being part of the Winnipeg ball-jointed doll community now, but also as it usually has a flair for extra elaborate costuming and Japanese infused style.
I also heart sushi.
I brought along my specialty in this genre, ball-jointed dollie accessories, as well as all of my current collection of dolls! We got to put some faces behind dollie names, meet new friends and dress up dollies up with custom fit doll glasses! I think they look great and I had a blast geeking out and playing with dolls!
BRIDGING THE GAP
To bridge the genre gap, I also got many people stopping and wow-ing about my doll Dana, who was cosplaying her partial sci-fi/horror heroine namesake, Ellen Ripley in one of my fav's Alien!
She was front and centre (a bit more like front and side) in a 3D printed replica of one of the most recognizable alien killing machines, the Power Loader!
My Hubby and I have been 3D printing and painting this huge monster together over the past year or so! (I have so many photos to edit of it in all its glory, post coming soon!) Here is the little guy taking his first steps about a year ago last July...
It was so much fun sharing stories of what fans love and hate about the films, when they were first allowed to watch it (or not allowed but did so anyway). Or finding out who's parents let them watch and they got scared but ended up loving it anyway-yep, arm raised here!
I also had a variety of my alien fabric pieces on display, like my xenomorph quilt, alien handbags and other squishy goods. The grey facehuggers pillow did find a great home with a super enthusiastic fan-so awesome!
It was so great to be able to showcase these extra pieces of art and design in really fun and unique ways that don't always shine through when I put (or have room to put) my regular finished goods out!
Sometimes folks first comment and think I am selling ready-made products, rather than actually drawing the designs, printing them, sewing them and then offering them up in hopes someone will love them to pieces! Once they learn that it all starts with an idea or a dream and I can usually make anything their hearts desire, they do become amazed at the potential!
I love that this community is really appreciative of all the artists' hard work and want to know more about how you do what you do and honour you for it. And we are so ready to share our love for the pieces <3
ALL THE SHINY!
Of course, I also brought along some of my handmade geekery and gore. Geeks can like more than one thing, and many artists do cross genres, so there is usually something for everyone. And I did see at least one Batman ;P I did spend some of my hard earned funds on two pretty (and some may find terrifying prints).
Find these fantastic artists on IG here: @Gilliannewland @Brihoangdraws
And there was something I had wanted to pick up for my Azone Picco Neemo (1:12 scale) doll house, well for outside their dollhouse, a little koi pond from the fab miniature artist @lonely.cloud!
They aren't sure where it's going to go in the yard quite yet...
I also added some boozy beverages from Lonely Cloud as well for these booth babes to have after the Con was over to celebrate! If you are looking for minis for dolls, or for adorable miniature things to personally wear as earrings, jewelry or put on your fridge as magnets, you can find her Etsy Shop at GloriaJoeArt
And Jonesy found some friends! Every show folks ask me if he is for sale, and sadly no he is not. But I did get him at Ai-Kon last year, and this year there were a few more, so I grabbed a few to join the crew! So now you all know to come on out to Ai-kon to get your super soft and squishy kitties! They did come home and got rid of pets we've been working to exterminate...
Brimming with energy, a spirit of play and sparks of creativity all weekend was wonderful! It was also really fun to just be able to watch all the cosplays come and go for the entire weekend from behind my table! One die-hard even had different costumes for morning and afternoon EACH DAY!
To take a glimpse of more of the costumes check out these places:
Ai-Kon Saturday and Costume Contest Photos - Facebook Album
Ai-kon Photo Booth photos
Winnipeg Conventions works hard to bring the event to you as close to live as possible! Check out their Fb page and follow along for a glimpse into the Con as they stroll through the marketplace and around the halls, snap pics and post the the photos and videos from that weekend and nearly all conventions throughout the year!
PANELS & GROUPS
I only attended one panel, about dolls of course, and it was a nice educating experience about the smaller fashion dolls. I have made a few glasses for some, and others I haven't had the opportunity to see in real life, so that was neat!
They had many different panels, from cosplay basics, ball jointed dolls, sewing, making sushi, how to go to Japan, dealing with emotions, which digital drawing tools are best I can't think of more from this year...but a wide range of topics, that's for sure!
There are also tables of community groups and other Conventions (FanQuest, C4, Keycon) that have tables. Here you can get discounted memberships and learn more about different hobbies or groups.
The groups have displays or collections, for example, the ball jointed doll folks have many different types and styles showcased, so you can see and politely ask to hold them before even purchasing (or saving up to purchase) your first one! You can always request to join us on Fb at Winnipeg BJD.
Other activities included gaming lounge digital and tabletop, anime screenings running all the time, swap meet, guests, maid cafe, and I'm sure a few more things I'm leaving off the list. To learn all about the amazing thing the weekend holds, visit their site at http://ai-kon.org/
So I do highly recommend marking your calendars for their smaller winter convention, Winterfest 2019, or next July for Ai-Kon, if you were even the littlest bit curious about anime, sushi or Japanese culture. Everyone is super friendly, you will learn things and be surrounded by amazing people!
If you attended Ai-Kon, I'd love to know what your fav part is! Leave a note in the comments below!
In the meantime (or before gift giving season), feel free to contact me anytime you have fabric, yarn or 3D print fantasy you need to come true!
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