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I finally managed to cross something off my bucket list - selling my art at a convention. And I had a pretty good time while doing so!

Last weekend, I participated in Animangaki 2012, a small fan-organised anime convention which was just a 10-minute drive away from where I live. The idea to set up a booth was pitched by me on a whim, and I got a friend to join in. I was selling Pokémon-related merchandise while my friend sold some seriously adorable cross-stitch button badges.

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The hall the artist alley was situated in was pretty small and got crowded real quick. There weren't many cosplayers around, although those that were there were pretty well done. I even saw an N cosplay, but forgot to snap a photo of her.

In the end, my sales were decent - I managed to break even, although most of the stuff which sold were the non-Pokémon related merchandise. Most of my customers were kids with their parents, while others asked if I had any Reshiram/Zekrom stuff for sale. My friend's button badges, on the other hand, were immensely popular and sold off really quickly. It was a good learning experience for me as I got a better gauge of what people go after (badges, keychains and prints), although I don't think I'll have the time to participate in another con in the near future.

As I have some leftover merchandise from my stall, I've decided to open up a Storenvy shop to sell them! You can check it out here, or you can also drop me a note on DA. I'm still new to this online sales thing, and the last time I delivered a card internationally didn't go so well, so please bear with me.

Anyway, thanks for reading til the end of my journal! To end it, here are some random pics I took at the con:

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More button badges my friend sold - I swear that Totoro is freaking cute!

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No Face in the crowd...

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After recently returning from my first-ever(!) anime convention, I was struck by this wild idea – I should actually try selling some of my artwork at a convention. More specifically, I was thinking of selling handmade paper craft like Pokémon tags and greeting cards. However, I'm not sure if people are willing to buy handmade paper craft or anything Pokémon related. I took a look around the convention and the booths were selling printed bookmarks, badges, doujinshis and posters. There weren't many signs of anything Pokémon-related elsewhere either; I saw exactly 7 Pokémon cosplayers (mostly Pikachus) among the dozens of Miku, KHR, Bleach, One Piece and Naruto cosplayers.

So my question is this – how can I suss out the market for my potential products? I'm not in touch with the Pokémon fanbase (if any) in Malaysia, and would like to stick to Pokémon-related stuff since I'm not too familiar with other anime and fanbases. I've tried searching online for any Pokémon fanbases in my country, but with no luck. I'm also thinking that an anime convention might not be the best place either, since most of the fans seem more anime-centric than game-centric.

If you have any suggestions, or have experienced selling uncommon items at conventions, I'd like to hear them :)
  • Listening to: Gymnopedie No. 1 - Eric Satie
So I logged on earlier today and noticed that I received about 50+ new messages. I figured someone may have favebombed my gallery and I didn't check it out. Logging on a few hours later, I discovered 500+ new messages in my inbox and realised that it was for a Daily Deviation! :noes:

This may sound cliche and all, but I never expected a DD. I always assumed DDs were reserved for outstanding pieces of art produced by dedicated artists, and since Feeling Zen was just meant to be a simple birthday card for a friend, it was really, really surprising.

Special thanks to rioIu and UnicornReality for suggesting and featuring it respectively. Also, thanks to all those who faved and commented on the piece!
  • Listening to: I'm Just Your Problem (Adventure Time)
I guess one of the problems with growing up is that you have to sometimes have to discard stuff that you had when you were younger out of the sake of avoiding embarassment. Especialy e-mails with usernames that sounded cool to you, like, a decade ago.

My e-mail username (shadow_bind) was inspired by a Pokemon TCG attack from waaaay back. Now, whenever I write it down in forms, or god forbid, say it out, people will give that raised eyebrow look. Those who are more in touch with pop culture would probably say, "So you're into ninjas huh?" (though it has nothing to do with ninjas...) Most just maintain that awkward silence. I've tried using it as a conversation piece, by joking that everyone goes through that phase with their e-mail names, but it doesn't do wonders for my image.

I still like the username though, regardless of how lame it sounds to me now. Besides, it's a hassle switching e-mail addresses. Tell me I'm not alone in this...
  • Listening to: Besaid Island (FFX Piano OST)
I've been commuting between home and my university daily for the past 3 months or so via public transport, and it's a 1.5 hour trip one way. It'd probably have sucked my soul out if not for my trustworthy Nintendo DS. For the past month, I've managed to play and (almost) complete a great RPG, Radiant Historia. Here's a few things I think about it:

    - The time-traveling aspect is clever, although a bit tiring if you don't know where in history you need to go to (in which walkthroughs are indispensible).
    - The soundtrack is well-produced, especially for a NDS game. It's no wonder, since the composer for Kingdom Hearts is also behind this one.
    - I liked the battle system! I don't play RPGs much, but pushing enemies into one another to perform combos is new to me. It's such a time saver.
    - Plenty of save points = good thing for a person who has a knack for dying easily :cry:
    - Story is a bit confusing. It feels like another one of those 'you are the chosen one' cliches, but there are some nice twists and at least the characters' personalities are fleshed out a bit.

All in all, a highly recommended game!
  • Mood: Big Grin
  • Listening to: Price Tag (Jesse James)
Congrats to bassmegapokemonlover for winning the giveaway! Also, thanks to all others who participated in the giveaway :hug: I hope you get to paticipate in future giveaways too!

Now comes the moment of truth: to see if my country's postal system is efficient in running international deliveries!
  • Mood: Amused
  • Listening to: I Want the Good Times Back (TLM Broadway)
I rarely check the stats for my site, but I just realised that I have 56K pageviews for my profile page, and my most viewed deviation (Infernape) also has 56K views (it has slightly less views though).  

I wonder if it's a good thing or a bad thing when an artist's work is viewed more often than the artist's profile? :hmm:
  • Mood: Astonished
  • Listening to: Firework - Katy Perry
The English translations of the Gen 5 Pokemon names, that is.

If you haven't seen it yet, the list of English translations of Pokemon names have surfaced on PokeBeach. If you want to have a spoiler-free game when the English version premiers, you'd probably not want to read the rest of this journal. But if you do, you can see the list here.

The complete list is just a rumour for now, but I really hope that some names never see the light of day. The trend to smash two words together to create new names was rampant especially in Gen 3, where names like Mawile and Regice were just strange and difficult to pronounce. However, Gen 5 takes that to a whole new level, complete with terrible puns. Among the top offenders for me are:

Unfezant - Is it unpleasant? Or an un-pheasant, which means it isn't a pheasant at all?

Roggenrolla - In all honesty, it isn't a downright terrible name, but it does sound rather delicious, like a gorgonzola casserole.

Cofagrigus - Not only is it difficult to pronounce, it sounds like a swear word, and contains one as well.

Beartic - Ambiguous pronounciation. Be-Artic or Bear-Tic? It's probably the latter, but it sounds like a muscle disorder faced by bears.

Eelektrik - Shifting the first E to the back would spell Elektrike. Also, it sounds like a name a 5-year-old came up with.

Krookodile - Something about this name is just plain lame...

Amoonguss - Confusing to pronounce AND spell. Also, I don't quite get the 'Among Us' bit.

So, what's your favourite and most hated name(s) of this generation?
  • Mood: Stumped
  • Listening to: Dog Days are Over - Florence and the Machine
  • Playing: Mother 3
Assuming that you've stumbled on this journal entry by sheer accident, you might as well listen to the rest of my request:


Are you the type of person who likes watching YouTube for no apparent reason?

If you are, do you enjoy watching people playing pop songs on the piano?

Even better, are you the type of person who leaves comments on videos you've watched?

If you do fit those criteria, then all I ask of you is to use up 5 minutes of your time to watch my brother's video on YouTube:

yada yada yada

Now, this is not a plug for my brother's skills. You are not obliged to leave nice comments, or any comments at all. The reason is simple: my brother has been tormenting me by playing the same songs over and over again. Every. Single. Day.

I figure if he notices that the number of views on his videos rises, and maybe a comment or two is left, he'd probably get around to varying his repertoire a little, and put me out of my misery. So a little community service from you reading this page would be much appreciated.


Thanks,
endless-whispers

P.S. Oh, and Happy New Year to everyone out there!
  • Mood: Optimism
  • Listening to: Ohio - Glee OST
This entry is a bit of a spoiler. Read at your own risk!

I know it's been months since Toy Story 3 was released, but I just watched it for the first recently. Needless to say, I teared up during the last 10 minutes or so of the movie. The story was bound to have a touching ending regardless of how it went, so I braced myself throughout the movie to start shedding tears.

There are two kinds of touching moments: the more common touching moments have a buildup of sorts. They occur when the movie has a high likelihood of having a tear-jerking moment, and you cry more readily because you know what to expect. (In Grave of the Fireflies, the story starts with the two main characters dead. I cried throughout two-thirds of the movie, even during the happier parts.)

Less common is the out-of-the-blue touching moment. It happens right when everything is going along fine, and then BAM! you begin sniffling and reaching for the tissues. I can't remember many movies which have those moments, but How to Train Your Dragon had one of them at the end, as well as the series finale for the anime Kino's Journey. In each case, that moment stuck in my mind long after the scene as I wondered if the story could have gone any differently. (The finale of Kino's Journey stuck in my head for days - the touching moment was really depressing.)

Do you have any personal favourites for an unexpectedly touching moment? No spoilers please, just keep them as vague as possible :D
  • Mood: Tearful
  • Listening to: Your heart will lead you home
Since everyone and their mom is providing their take on the designs of the newly released Pokemon (you can view the sprites here, I decided to jump on board:

1) Many Fighting types seem poorly done this time round. The Dokkorar family line (the one wielding planks, iron beams and concrete) and Judo/Karate duo are weird to look at. Game Freak probably wanted to emulate the Machop family line and Hitmonlee/Chan duo from the 1st gen, but the new designs are a little laughable and unoriginal. Even Pokabu got a poor deal by getting an overused Fire/Fighting evolution.

2) On the other hand, Grass types got the better end of the deal. The leaf insect family, Churine (the Oddish look-a-like), Erufuun (cotton sheep) and the seasonal deer family retain simplistic designs, rather than a whole bunch of patterns and unecessary appendages.

3) A lot of Bugs seem like a waste of space (more than usual at least). While they have more mixed typings, many seem unnecessary, like the Chobomaki line (the knight-looking ones), Aianto (the steel ant) and Kaburumo (the ninja/samurai? I think Pokebeach got their images of evolutions mixed up). I do like the electric tarantula line though.

4) Looks like Ice types got shafted this time round. A floating snowflake and ice cream cones? Even the polar bear family can't save those unimaginative designs.

5) The Ghosts look cool. The floating sarcophagus looks creepy (in a good way), the ghostly jellyfish seems ok, and while the floating chandelier looks like a Heartless/Drifblim, its pretty neat as well. I don't fancy the Ground/Ghost golems though.

6) There are too many unnecessary three-line evolutions. Gear literally uses the same sprite for each evolution! I'm sure Meguruko line (the crocodiles) didn't need a middle stage, the same with Gochiruzeru, Rankurusu and the Ice-cream family.

7) The second half of the Pokedex has a lot of design oddities. The Deshiido line (the steel spiky ball), Shibishirasu line (electric eels), Maggyo (what is THAT supposed to be?), Baruchai line (vultures) and the legendary genies look pretty awful judging on the sprites alone.

And that's my take based on the initial preview of the sprites. Overall, I think about half of the designs could have been simplified/improved/done away with, but I'm sure they'll grow on me anyway and life will go on :nod:
  • Mood: Alarmed
  • Listening to: Jurassic Park theme
...for the 5th gen of Pokemon, could we skip the Pikachu ripoffs, hordes of ineffective generic flying bugs and fish, and finally come up with the Fire/Dragon and Ice/Dragon Pokemon that I've been waiting for?

Let's also skip creating any more Water/Ground and Steel/Psychic Pokemon. They were novel at first, but when they got too common and powerful, they're sorta annoying. I'd like to see a Psychic/Dark or even another Water/Electric type for a change.

And while we're at it, how about creating the elusive Water/Fire Pokemon?


Sincerely,
endless-whispers
  • Mood: Awestruck
  • Listening to: Always Look on the Bright Side of Life
Can you guess what this pic means?

Click here!

(Yes, I drew that pic in under 20 mins - a new record for me)

No prizes for guessing correctly. If you're curious and have time to burn, check out Eat Poop U Cat :)
  • Mood: Dazed
  • Listening to: Salyu - Iris
A whole semester at my uni is coming to an end, but I can't seem to concentrate on things. I'm constantly distracting myself from studying for exams and on top of that, misplacing stuff, like my wallet and my book with thesis notes in it. Sometimes I find I think of too many unnecessary things and end up losing focus on my work at hand.

So, my mini-strategy is to list down thoughts in my head so that I can forget about them temporarily and remember them later, but I enjoy writing things down in abstract meanings (a bad habit) that I am even more distracted deciphering what I thought of earlier. Sheesh.

On a side note, has anybody noticed how weird the official art of Chuck looks? I know he's supposed to be enthusiastic and all, but he really needs to lay off the happy drugs (or roids, whichever works)...
  • Mood: Distracted
  • Listening to: Okami OST - Ushikawa's Dance
Or more specifically, Bugsy's updated look:

OH HI I AM BUGSY

He looks so enthusiastic, it's kind of creeping me out. I've always wondered whether Bugsy was supposed to be a boy or a girl, and the new Sugimori art isn't really helping. Besides, he had an ambiguous voice in the anime, and was mistaken as a girl in the manga. Weird kid, but still one of my favourite gym leaders from Johto. It's a wonder how he was allowed to become a gym leader when two thirds of his team couldn't really attack anyway.
  • Mood: Relief
  • Playing: Advance Wars: Days of Ruin
So they've released the latest info and pics about HeartGold and SoulSilver, remakes of the classic GSC games. I wasn't a big fan of the RBY remakes, but since I became a full-fledged fan of the Pokemon franchise during the GSC days, Gold and Silver hold a certain nostalgic value for me.

So I'm sorta looking forward to seeing how they can jazz up these versions. IMO, Gold and Silver brought some of the most revolutionary concepts to the franchise, especially the introduction of breeding and awesome Dark and Metal types. I thought that the GSC Gym Leaders were the plainest though, but I really enjoyed seeing the RBY Gym Leaders after beating the Elite Four.

Just my two-cents on the remakes. I'll probably draw some GSC art sometime soon. Nostalgia is a powerful thing :D.
  • Mood: Eager
  • Listening to: Pitch - Piang Ter (Love of Siam OST)
  • Reading: Some chemical processor catalogue
  • Drinking: Milo
What is dislike about exams is the agonising the day or two you have to spend before the exam itself. My exams are really spread out this time around, giving me ample time to study. And when I have ample time to study, well, I hardly study at all.

To while away the time, I've been reading The Facts behind the Helsinki Roccamatios and Rule of Four. This is a bad sign you see, since I rarely read books at all.

I've also been playing the entertaining Ace Attorney: Trials and Tribulations - until I realised I was playing the wrong game chronologically. So I've been forced to backtrack to play Justice for All first =__=


Boy do I hate sitting for exams.
  • Mood: Bewildered
  • Listening to: Super Junior - Sorry Sorry
...the Academy Award winning animated short 'La Maison en Petit Cubes'? I was watching Part 1 on YouTube a few days back but Part 2 was removed before I could finish watching it! (Shortly after all traces of the video were removed due to copyright issues :noes:)

It's a really beautiful animation with a storybooklike feel, which stands out from the usual 3D animations. It probably has the best soundtrack out of the 5 nominees for that category as well. If you manage to find a file of it lurking on the web, be sure to watch it! (Oh, and you could be a kind soul and pass it on to me - I would really love to see how the story ends.)
  • Mood: Lazy
  • Listening to: Noona [Replay] - SHINee
I feel exhausted yet strangely satisfied after almost 3 weeks of back-to-back debate training and tournaments. Ever since I joined the debating team in my university, I've managed to gather another missing piece in my life - an enthusiasm that I can share with others around me. I've always found it somewhat difficult to talk and connect to people even though I wanted to because I just wasn't interested in what they were interested in and vice versa. I think what I really needed was an outlet to help me balance out my contradictory personality. Finding a remote sense of balance in life is highly rewarding; the feeling is much like how you finally catch a Pokemon after wasting a gazillion PokeBalls on it.

It's now time to enjoy what's left of my semester holidays (just 2 weeks left :noes:) which hopefully, will be spent alternating between a state of benign calm and frenzied last-minute Christmas shopping.

When tomorrow comes, I'm sure I'll regret this being the most emo bloggish post yet :dohtwo:.
  • Mood: Content
  • Playing: Pokemon Pearl! Finally!
I've joined pokemon-secret-santa's Secret Santa Wishlist just to spread some Christmas joy as well as remind people that I have some semblance of life. Here's my wishlist:

  1. A Quagsire lazing about
  2. A Jumpluff drifting about on a snowy day
  3. An Eeveelution in a Japanese setting

*twiddles thumbs* Hope it wasn't too specific. Well then, I better had get cracking on my present as soon I can! :noes:
  • Mood: Distressed
  • Watching: life passing by