I am writing this Sunday night. I am beat. My feet hurt, my eyes can barely stay open, and ASTL was totally worth it.
Again, I’m not an anime person, but the laws of fangirling are universal. This was a great weekend of fun and learning. And so many AWESOME cosplays!
Some of the best highlights of the weekend were personal.
First, I loved having some time to chill with Ariana (Cosplay Sewing School Twitter Instagram Facebook YouTube), Antiquarian Couture (Facebook Instagram), and their boys. We are all busy people and I had a blast actually getting to hang out. (If you don’t know, the awesome Ariana will be a Pro at Dragon con this year, don’t miss her!)
Second, I pulled off my first successful mashup! I had a bunch of people recognize Jedi Sakura. It was an amazing feeling. And now I know I can actually do it!
This review a will be a little different. I went to a lot of amazing panels and several by the same people. I will still mostly go in chronological order, but I’m going to go by presenter rather than time.
You might notice the pictures aren’t chronological either. As Sheldon says, “What’s life without whimsy.”
One of the first panels I attended was Cosplay Positivity with Phil Mizuno. I went for the topic, as I am ashamed to say I was not familiar with Phil’s work.
The biggest thing that impressed me about this cosplayer was his attitude and demeanor. He exuded an air of gratitude and encouragement.
Throughout both of his panels, he continuously asserted that, while he was blessed with a large audience, every cosplayer had the opportunity to influence the world for good.
“We aren’t just wearing costumes this is a way we can make the world a better place.” Phil said. “At a convention with 5000 people, that is 5000 chances for your cosplay to make a difference.”
In that and his second panel, a Q&A with Phil Mizuno, he continuously repeated that he was just like any of us and that we all have the power to influence for good. “A celebrity is someone you can look up to and relate to.” And we all can do that.
Another presenter that I went to two different panels for was Kaybee cosplay. I met her last year when I went to her panel Forget this I’m using Hot Glue. (Unfortunately, I had to miss that panel this year).
I did get to go to two of her other panels and greatly enjoyed them both. The best part of her panels is the simple, clear way that she explains her subject matter. I have massive amounts of notes on both topics that allow me to be able to do exactly what she describes in her panels.
Her first panel was about working with foam. This is something I’ve always wanted to do, but the topic terrifies me. How she described working with foam made it seem so simple, almost I could do it.
She provided everything from details on tools (and how to get them cheap) to which materials are best and how to not accidentally poison yourself while using a heat gun.
The second panel was all about makeup. I have a decent amount of experience with stage makeup, but makeup in general is intimidating to me. How Kaybee explained it was so simple I actually made some adjustments to my makeup the next day.
If you ever get a chance to see her present in person or get a hold of some of her online streams are tutorials, I highly recommend it.
Chari and Brandon
Another awesome panel that I was able to attend was an original character panel by Chari and Brandon. I got to go to this panel last year, and it was really cool to see the growth of the panel and also my growth as an author.
I also enjoyed meeting other Whovian Geeks who like to write Doctor Who fanfic as well.
Seifer’s Stitches and Curvy Kitty Cosplay
I really loved The Posing Panel. I regularly feel awkward in front of the camera and have struggled with the photo shoots that I’ve had and knowing what to do with my body. They broke this panel down in a very simple way and they went over every aspect of your body and how to make it look as fabulous as possible.
The candid manner of delivery as well as their encouragement and body positivity made it a fabulous panel. There was something for pretty much everybody in the room. The best part was probably the live demonstrations where they had people from the audience come up and showed how slight modifications to how they were standing or moving completely change the way they would look on camera.
They also had some amazing tips on how to prepare for the photo shoot, how not to feel awkward, and how to work with the photographer. I’m hoping to implement all of these tips as soon as I possibly can.
Brass Engine Games
I don’t have a 3D printer but the 3D Printing for Cosplay panel by brass engine games was incredible. I walked away feeling like I could buy a 3D printer and immediately know exactly what I would need to run it, and how to create anything I wanted.
The program he showed was not only very cool, but it was free for people who are just using it as “hobbyists”. hopefully one day I’ll be able to put the lessons to good use.
I got to check out the FANPOWER Game Show Presents: Anime Super Password panel this year.
I never seen the game Super Password before. But it was really cool. There is no way I would have been able to play it, and not just because of my lack of anime knowledge. It was a really tough game, but all the contestants did very well.
One of the others really cool ideas that Anime St Louis had was the Cosplay Marketplace. It was an opportunity for everyone to bring things to trade or sell. There was some pretty cool stuff, unfortunately because I am not an anime cosplayer I didn’t end up getting anything this year. Who knows, maybe next year I will take my own stuff to sell.
The Vendors Room
Something that I’ve been looking at for a long time are ocarinas. I purchased one when I was a teenager (and still have it somewhere) but I have looked and looked at the ones designed and made by STL Ocarina (Facebook Instagram Twitter YouTube). When I walked past their booth this time, I immediately stopped and turned back around. They had a little Tardis Ocarina. I almost died with happiness. My year-and-a-half time of vacillation and putting off acquiring another Ocarina finally ended when I made my first purchase for the weekend.
One highlight of my weekend was seeing Briana and Jessica or, Brichibi and snowstoryteller (Briana (Twitter Facebook Tumblr) Jessica (Twitter Facebook Instagram Tumblr DiviantArt). I discovered these awesome ladies at anime st. Louis last Year. They presented an awesome panel on body positivity. I got to talk to Jessica, but never did get to meet Briana. We had an awesome conversation about an article that Briana recently did for Geeky Girl’s Guide.
We also talked about some of my future projects and they were so encouraging and excited. I’ve been following them for a whole year and I was thrilled I got to get a picture with them.
I walked past Melissa Francis from Mimosa Studio (Etsy Facebook Instagram Twitter Tumblr Patreon) and her Booth several times throughout the weekend. Every time I lingered just a little bit longer and a little bit longer, seeing a myriad of things that I would love to have. Her stickers and bookmarks were absolutely adorable. I loved her little Hufflepuff Badger keychain. One item that I ended up getting, was a sticker of a chicken holding a waffle. The moment I saw it I busted up laughing, and I had to bring Ariana back and show her.
Another adorable discovery that I made this weekend was Sorbet Jungle (Facebook Instagram Twitter Tumblr) And they’re adorable collection of Croconanas (yes, crocodile and bananas, you must see the picture). We had a great conversation about collections.
I met a super cool artist by the name of Andy Kluthe (Nerd Rage Comic) and I talked his ear off for a good ten to fifteen minutes. He had some of the most adorable fanart of Pokemon that I have seen, and I’ve seen a lot. His business cards were awesome as well. They were designed to look like a Pokemon card with him and his information instead.
I really enjoyed talking to her because she was very positive. Her purses and keychains are adorable!
I had a great conversation with a member of Saint Louis Pokemon GO Center Facebook
They were selling some super cool Pins and promoting their group. I focuses on helping people succeed at Pokemon Go! together. No cheating, just good clean fun with awesome friends.
One of the most unique things I saw at Anime St. Louis was an awesome Nintendo guitar by Professor Shyguy (Facebook YouTube Instagram Twitter)I really liked his music and he had some hilarious buttons at his booth as well.
I also saw one of my friends from last year, Steggy. I love Lyns Art’s (Facebook Instagram Etsy Twitter Tumblr YouTube) work and have for a while. This year I got some Pokemon and Kitty artwork. It was too adorable to pass up.
Speaking of adorable, I found the cutest little Dragon pushes and Dragon dots. They are handmade by Lemon Penguin (Instagram) penguin
who was equally adorable. She made them all from different types of materials, so there were different levels of softness. One day I hope to get one to keep.
The Pegasister in me was super excited to discover that St. Louis has its own Ponys! I got a picture with the adorable Toasted Ravioli (named after one of my favorite foods). They also have Ponys inspired by the Budweiser Clydesdales and a few other STL icons.
There were so many awesome cosplayers this weekend. I loved chatting with them and learning more about fandoms.
While charging my phone, I got to chat with a furry and learn the basics of this really cool fandom. I’ll be honest, I had a lot of negative preconceptions. But I learned that those were based on a small faction of furries. Most of them are very kind and loving and just want to express their inner selves as an adorable exterior mascot.
I got to see The Fandom Father (Facebook Instagram Tumblr) several times this weekend, which is always a pleasure. He is so amazing to make sure all the cosplayers are taken care of and helps everyone feel special. I don’t think it would be a proper St. Louis convention without him.
I love Sakura and in a conversation with Ariana a few months ago I realized it might be more fun to cosplay Sakura when she was my age, so I looked up pictures of her from Baruto instead of Naruto. This green flak vest outfit was my favorite, and seemed the most doable. Consider the outfit came from my closet and the clearance rack at Walmart, I’m pretty happy with how it turned out.
There were very few Sakura’s at Anime St. Louis, but everyone seemed to be genuinely excited to see that someone was cosplaying her.
This was my first mashup since the glorious failure of Rey/Annabeth. I was very nervous that it would also flop. However, it was as far from a flop as possible. I had a bunch of different people recognize her and the next day I had someone say, “Hey, it is Jedi Sakura!”
I also was thrilled to see little R2D2 at the convention for May 4th! (If you haven’t read any of my other blogs, check out the builders page here.
I would like to leave a SUPER big shoutout here to Bryn (Instagram TikTok) for letting me borrow her EPIC lightsaber for the day. She is such an amazing cosplayer and super supportive to everyone in the cosplay community. If you haven’t seen her stuff, you should check it out!
Cardinals Fan Sakura
I’ll be honest, I went through a out four different “Casual” cosplays before deciding on representing my local team. I went with the Cardinals Jersey for one main reason, it was red. I have very little red in my closet so I really liked this option.
I had several people look my cosplay up and down and chuckle. I felt like that was worth it.
There were some amazing cosplays at Anime St. Louis. Everywhere you looked there were amazing and stunning works of art. I loved all the creativity and imagination. I hope you enjoy the rest of these pictures I got with some amazing cosplayers.
I am so glad I went to Anime St. Louis. The people were so friendly and amazing, the panels were very good this year, and the vendors room was fabulous. Even though I am not a huge anime fan, I still enjoyed the epic craziness that was Anime St. Louis.
She recognized my Jedi Sakura!
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