Sunday, October 5, 2014

More Pictures


I done a photoshoot with photographer Richard Costello known as sunonthecross on DeviantArt and as Luther Blissett. I recently got these photos.

Hope you had a nice weekend. :)










Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Connected



I started watching Irish reality TV show which is actually about six Irish ladies and the camera documented their lives. It is quite interesting so far. Each episode has a theme and the episode shows how each female is connected. It touches on female issues which some of us may relate.

Series like these are encourages me to maybe do vlogging, maybe a way to connect to people more.


Sunday, July 13, 2014

Vampire Princess Miyu Photoshoot

A while ago as you may have seen on my DeviantArt, I done a photoshoot as Vampire Princess Miyu. I bought the cosplay from cosplaymagic for Experience Japan festival and was delighted to have done a photoshoot. Vampire Princess Miyu is a 90s anime tv series with an excellent ova. It was one of my first animes and I am currently re-watching it. It is dark and super-natural and a nice soundtrack.




This photo is by Steve Dempsey.


The following are by Ana from AmPhotoStar 






Miyu herself is half vampire, half human, she is a suppressed character who doesn't want to be a vampire yet is playful. I was happy that the mood of the character was well captured in these photos.

Miss Venezuela

I recently watched a documentary on beauty pageants in Venezuela. It portrayed the poverty, famine, people and families queuing in line for hours to get food and riots, crime on the streets yet girls who come from extremely poor backgrounds can afford to get cosmetic surgery not for them but to compete in the beauty pageant. The documentary expressed that in Venezuela it is every young girl’s dream to compete in the national beauty contest and become “Miss Venezuela”.



The interviewer Billie from the UK interviewed stunning and beautiful girls from all over the country, from different backgrounds, rich and poor, uneducated and educated asking them if they have scarified anything to take part in this contest. One girl said she gave up university for the contest. The women who took part were Barbies, looked like the ideal what men dreamed women should look like. Perfect in every way. Gomez the man (or god) behind the beauty contest was extremely well respected in the country by families, police ect. One point in the documentary Billie is interviewing the police and they said Gomez has power over people, once his beauty competition are on there are no crime on the streets as everyone is watching the contest on TV. This straight away reminded me of the “Idol/Otaku culture” in Japan. Late night anime cosplay bars full of men cheering their favourite girl on, the girl is stunning ideal to the otaku male. I also recall the episode of “Wake Up Girls” of Miyu singing in the cosplay bar and the men are cheering for her to keep going and go further.



The documentary focused on one girl who came from a poor background and when she was asked what was her motivation in entering the contest she replied saying, her brother was killed in the streets not too long ago and the family is living in poor living conditions. If she wins the contest her career would be set for life and she will be able to finance her family a better home. This girl was so determined to win the contest she got a breast and nose job, saving for many years. She wore tape to her tongue daily to keep her weight down so she would only eat liquid foods.  

Gomez an interesting character in his 60s would comment on the girls partaking in the contest on what they should “fix” about themselves eg nose jobs, breasts should be bigger, more fat needs to be lost. He wouldn't allow Billie to interview him until she was dolled up with hair curled and makeup on which I found this very interesting. He had no time for plain girls and most be flattered. Gomez mentions to Billie the reasons why he decided to to run these beauty pageants was because when he was growing up women were ugly to his eyes and he was determined to make them beautiful. An ugly woman infuriates  him, women should not be “ugly”.  This fascinates me as I can not help think of cosplay, a world men spend time browsing and looking at beautiful women dressed or being their favourite 2d character. Nothing annoys them more to see an “unattractive” girl cosplaying as their ideal 2d beauty.

I don't 100% agree with this documentary as women were portrayed as a commodity (been sent to fix themselves and keep fixing to look perfect). What annoyed me was when Billie was interviewing one of the coaches for the speaking round, he said the women should never voice their opinion and must always remain neutral. They have to play “dumb”, people don't want an intelligent, beautiful and successful woman. I do believe intelligence plays a big role in a woman’s beauty. Beautiful and smart women are what Anime thought me with role model characters such as; Sailor Mercury from Sailor Moon a genius and spends a lot of her time studying and reading, researching. When I was a teenager watching Sailor Moon, Sailor Mercury was and still is my favourite of the Sailor Scouts. Her looks beautiful and tall yet she was smart and did well in school. She was one of my motivators to do well in school. Now I want to cosplay as her.x 








Rei Ayanami another favourite character of mine, an Evangelion pilot, kind and really smart and does her job well. These are the girls I want to become. I do dream of my work being internationally recognised and I want my intelligence to play a big role in my presence. I want people to see more to me then my cosplays, not just the girl standing in the photo in costume.



The determination, passion and strive these girls had in setting a clear vision and goal in winning this nationwide beauty pageant, the whole of Venezuela would be watching to see who will become “Miss Venezuela” was enticing. The contest with the gigantic stage, thousands of people watching the performance, the beautiful women parading the stage in their diamond dresses, sparkled up to the 90s, yet the country is in famine, crime and poverty, people still find hope and fantasy in such a thing. We may look at this and question what is the point when money for the country can be better spent on saving starving people yet this contest gives the girls’ hope, gives normal people escapism and fantasy and plays a major role of the culture and economy. These girls were transformed. As someone who cosplays and watches my health quite seriously I found this documentary fascinating from a cosplay perspective. I could not help thinking that for me to look like the ideal 2d beauty I need to lose weight and I have joined the gym to get the perfect body for Rei Ayanami’s plugsuit.

I believe there are many females and males who have gone to extremes lengths to look perfect in their cosplays for the excited viewer. I asked myself “What if there was a Gomez in the “Cosplay” world correcting girls and guys what way they should look like and “fix” to become the ideal 2d dream? Would millions of cosplayers hope and wish their photo would catch the attention of this person who will make allow them to break into a “career”? Does Cosplay transforms young hopeless girls to queens becoming extremely popular and gives them hope, fantasy and dreams? I do hope my cosplays give people fantasy and escapism my main objective in being a cosplayer. Is this real?



Anyway after watching this documentary I just felt strong about it and wanted to share my thoughts.


Wednesday, May 14, 2014

The Soul of Anime - Ian Condry

I am currently reading this book and oh my gosh it is fascinating! I am only a few pages in and I am really enjoying it, enjoying it that I can't put it down. I really like Ian's style of writing and as he talks about his experience in the Anime studios, interviewing animators and anime directors it is like you are watching a visial documentary then reading a book. Info on the book here. I would highly recommend it if you are into anime academic and Ian writes more about anime as an artist society which I really like. As a cosplayer artist I dream of being part of all this.





Sunday, May 11, 2014

Experience Japan Youth Culture Event Chester Beatty Library


With the Experience Japan festival we ran our first event a seminar series dedicated to youths. It was a joy to have the Japanese Saturday school and the Embassy of Japan involved in this event. It was also nice to run the event in the historical Chester Beatty Library which is one of Dublin's popular spots with tourists. The Chester Beatty Library were very good in helping us out if we needed anything. From my experience running events and conventions it always makes things easier and run smoothly when the venue staff are approachable. This was Experience Japan's first time running this type of event and the aim was to promote Japanese pop and traditional culture through education targeting youths.


This was the poster to use for advertising. It was designed by artist and Animation student Lucy. Lucy's work can be seen here.




The Embassy of Japan presenting “Hello Japan” which was a fascinating presentation on contemporary and traditional Japanese culture.


Dublin City University Japanese exchange students talk about high school life in Japan. The Irish students get to see how similar and different Japanese high school life is to their own.


They screened an entertaining video which people found amusing.


The Japanese Saturday School presented a talk on "Studying Japanese for Second and Third Level" and opportunities it offers.


Accompanying Karen were Eoin a second level student sixth year from Firhouse Community College, Abdullah and Luke final year students from Dublin City University. They shared their experience on studying Japanese to the attendees. Abdullah (centre) made a very good point that nowadays the Japanese language is offering a lot of job opportunities such as IT, Engineering and Web Development.


Oliva Rohan a PHD student presenting “Anime and Manga in Japanese society and amongst teenagers” This was a fun talk as she talked about events, cosplay ect. She talked about anime fan community and creativity such as AMVs, anime music videos and fan subbing. This reminds me when I read academic book "Fandom Unbound: Otaku Culture in a Connected World."




Olivia screened a video on Anime vs Reality which was enjoyable! 

We didn't just have seminars we also had a fashion show. 



The models who took part in the fashion show from left to right; Madison, Matty and Claire dressed in Lolita fashion, Lauren cosplayed as Mirai Kuriyama from Kyoukai No Kanata and Jolanta was dressed in traditional bridal kimono which was kindly supplied by Dublin retailer specialising in traditional Japanese antiques Global Japan original known as Kactus. Do you recognize the Mirai Kuriyama cosplay?




The Taiko Drumming which was well received in the library by the public. This is the Experience Japan Taiko team who perform at the festival and at other Experience Japan events.

I was very pleased how the event went. It was excellent that the Embassy spoke to students who were interested in travelling, working and studying in Japan and offer them information. As I mentioned a while ago in my facebook I am glad that I finally ran an educational seminar series especially in an area I Love. This event reminded me of the GRADChances seminar IT event I was involved with while interning for gradireland last year. I am really happy through Experience Japan, I can put my Event Management Postgraduate and experience from my events internship into practice, opposed to swaying away. :)

I really feel this event in Ireland has big potential and I started planning for next year. I typed up an Event Report to be circulated within the committee (things that went right, wrong, to change for next year) and will begin a marketing plan. I really would like to run this event on a bigger scale next year. :) Lets hope it becomes more frequent.















Saturday, May 3, 2014

Kate Moss Global Icon


I found this documentary really fascinating. I really liked the part  when screening an exhibition with drawings and painting dedicated to Kate really surreal.