*whew* Things are finally slowing down around here. It is Christmas and I just wanted to take a moment to thank everyone who have supported me this year in whatever way from buying a copy of the book to telling a friend or following me on Facebook. I feel very blessed I had the opportunity to do what I’ve done.
I know it seems it is just me but there’s so many people helping me out from my friends here in to cosplayers nice enough to help put out my promo cards. I could not have done this book without so many people. Seriously. Y’all rock ! One of my biggest thrills was meeting many of y’all this year at different cons. I feel humbled by the praises. Many spoke of how the book was of ordinary folks just cosplaying for the fun of it. Sure there’s a lot of epic cosplays in there but there’s also the underlying theme of fun. Cosplay is meant to be for enjoyment. It gives you a chance to get away from life just for a little bit. I found a quote by Ysabel that I thought best describes cosplay to me.
Cosplay is for fun. It’s a misunderstood hobby with a good and bad side. If everything is going good in your cosplay, keep it up just don’t lose your head in its fictional world. Keep priorities like family and school in order. If things aren’t great, do not be disheartened from doing what you love. As long as you are having fun, keep going! It’s a different kind of happy-high when you are among fellow cosplayers but at the end of the day, it only matters if you enjoyed yourself or not. It’s not about popularity or pageviews, having fans or not, being better than others… no. It’s about expressing yourself through a character you love and sharing it with others. Hopefully, you’ll make friendships that will last even when the costumes are faded, wigs worn out and cameras stop flashing.
You know what is amazing ? This was spoken by a 13 year old girl ! She’s definitely wise beyond her years.
In 2008, I was just taking photos for fun at Anime Expo. In 2009, urged by friends, I decided to start traveling to a number of cons financed by my credit cards with the intent to do this book project. In 2010, I took out a bank loan and found a printer in Shanghai to print up copies, then embark on a crazy 12 con tour for 7 months.
It is about to get crazier, folks.
In 2011, I am planning to hit another 20 conventions – some new ones such as SakuraCon, Anime Central, Youmacon and DragonCon and some familiar ones such as Anime Expo, Otakon and Anime Weekend Atlanta. Not only will I be blogging, facebooking, twitting and youtubing my way across America again, I will also be bringing along my photo booth !
The exact set-up I started with in 2008 will be traveling with me and for a small fee, you can have your photo taken in the same manner as the book ! ( Full details here. )
People have asked if I would reprint the book once I sell out but truthfully, no I won’t do another run. Once I sell out, it is done. Don’t worry, by my estimates, I should run out of books somewhere in early 2012 so y’all can get the books next year for sure.
What about a second edition ? That’s probably the number one question asked by people online and at cons. I can’t think of another book until I pay off the first book and that won’t be done until 2013 (my bank loan finishes up June 2013). Being that I’ll be out in America again in 2011, I will take photos because if I do put out another book sooner, well… I’ll have images already. 🙂
I know it is a bit crazy what I’m doing. It was crazy enough that I used my own credit cards to make a book, it is even more crazier to be running around America next year but I figured why not ?
I’ve mention this many times before but I totally believe in following one’s dreams. The reason I moved to California from Texas was to pursue photography. The reason why I do a lot of things that don’t make a lick of sense is I wanted to chase my own dreams. Believe me, it is not easy being a freelance photographer and following a path that my folks weren’t exactly thrilled I made but had my own life to try out.
So I urge those of y’all out there who want to become voice actors, to be illustrators, to make music, movies, whatever, to do so. Follow your dreams. Life is too short to follow anyone else’s. I leave you now with a few choice words from Steve Jobs from his commencement speech at Stanford … “Your time is limited. Don’t waste it living someone else’s life … Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice, heart and intuition … Stay hungry, stay foolish.”
Folks, your life awaits you. Go and do something.
(Originally published December 24, 2010)