Tag Archives: Art

Noragami: First Impressions

Image result for noragami

I don’t generally write about Anime unless they catch my eye or my fancy, but this is one of those anime that I thought I needed to write about for many reasons, as I am really enjoying it so far. Here’s my thoughts on it:

First of all, while I am a Christian and do not worship or recognize any other gods except Yahweh/Jesus, I will say that the general premise of the anime is quite interesting. I think that Yato is more of a goofball wanting to be loved than anything else. His dark past seems to plague him quite a bit, but as he gets closer to Hirori, I have come to believe that he is either falling in love with her or is just so concerned about her that he wants to protect her above all else, which is sweet.

Yukine bothers me. As a person, and as a regalia. I don’t like the fact that he is so selfish that he nearly killed Yato, and I think that he has a lot more of a potential as a regalia than what he is allowing himself to live up to. Still, we are seeing his character develop more and more as we move through season two, so we shall have to see what happens and if he ends up being better towards the end.

I really can’t stand Nora, but I think that there is more to her story than we have learned so far. I hate how manipulative she is, and everything like that, but again, I guess we shall have to see how things pan out. I’m not sure why she has it out for Yato, after she has told him that he can use her. So I don’t get it, but maybe that will be revealed in time.

As for Hiyori, I think that she is probably going to ultimately end up keeping her phantom form. I think that a moment is probably going to come up where she has to choose between her friendship with Yato and her life in the real world, and as sad as it is to say, I hope she chooses her friendship with Yato over the real world. I say this for a few reasons. First, her friends in the real world are just plain rude. Second, I think that as she gets closer to Yato, she’ll do whatever it takes to maintain her friendship with him, no matter what the cost is.

All things considered, I am really loving this anime, and am interested to see how it continues. It’s not one that I would cosplay from or even get on DVD/Blu-Ray, but it is something that is interesting to watch.

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Why I Cosplay

You’ve seen them before: the people dressed up in strange outfits, running around town, or in schools, etc. It’s not Halloween, in fact, it’s the middle of the year, and yet a small group of people really enjoys doing this on a fairly regular basis. This is the group known as: the cos-players. Cosplay literally means: costume-play, and it is exactly that. People dress up in costumes to emulate their favorite characters from video games, TV shows, anime, movies, and more. Typically, these people go to conventions, purchase memorabilia from many different categories they like, and then go home and post pictures of their cosplay online. If you think it’s strange, you’re not alone. I did, too. In fact, for the longest time, I hated anime, cosplay, and everything to do with it. Though perhaps that was because people used to cosplay in school, which is what annoyed me more than anything. However, after I met my husband, he introduced me to the world of anime and cosplay, and now I love it, and probably won’t stop doing it until I’m in my fifties or sixties. Here’s why:

It Helps Me Get Out of My Shell

As you know by now, I am a very introverted person. I can fake extroversion for the sake of work, but I need time to relax, unwind, do my own thing, and be myself. I need room to express myself in ways that I can’t when I am at work. Therefore, cosplay helps get me out of my shell a little bit. By dressing up as a character that I like, I am able to show others around me the things that I enjoy, and have a little bit of fun while doing it. Plus, it helps me to find others with a common interest. Since my husband and I go to anime conventions and comic-cons on a yearly basis, it is nice to be able to see people of a similar mindset, dressed up in their wide variety of outfits. Plus, if I meet someone who likes my outfit, or if I like theirs, we can strike up a conversation, talk about each character that the other is emulating, and maybe even make some new friends.

It Gets Me Out of My Comfort Zone

Another reason why I like cosplay is because it challenges me and gets me out of my comfort zone. When I was in high school, I wouldn’t have been caught dead cos-playing. Now, though, it’s something that I really enjoy. I definitely feel a bit nervous walking down the street every time that I am headed to the convention, especially with all the people that are not going to the convention, but who are walking by or driving down the same road. I can feel their eyes staring at me, I wonder what they think, and I start to worry that they are silently judging me, especially since I am in my twenties and am still enjoying stuff like this. Whatever, let them judge. If they don’t like it, that’s their prerogative. I don’t dress up inappropriately in any manner, and I don’t emulate anyone violent, so I feel that what I am doing is just a unique, interesting way to have some fun.

It Allows Me to Be Creative

When I am coming up with my cosplay outfits, I go all-out. I don’t just go for the “cheap” version of the outfit by throwing together things that I have around the house. I usually start with eBay or similar sites to see if I can find the full outfit of what I am looking for. If I can’t, then I set to work figuring out how I can make the outfit look like the thing I am trying to emulate, while also making it my own. This year, I am going as the Cheshire Cat from the original Alice in Wonderland. Therefore, I have spent over a year putting together all the different pieces of the outfit, but it is now complete. The comic-con that my husband and I are going to is in June, and I am beyond excited to show off this outfit, maybe take a few pictures with people, and see what others think of it. This will also have been my most creative cos-play thus far, though next year’s will be even more complicated, as it will require actually making the majority of it. Next year, I will be going as Koro-Sensei from Assassination Classroom, which should be pretty challenging.

Here’s what this year’s Cheshire Cat cosplay is composed of:

Hot Topic Shirt
Via hottopic.com
Cheshire Cat Skirt
Via Rock City Skirts @ Etsy.Com
Pawstar
Via Pawstar @ Etsy.com
Dream Fluffs
I actually had these made to go around my ankles, instead of my wrists. Via Dream Fluffs @ Etsy.com
Pawstar 2
Via Pawstar @ Etsy.com
AJs
The pink is significantly lighter than everything else, but I can make it work. I may just use a fabric marker on it to darken it, if necessary. Via AJs @ Amazon.com
shoes
Via halloweencostumes.com

Finally, I am trying to decide if I want to do makeup or not for this outfit. At the very least, I will paint my nose and paint on some whiskers, but I don’t know if I want to do more or not. I wear purple glasses, so anything else might be overkill. But here are a few of the makeup options that I am thinking of so far:

cheshire cat makeup

 

Cat Makeup

I am more of a simple girl, so I think that I would be more comfortable doing the makeup like the second picture, but with a pink/purple nose instead. However, I do think that it would be fun to try and go all-out with the makeup from the first picture. I really can’t decide. I have until July to figure it out, so I guess we shall see what my husband thinks I should do when that time comes.

Well everyone, that’s it for now! I hope you enjoyed learning more about why I like Cos-playing, and hope that you may be adventurous enough to try it yourself. It really is quite fun! If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions, please send them my way!

A New, Exciting Update on the Tattoo Situation

This past Friday, I went to the best shop in my town and had a consultation with the owner, who is also the artist I wanted to do my tattoo. He is, in my opinion, the best tattoo artist in town, and his art is very realistic and similar to what I am looking for, which is why I chose him.

I went down there and showed him the design I am thinking of. We discussed pricing, design options, where I want the tattoo, etc. He explained that he would have to make a few changes to it in order to get it all to fit on the back of my right calf without overlapping to the sides or the front too much. I explained that was fine. He said that the type of design that I want is right up his alley, and definitely something that he would love to do, which I figured he would, after seeing his portfolio.

The only issue I have is my pain tolerance. It’s basically zero. I mentioned this to him, and asked what his recommendations were. He asked if I had any tattoos right now, I said, “No, this would be my first.” He then explained that because I am coming into this as my first time, with such a big piece, that I am obviously committed to it, and that alone will help me get through the pain. He said he often sees people who come into the shop wanting smaller pieces, and they aren’t sure about it, and they’re in a lot of pain. But he helped me to believe I can get through the pain, just because of how badly I want the tattoo. He also explained that they do the best they can to ensure that you are as comfortable as possible during the tattoo process. Based on my conversation with him, I felt reassured and confident that I had chosen the right shop and the right artist to do the piece that I want, and I know that while it will hurt, it won’t be as bad as I imagined. Plus, he is kind, caring, and professional, which is what I want from a tattoo artist, especially given that this is such a big piece, and since it is my first one. I want it to be perfect, and I know he will be able to get it just right.

Due to how good this particular artist is, he literally has people coming from all over wanting to be tattooed by him. As a result, he is booked farther out than most tattoo artists. He explained that he is booked out for about a year-and-a-half, but will still do my tattoo if I want him to. If I wanted it done sooner, I could get an appointment with another artist who does a similar style of work. I said that waiting is fine, because it gives me time to save up, and because I really want him to do it, as I like his style. He reiterated, too, that this is a piece he would love to do, based on the style and the elements in it. While he and I both agreed that we want to get the whole tattoo done in one sitting (he estimates it will take about four hours), he said that if I wanted to, he could make me two appointments spaced two weeks apart, so I could do the outline one day, then the rest of the tattoo the next day. I agreed to this, and he booked me two appointments. They are both in October 2018. Yes, it’s an 18-month wait, but I don’t care. With how good he is, it’s worth the wait.

I asked the person who actually scheduled the appointment what happens if I do decide to do the whole thing in one day and don’t need the second appointment. He said, “nothing, at that point, it would just become an open day in the artist’s schedule.” Which made me feel good, because I wouldn’t be expected to pay any sort of a cancellation fee if I didn’t need the second appointment. I am going to try to be brave and get the whole thing done in one sitting, if possible, as I am not a patient person, but we shall see how I am feeling pain-wise when the time comes.

After scheduling the appointments, I was told to send in reference photos, along with a description of what I wanted. The artist had told me to send them after making my appointment, but the scheduler said I didn’t have to until the Sunday before my appointment. The next day, I contacted the shop, and they said I could send the email whenever I wanted, as the artist would get it, print it and all the photos out, and put it in my file, then just hold onto it until it came time to draw the design for my tattoo, which would be a few days before the appointment, or even the day of the appointment. So, I happily sent in my idea for the main design, as well as reference photos for ideas on how the rest of it should look (or rather, should look similar to), along with a description of what I want and where.

Originally, I wanted the tattoo to be as close to the original design I had found as possible, but after I thought about it, and after remembering that the artist had mentioned needing to change a few things or at least move them around to get everything to fit the way I want it to, I decided that I don’t want to copy someone else’s design. I want it to look similar, but I want it to be unique, designed just for me. So, I mentioned that in the email. I told the artist that I wanted the tattoo to have a similar style to the main design I sent him, but that he could add or remove components as he saw fit. I told him I wanted him to make me a unique, one-of-a-kind, awesome tattoo! I mentioned that the only parts of the design that I am picky about are the compass as a main focal point, along with the quote that I want. Other than that, he can use the reference photos I sent in just as ideas for inspiration, but beyond that, he can feel free to be as creative as he wants to be with it. I think that was the right call. Now I know for sure that I will have something awesome, and I won’t feel like I’m copying something that someone else has. It will be even more personal, because it will be designed just for me. I’m so excited! I can’t wait!

So, that’s where I’m at right now. My credit card should be paid off this September or October, and once it is, I’m going to start saving up as much cash as possible so that I can pay for this. The tattoo itself will probably cost around $500 or so, and I want to tip him at least $100, as I know the work will be absolutely amazing. I’m thinking of saving up about $1200, just in case it takes longer than expected, or in case I need to use both appointments, and so that I have enough to tip him with. That’ll be what I work on doing once the card is paid off, which shouldn’t be too difficult.

That’s all the updates I have on this adventure for now. My next tattoo-related update won’t be until late 2018, as that’s when my appointment is, but keep reading my blog, as I will have more interesting, non-tattoo-related things to share with you in the coming days!

Update on the Tattoo Dry-Run

So, there was a little bit of a hiccup with doing the dry run for my tattoo today. The shop that we ended up going to…didn’t work out to say the least. Things didn’t exactly go according to plan, so I didn’t get to do my dry run, and my friends didn’t get their tattoos today. Oh well, they’re still researching other shops, and I still am planning on going to the one that I had in mind. They’re easily considered the best shop in town, and many of the tattooed people I know swear by them.

I think tomorrow, on my lunch break at work, I’m going to call the shop I want to go to, and set up a consultation with the artist that I want. Then, I can go to the consult and ask him all the questions I have, and see if I can get him to do a dry run right there in the shop for me. I’m about 90% sure that I’m still getting the tattoo, but I definitely need to know my own pain tolerance in that regard before I spend money on it. And the people who are telling me that are correct.

That’s the plan, then. I’ll give the shop I had in mind a call tomorrow, get the consult, hopefully get the dry run at that shop (assuming that the artist I work with has time for that), and go from there. I may just end up being a “brave little toaster,” as I often say, and just go for it, but if I can still get the dry run, preferably at my shop of choice, then that’s what I’d like to do. So, I will post more updates on the tattoo process after I go to my consult. I have no idea when the consultation will take place, but I will definitely keep you posted. Meanwhile, stick around for other, unrelated blog posts, and enjoy reading Blurbs By Bythnia!

Excited, But Nervous

So, tomorrow, two friends of mine are going to a tattoo shop in the mall to get tattoos done. This will be one of many tattoos for friend number 1, and the first tattoo for friend number 2. As I have been considering getting a tattoo for a while now (I know exactly what I would like to get, and it’s deeply personal, but I will share it with you if I do end up getting it), they have asked me to come along with them. Their reason for this is twofold:

  1. By going with them, I can see, hear, and experience every facet of the tattoo process so that I know what to expect when/if I get mine done. I will not be getting mine done at the mall, as I just feel weird about it, but I will be going to the best shop in town when the time comes. I am merely going with my friends so that I can get the experience of seeing what is happening to them, and seeing how they feel about it every step of the way.
  2. I will be doing a dry-run at the mall. This basically consists of having the tattoo artist use the tattoo needle on me without any ink. The idea is that he/she will do this so that I can feel what the pain would be like, and I can then decide if I want to schedule a consult with the other shop and actually get the tattoo done, or if I want to change my mind and just put my tattoo design concept on a T-Shirt. I’m thinking of getting the tattoo done on my right calf, which isn’t as painful an area as other areas of the body, so I think it will be fine. Honestly, as long as the results of the dry run don’t create the greatest amount of pain in my life, I’ll still go through with getting the tattoo.

I’m really excited for this, because the odds of my being able to handle the pain and get the tattoo (at a later date this year) are fairly high, but I’m also super nervous, because I’m afraid that it will hurt way more than I’m anticipating. Realistically, according to all the tattoo pain charts I’ve read, that area of the body is said to feel like several cat scratches or bee stings. I’ve had several of those in my life, so I think I should be fine. But there’s this fear in the back of my mind that it’s going to hurt about as bad as getting a shot at the doctor’s office, or like getting an IV. I also have a pain tolerance of, essentially, zero, so it’ll be interesting to see how the dry run goes. Honestly, I think the biggest issue that I will have is remembering to breathe (thankfully, one of the sales managers at my work reminded me that this is crucial), and controlling the urge to flinch or move when the tattoo needle/gun touches me. It’s a normal reaction, but I’m going to have to tell myself to keep it in check. 😛 I’m hoping that when I have someone come with me, if I can talk to them and the tattoo artist through all of it, assuming I actually get the tattoo, that that will work to take my mind off the pain.

So, friends who have tattoos, what else do you have in mind for me to consider on this journey? It’s a fairly large tattoo, it will probably span most of the back of my calf, but I’d like to do it all in one sitting if possible. I’m so excited because of the meaning behind the tattoo, but again, super nervous. I hope I can do it. I’m going to do the best I can to push through the pain and get it done, because, quite frankly, thinking about not having the tattoo actually makes me rather sad. Maybe that’ll be all the motivation I need to get it done, no matter what the dry run tells me. I’ll post updates after tomorrow.