Have you heard about Joshua Hart of J. Hart Design? He was a guest of the past Anime USA 2014. Check out his advice for fellow cosplayers and more in this interview.
What got you into cosplay?
Prior to my first convention, I always loved going to the Maryland Renaissance Festival; and, I absolutely treasured playing dress-up! When I was thirteen, I began to teach myself how to sew and alter clothing for these festivals. I would sew all of my renaissance garb by hand, and my free time was spent researching new sewing techniques. I began cosplaying in high school with many of my theatre friends. When they asked me to join their Final Fantasy 7: Advent Children group for Otakon 2005 in Baltimore, MD , I was immediately thrilled and excited to participate.
What is your favorite cosplay to date?
This is an extremely difficult question to answer. All of my costumes are my children; I love them equally. But, if I absolutely had to choose, I would pick my Trinity Blood group, made in 2009 for Otakon’s Hall Costume Contest. While these costumes are not to flashiest, nor the best constructed, they hold a very dear place in my heart because these were the first costumes where I felt confident and proud to showcase my work. These costumes were far above my comfort zone, and I learned so much by making them.
What is your advice to cosplayers new to the scene? What about when making their own cosplays?
The main piece of advice I can give to novice cosplayers is to be proud of your accomplishments, and to refrain from comparing or judging yourself against other attendees or friends. Whether you compiled your costume from found/purchased pieces or created your costume from scratch, you have expressed passion and creativity. These are both admirable and commendable traits worthy of praise.
Who are some people that you look up to as role models?
I have always admired any talented individuals. But, my work has always been shaped by Christian Dior, Coco Chanel, Zac Posen, and Alexander McQueen. While they each have their particular styles, I have always admired their sense of proportion, silhouette, and minute detailing. I have pushed myself, over many years, to produce garments that are crafted as beautifully as their garments. I am still hoping to achieve this goal.
What was your first cosplay? What have you learned since that has stuck with you the most?
As previously mentioned, my first costume was Cloud from Final Fantasy: Advent Children for a large group with my friends. Looking back, the finished costume was a mess! But, the experience, creativity, and comradery has stuck with me ever since! Over the years, I have learned that patience is the key to a successful, finished product. I can guarantee that sewing is time consuming, stressful, fussy, and expensive. But, by calming your frustrations, you will work more efficiently, skillfully, and cautiously. This will result in a better looking garment, and a happier, more confident cosplayer!
We’re pleased to announce our new Convention Chair for the year of 2015, Kat Sarfati. Sarfati has been working for Anime USA since 2009. She has over 8 years of professional experience with educational non-profits. Her own journey to fandom began as a child growing up with science fiction and anime; she was introduced to anime when she saw Sailor Moon on television after school.
Sarfati got involved with fan-hosted conventions in 2005, starting with Balticon and then soon after, Anime USA and Katsucon. She has held positions in convention security, programming, staff registration, and more. In 2014, she served as the Director of Personnel for Anime USA. Sarfati looks forward to serving our members as well as our staff to the best of her ability. If you have any comments or suggestions, please feel free to reach out to her at email@example.com.
In 2015, we will be expanding on our children’s programming to include fun Halloween-themed events and more Please join us Halloween weekend, October 30–November 1, 2015.
Save the date for Anime USA. Join us on Halloween weekend, October 30–November 1, 2015.
We’ll be exploring Japan and all of its glory. We’ll go from Mount Fuji to the Tokyo Imperial Palace and beyond! We’ll take a look at the magnificent cities, tea houses, trains, and the diverse landscape, as well as the history of tourism in Japan. More details coming soon!
We’re pleased to offer alternative membership options for those that may not be able to join us for all three days of Anime USA 2014. See you soon!
|Saturday (with Sunday included)||$55||$27|
Need a ride to Anime USA 2014? Uber’s got you covered! Sign up at www.uber.com/go/AnimeUSA now and get up to $30 off your first ride. Make sure you use promotion code, AnimeUSA.
Download the app to request a ride within minutes:
This offer is available to new Uber sign-ups only. This offer is not valid on uberTAXI.
With merely a week away from the con, we get down to more news and awesome stuff from Japan!
After many years of parking in Washington D.C.—and at conventions in general—I have my developed my favorite ways to deal with the limited spaces and high cost of parking in the District.
First, the easiest method to save money for those parking for the whole weekend or for those at least parking long enough to be departing over the weekend, is to use the D.C. Metro. Metro parking garages are free to park as long as you depart anytime after Metro closes on Friday night and before Metro garages open fee collection on Monday morning. Knowing this, you can choose to park at one of the larger Metro garages and take the train indirectly.
However, if your like me and are traveling with a considerable amount of gear, you will need drive to the hotel first, pull to the front valet area, tell them that you need to check-in (this will give you about 45 minutes) and leave your car at the front while you unload. Then, once your done, drive back to one of the larger Metro garages, park (for the weekend) and use Metro to get back to the hotel—and back to your car when you leave. This isn’t completely free as you will need a Metro ticket to Woodley Park Metro station (the hotel’s Metro stop on the red line), and the return trip fee from which ever garage you choose to park. If you plan on at coming to D.C. more than one time in your life, consider purchasing a SmarTrip® card; this will make using the Metro considerably easier. Although I have never had a problem with any of the other larger Metro garages (while parking over multiple days), only 3 Metro garages are designated for multi-day parking: Huntington, Franconia-Springfield, and Greenbelt, so keep that in mind if you want to play it safe.
This other alternative option is also risky, but if you play it right, you may have both a close parking spot and save money doing it: street parking. Street parking is either controlled by meters or by zone passes. Both are only in effect at particular times of particular days. If you do enough exploring and a little research, and have a bit of luck, then you can find a sweet deal. Many of the streets around the hotel area have availability, albeit limited, just be careful to properly read all signs around the area to make sure that you will be OK for the time that you are planning to park and that you know how much and what form of payment is required. If you want a guaranteed street parking, garage parking, or other alternative parking spot, check out Parking Panda.
The last option, if you want lower cost (than our $22 a day special hotel rate), or if the parking at the hotel is full, is to use a parking app—we recommend Parking Panda. Many of you probably have a smartphone or a tablet. Downloading an app for parking, especially one that caters to the D.C. market, will be indispensable if you want something concrete closer to the hotel and for whatever reason other options are not available (or affordable). I’ve used a parking app for Android when I am looking for a garage near my destination (in D.C proper). If you don’t mind walking and/or taking a short ride, there are plenty of lower cost garages within approximately a mile of the hotel (just not so much on the closer side of that).
There is also an overflow lot at UDC which is only one stop away on the Metro red line ($20 a day), which is already listed in our Parking options.
See you soon!
Convention Chair, 2013, 2014
We’re pleased to share the official schedule for Anime USA 2014! We’ve brought together an amazing group of musicians, voice actors, fashion designers, artists, cosplayers, educational guests, DJs, vendors, maids, and hosts to bring you an Anime USA like never before. We’re thrilled to bring back Kaya, along with the US premier of Schwarz Stein. Eyeshine will also be performing a great concert for you. We’ve also brought in fashion designers Mika Takeuchi and Kristin Costa to show off their newest designs and fashion historian Kass McGann help celebrate our fashion theme.
We know it wouldn’t be Anime USA without some of your favorite parts of con, including AMVs, the Formal Ball, Masquerade, Dances, Game Room, Artists Alley and Dealers Room. Our maids from My Cup of Tea Maid Cafe and our hosts from Ikeman Paradise Host Club have been waiting all year to spend time with you. So step forward with your camera or strike a pose and get ready for Anime USA 2014.