#ChibiCon2015 – Lesson learned ‪#CCSakurabana

This years ChibiCon, “small” winter festival held by Sakurabana Belgrade, is over. It was fantastic, fun and tiresome for “us” on the “other side” of the selling stands.

For years I’m participating in Artist Alley, that’s arts and crafts selling part of ChibiCon and Japanizam. And every year I underestimate the number of hairbands/necky’s for my stand. Well this year it was total bust! All my stuff was gone only 3h after opening on the first day. I had 12 sets of hairbands and neko chokers made as a gift for Sakurabana, even that was sold out until the end of first day (all money from that went to Sacurabana as donation for  #CCSakurabana).

In a nutshell, I learned my lesson!!! And I’m starting with preparations for this year Japanisam2015 NOW!!!
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This year I had to face the worse thing any one who make craft can face – to tell that I don’t have more hairbands/neko chokers and to see disappointed look on children’s faces. I don’t want to face that feelings ever again 😦

As for ChibiCon 2015 goes, this was everything but SMALL festival!!! The number of people was unexpected more than 2000 people for 2 days!!! You can read how our organizers have experienced this year’s ChibiCon in their report (it’s on my native language – Serbian so be sure to turn on translator in your browser):
ChibiCon 2015 Report 

As for my impressions goes – I had to miss most of it once again. I did manage to take few quick snapshots on the other day, with traditionally poor camera.

This was my spot Sulless Art

And these where some of the other participants in Artist Alley:

On the second day Mina Mistiqarts an me had our place under the spotlights with lecture “Anime vs Jdorama”
These pictures are from official Sakurabana album taken by Bojan Vasiljević

Of course, the “backbone” of every event are volunteers, and this year they where helping and giving “free hugs” 🙂

Bit one thing that really made me happy is a piece of paper, this one<3
Well, I’m going back to my crochet hook.

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#‎CCSAKURABANA‬ High School Festival – summary

Festival was on Sunday. And that Sunday morning was everything but sunny. Heavy gray clouds and small but constant rain followed by cold wind greeted me that morning. I took that as bad sign – even I wasn’t too willing to go out in that weather. Gloomy morning was followed with few other minor setbacks before I managed to go out of my front door.

Needless to say, moment when I reached club where Festival supposed to be held I was in a state of  nerve wreak. Luckily in the club where already Borivoje and Damien with Marija and some volunteers and they helped me to loose up a bit. People start to come and we had a busy task of adjusting club’s space to suite our needs. By 16:00 when our first teams started to show up things did look much better.

High mood and optimism of people around me was contagious. My “kids” (sill have in mind – they are teenagers) where busy an dedicated to their task. You could feel their excitement and optimism like electricity in the air. Music and laughter filled all the corners of Wait & Stay Club.

Some had problems with their outfits

Others prepared their booths

Our volunteers where ready too

Same as our maids

All was set and 10 minutes before official start people started to “break in” so we opened our doors. Festival officially  started. And I have to say – it was huge and undeniable success!!! 

Number of visitors was exceeded our expectations. And atmosphere was … I can’t describe it properly with words. Everybody had fun – our teams as well as guests. This was Festival but at the same time a fund-raiser for CCSakurabana, but in one point we all forgot about fund raising part and we where all just sucked in to the swirl of good mood and fun. Maybe words can’t describe but we have video to show you how it all looked like

And photos as well

 And we had some media representatives, so we have a great photo gallery on nadlanu.com portal magazine (check out the link!): http://www.nadlanu.com/pocetna/zabava/Manga-festival-Beogradski-srednjoskolci-prikupljaju-sredstva-za-svoj-kulturni-centar.g-1795437.131.html
A
nd in Monday local newspaper a small article about event:

In the end We where happy and tired but with that hyper feeling that you have when life trow you a great and fantastically overwhelming surprise. We gathered descent sum of money for our future Cultural Center Sakurabana. But most importantly we had Festival that made all our “kids” happy and satisfied – truly anime/j-drama/blog footage’s and texts like event. It was clear to us that something like this gonna happen again, a unspoken promise to all Sakurabana’s members and to us.

But more than anything else, to me, this was a proof that even if it seems like we are swim against the tide and fight with windmills – we are doing the right thing  and all our efforts are worthwhile! So we will keep on fighting!!!

Festivals, creative workshops, Sakurabana and me

Last month I promised that I’ll write more about Sakurabana, but I didn’t follow true my promise. There is a reason for that, great one at that!!! I was busy helping them and doing what I do for them on monthly basis.

So what I do for them?

Once a month I hold a “lecture” as we call it, truth is that’s a workshop, very interactive. We talk about Japanese music, popular music, we choose a band and talk about it. I prepare some information about that band or a singer. We gather and talk. There is a lots of kids (I call them my kids but they are teenagers, very bright young people) who come there to learn something more or just to share their knowledge. So sometimes I teach them but sometimes  they teach me, and that’s the best part. We had one “lecture” recently, we talked about Buck-Tick. Those “kids” are my source of positive energy.

And how I was helping them?

Well, I had an idea about festival, and people from Sakurabana loved the idea so they let me organize a festival – we call it a High School Festival. And I have to emphasize that I did this FOR Sakurabana and with help of people from Sakurabana.


Basically, if you watch anime, j-dorama or just read about Japan you can’t miss it, those festivals are part of Japanese life and growing up. They bring communities together, they are good way to meet neighbors, but in schools – they tend to show best skills and abilities of children. They put ascent to children’s  creativity, team work and ingenuity.

And, once again, Sakurabana’s kids prove to be source of great positive energy! They are bearers of this festival, they had ideas for festival activities, they are working hard to organize themselves. In 6 short days, on Sunday 16th November at 17:00 local time, they are gonna be the stars of the festival!!!

We will have:

  • Maid cafe
  • Hosts
  • OriSOr selling stand with posters
  • Music prize game
  • Origami prize game
  • Balloons prize game
  • Manga and chibi portrets
  • Fortune telling corner
  • Sweet brownies
  • raffle

And so many more fun things to do in a 4 short hours. We even have our own video:

You can call it a fundraiser event, but not with suits and classical music, we will have a joy of kids laughter and happy voices.
More about event you can find in official Sakurabana’s blog: http://www.sakurabana.info/2014/11/highschool-festival-16112014.html
o
r on our event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/714626968622733/

But if you can’t come to share joy with us and help Sakurabana build Cultural Center Sakurabana (#CCSakurabana) , you can still help by donating or just sharing Indiegogo link: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/cultural-center-sakurabana

Thank you!!!
C ya on Sunday 🙂

Support for Cultural Center Sakurabana #CCSakurabana

What is Sakurabana? I know I’m often mentioning them in my blog, but they are not just some NGO that holds a festival two times a year, they are so much more. For me they have a special meaning and special place in my life.

Sakurabana is NGO that promotes Japanese pop culture, it was created from group of enthusiast, young people who had nothing more than love for Japanese pop culture and a dream, connected trough newly arrived wonder of modern technology – internet. Ok, in this point I can do a PR for them – but I won’t. If you want to know more about Sakurabana just watch this video (and if you are not Serbian native speaker make sure to turn on the English subtitles):

Now, as you all know earlier this year my country was devastated with sever floods,  and we are still struggling with consequences,  at that time Sakurabana did the best they could with gathering money and provisions for people affected with floods.  Most of our government resources are transferred for rebuilding what was destroyed, and that’s how it suppose to be.  But, at the same time that is where Sakurabana’s problems start.

These young people don’t sit and lament, they don’t throw “angry fist” at government for rebuilding a country. They have a dream and they working towards it. So what did they do? They started a project to raise a money for Culture Center Sakurabana. More about the project you can see on this video(this one is in English):

You can help them just by spreading the word (in that case please use  hastag) or by donating to their Indiegogo account (there are many great perks like  beautifuly works or some #OriSor stuff for cosplay lovers) : https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/cultural-center-sakurabana  .

 I do want tell you what Sakurabana means to me and why. In this point you may stop reading if you are not interested, but then again you can go on and learn some more about Sakurabana and what they mean to people and  specially kids who are just like me.

I had a luck in my life, I meet a friend who was half Japanese when I was a kid, so somewhere in 80’s, and that’s how I fell in love with Japanese culture – traditional but also popular. Now if you have interest in opther county culture, traditional one – people can understand that, even appreciate. But!, if you like popular culture which is totally unknown in your country…well, that’s a whole different story. People perceive you as weird.

I was one of those weird, geeky kids. In time I learned to function in society by giving a “socially accepted” answers to most basic questions like: “What is your favorite band?” or “What is your favorite actor?” – truth is I had friends but I was feeling alone. Like wearing a mask all the time, not able to really connect to people and not having anyone to shear my interests with, always on a lookout for slip of a tongue that may lead to being ridiculed or bullied.

When I meet people from Sakurabana I found my little peace of heaven. I had topics with them that I could discuss, we shared same interests. When you live your life in fear of being rejected for your interests, that doesn’t help you with self-confidence – trust me on that one!!!  People from Sakurabana where the ones who encouraged me to start promoting my handcraft, first of all Mina  a wery talented young lady.

And even now, when problems of everyday life pile up on me I go to Sakurabana – place where I can be myself. Just for a little chit-chat about my favorite music band or some new movie/drama. But Sakurabana is not some club we gather for a cup of chit-chat, they have so many educational activities like manga school, lectures and workshops.

Okay this is enough for today, but I’ll be telling you more about fundraising projects and Sakurabana activities in near future.

Japanizam 2014 – summary

I promised and now is time to live up to my promise. Small warning – this will be a loooooooooooong text, I have to write about remaining 3 days of Japanizam convention 2014.  🙂

After the first day which I was writing about in previous text Japanizam 2014 – day 1, , I have to say one big THANK YOU to my Mila for lending me her skirt so I didn’t have to sit in my wet clothes the first day <3.

THE second day

The second day begun with me chasing a new pair of shoes. Someone at the bus stepped on the sole of my sandal and managed to rip it off. Well I have to rant a bit, I had a mini cosplay costume on and in 7 out of 10 stores I walked in sales person just ignored me, and only after I somehow managed to find new shoes and reached the Youth Center with a minimum delay – crowd was already there.

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Second day was bit slower for us in Artist Alley but not too much. Nevertheless I did manage to take pictures of participants. And it was so many familiar faces there beside me (ofc 😀 )

Sulless Art Jewelery

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Gunpla Srbija

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Cajkin kovčežić s blagom

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Mila do Tokija

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Tanja Nikolić

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Villena Viscaria i Sardonyx Lace

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Teodora Novak

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Kaleidoskop Ceca

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Motor T Shirts

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Shidoosha

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BETA-goth jewelry

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Kreativno nakit

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Tsubaki

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Jelena Čarnaus i Lana Ristić

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Pumpkin Workshop

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Dunja Dimić

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Manga radionicaDelusor cosplay i Mistiqarts

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Miyu Mania

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Dora Somova

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Festina Lente

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Kokoro

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Grenadier BeogradPICT0009-3

Sakura Shop

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I drugi:

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And I managed to catch some OriSor moments ( #followingBorivojeIRL #followingOriSorinreallife  #OriSor  #AOT) 🙂

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I did grab an 1h of free time to wist one lecture held by Juićiro Omori-san about Modern Japanese music

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By the end of day 2 I had no nekomimi hairbands and neko chokers left, so my concerns were turned towards attempt to make some more of those which was hard considering the fact that I had only 3 more hairbands and 5 more bells left home.

Day 3 was slow, slow with sale, which wasn’t such a bad thing for me. I  managed to take snapshots of some people in cosplay, mostly our guests from Hungary and Bulgaria

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And some of our cosplayers as well

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And YES!!! I did manage to have two things that made me really happy! I finally bought corset, once again THANK YOU Villena! And I have some pictures with Nazgul (one of cosplayers from Hungary)

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A friend of mine, journalist was with us on a third day, she has a photo gallery of cosplayers and my recommendation is to take a pic at it HERE 😉

Day4, most expected day of convention, COSPLAY DAY!!! And I was dead tired, but I managed to stay awake and present most of the day, unfortunately not long enough to see cosplay competition 😥 . I did snap pictures of some cosplayers tho:

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For pictures from competition I suggest this page (they will put pictures soon) Konvencija Japanizam 2014.

As I said before, I was stuck at my post on Artist Alley and I missed so much from lectures to shows, but from what I heard everything was more than fantastic, people had only best comments.

While I was dragging myself on a way home, half a sleep and sad because I’m missing best part of the day I did manage to take few snapshots of plato in front of Youth center.

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Well, that’s it. I hope I’ll see you next year ^_^

 

Change of plans

I know I promised that I’ll write every day my report from Japanizam but I’m swamped with orders and I’m making nekomimi hairbands so I have to make small adjustment.

I’ll sit down on Monday and write a full report with pictures and my impressions regarding this year convention. With presenting most if not all participants of Artist alley, give you the pictures of atmosphere and some lectures/performances if I manage to get in some of them. And ofc, best for the end, details and full report on cosplay.

Sorry for change people but day is tooooooooooooooo short for me at this moment, I  hope you can understand that.

Japanizam 2014 – day 1

First day of Japanizam started with heavy clouds, and in the moment I managed to reach Youth Center I was soaking wet due to a strong rain. In short term – day didn’t promising much.

HOW WRONG WAS THAT IMPRESSION!!! 

Until the moment when program  officially began, crowd was  unusually big for the first day. Participant’s of Artist Alley where busy beyond every experience from previous years.  And by the end of the day so many of us faced a problem – the stock of products made for all 4 days where gone.

Unfortunately I managed to forget my photo camera so I made just a few fast snapshots before my cell phone battery run out. Pictures are bit blurry but this is just a small portion of atmosphere before beginning of first day.

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And this is my place when I still had nekomimi hairbands.


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Day was tiring and  I did manage to grab moment to eat, at my post only late in the afternoon

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I did manage to grab a few moments and visit Loreal’s post where I got fantastic makeover from their girls, Loreal was promoting their Manga Look mascara, and I have to say I liked mascara very much!

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And now I have to run, day 2 is starting soon. Today I’m taking my photo camera so I promise that I’ll have more pictures of Artist Alley participants, atmosphere and more stories tonight.

For those in Belgrade, c ya at Youth Center today.

And Happy Independents day  for all my friends who celebrate it 🙂