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About Varied / Hobbyist Member Aaron Lai21/Male/United States Groups :iconelsword: Elsword
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Okay so it's a little late but ahem:

This was my first year at AX as an artist, and 2nd time going despite living an hour away. ; w ; Anyways, here's how it went down! (Also sorry for not live-tweeting it to some friends like I promised ;; )

Pre-con I had crazy jitters (it's normal for me, some people get nervous but I get REALLY nervous) especially as a first-timer, so I'm really thankful to all my friends who helped me through it!  There were a bunch of hiccups along the way but in the end everything worked out fine.

    I got to hang out with the Medical Whiskey crew!  I'm friends with a number of them, and they offered me a space in their hotel reservations.  I was really happy about it, like that feeling when your senpai notices you LOL.  They skipped Day 0 to go around to Six Flags and enjoy themselves, and I sat out because I had summer school that day (also I'm not an amusement park person, so I didn't want to be a downer).  My parents drove me up the night of Day 0 to meet with them.  Thank god we skipped Day 0, I heard it was just SHIT TERRIBLE with lines going on for miles and faulty systems.  We played a long stupid game of BS before hitting the hay for Day 1!

    Day 1 we got in to set up our displays and me being forgetful and lazy I had a gridwall and a bunch of string and chopsticks.  I was a Scout so I figured I could just lash chopsticks together to make a cheap display.  This would've worked but I ran out of chopsticks and out of time, so I ended up taping chopsticks together...which proved for a rather bad display.  Luckily, my prints covered it, so nobody knew unless they paid attention.  Additionally, the hiccups in plans got me half a table with a friend, but she and her brother had their own setup.  This resulted in a half-table, which was more like sitting in the space between two large displays.  Some of my friends said they almost couldn't find me since I just blended in and felt like I was just part of one or the other group.  But this is all my own fault, so hey, nothing to be done but make the most of it!  It wasn't much of a crutch either, and being local to the area means a lot of friends from high school and university (even online friends!) visited me and brought me some traffic.  I met the people around me and I got really happy since it JUST SO HAPPENS THAT PEOPLE AROUND ME SPOKE CANTONESE, GOTTA PRACTICE DAT MOTHER TONGUE.
    Starting Day 1, many good-ish things happened.  I play Puzzle&Dragons on my phone, and with GungHo (the company that created the game) having a tournament and booth in the Exhibitor's Hall, I thought it'd be amazing to draw art for the game.  This meant drawing anime of something that's not-anime, like people drawing League of Legends even more because Riot was there.  It was different though, people thought my art was cute and beautiful but didn't know where it was from.  The people that did know bought it on the spot though, and I really got to chat with a bunch of them about the game!  Made a lot of friends and acquaintances that day!  Soon though I found out the reason I was getting sales on prints from the game is because in all of AX, I was the only one with prints from the game.  Which means I monopolize the market. >:D  This trend continued up through all four days, and it luckily let me obtain a net profit despite all these strange shortcomings.  The rest of my art...well, I was competing with other SAO prints and League of Legends prints, so of course they were rather average.
    That night, the MW crew, including weee and ge-B who tabled and hoteled separately, and Hamblasto went to KBBQ at Manna.  Apparently best in LA.  Gotta say 10/10 would go again, that service was crazy good.  And I discovered I can handle 5 cups of soju.  This and the time I drank 4 Fireballs is probably the most I've ever had.  I slept well that night, but I was buzzed, not drunk, which was good.

Day 2, I'm warming up to the MW crew.  I've been friends for a year, but only to certain people, the rest are still fairly new to me, so I'm really reserved around most of them.  I got to meet a bunch of friends from twitter and online on Friday, who introduced me to other people and I got really happy to meet people.  I had the half-table and no helper so I didn't get to walk around a lot, but I did take a few trips for lunch with my new friend taka!  I brought food back for my senpais who were hard at work at their table, and visited other friends.  I got backed up on commissions this day so not much happened LOLQQQQ.  Many more PAD fans came and even more PAD fans returned from Day 1 to chat.  I ALSO GOT A LOT OF PEOPLE WHO BOUGHT RICEGNAT'S LEAGUE ARTBOOK AND ASKED FOR MY SIGNATURE AND IT WAS REALLY KIND OF EMBARRASSING.  I'm proud to sign it but the book is R-18 and people around me gave me looks when the book opened and I'm like ohgodohgodohgod.  Really happy that my friend sold out and did so well though! I'm glad to have helped him out :)  Tonight MW drove to Alhambra for Noodle World.  I realized we ate Asian food all weekend.  Then again, the majority of MW is Asian, so I guess that's a given.  Would've gotten there earlier but PANTIES RAN OUT OF GAS AND WE HAD A CRAZY ADVENTURE.

Day 3, I've warmed up but am still quiet towards a few members.  Dave and Rift I found a little intimidating and hard to talk to (less so now, but it's still there), while the rest I was really getting fond of.  Emi and Rice I've known forever now, and kaho and ippus we all spoke Chinese to each other so there was like a level of personal bonding.  I roomed with panties so there's just natural bonding with that shit.  Kaho and ippus began chatting to me more about silly things and kaho and I bonded over the fact that we share the same Chinese name (ka-ho).  So she called me "kaho go" and I called her "kaho jie", which technically doesn't work if we're both referring to each other as the older sibling but OH WELL.  At this point, I'm thinking of everybody as older brothers and sisters to me.
    At the con, I got really tired.  Sitting 8 hours a day with a large crowd like AX is really exhausting!  Plus waking up early is a no-no.  I caught up more on commissions and met returning and new PAD friends, and became friendly with staff too (a lot of them play PAD apparently or know of me through other people, plus DAT ARTBOOK...)!  weee(raemz) visited and chatted with me and I was really doki doki ;_; that senpai feeling never goes away I guess.  She brought me to their table and I bought her prints and ge-B's artbook!  I made sure to stop by and chat to Juby/joodlez too since we chat on twitter, and I wanted to talk to her especially more after buying her ALBW fanbook and her full-feature artbook.  Today ended on a relatively relaxed note, we walked around Exhibitor's Hall for a bit and I bought Rella's vocaloid fanbook!  We drive to Alhambra again for hot pot at Little Sheep, and buy some soju and wine from 99 Ranch.  We got back to our room and drank it though and it was pretty disgusting LOL.  Afterwards we just kept chatting for a few hours and playing Big 2/Thirteen (depending on what you call it) and finally hit the hay for day 4.

Day 4 we got all our shit packed and I had to bring my suitcase to the con since I wasn't following MW after today.  I dropped prices and made bundles to make some last-minute sales, and a lot of friends stopped by to say their goodbyes to me.  Afterwards we cleaned up our displays (I ended up eating noodles with mine that night...) and I helped out my neighbors with their displays.  I took a picture with my new friend spirafall because she wore this really cute yukata and I thought it was worth taking a picture with. N-not that I wanted to take a picture with a cute girl in a yukata or anything!
    I visited MW afterwards to see if senpais needed help packing up, but they were fine.  Kaho and ippus were going to give me some free prints but we all kind of forgot so it's fine.  We kind of just hung around for a bit longer chatting one more time before saying our bittersweet goodbyes :( I got the table this morning too, so I was all set for next year and hoping to be with MW again.  Kaho and ippus hugged me before leaving and I was thinking damn this is the first hug I've received since 2014.  I WAS ALSO CALLED "KAHO GOH" ONE LAST TIME GOODBYE MY CANADIAN TWIN.  Afterwards I met up with my friend Sean, who drove to eat dinner at Azuma in Gardena before driving us both back to the OC.

WAS A PRETTY FULL WEEKEND AND I DEFINITELY SAID TOO MUCH WITH REALLY LITTLE FORMATTING I'M SORRY.  But I just wanted to blurb since I forgot to recap for some friends!

Definitely going to get ready for AX2015, hope it won't be as crowded and bad as this year was!  Also since I was the only person doing Puzzle&Dragons artwork this year, I might focus on it more next year since that's like an unfulfilled niche market.  Plus I want to draw Puzzle&dragons.


Aaron Lai
Artist | Hobbyist | Varied
United States
A college student and illustrator.

Art trades: PM me. Friends only.
Collabs: PM me.



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Add a Comment:
Gandeon Featured By Owner Sep 28, 2014
I love you for your Sona artworks. Keep it up. :D
(1 Reply)
JH-Kael Featured By Owner Feb 5, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
Happy birthday c:
abp10 Featured By Owner Feb 5, 2014
Happy Birthday.
Medike-KuroNeko Featured By Owner Feb 5, 2014

Happy birthday.    ^^

Please keep up sharing your amazing draws.    ;D

spiralmaestro Featured By Owner Feb 5, 2014
Happy Birthday!
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