I got to a lot of conventions, and I have seen a lot of strange, weird, odd, abnormal stuff. But by far, one of the most interesting conventions I have been to is the Otakon in Baltimore, MD. This is an Anime, Manga and Asian Pop Culture convention created by a grass-roots fan base. It takes place every summer at the Baltimore Convention Center and has become a Mecca for all lovers of these various art forms.
Perhaps most impressive is the amount of people that come in costume, or cosplay as it is officially called. These can be people dressed up as anime characters, video game characters or even their favorite Asian musician or group. Unlike other conventions like the New York City Comic Con, if you are NOT in costume then you are in the minority. It is like attending the worlds largest costume ball, and the accuracy and detail in these outfits is nothing short of mind-boggling!
I was asked to create a chalk mural for the 15th Anniversary 2008 Otakon. I’ve all ready been asked back for this years convention and can’t wait… so I thought I might post some images from last years show. The piece was designed by Chamba at Udon, was drawn in the chibi style, and had a range of characters including a Gundam, a Chinese Dragon, a Chocobo from Final Fantasy, and what I thought was a lizard with wings but only later realized was the worlds cutest Godzilla!
The piece was tough because it was a style so far removed from my normal work, but as I’ve learned over the course of creating a huge number of chalk murals, anything can be duplicated with patience and attention to detail. By the time I was done I loved the artwork, and had a much greater appreciation for the clean, smooth-lined chibi art style. Below is a gallery of the chalk mural and a few fun photos thrown in. Enjoy!