There are three bulletin boards in Teen’Scape, all covered in artwork that was created by teen patrons who spend time in the department. Many of the regulars here are artists, photographers, writers, and illustrators, and we want not only to encourage creative expression in the library, but also to give it a home here and promote it to the community.
The 15th anniversary of Free Comic Book Day is Saturday, May 7, and to celebrate, the teen volunteers in Teen’Scape have organized the library’s first Teen Comic Con to bring young artists and fans together for a day of making, sketching, screen printing, and cosplay.
Teen Comic Con organizer Jazmine Rodriguez said, “Prizes will be awarded and friends will be made! Plus, everyone attending will have a blast connecting with others that have the same interests.”
I spoke to some of the teen artists who will be participating in - and helping to organize - Teen Comic Con, and they told me about why they love drawing, what inspires them, and also shared some tips to help.
Serena Meza, who can frequently be found sketching at one of the tables or beanbags in Teen’Scape, explained her love of art saying, “When I draw, I’m able to do exactly what I want. I can make exactly what I’m thinking of. When it comes to individual pieces, I feel a sense of accomplishment when I finish one, and it relaxes me.”
Sheila Lopez, who draws cartoons in the library said, “I want to have my own style that doesn’t look like anyone else’s. Every day I work on it, and every day it gets better and better.”
Teen Comic Con activities are open to all participants ages 19 and under, and will include a comics-making contest and a cosplay contest.
Jazmine’s Cosplay Tips:
1. Have fun!!!! What's the point of cosplaying if you can't have fun? If you think the character you want to cosplay won't suit you, that doesn't matter! What matters in the end is that you had fun with it, and you're happy with your own cosplay. Confidence is beautiful.
2. Now, when it comes down to buying cosplay items online, always make sure to check the credibility of the seller. Keep these questions in mind: Do they have a high percentage of positive feedback? What do most of the feedback responses say about their product? Can you trust them?
3. Also, it's best to try on your cosplay before the actual con and go through a test drive with it so you can get a sense of whether your wig is fine enough to not slide around and so you can get good practice trying on the character's makeup and such.
4. Poses! While giving your cosplay a test drive, it's smart to practice poses in case people ask for photos because you don't just want to stand as a timid cosplayer when your cosplay calls for the fierceness of Princess Mononoke.
Jazmine offered a few spoilers about the cosplay contest saying, “Currently, we have a Kiki from Kiki's Delivery Service attending with a Sailor Scout and Batgirl. It'd definitely be coolio to see more cosplayers with various outfits, so we're all hoping to see more people joining in on the fun!”
Who’s Jazmine going to cosplay? “Well, currently I'm working on a cosplay of a maid version of Blake from RWBY and Super Sonico but I do have a modern version of Mikasa Ackerman that I haven't used in a while.”
The Teen Comic Con logo was designed by Teen’Scape volunteer Alejandra Galvez, and people who attend on May 7 will have a chance to screen print the logo onto a tote bag, as well as to turn comics or their own original artwork into buttons.
Making art can be lonely, but it doesn’t have to be, because in Teen’Scape, you can make art AND friends. Does that sound cheesy? Probably. Whatever, it’s true.
Teen Comic Con will take place on Saturday, May 7 from 12-4pm in Teen’Scape. Judging for the comics-making contest and cosplay contest will take place at 3pm with prizes to be awarded then.