As a lot of you might know, GeekGirlCon has this really excellent practice of hiring an artist every year to design our year-specific merch. This year, that artist is Tatyana Vogt, whose art is so beautiful I’ve literally teared up over it. We are all in for such a treat with this year’s stuff, so read on for some of that good good design reveal and a little Q&A with the artist herself! Then, get your passes, check out our full programming schedule, and get yourself organized with the Guidebook app. Three days and counting!
Tell us a little about your story. Where are you from? Have you always been an artist?
Sure! So I was born and raised in California. I’ve drawn off and on my whole life, not realizing that it was something that could be a job until my later years of high school. I went to an art college where I worked part-time to help pay the bills and spent the little bit of free time I had working on becoming a better artist.
Can you believe that #GGC19 is barely two days away? In celebration of our launch, we’re rolling out our final Q&As. From the Women of NASA, to a sneak preview of our 2019 merch, we’ve still got some really exciting content to share with all of you.
Molly Brooks is one of our Featured Contributors and an absolute brilliant illustrator. Her comics are heartfelt and diverse—advocating more representation on the page and behind the pen. Her debut graphic novel, Sanity & Tallulah (October 2018) is a funny and smart story about best friends who must find their furry, adorable, and totally illegal science experiment. Chock-full of imaginative biology, tech, and engineering references, Sanity & Tallulah encourages experimentation and problem-solving. In the sequel, Sanity & Tallulah: Field Trip (October 2019), the dynamic duo are going on a field trip—to another planet! They get sucked into an adventure of intergalactic proportions when they’re pursued by a pirate and seek the aid of an accountant, a math hermit, and a group of mysterious beekeepers.
In preparation for her appearance at #GGC19, Molly did a Q&A with me about her influences, the importance of diversity, and of course, her furry office attendants!
With GeekGirlCon 2019 only days away, now might be a good time to bring up something we all know and love: Con Crud! We all know what it is, but what are some ways to make sure you don’t get it? We at GeekGirlCon care about your health and well-being, so we wanted to share some tips and tricks that have worked well for us in the past, combined with some advice from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A healthy Con is a happy Con!
General Good Health Practices:
Here are some tips that will serve you well not only before, during, and after Con, but in your everyday life as well!
Wash your hands often. Hand washing is a very effective way to prevent the spread of diseases. When washing your hands, good technique is key. Wet your hands with warm water, then scrub your hands with soap for around 20 seconds. Don’t forget areas like the back of your hands, between your fingers, or under and around your nails. Rinse your hands well and make sure they are completely dry. If you don’t have access to water and soap, alcohol based hand sanitizer will work in a pinch. For more information on when and how to wash your hands, click here.
Stay hydrated. Water makes up most of our bodies, and it functions best when we keep replenishing the water we lose through daily living. Try to stay away from the sugary stuff if you can. Pure H2O is best.
Eat well. Food is the fuel your body uses to live, and, in terms of energy, you can only expect to get as good as you give. Try to eat healthy, nutritious foods with a good balance of vitamins and nutrients to give your body what it needs to stay healthy.
The best way to make sure you don’t catch anything during Con is to prepare yourself before hand. As they say, a pinch of prevention is worth a pound of cure!
Get the flu shot. We hear this every flu season. Get the flu shot so you don’t get the flu. It is good advice that should be followed for personal protection against the potentially deadly virus, but there is another factor to consider when getting the flu shot. When you immunize yourself against the flu, you are also protecting those around you from catching the virus as well. Flu vaccines work on the philosophy of herd immunity, meaning the more people who are vaccinated, the more protection it offers to those in our society who cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons (think babies, the elderly, or people undergoing chemotherapy). This is a good thing to keep in mind when you know you will be going someplace where there are likely to be a lot of people, like Con. If you have questions or concerns about getting the flu shot, talk to your doctor. More information about the flu shot can be found here.
Take immunity boosting vitamins. It can’t hurt to shore up your immune system any way you can before going to Con. Not only can taking vitamins help boost your immune system, but it can help to give you more energy as well. Vitamin mixtures such as Airborne or Emergen-C are good options to take once a day before attending Con. Please be sure to follow dosage directions on packages.
Get lots of rest and manage your stress levels. Bodies that are sleep deprived or strung out on stress have lowered immune responses. Give yourself the best shot at not getting sick by getting some good sleep and making some time to relax or meditate. A little self care can go a long way.
Okay, here it is! The big event! It’s going to be hard, but try not to get so carried away in all the excitement that you forget about your health! Remember that there are lots and lots of people around, each bringing with them a various mixture of germs and bacteria. Many large event spaces use air conditioning, which will dry you out faster than you might imagine, so remember to keep drinking water. Think about how you feel after getting off an airplane, and take steps to keep yourself safe.
Cover your coughs and sneezes properly. Yes, there is a right way and a wrong way to cover your cough or sneeze. When you sneeze into your hands, you are getting all of the germs on your hands, which then go around touching stuff. If you feel a sneeze coming, first try to direct your body away from what you are looking at (or who you are talking to). Place your nose and mouth firmly in the crook of your elbow and let loose. Not only does your arm create a more effective barrier to flying germs, but the germs are also more likely to stay put there. For more info on correct coughing and sneezing etiquette, click here.
Try to avoid touching your face. Even with our best efforts, our hands still come into contact with millions of germs every day, and your face is like a gateway into your body. Touching your mouth, nose, or eyes, or any of the surrounding areas is giving germs easy access. It is a tough habit to break, but keep it in mind.
Bring a small container of hand sanitizer with you. We can’t always have access to soap and water, especially when walking around a Con show floor. We touch a vendors wares, wipe a toddlers nose, sneeze, cough, then go back to touching stuff again. We are all human and we all do these things. Just try to use a bit of hand sanitizer after.
Pace yourself and know your limits. Con is exciting and you want to cram in as much cool stuff as you can! But, you should also listen to your body if it is telling you it is tired. Take a few minutes to sit and rest. Go back to your hotel and take a quick nap. Keep hydrating and eating well. If you over-tax your body, you are making it that much more vulnerable to germs.
Just because the Con is over, that doesn’t mean you should forget about taking care of your body. This is a critical time. Sometimes it can take a few days for Con Crud to make itself known. You should keep up with hand washing and other good hygiene practices, as well as some other tricks.
REST! Your body and mind are going to be tired. Take some time to relax and recuperate. Your body will thank you for it.
If you do end up getting Con Crud after all, please stay home. It is hard to pass on germs to other people if you keep yourself away from people in the first place. Everyone will thank you for not getting them sick too. Keep resting, hydrating, and taking vitamins. If you feel like you need to see a doctor, please do.
For the rest of this week we’ll be posting our last few Q&As with Featured Contributors, and today I bring you Dajae Moe Williams, a Quality Engineer at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab. Dajae will be speaking alongside Featured Contributor Trudy Kortes in a panel about women pursuing STEM careers on Sunday at 10 a.m., so be sure to check it out in the Guidebook app! And don’t forget your passes!
But for now, let’s get to know Dajae!
Tell us a little about your story. Where are you from? Where are you based out of now?
St. Louis, Missouri. I now live in Los Angeles, California.
What are some of your favorite hobbies?
I enjoy song writing, music production, basketball, and entrepreneurship.
Who did you look up to growing up? How about now?
When I was younger, I looked up Will Smith, Queen Latifa, and Bill Nye the Science Guy. Now I look up to Nipsey Hussle and Steve Jobs.
Being able to create your own props gives you greater flexibility when it comes to controlling the design of your cosplay. Doing it at home also works to reduce the price and leaves you with more room in your budget. Here are just a few of the ways that you can go about using castable materials in your props for cosplay.
Fiberglass has always been a popular option in that it can lend you rigidity or even be used as a base for something more life-like. There are a variety of options when it comes to the use of fiberglass. The resin can be colored to be more realistic, and fiberglass also allows you to paint your material to suit your needs. The use of vacuum sealing is common with fiberglass because you can mold it into the shape that you need to be a base for any type of prop.
Plastics still reign supreme when it comes to creating your own line of cosplay props. This is because it’s easier to work with the materials at a lower temperature to achieve the desired results. A Polyurethane casting material supplier may able to help you locate the plastic castable materials that you need to craft your realistic items. Make sure to use a mold that has been treated so that you can easily remove your prop.
The use of wax molds is fairly common when you’re working with metals. This is because the wax will melt and leave you with the perfect cosplay prop. You’ll need to encase your mold into something like sand so that the metal will have a chance to cool before the mold is destroyed. Consider using a lower melting point material so that it will cool at a faster rate and stay intact throughout the process. It will also make it easier for the DIY enthusiast.
Silicon and Rubber Materials
Silicon and rubber molds and materials are popular for many different reasons. The mold itself is great because it has many of the nonstick qualities that you require when you’re creating your props. The material is also good because it gives you a greater range in terms of the items that you’ll be able to create. This is due to the flexible nature of the material. It’s easy to paint or even shave down to the dimensions that you want. You have loads of options when it comes to finding the right castable material for your cosplay items. Use these solutions when it comes to making something that will appear realistic and be easy to manage.
Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She loves the outdoors and spends most of her time hiking, biking, and gardening. For more information, contact Brooke via Facebook at facebook.com/brooke.chaplan or Twitter @BrookeChaplan
I know, I KNOW—October
was about a week long, and it feels like we’ve only been in November for maybe
12 minutes, but it’s true: GGC’19 kicks off in SEVEN DAYS.
If you’ve been
putting off buying your tickets, don’t panic—you can grab them right now. If you have
your passes and want to start planning your con experience, check out this year’s
Guidebook. If you, like
me and plenty of other con goers, are excited but also a bit anxious about the
whole con experience, you can find some great tips in Hanna & Teal’s post
from earlier this week, #GeekGirlTalk:
Self-Care During GeekGirlCon ’19.
So, pull out your
comfiest shoes, put the finishing touches on your cosplay, and get ready for
our biggest con yet. We’ll see you there!
In celebration of #GGC19 coming up in EIGHT DAYS, we have officially launched the Share Your World video series (produced by our new video team)! Tune in over the next week for clips highlighting various staffers & friends as they give you a little glimpse into what it’s like to be apart of their world.
Attendees of GGC 2019, harken to me! For the brave, adventurous, and those who liketh to win free stuff, we have a fun side quest to be undertaken. Shalst thou accept the challenge?
Whilst thou art journeying through GGC, we charge thee to seek out Agents of GGC and earn their seal for completing various tasks.
The rules of this quest are simple–complete the tasks, find nearby GGC Agents, and have them stamp thine GeekGirlCon QUEST page in the GGC program. Each stamp will gain thee one entry into a prize drawing. If thou completeth all six tasks, thou shalt be rewarded with a GGC avatar pin! Present thy collected stamps to the good people at the GGC QUEST Table (located next to the Info Booth on level Yakima) to redeem them for drawing entries.
Though tasks may be completed in any order, they are laid out for explanation thus:
A seal can be earned by attending any panel at GGC 2019.
A journey to the Game Floor to play a game of thoust choosing shall be rewarded with a seal.
Attending any workshop or meetup shall reveal another seal.
A post on social media with #GGC19 wilst earn thee another seal from the good people of the GGC QUEST Table once shown.
For the adventurous and inquisitive, a seal can be found by conducting an experiment in the DIY Science Zone.
A last seal can be uncovered at the GGC QUEST table by completing the Con survey, for we sincerely appreciate any feedback thou hast to give. This task comes with the added reward of a GGC avatar pin!
It is prophesied that the drawings shalst be held at the SassyBlack Concert at 7 p.m. on Saturday, and at the Cosplay Contest at 5 p.m. on Sunday. Thou must be present to win!
Now, I implore thee! Go forth and quest! Fun, adventure, and prizes await!
Who We Are Vaguely and in Terms Only of the Media We Seek Out Most Often:
Teal (roman type!) Literally any teen TV show, YA, women’s and feminist media, everything Star Trek
Hanna (italics, baby!) Reality TV, memoirs, romance novels, anything British, any podcast ever
Welcome to Geek Girl Talk, a (biased, subjective, opinionated) conversation about the pop culture we’re currently loving, hating, and obsessing over. Leading up to next weekend, we’re coming through with a special edition of Geek Girl Talk where we’ll be talking through our respective self-care plans for GeekGirlCon ‘19. The con is coming up on the weekend of November 16 and 17. If you haven’t yet, get your passes here!
I’ll start the conversation with an admission: As much as it pains me to say it, a lot of my excitement about attending conventions tends to be ultimately overwhelmed by anxiety. There’s some irony in that, I know. I spend months writing about an event that, when it comes down to it, ends up being one of the weekends I feel most drained and on-edge of the year. But, I also feel like that goes to show how much unique value I find in our con and organization; I’m beyond willing to support and show up for this thing, and I’m willing to do the work to manage my mental health well enough to make sure I can continue to sustainably. I have lots of tips and tricks and successes and horror stories about attending GeekGirlCon as a person with a lot of social anxiety, but before I get into that, Hanna, I’d love to know specifics about your relationship with mental health and con-going.