Now that the end of the year is here, I thought it would be a good idea to list some of the more "interesting" jobs I've gotten to do this year. From mock dates to Blizzard, I feel like it's been a pretty decent first year going freelance. With our bathroom shower almost complete, I'll feel normal again to start taking more photography modeling jobs. Since the bathroom has been under construction for a good part of the year, I've mostly been doing figure modeling/life drawing classes, which I found that I actually enjoy doing a lot as well! January International Makeup Artist Trade Show (IMATS) IMATS is THE event to go to if you are in the makeup, or special effects industry. Apparently it's very difficult to get in, as tickets sell out very quickly. Here you can find the industry's top body paint and makeup artists, many who have been on Skin Wars, Face Off, etc. I was lucky enough to be asked to model by body paint artist Luciano Paesani (@paesanidesigns), who was hired by a makeup company having their booth their and wanted a live body paint demo to bring in the audience. I also got to be photographed by Eric Anderson, whom I've worked with before and is one of my all time favorite photographers!
February Slo-Mo Fitness I got to try video shoots for the first time, and in awesome slo-mo no less. Three different videographers filmed me doing various exercises, to use for stock videography sites. Who knows, I might be the header on some rando's website or in a commercial someday. (If not already) You can see one sample of their work as my splash page when you first hit my website as well as the bottom page of here: https://www.atombombbody.com/fitness-photo-shoots March Toons N Booze I got to be live body painted at at a seedy bar in LA! I got painted as Jenemba from Dragon Ball Z by the amazing Brigitte Berlin (@bbbfineart) and her boyfriend Scott See (@seeartworks). They also created and brought the head piece, chest piece and tail. It was a super cold and rainy March, but I'll never forget it. (You can see the portable heater in the photo, haha)
Dark Arts with @Ashshank I got to play with chocolate syrup, and do dark and creepy stuff! I'm really sad that this photographer moved out of California, he was great. Loved doing dark arts and really creative shots, right up my alley. For the particular image below, he covered the floor in black trash bags and I took chocolate syrup and would spit it up, just like they did for horror movies back in the day. I will say that after this shoot, I never really liked chocolate syrup ever again.
MMA Ring Girl Now this was definitely a first for me. My friend/ex coworker from 5 Elements, Jax (@relentl3ssjaxattack) had always been into MMA and Muai Tai, and got a gig to be a ring girl for a fight night in Long Beach, and extended the invitation to me. Not one to miss a chance at doing weird things, of course I said yes. This particular event kinda went down as a fail, there were too many ring girls (over-booked) and the venue was pretty ghetto, but I had a lot of fun getting to try something new and of course hang out with Jax and talk shit about everything and everyone!
Wondercon I went to Wondercon in Anaheim for the first time, and debued my Rayne from Bloodrayne cosplay! I didn't make the outfit (but I did add red x's all over to make them look more accurate) but I did make the weapons. They were done crappily, but it got the job done.
Showdown LLC Thanks to Jax again, I got my first paid travel gig near Santa Barbara! This time was to promote ex-fighter Ernie Perea's company, Showdown LLC. His company hires out promo models for various events, such as King of the Cage. We were also there to model new shirts and tanks sporting the logo.
May Mock Dates Yes, you read that right. I found this gig off of Model Mayhem surprisingly. The company is called Become Sharp, and they help men who are usually well off financially and in their career, but struggle in their social life. They give them the skills to integrate into society, and part of that of course, is going on a date. Cue where we come in. They grouped us up in pairs (I believe there were 7 couples total) and we would go to three different locations around DTLA. We would swap dates with each venue. It was different/weird/hilarious getting to go on 3 different dates in one night, and see how awkward some of these guys can be, but that's what they were there for, to learn. We would rate them and add comments on them via a form on our phones at the end of each date, so that they could learn what they did wrong and right. Unfortunately no photos of this event, but it goes down in history as one of the most interesting things I've ever done.
Comic Con Revolution, Ontario My first time cosplaying as casual Brigitte, most of the parts I bought off of Amazon and distressed. I did make the wrench though, which looked horrible. (And the buckle on the overalls, that turned out ok). This con may not be huge, but I did have a pretty fun celebrity encounter. I got to meet the voice actors of Hanzo, Roadhog, and Zenyatta (Paul Nakauchi, Josh Petersdorf and Feodor Chin, respectively) got the autographs of Petersdorf and Chin (because I don't care for Hanzo, as a character...) and Zenyatta's voice actor actually took a selfie with me (I didn't have to pay, yay!), sent it to Brigitte's voice actress, and posted it on his Instagram! He actually follows me on Instagram, and occasionally likes and comments on my posts.
Walked a Fashion Show I walked for Carlet Edmonds (@carletedmonds) at the RAW Artists Fashion Show in Hollywood. This was my first time doing any type of fashion show as usually my body type isn't picked for this sort of thing. Typically they are looking for super tall, super thin, but I was grateful for having been given the opportunity. I got to meet a lot of awesome people and the husband/wife duo that runs Carlet Edmonds are super sweet.
June That Time I Was a Mermaid I was first introduced to Candace who formed the non-profit @SwimBrayv, at a gallery event in Los Angeles. Basically me and a few other models were outfitted in mermaid bra and tails, and we sat around like a live art exhibit. While the event itself was weird, I'm glad to have met Candace. Her non-profit brings awareness to the importance of teaching children how to swim, as her 2 year old brother died in a drowning accident.
Ginny Cosmetics Thanks to Candace again, I was able to get a job modeling eyeliner for a cosmetic brand. A bunch of us models were hired to be part of their promo images and video for their new line of eyeliner that promotes lash growth (its seriously my favorite eyeliner). The hardest part was keeping our lids closed and not all fluttery/special looking while getting the eyeliner applied. I think for most of us it took several takes, haha. I don't do a lot of commercial modeling because again, I'm not the usual type picked but again grateful for the opportunity!
King of the Cage MMA Ring Card Girl This time, thanks to Ernie at Showdown LLC, he talked the talk and it delivered. I got to do ring card girl work for a MMA fight that actually aired on TV! And it's more well known that grungy, underground ghetto fights. This fight was definitely well organized. No video but I was able to give my friend Rus over at @pointblankshot_photography a ticket, so he captured some cell phone video of me doing my thang.
Helped a Bunch of Rich People Feel like They Were Helping Charities Through an app called Castifi, I snagged a gig that at first, I honestly had no idea WTF I was doing. All I knew was that the company was called G2G (Give 2 Get) and that they helped charities, and that I would be doing some sort of event with them.
Basically what the event was, was us prepping little care packages for people from a big company to "prepare" and send off to charities. Some examples were bird houses to the Audubon Society, creating canvases for special needs charities to use for their art classes, banners for teams at the special Olympics, cards for the elderly at care homes, etc.
What is hilarious is that we pretty much had to make these things idiot proof and as easy to put together as possible. It's basically us that did all the work, but them who get the credit, to make them feel special and mark it off on the company's resume as, "gives to charity".
Another hilariously interesting experience. I Got Banned on Twitch A body paint friend of mine Joe (@artistiendeavor) asked if I would be willing to be his model for a live body paint display at some hoitey-toitey art gallery in LA. They had an event going on called the "Chocolate & Art Show" and he was trying to expand his horizons by going to some of them. I thought it would be a good idea, since we would be in public, I would be wearing pasties and underwear, to try live streaming this on Twitch because at this point, I had been doing a lot of body paint modeling and absolutely loved it (and still do). Luckily during the process I couldn't read chat much, but the few comments I saw were very derogatory and within 30 mins, I was banned and got a strike on my account. This experience almost made me want to quit Twitch but my anger at how stupid society has become kept me going.
As far as the art show, there were your obnoxious artist types, a painting of Frida Castro as a cat sold for several hundred dollars (or was it thousands? I can't remember) and some guy randomly walked around handing out Magic: The Gathering cards and saying it was our, "Card of the day". LA artists are weird man. But I did have a great time with Joe, and he painted a very meaningful love not war message on me.
I Got my Second Paid Travel Gig- Four Comic Cons Yearly! I responded to a simple post in a Facebook group looking for someone to be hired as Colossus Girl, the superhero mascot of Colossus Girl LLC, a chain of cons in the San Jose area and one in Oregon. Somehow, the owner of the company (Dave) liked me enough, and sure enough off I flew to San Jose International for my first FLYING paid gig at a COMIC CON. How awesome is that. I basically got paid to walk around and take pictures with people. The con is family owned and run, and I've continued on to work 3 cons total for them this year, and plan on continuing on next year. Getting to meet geeks from another area, even though it's still California, is super fun. I also get to know the vendors on a deeper level than a regular visiting guest would. More on Colossus Girl LLC further down the year.
That One Time I Almost Ended up on a TV Show I responded to a random casting call on Model Mayhem for a cosplay show looking for contestants, but ehh, acting wasn't really my thing and I didn't really have the skills nor confidence at the time to be on a TV show. However, they kept asking me if I was interested, gave me second chances at deadlines, and a friend of mine told me I should really go for it, so I figured the stars were aligned and went ahead and interviewed. Somehow, I made the cut, and I was going to be on a cosplay competition show similar to "Skin Wars". We had a cast and crew meet a few weeks before shooting was planned to start and boy, was it awkward. Everyone else knew each other or were from previous seasons, and everyone definitely had more experience than me. The staff must have noticed, because that night once we all left I got an email asking if I had any friends that would like to be on the show with me. I decided to bow out of the competition, but the show's network ended up shutting down, so that ended that in a rather convenient way for me. One good thing that came from all that prep though was I tried to learn a lot of skills, REALLY FAST. I learned how to sew, I learned how to work with worbla and foam. I mean I had always wanted to anyway, but having the deadline of a show about to start where the whole idea was to be better at others at COSPLAY really put the pressure on me. Hell, the basis of my Slave Mercy/Leia costume was a test to see if it was something I could build quick and easy enough for a show like that. I figured the skimpier the cosplay, the fewer materials and time needed.
I Posed Naked for Wet Plate Photography Alright, this one was pretty damn cool. Bailey-Denton Photography is owned by a couple based in Fountain Valley, and they specialize in old school wet plate photography. I originally heard about them through Model Mayhem, then met them at the Renaissance Faire of all places, then one thing led to another and we got to shoot together. They mostly shoot Civil War Re-enactment photos but were looking to expand the boudoir side of their business. Largest camera ever, longest exposure ever, most blindiest flash ever, but the results were oh so worth it. They sent me some of my prints on glass (wet plate is film on glass, in a nutshell) and they are stunning. The photo doesn't do the physical print justice.
I Got Proposed To I feel this is a pretty notable achievement to include in this blog. Most of you know my boyfriend (now fiance) as "General" so I will refer to him as such for the sake of saving confusion. He took me to Universal Studios because they were going to be closing the Jurassic Park ride down for good (probably to upgrade to Jurassic World is our guess). Bought me an awesome and ginormous indominus rex figure, took me home, asked if I had a great day, got down on one knee and said that it was about to get a lot better (or something like that), and proposed. After that I kinda gave up the whole, "pretend to be single so thirsty dudes will follow you" charade of pretending to not have a boyfriend. I decided that's not really the type of audience I want to attract anyway. (Twitch helped me build genuine friendships).
September Long Beach Comic Con Again, ordinary con that I've been to before but this one was special because I got to debut my very first, all original cosplay made 100% by me. That, and I had Delphin714 by my side to be my photographer and handler! My Slave Leia/Mercy cosplay was very well received. I also learned I never want to make wings. Or at least not wear them in cons. Like, ever, ever, again.
I modeled for BLIZZARD Hell yeah! Thanks to a friend of mine who also does figure modeling (he is way more awesome than me though) I was able to get through to Blizzard to do figure modeling/life drawing classes for them. This year I've modeled for them 3 times already and I am more than happy to be the next Overwatch character - I mean, model for them anytime. Their campus is amazing, the women's restroom has positive post it notes all over it, and there was pink toilet paper in there at one time, for some reason.
I Walked Naked in Font of an Audience Full of Women I posted a bit about this on my Patreon when I first did this, but I'll share some about my experience here as well. Through another instructor I did figure modeling for, I met Jen of GalleryGirls, and she had a very interesting gig for me. She picked me specifically because my body time was a mesomorph, the muscular body type, and the job she was tasked with was finding a girl of each of the types (ecto, meso, and endo) to walk naked in front of a bunch of women at a women's empowerment seminar. And so, that's what I did. We basically dropped robes, walked through crowds of women on yoga mats, and stood up on stage for all to see. It was really great though, everyone was cheering and clapping at our bravery. At life drawing classes, you don't get that (and it would be weird) because the purpose is to use you to further their artistic skills. Usually drop robe, awkwardly quiet, and pose. This was definitely something different, I think the older I get, the more susceptible I am to crying, so my eyes did start to water at how kind everyone was. The speaker (Sheila Kelley) then briefly talked about each of the different body types, and then off we were. I'll never forget this experience either. October I modeled for Spin Master (yes, the toy company) and Halon Entertainment Jen over at Gallery Girls liked me well enough I stayed on her roster of girls to promote to companies that do life drawing classes. Through her, I got Spin Master (Hatchimals, Air Hogs, Etch a Sketch, Paw Patrol etc) which was a fairly normal/relaxed life drawing class in a cool trendy office. They weren't allowed to say much other than the fact that they are working on a line of toys that are "slightly more muscular" so they needed more fit models to practice with. Working with Halon Entertainment was also very chill. Halon is responsible for a lot of the cinematics/green screening you see in popular games and movies, such as God of War, Xcom, Pacific Rim, Aquaman etc. I Had my First Booth at a Convention So remember when I mentioned I would bring Colossus Girl LLC back into the mix? Well here it is. The owner Dave let me have my own booth at this con, so I got to attempt to sell prints, merchandise, etc! I say "attempt" because I hardly sold a thing, not that I'm surprised, I'm not a big cosplayer and I'm not even from that area. Still, it was a learning experience and I found that I actually have a better time getting to walk around and take photos with people. Next time I do have a booth though I'll bring props of things I've made so people can actually feel them and ask me questions about how I made them, just to be more engaging in general. That and trying to fly over all my merch and junk SUCKED so much.
At this con I got to sit next to an animator who worked on The Walking Dead games for Telltale (RIP) and he also acted in VR Troopers (kinda like Power Rangers).
I Went to Twitchcon This one was a bigger deal to me because this was the first year that I started this whole Twitch thing, so I wanted to learn how to git good. Although the first day sucked in terms of lines, I found the Twitch Creator Camp panels to be really inspiring and informative. I also learned I've been doing a lot of things wrong. BUT the main thing I got from going to Twitchcon is that there are a TON of people interested in Twitch, and many that can actually make a career out of it. I also debuted my Nevermore Reaper mashup cosplay at Twitchcon.
November Went to Blizzcon with General for the first time, unfortunately it was not as good as last year but I was still grateful to go! Also did more mock dates! So yeah, I thought I had been super slacking this year but getting to look back at my calendar, I really hustled the shit out of myself! I think it's good to go back at the end of the year and see all the progress and improvements you've made. What's in store for me in the next year? Well for sure, I want to make Atom Bomb Body an official LLC. I've actually started the process already. What improvements have you made this year, and/or what are your goals for next year?
See you in 2019!