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Make Them Awesome: Year One

Oh hey… it’s our first birthday.

It’s interesting for me to look back on all of this and realize we’ve been at all of this for a year now. In the past when I have attempted new creative projects with other people they would tend to fizzle out within six months or so. Though a lot of that would happen because of external factors.

When the initial ideas for MTA started forming in my head I knew right from the outset there were going to be a lot of obstacles to overcome. I really wanted to challenge a lot of the conventions I saw in our space at the time. I saw the same things being done over and over again. And that was a really difficult thing for me to grasp especially when I was coming up with ideas that anyone else could do. Aside from style and artistic preferences I’m not “special”. Really anyone could do this. But barely anyone was.

And that needed to change.

But I couldn’t do it alone.

It was very much a leap of faith to pitch this idea to the team over a year ago. As near as I could tell no one at the time was doing anything like this. And I would be asking all of them to take on the challenge with me. That was a lot to ask of them.

They saw the possibilities. The potential to show people new directions. How they could educate people. To show people things were within their grasp. And to say more about themselves. Not just as cosplayers… but as people.

We all realized this whole thing was going to be an uphill battle. But you can’t change things if you’re not willing to fight. And find new paths to victory.

Even with all of that there were a lot of internal hurdles we had to get past. Tacocat and Mermaid Child are both going to school and Mermaid Child is working two jobs. Allybelle has a day job and has been helping her family as her mother has been getting treatment for brain cancer. And I had gotten laid off from my day job at one point. As for Luis… he’s the reason we have to file Whataburger receipts on our taxes.

But through all of that none of us gave up. We kept coming up with ideas, seeing photo shoots and articles through, and exploring ideas to get our name out there.

What drives us is that we want to see something new upon the landscape of the space we work in and show that quite frankly anyone could do any aspect of the work we’ve taken on.

Even with all the obstacles we’ve faced this year we have done quite a bit. To review:

Eleven photo projects (and really this would have been thirteen if other things hadn’t gotten in the way)

Eighteen articles

One convention guest spot

Two cosplay contest awards

Starting our own self hosted donation system

Opening our own self hosted online store

Really the fact we could pull all of that off in our first year of existence with the level of quality we did even with all of the things we’ve had to deal with makes me proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish. To go against all normal conventions on how to do some of these things and actually be able to figure them out… that says a lot on how much we believe in this idea.

We’re certainly going to push things in our second year. We’ve been exploring a ton of ideas on how to apply our flavor of Plus Extra into our work. And we will do more to tell people exactly how we did that. Furthermore we’re working on ways to bring all of this directly to people. Not in a “consume what we do” sort of way. We’re talking very interactive ways so they can be a part of what we do… and hopefully not only will they be entertained they will come away feeling like they learned something. Whether they be in front of the camera or behind it.

We wanted to challenge many things when we started MTA. And we’re going to keep doing so.

The Fun of Experimenting

The Fun of Experimenting

The Freedom Of Having Space: Why I Don't Con Shoot Part Two