Evo 2023 marked my second participation in the event. For years, I had been advised to join Evo, but initially, I felt somewhat distant from the fighting game community. This time around, things had changed. The culmination of my cover work on the colorful Street Fighter UDON comics, as well as my personal art journey, coincided with the release of "Street Fighter 6." I sensed that this year was going to be extraordinary!
Anticipating the large turnout of competitors (7000 competitors) for the series and the tremendous excitement surrounding the games and upcoming releases, I was well-prepared. Prior to the event, I dedicated time to comprehending the characters, delving into the community's dynamics, watching online videos, learning the game's mechanics, participating in the beta phase, and immersing myself in the intricate lore of Street Fighter, which, despite my familiarity, is incredibly intricate.
Driven by the idea of infusing the game's aesthetics into my art, I began illustrating my favorite characters. This journey began with Manon, followed by Marisa, and of course, Cammy, who was my main in "Street Fighter 5." Throughout this process, I explored ways to incorporate the game's graphics while maintaining the essence of Street Fighter and Street Art. I also invested time in studying graffiti, tags, and various techniques, embracing the opportunity to learn and evolve my skills.
As the first day of the event unfolded, I sensed the upcoming intensity. However, what greeted me on the following day surpassed my expectations. Upon reaching my booth, I was met with a lengthy line of people that encircled it. Initially, I thought this line was for a new video game or a giveaway. Astonishingly, it was for my booth. The line, filled with many of you, persisted for a remarkable 10 to 12 hours each day!. The reception was beyond incredible. Your participation and unwavering support left an indelible mark.
The initial day saw the prints and stickers flying off the shelves. The turnout exceeded my imagination. I never could have envisioned such a turnout. I am profoundly grateful for your presence. I am proud and humbled by the assistance I've received and by the remarkable response from all of you. This journey wouldn't be possible without your presence, and for that, I extend my heartfelt gratitude.
During the show, I had the pleasure of meeting numerous cosplayers who exuded an amazing spirit. Many of you shared your experiences and participated in the event with a positive attitude. I also had the honor of interacting with long-time supporters as well as new fans of my art, a prospect that fills me with excitement. Perhaps the true essence of this event lies in showcasing my creations, and the reception was nothing short of phenomenal.
Looking ahead, I anticipate collaborations with fellow artists and companies. I'm already enthusiastic about the prospect of Evo next year. Your presence and contributions made this event an extraordinary success.
Thank you sincerely for joining me on this journey and making this event a monumental achievement. Until next year at Evo!