[ F . A . Q ]

- - - - -

Jump to:

- P E R S O N A L -

 Are you really 14 years old?
No, that's a running joke which started during my latter highschool years. Apparently I'm legally an adult.

 Are you a boy or a girl?
Slow down, Professor Oak!

 Why you so handsome?!

 Are you a furry?
Yes, I'm interested in anthropomorphic art; from cartoons, comics and folklore to costumes, props and make-up.

 How long have you been in "the fandom"?
The question is a little vague; what fandom? Are you referring to a cult?

 Isn't it despressing and unhealthy being a shut-in with no social life?
Not if you like yourself.

 Why the name 'Kao Koneko'?
Back in highschool I'd use words which referred to cats as names for role play characters (see: furry), 'koneko' is Japanese for kitten (see: weeaboo) and 'kao' (formerly 'Kaori') means face. "Face Kitten" ( 顔子猫 / かお こねこ ) is arguably the least silly of the names I've thrown around, which is probably what led to it being adopted as my online handle.

 What is your offline/IRL name?
Mai (メイ)

 What do you do for a living?
Your guess is as good as mine.

 Where are you from?
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. Spent most of my life here, aside from a year in Nürnberg (Bayern, Deutschland), which I can barely remember because I was very little at the time.

 Can you communicate in any languages other than English?
Ja, ich spreche gebrochen Deutsch.

 Do you like animals? Have any pets?
Yes, currently I have two Helpercats™ named Claude and Hobes. I'd love to get more pets if I had the space.

 Who is this "Jun" person you sometimes mention?
Jun is the Heavy to my Medic and reluctantly provides tech-support.

 What about MaEmon?
MaEmon is my co-pilot, we go back so far I'm not even sure either of us fully exists without the other.

Return to top

- - - - -

- A S Y L U M -

 Why do you have a website?
A myriad of convoluted reasons.

 Is this an online folio? Can you help with mine?
No, were this a folio I'd leave out anything old or embarrassing. If you need help putting a folio together I recommend asking your teachers/professors/mentors/online tutorials/enrolling in a short course/basically anything that isn't me because I am actually terrible at that sort of thing.

 Why is it called "Tortured Chicken"?
Originally the Asylum was hosted on my parents domain, .fathen, which most people read as one word, but was actually intended as two: Fat Hen. The "tortured chicken" was in reference to the "fat hen".

 Who made the Asylum?
Me! I did this! See a problem? Typo? Broken link? Please let me know so I can fix it!

 Why aren't there any social network sharing buttons (Facebook, Tumblr, Pinterest, etc.)?
Kids these days know how to copy and paste a URL if they wish to share something.

 Did you study web-design?
Sort of; the Asylum began life in 2004 after my father taught me some very basic HTML and CSS.

In 2007 I studied a Certificate IV of Multimedia at TAFE, a few subjects touched on HTML, CSS and Flash for websites. It was a 1 year course, after which I promptly forgot everything I'd learned.

From time to time I still enlist help from my father and also from Jun. Google is a valuable resource too.

 What do you use to make/maintain the Asylum?
The blog and comic use WordPress with a basic personalised skin and a few nifty plugins. Currently the Asylum itself is maintained using Brackets, a free opensource code editor that has a very nifty live-preview function.

Notepad++ is also pretty solid for what I do, and Microsoft's Visual Studio has been good to me in the past.

For FTP management Filezilla and CloudBerry Explorer are solid choices.

 Which browser(s) do you use?
Mainly Google Chrome, but also have Mozilla Firefox and Microsoft Edge for testing.

 Is the blog serious or is it supposed to be funny?

 I clicked a thumbnail on one of the gallery pages but it didn't open.
You may need to wait until the entire page has completed loading before the images can open.

 I want to get a better look at an image, but even in full-screen mode it is still scaled down.
Right click on the thumbnail you want to look at and there should be an option to "open link in new tab" or something to that extent. Selecting this option will open the link on its own page, clicking on the image in this page will zoom in to the full size.

 Why does MaEmon get a specific page in the gallery but nobody else does?
MaEmon is my Jaeger co-pilot and, you know, you're not drift compatible with just anybody.

Often, upon receiving artistic gifts from others, I will share them on the Guest Fanart page in the gallery.

Return to top

- - - - -

- A R T -

 Did you study art?
Art and design subjects were always my thing in highschool. After completing school I went to TAFE where one year was spent studying multimedia design, followed by three years of fashion design and technology.

 Do you think formal qualifications are important to pursuing a creative career?
Without a doubt I am the worst person you could ask this question to; my life is a series of loosely strung together failure and disappointment.

That said; there are other ways to learn, and other paths to get where you want to be- as long as you're socially competent and able to work hard.

 You have some pretty old work around, aren't you self-conscious about it?
There was a time when I felt very self-conscious and destroyed a good deal of work. A decision I've since come to regret (even if it was mostly embarrassing Starfox fanart).

It's also a real shame that I never kept any backup coppies of the Asylum through its many incarnations.

Comparing old work to new work is the only real way to judge how much you've improved.

 Shouldn't you only put 10-20 peices of your very best work in your folio?
Yes. Please don't mistake this website for an "online folio" because that is not what this is. What is this? An ever fluctuating work in progress.

 Why are the images in the gallery all different sizes?
In some cases particular sizing and dimensions just feels "right" for a piece. Artistic distortion, you know?

Also take into account that the Asylum began life in 2004 and back then technology was wildly different. True story: I was still using a 1024 X 768 CRT. So some size inconsistencies may have to do with the various different monitors, scanners, and cameras I've utilised over the years. No doubt technology will continue to change, but adjusting everything in the gallery each time this happens would be insanely counter-productive.

 Why are some of the clothing pieces displayed on mannequins and others on people?
Because I didn't obtain a mannequin until 2009. Prior to that everything was displayed on a person, who was often me, and photographed by somebody who had no idea about photography (again, often me).

After receiving the mannequin I went back and updated many older photos where possible (for this reason you may notice continuity errors; say a top made in 2010 appearing with a skirt from 2006; because the mannequin was dressed based on aesthetics rather than chronology). Unfortunately it wasn't possible to update pictures in all cases due to things being gifted, traded, sold, or dismantled and recycled.

 Then why is some of your newer work shown on a person?
That's usually for costumes where things like wigs, contact lenses, props, and make-up tests are involved; to give an idea of how the full outfit will come together.

 Who takes the photos?
If we're talking about pictures of things I've made then in most cases it's just me and the self timer, or strategically placed mirros and awkward angles. For older pictures it may have been one of my parents.

In other cases the photo may have been taken by Jun or, as with many of the pictures on the Cosplay & Photoshoots page, anybody who was present during the relevant shenanigans may have taken it.

 Do you make all of your costumes yourself?
Pretty much. When I first started cosplaying it was impossible to get a decent quality, reasonably priced, mass-produced costume, and I simply did not have the money to commission other artists. So I did it myself and here we are.

Some of my props are made by friends (usually working on a trade basis; I make their clothing they make my props) and sometimes I purchase clothing to alter if a costume is particularly basic or I'm feeling especially lazy.

 How long have you been cosplaying?
It would have been around 2003-04 that I first began constructing costumes for parties and Halloween, then attending conventions and photoshoots around 2006.

 Isn't cosplay an expensive hobby?
It can be, but it doesn't have to be. Much of what I utilise for personal projects is second hand. It's best to keep an open mind when sourcing materials, you never know what might be useful!

 How did you learn to sew?
My parents taught me to mend things when I was very young. Highschool textile classes helped a lot with basic construction and alteration techniques. Places like Google and DeviantArt hold a wealth of information, advice, and tutorials for those wielding the right keywords. Then there was the 3 years at fashion school where I learned a whole lot about tailoring, draping and pattern drafting. Even now I'm still learning with every project. That's part of what keeps it interesting!

 Do you make money doing what you do?
Not enough, but the enjoyment outweighs the money I'm not making, and I consider myself lucky being in the position to be able to do this in relative peace.

 Will you ever write a novel or comic?
Yes, I am currently working on a comic project called Separation Anxiety (the link is at the top of the page, next to the blog)! Depending on how it goes I may also have plans kicking around for the winged dogs.

 Can I use one of your character names or a play on one of their names?
Knock yourself out. Nobody owns names.

 Can I use your art?
As long as you understand and adhere to the whole "creative-commons" thing. If not, just click that little button down the bottom of the page to read up on it (you can't miss it, there's one on every page).

 Can I cosplay/draw fanart/write fanfiction of you/your characters?
Yes, absolutely! If you send it to me along with your preferred name and a link to your website/social media I'd love to share it!

 Can I use your photos for reference?
Yes, of course!

 I have a request, can you do this photoshoot/drawing/costume?
Probably not. Sorry. Unless you pay me.

 What do you use to create your work?
Sewing machines: Juki DDL-555 and Singer 14T554S
Also have a Singer 533 Stylist and a Helvetia Portable, neither of which are currently in working order. Much of my work also involves hand-sewing, adjustable dress-form/mannequin/torso things, and other assorted disembodied limbs.

Camera: Canon PowerShot G15 (previously used an A540).

Digital art:Cintiq 24HD
Due to RSI I also prefer to use a Logitech Trackman Wheel rather than the conventional sort of computer mouse.

Lastly: pencils, paper, paint, ink, makeup, whatever I can get my hands on. Never leave the house without pencils and paper. Maybe some eyeliner too, in case of sudden urge to draw on own face.

 I have a question about something you made/am stuck on a project, can you help?
A lot of my work is covered in the blog, so you might be able to find what you're after there. If not, feel free to send me a message with your questions and I'll do my best to answer them!

Don't forget that there are thousands of tutorials out there and somebody else may have a better method or be more eloquent in their explanations than me. But also that it is okay to experiment of your own accord.

 You draw a lot of graphics specifically for cosplay, may I please use one for a cosplay I am working on?
Yes, print quality cosplay graphics I've drawn up are available for free download on my Google Drive.

Return to top

- - - - -

- C O M M I S S I O N -

 Do you take commission/art-trade/collaboration?
Depending on how busy I am amongst other things.
At this point in time I take things on a case-by-case basis.
If you wish to make an enquiry please feel free to send me an email!

 What sort of work do you offer?
Digital and traditional drawings or paintings, and textile work.

Please respect that there may be some jobs I am unable to take on for legal/moral/personal reasons.

 What sort of work would you refuse?
Anything which is considered illegal in Victoria/Australia or falls into a legal grey area.
A job may also be refused if I am too busy to give it the attention it deserves or if I feel it is beyond my capabilities.
If it is due to time constraints I am unfortunately not always able to give accurate time-frames for when I'll next be available.

 What sort of payment do you accept?
Paypal only.

 How does pricing work? Can prices be negotiated?
Everything is priced on a case-by-case basis depending on size, complexity and materials used. Prices may be negotiated within reason. Please remember that producing a piece takes time and resources, the costs of which need to be covered.

I will endeavour to inform you of the total costs up-front, a deposit will be required once the design is settled, and any remaining payment will be required prior to the item being sent to you. Payment plans are totally do-able for people who prefer not to pay a lump sum.

The client would also be required to pay transportation costs where relevant; this includes postage/shipping charges (which I can inform you about up-front) along with any import taxes/customs duties which may be applicable in your country (unfortunately I have no control over those and you'll likely have to take it up with either customs or your local post service).

 Where do you ship to and how long will delivery take?
I can pretty much ship anywhere, just please be aware that some international destinations may have steep shipping costs or taxes which you will need to pay.

How long it takes* really depends on where it's going, whether or not it is sent express, and if customs decide to prod at it or not. Within Australia? Three days, maybe a week or two. Internationally? Up to a month, maybe even two or three.

Obviously, if you commission a digital piece, it can be emailed for free and will arrive within minutes.

*That is, once the item is physically finished and posted. How long it takes to actually create the item is a whole other story and will vary wildly on a case-by-case basis.

 Is your workspace smoke free and pet free?
While there is strictly no smoking, I do burn a lot of incense and scented candles, the aromas from which can on occasion stick to fabrics, though they usually wash out without issue.

As for pets, my household is my workspace which means that it is shared with two feline companions. They shed fur and it is not physically possible to keep them out of my work. While I have methods for removing fur from fabrics, I have no idea whether people with feline allergies will find it a problem.

 Can I do a photoshoot with you?
Depending on location and availability. Please contact me with examples of your work if you're interested.

Return to top

- - - - -

- C O N T A C T -