Lately I have come to realise that I need to stop treating cosplay with so much sincerity and relax and have fun with it more often.
I apologise as this is likely to be a long, rambley post, but I feel like writing it out will help me feel better about it. And who knows, maybe I’m not the only one.
Let’s start at the beginning.
I was first introduced to cosplaying in 2007 when I was only 15. At the time it was all about having fun, wearing the characters I loved and being the typical young Expo fan. I grew up. I went to uni. I made new friends. Cosplay was still a pretty big part of my life. I learned about competitions. I started taking pride in making things well. And I kept finding myself not enjoying events as much as I used to, or as much as I wanted or expected to.
Slowly over time I’ve been reaching a point where I was convinced I would have to give up. It’s stressful and it’s expensive, I think we all know that. However the outcome of it is usually supposed to offset that. Whether that’s by winning competitions, having someone take your picture or just having a good time with friends. I just haven’t been finding the end result enough to justify the journey, as it were. I absolutely love my friends and adore spending time with them, but that doesn’t have to be in a cosplay context. The cosplay itself? Well that usually makes me feel unhappy more than anything else.
Then a few weeks ago, at LSCC, I think I worked out the problem. I take cosplay too seriously. I treat it like everything has to be just right. I don’t judge others like that mind you, just me. I looked at other people’s cosplays and they weren’t perfect. There were bits missing, hot glue strands peeking out, wigs lopsided. But it didn’t matter. They were still recognisable. They’d still put in a lot of hard work. And more importantly, they were having fun.
I’ve lost that sense of fun. I don’t quite know how or when. I’ve stopped enjoying making and wearing cosplays because I’m judging myself against a ridiculously high standard that it suitable only for the top competitions. In the competitive world it’s fine to be like that, it’s expected, but why am I behaving like that the rest of the time as well? I’ve told myself to be a good cosplayer I need to be perfect, which really isn’t true. I’m drowning in a sea of perfection that doesn’t exist. One that I’ve created out of some misplaced sense of ‘doing it right’.
I am slowly relearning that mistakes are okay, remembering that we learn from them and let’s be honest, we rarely notice the ‘mistakes’ on other people’s cosplays anyway. Whilst making Meiko I’m letting some of those mistakes pass, I’m taking a few shortcuts that won’t even affect the outside view of the cosplay in the end, but they sure do make my life easier. And you know what? I’m already much happier with it.
It is a slow process though, partly because I’ve spent so many years winding myself up in this tight ball of perfection that it’s going to take some time to let go. This is part of the reason I’ve let the blog go over the last few weeks, I just couldn’t keep on top of that along with everything else. I’m going to get over the Kita hump, as it were, and see where I’m at post that. Hopefully I’ll be in a good place to start on some new cosplays again and I’ll be able to jazz up the blog with some more excitement.
There’s so much I still want to do. I just need to find a way to enjoy it again,