Moving into 2015

I’m not much of one for making new year’s resolutions. I feel that if I want to change something in my life, why wait until the new year? It just so happens this year that me finding a good time to start changing things has coincided with the new year as I have finally stopped being quite so busy! So this is what I’m planning to do or achieve this year, some of which are new aspirations and others more recent ideas.

Start writing my game 

When I finished my degree and started looking for a job, I managed to come up with the idea for a game I wanted to write. I even did some very basic code in Java that I took to an interview! But since then, I seem to have been far too busy with work and cosplay and life to do anything more about it. So I’m determined this year to actually make a start on it. I have the main characters, and a rough plot, so I think I’m at a good point to start writing some code as practice =)

Get fit and improve skin
Honestly, this is something most people want in life! I started going to the gym once a week last year, it wasn’t much but more than nothing. Then I got busy again and stopped. So I am going to start doing more exercise again. I don’t even particularly care what exercise it is, as long as I’m doing some! This isn’t an explicit attempt to lose weight, though I do hope that’s an nice side effect. And then, related because it’s my body, I want to clear up my skin a bit more. I’ve started wearing makeup on a daily basis, and I’m pretty sure that’s had an effect, so I want to reverse that!
Incidentally, it would be nice to be a bit thinner and have better skin by my wedding!

In terms of cosplay, this year is a little bit light. I only have 3 plans of things to make up until August, with a potential 4th if I get them done sooner than I expect, which is probably unlikely. After then, who knows. I don’t know what cons I’ll attend so I can’t really plan the cosplays either! I do know that I’ll be attending Kitacon, so essentially that’s what these plans are for.

Finish Midnight Mauve 

What I did of my dress I did very well, but, after talks with the judges, there are a few things I want to redo and then there are things, like the gloves and weapon, that I need to finish. This is probably my top priority as I’m hoping to enter this in Eurocosplay later in the year! I’ll try to get up progress of this as I go.
Fang
I’ve wanted to do Fang for a while, finally found a chance in my cosplay calendar to do her. Should be wearing her with my friend, Captain Kurfuffle, as Vanille. I’m also kind of excited to have a cosplay that’s predominantly not sewing! I mean, I love sewing and that’s the core of cosplay for me, but it’s nice to have a break from the sewing machine now and then.
Secret!
Okay, so obviously I can’t really tell you much about this one, except I’ll be wearing it in a pair with Ickle! I don’t tend to like people announcing secret cosplays, I usually think it would be better to not say anything. But it’s torturing one of our friends that they don’t know what this is!
Others
So that isn’t the end of it. The lovely Yuka has sent me her old Mami cosplay. I started making this myself but never seemed to have the drive to finish it. I need to alter it in a couple of places as she’s a little bit smaller than me, but hey, maybe if I lose some weight it’ll be okay. Definitely looking forward to finally wearing it though!
The 4th cosplay I’ll make if and only if I have the time and get everything else finished first, is XIII-2 Lightning. I’m not great with armour, but I’d like to learn, and I’m probably going to enlist the help of Nesabi who makes damn awesome armour! In return, they’ve asked me to help them out with some sewing.
Photography
Last but not least, I want to work more on my photography this year! I still have unedited photos from Kitacon last year. I really need to get on that. And then I want to organise some shoots outside of conventions, cause I tend to be pretty bad at taking photos to be perfectly honest. I still have my steadicam to use as well, so we’ll see where this goes.
And in a vaguely related way, I need to update my Facebook page a bit more! There’s some old stuff I can upload, but I also need to just share more in progress stuff I think.
And that’s all. Though it’s rather a lot….wish me luck!

Looking back on cosplay in 2014

It’s been a strange year for cosplay and me. This time last year I was attempting to get some things done sooner rather than later and not leave everything until the last minute. It didn’t work so well in the end, I was making stuff right up until Kita and still had a couple of things to finish in the hotel room. I also ended up disliking 3 out of 4 of my cosplays, for different reasons. (Rikku is the exception and I still love wearing her.)

Then I gave myself a break, of about a week, and dove straight back into making Joker. I was so excited to be doing it with my friend Katy and I really enjoyed entering the ECG prelims, but I ended up hating the cosplay. Something I seem to do quite often. I don’t know if it was the inevitable stress of trying to finish it before a big competition or what, but I didn’t feel like I suited him at all. Maybe it was just my frame of mind, because after we wore them at October Expo I felt much better about him. I’m still not convinced I really suit him, but it is at least nice to wear a matching cosplay with my best friend for the first time.

After ECG my attitude towards cosplay took a hit. I felt like I hadn’t stopped for months, and to be quite honest, I hadn’t. My personal life was pretty busy too, so it just felt like any spare moment had to be given over to cosplay. Tokonatsu was wonderful as a convention without a heavy cosplay focus and was just a chance to spend a fun weekend with some awesome people.

So I took another few weeks ‘off’ cosplay. It’s sad when it starts to feel like a job. Like you have to do it because there’s this event coming up and it’s all you can think about. I’d already decided not to make anything new for October Expo – although I did end up buying bits to do Haru from Free, but as this was all bought I had no issues with it. I’ll be honest, my resolve wavered occasionally, such as wanting to get Midnight Mauve wear-ready. In the end, I managed to stop myself doing that. I wore it for Distant Worlds – incomplete – which had always been the event I was planning to wear it to.

And then along came Auchinawa, which suddenly leapt on me like a Scottish goat. I was entering MM into the masquerade, and wanted something I knew I could be proud of and so I set to finishing as much as I could. But, I didn’t rush. In fact I did quite the opposite. I strived to make everything properly to make sure it was something I could be pleased I made. I started making a sword and had every intention of making a shield as well but it got to the Sunday before the con and I only had half a sword. At that point I realised I’d never be able to finish them properly, certainly not without a lot of stress and sleepless nights which is exactly what I didn’t want. So I stopped. I went wearing just my dress and something must have been right, because I won a judges’ award. It was the boost I needed. I’ve since spoken to the judges and understand completely about the things I could do better next time. But actually, speaking to them was another boost because they did seem to be honestly impressed with what I’d done.

So that’s what I’ve learned this year. What I’ve been trying to learn for about 2 years.
Rushing is not worth it. Take your time. If something isn’t done 100% either wear it anyway, or stop with what you have and continue when you have the time. It’s not the end of the world, it’s only cosplay =)

PS. Sorry for the text heavy post! I’m going to be back on track now – hopefully – with a wider range of posts and will try break up that text a bit =p

Upcoming posts will include my plans for 2015 =)