Foreword: This is a long post split into two sections. If you don't have the time to read the whole post, I have bolded sections for a 2015 summary and a 2016 summary, so it will be easy to notice as you scroll through, plus I have a quick survey at the end I would love everyone to take part in! *kiss kiss*
This past year has been quite the whirlwind of adventures. I officially started cosplaying in April when I found the jacket for my Bombshell Harley Quinn cosplay. Shortly after that I was full-on into my Ninetales cosplay and brushing yarn for HOURS. Looking back on where I started, I'm proud of the choices I made and the effort I put into my first cosplays.
My first completed cosplay was Gijinka Ninetales which I wore to Animethon. After that was Mad Rabbit with my little Wonderland group for ECEE, and Bombshell Harley Quinn - also for ECEE. The last cosplay I completed this year was Nidalee, which I wore to TCEG Con, and won 3rd place in the Novice category of the Cosplay Contest!
I had plans to do a few more cosplays before the year ended, but money was slim, and the rest of the year went by fast. I spent quite a bit of time looking for photographers in the area and doing a handful of shoots. I worked with Capertured Photography who shot my Ninetales; Sagoo Design shot my Mad Rabbit in studio; #arkCAMphotography shot my boudoir Harleen Quinzel/Bombshell Harley Quinn with Danyella as my Joker; and Bofoto Studio shot my Nidalee - it was very last minute and quite cold outside, but I loved the spontaneity. I will be writing a post on my experience doing photo shoots with each of these photographers in the future. Look for that soon!
This year was also a huge year for my social life. I broke out of my personal bubble and reached out to some local cosplayers online and gained some really great friends. I have met them all in person at cons and I stay in touch with them. I've also started talking to more popular cosplayers and getting past my intimidation to ask them a few crafting questions, or offer my compliments.
I also expanded my social media network to include twitter and tumblr. From only instagram and pinterest as a whatever account, I've turned my pinterest into a great tool for marketing and finding resources; I've started using snapchat more, and I'm finally getting the hang of tumblr and twitter. This is no easy feat. Oh! I also started a blog! Duhr.... This website is set up as the Mother Ship for anything and everything I do.
A huge part of my 2015 was learning new skills. From never cosplaying before and having only limited experience with DIY halloween costumes, this was a huge project for me to take on as a new hobby. I followed tutorials or made up my own, but a few times, I still missed the mark. I originally tried to make Nidalee's spear out of spray foam to an absolute horror story of a mess. I'm super disappointed with that one and I still haven't attempted it again.
I also failed not once, but twice at paper mache. The balloons died a miserable shrunken death by my hand. I did manage to alter my method and I'm currently working on a flawless paper mache balloon! You can see progress pics of said balloon on my instagram. I'm so proud of it. There's literal balloon spam. Every new layer gets a new post. Point being, that I CAN take these mistakes with a grain of salt and learn from them.
Enough about my failures!! I've had way more success than failure in my new skills. The big one being sewing. Before cosplay, I think I sewed a pair of pajama pants when I was like nine. This summer, I sewed an awesome summer dress as a test subject and then went straight to sewing my kimono for Ninetales. After that I basically thought I was a goddess and my next sewing project was the vest for my Mad Rabbit. It doesn't fit that well, but for being my 3rd sewing project basically ever and not using a pattern, I think I did not bad.
I made stuff with craft foam!! I bought a huge pack to use to make my utility belt for Bombshell Harley Quinn and I'm in love with this stuff! I also used it to make the head of Nidalee's spear as well, which was the first weapon I ever made. I'm also using it for another cosplay I'm working on for the new year.
I experimented with tons of techniques and materials, some of which I'll use again, some of which were only helpful to individual projects. Yarn furn for example, was fun to try - on Ninetale's first tail... but then it got very repetitive and took up so much time. I love the look it gave my tails, but never again to that extent. </3 Wig styling is something I tried a bit of, but that is a skill too far advanced for me right now. For what I needed to achieve, I think I succeeded. I also made a top hat... but I don't know what kind of skill that would be. It was definitely different from anything I've made before, but when you break it down, it's just 3D modelling.
TL;DR or a quick summary of my year:
- I made 4 cosplays, 1 recieved an award
- I expanded my social network to include twitter and tumblr
- I failed at making spray foam props and twice at paper mache
- BUT, I learned new skills in sewing and craft foam
Well that sums up 2015, so now lets take a look at the year ahead of us, starting with future projects! I have two projects I'm currently working on; Annoy-o-tron and Red Sonja. Annoy-o-tron will be a huge build and I would ideally like him to be finished for ECEE in September, but I won't rush it because he's my baby. Red Sonja was a random project I started because I was inspired by UndeadDu and I had the material already. I'm not gonna lie, I might never wear Red Sonja to a con, but I'm enjoying making her.
CCEE is the next closest con, and I have two goal projects for the end of April. The big one being Madame Vandersexxx because Lucy Lawless will be there and I wanted to portray a character that wasn't Xena - aka I wanted to be a bit more original than the other 800 Xena's that will be there...
My second project will be Him from Powerpuff Girls. Danielle is my con buddy and she wanted to be Mojo Jojo. So this is the plan. We got a little stressed when it came time to finish her Cheshire Cat for ECEE, so this might be a casually worked on cosplay with no official deadline, but it will happen.
The last cosplay I really want to make this year is Yin from Darker than Black. It will be my big sewing project for the year and I will be excited to have an actual anime cosplay under my belt! Deadline for this is expected in August for Animethon.
A huge goal, that is also a personal goal is to get fit. Two summers ago I ran every night with my dog and lost 20 LBS. It was awesome! I had found a physical activity I actually enjoyed doing that benefited myself and my dog. But this past summer was not so successful. As soon as the snow melted, I went for my first run of the year and experienced insane joint paint. I needed physio therapy for eight weeks and was told to take it easy with the running, or consider a new outlet all together. How heart breaking. So now I'm trying to find the courage and determination to find another activity I love to do to get me back on track to fit.
**I just want to put a quick disclaimer here; I want to get FIT, not SKINNY. I know my body is fine the way it is, whatever, but I want to keep my body as HEALTHY and STRONG as possible.**
I want to meet more local cosplayers! I'm so shy and kinda awkward with new people, so it's hard for me to approach people and try to start a conversation. My goals is to make more friends and do cosplay groups. I think my current friends are getting sick of me trying to drag them into the cosplay world and do costumes with me.
I also want to work with more photographers - new and old. I have so much fun on photo shoots! I want at least one photo shoot per cosplay, but if more opportunities come up, I'll gladly re-shoot my faves.
So if you want to do cosplay groups with me, or take pictures of me, or be my friend, just talk to me! Message me on any of my social sites - but the best would be instagram, for sure.
My last goal, and possibly my biggest goal, is trying to make an income from blogging and cosplaying. I've been doing some steady research and it's slowly coming together, but I might start selling prints, working with sponsors, and getting monetized. I really love cosplay, and I don't see why I shouldn't be able to turn a profit from it.
TL;DR or a quick recap on my 2016 goals:
- Step 1: Cosplans include Annoy-o-tron, Red Sonja, Madame Vandersexxx, Him, and Yin
- Step 2: I want to get cosplay fit
- Step 3: I want to meet local cosplayer and photographers
- Step 4: Profit $$
If you somehow made it to the end of this post, I would love to hear from you!