Sunday, 16 February 2014

Time Management - Setting Achievable Goals

So, recently I've seen a lot of  'I wore my old x costume to this y con because I didn't get z finished in time...'

I'm not sure what it is, but I'm seeing it more and more amongst the cosplayers/costumers I follow. Perhaps as the hobby increases in popularity we are feeling the need to go the extra length to have that costume that stands out in the crowd at a con? Or perhaps I'm looking at it wrong. Could it be as awareness increases we feel more confident in branching out into the extremes in the costuming world?

Anyways, whatever it is, I feel like the community as a whole is taking more and more on when it comes to the workload side of things. Maybe I'm wrong, and maybe it's just me. But it does raise an interesting topic - time management.

Ohhh! So you just remembered that con that's coming up in 3 months time. Time to make a new costume! Well, it's so easy to pick your favourite character from your favourite movie, or the video game you are currently playing. I feel that with a few small details taken into consideration when choosing your costume, it can reduce the stress and perhaps avoid that last minute rush we all find ourselves in from time to time.

First things first, is this costume within your current skill range? I ask this for a simple reason. Learning new techniques, as well as trial and error when trying to replicate something you are unsure of, can eat up your time faster than you realise. I've found this to be the case for myself a time or two. Yeah I watched a tonne of YouTube tutorials, and yeah I got the exact materials I was told to use. But the knowledge doesn't always give the guarantee that hands on experience can assure. So, if venturing out of your comfort zone, sometimes it pays to give yourself a little extra time.

Secondly, the order time of products you will require. More often than not, resources are sourced online these days. Don't forget to allow for postage times, as well as construction time. Things like wigs and contact lenses are the first things I usually order, especially when sourcing them from overseas. I do this for more than one reason actually. Ordering products online may be convenient, but sometimes deceiving. If a wig or lenses turn up and I'm not happy with the colours or styles, I still have time to get something else.

Painting... Ahhhhh, painting *shakes head at own foolishness*
Why would painting be on my little list? Well, to broaden this, not just painting, but finishes or coatings of any type, especially when it comes to armour. When I construct something of foam (i'll use foam for an example) there is generally multiple layers of paint and finishes applied. Multiple layers means multiple sessions of waiting for paint to dry before being able to apply the next coat. It's very easy to overlook such a simple fact. But a few extra days and allowing paint or finishes to properly cure/set/dry between coats can make all the difference to your costumes and props. Believe me, I know!

So, three simple things that can be easily overlooked. And I know there could be quite a lot of you that read this and think 'pfft, who doesn't take that into consideration?'. Well, I was new at this not too long ago, and I learnt a lot of these lessons the hard way. We all have a beginning, for some they grasp it easier than others. But if I've enlightened and helped just one person, then my job is done. :)

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