Saturday, 3 May 2014

Why I choose to Cosplay

I guess Im at a point now in my cosplay journey where people are starting to recognise my name and my costumes. Don't get me wrong, I think this is great. That feeling that your work is good enough for others to remember it is really motivating for me.

But along with the recognition, Im getting asked more and more questions about why I choose to do what I do. And I cant help but feel that a lot of these questions are fuelled by the 'fake gamer girl' reputations some cosplayers have managed to acquire.

Before I go any further I just want to say that NOBODY has the right to tell anyone how, why or who they should cosplay as. Now I'm not saying I think its ok for 14 year old girls to get around at conventions with just a piece of tape over their nipples, so don't get me wrong on that one. But calling someone a fake because they haven't played a game or watched the anime their character is from isn't fair either. People are drawn to different characters for different reasons. For some (and like me) its an obsession with the game/series/book and not getting enough of said character. For others it may be that they see the costume or design as a challenge to their skills. Or maybe they just simply love the look and style.

Whatever the reason, not knowing the character as well as you may do doesn't make them a fake. There are no rules in costuming that define who can cosplay as what, and if they aren't hurting you then what's the problem?

Aaaaaaaanyway, back to why I cosplay. Well, lets start with my first costume - Maya the Siren.

Anyone who knows me will be able to tell you how much of my time Borderlands has sucked out of my life! This game, and my obsession with Sirens is what got me into cosplay. Whilst I still have plans for a Commandant Steele costume, Maya was my first choice, as I knew a few cosplayers that could offer me some advice. And for my first costume, I was really happy with how it turned out. Wearing it for the first time was what rally got me hooked on the concept of "costume play". Creating the work of art and having it fit and be functional was one thing. But wearing it out in public at a convention and feeling like a total badass that Maya is?? Well, words cant describe the exhilaration.
This video does a pretty good job of portraying how it feels to suit up. Some people mistake pride for attention whoring. Seriously?? If you've got it, flaunt it. And if you're proud of a piece or work or costume you've just completed, you are more than entitled to show off your work.

"They picked that costume because its simple" Another line Ive heard too often. Well, I jumped on the 'simple' costume bandwagon. But not for the reason it was 'simple' or 'easy'.

Videl was my 'easy' costume, which actually wasn't so easy. People may choose something a bit simpler and a bit easier if they haven't got the skills some of us have. And having a simple costume design doesn't make these characters any less lovable! I've been a he DBZ fan since I started watching cartoons as a kid. Videl and Gohans pairing was one of the cutest moments in DBZ for me.
And then there is some Skyrim. I have many plans for MANY Skyrim costumes, and once again it is for the love of the game. I was quite reluctant to start playing this game, started it a year or so ago then just kept distracted by Borderlands 2 and other costuming projects. Ultimately, it was a friend who kept raving about it that got me back to it.
Well, I'm starting to ramble on a bit. But in short, I cosplay for the love of a character or game. I don't pick costumes merely for the wow factor they have. I think my best work comes from something I am passionate about, so that's what I steer towards. We all have different motivational drives, but for me its doing y chosen character justice in an accurate portrayal.
So yeah, that's why I do what I do. As a tribute to some of the biggest influences in my geeky obsession. 

Friday, 2 May 2014

April Recap

So I've been quite slack lately with keeping up with my blogging. But rest assured, I have quite a collection of tutorials and other various controversial topics I have been working on. Its just a matter of finding time to finish them.

So what have I been so busy with? Well, let me give you a little recap of how my April went.

First there was Gold Coast Supanova. Holy. Crap. Most fun I've had at a convention yet! Im going to put that down to the fact I was a lot more organised than I usually am, and had some wonderful friends to hang out with. I took my Nightingale costume (Skyrim) and Maya (Borderlands 2), both are relatively easy to wear costumes, though standing in the sun in a full suit of latex armor waiting in the mile long line wasn't to fun. I got to hang out with my good buddy that is Lithium Cosplay and her partner (who's quite handy with a camera) took some amazing shots over the weekend.

(photos by Andrew Grazier)

I was also lucky enough to meet the amazing team that is SmilesareBetter Cosplay and get a double feature in their youtube video recap of supanova cosplay. I highly recommend checking out their channel. GREAT work coming out of these guys, and they are super friendly to boot!

I also got a chance to work with Lorenzo So Photography who not only does some of my most drooled over photography work, but was also rally nice and introduced me to as many people as he ran into.

Overall, I found people to be extremely friendly at this convention. The atmosphere was great, and the quality of the costumes I witnessed took Cosplay to whole new levels. People are really getting their game on now, and its so great to see!

Aside from Supanova I've also had a few Etsy orders to fill. Nothing too tedious at this stage. A few Borderlands class mods and smallish props. I've also started taking on work for other people, in the costume department. My first full costume being a fem version of the Winter Soldier. I'll be posting a separate blog with all the gory details of how I'm going about that one.

My daughter also turned 4. So with birthday celebrations and family gatherings for Easter, it took up a large portion of my month. After receiving the Tinkerbelle movie for her birthday, my daughter has since requested a Tinkerbelle costume. So that is also on the cards now.

But for myself, I haven't really had time to work on much when it comes to my own costumes. I'm still searching for a small piece of suitable fabric for the upper sleeves of my Arwen dress. And I have also cut out he pattern and began marking out the fabric for my Arwen dress. Once I get that done, its just a matter of sewing it all together, and that will be another costume that 'bites the dust' as I already have everything else I require for the costume.

So, in short, I've been keeping busy! And I've also managed to grow my list of to-do costumes. So I guess I'm only going to get busier!

But fear not, because I will endeavour to keep you all updated as my work progresses!

Happy costuming!