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. 

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