If you read my 2019 wrap-up post, you'll know that I had a tough year creatively. A large part of that was wanting to do things other than cosplay, but having committed to the costumes and getting stuck in in-progress-purgatory. This year, although I'm starting out with these plans… I'm trying to place no pressure on myself to finish anything except Rosalina. My main goal is to finish UFOs, only start costumes I already have materials stashed for, and just take on less. I love cosplaying with groups and will always make efforts to join people when invited, but I have to get better at not pushing my limits this year.
...So here is how things look as of January
Rosalina (redesign by Dessi-Desu) is part of a sponsorship with Cactus Mafia, so that's top priority to finish ASAP. I'm close… it's mostly hand finishing and a couple of accessories left to do.
Mom/Grace from Umbrella Academy was supposed to be a simple, easy, basic sewing project which really ended up being more work than I expected (story of my life). The skirt is almost finished (I’m trying to engineer a simple hoop for the hem) but there’s some wig styling left to do and the shirt to sew. At least I don’t have to paint any more polka-dots.
War is almost done; I just have to style the hairpiece so I don't have to spend a couple hours styling my own hair every time I want to wear her. The wig fiber has been dyed, so I just need to get over the intimidation factor of building a fauxhawk from scratch.
Captain Marvel has been stuck in progress limbo for at least 4 years. It would be nice to get that done.
Milotic is another bigger-than-expected project… I just wanted to make a mermaid tail and change up the aesthetic of the Milotic gijinka I made a few years ago. It would be nice too be able to bring her to Yeti this year.
Espeon: again, I have had fabric for YEARS. I know Kurumasha has been working on her coordinating Flareon so Espeon might get started this year.
Basically I really want to finish the top row, and will be satisfied with any amount of progress on the bottom row. I'm definitely going to end up working on things not on the list though (including partnering with Stark for his new costume this year, and probably something for munchkin too).
Along with fewer costume plans, I'm making fewer convention plans too. I'm definitely going to Costume-Con 38 in Montreal, Anime North in Toronto, and Yeti Con at Blue Mountain. Kitchener Comic Con and Pretty Heroes are maybes because munchkin wants to be there. It would be nice to visit a US Con again this year, but budgeting for that is hard.
In any case, I'm looking forward to seeing lots of you this year!
2019 is over!
In terms of cosplay, I succeeded well beyond my expectations for my small goals, but failed big-time for all the big ones. I set a goal for myself at the beginning of the year to do 12 new casual cosplays/makeup tests over the course of the year because I miss putting together “slothplay” costumes (since I can’t stream with Dan the Video Ninja anymore). In terms of long-term plans, I wanted to finish Amaterasu, make something for the Costume Con 37 Single Pattern Contest, work on some older unfinished projects, and of course add new things because I have no self-control. The slothplay went great… the rest of the year was a mess of missed deadlines, over-shot budgets, and getting bogged down in tedious work.
Real talk: I’ve always struggled to keep up my motivation and energy for making cosplay, but this year has been worse than ever and some days it’s been exhusting just convincing myself to put on the finished costumes. I’m probably going to be changing how I do cons in 2020; but that’s a discussion for the next post.
Let’s look back at 2019!
Yuletide Cersei is a bit of a cheat since the costume itself was finished previously *cough2017cough* but adding all the festive decorations took a few days of work so I’m counting it. I had wanted this to be my holiday cosplay for 2018 but those couple days of sewing got in the way, and so I had to wait until January to get it all together. I added the garland around the hem and faux fur muff with matching collar, and then decorated it all (and my wig) with lots of berries, poinsettias, and pinecones. I think it’s really nice aesthetically, but the garland was really uncooperative and sadly I probably won’t wear this variation again. Photo from Mr Stark.
“Imperial Phase” Amaterasu was another delayed project; I had originally intended to finish it for Halloween 2018, but between my first attempt at draping, and all the little armour-y bits I was pushed back to March 2019. Fortunately that meant I got to wear her throughout the spring, including pairing up with Kurumasha’s Morrigan! Photo from Elemental.
Plague Doctor was a surprise for the year. In February I needed a mask for a party so my Slothplay for the month was a plague doctor mask… which then evolved into this Darkest Dungeon costume. This particular skin is from a mod, but was chosen to suit the Single Pattern Contest rules… which of course I missed the deadline for since the costume turned out to be more work than I expected. (see the theme here yet?) Photo from The Video Ninja.
Vanellope Von Schweetz and Shank were unexpected projects (and could easily be debated that they should be Slothplays since it’s mostly altered clothing). The Munchkin decided that she wanted to cosplay Vanellope this year, so I helped out by making the pleated skirt, painting the pants, and decorating the wig. While I had always assumed that if I ever cosplayed from Wreck It Ralph I would be Calhoun; but it turns out that Shank is a lot easier! I had a lot of fun putting the outfit together even though the only thing I made was a belt buckle. Photos from Elemental at Cosplay for a Cure.
Android 18 was another surprise. Mr Stark spent a big part of the year making a Perfect Cell costume - and watching the Dragon Ball Z Cell Saga on loop for most of that. By the time his costume was done, I decided that I enjoyed 18 enough to cosplay her (especially when I figured out that everything I needed to put the costume together could be thrifted). I hope we get to keep wearing Cell and 18 together in the future! Photo from Skyleaf at Cosplay for a Cure.
While those were my “big” costumes for the year, here are the smaller “slothplay” projects. Plague, Shank, and 18 all started out as Slothplay costumes too, but they graduated LOL. Definitely hit my goal of 12 (and then some).
Amanda Ninja goes back to the source of all this Slothplay nonsense - a costume for streaming a playthrough of Dream Daddy with Dan the video Ninja
Hufflepuff… thing (Casual? Yoga? Sorority?) because I wanted to be very comfy but also vaguely witchy for the CC37 Friday night Social, and it turned out cute.
Beauty and Flycatcher from The Wolf Among Us - this literally happened because Mr Stark is very good at catching flies. It snowballed a little. And I’m proud of that frog hat.
Michael and War are both from Good Omens - that book was my introduction to both Prachett and Gaiman and so of course I was going to fall in love with the show. Michael is likely never getting further than the makeup test, but War is in progress as a full costume. She should have been done this year, but I just couldn’t manage.
Astarte a.k.a “Lady Moontits” is a costume made by Bethany Padron which I got to wear in the Historical Masquerade at CC37. The group won Best in Show for stage presentation… and I’m still super intimidated by historical costuming hahaha
Mom/Grace from the Umbrella Academy Nexflix adaptation is another costume that should have graduated from the Slothplay category this year but somehow didn’t. I missed like 4 deadlines to cosplay with friends in this costume so at this point finishing feels like a much bigger obstacle than it actually is. Fingers crossed for 2020
Jessica Jones is a costume I wore to Tri-City just because I didn’t feel like putting on anything else from my Tickle Trunk and it’s almost the same outfit as Shank ~_^ I don’t like how I looked in the costume (my first instinct was that I did a bad job with my makeup but it might have just been the wig…) so I’m kinda glad that all the photos are super dark.
Lup happened for Halloween at work since my coworker (Icephoenix Art) and I wanted to coordinate and landed on fantasy/D&D type characters. Since I don’t play, The Adventure Zone: Balance was in the front of my mind for inspiration, and I had a lot of fun pulling parts from literally 7 other costumes and only having to buy a hat.
The next look doesn’t have a name. I just wanted to have a spooky look for a Halloween party instead of putting on a costume.
Sonia is wrapping up the year - as soon as she showed up in Pokemon Sword/Shield, Mr Stark challenged me to closet cosplay her. So I borrowed Amaterasu’s wig and I did. It’s not perfect but it is fun and I’m hoping to make a few small upgrades to keep wearing her next year.
At this point I would usually reference my plans from the beginning of the year… but I didn’t make one this time and it’s pretty much already been covered above.
I stopped writing blog posts for conventions over the last couple of years, so this time I’m going to summarize with the costume I wore to each event instead of post links:
Anime Shogatsu (attendee) Milotic
Costume-Con 37 (attendee) Hufflepuff, Amaterasu, Marvellous Coat, Astarte
Sarnia Pop Culture Show (attendee) Plague Doctor
Anime North (Masquerade staff) Betty Cooper, Amaterasu, Plague Doctor
Niagara Falls Comic Con (with Cosplay for a Cure) Marvellous Coat, Wendy
YetiCon (attendee) Wendy, Plague Doctor, Amaterasu, Mom
Pretty Heroes (attendee) Shank
Fan Expo (with Cosplay for a Cure) Hufflepuff, Rock Alice
Unplugged Expo (attendee/handler) Android 18
Tri-City Supercon (attendee) Jessica Jones
London Comic Con (attendee) Android 18, War
Hamilton Comic Con (with Cosplay for a Cure) War, Android 18
Fan Expo Holiday Market (attendee) Sonia
Moving to KW has really decreased the number of other cosplay events and shoots I can attend. Toronto isn’t that far away, but it’s far enough that it’s unrealistic to visit often and for short events. There really isn’t much of a cosplay “community” here like I was used to having around. However, I did make it out to a WONDERFUL “Women of the MCU” photo shoot that NerdCred Cosplay arranged and wore versions of Hufflepuff and War to a Witches and Wizards market in Stratford and a Cybertronic Spree music video shoot in TO respectively. And of course I made sure to visit Ottawa for the Heroes and Villains party with Kurumasha again.
Overall… I feel like this post got a little negative. More than I meant it to be. But sometimes mental health makes hobbies a bigger challenge. Sometimes photoshoots have to be cancelled due to the weather. Sometimes we can’t afford to pay for photos. Sometimes we have poor experiences at cons due to event staff, other attendees, or our own bad planning (all of which happened this year). There were good things too though - I got to cosplay together with a bunch of my best friends this year. I met some awesome new people (looking at you, CC37), my costumes were generally really well received, I won a stage award at CC37 for Amaterasu and an Honourable Mention at H&V for Plague Doctor. I took on a big project for a sponsorship opportunity with Cactus Mafia (Rosalina is going to be awesome when she’s done!) and I’ve gotten a lot more confident with wig work (even if I’m still very slow and nervous). Let’s not forget about my Slothplay success too! And I’ve started following some super cool artists and media which inspire me… and which I hope I can continue to tell myself “no” to starting more cosplay for. LMAO
Watch for my 2020 plans post coming soon!