Previous years, I've tended to post a lot in December. Trying to put out all the content which has piled up through the year, usually. But this year, I just backed off from blog posts and website updates to fully enjoy the holidays and make sure that all my real life obligations and mental-health got taken care of first. So I guess that's a sorry-not-sorry for the lack of updates through the end of 2015, but nobody missed out on anything either, because I didn't really do anything new ~_^
However, I am itching to get a year-end wrap up post done! My cos-cation feels like it might be wrapping up soon (which means getting back to the sewing machine!) and I'm looking at which cons fit my schedule and everything is exciting again. I accomplished so much in 2015 (despite burning out in October) and I'm going to do my best to keep the ball rolling into 2016!
So.... Here's what the last year looked like for Mai Sheri.
I set a new personal record for convention attendance this year, and cosplay events, too! While it's not necessarily a good thing, it did mean that I met a LOT of new people this year that I otherwise wouldn't have. There were so many this year...
Frost Con (blog)
Kitchener Comic Con (blog)
Toronto Comic Con (blog)
C2E2 (blog) and the Crown Championships of Cosplay (blog)
Anime North (blog)
Niagara Falls Comic Con (blog)
Atomic Lollipop (blog)
Fan Expo Canada (blog)
Forest City ComiCon (blog)
Toronto Fan Days Holiday Show (blog)
Oh, and there's the various other cosplay-type events... Free Comic Book Day, Medieval Times, Centre Island Picnic (blog), Woodbine Beach Picnic (blog), High Park Picnic (photos), Parkinson Superwalk, Niagara Wine Parade (double blog), Halloween parties & Snailoween (bloggity), and the Star Wars New Years Eve party.
... and I skipped a lot of events, or couldn't attend because of other conflicts. It's crazy how many events and conventions there are in Toronto, let alone including nearby cities. On one hand, we're so lucky to have such a large and enthusiastic and involved cosplay community - I know a lot of my non-local friends don't have the privilege of easy access to other local geeks, but on the other, it unfortunately also comes with pressure to attend everything. And shoot with everyone. And always have new things to wear. But also wear the older costumess that so-and-so missed last time XD
And speaking of doing photo shoots...
I set out in 2015 to try to shoot with photographers that I haven't worked with before - as many as I could manage. Because of complicated reasons, my pool of photographer-friends has shrunk in the past couple years, and i wanted to do something about that. Unfortunately, I couldn't manage as many as I ideally would have liked, sometimes because costumes didn't get done, or schedule conflicts arose, but mostly because I can only budget for one paid shoot per convention, but I did my best. Unfortunately, that whole budget thing means that I haven't been able to shoot again with some of my favourite "new" photographers, but I'm going to be trying to catch them again in 2016 ^_^
So, big shout-outs to everyone who scheduled a shoot with me for the first time this past year!
Very Frank Pictures (Modern Mai and Postal Warriors group)
Trillance (Pepper Potts)
Sean's Photography (Mrs Impossible)
SleepyMeow Photography (Cersei Lannister)
Alex Rose Photography (Cersei Lannister)
Eddie B Photos (Katie/Hawkguy group)
Dream Land Photography (Clint Barton and Holiday Midna)
... And of course lots of love to those of you I shoot with every year - you know who you are! <3
Ahhh, here we get to the meat of the post - my beloved costumes!!! While most of them weren't particularly complex costumes, I managed to complete a whopping 9 costumes this year - much better than usual for me! Pretty sure that a big reason for that change is the long break I took from cons in 2014. Worth it.
Firstly, Izabel is not included in the list because even though i "finished" that costume in 2015, it was basically finished in 2014 and I just did some upgrades in preparation for C2E2. First official costume of the year was Modern Mai for Toronto Comic Con (I'm still hopeful that friends will make the coordinating characters), then Cover-art Kate Bishop for a Hakweye group at C2E2. For Anime North I brought out "Postal Midna" in addition to my Postal Warriors friends. Summer contained a mad-rush of costumes all finished about the same time including the relatively casual Extremis Pepper (because Mr Stark made most of the arm), L.A. Woman Kate, Hawkini Kate, and Clint Barton (all in the Hawkeye gllery). I also got all the sewing and about half the painting done on Cersei Lannister - I'm counting it as a completed costume because the rest of the embroidery is really just an "upgrade". And finally, my Space Warrior from Costume Quest, which I finished in time for Halloween but didn't actually wear anywhere, so I haven't been pushing photos out on that one. Some will be coming soon though, I'm sure.
So how did I do relative to my plans at the beginning of the year?
... obviously I added a lot of costumes to the list, and I finished them before I completed the top row, which my goal was not to do. But I had fun, and that's all that really matters, right? Didn't even touch the bottom "Phase Three" row, though, which is sad because those were to come after I made things for other people. Some of which I took care of before Christmas, and some of which I didn't. I also ended up doing some work on Midna's wig just in December which isn't reflected in the percentages yet, but I'm hoping that little bit of work will make it easier to get back to actual progress shortly.
And with that, my ongoing progress list for the year on the side-bar will be wiped clean to start fresh for the new year!
Do you enjoy "let's play" videos? Because it was quite the year for them! I played Yoshi's Woolly World with Dan the Video Ninja (highlights above). I also played the Telltale Game of Thrones series with Dan and Whitless! And... OK, I guess that's it, but it's a lot of game in those two series. Expect more Dan-and-Mai play cartoony games in 2016!
Finally, the last highlight of 2015... a brief update on the little side-job I picked up for a few days in the spring. Remember that? No? It's OK; I'll forgive you. Over Easter weekend I got the opportunity to do some last-minute-level sewing on a costume for Hannibal, which was very surreal. No only because I spent 3 days in an FX workshop literally full of various mutilated (fake) body parts, but because I was actually working on something for a legit TV production. Awesome. And while back in the spring I couldn't discuss what the costume was before it aired, I can talk about it now! Except I'll just share a couple photos instead, and I'm just going to link them in case people want to avoid spoilers (it's from one of the last couple episodes after all...)
Anyways, overall I'm really happy with my 2015 year-in-cosplay. I even still have some photos to post which I'm holding back for now (various reasons)! Looking forward to an even better 2016.... which I'll talk about in my next post!