2017 Cosplay Year in Review
It's that time of year again! (well it's past that time of year but I'm fudging the date of this post to squeak it in on time. Try and stop me!) The year didn't quite go as planned - but that's hardly anything new. On the other hand.... until I hit July, I had been working surprisingly on schedule! I managed to finish all my "mostly finished" holdovers from 2016 plus a few brand new projects, but then I burnt out, and my free time started getting channeled into other things; mostly trying to figure out my upcoming move. Still... I'm going to focus on the positives here!
Positives like: actually hitting several of my cosplay deadlines, especially for Costume-Con since I entered two costume contests and won awards for both my costumes there!!! I kinda feel like it's some sort of validation since I don't have the opportunity to enter contests often anymore and I also spend a lot of my time on casual costumes instead of show-pieces.
Professor Burnet was the only one of these six which I hadn't been planning at the beginning of the year. But Mr Stark gave me Pokemon Moon for my birthday, and I totally got sucked in. It was a relatively easy costume (wig aside) since it's entirely modified purchased clothing, but it was fun to pair up with Mr Stark to be professors together. Photo courtesy of Jeffrey Veber.
Milotic wasn't on my list at the beginning of the year, but that was mostly just wishful thinking that I might have finished the other 10 costumes before getting to summer and beach costumes... HAH! But I got mitotic done anyways! My deadline was YetiCon to do the pool party with my friends in their water Pokemon swimwear outfits, and while it was wearable at the con, I managed to *actually* finish it in time for a great shoot at Kew Beach in Toronto! Photo courtesy of OOC Photography.
Rock Star Alice was mostly finished in 2016, but I spent time this year putting the finishing touches and additions on the costume, plus actually making my flamingo bass. The bass isn't perfect, but I still love it, and took it to so many cons this year that it now needs repairs from the wear and tear XD. Photo courtesy of Paul Hillier.
Cersei, like Alice, was wearable in 2016, but didn't actually get finished until this year. I put hundreds of hours into hand-painting the lion appliqués, hand-sewing them on, replacing the belt, and making a ring for her this year and got it all done by my deadline of Costume-Con 35. Photo courtesy of Dream Land Photography.
Holtzmann is the third costume which I had been able to wear in 2016 but which didn't get finished until 2017, which meant finishing all the accessories on top of making myself a placeholder "prototype" proton pack. Photo courtesy of Elemental Photography.
A Marvelous Coat was my Costume Con project - I put my own spin on a pre-selected commercial coat pattern and took my design inspiration from Captain Marvel of Marvel Comics. Even though I incorporated some tedious design choices, it still ended up being a surprisingly smooth and enjoyable sewing project, and a real nice change of pace to spend less than 2 weeks on a single costume. Photo courtesy of Very Frank Pictures.
While those were my "big" costumes for the year, I also did a lot of smaller/casual costumes, accessories, and other projects; a lot of which were for my weekly streaming nights with Dan.
1 Ghostbusters jumpsuit for Mr Stark, made to match the rest of the group (sorry this is the best photos I have LOL)
2 Julie from Warm Bodies - total closet cosplay just for a special Halloween-y photoshoot.
3 Betty Cooper from Riverdale - I customized the sweater with the crown appliqué and liberal adjustments for fit, but the rest of the outfit is from my closet.
4 light-up Navi headband (LoZ: Ocarina of Time) for Twitch streaming.
5 Gremlins-inspired closet cosplay for an 80's theme party - I mad the ears out of felt, pipe cleaners, and a headband, and the rest is purchased clothing.
6 Captain Marvel shrug - I bought the shrug from We Love Fine, not realizing that all the yellow parts were lace... and not only that but it was the scratchiest lace EVER. So I replaced the lace with a nice buttery double-sided faux suede.
7 Zelda's crown from LoZ: A Link to the Past for Twitch streaming. Made out of craft foam.
8 Temmie ears from Undertale for twitch streaming. Made out of cabbage swirl fabric and a headband.
9 & 10 Jughead hats based on Riverdale - I've actually made 3 versions in grey now for various friends in addition to the colourful one for myself ^_^
11 Thor hat for Twitch streaming - I used a papercraft template and the shiniest paper I could find to make the wings to glue to a touque in one of my more ridiculous Twitch costumes.
12 #DRINKIT shirt in the style of Tee K.O. for Twitch streaming.
13 #DRINKIT shirt in a much cleaner style painted as a raffle prize for Extra Life.
14 Rose Red shirt based on Fables for Twitch streaming.
As usual, now we compare to my plans back in January:
I have to fight my instinct to scold myself here for only finishing half the list... because if you compare to my track record in 2016 and 2015... five completed out of ten planned is great! Plus a little bit of progress on Captain Marvel and Gwenpool even though neither was finished. I'm staying positive: on top of all the extra little projects and Pokemon costumes, this is good! Besides, I even said last January:
And if I happen to actually finish those 10 costumes? You bet I have a list of 30 more just waiting for my attention. But let's be realistic here, there's no way I'm getting more than 5 of these done in 2017.
..and with that, my "workbench" sidebar progress tracker gets wiped clean in the annual re-set.
Going into 2017 I was working on the assumption that I would be attending fewer conventions this year, simply because I was planning to leave Toronto during the summer, and with less easy access to conventions comes fewer cons. However, since my move didn't end up happening until December, I was at just as many this year as I was in 2016! Just like last year, I was at most of them either as a volunteer for Cosplay for a Cure or for costume contests... and also spent a few behind tables in the AA or as a guest!
FrostCon - with Cosplay for a Cure (blog)
Toronto Comic Con - Cosplay Craftsmanship Contest staff (blog)
Kitchener Comic Con - attendee (blog)
Costume-Con 35 - attendee (blog)
Anime North - Masquerade staff (blog)
Niagara Falls Comic Con - with IcePhoenix Art's table (blog)
YetiCon - attendee (blog)
Toronto Sailor Moon Celebration - with Cosplay for a Cure
Toy Con (July edition) - attendee
ConBravo! - Masquerade staff (blog)
Fan Expo - with Cosplay for a Cure (blog)
GTA Comic Con (November edition) - cosplay guest (blog)
Toronto Fan Days - attendee (blog)
Toy Con / City of Kitchener NYE party - cosplay guest
I did end up going to fewer "cosplay hangout" type events this year, keeping my non-con stuff to just Free Comic Book Day, TCAF, Kew Beach, Niagara Wine Parade (blog), and Halloween parties (blog). In addition, I spent almost every Thursday night this year streaming games on Twitch with my friend and neighbour Dan The Video Ninja... I made a lot of very simple "costumes" for those nights ^_^
Other Big Changes:
Did you notice that you're on slothcore.ca now?
Well, the big one is something I haven't posted about directly but slowly over the last 6 months or so I've re-branded all my cosplay stuff to "Slothcore"... no more Mai Sheri. I think that Slothcore is much more "me" these days, and I also like built-in reference to how slowly I tend to work on my costumes.
The other thing, as I alluded to earlier, is that I moved from Toronto to Kitchener, Ontario in December. While I already miss all my friends in Toronto and it will be much more challenging to go to photoshoots now, it was all for the good cause of moving in with Mr Stark and doing that whole "next step in the relationship" thing XD. As a side effect of the move, I don't have studio space anymore... and while I might be able to do smaller projects in the space we have now, most of my sewing and crafting supplies are in storage because there's just not enough room. We will be moving (again) into a larger place in the spring where we will have room for cos-making so I probably won't be making much progress on anything until that happens.
I somehow met a lot of new friends through all the cons I went to this year, and I'm doing my best to keep up with everyone, old friends and new. You're all so talented ^_^ I hope to cosplay with you or at least say hi at cons again next year! Speaking of which... expect to see my 2018 plans post in a few days!
Team Ninja Sloth - the end?
With the end of the calendar year sadly come the end of weekly twitch streaming with my friend and neighbour Dan the Video Ninja. For over a year now, we've been gaming (almost) every Thursday night, and I always dress for the occasion, but once I move I won't be able to just drop in anymore. At least not for a while.
In any case, this is a "part 2" post to follow my first twitch cosplay collection - "costumes" from August to December 2017.
And a small bonus: While Dan didn't record all of our games, he did save a lot... and he put together this awesome farewell/best-of video to commemorate all our fun times streaming as Team Ninja Sloth. I'm going to miss him and our game nights... so hopefully I'll figure out a way to come back and visit regularly!
Cersei in July
Back in July one of the monthly "Toy Con" event was held in Toronto for the first time in years, so I put on my Lannister gear and checked it out. While the event itself wasn't quite what I look for in a convention, Very Frank Pictures was also there and we grabbed some nice photos. My favourites are in my Game of Thrones gallery!
(Selfie) Con Wrap-ups
The end of 2017 is approaching and there's just a couple of cons that I haven't blogged about yet: GTA Comic Con in November, and Toronto Fan Days last week. So let's get them all tied up with a pretty bow!
GTA was an interesting experience - Mr Stark and I were invited as cosplay guests, but instead of doing panels like we usually would, we were asked to do something interesting/creative/interactive with our table space. Since I don't normally have a table to begin with, and Stark gets one occasionally, we pretty much had a blank slate to work with and it took us a little while to finally decide on a theme. So what did we go with? Pokémon. Specifically the Alola region from the most recent Sun and Moon games. We already had our Professor costumes, so the concept was to wear them, and battle/trade pokémon with attendees, as well as having some colouring pages available. We even did a (probably) one-time-only set of pokémon theme cosplay prints. I wish I could say that our table was bustling with Pokemon fans all day... but it wasn't. Sadly the colouring pages got missed while packing for the con and we needed a flashier sign for the table, but we did meet one very enthusiastic young pokémon fan who we were very happy to chat with about the franchise. I hope that we have the opportunity to use what we learned to improve and attempt a "Taste of Alola" table again at another event in the future.
Table business aside, it was nice to see a handful or friends there and have prime seats for the costume contest (since we were right next to the stage) and our table-neighbours Joshua of the North and ReyGrey Cosplay were both awesome and fun to be sitting with. We even all traded photos at the end of the day. And speaking of photos... here are mine from the event!
And now the last con of the year (unless New Year's Eve counts... does it count?).... the event that used to be called D-TAC and is now Toronto Fan Days Holiday Show. Or DTAC for short. I didn't go to do any shopping, but just as one last time* to see a lot of my local cosplay friends, all in one place. I was hoping to get a little Riverdale cosplay group together but in the end half the people couldn't make it but I chose to wear Betty anyways since it was easy and available.* I wasn't as festive as the last couple of years, just adding some antlers, but that was partially because Betty is such a simple costume that I didn't want to cover up any details, and also because I was short on prep time.* Anyways, the mission of seeing friends and cute holiday costumes was successful and I took lots of photos: see below!
And to wrap-up, Betty ended up in this cute Fan Days cosplay montage ^_^
*what's with all these notations? Something I haven't really posted about yet - at the end of December I'm moving from Toronto to Kitchener! So a lot of my costumes and cosplay supplies are packed or just inaccessible right now, and I won't be able to make it out to as many Toronto events next year. Related.... I'm selling a handful of my costumes and other assorted supplies, check here for all the details.
Despite doing "couple cosplay" together since we met, it's actually pretty uncommon for Mr Stark and I to do photo shoots together, mostly because it's been difficult to get our schedules to match up to actually go to cons together! So I'm extra happy that we got to shoot with Amaleigh Photography at YetiCon this year in our brand new Pokemon Professor costumes. And as a happy coincidence, we ran into 50 Shades of Fandom in her adorable Lillie costume, so we totally adopted her for the shoot! It was a lot of fun, despite occasional rain and my wig falling apart! Previews are below and lots more from the set are up on my Pokemon gallery page.