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Looking back on cosplay in 2014

It's been a strange year for cosplay and me. This time last year I was attempting to get some things done sooner rather than later and not leave everything until the last minute. It didn't work so well in the end, I was making stuff right up until Kita and still had a couple of things to finish in the hotel room. I also ended up disliking 3 out of 4 of my cosplays, for different reasons. (Rikku is the exception and I still love wearing her.)

Then I gave myself a break, of about a week, and dove straight back into making Joker. I was so excited to be doing it with my friend Katy and I really enjoyed entering the ECG prelims, but I ended up hating the cosplay. Something I seem to do quite often. I don't know if it was the inevitable stress of trying to finish it before a big competition or what, but I didn't feel like I suited him at all. Maybe it was just my frame of mind, because after we wore them at October Expo I felt much better about him. I'm still not convinced I really suit him, but it is at least nice to wear a matching cosplay with my best friend for the first time.

After ECG my attitude towards cosplay took a hit. I felt like I hadn't stopped for months, and to be quite honest, I hadn't. My personal life was pretty busy too, so it just felt like any spare moment had to be given over to cosplay. Tokonatsu was wonderful as a convention without a heavy cosplay focus and was just a chance to spend a fun weekend with some awesome people.

So I took another few weeks 'off' cosplay. It's sad when it starts to feel like a job. Like you have to do it because there's this event coming up and it's all you can think about. I'd already decided not to make anything new for October Expo - although I did end up buying bits to do Haru from Free, but as this was all bought I had no issues with it. I'll be honest, my resolve wavered occasionally, such as wanting to get Midnight Mauve wear-ready. In the end, I managed to stop myself doing that. I wore it for Distant Worlds - incomplete - which had always been the event I was planning to wear it to.

And then along came Auchinawa, which suddenly leapt on me like a Scottish goat. I was entering MM into the masquerade, and wanted something I knew I could be proud of and so I set to finishing as much as I could. But, I didn't rush. In fact I did quite the opposite. I strived to make everything properly to make sure it was something I could be pleased I made. I started making a sword and had every intention of making a shield as well but it got to the Sunday before the con and I only had half a sword. At that point I realised I'd never be able to finish them properly, certainly not without a lot of stress and sleepless nights which is exactly what I didn't want. So I stopped. I went wearing just my dress and something must have been right, because I won a judges' award. It was the boost I needed. I've since spoken to the judges and understand completely about the things I could do better next time. But actually, speaking to them was another boost because they did seem to be honestly impressed with what I'd done.

So that's what I've learned this year. What I've been trying to learn for about 2 years.
Rushing is not worth it. Take your time. If something isn't done 100% either wear it anyway, or stop with what you have and continue when you have the time. It's not the end of the world, it's only cosplay =)



PS. Sorry for the text heavy post! I'm going to be back on track now - hopefully - with a wider range of posts and will try break up that text a bit =p

Upcoming posts will include my plans for 2015 =)

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