2016, A Costume Hiatus

I made the hard decision to not make any new cosplay this year.

I will still work on costumes and props, but hopefully without strict deadlines and without complex commitments.

“What is your next costume?” The question was almost on par with being asked “what is your thesis about?” For 5 years I have had an ever-growing list of costumes I was working on or dreaming up. It was a shared activity for Greg and I. It was a way to meet new friends. It was a very integral part of my identity.

Honestly? I love the challenge of designing a 3D costume from a 2D concept. I love the attention and the praise I receive on the convention floor. I love meeting people who share the a love for the characters I cosplay. But I was beating myself up, running myself ragged for a few days of extrinsic reward. I began to lose track of “why I cosplay”. I was trying to keep up with the Joneses and the Dorans and all my other friends. I was tying my self-worth to the things I created, which is a dangerous mental habit. (More on this  in a future post.)

I am not banning myself from costume or prop work. Instead, I am opening the door for open-ended experimentation. Maybe I want to take a stab at foam or leather armor – let’s redo Shao Jun’s armor. Every time I take on a new costume, it tends to come with a host of new skills to learn on a tight deadline. Crazy thought- what if I just learned some of those skills? Tinkered a bit. I have already chatted with my friend Allen about learning some casting and painting techniques from him.

Or maybe I focus on contracting photographers to take amazing pictures of my already amazing work!

I am naturally prone to stress out. Deadlines (be it self-imposed or externally imposed) are nice for structure, but when they are immovable because they are tied to events there is an added stress.

At first I dreaded this change of pace. Now I am excited, and that change of outlook came as I was writing this post. I will use those fancy sewing skills to make clothes for myself, for things I can wear to work.

If you come here for the costumes, don’t worry you will still get new content this year. I have a number of costumes I still haven’t written up and I will be experimenting with new materials and techniques. You’ll also get information on sewing techniques and fitting adjustments that will be useful for costumes and regular clothes alike.

And you’ll see me at Emerald City Comic Con! Our cosplay panel: Pockets, Purses, and Potty Breaks will take place on Sunday at 10am.

 

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7 thoughts on “2016, A Costume Hiatus

  1. Congratulations, Meris! I think listening to yourself is always the right decision. And I think getting photos of your costumes sounds amazing and worthy of all the love and effort you’ve put into them.

  2. I think you’re smart to take a step back when an activity like cosplay starts to be more stressful than fun. It will be fresh and exciting again when you do choose to make a new costume, and taking time to build and hone skills is always a benefit for any artist.

  3. It’s always good to listen to your energy level. If you aren’t excited about it, there’s not much point to it (and you have a good set of cosplay in hand should needs arise). Alas, I will not be there on Sunday (just Thurs and Fri), but that panel topic is very spot on.

  4. I hope this works out for you! While having super accurate cosplay is cool, I don’t think it’s necessary to have fun dressing up. But I’m one to talk, the last costume I made was a Sim headband – not very difficult!

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