Oh, you mean like I’m doing now? Maybe I’m not the best person to write something like this. Procrastination is a beast. Procrastination has caused me tears, frustration, and a sewing machine needle in my finger at five in the morning the day of the con. It’s something that everyone says they won’t do, is aware that they do it, and won’t do anything about it. I think it’s fair to say that most of the cosplayers I know will procrastinate until the week before the con. Sometimes this can work, depending on the costume and the drive of the individual. Personally, I need that deadline to come creeping closer, and then I work like a mad woman for a week straight. But I know this isn’t healthy, so I thought I would share some of my experiences and tips for preventing cosplay procrastination (but really, this is just an excuse so I can procrastinate on my homework).
Keep in mind: as many tips as you can read about procrastination, it’s all on your head. You could read millions of self-help books, but you wouldn’t help yourself until you decide to help yourself. So, take from me what you can, and use it to help yourself.
Oh, and click the link to the right to my DeviantArt account to see the progress I’ve been making on Garnet!
1. Go to the fabric store. Even if you are just looking around. I find that being around fabric and patterns is a great way for me to be more likely to spend time with my own fabric and patterns. Even if you don’t buy anything, take a trip to your local fabric or craft store and look around. Browse, and think about things you would like to do in the future.
2. Make a list. If you’re a few months before the con, it can be easy to say, “Oh, I have plenty of time”. Make a list of every single thing that you need to do to finish your cosplay. Looking at your tasks in list form is a big eye-opener: you actually have a lot more to do than you thought you would. Or alternatively, you have more time than you thought you would.
3. Look at other cosplayers. This one is my favorite, because I am a big fan of self-depreciation and looking at other people who do things better than I do make me want to improve! Go to Coscom or DeviantArt and search for your character. It can be really inspiring to see what others have done, and a great way to get ideas for parts that have you stumped. Personally, I love seeing the location photoshoots that others do, and the prospect of my own special pretty photoshoot is what gets me more likely to work on my costume.
4. Don’t multitask. Another thing I am a huge fan of and should stop doing! I don’t like to sew in silence, it bores me and the sound of my sewing machine against a silent backdrop makes me want to bang my face into it for some reason. But don’t put on interesting TV/movie/music! You will want to watch it! Do not watch subbed anime that you must pay attention to because you are less likely to work this way. Put on something you’ve seen fifteen times before, or some awful show on E that you won’t focus on. I built my Lulu costume on Hey Arnold and Yu Yu Hakusho (I still procrastinated on that, so I’m not a good example).
5. The buddy system. Have a friend work with you on stuff. Dedicate a certain amount of time where you will work on your costumes relentlessly. You can motivate each other and kick each others asses when you’re not working on stuff and getting on the Internet instead. Plus, company! I like company.
Now go work on your costumes. I’ll try to go do my homework.