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30 Day Cosplay Meme: Day 3

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Day 3: Your most recent cosplay

My most recent cosplay would be Princess Garnet from Final Fantasy IX.

Photo by Stephen Tang

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30 Day Cosplay Meme – Day 2

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Day 2: How many costumes have you done?

I guess I’ll go by what says, which is 11. That seems about right, since it doesn’t really feel appropriate to count the curtains and bed sheets I painted and safety pinned on myself and my friends (did anyone else do this?). I don’t really feel like listing them, but if you are really curious you can follow the link in the sidebar to my profile and look at the list. 

30 Days of Cosplay Challenge – Day One

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In an attempt to blog every day for thirty days and get in the habit of making posts, I found the 30 days of cosplay challenge meme on Tumblr. So the next few weeks will be my attempt to complete the challenge, and to try and make posts that are worthwhile and longer than two sentences.

Day One: Your first cosplay

I’m not really sure where to begin here, so I think I’ll answer this question in two parts: the first thing I made after I was aware of what cosplay was, and the first thing I wore to a convention. For the first part of the question, I was Aeris from Final Fantasy VII for Haloween one year. I didn’t sew it or anything, my mom and I found a prom dress and a jacket a thrift store, and I painted the jacket red. The first thing that I wore to a convention was my Celes opera dress that I wore to my first Anime Boston in 2009. It was also one of the first things I had sewn, and definitely the first thing I had sewn where I actually knew (mostly) what I was doing.

A lot of people said that I was overreaching myself when I tried to do Celes as a first major sewing project, but I say screw ’em. I learn by trial and error, and by doing large projects that may be technically challenging. If you have enough drive and determination, skill level doesn’t really matter, because you can teach yourself enough of whatever it is you will be doing.

Anime Boston 2012

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I know it’s been almost two months since the convention, but I’ve had part of this post sitting in my drafts since mid-April, and thought I would finally finish and post it.

My thoughts about this year’s Anime Boston are mixed. On one hand, it is my hometown convention and I always look forward to it. On the other hand, I think the novelty has worn off since I first began attending four years ago.

The Good:
1. I met a lot of really lovely people, and got to see some lovely old friends. There were TONS of people cosplaying from Final Fantasy IX, so I was really excited to see them, of course! It was surprising that an older game would get so much love from so many different people. In addition to the large Final Fantasy IX group there were a spattering of other FFIX characters, which was awesome. Of course half of them I never saw while in Garnet/did not get their contact information, which is lame.
2. Meeting/shooting with some really great photographers. This year I was determined to get some nice photos of my costumes. I have been slowing uploading some of the shots to my DeviantArt account (link in the sidebar). I got to work with some really incredible people: Stephen Tang, Henrickson, ChezPhoto, and C@t Photography. All four of them were friendly, welcoming, hands-on, helpful, and extremely talented. I did not have any bad experiences with them, and I hope to work with all four of them in the future. Many thanks to them for the wonderful work they did.
3. Being in a con environment. I love cons because I get to be around like minded people. Over the years, I have felt more comfortable being open and candid with family and acquaintances about cosplay, but nothing beats the convention atmosphere.
4. The location. I love the Prudential Center and the Hynes. I was also pleased to see that the Prudential Center courtyard had been opened (I was in the area about two days before the con, and it was still closed then).

The Bad:
1. It was very crowded. I was in a very large costume that was hard to maneuver in because of the train, especially when I didn’t have someone holding it for me. Getting around was a hassle, and was really difficult. The main hallway and the Prudential Entrance were especially bad. People would stop to talk in the center of the main hallway, and stop suddenly and just stand there.  I really think there needs to be a “no standing” rule in that area, at least not in the center of it. And the Pru entrance was AWFUL, also filled with groups of people just standing there lurking around the entrance and chatting, preventing people from getting into the convention. I have never seen it so crowded, and it’s not because of a lack of space.
2. Personal discomfort. Which is my costume’s fault, but I was extremely sore and tired by the end of day one. Fixed by not trying to stay in one costume for so many hours, or just making more comfortable costumes in general.
3. I’m getting old. As I get older, the median age of Anime Boston seems to get younger. I found myself getting pretty irritated with the crowd. I abhor the shouting of memes in the hallways (that gets old fast) and the more popular fandoms seem to have… younger fans that think that a con is a place where manners go out the window and it’s okay to be as obnoxious as possible. I can’t talk about this much without seeming bitter or sounding like I’m stepping on people’s toes, but it is what it is.
4. It was COLD. Cold and windy and sometimes unpleasant to sit outside, which was unfortunate. This will most likely be remedied next year, since Anime Boston is in late May 2013.
5. It was a little cramped in the Dealer’s Room and Artist’s Alley, but that’s to be expected. I went in costume once, and decided that it was not worth my time to try and navigate in my dress. Going in normal clothes was fine, though, just a little cramped. Nothing can be helped there.

That being said, I’ll always enjoy and continue to attend Anime Boston for as long as I live in the area. I just find that my priorities have changed from spending time at the events in the convention center to wanting to show off my cosplays, attend photoshoots, and cosplay with my friends.

Cosplay Makeup

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Makeup is an important part of my cosplaying. Since I had scheduled numerous photoshoot for Anime Boston, I wanted to make a good effort to appear polished on camera and in photos that would be of better quality than normal convention photos. I always wear makeup when I cosplay, and it is usually much heavier than what I usually wear. I take a similar view with those that perform on a stage: your makeup must always be more powerful so that it will show up on camera. I also like makeup, and enjoy playing around with it since I definitely do not wear “cosplay makeup” in real life!

I never really intended to have this as a post, but when I was at Anime Boston I was really surprised at how well my makeup was staying on my face! Here’s a photo taken by Mintrala: This photo was taken at about 6PM on Friday, and I had arrived at the convention at 10AM. From there I got inspired to do a write-up of the makeup routine I did that weekend. Everything here is stuff that I had in the house – I was intending to go out and get new makeup (excuse to by new things? Yes please!) before the convention, but I ran over on the amount I had budgeted for my costume and wasn’t able to. Everything on this list except for one thing comes from a drugstore, so it really is not a big investment! I had an extremely good experience with what I used, and I know that it is always hard to find makeup that is good, cheap, and long lasting. Hopefully I can help out other cosplayers with this post if they are curious!

All of the prices listed are from CVS, my drugstore of choice. They are available everywhere, and watch out for sales!

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Pre-Anime Boston Craziness

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For the past month I have been MIA while I immersed myself in piles of white satin and embroidery floss. This year was very different from past years of Anime Boston – for one thing, I finished my costume yesterday, and not Friday at 5AM. But Princess Garnet is ready to go! She just needs some ironing. Today I’m getting all set and packed, doing the pre-reg badge pick up, and then I get to parade around as a pretty, pretty princess all weekend.

I’m working with some amazing photographers, which I am very excited about. If anyone reading this is interested in hanging out, click over to my DeviantArt where I have my schedule posted. I’ll also be at the Final Fantasy photoshoot meet-ups on Friday and Sunday (I wish I could make Saturday, but I’m busy :() It’s my personal goal to get pictures with the practically fifty different Garnets there. If you’re dressed as her, SAY HI!

I was planning on doing a costume breakdown post before I left, but time crept up on me and it’s going to have to be after the con. I’ll also be live-blogging the con on my Twitter, if anyone is interested. See you at the con!

How To Stop Procrastinating On Your Costume

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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!

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