Freak Out Moments











Hey tis me!

So how are you all? It’s been a convention packed year again, more of them coming up and I think it’s time to be realistic about the number I attend. Darn you real world eh?

So recently we went to a couple, one was Sheffield Comicon and it was fun. We went along without tickets, took the queue hit but fortunately it was pretty good and we got in within about an hour or so. The large layout was a good thing, the stalls were varied and it was great to see so many people out and happy about their favourite films, anime, cartoons, comics etc.

We also went over to J-Con at Derby, it was so nice to see a panel with cosplayers talking about how they make things (Iron-Manda and Darkiekun) and I came home feeling more inspired. I do however find one thing a little frustrating about this convention and that is the ticket price if you are not going to be at all the evening events…

I went to Nottingham Comicon too with my friend Buster Boy, and met up with some of my other friends there (Check out this page). It was a lovely day out, not many cosplayers but those that did were met with staff that gave real encouragement. It was quite a highlight to walk in and get a cheer from the staff over our costumes. As an amateur trying to learn yet more skills it’s nice when someone compliments what you have done. Incidentally I was also featured in the Nottingham Post.

Conventions are fun, but the expectations on what to deliver is high and I also feel bad for the independent artists who go and people aren’t buying things off them. The art is good, they are passionate and even buying a few of them often doesn’t cover the stall money, yet a My Little Pony toy that you can get from a local store drags people over in droves. I brought a couple where I could afford it and I thoroughly loved the interaction with those artists. At Nottingham Comicon I brought from Dark Pond Creations, signed, picture drawn in the cover and only a few pounds. Come on!

Conventions are getting bigger, they are getting more popular and with it comes media attention. Good or bad you are at risk of getting it as a cosplayer. Don’t be afraid of one comment about your cosplay that’s negative, remember it’s for you, it’s for fun and if others love it it is a big bonus. Don’t shy from what you love, if you get up and plan a new costume instead of panicking about a random internet troll get your glad rags out and get creating!

Confidence is your best ally, and I didn’t have it when I started. In fact I went into this in order to build it up. What I have got out of cosplay and conventions? Friends, new ideas, new ways to get creating… people who cannot understand what you do aren’t always going to agree with it but I don’t spend my time taking drugs or causing people trouble so I consider it a win!

With lots of cheer for all,

Rea

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{April 30, 2014}   Buying vs Making your cosplay

Oh no it’s me again! Well you read it, I write it 😉 so I figured I would go with the whole do I buy it or do I make it thing? If you BUY your costume it’s perfectly fine in my view, I think if you want to commission someone or you ask someone with more talent than you think you have, why not? There is no need to be elitist about it and assume that someone who brought it is somehow sub-par to you. Here’s a few things to consider before running your mouth off about it:

1. Is it personally ruining your life if 40 people brought an Attack on Titan costume and got a group, took some pictures and had a laugh? I mean genuinely, has it cause you physical pain to see that shelf picked Kingdom Hearts coat? I am going to bet NO… NO it really isn’t.

2. Have you got a clue about that person? Their situation or their means of buying/creating?

3. We don’t all have that kind of time. Yes you can probably squeeze in the odd hour here and there for an adjustment, make a little bow for your hair, perhaps spray a gun black from plastic blue. But some of these costumes take a practically full time job to make. I am 34, I work, I have a household to manage, I have a limited time scale in which to do it and I do it with the tools and time I have. There are some people working 40+ hours, going home to a family to care for and feed not to mention other real life scenarios. That £20 costume is what makes them happy, why are you so down on it?

4. Talent – I personally feel I have zero talent in some thing, I have a go, I sometimes succeed and other times I completely balls it up. I mean seriously I’ve thrown metres of fabric away or I’ve ditched half-cut swords as I realise I simply don’t have the tools, space or even the real know-how. I’ve watched vids, tried reading tutorials and sometimes it just won’t happen. So then I turn to the trusty commissioners I know.

5. Cost versus  outcome. Honestly in some cases what a commissioner can make me is so much more worthy of the money. It would cost me double in materials, time and blatant lack of talent to produce something HALF the quality. So I’d rather give my money to a local commissioner, someone who can make it. Who probably has a jigsaw in his garage (I’d like a garage or even a garden, this flat’s a little small hehe). If I see it as value I will buy it.

Now what you get when you can make it, or try is an invaluable sense of self-accomplishment. I won’t deny even the ones I have made that aren’t amazing still make me feel good, I achieved something, yet it can still be utterly disheartening when you do all that and no one even looks at it. I go back to many comments about this, unless you’re looking for a career in it I think you should treat it as a compliment if a picture is taken, not a right but yeah, when someone in a Pikachu onesie is stopped over your halo armour, you’re home made Jedi etc you can feel a bit annoyed. I get it, but that’s no reason to be angry or have a go at someone over their costume, if you are doing it just for recognition I don’t think that’s the essence of why I love cosplay and I don’t think we’d agree on my points above ever. I respect that, if you don’t respect me that’s your loss too really isn’t it?

I have home made, to store brought. I have crap costumes but I also feel I have good ones. I don’t think it matters, you’re celebrating your fandom and you’re doing it with a smile (if you are doing it right). So I’d say before you get so aggravated over someone else having a good time, think about you’re attitude towards them. They probably love what you did, they probably love you made that shield/dress etc… but if you are going to be a tool about it, you’ve already lost “the game.”

 

Terrible hand made Sanzo from Saiyuki – used for? Well actually a dressing gown. That’s how good I think it is bleh!

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Yup tis me again!  I’m going to write about something dear to all our hearts, money, lack of or overspending of.

All too often you will see people searching the pages to get cheap commissions or to get costumes fast because a) you might be new to cosplaying or b) you are restricted on funds.

You might well be dismayed when that comes in the post because, and don’t think you are alone here, what turns up doesn’t even vaguely look like the epic costume you envisioned. And sadly this is why – pay for cheap you get cheap. And I am not going to be arrogant and say I told you so… because that assumes it’s about you being stupid and it’s not. It’s about learning what and where to order from. Not everyone is able to sew, for instance I find it very hard to find the space in a small flat so something’s I will order from people.

What I learnt by trial, error and money is that you need to research what you want and carefully… First time I brought something it was a total disaster, nothing like the thing I had ordered and consequently sits in a box of shame with the idea I might one day find a use for the component parts.

It’s akin to buying a Walmart/Primark suit for a job interview then wondering why the guy in Prada has nailed it… the investment speaks for itself. Of course if you’re new to the whole thing and you want to get something cheap and fun until you think this is the hobby for you ignore me!

I also don’t include this when we’re talking about home made costumes, if you can make it and try then I think it’s great because it’s a creative thing and more to celebrate. However I guess this is more for me when I say keep it in perspective – if you want to have a totally epic armour set that looks like it was made by professionals you either need to be that said professional, talented or pay the cost. Don’t get upset if you aren’t stopped for you’re Link costume if the Link beside you is home made or cost an extra few hundred bucks.

What I love about seeing costumes way better than mine is thinking, well that’s about ten million ideas I use to make a better one next time!

And on that joyous note I wish you all a wonderful Con Season and hope that you love your cosplays as much as I do!

And just for a laugh see my Gears of War Stranded that I took to MCM Telford. If you like it you can hit the link here and say so, thanks!!

Peace out.

GearsGirl

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{February 4, 2014}   Cosplaying Perspectives

This is a about perspective. It’s a new year and last year I learnt a hell of a lot, mostly about me and my own shortcomings, as a cosplayer but that’s a good thing, I think its part of life lessons as well as exploring my hobby more in-depth.

Positives from last year – I lost over 100 pounds in weight. FYI that’s like a whole person in some cases! Met awesome friends, saw fantastic costumes and learnt some amazing new crafting ideas.

Negatives – fell into some of the cosplay/popularity traps of getting frustrated by lack of pictures. Had a few times where I was sure I was going to give up and just go back to hiding in my flat. Panic attacks and anxiety issues.

Cosplayer – Your costume and you are fabulous, you don’t need to be told this, you already know it. Don’t belittle what you do, I am terribly good at convincing myself I am terrible. This is a process of mental instability and other outside factors, I want to tell you now I am fully aware of how self-destructive this can be.

Okay I love my costumes, getting a picture and part of the fun is someone stopping you to compliment you but getting angry or upset people don’t only harms you. The guy that shoved me aside for a thinner model, the one that told me I was too fat for a picture when I never asked him for one in the first place and the guy that promises to take a picture then doesn’t? They are upsetting but I can bet you they have already forgotten you, don’t waste time dwelling on them, it’s giving the, too much credit.

Feeling fat, crap or ugly? Nonsense. Someone somewhere loves you for who you are, and whilst you may not see it in that moment take time to reflect on it. I have been guilty of letting a strangers comments destroy me and my confidence and yet in that same day someone else, in fact probably more than one, has mentioned that I look good or my costume is cool. It’s hard not to dwell on a bad comment but honestly look back at the good ones. 

This is not my chosen career, therefore I ask myself regularly am I keeping this in perspective? Selling prints, etc is all well and good if you are trying to make a model career or costume career out of it but if not then don’t be offended by it not being something that falls into your lap. It is not my career it is my hobby, if it was I would be at the gym for hours and over a sewing machine, or hiring a workshop. As I do not do this full time I don’t expect a full time span of attention for it. That said I love the idea that my hobby can be a thing I share and love with so may other people, career cosplayer or not.

So in summary, this year I just aim to have even more fun, keep being creative and let the positivity reap it’s own rewards. 

Wish me luck!

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And here’s a terrible mug shut of me with my super favourite prop at the moment. My Golden Retro Lancer from Gears of War. The lights awful but I hope that if you followed my blog you can see where some of the weight has fallen away 🙂



{December 28, 2013}   2013 What’s happened to me?

Wow what a year! And I really do thank my family and friends for it all.

1. Partner.

He’s suffered my obsessive cosplay outings, holiday and trips all over the place. We’ve both been very busy this year, he even ventured out to a convention with me despite hating them. He’s a rock when I am depressed, and I in turn hope I do that for him when he is low or wants comfort. We’ve been together for over a decade now, seems pretty impressive to me.

2. I changed jobs.

I went from a full time position dealing with complaints for the energy industry and it was a bit of a harrowing time. The place I was in took up a lot of my energy and I found it hard to deal with by the end, more so when I realised how many people I would leave behind. I have now got a new job, it’s part time and the money adjustments will really set in during 2014.

3. Venice.

This was amazing. I went with what I consider to be one of my best set of friends here in Nottingham. It’s a shame more friends couldn’t be mustered up but it’s really a place you can fall in love with. I am desperately hoping to return there, as much as I would like to go back to the USA and even Germany too. It was so hot and I even got a tan!

4. Other outings?

I was lucky to get to see the Mansion for Zed Events, I met a lot of amazing people there from both Zed Events and REUK (Resident Evil UK). It was so much fun! It was a great road trip with my friends and it was another great way of proving I can get past the years of sitting home, in semi-forced reclusion.

Sheffield and Birmingham Cemetery trips – again I went with friends or met friends there. I love to look around and see the beautiful gravestones, the plants and environment; I don’t mind if people consider it morbid. It makes me happy and I feel at peace in them.

I also took a couple of other trips, one to Haverhill to see friends I don’t get to see enough and also a random trip out to go and buy a Gears of War Lancer off a friend there. I fell lucky enough to catch up with another friend in Scarborough and so both trips were a great deal of fun.

5. Cosplay.

WOW where do I begin? How about the list of the ones I ventu

I have really enjoyed making so many friends, and I have absolutely learnt a lot about costumes. I have seen the good and bad side of the hobby. I love the costumes, the friends and I love looking around. I hate the blatant elitism and the downright rude way people can be, not everyone there wants to be an air-brushed model on a page, and I am definitely happy with just staying in the circles I do. If you want to say hi or get a picture do so, but I don’t approach photographers because I don’t need them to make me feel good. Especially when this year I lost seven stone, made friends by the bucket-loads and didn’t even need an agent to do it! (Yeah that was a cheap dig at the “I want to make friends, book my pictures” type of people). red too? So MCM Telford, both Birmingham events, both London events, LFCC in the summer, Insomnia47 (thanks to the awesome Tigerlily Cosplay and her competition), J-Con and Nerdfest. What a year?

6. Gaming.

Oh lords well – it’s really been the year for Gears of War and Resident Evil, mixed with a bit of Devil May Cry (original 4). I did also get my mitts on Metal Gear Rising. It’s been a great year for social gaming, I’ve spent plenty of hours on my Xbox and PC, and I also got a fair amount of time on the MMO I have played for quite a few years (yes the dreaded WOW player is here).

Gaming has been a good outlet for me, when I am not able to write, draw or muster up the energy to fight low points of depression it’s a way to escape the troubles. When I am in a good mood it’s a great way to clock up some kill counts too!

So how has your year been? I hope it’s been good and that come 2014 it will only get better.

Special thanks to Jon Fisher Photography for my Dante picture.

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{May 30, 2012}   MCM London 2012

Hey all!

Well I had an absolutely amazing time. Last year I went but hadn’t really known what to expect so this year I had a plan to go out in costume and have a grand old time.

I picked Rangiku Matsomoto from Bleach because she’s a favourite of mine and as a larger girl I wanted to avoid making a mistake with the costume. I have others but she was the one I set my heart on. It was totally worth it as well…

We drove down early on the motorway but there was a nightmare traffic build up from an accident on the M25, by the time we got to the hotel we were definitely ready to get a shower and cool down. Four of us met up at the bar and we got something to eat and watched other people who were already in costume wandering around. We really got a great feeling for the type of wonderful people we were about to meet too!

After wandering around London and drinking until gone 3am when I woke up I expected a bit of a hangover but nope! So breakfast done the labouring (but fun) process of getting into costume began. I adore the wig by the way, I guess because my hair is naturally very dark unless I bleach it (irony) I haven’t got a lot of scope for colour. This was totally out of character for me but a good giggle none the less.

 It took sometime to wrestle into the costume but then with everything ready I met up with my friends and we headed off to the queue. The queuing part to me is actually one of the most fun parts too, hugs, costumes and cheers go up all over the place and you get to see people that you are also likely to spot throughout the day, though I also admit the pre-brought tickets seem like a good venture if you are not there for just one day.

For the price of £3 off a stand I ended up with the best thing ever, a fan! It was amazingly sunny and warm so moving around was causing sweat. We wandered around some stalls and took some pictures, had a look at the gaming stands and planned a day of shopping. All this time we were saying hello to people in costume and one of the best things is that no one judges you, that’s the whole point isn’t it? Having fun… well yes we did!

 I guess the highlight of my day in terms of the celebrity thing is meeting Elvira. She was there promoting her new film and if you brought it you could get a picture with her. Elvira is amazing! I don’t know if you remember the 1988 film but my gods, that woman looks sooooo good. She had a smile for everyone and I think anyone that had a chance to meet her would say the same.

I spent quite a bit of money, including buying a keyblade for cosplay. I might never go as Sora but I absolutely wanted one of these since I first picked up Kingdom Hearts. I do however have the coat so maybe it’s time to polish that one off… The whole day was busy, but so much fun.

 To everyone that I met and said hi to, or said hi to me if you got any photo’s of me or of your day to share please do link them in my comments. I had such a wonderful time and want to thank everyone that was there for the amazing community spirit.

Rea (Rangiku hehe)



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