As you know, I've been in the cosplay scene since 2012. The first time I competed was in 2013, and after that I've competed every now and then.
But I've never succeeded.
To be honest, I haven't been bitter about it. The best ones win and there's no arguing that. But, of course, I've been trying to think of the reasons why I haven't placed. Not a single time. Let's take a look at my cosplay competition history.
|Animecon 2012, Sasuke Uchiha from Naruto Shippuden. © Tapio Matikainen.|
But now, when I look at this costume I have a feeling that I placed 5th - and there were five contestants in the same category so... Yeah. Some details are missing, and let's be honest - the costume isn't very well made.
I could've done better.
Note number one: don't rush or your work will probably look like this - especially if you're a beginner.
|Tracon 2013, Ayame Sohma from Fruits Basket. © Konsta Väänänen.|
So, the cosplay was good and on the stage I really felt like Ayame. Did I place?
The reason: my costume wasn't detailed enough. Even though the category was for the beginner contestants the other cosplayers had more detailed costumes. I had kept it too simply.
Note number two: more details - and don't be afraid to make them.
|Tampere Kuplii 2014, Itachi Uchiha from Naruto. © taikaraita.|
One of my "if I don't have anything else, this one comes with me" cosplays.
I competed with a pair who cosplayed Sasuke Uchiha. I know my own mistakes - mainly the problems were my sewing technic and, once again, the rush (...look at that headband, I've re-made it though...). Those are the mistakes I know I made - and my pair back then wasn't bad at all. I guess that there were just some small failures which made a great problem when combined together.
Note number three: if you have a pair cosplay coming up, try to make your costumes in the same place at the same time - we didn't have a possibility to do that.
|Tracon 2014, Grell Sutcliff from Kuroshitsuji. © Tytti Levänen.|
In this competition the judges only judged the performance. It was a bonus if you were recognized as the character you were cosplaying
Well, me and my pair began practicing our performance...
...in Sunday morning.
And the competition was on Sunday!
I don't have much to say about this.
Note number four: PRACTICING IS IMPORTANT.
|Yukicon 2015, Francis Bonnefoy from Hetalia: Axis Powers. © lokki|
I really do.
Once again I competed with a pair... But, as you can see, my costume was just one big failure. I stressed too much about making it and that's the result.
Excuse me while I dig a hole in the ground and hide in it.
Note number five: a little stress is usually for good, but if you stress too much... It's no good.
|Tampere Kuplii 2015, Alex Cloudmill from Starshine Legacy. © Santtu Pajukanta.|
But I was proud of this costume. Had I had a right-coloured wig and used better materials for the shirts I would've been one of the finalists.
I will re-make this one. And try to compete with it again. Alex is love, Alex is life.
Note number six: pay attention on colors and materials - look at the reference pictures and "bring the character to life". Think about your character's story and life, is the character poor or rich, where the character lives etc...
|Matsucon 2017, Gilbert Beilschmidt from Hetalia: Axis Powers. © Maaria Tuisku.|
The costume was new, that was my first time wearing it.
I really didn't know how to move around in it.
I shoul've worn it at least one time before so I would've known how difficult the costume was to wear, really. My own mistake.
I had had quite a long pause in competing (well, I competed in Skecon 2016 with Ayame but I don't count it, I've been speaking about Finnish competitions in this post anyway) so I was a bit afraid to go to the stage. And, unfortunately, it was easy to see.
Note number seven: practice your poses and wear the costume while doing that - and move around in it!
So, summa summarum.
I've come to this conclusion: I haven't been as careful as I should've been. I've also been afraid to make any details (they're still a problem for me) and I've had problems with choosing the right materials. Years have gone by since I begun cosplaying and, of course, I've developed my skills. Sadly, when I think about the other cosplayers, I know I should be able to make complicated armors etc. if I ever wanted to succeed in competitions.
I'm not going to give up on competing though. I'll participate in Tampere Kuplii 2018's cosplay competition - not going to tell the character yet but let's just say that it's not a new costume. It's a costume and a character I know very well by far.
Let's see how it goes.