tiistai 30. tammikuuta 2018

Cosplay competing - a way to success?

Not always.

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.
This was the first time I ever competed. Back then I was so proud of my costume and character reliability. This was my second self-made costume so it could've been worse. I competed in the "Beginners" category.
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.
Once again I competed in the "Beginners" category. This time I was really, really proud of my costume - and I still am, even though it's on the "must repair/re-make this" list. Cosplaying Ayame felt more natural than cosplaying Sasuke - you know, I got more into the character.

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.
The first - and last, by far - performance competition!
In this competition the judges only judged the performance. It was a bonus if you were recognized as the character you were cosplaying and the costume had to be self-made.

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.


Yukicon 2015, Francis Bonnefoy from Hetalia: Axis Powers. © lokki
I still hate this costume.
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.
Oh, Alex... Haven't been able to wear this costume in a while since I've gained so much weight (trying to lose it, not going to make any new cosplay costumes before I manage to do that) and I've lost half of this costume so... Yeah.

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.
My poses were too static - that's what I was told by the judges.
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.



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