Saturday, December 31, 2011

A year full of costumes and conventions

The end of the year is closing in and nine costumes, few projects and four conventions later I can look back to 2011 surprised, astonished and bit puzzled too. I really enjoyed last year even if there were struggles and setbacks. One single thing I’m really pleased with is our character choices. It feels like during the past year we have found characters that we can pull it off well and balanced. We have also polished skills with props and construction techniques.

Our first huge cosplay project reached a milestone in February, when we got our Snowtrooper costumes ready for a photoshoot. Before Tampere Kuplii we constructed the backpacks and were ready to participate in our first cosplay competition as freshly recruited soldiers. At Tampere Kuplii we were selected to the group of ten candidates, who got through to the second stage of the competition, which was an open voting on a website of a local newspaper. In the final battle our troopers carried us to third place.

We continued with Star Wars theme with female characters. For our first Desucon we arrived as Luminara Unduli and Barriss Offee and spend the weekend hanging around and enjoying the seats at the main concert hall. I think we have never sat as much at any convention before.

The next costumes to build were supposed to be Ivy and Yoshimitsu, but instead I found myself complying with Yoki's wish to construct “something new” for Kawacon. That something new was femme gijinka Decepticons; Princess Megs and Lady Star. While at the convention we got recruited for the cosplay competition and won, for our amazement. With the bot ladies we had our first real photoshoot with a real, live photographer!

The big project was still ahead. After WCS preliminaries back in 2010 I stated to Yoki that next year we are going to compete. And we did so with Ivy and Yoshimitsu from Soul Calibur III. And came second! That was the crown for our sixth year we have cosplayed together.

But the year wasn’t all about successful costumes and fun conventions. Starting from spring, around the time we started to print the fabrics for our Jedi Knights, I felt like something was wrong with me. My condition developed so that July and August passed by in a haze of pain and drugs. Even if some days crafting costumes or even getting out of bed was almost impossible, I think that working gave me something else to think about, than continually worrying and doubting on my sick leave. I could say that cosplay became my lifeline for a period of time.

Only two weeks before Tracon and WCS preliminaries I got diagnosed with a chronic illness. A week before Tracon I started my medication and without it I think that I couldn’t have been able to step on the stage back in September. Coming second in WCS preliminaries was a huge thing for us. For me just being able to participate was really important.

Photos of Ivy and Yoshimitsu: Emilia Lahtinen.

This year cosplay gave me little more that new techniques and garments to fill the closet. For a short time I thought that I might have to drop the hobby, but now that my health has improved I couldn't think more opposite! I'm really proud of what we have accomplished this year and wait eagerly for the next year and new challenges.

What I wish for next year next to straight seams and sharp scissors is health and opportunities to connect with other enthusiastic costumers. Happy New Year!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Saturday, December 10, 2011

"I don't wanna be a real boy"

The end of the year is closing in with rabid speed, so I thought it would be good to look back in time and see what has been done. However, my pendulum faced a critical malfunction and tossed me all the way back to the year 2007 and our second pair cosplay.
The first armour, or more likely body, we ever made, belonged to a redheaded puppet master, whose peculiar frame has raised many questions. My new mission was to retrieve the armor from the depths of a wardrobe and make a short briefing about it, answering the scattered questions.