December 5, 2015

My cosplay strengths & weaknesses – REVELATION TIME!

 Hello geeks all across the world ~

Let's get straight to business! One ordinary day not so long ago I was living through my daily life, checking internet and just chilling around and them –BAM!– a thought suddenly struck me! I couldn't brush it away because it actually made me really think and get motivated to do another one of these "cosplay as a hobby" thought-filled posts soooo... here we go!

What if I made a blog post about how I am as a cosplayer and what I'm good and not-so-good at in this hobby?

I'm not sure if this has been done before but I figured that it might be an interesting thing to actually write down, if nothing else! Hopefully it will serve to let you all know a bit more about me as a cosplayer and maybe inspire others to do similar posts and appreciate their own skillsets too, both in good and in bad! After all, I'm far from equally talented in all the different fields that this hobby more or less requires from us and eey, ain't nothing wrong or weird with that. :) I thought this could be a fun way to show that yes, we all have things that we aren't as good at as others but that we also have our strong points! Yay for skill diversity appreciation!

So yeah, what's on the plate today is a breakdown list about my strengths and weaknesses as a cosplayer and yep, this is of course all 100% truth about me – seen from my own perspective. Leeeeeeet's goooooooo ~

With each category I've put a grade scale from 1-5, which is a way of indicating how good I personally think I am with each of them, with my enjoyment level counting in on the final grade – so yeah, some scores have an enjoyment bonus of 0,5-1 point added in. A low number means that I perceive it to be one of my weaker points and a high number means the opposite.
Note: the scores are of course not permanent since they only reflect my current situation. 

Patterning (2/5): This is definitely one of the things I dislike the most with cosplay, no joke. I think that the pattern making part is tedious, boring, complicated and just not my thing. Sometimes it happens that I lose my cosplay crafting motivation before I even get to start properly because of the damn patterning. ._. I just don't pattern. such difficult. much annoy. very bore.
So yeah, while I have managed to draft the patterns from scratch to, for example Masamune Date's blue coat from Sengoku Basara, I really don't think that I'm cut out for this bull. I get a lot of headaches trying to figure out how to make it work and yeah, it's such a demotivator that it huuurts.

Fabric cutting (1/5): UGH. UGH. UGH. Along with drafting/understanding patterns placing the darn paper pieces on the fabric the right, most clever fabric-saving way is just something that I don't get right and I always have a huge fear of screwing up and wasting ~le expensive fabric~ or cutting something the wrong way. I'm just not good at figuring out the best way to go about using my fabric wisely and it's really one of my weakest points on the whole sewing part – maybe silly but it's true. >_< Not to mention that I never got the gist of the whole straight grain thing no matter how many times someone explains it to me. ;_; I feel stupid for saying this but it just confuses me every time and I keep forgetting...
Oh, and being left-handed really is an additional shade of bother when the whole world always assumes everyone's freaking right-handed! Hello, impossible cutting angles. ._. (and before you ask: yes, I've tried left-handed scissors but lord they feel even more retarded than using right-handed ones! Maybe it's just me not getting many chances to use them when growing up...)

Fabrics (5/5): I'd like to think that I'm honestly good at figuring out what fabrics will give me the look and/or purpose that I want/need when it comes to making my costumes. I can touch and look at a fabric and pretty instantly be able to tell if it's what I'm looking for or not – if it has the required qualities of drape, texture, sturdiness, softness etc. I'm also fairly good at telling different types of fabrics apart when I see/feel them. I'm quite picky on what I choose to make my cosplay out of – it has to be right!
It's not a secret that I had prior fabric knowledge before starting with cosplay and yeah, that's mainly because my mom owned her own fabric store for yeeeeeeeears and I spent most of my childhood hiding between fabric rolls (hide-and-seek!) and helping her move stuff in the store etc. I learned a lot from her, both directly and indirectly because I've spent all my life surrounded by fabrics. Heck, mom's attic is still filled with fabrics from those times. ♥ I love the fabric smell, lol.
I always thought that fabric choice was an important part of cosplaying – hence why I didn't enter my cosplaying hobby in a beaming cheap satin monster or in a, what I'd like to call, "bedsheet cosplay". There's nothing sinfully wrong with those (we all start somewhere!) but yeah, I was always willing to pay a bit more to not look like I'm walking around in a potentially shiny potato sac. ;)

Sewing (4/5): I'd say that I feel pretty confident with my sewing skills; I haven't gone any proper schools for it or anything but mom taught me a lot and I'm thankful for that. Sure that I might not know the high-end professional ways of sewing and there's obviously many things out there I'd have no idea how to even sew! But yeah, the point is that I know the basics well enough for my standards/needs and I'd personally say that my sewing work is generally clean and looks proper – or at least I always strive first-hand for a neat final appearance.

Props (4/5): Pretty good, I guess? I'm by no means bad at it but I wouldn't personally say that I'm a Prop Master Deluxe™ either. I've done some weapons back in the days, especially from the Bleach series during my early cosplay years, that have received a lot of admiration at conventions as well as online, but I do think that I could still have made a better job on some parts of them – even when I originally made them. So yeah, I think I'm pretty okay on the prop making department, especially when it comes to weapon-type props. I do enjoy making props a lot and learning to use different materials, tools and techniques!

Armor making (3/5): Tough one. I really don't know what to answer on this one because creating armors is still a rather new side of cosplaying to me. In the beginning I was really hesitant and unsure of how to make it happen and I was indeed standing on shaky legs when I first experimented with craft foam and, later on, polystyrene sheets. Once I dived into the worblerful world of worbla (yes, worblerful) I've reached a new enlightenment in terms of creating armors and hey, I think that I might be able to go quite far on this part!

Wigs (3/5): Eh. I'm fairly good at shopping for wigs that give me the look I prefer but I'm not very fluid at wig styling; I have cut and styled some wigs before and they've all been rather small alterations so far. I haven't done any hardcore modifications like stubbing, gravity-defying giant spikes, widow peaks and such. I don't feel too confident handling wigs and I lose my patience perhaps a bit too fast when it comes to untangling long wigs and carefully moving layers of wefts. It's not quite my favorite part of cosplaying but it's doable. I do love shopping for wigs though (and the quest of finding the perfect one) and wearing them!

Makeup (2/5): I do acknowledge and feel that I'm way below many others when it comes to general makeup knowledge and application etc. If I'm brutally honest half the time when I'm applying makeup I'm not even too sure of what I'm actually doing, lol. 
My main issue is that the whole makeup world is so big and confusing and –to make matters worse– you need to have a lot of prerequisite knowledge of, for example your skin type, to actually get the makeup itself to work and look/perform the best on your face. I went into the makeup universe not knowing jackshit and boy was I lost – HECK, I STILL AM. NOT GONNA LIE.
I feel really unsure every time I try on some new makeup techniques and/or products because –fuck me sideways– I don't even know if I'm using the right applicator for this crap! D: As a proof of point I have a 32-piece brush set and I don't even know what 3 of them surely are for so, err, go figure. -.- The more I try to learn the more overwhelming it gets and then I just end up getting frustrated and feeling even dumber than before.
I didn't even know about the existence nor importance of primers, moisturizers and concealers until this year. Can you believe it?? Yeah, that means I did 4 years of cosplaying without preparing my facely canvas properly. Ugh. I'm not even sure if I want to know what other important products I'm completely missing as of yet...
So yeah, I really don't think that I'm honestly good with makeup and, to boot, I'm unaware of so many things that would probably be considered essential to know. I just scribble something on my face for now and hope it looks at least decent meanwhile I wait for some knowledge expansion miracle to befall upon me. Yeeeeah. #makeupishard

So yeah, as you can see I don't perceive myself as a super amazing cosplayer. I'm average – good at some things, less good at others.
And you know what? – That's perfectly okay!
Along the years we'll keep improving, learning new things and shaping our cosplaying selves! I think that a big part of the fun in cosplay comes from the challenges and new things you get to tackle and experiment with! It's a given that failures will happen but so will successful creations too. I love the diversity of cosplay and hey, you aren't forced to like everything that this very wide hobby brings with it! I don't like those super-long wigs either when they get tangled into a... Tangela... after I just cast a look at them.

That's all for this time!
Hope you enjoyed this blog post and feel free to comment! ╰( ・ ᗜ ・ )╯
Shiro Samurai out ~


Thaki said...

Aivan älyttömän hyvä idea bloggaukseen, wau! O___O Pakko kysyä että saako tässä joku viikko lainata ideaa?

Ja älytöntä miten tämmösten postausten myötä tulee fiilis, että oppis tuntemaan toista paremmin! :D Mie kans vihaan mm. kaavotusta niin paljon! En jaksa mennä minkään sääntöjen mukaan vaan teen kaiken aina omalla oudolla tyylillä! (sen takia esim ylimäärästä kangasta on aina ostettava). Mutta tähän asti oon ollut suht tyytyväinen...? :D

Shiro Samurai said...

Joo tottakai! :D Se vähän niinku oli tarkoituski että inspaisin muitaki tekemään tämmösen postauksen koska, noh, en oo oikein nähnyt ennen tämmöistä ja minusta ainaki olis kiva tietää miten toiset cossaajat kokevat että mitkä jutut cosplayssa just ovat ne heidän heikkoudet ja vahvuudet!

Minäki aina ostan liikaa kangasta koska you never know jos käy kepposesti kaavoituksen/kankaan leikkaamisen kans ja tuota... en oo hyvä arvaamaan kuinka paljon kangasta tarvitsen muutenki niin joo, parempi ostaa liikaa ku liian vähän. xD

Thaki said...

Uujee, kiitos! :D

... Ja tuo on just toinen. Kangaskaupassa aina kysytään "Niin kuinkas paljon sie tätä kangasta tarvit", niin heitän aina vähä lonkalta.. Ja nimenomaan periaatteella: mielummin liikaa ku liia vähä XD

Cassandra Jane said...

These are all crazy skills. (Crazy as in amazing.) I'm really interested in the armor-making, hehe.

Keep it up! It's very cool.