Bit of background
I was first introduced to my first comic con by a friend back in May 2013. Since then, I've been stuck in with the cosplay malarkey. I've been cosplaying for around three years now. I've lost more money than I've gained but every penny I've put in was worth it. Before cosplay I was constantly restless and easily bored. I tried countless hobbies like throwing shit against a wall to see what sticks and eventually cosplay stuck.
I'm not going to lie, cosplay is not always enjoyable. I have spent nights pulling my hair out trying to figure out how I could craft something without spending hundreds of pounds. In the last three years, I have literally spent north of £10k on buying new equipment; materials for the craft; travelling to and from conventions; accommodation and spending money at a convention. It's scary when you put it that way but it doesn't seem as bad when you spread the cost out. It's cheaper to do drugs and with the amount of glue I sniff, it's probably more healthy too.
Have you ever spent a day in a baking sauna, while doing squats and not being able to eat or drink? Yup, that's what wearing armour is like at a convention 80% of the time.
Have you ever done a ballerina twirl then proceed to knock a kid over with you knee and they spend the rest of the day crying? Yup, that's happend and I walked past their parents a few times that day too.
Have you ever had a 6 year old kid run up to you, called your armour out for being not metal then punch you in the dick, then you push them over but their parents were watching right behind them, but you didn't know they were watching because you could only see through tiny little slits of your costumes and then have the dad threaten you because you injured their little annoying shit? Nope, I never did that... That was just an example. OR DID I!?
If it's all so horrific, why do you keep going at it?
I've met people I would not have normally met. Most, if not all of the people I met share a common interest whether it's the games we play, the sick and twisted humour or the craftsmanship skills. I've had amazing opportunities to travel abroad and attend other conventions in Europe. During my time there, I've met even more lifelong friends and form stronger bonds with existing ones I've met since last time they travelled to the UK. I've spoken to people as far as Argentina exchanging advice on armour building.
I've stretched the thinking outside the box part of my brain to no bounds. Who would have thought Mecha Kha'zix's shoulder missiles could be modelled after butt plugs? Not even the developers of the game saw that. It is literally about £20 cheaper to buy 8 XL butt plugs from the US than it is to buy the silicone casting kit for casting. Oh and not to mention it would be lighter as well. Envyious was able to find an even cheaper method; she taught me to create my own butt plug from a reference image out of clay then mould it with worbla and fill it with expanding foam. That only cost around £20 for 8 as oppose to £48 for butt plugs and £80 for the casting kit.
Who would have thought that you could use camping mats to achieve an metal effect and build an Iron Man suit because in all the comics and films, it's made of metal?
Learn new skills
Planning and patience are the two things that has come up to the top of the pile. I've seen many people rushing to finish their costumes before a con and even more giving up half way through building because they got stuck and lost steam. Aside from these, I've learnt to work with different materials with different techniques.
I wasn't born creative and neither did I study art in my degree. All of the stuff I do comes from references, research along with some initiative and practice. I've learn a lot of skills to create armoured costumes and I've got a lot more to learn.
Awesome night outs.
Have you ever wanted a night out but nobody's available? Well, at a convention, if some of your friends aren't available, there will be others and if all else fails, it's a great place to meet new friends! YESSSS FWIENDDSSSSS COSPLAY FWIENDSSSS!
I'm not a clubbing person and don't really get invited to parties but at conventions, I have the most memorable nights outs. Well, when I say memorable I meant I only remember the night from the pictures on my phone. Just last weekend I was at Insomnia Gaming Festival (i58). We ended up going to their "World Famous Pub Quiz". I suck a quizzes but I thought I'd try it out anyways. It was not like any other pub quizzes I've ever been to. We ended up drinking way too much Fallout Beer along with shots. I could barely remember the end of the quiz but at one point, about 20 of us formed a conga line while doing the Harambe walk. We then ended up playing drunken League of Legend games with Maplestreet (a pro player) half of us had the mouse and the other had the keyboard. There were horrific games but it was incredibly fun.
Who doesn't want to be something they're not?
Have you ever wanted to be like a super spy or a kung fu master? Well, I want to be a super frigging hero.
The main reason I enter competitions is that love being on stage and performing. I enjoy doing research about a character and imagining how the character would be like in real life. Have you never fantasised being best buddies with a fictional character you adore? Have you never picked up a stick and pretended to have a wand battle? With cosplay, I don't have imagine what it would be like anymore. With each performance, I try to tell a short story, bring the character to life mixed in with a bit of fun while being entertaining to an audience which may or may not know the character in the space of 1-2 minutes. It requires a lot of thinking through and planning.
Other people may cosplay for different reasons for example they enjoy the recognision, getting the warm and fuzzy feeling when a kid walks and gets excited that they get to meet their favourite super hero, to make the dollar etc but not me. I don't enjoy the company of young humans. I cosplay for me and not anybody else and I have fun with it. I love the people I get to meet and I love the opportunities it presents. I plan to work even harder in the next three years to expand my skill set and create more awesome builds.