Thursday, August 9, 2012

[Jas] And then my family pretended I wasn't related to them....

Credit a million photographers here....Knight Photography (victoria [JT's note: who's Victoria? ;)]), James Wu, Katsuya Weller, Skwinkography, Gerardo Flores, and other friends

In other words, how I got into cosplay! Since I'll be talking randomly about costumes later on, I feel as though an intro would be appealing to those who might not know much about the sport [JT's note: ...  leave it alone everyone...]! Yes! This is a topic I really enjoy talking about because my sorta therapist tells me that I have an obbession with being anyone who isn’t me (actually that’s a lie, I don’t have a therapist, but if I did that’s what he/she would most obviously tell me). So as I sit here with my chef Boyardee and collection of CCS dvds I recently gathered from the four corners of, I shall venture into my past….

So it all started in 3rd grade when I wanted to be Pikachu for Halloween….

(There is photo proof of this....somewhere in my parents house....I will find it)

Though.....that’s a lie [JT's note: she lies a lot], because honestly I had no idea what cosplay was at that point. I was in 3rd grade in a small town where the fanciest restaurant was Olive Garden and I had no neighbors. So all I really had was the internet (but I didn’t get that until middle school so really all I had were trees and wild animals). I started getting into cosplay before I even knew what it was. I was in middle school, 7th grade, when I started a word document of characters I wanted to dress up as (I recently found this document and laughed myself a six pack, that’s a lie as well [JT's note: See?], but I did laugh so hard I almost choked to death). So that’s when I first though about it. But at that point I could only really sew a pillow case.

Moon faced bunny weapon Mina costume
The REAL start to my cosplay was freshman year of high school when I met up with an old friend (we legit both forgot about each other until we hardcore bonded and now we are married. Not really. But we act like an old married couple [JT's note: That wasn't a lie for once].) So anyways, we bonded in last period science class, where we doodled all class and we were pretty much just obnoxious brats [JT's note: Still are...]. So, then we planned it, our first convention (Anime Punch, OH 2007). Our first cosplays. And let me tell you something….they SUCKED! We had no idea WHAT we were doing. We were young (15/16), new to the whole culture, and legit had NO idea what we were getting into. (Meaning we didn’t wear wigs or colored contacts) This was BEFORE my mother hated it. She helped with the sewing and was pretty into it. Then we got there......

Now they all pretend that I’m not related to them. The end. 

But not really.

After I accidently dyed my hair salmon pink in an unfortunate I-don’t-have-a-wig-but-maybe-I-can-temporarily-dye-my-hair-pink accident involving a hot tub and me wearing pink shirts from forever onward until it totally washed out like 2 months later, we took a short break from cosplay to plan and such (not to mention my parents were totally against it after going to a con themselves…they are beyond conservative). Our second convention was in Indiana, Ikasucon (2009). It was fun but we still didn’t have wigs or the best costumes (in fact they still sucked pretty hard) and not to mention my parents were not thrilled. Well, to say the least, that was the last convention they both attended. Also, after that con was when we both REALLY got serious.

And 6 years, 25+ costumes, 10+ conventions, and lots of photos/experience later. Here I am! It’s been a lot of work, and honestly I never pictured myself as a cosplayer before, but now I don’t think I could see myself without it [JTs note: Not just her seeing herself... sometimes I forget what her actual hair style is because of all the wigs and pictures.]. So, for anyone who has ever looked at cosplay, but was too scared to try it, I want to talk a little about how we do:
Knight Photography (Victoria)

America gets a bad rap because our cosplayers aren’t as “good”, “serious”, or “intense” as other countries. But our convention culture is one of the closest knit ones out there. Don’t be afraid to try and fail the first time, or few times for that matter, we did (when I say "we" I'm talking Sarah and I, because actually we are one person, in case you weren't aware). You don’t become FANTASTIC overnight. Especially if you sew your costumes yourself. C'mon, I've been doing this for 6 years, I would know. 
Photo by the lovely Victoria (Knight Photography)

That’s another thing: I know it’s easy to buy costumes online, but it’s 100x more fulfilling to sew something yourself. To wear something you made is just such a great feeling, it’s hard to describe. What really matters about cosplay is your friends though. There will always be haters, people who think they are better than you and feel the need to say it, and others who don’t understand and put you down. But, there are fans who love the character you are cosplaying and get super excited when they see you and it’s easy to make new friends.

IN THE NAME OF THE MOooon, we will punish you....Yu-Gi-Yu-Gi--Oh?
I’ve never really tried to stand out too much in the cosplay world. It can be intimidating…especially when everyone I know always wants me to sew something for them (actually that gets more annoying than everything…I don’t want to sew your pants together, when you could learn to do it yourself instead of pestering the only girl you know who knows how to sew. No I don’t know how to sew together a broken book bag….my sewing machine is from the 70s for pete’s sake. I’m surprised it’s still running actually).

ANYWAYS! Look forward to more about the cosplay world from me, from sewing, costume design, photography, wig styling, make-up, and prop making! A lot goes into cosplay, not just sewing pieces of fabric together!!! (Though that’s all I thought it was at first too)

Herp a Derp and no, we are not twins in real life....

Cosplay really opened me up to the world, and to long-distance driving (but that’s a story for another day).
Before we drive
After we drive (LOL JK) this was totes from a shoot 

What to know something specific? Post a comment and I’ll talk all about whatever you want to know in a post! I love talking about cosplay!!!

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