welcome to my cave happy holidays to you all! It’s been a while, hasn’t it? Just over 8 months, in fact. I have a belated gift for my abundance of faithful readers this fine Boxing Day: [jazz hands] Yours Truly has returned!
Melodrama aside, I’ve missed posting on here! I’m planning on getting back into it, but it won’t be on a weekly schedule like I’ve used before – I can’t handle it with my uni workload, and I’d rather just make good quality posts when I’m free to. I’m still going to try and keep to a pattern since it’s nicer for both you and I, and everyone keeps telling me that making a schedule is essential for building better time management. I suppose I’d better give it a try!
In terms of content I’ll still be the same old work logs, tips that may or may not be useful to anyone at all, and well overdue con reports because they’re absolutely exhausting. I might also drop a fandom meta post or media review here or there, mostly because I’ve gotten into Xenoblade recently and Shulk’s unwillingness to ask for help feels like a personal callout and an essay waiting to be written.
So, where have I been these past months? In chronological order: uni, more uni, moved home for summer break, HyperJapan, home again, Cornwall, home, moved back to London, uni, MCM, HyperJapan, uni, home again for the holidays. I’ve been stupidly busy. A couple of weeks ago we broke for winter break, concluding the first term of my second year. It was a doozy of a term and my mental health dipped quite harshly in the latter half, but I’m feeling better now and I’m hoping I can get the ball rolling more than ever when we return in the New Year.
Cosplay wise, a lot more has gone down than I realised! I’ve made and bought a lot of costumes, and wound up going to more events than ever even though I said I’d calm it down this year. I made 9S (Nier Automata) and Dito (Drakengard 3), though 9S was the only one I made totally from scratch. I spent about a month at the start of summer working on him and it was a real step up in terms of my construction – I’m very proud of what I achieved with him! I put Dito together in 2 weeks during the autumn term (even though I shouldn’t have) because I love him.
I also did a lot more proper photoshoots this year, and it’s so nice having decent photographs of my cosplays. It really steps up your game, and gives you the chance to create a narrative around your costume or to show off the details properly. It’s been a lot of fun! I did a couple of dream shoots – a Madoka Magica shoot with Charis, which we’ve been talking about for years, and a couple of Nier Automata shoots with Kym which were in amazing locations. The rest of the year was a nice mix of shoots with friends and with actual photographers, which I hadn’t really done before! I still want to work on my posing skills; I feel like my facial expressions can let me down quite a lot sometimes!
This is going to be my only post before 2019, so let’s have a look back at last year’s summary and goals! How did my resolutions and cosplans turn out, I wonder?
- Cheerleader Honoka: huge success! We wore the cheer set for our first stage performance at MCM and it was a blast!
- Angel Riko: nope
- Princess Tutu: nope (still a tentative plan though!)
- Uranus and Neptune: nope
- Kuranosuke Koibuchi: nope, but I’d still like to remake the dress someday
- Ryuko Matoi: nope
- Sorting out my sleep schedule, staying on top of uni work, joining the gym, watching my diet, learning languages, reading more books, regularly dancing, using WordPress: [laughing hysterically, crying a little]
It was a good year though, all the bullshit and fallen-through plans aside. I think I’ve gotten a lot more confident and independent, and my crafting has improved a bit. I’m excited for plans that are currently in the works even if I’m a bit nervous about the exponentially increasing workload of the upcoming terms.
To be truthful, I’m concerned that I’ll have to give up cosplay and socialising for the next year and a half until my degree is completed, and I really don’t want to do that because things have finally gotten to a good point. I’ve got a good momentum going and I’m enjoying the current state of affairs, and it feels as if I’m going to have to give up all these opportunities and plans in what might be the best years of my life just because I have such shitty time management skills that attending two cons in one month sent me spiralling into a bad spot and led to me considering dropping out. I don’t want to have to step down from Ai no Aidoru because I can’t cope with the workload, or postpone Vanellope again because I can’t work on more than one costume at once. If I can’t juggle these things now, how am I ever going to function once I’m actually doing paid work in the industry?
…anyway, let’s have a look at those plans for next year, shall we? (Click the character names for a reference image~)
- Princess Vanellope: Hey, remember when I said I’d finish her for May 2018? I lied. But I saw Wreck it Ralph 2 this week (it was amazing), and I got the base fabric pleated up during a recent internship, and now I’m ready to crack on with my biggest plan of the year! I was mostly putting her off due to fear of irreparably damaging the fabric, but my concerns have been resolved and I’m much more confident about tackling her than I was. I’m also prepared to go as slow and steady as I need, and if that means I don’t get her done until October, so be it. I hope not though, because I have other plans in mind for October already…
- Valentine’s Honoka: This cosplay has been sitting half done for an age. I really want to finish her this year! Hopefully in time for Vday itself since she shouldn’t be too hard to complete, but we’ll see how that goes – I have to remake the skirt since I didn’t like the pleating I did last time, but other than that all I really have to do is the armband and some accessories.
- A2 (Nier Automata): I love my grimy robot wife! I really enjoyed the makeup test I did for her this summer and I think I suit her well, so it’ll be fun to cosplay her in full! It’ll also be nice to wear something to HJ (if I go) that isn’t heatstroke central like 9S was…
- The Monado: I really want to get into prop making! The Monado is a gorgeous weapon and it lights up, what’s not to love? I’d love to cosplay my boy Shulk too but I wouldn’t be able to make his outfit at the moment – catch me at HJ in his swimsuit skin I Guess??
I’m only half joking. somebody stop me
- Onion Knight: I’ve seen half of Dissidia Final Fantasy, about 10 minutes of NT, and I’ve never played FFIII. But I love my ridiculous onion son and I have a load of fabric that’d work perfectly for him (mostly because I did the dip dyeing for Mercy before I gave up on that plan) and I cannot be stopped. Okay, I really can and I’m not going to commit to this until I’ve actually finished Dissidia and NT, but I love his design and it’d be a great opportunity to do a more complex wig too.
- Dito (Drakengard 3): When I cosplayed Dito at October MCM my outfit was only half finished – I’m missing all his armour pieces, weapons and his belts. I wasn’t sure if I’d ever make the remaining parts but papillonreine is planning to make Five’s armour, so I’m going to finish Dito up so we can cosplay them together! The dynamic between Dito and Five is an utter trainwreck and it’ll be really fun to portray.
- Games Parade: I really enjoyed this event! I’m going to fix up 9S a bit (aka redo his boots entirely because the heels fell off the last time I wore them) and hopefully compete in the lil masquerade! It’s way too much fun walking around in a blindfold but still being able to see; people always look so confused.
- Love Live meet: We’re going to host the Love Live meet at May MCM! Cosplay meets are always fun and are a great way to make friends, and we’re planning to have some local groups performing so we can celebrate the growing London LL! scene. Ai no Aidoru also have some other sneaky plans (stage time. it’s a stage time application) in the works but they’re out of our hands for now, so watch this space!
I also want to share some characters and outfits that I desperately want to make and will absolutely never get around to, for whichever reason, because I’ve found that acknowledging my terrible plans tends to let me make peace with moving on.
- Halloween Mari: I’m still on my Halloween bullshit. It’s a permanent state of being. This outfit is super cute, but sadly Mari is still as uninspiring to me as ever. One day I’m going to make a super cute Halloween outfit, but I always let my plans for MCM take up any prep time I could’ve used, so I need to plan something out in advance…
- Kuja (FFIX): The only reason that Onion Knight is on my list of plans and Kuja is being banished forever is that I haven’t got as much fabric I could use for this outfit. He looks so outrageous. I mean, what is that, a thong-codpiece? Kuja. Please. I love his godawful outfit with my entire heart and I’m definitely going to get my hands on FFIX at some point because I love Zidane too and I really want to know both their stories. Just watch as I play through the game and stick him straight back on my plans list or something, I’m telling you.
- Ryuko Matoi: It is with a heavy heart that I type my best girl’s name on this list. Realistically speaking, I’m never going to make space for this to happen, and I’m just as insecure about looking like that as I ever was (I say, putting Ryuko just after Kuja, who reveals virtually just as much skin and who I would probably cosplay in a heartbeat if I had the means – but I have my reasons).
- Kallian Antiqua: Kallian ticks literally every box for me. Wings? Intricate armour that I definitely wouldn’t know how to make? Blue-white colour scheme? Silver haired pretty boy with a vaguely tragic story? Sign me up. I love him. As much as I’m dying to bash his outfit out (so I can show my appreciation for him and also have a pair of wings while I’m at it) I don’t think I’d suit him, and his armour does scare me a little. His art also reminds me a lot of the winged Love Live sets (White Day and Angel), which have the unfortunate tendency to look a lot nicer in 2D than real life – in artwork you can take as many liberties with physics as you want, but in real life you have limited options and there’s a very real risk of things looking much sadder and flatter than you expected. This is the fate that befell my Lisia cosplay too.
That’s not as many cosplays as I was expecting, actually! I always think I have dozens of plans because I’m constantly looking out for outfits I’d like to make, but when push comes to shove I won’t actually do any of them. I used to be a lot more impulsive and would buy random supplies on a whim for any plan that came my way but I’ve learnt to give it plenty of time to think things over – usually a character catches my eye because of an interesting design or because they look like they’d be an unusual challenge, but I wouldn’t actually want to do it myself.
I think that’s it for now! 2019 is going to be a wild ride of a year – I think 2018 wasn’t honestly that bad until October, and then it all went to shit very quickly for about six weeks, and that felt like an entirely separate year. Next year is going to be harder than ever at uni – I’ve got to start thinking about my dissertation, god – and I have a couple of big plans in mind. I have to prioritise classwork and find a way to balance my hobbies, but hopefully it won’t come at the cost of doing things I enjoy. This is the year I suss time management, I swear.
This has turned into a monster post, oops! Bless you if you read all the way to the end haha. That’s always the way though – until next time, have a wonderful holiday and a happy new year!