2014 has been a very busy and eventful year.
My original goal was to cut down on traveling and take more time for creative projects and work at the office, but a lot of amazing opportunities presented themselves and I ended up having a very travel heavy year. In total, I attended 25 conventions all over the world, and got to visit some new countries I had never been to before, such as Romania, the Netherlands, Sweden and the United Arab Emirates.
Cosplay-wise, I kept fairly busy and tried to schedule time for new costumes whenever I was home. I've alwaus valued quality over quantity, and am actually surprised at how many costumes I was able to make in 2014. In total, I created 11 full costumes for myself, and worked on a couple of costume projects for my friends.
Costume Recap - costumes listed in order of creation
1. New 52 Batgirl - I had planned this costume for a while, and busted it out with Brian's help in about 2 - 3 weeks. It was a pretty big undertaking, considering the various materials we had to work with, and the complexity of the design. Thankfully, the cowl was already made by ReevzFX, but we made everything else on this costume. The process of this costume was featured in Heroes of Cosplay Season 1.5, episode 10. Convention debut: Wizard World Portland
2. Jasmin Synn from "Archangel" - I was thrilled for the opportunity to design and make the costume for a villain in this Steampunk action adventure web series. The process of this costume was featured in Heroes of Cosplay Season 1.5, episode 11. Convention Debut: Wizard World New Orleans
3. Banshee Queen Enira from "Lineage 2" - Without a doubt the most elaborate costume I tackled this year. I don't think I have ever stressed out so much over a costume before, due to the deadline, and the added difficulty of the stilts. Read up on how Enira was made here! The process of this costume was featured in Heroes of Cosplay Season 1.5, episode 12. Convention Debut: Wizard World New Orleans
4. Skrull Storm from "Secret Invasion" - this was a collaboration with The Cinema Makeup School! I made the full costume, and Jaime Leonodes did my prosthetic pieces and bodypaint! Convention Debut: Wondercon
5. Superhero Yaya from "Wonderous 2: The Yaya Han Saga" - It was a dream come true to design and make a costume for my character in the Lion Forge produced comic series "Wonderous 2"! I got to be a Superhero! Convention Debut: Wondercon
6. Heartseeker Ashe from "League of Legends" - This was a more daunting project than I originally anticipated, but I also had so so much fun with it! I absolutely loved making this costume, and wearing it! My amazing bow was made by Kamui Cosplay <3 Convention Debut: AnimeCon in Amsterdam
7. Nurse Super Sonico - After Ashe and my European Tour, I got pretty sick for a few weeks, so when I finally got better, I needed a simple, fun costume project to get back in the swing of things. Sonico's nurse uniform was perfect for it! Convention Debut: Anime Expo
8. Retro Space Girl Yaya - I had planned for a while to remake my original Space Girl costume, and this summer I sat down and did it! I love the new outfit and my accompanying jetpack! This costume will be seen on season 3 of King of The Nerds. Convention Debut: San Diego Comic Con
9. Zatanna from DC Bombshells - This costume was made so I could cosplay with my friends! Out of all the adorable designs, I really liked Zatanna's! Convention Debut: San Diego Comic Con
10. Arcade Miss Fortune from "League of Legends" - After SDCC, I was on another convention tour for a couple of months, and during the days inbetween, I would slowly work on Miss Fortune. I'm so glad I took my time with her, as it was one of the most colorful, vibrant, adorable costumes I've ever made and I have wonderful memories of the crafting process. My guns were commissioned from Johnny Junkers! Convention Debut - Montreal Comic Con
11. Shao Jun from "Assassin's Creed" - My last complete costume of 2014 is one of my absolute favorites! Finally, a new and badass design for the Chinese Assassin Shao Jun, and I found the most gorgeous materials for the costume. I busted this one out in about a week, during which I hardly slept and was completely engrossed in the costume. Convention Debut: New York Comic Con
Noteworthy Thoughts about 2014
It's been a really eye-opening year in terms of how my creative mind works. The process of falling in love with a costume idea, feverishly gathering materials, and deliriously getting lost in the Zen of crafting, to the point of putting on a brand new outfit for the first time, is never old to me. What I have learned this year is to be more confident in my abilities, trust my intuition, and time manage better. At least in terms of making costumes. I still get super overwhelmed with many business and convention related tasks, but I feel the most calm, collected and happy when I am crafting.
It's important for me to re-iterate that you should not compare your speed, skills or even quality to others. It doesn't matter how many costumes you made in one year, how many cons you attended, or how elaborate your costume projects were. Each person approached creative tasks differently, and has different access to materials, work space, and tools. I have had to become very fast with my costume making due to the constant travel dates and deadlines on my schedule. But it doesn't matter if I only spent one week or five weeks on a costume. It's about enjoying the process and reveling in each step of the crafting. I learned to not stress too much, if I can't get a costume done for a con, as another one is usually right on it's heels. I have 2 costumes that I started, but have not finished, and maybe a few years ago, I would have beat myself up for not completing them in time for the year end. Now, I'm simply looking forward to the next time I get to sit down and get engrossed in making them.
2015 is already shaping to be another very busy year. I will be attending more cons, and making more costumes. But as it was important to me this year to visit new events in new regions, I will hopefully be able to get to know the cosplay scene in some places I've not been to before. I also hope to continue balancing traveling and making costumes. I'm itching to make something beautiful, something futuristic, and something dark and evil. My upcoming costume list will be reflecting all of these elements. I also want to finish my next original design, which has been in the works for a while now. Lastly, I need to choose some simple, comfortable costumes to make for frequent travels and convention wear. I have always been drawn to elaborate, complicated costumes, which end up being hard to transport and painful to wear. It's a vicious cycle!