Wow 2016 was quite a ride. The beginning of the year started out as any other but it quickly morphed. Here are the highlights:
- I attended to Anime Austin Launch Party as a Cosplay Guest
- I missed Anime Matsuri for the first time since the started because of their date change.
- In late May Anime Expo announced Aquors as guests and I bit the bullet less than 2 months before the con and decided to attend.
- In August I was contacted by A-kon and asked to run their Cosplay & J-fashion department.
- I attended San Japan in September as a Cosplay Judge.
- In October I was let go from my full time job of over 6 years completely without warning. (and found work again in late December)
2016 was the first year in a very very long time that I did not make a single costume with the intent of competing in it. 2016 was also the first year I pulled 2 Best in Show titles. Go figure? Competing is in no way what “makes” a cosplayer but it is something I’ve always used to measure my growth. For me personally its a way to challenge myself so to pull two major titles in costumes that I had originally just made for the sake of making them makes me feel really happy and displays how much I’ve managed to learn over the years. I’m very proud of these accomplishments.
As mentioned above I was also given the opportunity to Judge the cosplay contest at a convention I have personally always enjoyed participating in. It was a wonderful chance to participate on the other side, getting to see all of the costumes up close and personal and talking to everyone about how they made them was a true treat.
With that overview of the year lets get into it and see what I made:
The first project I picked up in 2017 was actually one I had started over 2 years prior. I was ready for it to be done so it would stop haunting me.
One of two costumes made for A-kon in 2016, Sakuya was the first Maid I have ever cosplayed. Simply put a tragedy it took this long to do it.
Eli was the second costume I made for A-kon in 2016. I worked with C.C. Cosplay and Alpacosplay closely to cosplay the subunit BiBi. I usually cosplay Umi when I’m Love Liveing but BiBi is best unit and so I was cast as Eli for this trio. This costume involved custom printed fabric, fabric painting, aplique, embroidery and patterning the dumbest bodice EVER.
What do you do when 2 months before a con half way across the country announces 6 of the 9 members of Aqours as guests? You buy a plane ticket to LA and make a costume in two and a half weeks. I joined a group of 6 other ladies to cosplay from Love Live Sunshine at AX to celebrate Aqours and we picked Kimi no Kokoro because it was basically the only costume they had out at the time. I was not really a fan of this until I made it, but now it’s one of my favorite projects from 2016!
Pokemon Go Trainer
I wanted a costume I could really work in while I was judging at San Japan. Since the first pre-judging block started at 10am (kudos to all the contestants that were up and in full competition costume for it, you the real MVP) there was massive appeal in a costume choice that did not require a wig and involved tennis shoes. I get the feeling I will wear this costume A LOT on Sunday’s at cons.
Rin was a costume I settled on because I wanted a creative outlet while I was looking for work. The first two months after I was let go I didn’t feel like doing much of anything, but I finally started feeling like sewing again in mid December. Since I was on a tight budget I picked this project because I owned 95% of what was needed to make it. All of the fabric, wig and a lot of the notions/accessories were already in my stash. I ended up spending around $30 total.
Reflecting back on my 2016 goals I didn’t really cut back on the number of conventions I attended. I think I managed to go to one more in 2015 than I did in 2016. OOPS. I also did not cut back on the number of costumes I made in 2016. This was the second year I managed to pump out more than 4 costumes, totaling in at 7 new costumes for 2016. Not as many as 2015 but still more than my average. I did not preform a skit at A-kon, or anything at A-kon for that matter. Timing wasn’t on our side. I also failed on the photoshoot front. The one goal I do feel successful on was launching KiraKiraCat and expanding my blog. I definitely want to continue to refine and develop my voice here.
What are my 2017 goals? It’s hard for me to say. As my foundation was shaken late in the year I feel very much in a state of flux and it’s hard to pin down what I want to do for my hobby when I’m trying to find what I’m doing in my career. I do feel right now in the immediate that I want to try to find a project that will offer a new set of challenges, something that departs from my typical aesthetic of magical girls and idols. I also want to work very hard to put together a solid department for A-kon. I have this opportunity to really reach a large portion of the community in this area by working with them and I very humbled at that.