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Unread 03-08-2014, 05:58 AM   #1
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Questions about Journeyman Class

I won novice on my first attempt. This surprised me because there were a lot of good people in novice. So good that the only reason I won first in novice is because two other people got bumped up to win a higher class and the best in show. I took the advice of a panelist at the first "cosplay 101" panel I ever went to and went OCD crazy on my seams. Nothing was left unfinished, everything was double rolled, finished edges, fully functional clothing except the tie because I did not make it ungodly long enough to be loosened to just the perfect amount. (My Junko in Costumes) They thought I had bought my hairclips and buttons from a replication store until I told them I only bought the boots and iceskater tights (it was a cold weekend) I'm guessing that had something to do with my unexpected win.
Now the people from my hometown con expect me to compete in their Journeyman class in a little more than three months.
I have a really cute idea that I kinda adore, but the costumes are rather simple. Could I do a wig awesome enough to justify competing at that level?
I guess I have to let you in on the secret to get feedback. Since I have a male model that says he doesn't care if I put him in a cosplay as long as its not a skirt and he's just a bit bigger than me, I wanted to do both male and female Ranmas.http://stuffershack.com/wp-content/u.../04/Ranma1.jpg Talk about simple clothes.
Should I abandon this as a competition piece and just keep it as a cute side project?
What have you learned about competing past novice? Have you won journeyman with a cosplay, which one, can I see? What are some awesome one-step-above novice costumes you've seen? Any advice? OH, and do you normally keep which cosplay you are competing with a secret? Do you tell the world?
I thought I'd be at novice for awhile so it was a surprise and I didn't really have another trick up my sleeve. (By trick I mean inspiration)
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Unread 03-08-2014, 09:26 AM   #2
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Simple costumes have won masquerades before, be it on stage or through workmanship- judges will usually like to see, and award, a fantastically done simple cosplay before a barely-managed elaborate one.
I don't keep my own costumes a secret, because I can't keep surprises at all and if I don't stay at a hotel for the convention, will need to spend all the day wearing it. It does take away the surprise factor on stage if you care about it, but the judging is supposed to be unbiased to other convention happenings.
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Unread 03-08-2014, 09:40 AM   #3
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It doesn't matter how simple the cosplay is. What does matter, is how the costume is made/what techniques you use~ and how well you use them. Believe me~ I have seen simpler than this costume, win best in show.
I think my best advice would be to look into how traditional Chinese clothing was mad back in the day. I can't tell you how many Assassin's creed cosplays placed, because they did their research on the time period of the series.
As for keeping your cosplays secret~ Take pictures, but don't show them (for the judging, if you do that.) I post all my pictures on this site, cause none of my friends have accounts/ever visit. I also don't say if this costume is meant for a contest. But I guess you need to find out what works best for you :3
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Unread 03-08-2014, 06:34 PM   #4
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The reason that the class system is used in competition is to "protect" your less experienced costumers from having to compete against much more experienced costumers. It doesn't have a lot to do with the expectation for the complexity of the costume. Your long-time journeyman and masters sometimes do have more complex costumes, but that is often due to the fact that they simply have had more time to perfect their craft, and more time to have gained new skills. But even your professionals sometimes compete with simple costumes - and yes, they do win awards. It is more about execution than complexity.

Journeyman class tends to have the widest range in skill level because you have people who just "graduated" from novice class to people who are just waiting on one more win to be classified as master. When I am a judge, I expect a journeyman to have done things such as finishing seams, using a wig, using a few more advanced techniques (in other words, not hot gluing seams together), etc, etc. I don't expect you to have dyed your own fabric, spun your own thread, or anything crazy like that. BUT if you do these things, POINT THEM OUT TO ME!

As for your idea in using the Ranmas - of course this could be a journeyman level costume. You will have to do some wig styling, and perhaps some creative thinking with the bracers. Make sure your lines are clean and you do everything to the best of your ability, and you'll be fine.

A friendly word of advice: remember that, at the end of the day, it's kind of a crapshoot as to who wins awards. You never know who will show up, what the judges will like, or what they will be unimpressed with. Do your best, and be proud of your work, no matter what the results of the competition are.

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Unread 03-08-2014, 08:16 PM   #5
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To springboard off Ayekasong's advice (very good advice), the size of the con often does have a bearing on who else might be in your skill division and what you're up against. A small, local con might not have a broad journeyman class, and a well-made, precise, yet simple costume has a better chance. It is tough to say, because I've seen just about everything happen that could possibly happen. Sounds like you were a "scary novice" (performing above-average for a novice) and now have the freedom to stretch out and relax in journeyman and take your time learning and honing your skills to advance.

Even if it's a simple costume, if you really want to do it and have a great performance in mind, do it just for fun. It'll give you more practice, and it will allow you to sort of feel out that con and the potential competition, so you'll know after all is said and done what tends to go over well with the judges and the audience.

My own journeyman experiences wouldn't be helpful for you. I won with extremely complicated costumes (a can-can dress from Moulin Rouge and the Magician of Black Chaos from Yu-Gi-Oh) and on my third try went straight to Best in Show. But I always attacked my complicated costumes with the intention of excelling at them, doing them not because they were detailed but because I wanted them so badly, and wanted them to be awesome. I do what I do for the challenge, but not all masquerade pieces have to be done for that reason. Doing them for fun is a great reason, too.
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