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Unread 08-10-2015, 11:51 AM   #1
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Very discouraged about cosplay?

Hey guys!
First off I'd just like to say hello, this is my first day on this site. (:

I've been onto cosplaying for a year or so, but this is my first time creating my own costume. I'm making Dark Zelda for comicon and I'm running into a few personal issues that I need help resolving.
First off I feel like the cosplay isn't turning out the way I want it to at all. I feel that it looks nothing like the character that it is portrayed to be, and I feel like I look uterrly stupid in the WIP as of now. Ive been working so hard but I feel like it all went to waste because its not half as good as I expected.
Another thing is I am not a very confident person and I feel that I won't be in my cosplays. My friends have told me they have GAINED confidence, where I feel as if I will loose it. Is there anyone out there who feels the same? Can I have a few words of advice?
Thank you-- I'm sorry this is a short post and whatnot, I'm using my phone and its uterrly laggy!
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Unread 08-10-2015, 01:00 PM   #2
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The crafting process can be a long and painful process, especially depending on your skill level vs. the skill level required to make the cosplay.

Hang in there. The best advice I can give you is to take your time, be patient, practice on scrap material before using the good stuff, and understand that messing up is okay.

The confidence usually comes once you put on the finished cosplay. I can't count how many pieces I've made and stared at thinking they look dumb, but then once it's all put together, I'm super proud of the costume.
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Unread 08-10-2015, 02:47 PM   #3
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I'd like to explore the issue that the costume is veering off your expectations.

How detailed was your construction plan? How realistic was the rendering of the original character? How closely does your body silhouette resemble Dark Zelda's?

And please understand, everyone looks stupid in WIP's. I will out myself here for your benefit. Here is a collage of steps in me making a video game helmet. helmet process.jpgLook at the picture in the upper right corner. I look like my head's being eaten by a beige jelly bean.

Now I made this collage to help show you what my process looked like. I number the pics left to right, top to bottom.

Pic 1: is one of MANY reference pictures I took of the costume I wanted to recreate.

Pic 2: is a wireframe overlay, attempting to determine if the character has a realistic physiology under the helmet. Answer: no -- the jaw is too high, the ear is too small, the head is too short from front to back.
At this point, I already know I'm going to lose accuracy when rendering this on MY body. Since perfection is hopeless, it's time to see how close I can get. I start building paperboard helmet frames.

Pic 3: I started with a headband, and then built forward for the "beak". By this point, I've taken many pictures of myself in this thing, and compared them to the silhouette of the helmet. I've already made several adjustments, because the original "beak"s have been way too short. At this point, I notice how heavily the bottom of the front is resting on my lower face. Problem -- it's too front-heavy, and I'll have to counterweight the back. Except I didn't leave room in the back for weights. I'll have to build it out a bit.

Pic 4: Here's a triple overlay: the game screenshot, my head in my WIP, and the wireframe of where parts of my face are supposed to sit on this thing. In addition to accepting that my helmet is again TOO short front to back, I discover I'm going to have real problems seeing anything out of the eyeholes. I originally cut the eyeholes where they sit on the character; they are too high. I patch over them and bring them lower, so I at least have side/peripheral vision. Hence two black ovoids in the picture.

Pic 5: Here's a better look at my eyehole problem. The original eyehole is up above, but the lower one is the only way I'm going to be able to see (people in front of me, the camera, stairs, etc). I have to sacrifice accuracy or I will have to take it off to go anywhere, and at that point, why did I build eyeholes into it anyway?

Pic 6: the finished helmet. Unfortunately, I don't have a full side-shot picture of the helmet; this 3/4 view was the only way I could see to aim the helmet at anyone to get the detail in the shot.

The process of going from a 2d drawing of a person to a 3d costume for a person is almost always filled with these sacrifices, compromises, and frustrations. The more prep-work you do before you start, the more obstacles you can avoid before they come up.

I would like to know if I can help you with the frustration you're feeling at this point. I'd like to see if I can make suggestions for how to make your costume get closer to the character you want to resemble. In order to do that, I need more details about what you want to do, what prep-work you've done, what the problem looks like, and what you've already tried. Links and pictures and measurements will help a lot.

I gain confidence when I know my accuracy is high. The chocobokeep costume isn't/wasn't perfect, but it was good enough that the AWESOME people at the FFXIV photoshoot made me feel like I was the coolest thing there. The closer to accurate we can make your Dark Zelda, the more I think you'll find the confidence you're seeking.

How's that sound?

Last edited by lemuries : 08-11-2015 at 01:25 PM.
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Unread 08-11-2015, 12:35 AM   #4
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First things first, its ok to make mistakes, it's totally normal! I'm making my very first cosplay as well, who is Zant, and I can't tell you how many times I wanted to quit! I have been working on his mask for about two weeks now, and it took awhile before I felt ok with it. I still can go back and fix somethings, but cosplays do take time, along with trial and error. WIP pictures are very helpful as well!! It helps me spot and fix mistakes that I don't normally spot by seeing in person. If cosplays were easy to make, I think a lot of people would make them instead of buying them (not that I have a problem at all for people who buy!!), so be proud that you are making yours! I think its just a phase we all go through and it will be worth it in the end when its finally finished and you can show it off!! D Here is a before and after of my mask I worked forever on lol Its ok to laugh at the before picture, I still do xD
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Unread 08-11-2015, 11:29 AM   #5
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Don't be afraid to take a break, some times the longer you have been looking at things the worse they become. Go out, watch some TV or play a game then come back. I have had to learn there comes a point that you need to stop set it down and come back later. Saves more tears and a possible ruined piece.

Also it is not a bad thing to go back and re do some thing. For example I made a top for a costume and I got it all done put it on and realized I hadn't put an extra pleat in it and I had some funky side boob issues.... needless to say there was some frustration and then I found the seam ripper and fixed it. I am MUCH happier with it now, because I know I saw my original mistake and could correct it.

Also don't stop taking WIP pictures. They are the best part no matter how stupid you look. I use mine to remember how lings go together or check if things are working out right. Nothing like finding out AFTER you finish some thing that is it to sheer/short or photographs funky. That and when you are done you can look back and say I did it.

As far as confidence, it can be a struggle I had to have a friend physically DRAG me to an even once because I was so shy that my outfit wasn't good enough. And after a few hours with no one telling me off or making fun of me I settled in and things got better and the next event I didn't feel as shy about it in fact I made a whole new dress. I realized that most people are not there to rip apart what you made and make fun of you, most folks just wanna chat have fun and take photos. And if you do come across some one who rips your costume apart, ignore them walk away because it isn't worth it.

And remember you chose that costume for a reason too, find that reason write it down and post it up You where confidant enough to pick the project up so don't let your self put it down.
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Unread 08-12-2015, 03:19 PM   #6
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All of those fears are being created by expectations you have that arenít real. F.E.A.R. = false expectations appearing real.

You have all the power in this situation. You donít have to leave your house in your costume until you are happy with it and if you feel itís not coming out the way you want, then you can come up with alternate plans or ask for help.

I was trying to do everything myself and wound up having a sewing machine eat part of my costume. It took me 30 minutes just to rip off all the seams without destroying it. I was feeling pretty demoralized that I screwed up something I thought should be easy. Someone else offered to help and she got it on the first try and I think it looks amazing. Then I went and butchered another part. But I set it aside and focused on building the accessories, which I know Iím good at, and having success in that area gave me the motivation to go back to trying the other parts that I messed up.

I need to like how my costume looks. What other people think at a convention is irrelevant. If you have a core group of people supporting your endeavor, who are giving you honest and constructive feedback, you can trust that they will tell you when something looks good and when it doesnít. Then you can make a decision for yourself to either run with it or go back to the drawing board and research alternate methods.

For me, confidence comes from trusting your own judgement, doing your homework, and knowing you did the best you could with your resources. If someone criticizes you for that at a convention, it really doesnít matter because youíll probably never see them again.

This should be about making yourself happy and doing your best to build a costume you feel comfortable in. Place what you think of it as a priority above others and that will help you exude confidence.
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Unread 08-13-2015, 12:26 AM   #7
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I totally feel you. I also just started this year and have only been to one big con on sunday I decided to cosplay my Teen Loki from the Age of Ultron premier......ughhh. don't get me wrong the costume itself turned out pretty good for one of my first but... I did not look good in it at all, mainly because I decided to use my own hair, just color sprayed black plus my eyebrows were WAY overdone. my friend got this really bad picture of me posing and frequently (jokingly) uses it to "blackmail" me, it's also my caller ID picture on her phone -_-

But hey we all start from somewhere and there will be costumes or things we regret, but those are just necessary events that help us get better doing what we love
Cosplays I'm working on now:
Fem! Bill Cipher Gijinka
Cheshire Grell Sutcliffe
Patrick Stump (YBC)

Future Cosplays:
Touka Kirishima
Neko Nakki
Fem! Gambit
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Unread 08-14-2015, 09:42 PM   #8
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I'm a really shy person myself, but cosplay really helped me become more communicative with fellow fans! I can't offer much help about how to make your cosplay, but please take your time and don't procrastinate! I know that all of your time and effort will be worth it! You will really enjoy people asking to take pictures with you or when compliment you on your cosplay! Like guardianterra said, always take WIP pictures!
Planned Cosplay:
Female Ranma Saotome (Ranma 1/2)
NYCC 2015
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Unread 08-16-2015, 12:18 PM   #9
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You know, I'm working on a cosplay right now, and there have been a couple of times where I've gotten really discouraged because I thought that it wouldn't turn out the way I wanted it at all. I honestly felt like giving up a few times... But then it somehow all clicked into place and is starting to look, well, right!
I think that more often than not, that's the way it works. It looks weird for a while and then it all comes together. And if it doesn't? If there's that weird part that you don't like? That happens too, and is a great opportunity to learn how to fix or hide it! And be easy on yourself. If it's the first one you're making yourself, it probably won't be perfect, but you should be proud of it no matter what.

I know I'm generally much more confident when I'm in my cosplay. It helps to remember that the people around you at cons have a lot in common with you, so there's less to worry about. And then it helped me get used to talking to people in the real world, making conversation and stuff.
Completed Cosplay:
Vogelein the Clockwork Faerie
Formalwear Wheatley & Chell
Kiki - Kiki's Delivery Service

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Unread 08-17-2015, 10:40 AM   #10
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I'm still a beginner but something that helped me is taking small breaks or working on smaller projects. For example I bit off more than I could chew with my first cosplay (Archer from FSN) and I got really frustrated when I couldn't pull it off at all. And frustration only leads to more mistakes and less motivation so I put it aside and started working on a simpler design, just Brock from Pokemon. It's a short project that can be done in under a few weeks even by a beginner like myself, so it gives me time to build up my confidence and motivation and time to breathe and I can debut it at a small event as practice before I go to a large con in cosplay for the first time. So if you're really stressing, I suggest a "breather project" just to get your mind focused and productive.
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Unread 08-18-2015, 11:56 AM   #11
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I can't stress this enough the importance of "walking away". Sometimes it is better (even in a panic-time-crunch) to slow down, take a breather and just relax away from the project you're working on.

If you're stressed, you might just get too worked up and say "F*&K IT" which you will regret later. Or you'll make mistakes and give up altogether.
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