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Unread Yesterday, 02:26 PM   #1
Zacora
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Ever feel like you don't measure up to the professionals?

Just wondering if I'm not alone in this. First time making a costume, and every step of the way I've gone "No, the pictures on the internet look better!" or getting upset that the shades don't match *exactly* and they're not the shades normally used by cosplayers. I just styled my Elsa wig, and now want to burn it because it's not 'exact'
Anybody else have this problem? How do you combat it? There's no cons around here that I could go to, so it's a more just for me thing, but it still feels like I'm putting a stupid amount of pressure to get it 'perfect' which is stupid since A) it's my first costume ever and B) costuming is about the freedom of creativity.
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Unread Yesterday, 02:51 PM   #2
kandell
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Just to clarify, there no such thing as a professional cosplayer. There are professional seamstresses, and there are cosplay models, but you should never compare yourself to them. ESPECIALLY if this is your first attempt at a cosplay.

The pics you're seeing on the internet are most likely of people who have been cosplaying or sewing for years. They also have the advantage of photoshop, so you really don't know if their cosplay is exactly how it looks in the pictures.

I look back at my first cosplay and I cringe. And then I look at the stuff I've recently made and I feel a hell of a lot better. Cosplay is a learning process and you should never let that make you feel inferior, just because you haven't reached the point that someone else is at right now :]

Hang in there <3 It can be really easy to judge your cosplay harshly, but just remember that this is a hobby and it's for fun, nothing more ^^
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Unread Yesterday, 03:00 PM   #3
lemuries
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Oh my goodness, practically every project I feel like this, and I have been doing this for decades. I would die happy if I ever PERFECTLY replicated my ideas onto the costume, but I know somewhere along the line I will lose the 100%. Budget is usually the big pothole, but sometimes it's skill, or execution, or lack of availability of materials, and very rarely, the fact that the laws of physics won't allow a detail to be rendered in a 3D world.

So I long ago had a good cry and a good rant and a good pout about the fact that I will most likely never render something perfectly. Maybe it sounds stupid, but I look back and went through the five stages of grief over the fact that my work would never be perfect.

Now I have a clock on the wall of my sewing room with the motto "Done is good, done is beautiful" to help me remember to move forward when I get tripped up with an imperfection. Not all imperfections are something other people (or the cameras) can perceive, so it doesn't HAVE to be perfect.

For example, although I've been costuming most of my life, this year I nervously attempted my first cosplay (a recreation of a low-level chocobokeep from FFXIV:ARR). I scorched the apron minutes before I was supposed to walk out the hotel room and show it off. My husband told me it wasn't super-noticeable, but I felt my whole con was over. I trusted him and walked out anyway. And a lot of people asked for my picture or screamed "chocobo!" as I passed them in crowds. And the FF/Kingdom Hearts people were super-welcoming and I don't think ANY of them noticed I'd "ruined" my costume. I certainly can't find it on any of the photos I've dug up of my costume. If I wear it next year, I'm going to make a new apron, but it didn't ruin my con, because (thanks to my husband) I didn't let it ruin my con.

Accept that stuff is going to happen, and you won't be perfect, and not-perfect is going to be totally worth it.

(I included the link of my cosplay and some reference pictures of the character).
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Unread Yesterday, 03:24 PM   #4
Eldi
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Yeah, every time I make something I'm surprised by how amateurish it looks... but I am an ameteur at this, and at least every piece I make is a tiny bit better than before. It helps to remember that getting a professional-like result (in any hobby) isn't just about knowing how to do it- it's tons of practice, and there's no shortcut for that. The people you're looking at didn't just wake up one day masters of sewing, and for as long as you keep at it you'll keep getting better. Don't expect your first (or second, or fifteenth) costume to be perfect, but focus on the skills you're building by making it and the fun you'll have wearing it. If you look around at a con, there are people of all skill levels cosplaying, and even people in the most sloppily stapled together costumes are having fun! That's what it's about
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Unread Yesterday, 03:27 PM   #5
JasonTerror
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No. Because that doesn't exist. Elitists use that term as a way to make you feel like shit. Thee are no professional cosplayers. There are only cosplayers that have been doing it longer, therefore they have a higher skill level. Every person on earth has the ability to do the same if they keep trying. These "professionals" weren't born with the ability to make this stuff. Or magically fit the ability to make it either. They practiced and learned.
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Unread Yesterday, 03:54 PM   #6
schmemy
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Ugh, yes, I feel like this all the time. It's an expensive habit to get into, because I usually just buy something new, rather than dealing with the "imperfect" thing that I already have. I'm trying really hard to break myself of this. With the Satsuki cosplay I'm finishing up, I did get to a point where, even if something's not perfect, I have to just deal with it and move onto the next piece, because I'm running out of time before the con. It's almost a relief to be able to say "good enough" for once, instead of fretting over perfection.
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Unread Yesterday, 04:39 PM   #7
Syon
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Sadly, yes. It happens in different situations. Sometimes this feeling catches me, when I'm stuck at some point or when my progress is slow. Seeing how others accomplish making a whole dress or armor set within a week is kind of frustrating. And sometimes I think nobody will ever care for what I'm doing anyway, when I think of taking a picture of a finished prop. And last but not least: The convention itself. When I'm in a room with more experianced cosplayers, I catched myself several times thinking that the others wouldn't want to talk with me any way, because I'm not in their league.
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Unread Yesterday, 04:55 PM   #8
CherriPetalz
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I used to be really really sad about this but then I realized that I am 17 and the people I admire are already out of college and have been doing this for 5+ years. I also realized that my sewing skills were pretty good for my age so I just needed to work harder to get better!

Sometimes when I feel really sad, I do get discouraged even though I know everyone I compare myself too are way older than I am.
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Unread Yesterday, 05:15 PM   #9
Zacora
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What do you all do to keep interested in the costume and not get depressed? I know it shouldn't bother me, but I'm super hard on myself. :P

Thanks for all the kind words everyone, I'll keep going and maybe remake it in the future if it doesn't turn out well. ^.^ (Although I do hate wigs)
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Unread Yesterday, 05:30 PM   #10
WondererBailey
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Basically all I do is think of every mistake as a learning experience. Yeah it's no fun to mess up on something or have something not turn out quite right. But as Thomas Edison once said, "I didn't fail 1,000 times. The light bulb was an invention with 1,000 steps." and "Great success is built on failure, frustration, even catastrophe."

...okay I had to look those up since I'd forgotten the quotes, but yeah....those... o3o)/
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Unread Yesterday, 05:51 PM   #11
schmemy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zacora View Post
What do you all do to keep interested in the costume and not get depressed? I know it shouldn't bother me, but I'm super hard on myself. :P

Thanks for all the kind words everyone, I'll keep going and maybe remake it in the future if it doesn't turn out well. ^.^ (Although I do hate wigs)
To be honest, the only thing keeping me going on Satsuki right now is the fact that my best friend is /counting/ on me to be the Satsuki to her Ryuko. If I don't like something, I generally stop before I spend more money on something that I'm not happy with. >__< I know this isn't the best idea most of the time, though. To get myself more pumped up for working on a costume I've gotten burnt out on, I like to rewatch the anime or look at fanart. Just something to remind me why I was excited in the first place.
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Unread Yesterday, 06:55 PM   #12
Elycium
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I used to feel this way a lot, especially looking at photos online of other cosplayers, until I realized just how much a lot of that is photoshop and not always how things look in real life. Also, finally accepting that, like others said, there's really no such thing as a "professional" cosplayer, just cosplayers who are more popular than others (and believe it or not, not all of those Big Name Cosplayers make their own costumes!).

Now I just struggle with perfectionism for completely different reasons XD;;. That being said, sometimes the best way to get over frustration or lack of enthusiasm is to take a break from working on said costume and doing something else for a little bit. And if you're still not feeling inspired, maybe re-watch / re-play the series/game you were planning to cosplay from.
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Unread Yesterday, 07:16 PM   #13
CapsuleCorp
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Not even touching the professional thing because everyone else is right.

How do you not be depressed that you're only a beginner? Stop putting yourself into situations that will bring you down. Don't spend hours lovingly gazing at the photos from photoshoots and sighing about how you'll never be there, distance yourself. Look at who you are, what you're doing, and what you're trying to accomplish. Focus on that, and making it the best you possibly can right now, instead of what other people have done or can do.

And, if you need help, don't be afraid to ask for it. Not sure if you're lining the thing properly? Afraid you might have missed something crucial on the costume by not looking close enough at it? Want a second opinion on a color choice? Ask. Most of us who float around the forums as much as we can are always open to giving advice so long as the answer isn't "google." A fresh pair of eyes or a constructive critique can really help.
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Unread Yesterday, 08:50 PM   #14
Eldi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zacora View Post
What do you all do to keep interested in the costume and not get depressed? I know it shouldn't bother me, but I'm super hard on myself. :P

Thanks for all the kind words everyone, I'll keep going and maybe remake it in the future if it doesn't turn out well. ^.^ (Although I do hate wigs)
If I'm getting bogged down doing one hard part of the costume, I'll switch to another smaller part where I can make noticeable progress and that lifts my spirit. (Sometimes that means starting a whole new costume, but that's kind of a bad habit)
I also get new motivation by re-watching the show/movie/etc. I'm cosplaying from.
Asking for help/advice on these forums has helped me immensely too, I've definitely stepped up my cosplay game because of it. So don't hesitate to post if there's a part you want help with!
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Unread Today, 01:35 PM   #15
bbetnar
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I consider myself as something of a perfectionist, so I have a pretty good idea where you are coming from. Even outside cosplay, I'm the kind of person who will do things over, and over, and over, and over again until I am satisfied with it.

In fact, I've started to work on Cosplay just recently as a hobby and I started to do a few things and decided my table was too small. So I went shopping. I was unsatisfied with a table. So I researched crafting benches online. That wasn't good enough either, so I stole several designs and decided to take pieces from each. Then I asked around for other people's opinions. Then I drafted my own 3D model in 1:1 scale. Then I crafted it myself. JUST to have a table I liked. Even now I think of ways that I could improve it every time I look at it.

With all of that in mind, I have three pieces of advice; First, do what you can and always accept it. You can learn from these events and improve in your own way at your own pace. And inevitably you will improve. Second, use other people's Cosplay as a guide for your own. Your Cosplay is your own. Anyone else's work is just a reference. Take pride in your work and use it as fuel for your hobby. Last, there is a point where you must give in and accept what you have done. Take the experience with you into the future and use it to fuel your ambitions.
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