2014 in review (AKA the year of Kill la Kill)

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photographer credits (left to right): Viciouswargoose, Khiorii, Lemon-ikon Photography, JW Cosplay Photography, gamerevx, OscarC Photography,Logically Sound Creative Works, Sakura Mikage, JouninK Cosplay, Tarasque Productions, JW Cosplay Photography, ModelMosa, and myself for the last two, obviously.

cons attended:

  • TaiyouCon (1 day)
  • Anime Los Angeles
  • Katsucon (2 days due to weather)
  • Fanime (3 days due to work)
  • Phoenix Comicon (1 day)
  • Anime Expo (3 days due to work)
  • SabotenCon
  • Comic and Media Expo
  • Phoenix Comicon Fanfest (literally for three hours)

the above collage does not include:
– 4 completed costumes without photos (all of which are from Kill la Kill… making 7 KLK costumes total)
– 2 incomplete props (scissor blade and Lulu staff)
– 1 updated prop (Riven’s carrot sword)
– 1 costume almost done being fixed up
– 1 costume almost done being remade (that will probably just get remade again if I ever get back to it)
– and another 11 costumes in various stages of completion.

Anti-Ai Chan as the Winter Soldier, Poison Skye as Natasha Romanov, and myself as Captain America. Photographed by OscarC at Fanime 2014.
Anti-Ai Chan as the Winter Soldier, Poison Skye as Natasha Romanov, and myself as Captain America. Photographed by OscarC at Fanime 2014.

Every year I’m always a little disappointed in what I’ve made, I always want to push myself further and I often find I fall back into the same rut. This year is a little tougher because I made the two costumes I’m most proud of (Satsuki and Captain America) in the first half of the year… which I guess is part of the reason I’ve felt down about myself and my work lately. I will give myself props for trying out new skills that will set me up for better things – working with thermoplastics (Sintra, Worbla, and styrene), doing more small prop work, making my first superhero suit (and doing my best to make it screen accurate), learning to use my vinyl cutter, and (during the very last days of the year) acquainting myself with my new serger. I’ve also set some very clear (and attainable) goals for myself so hopefully this time next year, I’ll feel more accomplished. (I may discuss these in an upcoming post, if I don’t forget about it haha)

Our Love Live group at ALA 2014. Top row: Tristen Citrine, NyuNyu, Barracuda. Middle row: Michi, me, Daydreamernessa. Bottom row: MewMewRith, Sparkle Pipsi, Maryssaraptor. Photographed by Darkain Multimedia.
Our Love Live group at ALA 2014. Top row: Tristen Citrine, NyuNyu, Barracuda. Middle row: Michi, me, Daydreamernessa. Bottom row: MewMewRith, Sparkle Pipsi, Maryssaraptor. Photographed by Darkain Multimedia.

This year I cosplayed with friends more than I ever have in the past – Love Lives with a full group at ALA, reuniting with most of those same girls at AX, Kill la Kill at Katsucon with Barracuda and Bishoujo Senshi, Winter Soldier shenanigans with Anti-Ai Chan and Poison Skye. A couple years ago I swore off cosplaying with other people, but every group experience I’ve had since then has been generally positive, so THANK YOU to all of them for showing me that magical sort of friendship that happens when you all dress up as the same weird thing.

Bishoujo Senshi as Ryuko Matoi and myself as Satsuki Kiryuin. Photographed by Eurobeat Kasumi at Katsucon 2014.
Bishoujo Senshi as Ryuko Matoi and myself as Satsuki Kiryuin. Photographed by Eurobeat Kasumi at Katsucon 2014.

I also did more location shoots than before and met many new photographers. I admit I’ve become bitter and cynical about the cosplay photographer scene – on the east coast it’s common to pay out the ass for at-con shoots, and on the west coast it seems like you have to already be best friends with a photographer before they’ll work with you, and even then that’s if you run into them at the con… It honestly frustrated me for most of the year. And it still does, but I’m going to do my best to care about that less. I met and worked with more new photographers this year than any other, and while there are others I’d love to work with… I may never get their attention. And that’s not entirely on me. So next year I’ll keep my head down and be grateful for those who continue to work with me, and do my best to improve alongside them.

Another goal I had was to try and be a more helpful cosplayer. I posted regular progress updates on Tumblr with tips and small tutorials and people actually reblogged them and seemed to find them useful!! I also started this blog for posts I felt deserved a more permanent home – while having two blogs may seem excessive, I feel Tumblr is better for tutorials and daily (or near-daily) posts and WordPress was better for reviews and bigger posts like this, things that needed a more permanent home.

I also was interviewed (as a cosplayer) for the first time this year, and was interviewed four times in total! I also got to judge my first costume contests thanks to Endgame (the raddest video game bar in Arizona) and Glitchslap Reviews, I realized my dream of being on the Crunchyroll stage, and though I didn’t get to meet any of the Kill la Kill guests at AX, one of them (Sushio, the character designer!) put me on his Twitter. It’s nice to have my work recognized in these small ways.

On the Crunchyroll stage for the Kill la Kill costume contest at Anime Expo 2014.
On the Crunchyroll stage for the Kill la Kill costume contest at Anime Expo 2014.
It says something like "Ryuko is embarrassed by Aikuro." So yeah he specifically took this picture of me at the Kill la Kill gathering at Anime Expo 2014. AX was rough for me (as it always seems to be...) so coming home to find this was AMAZING.
It says something like “Ryuko is embarrassed by Aikuro.” So yeah he specifically took this picture of me at the Kill la Kill gathering at Anime Expo 2014. AX was rough for me (as it always seems to be…) so coming home to find this was AMAZING.

I also selfied with Riddle and Alodia said I was like a real idol. Many senpais noticed me this year.

It was so awesome to have Riddle in Arizona for the first time at Comic and Media Expo 2024.
It was so awesome to have Riddle in Arizona for the first time at Comic and Media Expo 2024.
Getting my judge's award from Chris Tang, Living Ichigo, Giada Robin, and Alodia Gosiengfiao at SabotenCon 2014. Photo by Aleyna.
Getting my judge’s award from Chris Tang, Living Ichigo, Giada Robin, and Alodia Gosiengfiao at SabotenCon 2014. Photo by Aleyna.

This year did have some pretty great memories and my experience as a cosplayer generally improves from year to year. With ALA in just a few days I’m excited to see what’s up next.

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