Category "Competitions"

EGX & European Cosplay Gathering!

EGX was at Birmingham NEC between 22nd-25th September, which is also where the UK Preliminaries for European Cosplay Gathering (“ECG”) were held. Across the Saturday and Sunday I hosted two talks; one on Commissions & Commissioners and one on Competitive Cosplay, which were both very nicely received by the audience, and hopefully useful!

My main reason for attending however was for Sunday, where I took part in the preliminaries for ECG – and while it still doesn’t feel totally real.. I qualified as the UK Solo representative for ECG Season 7!

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Photo by LP Cosplay Photography

It’s taking a while to sink in but the excitement is huge: I get to go to Japan Expo next July and take part in ECG, on the huge amazing stage!! I’ve seen ECG live twice before, and the atmosphere is so alive; I honestly can’t wait to be part of it!

For the competition, the standard this year was incredible. Of what I’ve seen there has never been as good a standard in any competition as there was at EGX; the majority of entries were solo, and I was awestruck backstage looking at everyone’s costumes (and a little nervous, so apologies if I didn’t say much!). They were costumes people had clearly spent months working on, with thought-out performances, where they’d really put their all into it. I really hope they continue to work and enter next year, too!

egx-stage

Photo by Pikawha

The costume I entered with was Shallotte Elminus from Atelier Shallie: Alchemists of the Dusk Sea, a costume I’d been working on over time since November 2015. I added a lot of improvements, which you can read about in both of the Costume Roundup entries for Shallie: Part One, Part Two!

The costume may look simple, but there are a lot of hidden details and as described in the entries above, pretty much everything besides the wig and base shoes was made from scratch. So while it might look simple, it’s far from it. It’s not the most difficult thing I’ve ever made but I dedicated a lot of time to it to get it exact.

I also made the broom which was an adventure in itself, and for my performance I made all of my stage props – the main one being the tripod and cauldron you can see above. The cauldron is a hanging basket that had a lot of customising, the tripod was made from waste pipes and fittings, and the fire at the bottom was made from boxes, tissue paper, LEDs and wood. I also made a second book which had props hidden inside.

Admittedly the performance was quite simple too, but making a solo performance for an Atelier character is a challenge in itself – I wanted to make a performance that would be enjoyable for anyone, rather than just people who have played the game. A lot of previous Atelier skits have the same formula; no dialogue, a nice instrumental track, cute hidden tricks, not much happens – and while this is nice, it’s not really my style, so I tried to mix it up a little.

I tried to record the voice for the performance myself, but it was kind of terrible. Thankfully, my wonderful friend Rachel who had previously helped with performances stepped in and gave it the little boost it needed. I also incorporated a little bit of audience participation as I like to, and it was really fun to act out on stage!

So far there isn’t a video of the performance yet, but if one is uploaded I’ll share it right away!

egx-winners

Photo by Hildaglitz Cosplay

The group winners are two wonderful girls, Captain Amelia Cosplay and Helen Alice Cosplay, who qualified in gorgeous Sakizou Alice in Wonderland costumes. I can’t wait to be part of ECG with them, and get to see what they pull out for the finals!

The solo runner up was Amazonian Cosplay (sadly not pictured above), who had an absolutely breathtaking Assassin’s Creed costume. Seriously, the level of detail was amazing! The group runner ups were the Frozen duo above, Dewnor Cosplay and KyoKyo Cosplay, who were also wonderful and lovely company backstage, too. I’m hoping to see all of them back at it next year!

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Photo by Katapon Photo

Now for some mushier stuff – it took a lot to actually get me here. I wrote on this blog at least once before about planning to enter in 2015 – and ended up giving up around 3 weeks before the competition. I also planned to enter in 2014, a group entry which fell through the morning of the competition – so while this costume is new, it’s taken me 3 years and 2 failed attempts to actually make it this far.

It’s really overwhelming that it’s actually happened, because I never expected to make it this far. I originally entered World Cosplay Summit in 2013 on a whim with Yuka, and ever since that finished I always wanted to try ECG but things just never went right. Now that it’s actually happening it’s kind of surreal. In that time I entered the Tales of Ambassador competition two years running and never quite made it, and more recently I entered Clara Cow’s Cosplay Cup for fun, but ECG is what I’d been aiming for the longest.

A lot of it comes down to confidence, which I seem to have serious ups and downs with – even with Shallie I was close to dropping out of the competition for around a month. So much of my planning went wrong; it took me 3 failed attempts and 2 weeks to make my set, the audio was never good enough, and when I arrived for EGX some parts of my costume had broken in transit so I was really at the end of my tether before the day came. If something could have gone wrong it had, and it’s only through the support of friends I actually entered. Every time a little voice told me something wasn’t good enough, someone else would tell me “go for it”, and I’m glad it pushed me to actually enter!

Now I have the fun task of planning for the finals; I’ve been going between 3 different ideas, and it’s tough to decide on what would be best overall. I really want to make something ambitious, but also something that is enjoyable to work on, will work well on a stage, has good performance potential.. and enjoyable for people to follow, too. Thankfully I don’t have to decide just yet since there is time, but the sooner I can start, the better!

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Costume Roundup: Sumomo

It’s that time again! And this time, it’s a big one! Following my time at AnimeCon a few people have asked how I went about making my Sumomo costume from Chobits so I’m here to explain just that!

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Photo by KJC Photography

Sumomo was my costume for Clara Cow’s Cosplay Cup with PopcornKuma as Chii. First and foremost, we wanted to make costumes we’d enjoy bringing to life and of all the ideas we came up with, this was the one we kept going back to and liked the most. I’ve always been a fan of Chobits; way back in the day (around 2001-2002, when the anime was first announced), the wonderful art style and iconic characters were a big influence to me, so getting to cosplay from it at long last was a big plus for me!

Continue reading…

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AnimeCon 2016!

AnimeCon was last weekend and damn – what an adventure! This year I got to attend as a guest as part of Clara Cow’s Cosplay Cup with PopcornKuma where we represented the UK. Our costumes were Chii and Sumomo from Chobits!

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Photo by The Sushi Times

The weekend was crammed with events so I’ve split this day-by-day; if you’d like to learn more about the competition and experience, please read on!

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AnimeCon – This Weekend!

Time is ticking away and after months of excitement AnimeCon is finally this weekend! Truth be told I’m terrified – it dawned on me about 2 weeks ago and I haven’t been able to stay calm since. But the good news is, all of my costumes are pretty much done (well – I’m currently procrastinating with this post from working on the last piece for Sakura & Tomoyo, some little foam wings)!

I’ve been a bit dry on progress on the blog, so here’s some unfinished shots of my new costumes for AnimeCon!

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I’m pretty happy with how all of them have turned out – annoyingly enough the Nurse Sakura costume actually gave me the most trouble of the lot, and Sumomo.. well, I’ll share my thoughts about her after the event!

I still have lots of performance practice to go for Sumomo so I’m a bit nervous, but I’m also super excited to go and see the event and meet everyone! It’s going to be ace!

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Preparing for AnimeCon!

So it’s been a quiet month – nothing too exciting happening, but lots of progress behind the scenes. I’m currently preparing for AnimeCon where I’ll be performing in Clara Cow’s Cosplay Cup in June, so there’s a lot to do! It’s all very exciting and my flights are now booked, so the hype (and panic) is starting to set in!

So what will I be taking to AnimeCon?

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Top left->lower right
🌟 Sakura/Tomoyo – Cardcaptor Sakura, with PopcornKuma
🌟 Sumomo – Chobits, with PopcornKuma for Clara Cow’s Cosplay Cup!
🌟 Sakura “Platina” – Cardcaptor Sakura, with PopcornKuma as Sakura “Catch You Catch Me”
🌟 Shallotte – Atelier Shallie, with Lex Cosplay as Shallistera
🌟 Leon “School” – Tales of Destiny (something simple and casual for parties!)

Since AnimeCon is a full-time convention and runs from morning to night, I’m taking a couple of extra costumes to get changed into if I want to – usually at UK conventions I take around 2 per day, so this is actually less than usual for me. I’m also taking Shallie to shoot with Lex (at long last!) and Leon as my obligatory “Tales” costume for the weekend.

Most of these have a lot of work to go aside from “Platina” Sakura – which is kind of nerve-wracking, since there’s not much time left now! Truth be told I’ve been struggling with Sumomo – despite her being such a simple costume, every possible thing that can go wrong has gone wrong, so it’s been hard to get motivation to keep at her 24/7. In the meantime I’ve been fixing up Shallotte and working on Leon here and there. I’ve been packing my case as I go too, and so far all of my make-up and toiletries are sorted (with a hefty 7 eyeliners.. I’m not even sure how that happened, but at least I’m ready for it now)!

AnimeCon is likely to be my only “big convention” this year, aside from EGX which I hope to attend if they host ECG qualifiers. I have some big plans for ECG too, but I won’t be saying too much about that until it actually comes around. Here’s hoping everything works out in good time for a great weekend!

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