2016 Year in Review

This year was a lot more laid back in general, and yet, I still did a lot more than I had expected! There were a lot of costumes I planned that didn’t happen, and some of those plans just flat out fell apart, but also a lot of stuff that wasn’t even on my radar initially ended up happening. I guess I’ll just start from the beginning and work my way through the year!

NewCon PDX

Costumes Worn:

Madam Red (Kuroshitsuji)

I spent maybe half a day at this con, and primarily went to meet up with Rynn (who was visiting from out of town). I did end up wearing my Madam Red costume, which I had finally finished/fixed up from KumoriCon. I got a few lovely pictures of her, and that was the extent of the con.


Costumes Worn:

Luna (Sailor Moon - NEW)

Suiseiseki (Rozen Maiden)

Madam Red (Kuroshitsuji)

90% of the plans I made for this con completely fell apart leading up to April. I ended up getting in the three shoots I had planned, then spending the rest of the con toting around my camera and taking pictures for my friends. I discovered I actually like taking photos, and hope to do more of it in the future.

WesterCon 69

Costumes Worn:

Lady Amalthea (The Last Unicorn - NEW)

I went to WesterCon for one day at the suggestion of a friend, and entered the cosplay contest for giggles. This was my first time attending a Fantasy/Sci Fi con, and the experience was so different from what I was used to! Lady Amalthea was a bit of an impulse costume thanks to fabric sales and scraps, and cheap wigs. I used her as an excuse to refine my skills on a simple costume, and ended up taking home a judges award in the cosplay contest -- my first solo award!

San Japan

Costumes Worn:

Misty (Pokemon HeartGold/SoulSilver)

Velvet of Valentine (Odin Sphere - NEW)

This was my Big Con I’d had planned for the year, and it ended up being more laid back than I expected. I had spent 2 months working on my Garnet costume with the intent of entering her in the cosplay contest, but when I hit a major road block, I knew I had to abandon her for the time being. Instead, I pulled together Velvet in just under a month, and entered her instead. Much to my surprise, I walked away with Best in Master Class! I also re-wore Misty and got a few pool photos, and spent some time taking pictures for my friends. Overall, I had a really good time at this con, and it cost me less than I was anticipating!


Costumes Worn:

Nana Osaki (NANA - NEW)

Lady Amalthea (The Last Unicorn)

I was invited back to judge the KumoriCon cosplay this year, so that took up the majority of my convention time. I had been slowly assembling my Nana Osaki costume for the better part of the year, and finally debuted her for prejudging day. I had about 3 people recognize me, which is more than I was expecting! I wore Amalthea on Saturday to judge the skits portion of the competition. I had been planning to make Kairi from Kingdom Hearts II, but ran out of time. As always, I really enjoyed my time at KumoriCon. :)

Holiday Matsuri

Costumes Worn:

Forest Girl (Yuri Kuma Arashi - NEW)

This convention was the biggest surprise. Rynn and I traveled to Florida with the ladies of Green Jello cosplay, to compete for the International Prizes they had available! Our entire convention was focused on preparing for the contest, so we only brought our competition costumes. In the end we were invited to be Team USA for CICAF (China International Cartoon and Animation Festival) in Hangzou, China this coming spring!

TL;DR, here are my plans at the end of 2015 vs what actually happened in 2016!

Planned to attend the following cons:

  • SakuraCon (Seattle, WA)

  • FanimeCon (San Jose, CA)

  • San Japan (San Antonio, TX)

  • KumoriCon (Portland, OR)

Actually Attended:

  • NewCon PDX (Portland, OR)

  • SakuraCon (Seattle, WA)

  • WesterCon (Portland, OR)

  • San Japan (San Antonio, TX)

  • KumoriCon (Portland, OR)

  • Holiday Matsuri (Orlando, FL)

Costumes I planned:

  • Luna - Human Form - Sailor Moon

  • Coffee - Sakizou Illustrations “Afternoon Tea”

  • Satsuki Kiryuin - Kill la Kill

  • Alice - Pandora Hearts

  • Garnet til Alexandros - Jumpsuit - Final Fantasy IX

Costumes I Actually Made/Wore:

  • Madam Red - Kuroshitsuji (Finished coat in January)

  • Luna - Sailor Moon (NEW - Finished in March)

  • Suiseiseki - Rozen Maiden (Re-wear)

  • Lady Amalthea - The Last Unicorn (NEW - Finished in June)

  • Misty - Pokemon Heart Gold/Soul Silver (Re-wear)

  • Velvet - Odin Sphere (NEW - Finished in August)

  • Nana Osaki - NANA (NEW - Finished in September)

  • Forest Girl - Yuri Kuma Arashi (NEW - Finished in December)

WOW, that’s a HUGE difference. I also made a grand total of 5 new costumes, which is a LOT more than I initially realized! Although I did start on Coffee, Garnet, and Alice, all three had to be set aside for different reasons. Coffee I just didn’t have time for, Alice my wig plans fell apart and I didn’t get around to ordering new supplies, and for Garnet I was well into making her when I hit a snag and realized I needed to completely re-think how I was going to construct it. I judged at one competition, and entered 3 others myself, and walked away with acknowledgements/awards from all three. That’s been a HUGE confidence booster! I hadn’t entered a competition since 2013, and at the time that was my only time competing outside of my old cosplay group. Overall, despite the general consensus that 2016 has SUCKED, it’s been a great year for me personally, in terms of moving forward with finding myself in cosplay again.

2017 promises to be a VERY busy cosplay year! In Spring I’ll be flying to China to represent the USA at CICAF, and I’m also planning to hit AWA in September, probably returning to KumoriCon in October, and Maybe even heading back to Orlando for Holiday Matsuri in the winter (it was nice to have a break from the cold and gloom in the middle of December). I will also probably hit a few local cons for a day (without taking any kind of time off from work).

At this time, here are the costumes I’m planning to work on in 2017:

  • Syaoran Li - Card Captor Sakura

  • Rue (school uniform) - Princess Tutu

  • Alice Baskerville - Pandora Hearts

  • Utena Tenjou (rose bride) - Revolutionary Girl Utena

  • Snow White - Once Upon a Time

  • Felicia - Fire Emblem: Fates

  • Garnet (royal gown) - Final Fantasy IX

  • Coffee - Afternoon Tea by Sakizou

  • Kuranosuke Koibuchi - Princess Jellyfish

  • Ken Ichijouji / Digimon Kaiser - Digimon 02

Overall a somewhat ambitious lineup. I don’t expect to FINISH everything on this list, and I’m sure other short-term impulse project will pop up, but these are the things I will be working/starting on. I am planning on keeping the number of cons I attend this year at a minimum, only heading to those where I have intentions to compete or judge. Before I really dive in, I’m also planning on dumping a bunch of fabric, so I can clear some space and focus on what I’m really interested in. I’d really love to get together with friends to do an exchange of photo-shooting, so that we can all get better shots of our costumes. I’d also really like to do one last shoot in Misty at a pool this summer, where I will more than likely destroy my poor wig in the process. Last year, I attempted to get into the habit of spending 1 hour 3x a week working on cosplay, and it was going pretty well until I sprained my ankle in May. I’m hoping to get back into that, and that regularly working on things in small doses will help me be more productive in general; I’d also like to be able to spend some more time working on my writing.

What have you guys got planned for next year?

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