Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Costuming VS Getting Your Life Together

Photo by Future Photography by M3
As of late I have observed numerous individuals that are so passionate and focused on costuming that they unknowingly disregard the responsibilities of their personal life. I want to point out that there is certainly nothing wrong with being devoted to cosplay. Costuming is healthy. It is creative and takes hard work. To many, it is a form of self expression. To others, it can be therapeutic. It's fun and delightful to research a costume and put it all together. Sewing, painting, molding worbla, everything involved in creating a costume is bad ass. However if the craft has taken over your life to the point where you can hardly put food on the table, your living situation is not where it should be or majority of your paycheck is going to costume building yet you are creating Kickstarters for "life expenses", something is very, very wrong. It's time dear friends, to make a choice between costuming and getting your life together.

I'll be the first to admit that it completely and utterly sucks when you want to put a costume together but you just don't have the funds to do so. You feel stuck; like you have reached a dead end. The only thing you can do is make a U-Turn and try to find another way. That is not only an important lesson in costuming but in life. You have to make choices and sometimes those choices mean sacrifice and compromise. You need to change your perspective. What is more important? Spending hundreds of dollars buying supplies for your next costume or paying off your past due cell phone bill?  It boggles my mind when I come across someone on social media who is posting daily updates on all the supplies they purchased for their new costume and yet that same person will create a Kickstarter to pay their rent. If you didn't fork over your hard earned cash for supplies, you would have that money to pay your landlord or roomates. Is it really worth risking getting evicted just to make a costume? Is it worth loosing your home? And furthermore you are attending the next big convention out of state, thousands of miles from where you live. Pay your bills, my friend. Granted it stinks when you can't attend a show you have your heart set on but it will still be there next year and you can always live vicariously through your friends posting on social media. In many situations, it would be better for you financially to stay home. You will  be saving money on travel, hotel, food, costume building and shopping. You can pay your bills on time and may even have some money left over.

I've observed many people who are stuck in a rut. They are accomplishing great things in costuming but their personal life is a mess.  They don't realize if they skipped a con or two or perhaps made a little less costumes this year, they would have more money in their pockets. Maybe you can finally upgrade your busted phone. Perhaps you can finally get those repairs your car so desperately needs. And maybe, just maybe, you can change your living situation and be independent.

Stop taking costuming so seriously. Redirect your focus from time to time. Do this only when you are financially able to. Stop sacrificing improving your life to attend a convention. Pick and choose because sooner or later, 10 years from now you 'll be looking around wondering what the hell happened. You will not have made any progress and I don't want to see that happen to anyone and it pains me to witness it currently.  You can do better. You can progress in the real world and grow. I believe in you :)


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  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. I cannot applaud this more than I am... this is the most accurate cosplay article I have EVER read...

  3. This is awesome. Thank you for this.
    Yours in Crunk,

  4. Well said!!! A lot of people NEED to see this!!

  5. You'd think that people would see this as common sense but I've seen quite a few people doing what you described above and I just can't believe it. Well said.

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  7. Panhandling on the 'net by getting free loans needs to stop. It's guilt-trippy, potentially scammy, and in bad taste. Thank you for speaking out.

  8. This could be said about a wide range of fan behavior, not just cosplaying.

    It is so easy to focus on a perfect world like we see in movies, TV and comics, and ignore the realities that surround us.

    Being a good fan is being part of the real world, with other fans being productive both in our communities and in our lives.

  9. Thank you so much for stating this.

    I haven't made a new costume or even been to a convention (even the local ones!) for over two years, because I have a family who needs me. Cosplay is fun, but you have to have your priorities straight. And my children will always come before costumes.

  10. I like to dress up maybe 5 - 7 days out of the year so im not a hardcore cosplayer at all. Im curious though. How much money do you suppose is spent on a costume on average by a "serious" cosplayer? Do you think the younger one is the more they spend and less they can afford it? The adulation received and attention from costuming is very potent and can be addictive i think. Like all addictions, they can lead one to financial and social ruin.