|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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