tiistai 30. tammikuuta 2018

Cosplay competing - a way to success?

Not always.

As you know, I've been in the cosplay scene since 2012. The first time I competed was in 2013, and after that I've competed every now and then.
But I've never succeeded.

To be honest, I haven't been bitter about it. The best ones win and there's no arguing that. But, of course, I've been trying to think of the reasons why I haven't placed. Not a single time. Let's take a look at my cosplay competition history.

Animecon 2012, Sasuke Uchiha from Naruto Shippuden. © Tapio Matikainen.
This was the first time I ever competed. Back then I was so proud of my costume and character reliability. This was my second self-made costume so it could've been worse. I competed in the "Beginners" category.
But now, when I look at this costume I have a feeling that I placed 5th - and there were five contestants in the same category so... Yeah. Some details are missing, and let's be honest - the costume isn't very well made.
I could've done better.

Note number one: don't rush or your work will probably look like this - especially if you're a beginner.

Tracon 2013, Ayame Sohma from Fruits Basket. © Konsta Väänänen.
Once again I competed in the "Beginners" category. This time I was really, really proud of my costume - and I still am, even though it's on the "must repair/re-make this" list. Cosplaying Ayame felt more natural than cosplaying Sasuke - you know, I got more into the character.

So, the cosplay was good and on the stage I really felt like Ayame. Did I place?

No.

The reason: my costume wasn't detailed enough. Even though the category was for the beginner contestants the other cosplayers had more detailed costumes. I had kept it too simply.

Note number two: more details - and don't be afraid to make them.


Tampere Kuplii 2014, Itachi Uchiha from Naruto. © taikaraita.
So.
Itachi.
One of my "if I don't have anything else, this one comes with me" cosplays.

I competed with a pair who cosplayed Sasuke Uchiha. I know my own mistakes - mainly the problems were my sewing technic and, once again, the rush (...look at that headband, I've re-made it though...). Those are the mistakes I know I made - and my pair back then wasn't bad at all. I guess that there were just some small failures which made a great problem when combined together.

Note number three: if you have a pair cosplay coming up, try to make your costumes in the same place at the same time - we didn't have a possibility to do that.


Tracon 2014, Grell Sutcliff from Kuroshitsuji. © Tytti Levänen.
The first - and last, by far - performance competition!
In this competition the judges only judged the performance. It was a bonus if you were recognized as the character you were cosplaying and the costume had to be self-made.

Well, me and my pair began practicing our performance...
...in Sunday morning.
And the competition was on Sunday!

I don't have much to say about this.

Note number four: PRACTICING IS IMPORTANT.


Yukicon 2015, Francis Bonnefoy from Hetalia: Axis Powers. © lokki
I still hate this costume.
I really do.
Once again I competed with a pair... But, as you can see, my costume was just one big failure. I stressed too much about making it and that's the result.

Excuse me while I dig a hole in the ground and hide in it.

Note number five: a little stress is usually for good, but if you stress too much... It's no good.


Tampere Kuplii 2015, Alex Cloudmill from Starshine Legacy. © Santtu Pajukanta.
Oh, Alex... Haven't been able to wear this costume in a while since I've gained so much weight (trying to lose it, not going to make any new cosplay costumes before I manage to do that) and I've lost half of this costume so... Yeah.

But I was proud of this costume. Had I had a right-coloured wig and used better materials for the shirts I would've been one of the finalists.
I will re-make this one. And try to compete with it again. Alex is love, Alex is life.

Note number six: pay attention on colors and materials - look at the reference pictures and "bring the character to life". Think about your character's story and life, is the character poor or rich, where the character lives etc...

Matsucon 2017, Gilbert Beilschmidt from Hetalia: Axis Powers. © Maaria Tuisku.
My poses were too static - that's what I was told by the judges.
The costume was new, that was my first time wearing it.
I really didn't know how to move around in it.

I shoul've worn it at least one time before so I would've known how difficult the costume was to wear, really. My own mistake.
I had had quite a long pause in competing (well, I competed in Skecon 2016 with Ayame but I don't count it, I've been speaking about Finnish competitions in this post anyway) so I was a bit afraid to go to the stage. And, unfortunately, it was easy to see.

Note number seven: practice your poses and wear the costume while doing that - and move around in it!


So, summa summarum.

I've come to this conclusion: I haven't been as careful as I should've been. I've also been afraid to make any details (they're still a problem for me) and I've had problems with choosing the right materials. Years have gone by since I begun cosplaying and, of course, I've developed my skills. Sadly, when I think about the other cosplayers, I know I should be able to make complicated armors etc. if I ever wanted to succeed in competitions.

I'm not going to give up on competing though. I'll participate in Tampere Kuplii 2018's cosplay competition - not going to tell the character yet but let's just say that it's not a new costume. It's a costume and a character I know very well by far.

Let's see how it goes.

Yours,

Firith. 

keskiviikko 17. tammikuuta 2018

Cosplay year 2017

I just noticed that I've completely forgotten the birthday of this blog. Well, going to publish my "birthday blog post" later - I still haven't edited all of the pics for it.

But.
Cosplay year 2017.

This year I concentrated more on photoshoots than conventions. Despite it I managed to host my first convention, Euran Mangapäivä II. And yes, it still feels surreal.
I made three new costumes, borrowed a few and photoshooted a couple of old cosplays. x)

I won't make a cosplay compilation pic because I'm lazy and studying InDesign at school right now, oops but continue reading, please - I will list all of the cosplays from this year.


My favourite cosplay this year

Avalon from StarStable Online. Photo © Picair.



Avalon - definitely my favourit one from year 2017. I spent a lot of time sewing and painting the robe and I'm very pleased with the result.

I actually would've wanted to compete with this costume but sadly my version isn't the most original one. In the game itself Avalon's face, hair and hands can't be seen. This is how I pretty much imagined him to look like.
I debuted this costume in Yukicon and wore it again when I modeled for my classmates.

The only contest cosplay this year


Teutonic Knights!Prussia from Hetalia: Axis Powers. Photo © Shiro Samurai.
Oh Prussia, Prussia...

I don't really like this cosplay that much. So many mistakes, I failed the make-up when I was in a hurry, I should've cut the wig... -__-"
But, well, I've made worse cosplays too. *looks at Conchita Wurst from 2015*

I borrowed the costume for Shiro Samurai at NärCon Sommar 2017. I've only worn this costume once and it was at Matsucon in March.


For a Swedish convention

Lord Cob from Tales from Earthsea. Pic © Shiro Samurai. edit by me.
 Yeah, lord Cob... I just wanted to make something simple for NärCon because making a huge costume wasn't even an option (lack of space) and I was too tired to make something difficult (I was working for the whole summer in a factory) so I made this genderfuck beautiful sorcerer from Tales from Earthsea.

Mainly making this was just a joke between me and Shiro Samurai but well, I like this character a lot anyways.

Costume is made by me. My uncle helped me to make the staff. Going to wear Cob for another photoshoot, hopefully in the near future! And probably for some conventions too, not sure yet. 

 

So, those are the costumes I made myself... Then the borrowed ones! x)


Just for photoshoot

Japan from Hetalia: Axis Powers. Photo © Shiro Samurai.
Yep, we photoshooted Japan again in 2017, in March (if I remember correctly). Costume was borrowed from Shiro Samurai. 



For Euran Mangapäivä

Sasuke Uchiha (own design). Photo © Shiro Samurai.
I borrowed this costume from Shiro Samurai, except for the kusanagi which I made myself back in 2013 (...it's almost five years old...). Because Shiro Samurai had wanted to wear his kimono!Itachi costume I decided to be the lil' bro for him. 
And I didn't have any costumes I could've worn... Ayame was my first choice but the jacket is in very bad condition and I'll repair it this year. I want to cosplay the awesome snek again! <3

(Believe it or not, Sasuke and Japan have the same wig.)


I also cosplayed mafia!Francis Bonnefoy in NärCon. I have a pic of him but, well, guess do I have the photo in this PC... Nope, it's in my crashtop laptop. -__-"

At Tracon I didn't cosplay anything - the lecture I was supposed to keep with one of my friends had to be cancelled and my grandfather died just a day before Tracon so... Yeah, I didn't have the hype to make that lecture myself and I'm very sorry about that.
I didn't have a ticket so I just hung around in the yard and gave photoshoots for the few of my friends. I'm going to publish some of those pics at some point - I still haven't had time to edit all of them and I'm very, very sorry about it too! D:

I know that I haven't been very active with blogging these days but well, personal things. Nothing bad but something that takes time - and money - a lot.

But I'll be back in business sooner than you think - and I promise that! <3

Sincerely yours,

Firith.







torstai 9. marraskuuta 2017

Avalon photoshoot vol.2... At school!? (2/?)

You can read the first one here.

Yes, it's time for another Avalon picture spam! I haven't made anything for my future cosplays so... Yeah, let's just roll with these. The weather hasn't been good enough for making circle lens reviews either and I'm very sorry about that; whenever the sun is shining I've been sitting at school cursing at my computer so... No can do.

But here are the next pics of my Avalon photoshoot - once again, taken by my awesome classmates! <3

NOTE: I know that this version is a lot like a certain fan art. I would've worn different lenses but, for my great sorrow, all my other pairs of lenses had dried up (except the ones I got from my friend but I can't wear them for many hours) and I wanted to wear lenses with the make-up I had decided to do, so... Yeah. :/

Let's roll!

Photos & photo edit: Jukka Haapasalo







Photos & photo edit: Annika Malinen




Photos & photo edit: Jenina Alajärvi 








And one sneak peek!

Photos & photo edit: Photographer Lisbet Joelsson





I hope that you like these because I surely do! <3
And the best thing is that I still have pictures to post~!! So stay tuned! <3

-Firith

perjantai 6. lokakuuta 2017

Avalon photoshoot vol.2... At school!? (1/?)

Oh yes.

During the autumn we had a photoshoot session at school - I modeled and my classmates practised photographing & advicing the model.
This is going to be a long photospam but I hope that you'd check the pictures since my classmates truly deserve that. They're very talented in both photographing and photo editing. I truly enjoyed working with them. <3

The costume I wore was Avalon since the campus area provides perfect backgrounds for this character.

NOTE: I know that this version is a lot like a certain fan art. I would've worn different lenses but, for my great sorrow, all my other pairs of lenses had dried up (except the ones I got from my friend but I can't wear them for many hours) and I wanted to wear lenses with the make-up I had decided to do, so... Yeah. :/

But let's go on with this post!! <3

First the pictures by Picair! <3
Pictures: Picair
Photo edit: Picair 






 Photos & photo edit: Kaisa Hyvärinen






And the last picture to the photo spam!

Photos & edits: Jaakko Pöntinen


There are so many pics that I really can't put all of them in just one post... :'D Had I done that this post would've been a bit too long - but this only means that there are other photospams coming up! Stay tuned~!

-Firith 

keskiviikko 4. lokakuuta 2017

A (hopefully) short break.

Hello!

I guess that you've noticed that I've been quite silent here. I have a few reasons for that:

1) During the summer I was working - that's why I didn't have time or energy to update this blog.

2) My computer broke and when I finally got it back from my uncle (who kindly fixed it) I noticed that this thing had updated Windows 10 by itself. The picture editing program is HIDEOUS. I really need to do something for this quickly.

3) After many long years I'm finally a student again!! Not in any of the universities, mind you - almost got into the university of Oulu but in the end I didn't manage to do that. At first I was quite pissed since I had been waiting for moving to the north but since the plan A didn't work I decided to go for plan B. The result: nowadays I study at Eurajoen kristillinen opisto (The Christian School of Eurajoki, though it doesn't have that much to do with religion these days, it's just the name) to become a web designer!
(And I'm quite happy that I didn't move to the north - some very nice and happy things have happened during my silence here.)

So, most of my time is spent at school nowadays. That's why I haven't updated this blog after... The NärCon cosplay plans... Ooops.

I'm not likely to write a summary of NärCon - there's not much to say since it was the most hectic and stressful con I've attended by far. But I promise to post a picture spam when I have time! :)
I also have some new photoshoot pictures of Avalon and there are a couple of lens reviews I should publish at some point.

But, anyway, I'll be back~! <3

(And I have some cosplay plans for 2018 so I'll write WIP posts too~!)

See you, hopefully soon! <3

-Firith

keskiviikko 26. heinäkuuta 2017

NärCon Sommar 2017 cosplay plan(s?)!

Hello~!

I'm sorry about my silence here but, once again, I've had problems with my internet connection. You see, I had to buy a new phone and for some reason my computer doesn't accept its connection, neither hotspot nor USB. :/ I'll become more active when I get some technology which actually works...

But, to the business itself!

I decided to attend NärCon for the first time this year.
And my wallet is already crying. Traveling isn't cheap - especially when you first travel from Southern Finland to Northern Sweden and from there to Southern Sweden... x___x

Right now the only confirmed plan is this mister - yes, I've made a new cosplay!

Lord Cob from Tales from Earthsea.
Ghibli villains, anyone? <3
Actually this started as a joke between me and Shiro Samurai - I just said that I could cosplay this character, just for laughs. At some point this became a real plan and... Well, now I've almost finished this costume... xD

I'll cosplay Lord Cob at least on Friday. I'm still not sure if I'll cosplay on Thursday - we'll see about that!
On Saturday I won't cosplay anyone because, well, I'll be leaving Linköping for Stockholm in the night between Saturday and Sunday (since I have to be at work on Monday morning, more specifically 7 o'clock :D).

lauantai 24. kesäkuuta 2017

Circle lens review: TheDollyEye Lucidae Green

Hello~!

And I'm sorry that my blog has been so dead again for a while... *deep sigh* I haven't been able to work on my cosplays at all because, well, I go to work five days a week and my shifts have been at least 10,5 hours long so... Yeah. My eyes have been very tired too - when I've tried to put circle lenses in them it has felt like someone tried to cut my eyes with a knife. :I

But I managed to get pics for this one - let me introduce you TheDollyEye Lucidae Green circle lenses~!

Note: I got these lenses from a friend who doesn't wear any fancy/unnatural looking contact lenses anymore. These lenses were expired when I put these into my eyes (I only took the pics, I don't want to destroy my eyes any further) and that's why it's impossible to grade the comfort. Thank you.

Let's get started!

(The first three pics © Shiro Samurai, thank you very much!) 


The vials of the lenses.


The lenses in their vials.


Base curve: 8,6 mm
Diameter: 14,5 mm
Water content: 42 %
Life span: 1 year

Inserting these was quite easy - these didn't curl around my finger or anything. I didn't even feel them in my eyes as much as I had expected to feel them! o__o 
After opening the vials I let these soak in a new solution over the night since the original solution (in the vials) irritates my eyes a lot. I have no idea if it does the same to you but I definitely don't recommend testing it. 


One lens in to show you the enlargement.
Well, these are not very enlarging but I have to say that I wouldn't wear these for any cosplay anyway; in my opinion these would go for different alternative styles, such as goth and punk rocker. In other words: if you want to cosplay a moe character, don't pick these lenses. 

Can't say anything about the comfort, really :/ 

I fell in love with the design the instant I saw these - the first two words that came into my mind were "mystic" and "magical".  There are darker and lighter shades of green which make these lenses look very lively and vivid. The spiderweb-like black decorations boost the magical look of these beauties~
The black limbal ring isn't that thick but I think that it's better the way it is. I'm not quite sure if this kind of design would work for the "moe eyes" lenses.
The color blends quite well with my natural light eye colour (grey/blue/green) - even though my natural eye colour shines through quite clearly in some lights. In most lights these look clearly green though (why do I think about forest?)! 


But now, lens photos~!

These were taken by me in May during a sunny evening.
Close-up photos aren't edited in any way.

Outdoors, facing the evening sun.

Outdoors, back against the light.

Indoors, bathroom light.

Indoors, under the fluorescent lamp.

Indoors, natural light through the window.

Indoors, with a flash.

Indoors, yellowish light. 
From a distance.


  • I would rate the color 8/10 - very lively and beautiful green~! 

  • The design is 10/10 - I just love these kind of lenses! <3 The design makes me think about mysteries and magic. 

  • The opacity is 8/10. In most lights these are clearly green, in some lights my own eye colour shines through quite clearly. 

  • Can't grade the comfort.

  • The naturalness is 5/10 - I mean, how many people have spiderweb-like details in their eyes? :DD The colour, however, looks quite natural, and the lenses aren't too enlarging.


I'll try to become more active in this blog again - there's just the problem called "I have no time"... Well, I decided to start to work on a quite simple cosplay - wait for the WIPs and circle lens reviews~! ;) 


Got any questions? Ask in the comment box, contact me on social media or send me an email! 

-Firith