Hello, my name is Lily, and at this moment in time, I am a Cosplay Neophyte.
No, that’s not as nasty as it sounds. It simply means that I have never been to a cosplay event as a Cosplayer before. I have never (outside of a fancy dress party which doesn’t really count) created an outfit myself from scratch, ever. I have modelled for friends with their Steampunk creations, and I have even been known to make the odd thing for myself, but I have never completed an entire outfit or costume.
And the really sad part is, that I have no real, solid idea as to why!
I have always loved making things – from designing clothes to crafting sculptures. Last year, I taught myself to chain maille. The year before, I taught myself to sew toys. Before that, for four years I was learning how to take and edit photographs professionally, and the year before THAT I was at college learning about contemporary art, 3D installation and performance art. I have always been a crafter and painter. I have always made things. And I have always loved dressing up.
So why oh why had I never even considered attending a convention and cosplaying?
It could’ve been money. We have never been particularly well off, and attending them simply cost too much, both in terms of creating costumes and the actual cost of attending.
It could also have been the stigma attached to them. Where I grew up, anything even slightly “nerdy” was frowned upon, and I was met on a daily basis with bullying and abuse just because I read books that didn’t have even one picture and was smart enough to know which wire went where in a plug. I also knew about the Russian Revolution when I was ten and was able to describe the parallels in George Orwell’s “Animal Farm”. Perhaps I was afraid of getting more abuse because I attended a Con.
It could also have been that I was worried about stepping into a “man’s world”. I had been led to believe that conventions were the realm of the male nerd, and while I knew that it simply wasn’t true, I was a little afraid to step into that area.
And maybe, just maybe, it had something to do with my terrible self-confidence. It wasn’t until I created the “Lily Rose Kenneally” punksona that I truly began to open out and become more confident.
I suppose the truth of the matter is that all of these things had an impact. But now I intend to change that.
In November, I am going to be attending MCM ComicCon in Birmingham with my partner and our friends. They invited us to go with them when we mentioned that we had never been (except that one time in London when we went along with the Victorian Steampunk Society as traders) and that we would really love to go in a non-trading capacity. As I start a new job at the beginning of November, we decided to treat ourselves and go along. Right now, I am working on an outfit that I have been planning for quite some time – an original Steampunk-inspired outfit based on the mythical character, LeFay, mother of Morgan le Fay, Goddess of the Sea, and Protector of Avalon.
As it stands, I have no idea of any characters I would actually like to cosplay, only original characters! I am hoping to come up with more ideas in time, but as I find it difficult to relate to a lot of female characters in film and books, I will most probably end up gender-bending male characters!
I suppose I shall end my first confession there, as I have nothing left to confess! I hope to show the results of some of my crafting very soon though, so I do hope you will come back to see where my journey is taking me!