How to Control Stress During the Cosplay Rush
How to Control Stress During the Cosplay Rush
Cosplay is fun, invigorating, and a challenge that feels great to succeed at. When it cames to Jessica Nigri’s Sindragosa costume, it took her day after day of arduous and grueling warbla molding. In the video tutorial that she made on how she made the costume, she mentions several times throughout that it was an intense process that pretty much had her losing her mind at some points. But in the end, Nigri’s efforts paid off. Her Sindragosa costume looks incredible, and she absolutely had an end product to feel immensely proud of. In short, her cosplay was so true to character that it sets the cos bar pretty darn high.
If someone Googles “Cosplay Stress,” numerous forums will come up with people expressing the sense of extreme anxiety that surrounds creating a costume that is accurate and on time for an event. One girl mentioned that she felt so overwhelmed with it all that she didn’t even know where to start.
Why is there so much pressure on something that should be a fun creative process? The truth is, cosplayers tend to be high achievers when it comes to getting that costume just right. Check out any of LeeAnna Vamp, Jessica Nigri, or Lightening costumes, and it’s easy to see why the pressure is so high. Their costumes, as well as many other cosplayers for that matter, absolutely rock at making what seems to be flawless and true-to-form visual creations. In a community that is so visual and constantly changing, it’s quite easy to fall under the pressure of making that “perfect” costume for an event. But at the end of the day, cosplay is meant to be enjoyed – why else would anyone want to do it? So how can someone creative get back to enjoying cosplay and designing the costume without feeling intense stress?
Follow these tips below for some stress reduction ideas.
1. Get centered
First and foremost, before you even begin to plan or think about your costume, do something that relaxes you, so that you feel calm and centered. Whether it’s exercise, meditation, a walk, or playing your favorite Nintendo game, take some time to just unwind and unclutter your mind. Once you feel a bit calmer and in touch with yourself (minus a ton of mean and chaotic thoughts) then begin the process of planning or working on your costume. It’s always easier to work when you feel at ease, and things just seem to flow easier.
2. Plan your costume
Once you’re calm and relaxed, sit down and research the concept you want to create. Really get to know every angle, material, and intricacy that the costume will need. For example, if you are hoping to recreate Ygritte from Game of Thrones, surf the net and watch the show. Pay attention to some of the details (like bow and arrows, leather pants boots and gloves), and feel out the type of material that you will need. Having a strong idea of the cosplay you want to create will help you feel confident when you begin gathering details. You don’t want to be haphazardly throwing materials together. Knowledge will give you much more confidence.
3. Make a to-do list
While this may seem obvious, it’s really easy to let your list of costume gathering overwhelm and clutter your brain. Rather than allowing this to happen, take the time to write a long and detailed to-do list. Not only does this give you a sense of organization, but you also have a visual reminder of everything that you have completed as you begin checking things off the list. Completing the list will feel rewarding and helps to keep you focused. It can be too much to have thoughts floating around in your brain. Give yourself a break and simply write everything down.
4. Give yourself enough time
If you know that you want to enter a certain event (even a year in advance), begin researching and getting ideas as soon as you can. Once you have found the costume of your dreams, start gathering, sewing, building, or working with someone to make your costume. Small tasks and accomplishments add up over time. So as long as you give yourself enough time and work on it, you will be surprised by how much you accomplish. Not to mention, your stress level will be highly eased, because you have the time to alter and add to your cosplay.
5. Be nice to yourself
Cosplay is fun and challenging, and it shouldn’t be something that makes you feel bad or anxious. Remember, every cosplayer you see wearing that gorgeous end product that seems to be too great to be true, had to start from scratch, too. The perfected end product doesn’t show the hard work and trial and error that the cosplayer had to go through to make it. Every costume has its challenges. Set realistic goals, and if you need to “cheat” here and there, by all means, go for it. For example, if it’s easier for you to have certain parts of your costume made or bought, then do that. Or if you can’t find the exact indigo that you need for make-up, roll with it. There’s no need to bring yourself down for things that are out of your control. Deep breaths and above all, enjoy yourself.
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