Rei Ayanami Cosplay in Christmas Set

2018: A Year in Review

It’s time for my annual cosplay recap! I’ll talk about the costumes I finished (or didn’t finish), the milestones I reached and my plans for 2019. First time posting this on my new blog and not just on social media!

Sailor Pluto (Cheongsam) Design by Streamer Fairy
Sailor Pluto (Cheongsam) – Photo: Erik _bild_er_leben_

Cosplays of 2018

I was part of a lovely Sailor Moon group at DoKomi in May. I cosplayed my favorite Sailor Warrior in an original “Cheongsam” design by Taiwanese artist Streamer Fairy. Inspired by Chinese fashion and Art Nouveau, her designs are graced by floral ornaments, lace and flowy fabrics – a cosplayer’s dream! I got to use techniques that I hadn’t worked with in a while: silk painting, appliqué, and flock foil / plotting. It turned out to be the most elaborate costume I finished this year. I enjoyed the process, and I was flattered and moved by the feedback we received. The artist saw our WIP and cosplay photos online and she loved it! She commented and shared our photos repeatedly and was super lovely. I really want to cosplay more fan art designs just because of this experience!

Mai Shiranui Cosplay
Mai Shiranui – Photo: Erik _bild_er_leben_

Mai Shiranui from the video game King of Fighters is a pop culture icon, and I was very happy that I got to cosplay as her this year. I’m a couch potato and desk worker IRL, which makes posing as fighting game characters all the more fun! I made the costume for my book project, “Perücken hoch²” (Wigs²) to demonstrate how to make a topknot or ponytail that juts out at the base – what I call a “ninja ponytail” because you see it on Japanese fighters like Mai or Ibuki (Street Fighter).

For Connichi this year, I wanted to cosplay with my friend Inulein even though we didn’t compete in the WCS (World Cosplay Summit) preliminaries this year.

Madoka and Homura
Madoka and Akemi – Photo: Iris’ Lens

We were looking for a simple partner cosplay to wear on Friday, and found these cute street fashion outfits for Madoka and Homura Akemi from the anime Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica. We had a fun and relaxing photoshoot with Iris’ Lens, and I loved hanging out in these simple clothes. The sweatshirt fabric is super soft and warm, we’re wearing sneakers and I even got to make a large shopping bag as an accessory – this is my most comfortable costume to date!

Violet Evergarden - work in progress
Violet Evergarden (work in progress)

One regret I have about 2018 is that I didn’t get to finish my Violet Evergarden cosplay. I really enjoyed showing you my WIP and I wish I could’ve done more! It felt so good to be inspired by an all-new anime and I would’ve liked this to be my One Big Cosplay of the year. Alas…

Milestones

The list of new cosplays looks a bit meager this year, but it’s not exactly like I was slacking! My biggest milestone was the launch of wig tutorial book no. 2, “Perücken hoch²” (Wigs²). I am forever grateful for the wonderful collaboration with the other artists who made this a fun and engaging project: the cosplayers who modeled the wigs for me, my photographer and graphic designer. And of course, my readers and followers! Your super positive feedback has encouraged me to work on an English edition of both wig books for 2019.

Perücken hoch 2

My second milestone: after thinking about it for 10 years, I created my own website this fall. Wigs101.com is my new tutorial blog, and I feel like this strong focus on wig tutorials is giving me a direction I can work with. I’m motivated to create new content for the site and collect my tutorials all in one place, so watch as it grows into something bigger!

In December, my Facebook page reached 3000 likes, thanks to a feature by sweet Kirilee Cosplay and people sharing my tutorial content all over the world. I’m happy to see so many cosplayers engage with my content because I love providing value to my audience, not just pretty pictures or funny memes. Thank you for “liking” my tips and tutorials, and keep those comments coming so I know what you’d like to learn next!

Cosplay Life

IRL, I started 2018 with a new home and new job. I truly love both of them, even though it means less time for cosplay. But for some reason, leading a fulfilling “real life” meant that I felt even more energized to work on freelance projects in my free time!

I count a total of 9 old costumes that I managed to get new photos of… so I can retire them and make room for new ones. This is a trend that I hope to continue in 2019 because I have way too many costumes, and too little room to keep them all forever – both in my house and my head. I even rented a studio with friends for a photoshoot marathon in November and it was totally worth it.

Yukari and Miwako (ParaKiss) cosplay
Yukari and Miwako (Paradise Kiss) – with Inulein, _bild_er_leben_

Attending conventions can be draining for me and I realized, again, that I’d rather focus on a select few cons that are important to me and where I’m also involved in the programming. I’m looking at you, Animuc and Connichi! The interaction with the audience and collaborations with other artists meant a lot to me. It’s a huge gift to be able to talk to and work with other creative folks, and to inspire each other. That’s what I’m here for!

Goals for 2019

For 2019, I want to focus (again) on tutorial books and collaborations with other artists. The English version of my first wig book, “Perücken 1×1” (Wigs 101) will be out in early 2019. I’ll start translating book no. 2 next, and I already have more than enough ideas for a third book… if time allows! By completing the English translation first thing in 2019, I want to make my tutorials available to a much bigger audience. I’m very happy about having gained so many followers in Europe and overseas, and I want to reach out to my international audience without losing touch with my German home base.

I have a number of cosplays on my wishlist, but I want to focus on finishing Violet first, and revamp old or unfinished costumes that I never got good photos of. I have fabric for so many projects it’s not even funny anymore! I’m still not sure whether I’ll make something for a competition next year, as these things tend to eat a huge part of my (and my partner’s) free time. Let’s focus on my books first!

I hope you’re all having a few relaxing days “between the years” to think about what you achieved in 2018. Happy Holidays and a productive new year 2019!

Merry Christmas! Rei Ayanami (Neon Genesis Evangelion) Cosplay

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