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Laying down a ton of random thoughts...
Vanimute
sombramalamutt
For some reason all I can think about are ways to make myself stand out.  That's what I want to do in life.  I want to be that successful person that stands out in the crowd.  I wanna be able to confidently be in front of a crowd speaking or singing or doing whatever.  Like hosting a panel at a convention.  I'd love to do something like that one day.  I wanna get more in to costuming.  I just got through designing a dress inspired by the one that Rainbow Dash wears to the grand galloping gala in MLP:FIM.  But I have no idea if I'd ever make it.  And if I made it, I have no idea if I'd ever wear it.

When it comes to standing out in a crowd, I'm just terrified to do it.  I'm extremely envious of people who can do that without a problem and the people who have the guts enough to push aside their fears to successfully get up on a stage and speak/act/sing/etc.  If I do get up in front of people I haven't been able to speak well enough.  I just kinda start shaking and...I'm just not having fun with it.  Being in front of people is a terrifying experience.

But when you do art, standing out has to be a part of the game.  If you don't stand out...if your work blends into every Disney or stereotypical anime rip off style no one's gonna care if you can really draw or not.  Your stuff is something that everyone's seen about a thousand times over.  As for cosplay/costuming, I think it's a little easier to stand out in that regard.  Especially if you work really hard to make something that's beautiful.  Good and/or unique costumes will always stand out in a crowd...but the best cosplayers are the ones who can embody their character.  So being a good actor...

I just watched a video taping of a panel at an anime convention on plus-sized cosplay.  And I have so much love for plus sized cosplay.  Not only because I'm plus sized, but because the majority of them catch an amazing amount of flack because they're dressed up as characters that are normally skinny.  Now there are some that don't dress their body well but I don't think they deserve to be made fun of for it.  But for the ones that cut, drape, and match the costume to their frame perfect...but hours of work in...it's sad to see their work get passed up for the skinny Naruto cosplayer who just bought their costume offline (nothing against buying stuff...but I'm more interested in costumes that are custom made or made by the wearer than ones bought offline) or five minutes ago in the dealers den.  I see so much fat-shaming going on in the "nerd" community that it strongly deters me from wanting to cosplay.  Lucky for me I've always loved the animal costumes more than people ones so for the time being I can comfortably dress up as pokemon or digimon.  But what about all the Power Ranger/Super Sentai characters...or if I wanted to do a humanoid version of a pokemon?  It requires such an immense knowledge of how to dress my body type for that.  And I have to avoid spandex altogether.  So as much as I want do make Hime ShinkenRed fallen to Gedou version, I'll have to hold off on that until I lose about 60 more pounds or so.

But I feel so strongly about the plus size members of the cosplay community that I want to try to pull off my own plus sized outfits.  I need to learn a bit about how to dress my body anyways.  I know bigger girls can look great too.  There's some really gorgeous plus sized ladies out there.  I've never dressed myself up in a way that I thought I looked good.  I know other bigger girls can look good in dresses, but I just assume that I can't.  I don't know if that's a true statement.  I just assume that things that are true for others aren't true for me, but I have no basis for that assumption.

And when it comes to the cosplay again, I have a second strike against me...being black.  It doesn't seem like a big thing, but you have no idea how big "proper cosplay" is in the nerd communities.  And if you don't look like the character, some people take strong offense.  And race is another one of those things that people will take offense against.  Black people should only dress up as black characters.  And in the anime community that option is so limiting.  Really the only character there is is Yoruichi from Bleach...and I'm about 99.99% sure she isn't black either.  Just dark skinned.

But I don't know why I worry about that aspect.  Most of what I want to wear are Sentai suits (complete with helmets so you can't see my face at all, "gijinka"/humanoid costumes (like MLP or Pokemon but in a more humanoid form or a clothing design based off the design), or mascot suits.  There's only one costume in mind that I'd like to make where race would come into play (Mele from Jyuken Sentai Gekiranger) but that can be worried about whenever I lose enough weight to wear that dress successfully.  But the rest I'm either covered up or it's a design that is being turned from creature to human.  So race doesn't matter...

Honestly, these are all just excuses to go back to the whole standing out of a crowd thing.  I can do it if I'm in a mascot suit.  No one knows what I look like then it's fine.  But putting myself and how I look in front of people is a scary thing.  I'm not good at being very "girly".  I don't know how to style my short, course hair.  Or to do make up.  Or to really even find clothes that flatter myself.  I don't know why I care about these things now.  I didn't for the longest time.  But for the longest time I didn't have to try to impress anyone, look clean cut, or have a strong interest in cosplay either.

I'm just so envious of people who can stand out in some way.  Successful artists who can easily sell hundreds of dollars of art a week.  The people who can walk into a crowd of any people and instantly make about 10 more friends.  People who are endlessly optimistic.  The people who can see their strengths and work with them...manipulate them and circumstances around them into success...The people who aren't afraid to have fun and try new things.  I envy all of them.  Because that seemingly comes so easy.  But I know for some it doesn't.  Deep down I know everyone works very hard at those things.  But I can only see the success and I have no idea how to do that for myself.  I have little to no interest in my art from potential customers.  I did when I had delved into more adult subject matter (out of curiosity; worst decision I made).  Sex sells you know...but I didn't like drawing it so I stopped (best decision I made...).  The most common commissions I get now are of pregnant characters mostly...and while that doesn't bother me, I'd prefer to draw other things.  I think I'm very good at drawing cute stuff.  But I guess there's enough people successful at drawing cute stuff.  I recently finished drawing an angry dragon for someone and it was the most fun picture I've been commissioned to draw.  But it's so rare that anyone is interested in that.  I don't have an art style that stand out of the pack so it gets passed up.  I don't do super detailed paintings often, and even when I do those get passed up.  I don't do adult subject matter, so my stuff is often forgotten it feels.

I'm stubborn enough that I'm trying really hard to earn money off of commissions to prove I can make a job out of art by working for myself.  But it's becoming more apparent that it might not be possible.  I have it in the back of my mind to turn down a potential commission now because I just don't think I could draw this picture well enough.  And really I don't like it much.  It isn't adult...but it's oddly close for comfort just because of the characters.  I have no issue with drawing pin-ups but I think there's a difference between pin-up and porn...maybe I should just turn it down.  I need the money but I can try for other commissions...I'm really happy with how my painting type things look.  Maybe other people like them too and would want a commission for it...

I want to do a lot of things but they involve money.  Want to make more costumes, but I need the money for supplies.  Want to travel to more conventions, but I need money for that too.  Money, money, money...I really dislike money.  It dictates everything you can and can't do.  And I want to earn it my way.  I always figured art was the way I could earn money.  And I see people working for themselves and being successful at it.  Why can't I be successful at it too?  What is it I need to fix so people will want what I do?  I keep thinking that I should just give up because no one will want what I do.  But some people do...just not enough to support myself.  I keep thinking that I could (if I got better at it) take costume commissions to, but that goes back to the money.  How am I going to get in enough practice if I don't have the money to buy the materials for said practice?

Ugh...why does life have to be so annoying?  I really only have one goal in life.  And my mother thinks I'm joking about this goal or that this isn't a real goal but I think it is.  My sole goal in life...or rather now my two goals after seeing a video from Alphacat on Youtube...my two goals in life are to be happy and successful.  But life wants to make that very difficult doesn't it?

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First off: your journal stands out. I've been reading LJs for 8 years (I feel old now) and never seen one like yours. You combine the focus and frank perspective of the "here is what I did today" journal with really thoughtful issue-focused entries.

Never thought about the race issue in cosplaying before! I'm really surprised that people would get mad at people for "dressing outside their race." Though I guess I shouldn't be - I realize it's sort of a "nerd" thing to become so narrowly focused on your area of interest that you forget about the larger implications. But it's still weird, because obviously it's standard practice for Japanese people to cosplay as characters who aren't asian (though the de-racialization of the standard anime art style - I forget the word for this, I studied it in college - means that "white" and "asian" kind of blur together, I guess). Which itself runs into issues because of Japan being largely monoethnic and thus having much more endemic/nonchalant racism (in some respects) than the USA. It says something when the most famous black character in Japanese video games is a blatant rip-off of Mr. T.

I've heard most of it from my friends who do more cosplaying than I do. There's just not a lot of costumes for black people to wear (I think there's more for men than women). But I guess people think the "dark skinned" characters pass...but there's a good deal of people who think that if you're black you shouldn't cosplay anything but black character (though if you're white it's okay to cosplay blatantly Japanese characters).

I dunno, that along with weight issues kinda deters me from getting more into cosplay. At con I guess it can be okay but you never know...there's a few people who blatantly go around taking pictures of overweight or bad cosplayers to make fun of them after the fact...

There are people at every convention who go around and take pictures of things to make fun of, because there's a subset of people whose lives revolve around mocking things on the internet because they don't have anything better to do. I wouldn't let them get you down :)

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