Joseph Donald Clairmont 3 months, 2 weeks ago
This year for me as a Cosplayer has been one of the best years I’ve had in a very long time. I went to so many fun events, across two Provinces and feel as though I have not only learned a lot about my craft, and have made so many friends in sharing this amazing hobby. So for that, There are so many people that I want to thank: Firstly, my friends and family, who support me, and those who got me into this hobby and kept me around, The organizers of all the events I have attended, if it weren’t for those people then we wouldn’t have had a place to share in this hobby, and to those who enjoyed my work enough to ask me to make them something, Or to those who messaged me just to ask how I did something, or to just talk in general about our craft!
As Some people might have noticed over the last month or so, after the end of my ‘con season’ I have been rather quiet, and no, it’s not because I have been turned off of this community for any reason, it’s just that at the moment I’m going through a bit of a creative slump, it’s a slump that happens to everyone and I wanted to take a moment to write a little bit about this experience, this feeling. This year alone I’ve made two and a half FULL costumes and a few different yet complex props that I never would have thought to make if it wasn’t for the community, well above and beyond what I’ve been able to do in the last years, Garrus himself took me nearly 6 months to complete in 2017, and this year in that same timeframe I almost doubled my output AND moved three provinces away from home.
It’s in this that I found the major problem. The big catalyst that has led to this eventual feeling where instead of being eager to go down into my workspace pick up my hobby knife and craft I’ve been more interested in occupying my mind with other things, playing video games being one of the big ones. And it’s not that I don’t want to craft, it’s just that at the moment I feel that if I would I’d be pushing myself to doing something, and I worry that as a result I won’t be able to put in my max effort.
As many of you might know, and for those that don’t this August I moved to Ontario from Nova Scotia, and I think that this was one of the biggest jams that caused the cogs in this machine to stutter, it really interrupted my workflow, and as a result I started to get behind on projects and Commissions that I had said would be done in time for events, and while those commissions did get finished, the end result ended up being that my ‘big project’ for this year Bastion was not. And I don’t hold anyone else accountable for that but myself. I will never miss a deadline for a commission. Even still, I felt that I absolutely HAD to have something finished in time for my years ‘big event’ and ultimately failed to deliver.
I put a LOT of stress on myself to get this done to the point that sleep, and personal time turned into a near slave drive of cosplay crafting, I’d get home force myself to my workspace and work from the second I walked through the door, to the eventual time when I’d call it quits and head to bed. I did this nearly every night from mid-August to end-October. At the end of which just didn’t have enough time for the HUGE undertaking of building 2 full costumes in the Commander Sheppard Commission, and Bastion, along with Elias’s mask.
I want to make it perfectly clear to those that commissioned me that I am happy that I was, I loved making these costumes and that it was life events that ended up causing this stress over the fact of the work itself.
This little written piece isn’t a why me, or asking for sympathy, I wanted to talk specifically about why my actions were unhealthy, and how I can move past this into the new year and not run into the same cycle. I’m sure that everyone who reads this has heard of the Cosplay crafters timeline. Get an idea for a cosplay early, procrastinate for months, and then in the last week before the con it’s full panic stations in where most people’s BEST work comes out. This year almost felt like I was stuck in a perpetual state of ‘panic stations’ and this in itself is unhealthy. The best way is to take that massive undertaking and spread it out over the year, Next year I am going to aim to have a better schedule, do my best to try not to overtask myself and enjoy the hobby as it should be, a Hobby and not a slave labor assembly line.
While I love doing commissions and do want to continue doing them, Next year, the plan itself will be for me to complete my personal project first, and if there is time after I will open myself up for commissions instead of the other way around, where this last year I heavily front loaded myself promising so many so much that it became hard and I went into a schedule of Monday I will work on this commission, Tuesday that, Wednesday my own projects, and Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday I give to the project that was the closest to needing to be finished. I stayed on that schedule for a LONG time starting mostly in April. And the big thing was that I only gave one day to work on my own projects.
With the Holiday season coming up soon, I am definitely looking forward to spending time with my family, and friends back in Halifax. Unwinding and allowing my mind to completely reset itself, so that in the new year I can go back to my workbench sit down and happily get back to work, for 2019 will be the best year yet! And I want you all to share with me in my pure love and enjoyment of our hobby, our craft, and our Lifestyle! I can’t wait to see what I can make and I hope that you guys will enjoy coming on this adventure with me.
P.S. If you guys are ever feeling like you need someone to talk to, if you are going through a motivational slump as I have, then send me a message on any of my social platforms! We can either sit, chill, play video games or any other number or things! For our mental health should always come first!