Don’t be Cosplays ‘Red Starbucks cup’.

e4XecImo-4922-3281If you’re no longer having fun cosplaying, that may be entirely on you. Cosplay is fun, it should be fun. Your decisions in cosplay can affect my level of enjoyment about as much as the red Starbucks cups convinced me to worship Satan.

 

(There was a length, 5 page essay about people who say the evolution of cosplay has stopped them from enjoying the hobby, but I decided the rest was unnecessary as this about sums it up! Lol)

❤ Sophii
http://www.facebook.com/UltraGirlsCosplay

The Importance of Continuing Onward

imageOn Sunday my fiancé, a close friend and myself decided to have some fun and road trip to KC early and show up on the last day to say hi to everyone and enjoy a con as attendees for once.

It was a first year con, video game-centric, and had a ton of incredible vendors and talent.

When we arrived around noon on Sunday, more than half the booths were already torn down and there was little to no attendance.

There is speak of this con not returning for a second year. And that makes me sad.

Nothing we want in life is instant. Everything comes with time and determination. And set backs are an absolute.

This goes for cosplayers, artists, voice actors/actresses, pod-casters and anyone else with goals and dreams as well.

Don’t let one set back stop you from continuing. Don’t let the words of others change your course.

Come on keepin’ on, friends.

Sophii ❤

  • Www.facebook.com/UltraGirlsCosplay

I made a boo-boo: Cosplay mishaps

Mistakes are a Cosplayers classroom.

When you begin building costumes, especially without any sort of formal training, mistakes are going to happen and in abundance too! Even some of the best trained costumers  and prop makers make silly mistakes. It’s all a part of the journey.

Stop being embarrassed about the mistakes you make along the way. Those mistakes are to be embraced – funny stories to tell later and lessons you won’t forget, sometimes in the form of life long scars!

Mistake #1: Don’t paint a vinyl bodysuit with acrylic paint.

10390408_444790959058256_6616063881925309051_nOnce, I decided it would be super cool to HAND PAINT a vinyl bodysuit (without a body form. I should add, using acrylic paint).
I spent hours hand painting this thing, daydreaming about the badassery that was sure the ensue.
So there I am, last stroke of paint dries and I whisk the bodysuit up and start putting it on and what happes?
PAINT EVERYWHERE.
The paint literally exploded off the suit, all of the room and I just sort of stood in front of the mirror like…oh…okay. I’m not saying I cried but I may be allergic to hours of hand painting exploded before my eyes.

Mistake #2: All foam is not created equal.

11889635_429677380569614_973329497794345464_nI’m a huge fan of foam – more so now that I understand the different types and sizes. But there was a time when I was thought all foam was created equal.
I had this concept for a crazy cool Pikachu Warrior thing. The idea struck me about 10pm and being the impatient person that I am I just couldn’t wait until morning to go to the store and get supplies.
Pshh, supplies? I’ve got everything I need, I thought. No, no.
So we (Cissa and I) start building our Warrior Pokemon immediately (Again, patience is a virtue) using thick, thick EVA foam.
“Once we take the heat gun to it, it’ll be finnnnne.”
Nah.
PIKACHUUDon’t get me wrong, they looked great! We can’t say we aren’t proud of them but they could have been better. We literally made the job ten times harder than it ever had to be.
Thick EVA foam is not breast plate material and trying to obtain a feminine shape proved to be a hurdle that I would say we didn’t entirely clear even with the final product.
It does not heat right, it’s difficult to shape, it’s bulky and heavy.
When you use foam that’s too thick for a piece you’re going to wear across your torso be prepared to be uncomfortable and have system failures. Also some severe breast suffocation for the ladies.
TL:DR – Don’t. DO. It.

Mistake #3: Like Swiss cheese.

11168950_382347885302564_4031125203853604612_nStyrofoam is another great foam and a great, lightweight material for props – like ultra great BUT the list of things you cannot use on styrofoam is vast and easily forgotten when we’re in a rush to finish something (and let’s be honest, cosplayers are usually in a rush).
“Duh, Sophii… everyone knows that!”
Do they? The amount of cosplayers in forums talking about this makes me think this is a pretty common mistake we make.
Styrofoam must be sealed properly before spray painting or gluing. You CANNOT spray paint it, you CANNOT super glue it to anything without properly sealing it first.
So there I am, making my chainsaw for Juliet Starling(Lollipop Chainsaw). I had previously been receiving help from a good friend/master prop builder but unfortunately he didn’t have time to continue. So less than a week before the convention I intended to wear this cosplay to I’m just sitting in my dining room staring a this hunk of unsealed Styrofoam thinking “HOW EVEN?!”
11741214_422818901255462_7096618132912290782_oBut I powered forward! And again, in a rush so the thought process wasn’t exactly deep.
“It needs to be sealed!” I thought and started Mod Podge-ing my little heart out. Except in my impatience I didn’t stop to check it was completely covered and began spray painting – NOPE.
Missing Chunks! Missing chunks EVERYWHERE!
My little heart broke.
But with determination I began resealing, sanding and hand painting every inch of that chainsaw with some help from my mom, my fiance and my good friend Alyssa.
If I had sealed properly, it would have been done SO much faster.

Mistake #4: Attachment is key.

10408871_401120246758661_6676239111281112291_nYour armor or wings will have to attach to you or your cosplay in someway and things will go way smoother if you figure out how before you start building everything.
The size and weight of a piece can change placement dramatically and if you haven’t taken this into consideration before putting your costume or base together, you may end up finding out attachment is nearly impossible.
But alas, nothing is impossible!
The amount of examples Cissa and I both have for this one proves that sometimes you have to make a mistake more than once to really learn.
If you’re attaching any sort of shoulder piece, absolutely figure out how that will stay you on.
10429303_346250812245605_3668145900437412359_nAre you using straps? If so, will they simply attach across you or will they secure to your costume?
Are you planning to use velcro? Is the armor light enough to hang off of velcro? Is the material you’re attaching the velcro to stable enough to keep the armor in place?
Don’t begin suiting up the morning of the convention only to find out that the pieces of your puzzle don’t actually fit together.
You’ll know you made a mistake when you and four friends are safety pinning those pieces to your costume, said safety pins occasionally unhooking and giving you a stabbing reminder of your mistake.

I could go on and on and on, but what I want you to take from this is – mistakes happen, don’t be embarrassed and learn from them! No matter how much pre-planning and research you do, sometimes things just go wrong.
There was a time when I would pretend I didn’t know what the word ‘mistake’ meant for fear of being told I was bad at what I love to do. “Me? Make a mistake? As if…”
But when I did share stories of my mishaps with others, I got responses like “Oh s***, THAT HAPPENED TO ME TOO!”.
And then I realized, we all suck sometimes – but at least we suck together ❤
I kid, I kid.
Just remember to take your time and don’t allow anyone to use your mistakes as a weapon to make you feel bad about your work. Cosplay is a time consuming hobby and entails a vast amount of different skill sets – no one person has mastered them all and no one has tried without a few hiccups along the way.

I’m sure I’ll make many more mistakes and when I do – I’ll make sure to share.

Tell us about some of you cosplay mishaps, we’d love to hear how you resolved them.

– Sophii
http://www.facebook.com/UltraGirlsCosplay

Spread the Love!

image  Cosplay involves a lot of collaboration. You get pieces commissioned, your buddy helps you with a design, you ask someone to be your photographer, someone does the art for your banner for you. One of the awesome things about our community is that we all come together and make these wonderful things! Everyone is always so willing to use their talent to help supplement yours.
With that, I’d like to touch on the importance of giving credit where it is due. As a cosplayer, a lot of importance for some is placed on making their own pieces. They don’t want to buy, or commission. Which is awesome if that’s how you like to cosplay! There isn’t anything wrong with commissioning, either. Unless you don’t credit the person doing the work! I will never ever think twice about a cosplayer telling me so and so made their props. Not telling me that information, however, is something that I consider petty and very very unfair.
After entering this awesome community of ours, I have met so many crazy talented people. I wish I could promote them all every single day! It’s not just about UGC. It’s about the awesome people that surround as and support us as well. Without them, we wouldn’t be this far. And I’m not afraid to tell anyone that.
These prop makers, photographers, seamstresses, and artists work just as hard if not harder than we do. That feeling of making something with your own hands and having another person want to wear it or hang it on their wall, that is something that brings great pride to an artist. Having someone call it their own work in front of the world is not only hurtful, it also discourages them from working with others. Which means it hurts you too! Where will you turn for your next piece when no one is willing to work with you? And it will happen!
This is a call to all cosplayers to stop and think of all the artists or fellow cosplayers that have helped you along the way, and show them some love! We are there with them in these crafty trenches! Everyone needs to pitch in and help each other to continue to produce mindblowing and fun cosplay experiences. So promote your friends! Tag them, carry their business cards, tell other cosplayers. Our world would be a whole lot better if we all viewed each other as friends and partners rather than competition. Spread the love!

🎀Cissa🎀

 

 

 

The lovely lady in our photo is Alyssa from Alyzza Dawn FX! https://www.facebook.com/AlyzzaDawn/

There’s Nothing Like Your First Time

So it’s 2010 and I’m 20 – life long nerd and all that jazz, blah blah blah – but I had never once been to a convention.

I meet this girl (enter Cissa) and she says to me, she says “I can show you the world… Shining, shimmering placesssss”. Just kidding. But really, she invites me to go to Dallas with her for something called “A-Kon” and part of me is like… “The rapper?”.

Fast forward, she finally convinces me to go and tells me she’s going to cosplay as Alice(In Wonderland) and says that I should dress up too.

My experience with costumes at this point is strictly Halloween and maybe another party or two. The thought of wearing a costume in front of thousands of people I have never met is pretty terrifying. “They’ll make fun of me…” “Aren’t we too old for this?”

But after much debate and inner turmoil, I’m in a hotel room in Dallas putting on an old Halloween costume – race car girl-esque – not at all a character by any means.

In my head I’m freaking out – “I’m 20, in a stupid costume about to throw myself to the wolves.” I had assured myself of public ridicule.

ESPECIALLY, and I skipped this part earlier, after the initially shock factor of a first time convention goer entering Project:A-Kon in all it’s mid Friday afternoon glory.

The cosplays were absolutely MIND BLOWING and the atmosphere was unlike anything I have ever experienced. Literally, little Sophii’s mind = BLOWN.

So anyway, I get into my costume upon my friends encouragement and enter the halls of my first ever convention having assured myself that severe self-confidence abuse was imminent.

And do you know what happened? Of course you do, you’re probably a cosplayer yourself.

They accepted me as one of their own immediately. People in astounding costumes complimented me on my $49.99 Halloween Express costume. Cosplayers tried to guess who I was, throwing out names of obscure anime characters I wasn’t familiar with. They wanted pictures and spoke to me like they’d known me my entire life. In that moment I’d made a thousand new friends.

Some of those I met that year are still friends dispite living in different states and not always running into each other at conventions yearly.

Meg Ara blew my freaking mind and absolutely made my weekend with her Warrior Riku cosplay – which I’ve tried to get her to put a price on several times since 😉.

And Jay? Ah! First ever cosplayer crush.

That weekend in Dallas literally changed my life and not because it made cosplay a huge part of my life and introduced me to my passion but because it introduced me to myself.

So what was I getting at with the semi-misleading title and long winded, inspirational first time story?

We all had our “first time” cosplaying and then we never stopped. Why? I’m willing to bet you experienced something similiar as myself – acceptance, love, warm fuzzies(as mentioned previously). Never forget why you started and make sure you’re now extending that same experience to other n00bz.

This is what our community is about.

❤️ Sophii

Pictured below:

2010 – Project:A-Kon in Dallas, Texas. Cissa as Alice and Sophii as n00b ‘race car girl kinda’.

image

 

 

 

The Road to Success is Infinite.

About a year ago today Cissa and I combined our individual cosplay pages into one – a cosplay duo! We brainstormed all kinds of fun names and finally settled on one and that day Ultra Girls Cosplay was born!

On that day we set goals together – build bigger and better, push our boundaries, help and get help from fellow cosplayers, be invited as guests to display our work, have our work published, be apart of a panel and so on – typical cosplay goals. This was a 5 year plan.

We crushed every single goal we made in one year. And beyond.

We’ve been accused of being fake nerds, looking for attention or CosFame, things of that nature.

Did it hurt a bit? Sure, we are human. Did it change us? Not one bit.

We worked our assess off building and learning and most importantly supporting our communities both local and national. Cosplay became a full time job for both of us (on top of our actual full time jobs) and we loved every single second of it. The ups and the downs have become cherished experiences. We learned more about ourselves than we ever imagined.

We didn’t crush our goals by pure luck. We put our heart and soul, blood, sweat and tears(and some skin thanks to a rogue glue gun…) into our passion for cosplay. We took harsh words and turned them into determination. We took constructive criticism and listened. We appreciated compliments but never let them go to our heads.

2015 was the first year in my entire 25(almost 26…eek!) years on this earth that I stuck to something and the pay off is absolutely overwhelming – in the very best way possible.

My New Years resolution is to continue to work as hard and as diligently to make my dreams come true and my hope is that everyone reading this does the very same! It took me 25 years to realize I was the only person responsible for my destiny and there is no shame in that. Better late than never.

Find what you love in life and dive head first into it. Make it your job to make your dreams come true, no one else can do it but you!

Make 2016 YOUR year. Write goals, stay positive and make things happen. ❤️

Happy New Year lovelies. Remember there’s enough room on the road for EVERYONE to have success. No matter your path, success is achievable if you make it so!

Sophii ✌🏻️

image

Cosplay IS warm and fuzzy.

Sick and icky! Sleep is definitely far off – despite two doses of NyQuil!

But I digress, 5am inner musing time!

So Cissa and I recently wrote an article – I can’t really go into detail until we get word on when and if itll be published but it’s of the cosplay variety.

To touch on the tiniest bit of it, cosplay is ever evolving. Good and bad. And I hate to focus on the bad – so I won’t for to long. But I think we as a community are forgetting how freaking awesome we are and taking the tiniest, most unnecessary negatives and letting them drive us to a bad place.

Cosplay is competitive – is that new? Nope. Does it seem like it has become MORE competitive in recent years? Yes. That’s because now there are more of us and that’s not a bad thing! More people means more ideas, creativity and new friends!

So why do we keep focusing on the worst and not the best? I can’t really answer that, it’s something I ponder often.

Maybe to many members of our community are sheltered? Bare with me here… Every single community has pro’s and con’s. Every single community evolves and changes and shifts. What we are experiencing in cosplay isn’t new AND it probably isn’t the first time nor the last. So why are we so surprised?

When I think of cosplay I immediately get excited! Like, let’s build things and cover things in glitter and dress up and have fun!

Be honest! Right now I want you to clear your mind, close your eyes and think of only the word ‘cosplay’….

What came right after that? Was it joy and excitement? Happy anticipation for your next con? The beginnings of a new cosplay project?

If it wasn’t, if it was negative or angry – why? And then go deeper. What single event put you in that place? Because only you can change how you feel about that. It isn’t the job of the community to change your innermost thoughts and feelings.

If we individually as humans start changing the way we view cosplay(and other things in life that make us feel this way) we will all begin to see those changes in our community and then this epic utopia/perfect world of cosplay(which remember, has never before truly existed) could be closer than we all realize.

Let’s all stop trying to make our community something it isn’t and focus on making our individual experiences with cosplay what we want them to be!

The cosplay community is tight, vast, diverse, encouraging, accepting, uplifting, creative, AMAZING, unlike any other, exciting, a safe place, a place where we get to be our idols, a place where we are able to live out experiences most people only dream of… my list goes on and on and on.

Cosplay IS warm and fuzzy. And nothing can change that if you don’t let it. ❤️

*mic drop* SOPHII OUT!

What’s this? An ULTRA blog? :3

animeappThat’s right guys, WE MADE A BLOGGG! Why you ask? Because we can update this more often than we update our Facebook page without taking over your feeds! Sometimes we just want to rant and rave and write detailed mini-essays for you guys and Facebook doesn’t really facilitate that. But don’t worry – our Facebook will continue to rock your cosplay socks off.
We STILL have a website under construction (www.UltraGirlsCosplay.com) and it will be up and running in the new year! We’ll simply attach this blog to the website 🙂
Think of this as our ULTRA diary – we’ll share tutorials, build horror stories, convention experiences and daily what nots from here!
Follow us, friends!