20Gayteen Wrap Up! Welcome 20BIteen
2018, or 20gayteen, has been a pretty rough year. I feel like I say that every year, but it’s extra true this time. That being said, I still accomplished a lot of great things that I’m proud of. I also got to do a whole bunch of cool things that I’m thankful for, too. More than anything, I’m writing out all of the reasons that 2018 was good to me so I can visualize it. It’s easy to let the bad overshadow the good if you let it, so remind yourself of the things that happened this year that made you smile!
First of all, I made 16 new cosplays this year! I also bought a costume for the first time! (I bought my UA high school uniform for Ochako online.) The other costumes are a mix of completely crocheted cosplays to blends of thrifted and altered pieces with minor crochet details! The comic book Scarlet Witch, Bowser, and Amanda’s finale outfit from Little Witch Academia are my favorite projects of the year.
Additionally, I also threw together quite a few casual cosplays and makeup looks. These include commissions and cosplay makeup tests. I’m happy to say that this year I made a point to be better about testing my makeup before I had to wear my cosplay out, (although I will admit that I have plenty of room to improve this in the new year.)
The next thing I’d like to highlight from my 2018 is all the cons I was able to attend! This year I went to seven conventions!
All Star Comic Con
I love conventions more than anything in the world. Thanks to cosplay and the community, I have made amazing lifelong friends. This year I was able to spend time with so many of these friends, and I made a bunch of new ones too! The energy from cons recharges my creativity and also my heart. Seeing my friends and amazing cosplays makes me just so so happy.
Seven cons is a lot for me and all of them were fantastic. They are listed above in chronological order, and I’m not going to re-rank them all best to worst. But I do wanna say that for the first time, Katsucon wasn’t my favorite convention of the year. I typically love Katsucon for the pretty hotel, the fact that pretty much all my cosplay friends are there, and all the stellar costumes. This year the crowds of friends and hotel were the same, and the cosplays I saw were great, too. Personally, however, I didn’t feel like my cosplays were up to par. Cosplay isn’t a contest for me and it never has been, but I enjoy working on projects that challenge me and always putting my best foot forward. This was my first time being a full time university student in the months before the con, and it was this that kept me from dedicating the time I thought I’d have to prepping my cosplays. Which left me extra stressed and underwhelmed with the results I managed for the con. Nonetheless, Katsucon was still plenty of fun.
Moreover, I think spending a moment mentioning why All Star Comic Con was my favorite con this year will help me get back on track to feature the best of the year and not my struggles. By the time All Star Comic Con rolled around I had already been out of school for over a month. Which was plenty of time for me to work on bigger projects that I was totally proud to wear! It’s a smaller convention, but don’t let that fool you- this con has more energy than a lot of the larger cons I’ve been to! This con was the first time I was in charge of the hotel room and my friends and I stayed in the hotel the con was hosted in so it was perfect. You know a con is great when they kick things off with a day zero pool party! The whole weekend was a great whirlwind of hanging with and supporting friends. We spent the days doing cosplay shoots and exploring the great artist alley. And the after party was completely out of this world!!! Honestly this con was 11/10 and I’m really hoping I find away to get to go next year! It also doesn’t hurt that I was nominated for the convention’s “Cosplayer of the Year” award. Thanks again to all of you who went out of your way to vote for me- I was a runner up in the top 5!!
Next, let’s talk about one of the best times of this year- pride month! I went to DC pride for the first time ever, as well as the first pride in my home town! I threw together some looks using a rainbow crop top and the rainbow dress that I made much earlier, but I also crocheted up a whole completely new crop top, too! It was amazing to be able to celebrate pride month to the fullest for the first time ever! I’m so excited to make some pretty extra looks for next June!
And what better way to kick off pride month than going to a Hayley Kiyoko, a.k.a. “Lesbian Jesus”, concert! This was my second time seeing her in concert and it was perfect. I made some custom “Girls Like Girls” earrings and I altered a jean jacket with lyrics to my favorite song from her new Expectations album: “He’ll Never Love You (Like Me)”. I’m normally not great with crowds but every person at the concert was so sweet- it was the biggest crowd I’ve been in where everybody there radiates nothing but positivity and love. If you ever have the chance to go to one of her concerts please make sure you do because she is the most talented performer I’ve be blessed enough to see in person!
I went to three concerts this year: The Beaches, Hayley Kiyoko, and Hatsune Miku! I went to see The Beaches on the second day of Calgary Expo and I was too dead to remember to take any photos, but it was a really fun time! As for the Miku Expo concert, I actually remembered to take pics! I’ve been a hardcore weeb since middle school and this wasn’t actually my first time seeing Miku in concert. For my second Hatsune Miku concert, I made sure to splurge a little bit for the VIP tickets so me and my friend could stand as close as possible to Miku and all the other Vocaloids! This concert was also a whole lot of fun. Even if you aren’t into Vocaloid, the experience of watching a hologram perform with a live band alongside her is totally worth it.
Furthermore, this year I let my friends give me an awful bowl cut (that was later redeemed as a pixie cut); I bottle fed newborn kittens for the first time ever; I went to a county fair in cosplay; I saw Hamilton with one of my best friends and his family; I got to visit Banff for the first time; I spent another awesome 4th of July on Cape Cod; I volunteered with a cat rescue; I actually published crochet patterns and tutorial videos on website; I went to Province Town for the first time that I can really remember; I pushed myself creatively in my studio classes; and I moved into my first off-campus apartment with a new roommate! My cats Leo and Thor also moved with me. And, of course, I crocheted whenever and wherever I could! Ultimately, this year was a huge one for me; I grew significantly in ways that I hope are for the better. I made sure to take more chances and give myself time to step away from my projects every now and again so I could make memories with my friends.
Thank you so much for sticking with me for another year. Sharing my adventures with you guys is such a treat. This year there were multiple times where I expressed my unhappiness or frustrations with life and moments later I received messages of support and well wishes. Knowing that I have such great friends in this little community of crochet and cosplay makes me more thankful than you could ever know. Sending out positive vibes for 20biteen! Can’t wait to get this new chapter started!!