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10 years of cosplay by Yoosteippi 10 years of cosplay by Yoosteippi
May 14th 2005 Kirsikankukkacon was held in Turku. It was the first time 12,5 years old me put on a cosplay costume that my mom and grandma had made for me and after that moment there was no turning back. It has been ten years since then. Time really does fly, doesn't it?

This is going to get long so ten points to you if you read the whole thing.

2005-2010
Cosplays debuted those years: Jibril (Angel Sanctuary), Lettuce Midorikawa (Tokyo Mew Mew), Aria (Sister Princess), Hinako (Sister Princess), YUKI (Mix Speaker's,Inc.), fem!Canada (Hetalia)
2005 my second cousin introduced me to cosplay and I wanted to give it a try. I couldn't sew to save my life so my mom and grandma made my first costume (and everything after that for the next 5 years) for me. My first cosplay was Jibril from Angel Sanctuary because my second cousin recommended her to me. I have no idea why I agreed because to this day I have never read Angel Sanctuary more than the first volume of the manga and didn't really care about it. The costume itself wasn't that recognizable either, what a shame that I don't have any pictures of it. I also participated in a costume contest with it because that was the only way I knew how to cosplay. My second costume, Lettuce, was a character I liked from series I liked and so have been everything I have cosplayed after that.
Back then I wasn't active cosplayer at all. My mom made about one new costume a year for me. Because I did basically nothing for my cosplays, I didn't improve either until late-2010 when I decided that I wanted to learn to do stuff by myself. It was Hetalia that fueled my cosplay spirit and my first somewhat-selfmade costume was fem!Canada (sadly no pictures of that either) that I wore for the Hetalia Day meetup.
Also, may I say that times sure have changed? My first cosplay could have been Cornelia from W.i.t.c.h. because my mom had already made that costume for me before I even knew what cosplay was, and when she asked me why I wouldn't wear that to the con my answer was "It's not Japanese so it doesn't count as cosplaying."
I don't even know why I found cosplay fun and kept doing it, because the reason sure wasn't any of the reasons I have now. I didn't have friends to cosplay with and I didn't find crafting the costume rewarding, because I didn't make them. Maybe it was just fun to walk around a convention dressed up as a character I liked.

2011
Cosplays debuted that year: fem!Austria, Wy, Austria's WWII uniform, Poland, all from Hetalia
Welcome to Hetalia hell, don't forget you're here forever.
As I said, Hetalia was the fuel to my cosplay spirit and so everything I cosplayed in 2011 was from Hetalia. I had joined cosplay group Rintamasuunta in 2010 and we had practiced our 15-minute long historical Hetalia skit for a con held in summer of 2011. Joining Rintamasuunta have been one of the best decisions in my life. I have got so many great friends from the group and I really don't know where I would be now without them.
As you can see, I had no idea what to do with make-up. I could use foundation and mascara but that was pretty much it. I hope you all take a good long look at those costumes and understand the importance of a good wig and make-up.
No-one becomes master at sewing overnight so I was still such a noob with costume-making. That fem!Austria and Wy are at least 90% made by my sister because I had no idea what I was doing. But I made progress and that was the most important thing.

2012
Cosplays debuted that year: Sion (No.6), Momoka Oginome (Mawaru Penguindrum), Blue Rose (Tiger & Bunny), Mary (Ib), fem!America (Hetalia), Gakuen Hetalia girls' uniform for fem!Austria, Austria (Hetalia), Zrzolov (Usavich), Poniko (Yume nikki), Gakuen Hetalia boys' uniform for Iceland
Thanks to my new friends I had discovered circle lenses and after I was brave enough to try them for the first time and saw the magic they did to my eyes, I never wanted to cosplay without them again. I also got interested in make-up and other beauty stuff and watched countless videos on YouTube trying to learn to apply different products correctly. Thanks to this my face started to look better while in cosplay.
Each and every cosplay I did that year was for a pair or group cosplay. I noticed how much more fun it was than cosplaying alone and to this day I still mostly cosplay with friends.
I still needed help making stuff I hadn't done before and felt a bit inferior sometimes because it felt like all my friends already could handle their costumes all by themselves. That's why it felt extremely good when my sister saw my Gakuen Hetalia girls' uniform and asked if I had made it with grandma and I realized that "wait a minute.... Actually I haven't." I hadn't asked anyone's help while making it, I knew what I was doing and if I didn't I figured it out. I guess it helped me to believe in my skills more and see the progress I was making.

2013
Cosplays debuted that year: Norway's Fantasia outfit (Hetalia), Mami Tomoe (Madoka Magica), Mochizou Ooji (Tamako Market), Shampoo (Ranma ½), child!Belgium (Hetalia), Meiling Li (Cardcaptor Sakura), Katara's Fire Nation outfit (Avatar The Last Airbender), fem!Italy based off on a fan art (Hetalia), Norway's sailor outfit (Hetalia), Syo Kurusu (Utapri Maji Love 2000%), Romania (Hetalia), Kyo Sooma's formal artbook outfit (Fruits Basket)
This year I made total 12 costumes and ended up with few rushed results I'm not so happy with. I think I have learned now it's quality over quantity.
Year 2013 was also the year to make comeback to competition stages. My friend Nessu and I participated in Animecon's show cosplay competition with our Cardcaptor Sakura skit and placed third. The Meiling costume I made for the skit is also one of my favorite ones that I have made. I also participated in Tracon's costume contest as Syo from Utapri but that didn't go well. The costume was still unfinished the convention morning and ended up being rushed to finish with the help of my friend and sister. I wasn't proud of my work and would have dropped out of the competition if it wasn't my only way to get in the con. After that I have remade some parts of the costume but I think it still needs some more alerting.
Also, welcome to Utapri hell, don't forget you're here forever. In only two and half years I have already made six Utapri cosplays for two characters. It loses only to Hetalia: 14 costumes.

2014
Cosplays debuted that year: Ai Mikaze (Utapri), Kyoko Kirigiri (Dangan Ronpa), Romeo Candorebanto Monatgue (Romeo x Juliet), Syo Kurusu (Utapri Debut), Chiaki Nanami's swimwear (Super Dangan Ronpa 2), Wolfram von Bielefeld (Kyo Kara Maou!), Jessie (Pokèmon), Syo Kurusu's Halloween outfit (Utapri)
I felt like I was finally making some great progress. I knew how to get stuff done and if I didn't I knew how to google answers or figure it out by just thinking and trying. I understood how to alert patterns and didn't feel helpless at all, no matter what I was doing. I guess that's why it felt safe to start using other materials too. So far I had only worked with different kinds of fabrics and had only little experience with some other materials like paints and fimo/cernit. The next crafting materials I tried were soft foam and different kinds of cardboard to build the two swords I needed for two of my costumes. I must say, I suck at crafting but that probably means I just need to practice more.
Nessu and I participated in a show cosplay competition again with Romeo x Juliet skit and this time we placed 2nd.
Got to mention also my Utapri group that was formed this year. I have got new friends and can't wait for our next adventures!

2015 January-May
Cosplays debuted so far this year: Elsa (Frozen), Ai Mikaze (Utapri All Star), Junko Enoshima (Dangan Ronpa), Syo Kurusu (Utapri Maji Love Revolutions)
Firstly, I apologize for not having good pictures of most of this year's costumes. I haven't had time to properly photoshoot them yet so the selfies and such will have to do for now.
Right now, I'm very eager to learn. I feel like I have reached some kind of basic level with sewing that opens a whole new world of possibilities for me. I already know how to get my stuff done so I can concentrate on improving even further and learning even more skills, leveling up quicker. I also have a cosplay kouhai who is very talented already (beginners these days, I swear, not when I was young : D) and I want to be able to help her. Also I wan't to make sure she's not surpassing her senpai on her first year of cosplaying : D
So my current goals are to become better at wig styling and to learn to do more with make-up. I also wan't to try out some new materials like finnfoam and worbla.

Sometimes I feel like I have barely made any progress at all but looking at that picture tells me otherwise. Of course I am not ready yet, but I think that's one of the best things in cosplay: One can always keep challenging themselves and progress further and further.

11th year of cosplay START!

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Photo credits to Jukka Vuorinen, Joonas Forsell, my mom, Maria Parviainen, Miika Ojamo, piraattitomaatti, mamiamamia, Noredo, my sister Laura, Emilia Lahtinen, Johkulii, Kari Hiltunen, Santtu Pajukanta, Terjo Peltola and Helene Lindfors.
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:icontreaste:
treaste Featured By Owner May 21, 2015
do you have any tips on wearing contact lenses if you've never worn any before?
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:iconyoosteippi:
Yoosteippi Featured By Owner May 23, 2015
Sure.
If you're going to use lenses for cosplay, I recommend that you take your time learning how to put them on and take off. To some people it may take even an hour to get the lenses properly in for the first time, so it's a good idea to practice at home before the convention so you don't have to waste time learning that on the con morning. YouTube is full of video tutorials on how to wear lenses, research there.

Other than that, please remember to take good care of your eyes. They're super important and no one should endanger their vision for cosplay. Basically this means that remember your hygiene.
1. Never wear broken contacts.
2. Change the lens solution every time you put the lenses to the casing and if you don't use your lenses remember to change the solution at least once every month.
3. Never wear lenses that have been in someone else's eyes. Never lend your lenses to anyone either. Wearing someone else's lenses is like using their toothbrush. Not hygienic.
4. If your lenses hurt your eyes take them off immediately.
5. Don't sleep with your contacts on.
6. Handle your contacts only with hands washed with water and soap and dried with a towel or paper.

It's also recommended to visit an optometrist before getting your first lenses. The optometrist can tell you whether your eyes are suitable for lenses, what prescription you may need etc.
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:iconjohkulii:
Johkulii Featured By Owner May 19, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
:hug: Paras senpai on paras~! Ja sun kehitystä on niin ihanaa kattoa, 5/5.

PS ainakii 10 pistettä mulle.
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:iconyoosteippi:
Yoosteippi Featured By Owner May 23, 2015
:hug:
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