I've been on the cosplay/convention scene since 2003, but recently I've started wanting to do a little more. Maybe it started with my contributing to PatrickD's animecons.com articles and podcast, or maybe it was just a natural progression of my personality, but whatever the case lately I have felt compelled to start sharing more than just my costumes with this wonderful cosplay community. Coming up on my 10th year cosplaying, I think it's safe to say I've learned a lot since I first picked up a needle & thread and found myself with a program book in hand. Looking back, though, when I started on this journey some 9 and a half years ago the cosplay scene was so much smaller, so much simpler. Now: in the United States there's a convention, if not several, almost every weekend of the year; you can buy fully made anime costumes over the internet; wigs from online wig stores come in all sorts of colors and intricate styles, saving the average cosplayer tons of work; and social networking, both inside and out of the cosplay community, has boomed creating tons more opportunities to meet people and share ideas - just to give a few examples. For someone new to cosplay it can be quite overwhelming. Heck, for me as a "veteran" cosplayer it can be overwhelming! If I can help a little by sharing my experience and advice, why not?Which leads me to the specific catalyst for my creating this blog: a panel I'm working on and a topic I find myself very passionate about. Over recent years I have heard a lot about cosmetic lenses as used in cosplay that really disturbs me. The misinformation, or lack of information, faced by young cosplayers who don't know a think about contact lenses is a huge medical emergency waiting to happen. When a post came up on the ConnectiCon staff forums questioning the validity of dealers room cosmetic lens vendors I got to thinking: I want to get the word out there before some poor kid ends up in the hospital with a horrible, potentially blinding, eye infection. My solution was to create and present a panel on the topic to get the information out into the cosplay community. Initially I wasn't sure I could find enough material on cosmetic lens safety, so I expanded to cover general cosplay safety. Boy was I wrong! As I researched and my panel evolved I resolved to split it into two parts: “costume construction” and “attending conventions,” which then turned into each hour long panel being upped to 90 minutes long. With public input on forums complaining about the length, and my bank of information continuing to grow, I decided I need another outlet to go into more detail so I can cut down my panels to more acceptable lengths. My solution: start a blog!
For the foreseeable future I do not intend to have any sort of reliable posting schedule. I certainly plan on covering more than just “cosplay safety” topics, but I wouldn't be surprised if it's a feature of many of my early posts. If you have a question, comment, or suggestion of a topic you'd like me to cover, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and try to include “EffectiveCos” in the title so it doesn't end up in my spambox.