My first convention was GenCon, a gaming convention in Indianapolis, Indiana in 2010. It’s huge, crazy, and a little overwhelming for a first timer, but it was super fun. An old boyfriend had bought me a ticket and we ended up taking my dad too, because he is a major nerd, even if he won’t admit it.
Since I had never been to a convention before I had no idea what to expect, but I had watched live feeds form the San Diego Comic Con for years and I figured that cosplay was a huge part of having fun at these things. I had also been going to Renaissance Festivals since I was in high school and dressing up has always kind of been my thing, and there was no way I was going to miss this opportunity. If this was the only convention I was ever going to go to then by golly I was going to go all out.
And so, Poison Ivy was born.
Now remember, this is my first cosplay, and really my first shot at really making something up without following a pattern to a T. The top was some costume corset pattern that I have long since lost and the skirt was pieces of material on an elastic waist band with some extra fluff to add more dimension or something. I’ve gotten a lot better at matching the image in my head to what the actual project comes out to look like, but as I said, I had never done this before. I also realized about halfway through it that I’m a little too modest to pull off something as revealing as Poison Ivy usually is, but I was going to a comic convention and I was going to be a comic character dang it!
Looking back now I cringe and want to tell past me “wigs are your friends, you should invest in a good one now” and “maybe you can try to cover those shoes, for find some green ones”, and how did I ever cosplay without contacts and a full makeup arsenal. I kind of want to go hide under a rock right now. But isn’t this where most of us start? As much as I want to go back and fix just about everything now, this was the moment that I found a new passion. I know a lot of cosplayers go through a lot of bullying with their costumes that aren’t spot on, but all I go that day was encouragement, and from an unexpected source.
We waited in line for a good hour to meet the cast of the Guild, specifically Felicia Day. I think there were only 2 seasons out at this point and I was so excited to actually meet her. She is so nice and when I told her that I had made mine and my boyfriend’s costumes she asked if I was a costume designer and my dad even took a picture of her gesturing at the boyfriend’s cosplay saying ‘I love this!’ Talk about best day EVER, am I right!?! I’ll never forget that, every time I’m working on something, trying something new, or finish a project I have been working months on I hear her voice asking me if I am a costume designer and the way she looked at my costumes with a huge smile on her face. I don’t know if the people we look up to understand just how much the little things they say to us can affect us forever. I’ve have gotten as far as I have today because of her words and the positive feedback I got that day. It’s an experience I will never forget.