My Cosplay Journey – Poison Ivy

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.

poison ivy 1

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!

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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.

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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.

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