Hey Nina. This is kinda a depressing question, but my prompto cosplay is not going how I want and I have to wear it in two days to my school. But I'm really questioning that because 1. it just looks funky and 2. I don't want people making fun of me. Though it is only the 3rd cosplay I've made, I'm losing my confidence in all of my cosplay plans for the future. I'm a perfectionist and I compare myself to others so much. Since you seem like a really helpful & nice person, how do I deal with this?
First off: I’m very sorry for likely replying after the fact. It’s extremely difficult for me to keep up with my inbox on this site (especially for messages that need a lengthier answer like this), so I don’t always get to respond to inquiries with a quick turn-around. I hope your event at school ended up going well, though!
Secondly: I’m so proud of you for tackling a project outside of your comfort zone to push your skills! It’s important for artists to do that; it’s what helps us grow and learn and most of all, improve. The worst thing you can do as an artist is never push yourself or try new things. It’ll make you stagnate and cause your progress to plateau. So good job for attempting such a difficult costume so early in your cosplay journey!
Thirdly: Yes, Prompto is an extremely challenging costume. It involves a ton of little techniques and details that aren’t apparent at a first glance, and as a result, it’s a project that can get easily overwhelming. (Trust me: been there, done that!) So it’s no wonder you’re feeling frustrated, especially as a novice cosplayer! In which case, my recommendation from here on out would be that the next time you feel frustrated with your progress, take a step back. Evaluate what you don’t like and assess what you need to change in order to be happier with the final results. Don’t like the plaid you chose? Rip it off and find something else. Not happy with the paint job on the shirt? Start over. Take your time and use a different method. Unhappy with your wig styling? Wash out all the hair product and try again. There is no shame in remaking something two, three, four, or more times. Keep remaking it until you’re happy with it, even if it takes 10+ attempts. You will have so much more fun wearing something you’re proud of rather than something you just “settled” for or finished half-heartedly. (Also, on the note of budgeting: budget for this. Set money aside as a “back-up” fund in case things go wrong and you need more materials. That money should always be included in your original estimations! And if you end up not needing it? Cool, treat yourself in the Artist Alley.)
Lastly, and perhaps the most importantly: be more forgiving and let yourself make mistakes. You’re still learning. You’re still teaching yourself these skills. You have just started making costumes. Yaya’s first costumes were not perfect. Kamui’s first armor build was not flawless. Jessica started out with a Pikachu bikini and now she’s making stuff like this. Heck, look, here’s my first real cosplay that I made versus my most recent:
It’s taken me ten years to get this far. Why? Because for a lot of those years, I didn’t push myself. I stayed in my comfort zone. I chose projects that didn’t teach me new skills or force me to work with new materials. It wasn’t until the last 4 years that I’ve really been focused on my craftsmanship and improving my skills, and that is what has allowed me to finish costumes like Sheik, Rapidash, and yes, Prompto too.
I know it’s hard. I know it’s frustrating. But you’re doing the right thing by attempting more difficult projects. Just remember that the frustration is part of the learning process. It’s good to get frustrated because it means you care and want to push yourself harder. It’s good to have high standards for your work because it means you’ll always strive to do your best.
However: it’s important to not let this frustration stunt your growth. Acknowledge your frustration, accept it, and learn to manage it. Take breaks while working. Don’t be afraid to revisit the drawing board. Set the costume aside and practice the skills you need to finish it before making another attempt. And again: forgive yourself for making mistakes. Yaya, Kamui, and Jess make them all the time. And you can bet your patootie I do, too. (Anyone who’s watched my livestreams knows that I mess up quite a bit, haha!)
Whether or not you ended up wearing it to school, I hope your Prompto cosplay turns out in a way that makes you happy! Don’t give up; work smarter, not harder. You’ve got this! <3