Hey, My name is CourtoonXIII, and I’m a cosplayer. I’m also horrible when it comes to grammar and organizing my thoughts, so please excuse the following post.
About six or so years ago I was upstairs in my room and I came down for a snack. I was a freshman in high school with very little going for me besides theater. I came downstairs to see my brother hogging the TV watching something that looked like anime. I scoffed at him for watching this ‘show’, but sat to watch it with him for I had nothing else to do.
This show was Avatar The Last Airbender. Specifically ‘The Waterbending Scroll’ which is probably why I was such an avid Zutarian. I watched one episode and I was gone. I needed to involve myself in this show. I wanted to find out more about it, I downloaded every episode that was out at the time, which wasn’t very many and watched them all.
My life flipped upside down that day. I was astounded to see a cartoon tell a story like this, I always loved cartoons, but I had never seen something like this on television. Before that, the only Anime’s I had seen were Pokemon and Sailor Moon. Though Avatar is not technically an anime, western cartoons didn’t seem to have much of a flowing storyline. I was absorbed.
I wanted to see if other people liked the show, I wanted to talk to everyone about it. But sadly I didn’t know where to do that. I started looking up Avatar clips on youtube, and to my surprise I found something called AMV’s. Animated Music Videos, these really beautifully edited montages that brought back every feeling from watching the show. So obviously, I wanted to start making these. I went under the name PhantomZuko. Phantom because I was really into Phantom of the Opera, and Zuko… well, that one is obvious. I made a bit of a name for myself in that world, and in doing so I discovered a site called deviantart. In deviantart I greeted the fandom.
Fandom: The best and worst thing that will ever happen to you.
I started drawing fanart, and was having a blast. Of course I was awful, most of my fan art from way back then has disappeared from the net. I keep some of it to remind myself of how much further I have to go, but yet, how far I’ve come. But at the time I was just having fun, and getting to know awesome people who I still talk to today.
Through deviantart I discovered cosplay, and while that is a huge part of who I am today, that is a different story.
Being a part of this fandom, making AMV’s, drawing fanart. It was the happiest I had ever been. I was never that unhappy before, but I didn’t know something could make me this happy all the time. It made me feel like how I felt on stage. I knew I wanted to be a part of this for the rest of my life. I wanted to work in the creation of cartoons.
I started taking art more seriously, I was not born with that gift, but I’ve been working really hard. I know my artistic skill alone probably won’t get me far, but I have this drive, this passion, so overwhelming that my dreams aren’t easily crushed. Who knows if I’m just stubborn, or if I’m actually meant for something. But I’m following a path, who knows where it will take me, but I’m traveling without much of a map.
So pictured above are the finished cosplays I have from this series. I have two more costumes that are still to be photographed (Skoochy and Fire Nation Katara). I obviously have a thing for water tribe girls.
So I just wanted to say thank you to Avatar. It’s going to be a long road, and it’s going to be a challenging one. But I look forward to the challenge, because I know this is what I want to do with my life. I want to tell stories. I want to affect other people like you have affected me. I look forward to the day I can come into work… and that is what I will get to do. Be a part of that family that inevitably happens, and bring characters and stories to life.
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