Happy New Year!
As we ring in 2021, I wanted to share the three things that dominated my year:
1️⃣ I continued to make costumes, mostly of lavender haired characters. The most extensive costume project is under NDA until next year, I have 4 half-finished outfits waiting for me and overall, I definitely did not make as many costumes as past years.... but if being stuck at home in 2020 has taught me anything, it is to refocus on the creative process. Forget about the end tally and enjoy the moment of making. I’ve talked a bit about how social media can really diminish one’s feeling of accomplishment and how that has been compounded in 2020 by the lack of cons and in-person interactions. It took a while to shift my mindset to reveling in the days spent in the workshop and appreciating the privilege of being able to craft instead of worrying about algorithms and tags. I finally got there toward the end of the year and will try to take that energy into 2021 with me.
2️⃣ I published a book - “Yaya Han’s World of Cosplay” - which has been a long-standing dream of mine. I wrote about my life, how cosplay shaped me as a person, and what makes this community so unique and worth being a part of. I’ve never poured so much of myself into one project or been so honest about my mistakes and shortcomings. It’s been a bittersweet experience to release a book during a pandemic. I am grateful for the opportunity to write and publish a book and for everyone’s support in buying and reading it, but without without events or signings (face-to face conversations), I can’t grasp the impact and I sometimes wonder if I had dreamt the existence of this book lol. Which only means that whenever we can gather again in 2021, if you tell me that you read my book, I will be bombarding you with questions. You have been warned.
3️⃣ My small business survived because of face masks. Sure, I had personal ongoing projects (commercial products such as fabrics, trims, patterns etc.) but my business also encompasses a cosplay accessories store with a small roster of employees who suddenly had no events to sell at. To keep the warehouse and employee payroll going, we pivoted to making face masks in the Spring. We developed our own system of hand-making masks, which included a socially distanced production and shipping schedule, learning a new market from the ground up and joining the Great Cotton Hunt of 2020. I personally spent more hours at a sewing machine this year than the last three years combined. We are proud to have donated masks to hospitals and communities in need, and relieved to have kept everyone employed through these hard months. We can’t thank those enough who chose to purchase face masks from us. Seriously, thank you.
I didn’t really wanna do a 2020 wrap-up because frankly, I’m ready for this year to be over, but I had to get my thoughts out on these three items at least. I’m acutely aware of my privilege and luck compared to so many people in the world and the only resolution I have for 2021 is to be more appreciative for everything. Thank you all for reading and good luck to us all in the new year.