I've done many things in my life and the one most common thing I've done is cosplay. The friends I've made, the skills I've developed, and the places I've been, are all from my hobby of cosplay. From when I started till now the scene has changed immensely. Cosplay has integrated itself into our society so much that most people know what it is now. There is a television show, there are tons of online stores, and conventions are inviting cosplay guests into their exhibition.
It's incredible to think that when I started cosplaying back in 2004, there were a handful of 'masters' on the internet. Now there are thousands of people all over the world who are so amazingly gifted and talented and we're lucky enough to be able to contact them. I'll never forget looking at my computer screen admiring the amazing Yaya-han and thinking to myself that one day I will meet her. It's 10 years later and it happened. Cosplays stars are normal people, but they're incredible normal people who set a generation of experience and professionalism to the hobby that we have all grown to love (and sometimes hate).
Even photographers have grown because of cosplay. I remember back in 2004 at Otafest, I think there were maybe 2 people who had professional cameras, and the rest of us used our point and shoot cameras. We are so incredibly lucky to have such amazing resources at an anime or comic convention such as photographers, videographers, bloggers, hosts…Documenting a costume is a lot of work but the outcome is completely worth it for both the photographer and the cosplayer. Times have changed for sure. I will never forget the experiences I've had with cosplay, and I hope to grow even further!!
Never give up on your dreams. Make incredible friends. Live through your passions, and believe in yourself.