I finally did it! I won an award!!! My third contest and first award… and I got Best in Show Journeyman. Holy poop I did not expect that! I even got $150, which was totally unexpected because I never tried to find out what the actual awards were. I’m kind of reluctant to take it out of the envelope though, because its part of my award and its very special to me.
I have a lot of thoughts about this experience that I have to get out. First of all, I am amazed at the response my costume got at AWA. When I wore it to Dragon*Con, only people that got close and talked to me praised it. Very few people got pictures. Most of the parade pics are “accidentals” of me in the background. So I left feeling kind of defeated. My costume I spent 4 months on was nothing special. I know, Dragon*Con is extremely overwhelming since there are tons of professional level amazing costumes floating around. Still, I felt sad.
But at AWA I was super shocked that everyone wanted pics of me. It wasn’t just because my costume was good, it was because they got the reference and loved Skyrim. The Skyrim fangirl inside me rejoiced! When I went on stage at the contest everyone went berserk. And then I won the award… so yeah, needless to say I felt very good that my hard work and Skyrim Lydia were appreciated.
The overall contest process was very nice. I expected to wait at least an hour from checking in to getting judged, so I signed up for an early time so I could make it to a panel later. But they seemed on their game this time (compared to what I read about last year), and it went fast. Then again, I was under hot and bulky, and I think they may have let us cut in front of everyone to go first. :-P I stood around for awhile afterwards admiring costumes. At some point I went back to my car and changed into my Skyrim commoner dress to go to the leatherworking panel. 5 or so hours later I changed back. Waiting for the contest to start took awhile, but it was a breeze because of the awesome people I got to talk to. Also being in hot and bulky, I got to stand in an air conditioned back room. Maybe there is something to this hot and bulky thing… :-P
I guess if there’s anything negative to say about the contest, its that it sucks that judging and the contest are so far apart. Even if my costume wasn’t hot, I wouldn’t want to be wearing it the whole day for fear of getting it messed up. Plus I couldn’t sit in it. (And the one I have in mind for next year might not be “sittable” in either.) But I do know the judges needed that time to deliberate and get the awards personalized. Plus they need a buffer if time goes way over. I think next year I’ll sign up for the last judging time (as long as it doesn’t conflict with panels I want to go to) to decrease the amount of time between judging and the contest. Then again, going early gives you enough time to change in between, and the judges aren’t cranky yet. I dunno, its a year away so we’ll see. :-P
Now for mushy feelings!
I’ve listed before in other posts what my reasons are for competing. Winning is like the icing on an already delicious cake, it just makes it so much more awesome. ^-^ For me, winning is not about and has never been about the actual physical award. I’ve never looked up the previous prizes given or really thought about it. People that only compete for money or free stuff… well it is ‘Merica and they’re free to do what they want, but I guess I don’t think nicely of them. :-P It is honestly the recognition and verification that I “did good” that I want. To know that my hard work paid off. So winning Best Journeyman, the second highest award, especially never having won anything and being a novice (I entered as Journeyman but qualified as novice), was just amazing.
So yaaaay I won something!!! :D