[identity profile] rebeccaannoying.livejournal.com posting in [community profile] artists_beware
I have been really excited about building cosplays, but I can't afford multiple costumes for myself and I don't want to fiddle with commissions right now. My way around this has been to build projects very cheaply for friends. I usually charge for materials and not much else, and this has worked out great. I get to practice patterns and have fun making stuff, and they get a nice costume peice for a good price. The largest project I did was a Pokemon mascot/fursuit type head with some feet for my best friend. It took me a long time, but we had great communication and the completed head was a huge hit. Now her little brother wants me to make him a similar costume, but I have a few reservations.

His request is a full body Lucario costume. I'm not worried about the complexity or scope of the project, but I admit it's fairly ambitious for my experience level. It's also a ton of work to do for free. Don't get me wrong, I would LOVE to do such a project, but it's probably going to take at least two months. I initially agreed to this project last summer with the understanding that it woudln't be "due" until 2017, and that work was going to happen in bursts during breaks from school. The plan was to start with a head, then do arm sleeves and feet, and finish with the tail and body. This way he could have useable costume parts before the whole thing was complete. Unfortuantely my living situation didn't allow for work to begin that summer, and then college started in the fall. I made it clear that I could not work on Lucario during school, so I planned to get a ton of work done over Christmas break (and I started telling him this in September, so it wasn't a surprise). I spent a lot of time researching techniches and prepping digital files; my plan was to take advantage of the school's laser cutter and 3D printer to save some major time. Everything was ready to go, but I needed some critical information from my friend (measurements and etc) before the shop closed for break. I gave him two weeks to get me the stuff I needed... and he never did. I missed my window of opportunity with the shop. Of course I've had access to the shop since then, but for some reason this kind of killed my desire. I was about to devote my entire break to his project, and he couldn't even be bothered to give me some basic info. It makes me question how badly he actually wants this costume, and more importantly if I can depend on him for other important things like the DTD, fittings, additional materials, etc.

There are a lot of advantages to this costume: the build will be a ton of fun, the "commissioner" is willing to try on prototypes (which I imagine is considered unprofessional in fursuit/cosplay communities), and it will be great advertisement for my work since he attends multiple cons. I really, really want to build it. The downsides are that I don't feel like he understands or values how much work I'm about to do, and I don't know how reliable he is. If I hadn't already committed to this project (and they hadn't already purchased some of the materials) I'm not sure I would still say yes. I really want to move forward with this, but if I'm dropping out now is the time to do it. Any suggestions on what I shoud do? If I don't build Lucario, how should I break it to my friend? I'm afraid he'll take it as a personal slight :/
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