You guys are the best…a FFXV memoir

 

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Photo by Tony Julius Photography

I’ve been wanting to write this for a while now. you’ve been warned this will be a super sappy post about finding yourself, re-aligning your goals and dreams, life-long friends and incredible adventures.

If you’re into all of that keep reading.

This is more of a life/journal post that it is construction although I’ll talk a bit about that too. 2016 was an interesting year construction/business wise for us. We took on a HUGE project for us and got some pretty exciting news. One problem, the project was soul crushing and I (Jackie) did it for all the wrong reasons that I won’t get into here. I thought doing something so big and challenging for us was going to get us some notoriety, win some contests, give us some content for more videos, and possibly get us and interview with one of my favorite prop companies.

Surprise.

None of that happened. What did happen is I got super sick from accidentally inhaling too much barge, burned all my friends out on cosplay, burned myself out on creating, and set myself up for one of the biggest, self imposed failures yet and had the exact opposite of fun during the creation and wearing stages.

Oops.

I actually had the conversation with G that I don’t know if I can do this anymore. I had a lot of thinking to do and I needed a break. In the few months after we found out about Cosplay Melee (super happy for G but didn’t do much for my confidence as a builder to get turned down at the same time) a little game called Final Fantasy XV came out.

I had only been waiting 10 years for this game. I had followed it since it was titled versus XIII staring a midnight prince with red eyes that could summon swords from thin air set in a dark modern baroque city-scape. Sign me up. It was everything my college Devil May cry days could ask for. Although Noctis changed along the way, so did I, I still kept casually following the progress of this game and I couldn’t believe it was finally getting released. I had forced G to go to the local art theater to watch Kingsglaive before the game actually came out and was hooked. I was a little confused at the plot, but damn was it pretty. I felt inspired to create for the first time in months, I was going to make that mask. Along came the game and well it’s been a year later and I haven’t stopped making things from it.

Let me explain. during the time I played this was around the holidays. My best friend works retail so after Thanksgiving passes I basically don’t get to see her until New Years is over. Her and her husband travel to go see family during this time and all of my other friends have family obligations like you do around the holidays so I had a lot of extra time on my hands. Playing a game straight through that’s basically about 4 best friends who go on an epic road trip before saving humanity will do things to you when that’s all you consume for a few months. I wanted to go on that roadtrip. I wanted to have their adventures. So on New Years the 4 of us joked about doing the bros as drinking costumes since there were 4 of us. I then bought coozies themed after their skills (which you can get here) and guilt-ed Deb and Paul into doing these costumes with me.

We all agreed we would buy these costumes since we were still burnt out from making things we didn’t love. I secretly went crazy and found the Roen versions of Noctis and Prompto’s outfits and decided I was going to embrace the insanity and base mine off of that just to challenge myself. I then remembered I had purple leopard sheets that had been following me around since high school and I decided I would make Ignis’s too. Deb caught wind of my crazy and it spread to her too and of we were on our camping themed boy band, creative adventure. We all learned how to wax our own fabric, (tutorial coming soon) I got very into men’s formal wear very quickly, learning how to sew and handle snake skin, and learning the ins and outs of cross-play. In three months I sewed Noctis, Ignis, and Nyx’s jacket and pants, sculpted a moving kingsglaive mask, and the badge he wears. I was back into creating!

We took the boys (and girls, deb and I did a genderbend of prom and noct at first) to Seattle and never looked back. We had THE BEST time at any con hands down. People were so excited to see the chocobros and we made so many new friends. We so needed this. We all needed to have fun again after what we had put ourselves through the past 6 months with the other costumes. We decided moving forward we weren’t doing anything we didn’t love anymore. This hobby/business is about having fun, and we wanted to bring that to the people we met along the way.

A year later, the boys have seen so many adventures and made so many friends. I really attribute finding that game and it’s story at a time that I really needed it. It saved me creatively as weird as that might sound to some people, I attribute how we are now to what we went through and giving these boys a chance.

We made some incredible memories along the way as well. We got to take photographs under the stars in Sedona when the milky way is visible to the naked eye 2 nights out of the year.

View More: http://julius-photography.pass.us/chocobrosunderthestars
Photo by Tony Julius Photography

We went on a road trip and rented a car to re-create some of the opening scenes from the game. We spread our crazy to two of our friends and had them join us as Cindy and Iris.

View More: http://julius-photography.pass.us/chocobrosroadtripView More: http://julius-photography.pass.us/chocobrosroadtrip

View More: http://julius-photography.pass.us/chocobrosroadtrip

View More: http://julius-photography.pass.us/chocobrosroadtrip
Photos by Tony Julius Photography

We went up north and shot some fishing shots of the guys.

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Photos by Tony Julius Photography

We even did a milk bath shoot to show the start of the sad parts in the game.

Deb and I somehow convinced Paul and G to jump on the Gladnis train and they haven’t looked back.

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Photo by Tony Julius Photography

I even wrote a fanfiction that may or may not see the light of day!

We also met some incredibly talented photographers along the way whom we are honored to call friends now. . I cannot express to you the inspiration that I got from this game. It spread to other areas of my life and things I never thought I would do like write.

What I’m getting at is, life is too short to not enjoy it. If all I we bring to this world is a much needed compliment, and encouraging word, or an invite to come along with our good time, I can feel good about that. There’s too much bad in the world to not spend the time that you can with your friends and those that you love. FFXV, you have your flaws, but thank you for telling a story about true friendship and importance of valuing the time that you have with those people. Thank you for showing me what is good in the world and what i should focus spending my time on.

I hope you enjoy our adventures as much as we have enjoyed going on them.

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