I am a self-proclaimed noob! I’ve only been to 2 conventions and have made a lowly total of 3 costumes in the good name of cosplay. My sewing skills are sloppy, I don’t hand make every piece of my costume but everyone has to start somewhere!
For me, like many other people who have become disillusioned with this early new millennium, cosplay is an escape into an amazing fantasy realm. It is a creative endeavor that allows me to showcase my fangirly side and passion for fashion and costuming. In my short cosplay career, here are 5 things I have learned:
Procrastination can be your downfall…
Already have an idea for your next cosplay? START NOW. I have (on every occasion) started my costumes 1-2 weeks before a con/ event and have turned into a stressed out, sleep deprived monster. At Pax I had 2 hours of sleep before the con (I was pretty sure I could see sounds) which meant a lot less energy to run around and be a nerd. Also, although glue gunning everything is a good idea when you have less than 10 hours to complete your costume it compromises the quality of the costume. Give yourself time to correct mistakes or try new techniques, trust me, you will appreciate the wiggle room if something needs to be re-done!
Watch your wallet!
The truth is cosplay is an expensive hobbie. The cost of materials, cost of tickets, cost of travel and accommodations, cost of that super awesome thing you bought at the con, cost of food and drink… the list goes on. Make sure you set a budget for yourself before your go to a con, perhaps, bring a set amount of cash so you don’t overspend and pack snacks or drinks to save food costs. Also, shop around for your supplies. Check the clearance section at your local fabric store, you may find that perfect piece at a discounted price. I am a big fan of altering clothing and accessories I find at Value Village or second hand stores to save some coin.
Practice your poses!
Cosplay is costume role play, a great cosplayer takes time to get into character, learn poses and phrases, etc… Not to mention, practice makes perfect. The best way to avoid derpy or unflattering photos is to practice a few poses and remember good posture. Another good tip, dress rehearsal! Try EVERYTHING on and then go for a walk. This will allow you to target any potentially problematic wardrobe malfunctions. Case in point, my last minute costuming for Storm, I had to use a stapler from the front desk of the con to secure my boot covers from slipping down my leg when I walked!
Some people suck…
There is a dark underbelly of cosplay, it isn’t always rainbows and unicorns. Haters gonna hate and Trolls be trollin’. The harsh reality is that people post hurtful content pretty regularly but don’t let that ruin your experience. Another sad truth is that the cosplay community isn’t always very welcoming. Elitism and competition are pretty rampant and for a new cosplayer it can be very intimidating. I have definitely felt discouraged when I like, comment and share the heck out of other people’s content and receive no love back. Where is the love? Can’t we all be best friends?!
Remember why you are doing it.
Cosplaying is FUN! Despite the stress and drama, do it because you love the character! Don’t let the haters discourage you out of cosplaying because you are too short, big, small, tall, light, dark, etc… Why can’t you be a brown Emma Frost? Or a curvier Super Girl? Wear it proud, you put as much work and effort into your costume as the next cosplayer. Also, trying to cosplay to become famous is a trap. One that I fell for… Becoming the next Yaya Han or Jessica Nigri isn’t in the cards for most of us. There are thousands talented cosplayers that don’t get famous, be content and love what you do regardless of how many likes you get.
As always, let me know what you think! 🙂