First of all, for the sake of people who still don’t know what cosplay is all about..
Cosplay is a short term for costume play – a form of art where in performers are called cosplayers, who tend to wear costumes and fashion accessories that represent a specific character from a film, cartoon, anime or movies. It’s like role-playing, really!
Some people have never thought about doing cosplay, some people do. Some people wanted to start but doesn’t really know how to do so, I made this for those people who might be interested in doing cosplay in the future. I personally believe most of us did cosplay when we were younger. Playing dress-up as a princess, a poor girl, being snow white or cinderella. Those stuff. We treated it as maybe a school play, project or just for fun and games – but hey, it is really fun! It brings out the innocent kid within us. Nothing is ever so bad about that – as long as you enjoy the experience. Believe it or not, some people are even paid to be a cosplayer (Yes, there are professional cosplayers out there, too!)
So without further ado, let’s start on things you need to know!
1. Interested in Cosplay? Then JUST DO IT!
First and for most, one the the main things you really need to know is that there is no step by step process of being a cosplayer. If you want to engage with cosplay, then just do it! You’ll never get anywhere by always wondering, how to do it, if you can do it or if you are uncertain if you are doing it right. There is really no such thing as a right or wrong in cosplay. Hey, you are role playing you know so it’s really up to you!
2. Choose a character to Cosplay
Choosing a character is not really that easy as it may seem. It would be best and practical to choose a character that you really like and would enjoy to portray with. It would also be a plus if you tend to look similar with them in a way, too! Most important thing of all, pick a character that you’ll have fun dressing up! If you are very new to cosplay, you might want to pick a character with a very simple costume design, just like this one below: K-On (Anime), Mio Character
3. Collect Reference Photos of the Character you Want
Collecting references, photos, artwork – anything related to your character is very important. This will help you collect information on the details for the costume of your character. This will help you with the outfits and materials you need, too! You can buy clothing at your local store and modify it (in some cases, you might even find just something similar to your character, if its just a simple one!) as the same outfit as your character. Remember to check the details and every pieces of accessories your character has, alright? Let’s not forget our wigs for the costume, too!
4. Plan How You’ll Make the Costumes
One of the things you may need to be aware of is that in cosplay, there are just things you may have to buy and things you may need to do from scratch. That’s a reality check for you! One of the reasons is that, some characters clothing and costume, just doesn’t exist in real life, lol! Yes, we do have to accept that fact, everyone! You can buy a tank top and paint it similar to your character, buy fake eye lashes, fake nails, and all that. Being crafty is the key, but hey.. that’s okay! That’s one fun part of being a cosplayer!
Plus, if you don’t want to make it yourself, you can always buy it. You can go at MrCostumes.com anytime you want – they have a lot of costumes for you to choose from in wide variety of themes and sizes, too! If you plan to do it yourself or sew the materials yourself, you may need to do your own research online or even ask store employees with the fabric – they have basic knowledge for it, so don’t worry!
5. Do a check list!
It would be better if you would have a check list to make sure you don’t forget anything at all. From the costumes, the details, materials, items needed like, a character’s weapon or familiar or anything which is significant for the specific character of your choice – just to make sure you don’t forget anything. Remember, online research and Google would be your best friend. There are a lot of cosplayers out there, most likely, they might even make tutorials for you (if not, they probably exists already!) on how to make a specific costume on a specific character of your choice.
6. Never be afraid to ask for help
Not just for cosplays but for anything else. Nothing will come out if you’ll be embarrassed and shy forever. There are tons of cosplayers out there, trust me! Just ask for help! They would gladly help you out. There are even tons of facebook and social media groups for cosplayers. They tend to talk about how they make their costume, about the conventions they attend to – they talk about everything relating to cosplay!
It would be nice to ask them about very detailed questions so they can answer you carefully, too! Ask questions like, how did you do Elsa’s dress? What materials did you use? Those specific questions will definitely be helpful!
Lastly, just take your time into everything. Rushing something is never a good idea and that goes to every aspect of life, too! If you end up getting frustrated, just step back and come back to it once you get a clear mind on things. Cosplaying is actually really fun! Thus, if you decide to engage in it, enjoy it!