1.the practice of dressing up as a character from a movie, book, or video game, especially one from the Japanese genres of manga and anime.
Although seen as a childish activity or only for those who are typical “losers” or “outsiders,” cosplay has become a sensation and a thriving industry as it becomes more and more popular and competitive. Companies such as Cosplay Deviants and Atomic Cosplay employ models with high salaries. Freelance cosplayers such as Dylan Shipley or MalinkaCosplay are widely recognized for their work on social media or in-person as they travel from event to event.
Success in the cosplay world isn’t always resulted with instant gratification. To at least attempt to become prominent in a vast community, it’s wise to familiarize yourself with tips and tricks that will “up” your game and strive toward positive results.
DO: Have an idea of where and when you’re going to cosplay. Understand the attendance size and theme of your event.
DON’T: Decide to attend a convention or topical gathering at the last minute. Make sure your location is suitable for you. Buy tickets when you’re ensured admission.
DO: Choose a character or characters you feel most comfortable as! Choose a character(s) from the appropriate genre that you feel a natural inclination towards.
DON’T: Force yourself onto something uncomfortable or humiliating, or an obscure character that isn’t recognizable. Consider the popularity rate of your choice.
DO: Plan ahead! This is important, especially for beginners. Avoid any split-second decisions and reference prior examples of the same look you’re going for. Have an image in mind of how you want your cosplay to look.
DON’T: Procrastinate. Deadlines approach quickly. Consider times of shipping, especially with materials from overseas or less popular clothing sites.
DO: Have all of your materials prepared. Make sure you are aware of what you need and what you have to complete your look.
DON’T: Use things such as felt, markers, masking tape. paper clips or printing paper (if an amateur.) Easy mistakes such as these often go unnoticed, but give a sloppy and half-polished look to your cosplay if not executed properly.
DO: Invest in props and wigs. If you would rather style/dye natural hair, the option is always applicable yet only a few advanced cosplayers opt to do so. In order to sell convincing and impressive cosplays, details are vital.
DON’T: Use a graphic tee as a cosplay. You just look like you got off the set of The Big Bang Theory.
DO: Utilize makeup. Makeup is a cosplayer’s best friend when it comes down to the line. There are plenty of tutorials out there on accentuating specific features, applying costume makeup, or adding any key assets to your face/body.
DON’T: Become discouraged by the price tag. If your instinct is to first buy your materials off of sites such as Etsy or CosplaySupplies, you’ll drain your bank account. JoAnn Fabrics, Goodwill, Amazon, eBay and AliExpress offer cheap options that can make or break great convention attire.
DO: Enjoy your final product and how you look. It’s most important to have pride in yourself while cosplaying. Be clever. Be creative. There’s no limit to what you can do.
Bonus: Here are a few shots of my Wolverine piece. (My claws are stainless steel, take note.)