Cosplay: Everyone Starts Somewhere!

Something that I, as both a person who loves to cosplay and a writer, simply cannot ignore is the constant feed I’m seeing from new cosplayers.

“I don’t want to look sh*t”

“I don’t suit X-Character but I love them.”

“I don’t have the skills to be this character.”

“I’m just afraid it’ll look awful.”

Its understandable to feel this way, cosplaying has boomed in the last few years and its just getting bigger. It is much more socially acceptable than it was in 2012 and that’s not a bad thing. We’ve increased in numbers substantially and because of this so many more people can afford to make a living out of their craft which is amazing. Due to this popularity and this professionalism it can leave newcomers a little intimidated to say the least. Everyone now knows how to work worbla and how to make metal armor from cardboard, a tin of paint and a paperclip. As a new cosplayer you can’t help but feel so lost amongst all these cosplayers who somehow know exactly how to make every impossible prop and sew incredible ball gowns. Although it’s more accessible to the public a lot of our newcomers are greeted by this intense fear to develop these skills instantly and be at the same level as those who have been doing it for years.

Well this is a friendly reminder that everyone had no idea what the hell they were doing at some point. Every famous cosplayer had to learn how to stitch somewhere, or where to buy the best cosplays from or how to style wigs. They relied on the sparse tutorials available to create beautiful designs and now they create tutorials and release books to make it even easier for the newcomers. Never be put off something you want to cosplay because of the skill level or if you’re the wrong body type or whatever reason you think you have for not doing it. You might not be ready to achieve that dream cosplay yet, you may need a few test runs to know what you like and what works and eventually you’ll be able to do all the cosplays your mind can think of. It takes time to develop your skills and it takes time for you to have confidence in these skills but once you achieve it the pride is so worth it.

I’ve asked the team here on #TeamSMC and also a few other cosplayers provide first cosplay photos to their most recent just to prove this point. Everyone has to start somewhere and where better to start than with someone you love. The first few cons I attended were completely composed of things from my wardrobe and I had the time of my life, but as noted it was a different time where cosplaying and costume making wasn’t taken as seriously as it is now. However without this phase of just finding whatever I had and making a cosplay out of it I wouldn’t be half as dedicated as I am now to making it and I certainly wouldn’t enjoy it as much as I do. The community, though large, is still helpful. Do not be afraid to ask for help, if you’ve met someone from con or have a friend who kind of knows what they’re doing ask them for help. If there are cosplayers you idolize try giving them a message, most will love to respond to your questions about their craft. If there is one thing I’ve discovered about cosplayers it’s that we love to talk about how we make our costumes. Though I’ve focused very heavily on the craft side of cosplaying I should outline that there is absolutely nothing wrong with buying cosplays or getting pre-styled wigs or commissioning others to make your cosplays for you. Its an extremely efficient and easy way to be your favorite character and a great way to become part of the cosplay community. Regardless I hope you enjoy the collection below of how people started and where they are now, I hope you draw some inspiration from them and once again just enjoy yourself!

“Cosplay someone you enjoy, and whether you buy or make it feel proud to be that character and do that character proud. “- Saijin Cosplay

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