Cosplaying can be an overwhelming and scary thing to jump into. There are so many amazing and talented cosplayers who create giant props and armor builds and it can be a little intimidating. Where do I start? How can I create something that AWESOME?! What if I can't sew? So many questions start piling in your head when you first look into starting to cosplay and that's perfect! There's a place for everyone in the cosplay community, no matter what your skill level.
Breaking the Stigmatism: Bought vs Self Made
There is often this fear of "not being a real cosplayer" to those who buy their cosplays rather than making the cosplay themselves. This is often a way to gatekeep the community, but cosplaying is all about having fun and bringing your favorite characters to life! I honestly can't sew to save my life, I can sew a ripped seam, but creating something from scratch is something I struggle with and that's okay! There are so many options for purchasing cosplays whether this is commissioning someone else on sites such as etsy.com, or buying ones from bigger stores. It can be tricky to find reliable stores, but here are some of my recommendations:
For many people, cosplaying is a creative outlet for them and a way to improve their skills. For those who want to learn more about sewing costumes, there are so many tutorials and patterns online to assist you along the way! Although I'm not the expert when it comes to sewing, there are many resources for people who have the passion for it. It is always so impressive to see what seamstress create. Cosplaying doesn't have to be 100% perfect to the character design, which is why being able to sew and create your own costume also allows for more freedom when it comes to designing. Since I personally struggle with learning to sew, I've found that piecing together outfits allows me that creative freedom. The few times I have attempted to create a cosplay, I honestly just free handed some basic clothing pieces and created attachments using foam. I was honestly impressed with myself for creating my Todoroki costume last year. Although the costume was basic, it was a step in the right direction for me in wanting to learn more about creating my own costumes and props.
Why Do You Want to Cosplay?
I believe the greatest part of cosplaying is pushing your limits. Whether this learning new techniques to sewing costumes or using foam to create props. I personally had no experience going into cosplaying with any of this. I started by purchasing small cosplays from Amazon.com and now 2 years later I'm starting to learn how to 3D print props and use foam. Over my journey of discovering what I enjoyed about cosplaying, I learned that even though sewing isn't something I'm interested in improving on, let alone doing, I am really interested in building props, creating armor, and putting together photography sets, as well as editing. Some of these topics are new to me, but I have been working toward improving these over the past year. For me, cosplaying in about pushing myself to see what I can do in my own creative space without worrying about what others consider to be the right way to cosplay. Cosplaying for me is about having fun, dressing up as my favorite characters, and being a little creative along the way. I think it important to remember that cosplaying is a way for many people to have fun and escape their real worlds for a moment. No matter your background or your skill set, there is always a place for you when it comes to cosplaying.