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Cosplay is all about self-expression and, although no two people have the same method of arriving at any one character, there are some common experiences cosplayers encounter along the way. I thought it would be fun to put together a checklist of some of these shared experiences.
How many of these 10 things have you accomplished in your time cosplaying to date? Share your score and more about your cosplay experience in the comments!
1. Created a Pinboard
Whether physically or online via a platform like Pinterest, taking reference images of your cosplay and compiling them all together is a great way to understand all the various components that make a character who they are.
This can also be a great way of noticing details you may have wished you didn’t notice.
Though I occasionally use my httpkoopa Pinterest for this purpose, I find myself more often just putting whole bunch of photos and screenshots together in a large digital file—whatever works to get the job done!
2. Participated in a Cosplay Meet-up
From gatherings for specific series like Shokugeki no Soma (Food Wars) to vast portfolios like Marvel, cosplay meetups are a great way to meet others with similar interests. Most of the large comic and anime conventions that I’ve gone to have had their fair share of gatherings organized for cosplayers and fans to come together, take photos, and simply geek out.
3. Have at Least One Dedicated Box for Supplies
No, you don’t get bonus points for having more than one. You also don’t get bonus points if you have individual boxes for specific categories of supplies like glues, tapes, and fabric scraps.
If you’re looking for a supply box recommendation, I would wholly recommend the Clear Sterilite Stacking Drawers. They’ve proven invaluable in terms making Marie Kondo proud.
4. Hand Sewn Elements of a Cosplay
Sewing machines are a simple way of creating something elegant and uniform.
Try sewing part of your cosplay by hand though.
It’s a lot harder to maintain any form of consistency, but it definitely makes you appreciate what sewing machines can do. I found it also helps a lot in the overall process of learning how to sew with a machine.
5. Used a Rotary Tool
You could simply spend days hand-carving details into a piece of foam to make a gnarled wooden cane, or you could just use a rotary tool (aka Dremel). These devices which rotate at a range of between 5,000 and 15,000 rpm’s make quick work of whatever material you’re working with, even wood.
A rotary tool, though somewhat intimidating at first, can be an easier way of adding details to cosplay elements like armor and props—just don’t forget, “safety first.”
Rotary tools are also not that expensive to come by, especially if you’re looking for an introductory one.
6. Spent Under $100 Total on a Cosplay
Unless you’re cosplaying a Pokeball (a la Phil from Wong Fu), it’s so easy to rack up a sizable bill. What with the cost of cosplay supplies, fabric, foam, worbla, etc. cosplaying is not a cheap hobby.
Rewarding, yes. Inexpensive, no… though it can be.
That said, if you create an amazing cosplay under $100, you can rest well knowing that your cosplay senpai would most definitely notice (and approve).
7. Transformed a Part of Your Look Yourself
Make-up, adding a goatee, wearing prosthetics, coloring your hair, wearing a wig, etc. If you’ve added or altered part of your self in some way to better look like a specific character, go ahead and add a point to your total.
8. Gone Incognito (Where People don’t Know Who You Are)
There’s something oddly liberating about people, who don’t know you even, not knowing who you are.
9. Integrated Resin-work
Resin can be both rewarding to work with and an annoying mess. Even if you don’t add any shimmer to a mix, getting colors just right can be a pain too. If the moon and planets align just right, or you’re accurate with both your measurements and temperature, resin can be a beautiful way to take your cosplay to that next level.
10. Used a 40% or More Coupon at a Local Craft Store
No shame in going to your local craft store on multiple occasions just to buy one or two items at a time with a coupon.
Seriously, someone should cosplay a JOANN Fabric and Craft Store coupon. You’d get a lot of use out of it.
What is Your Score?
Does a burn-scar applied by with help from friends for Zuko count as transforming part of my self? If so, I’m at a 9.25/10 myself. Gotta find a future cosplay to do more resin work with. Any suggestions?