Cosplay 101 | TIPS AND TRICKS OF COSPLAY
by Tope Ikudaisi
Picture this: you get to see a lot of people dressed in different costumes, wearing wigs and make-up, looking like your favorite character in a cartoon? This magical world of pretend seduces you, you cannot help but fall in love with this look. You asked your friend (she is also in costume, hmmmm interesting) “what they are wearing!” she replies,” Duh, cosplay”. Confused but curious and elated, you are ready to know everything about this “cosplay”. And so, begins your adventure!
Okay, okay, all joking aside our team put together our favorite cosplay lingo and fabrication tips to get you started on beginning your own cosplay journey!
What is a Cosplay?
Cosplay is part performance art, part dress up, and pretend! Cosplayers wear costumes and accessories inspired by or referencing characters from their favorite shows, movies, and manga. Going the extra mile to bring otherworldly details to life. With craftspersonship that involves special effects and hours of effort, getting started can seem intimidating. Luckily, the world of cosplay is generally very welcoming to all kinds of people and creatures (fairytale or intergalactic). With the world of YouTube and cons coming back in 2022, the world of Cosplay has never been more open to newcomers and first timers.
Cosplay Vocab List
Cross Play - Cross Play refers to specifically to a performer dressing as the opposite gender.
Cosplay loves to play with Gender and drag. Cosplay and drag artists have a lot in common, with elements that are totally interchangeable, Cosplay is like a nerdy drag art or Drag as is a gender bending cosplay.
The Gender Blender – Adapting a character to the opposite gender
The performer adjusts the features of a character to be more masculine or feminine. Often using the same color scheme and costume elements as a reference to create a totally different costume design. The goal is to evoke the character without doing a carbon copy of the original.
Mash-Up - A Mash-Up consists of combining two fandoms to create a new character
We love these! It allows you to mix two characters or more using the same costume elements to create something new. They are usually fun to wear, and you would be surprised at how many people will recognize you.
Gijinka - This involves portraying animal characters in human form
One of the most famous series from which people make gijinka is Pokémon. Some artists have become famous for designing these interpretations of a character. There are no written rules, and you can decide to create your cosplay based on a character and fashion trends you love.
5 Essential Cosplay Tips
- Always give it a shot, want to try that character or sample that trend – just jump in!
Do not worry about what others think, just have fun with it.
- Use light materials
Two reasons, sweating and con safety guidelines. Even though John Snow probably wore heavy woolens and leathers – after 5 hours inside a Summer Comicon and you may wish you hadn’t been so insistent on that level of accuracy. We don’t really buy that beauty is pain, so we suggest doing your research and creating your costume out of breathable fabrics and lighter plastics. No need to add to a landfill there are awesome cosplayers that use recyclable materials exclusively, like @the_eco_cosplayer
Your costume may be unfinished without props. Usually, conventions have guidelines for the type of prop. Make sure that the prop is not on the list of weapons, as you are not allowed to use real weapons on the site. Make sure that the props material is lightweight. For instance, we suggest that you go for materials like plastics, woods, and foam.
- Don't be afraid to ask others for help
At conventions, do not be afraid to ask someone for help or information about their costume. If you see someone who made an incredible cosplay, then approach them kindly, compliment them, and ask them how they made it.
- Never Stop Learning!
This applies to every skill level, Cosplay is constantly evolving and involving new techniques, fandoms, and trends. Instead of relying on what you are already good at, why not try to add a new fabric or character outside of your wheelhouse.
- Cosplay is for Everyone
You might think you need to be in peak condition or have incredible crafting skills to get into cosplay, but at its core, cosplay is all about celebrating your fandom – and that does not come with restrictions.
“You might worry that you’re too old, too young, too big, too short, too anything. The whole point of cosplay is that if you want to be Batman, be Batman.” - Pro Cosplayer