man in an elf costume

Getting Started in Cosplay: 6 Tips for Your New Hobby

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Cosplay is a term derived from the words costume and play. As simple as that sounds, cosplay is more than just the act of wearing a costume. It is a kind of performance art.

From an outsider’s perspective, it’s a fun activity. However, fans and cosplayers themselves have created a subculture around it. From online forums to actual gatherings and conventions, cosplay is a big deal.

This is reflected in the time and effort that cosplayers put into conceptualizing and making their costumes. Some of them make their own outfits and accessories by hand.

Where Did Cosplay Start?

People often think of Japan when somebody brings up cosplay. This is common knowledge. However, multiple accounts point to Forrest J. Ackerman as the beginning of it all.

He attended a sci-fi convention wearing an interesting costume. Since then, it has become a normal thing to participate in such conventions wearing costumes.

And then, it was the Japanese journalist Takahashi Nobuyuki who coined the term “cosplay”. It was during the time he attended the World Con in 1984. The World Con is a science-fiction convention.

How to Get Started in Cosplay?

You might be interested in cosplay as a form of art or as a form of self-expression. Regardless of the reason, everybody is welcome to hop on the fun.

You don’t have to worry about looking a particular way. If anything, cosplay is a way for you to embrace your body image. You don’t have to spend so much on costumes. You just have to be creative.

1. Know what aspect of cosplay you are good at.

Not every cosplayer knows how to sew. You don’t have to. But for sure, you have an artistic skill that will be useful in this field. You may be good with designs or putting things together. Use your existing skills to your advantage.

There is always the possibility of learning. You may try new skills and develop them as time passes.

2. Look for inspiration.

Search for the first character that you want to portray. Study the details carefully. Online platforms like Pinterest and Instagram are good places to start. Watch YouTube tutorials of people who preciously cosplayed with the character that you want to portray. The important thing here is for you to get an idea of how cosplay actually goes.

Follow famous cosplayers on Instagram. Some of them are Jessica Nigri, Alodia Gosiengfiao, and Meagan Marie. You can pick up a thing or two from social media posts. You can also get updated on cosplay events from them.

people in cosplay

3. Join communities.

The internet is such a blessing when it comes to finding people with the same interest as you. Look for forums and groups where cosplayers interact with each other. You can ask questions in these groups. They will also serve as your support network in starting this new journey.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions if you have any. People in the community will be willing to help you out. They once started where you are.

4. Visit thrift shops for costume needs.

Cosplay doesn’t have to be expensive. You can save by getting creative and resourceful. Thrift shops are friends to cosplayers on a budget.

Look for thrift shops around your vicinity. Sometimes, there are cool finds in these shops that you will not see elsewhere. Just be prepared to patch up some holes and clean some stains.

5. Shop for your costume needs in advance.

You will need a lot of makeup and hairstyling for cosplay. Check out reliable makeup brands. You can start with the ones you’ve been using all this time.

Look for a wig shop that carries a lot of styles to choose from. You will need plenty of them down the road. It would be better if you had one trusted shop for your hair needs. It saves you time and energy.

6. Attend a cosplay event.

You may start with small conventions near you. When you decide on an event to attend, it helps you schedule your preparations better. It’s understandable that you get nervous about your first event. However, don’t forget to have fun.

There are some big conventions cosplayers look forward to attending. They are Anime Expo, Comiccon, Gamescon, Comiket, and Fan Expo. They happen in different places all over the world.

Starting a new hobby can be both exciting and nerve-racking, especially if it is as big as cosplay. However, once you dip your toes into it and enjoy it, there is no turning back. There is a whole world of fun and discoveries waiting for you in the cosplay world.

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