Author: apurpleduckie

People have been discussing the Colossalcon situation, where a…

People have been discussing the Colossalcon situation, where a “Cosplaying While Black: POC Cosplayer’s Q&A” was denied a place on the schedule and added to the waitlist. Here is the original post, correspondence, and Colossalcon’s statement.

spontaneousmusicalnumber: Cosplayers who want to compete: Have you ever watched a movie and been…

spontaneousmusicalnumber:

Cosplayers who want to compete:

Have you ever watched a movie and been “eh, that was fine. Definitely Oscar bait though, the critics are going to eat it up”?

Did you know you can do the same thing with cosplay?

Here are some tips for competing with cosplay that I’ve picked up from my own experience as well as advice given to me.

Step one: Picking your cosplay

There are movies that do everything they set out to do and are by all accounts good movies, yet are completely ignored by critics. Likewise there are character designs that you could perfectly pull off, but they won’t garner much attention from the panel.

-Is it a very simple design or a well known character? There’s much less room for error with a simple design, and if you’re cosplaying Goku then the panel, even subconsciously, will be comparing your Goku to all the other Gokus they’ve seen.

-How many components does it have? Are you showing skill in multiple areas? Spread your points out between more categories: garments, props, armor, makeup, wigs, detailing and accessories.

-Are you stretching your limits? If you compete every year as the Guy Who Makes a Big Suit Of Armor in a new Big Suit Of Armor, you’re not going to win anything past the first or second time. Judges love to hear what you tried that was NEW- was it the first time you made a lining? Made pockets? Tried embroidery? Did non-human makeup? Make special note of that.

Step Two: Make the Cosplay

-Spend the extra time to make it solid.

Make a mock-up, finish your edges, iron your seams, prewash your fabric.

-Here’s a secret. The judges EAT UP super time-consuming detail work. Did you hand embroider your jacket? Did you weave your own cloth? Did you individually glue on every rhinestone? What did you do to Make It Perfect? Make sure you tell them because they will love you.

-The judges also love incorporating historical garments or your own interpretations into a design. Did you seek out an accurate hakama pattern? Did you reference classical undergarments? Did you turn that weird accessory detail into something that matters? They’ll love you.

Step Two and a Half: Record, record, record!

-Take progress photos of everything and keep records of how long things take. The app Cosplanner is indispensable for this. You will need this information for later.

Step Three: Present it!

-Presenting to a panel of judges is scary. You always worry you’re forgetting something important. But! I have a solution.

-Now is when you use those records and progress pictures you kept. Put your process in a document- pictures and captions that help show the judges all the amazing work you did.

-Especially if it’s not visible! Did you nicely finish the interior seams before lining the jacket? Include a picture! What would a layer-by-layer breakdown look like? Are there any close up details that are hard to catch from a distance? Is there an imaginative solution to a what-the-hell-is-that shape? Write it down!

-Also put reference photos in there! Judges won’t know every character and at least want to know what you were looking at while you made it.

-Take that document to a Staples. Print it off in full color, put it in sleeve protectors and stick it in a binder. You’ve already poured so much work into the cosplay you can afford the $5-10. Budget for it. Put it in front of the judges while you get your 3 minutes to present. Boom: not only are you great at cosplay, you’re PREPARED and THOROUGH.

-Finally: DO NOT TELL THE JUDGES WHAT WENT WRONG. Do not draw their attention to flaws or imperfections. It’s a waste of your very limited time. They. Will. Not. Notice. Unless you tell them. And if they ask? THEN you briefly explain. 

-DO tell the judges what you changed on purpose! They’re judging you against your reference pictures, letting them know that a longer skirt or a more comfortable wig was purposeful will not lose you points (unless the judge is a dick).

Step Four: The Waiting

-Now you’ve done all you can do, you’re backstage either waiting for your turn to go up or you already went and are waiting for results.

-Nothing left to do now, right?

-WRONG.

-Those people around you? Your peers, competitors, rivals, idols? Talk to them. Make friends. Share Instagrams. Ask how they made their stuff. Share how you made yours.

-Pick up tips and ideas and engage in a community of people who love the same thing you do. Bonds are forged in those greenrooms.

When the winners are announced, be happy. At least tell yourself to try. Know that the cosplay you made was great, and if someone beat you then they must have been incredible. Being bitter because you didn’t win, or didn’t win the award you wanted, is a self-defeating emotion. It’s hard to train yourself to be happy- it took me YEARS. If you only get bitter, not only do you lose your drive to compete but it tints your view of your competitors. 

And if you won anything- enjoy the recognition! Add it to your trophy shelf! Take a lot of pictures!

Congratulate your new friends who won and say goodbye to everyone.

Time to start your next cosplay.

Join the Cosplay Tutorial Hangout Discord Server!

Join the Cosplay Tutorial Hangout Discord Server!:

The previous link I shared expired, this one is an ongoing link!

Come join the conversation. General chat + cosplay, conventions, help and advice.

Join the Cosplay Tutorial Hangout Discord Server!

Join the Cosplay Tutorial Hangout Discord Server!:

I’ve created a discord for Cosplay Tutorial, come hang out and share what you are working on!

cosplayinamerica: I originally planned on doing a cosplay that…

cosplayinamerica:

I originally planned on doing a cosplay that allowed me to be comfortable at the convention….and then I saw Spider-Man: Into the Spider-verse. As soon as I saw Kingpin I thought, I MUST BE HIM. I fell in love with his character design and loved how absurdly large he was.

 
I started sculpting his face after I saw the movie but didn’t start on the body until a couple weeks before the convention. I basically just built a box out of insulation foam sheets with foam pieces inside that rested on my shoulders to give him height. I cut a hole out of the belly area and covered the entire body in sheer black fabric so that I could see through it without any obvious vision holes. For the arms, I bought the largest pair of black pants I could find at the thrift shop and used them as sleeves. I stuffed them with foam and ran a wire through them so they could bend and so I could easily attach my silicone hands (which were lifecasts of my own tiny hands). I ran the face in silicone and backed it with foam. I then attached the face to the body with silicone caulk. Everything else was basically attached by hot glue and a prayer. 

I tried it on for the first time a couple days before the convention and realized the insulation foam was really doing its job and within seconds I was already getting warm. So, the night before the show I ran out and bought a battery operated fan that I installed under his armpit.

As much as I stressed about all the imperfections, as soon as I walked into the con and saw the reactions to it, I was immediately relieved. Seeing so many little Miles cosplayers freak out over a giant Fisk truly made my day.
Doing cosplay is such an amazing creative outlet for me. I’m a full-time SFX artist, but like most jobs, I don’t have any creative freedom. Cosplay gives me the opportunity to use all these crazy skills I’ve learned and create something that brings myself and others pure joy.

—- https://www.instagram.com/dinasaurclub/

Photo : David Ngo

Super useful!

Super useful!

cosplayinamerica: I was SO INCREDIBLY nervous to wear Sailor…

cosplayinamerica:

I was SO INCREDIBLY nervous to wear Sailor Gundam out of the hotel room for the first time–I was shaking in my boots! The exit from the hotel put me entering the convention center right smack in the food court, which is always swarming with people. With the help of 2 handlers, I entered the con floor with an insanely big response. I sincerely wanted to cry! I’ll never forget that moment. The highlight of the convention was Sandy Fox (voice of Chibiusa and Black Lady) straight up CHASING me down for a photo and sharing my costume on her Twitter. She expressed that she had been looking for me after hearing all of the VA guests talking together about my suit on the elevator. I thought I was going to die on the spot!

I go to Matsuricon in Columbus OH every year and when I found out the theme for 2017 was Mecha Vs. Magical Girls, I knew I had to get creative! How could I choose between a mecha or a magical girl cosplay? I’ve always loved Gundam and giant robots, and building a Gundam was definitely on my list of dream cosplays that I wanted to make. I originally wanted to merge the RX-78 into a magical girl because it is such a classic mobile suit, but once I started researching gunpla models, I came across a custom kit of the Nobell Gundam made with Sailor Moon embellishments. The second I saw it, I shifted my plans from the RX-78 to the Nobell!

This was an incredibly fun build! She is made entirely out of EVA foam, with some Worbla and cardboard used for the compact and crest. This suit was actually my first real dive into working with foam, and I had A LOT of trial and error with it. I patterned every piece by hand after purchasing a Nobell gunpla kit (specifically her Berserker Mode) and using that as a reference for drafting up the patterns. It was tedious! Overall, I was able to accomplish the build in two months time, primarily working on the weekends. I’ve learned so much about foam crafting since this build, and I can’t wait to remake her in the future!

Coffeelocks Cosplay

Photo : ChrisBrinkmanPhotography

Shop on Amazon using my Affiliate link: https://amzn.to/2Ek5y3M

cosplayinamerica: This year March 1st will be my 10 year cosplay…

cosplayinamerica:

This year March 1st will be my 10 year cosplay anniversary. I look back almost 10 years ago, I was sitting up at 3 in the morning crying over my sewing machine while trying to pull together my very first cosplay for Megacon 2009. And here I am still crying over cosplays at 3 in the morning. I’ve been out of state for cons, made a ton of friends, won awards for my cosplays including multiple ‘Best in Shows’. In the end, I’m glad that I took that sewing class my senior year of high school, I learned so much from it. Cosplay has been a huge part of my life and I have to say that I’m grateful for everything about this crazy hobby that I love so much!

I’ve been a fan of the Classic Yu-gi-oh series ever since it was aired on television. I’ve always had Dark Magician Girl on my cosplay plans, and whenever the idea of finally wanting to make it came up, I always held off on it. I wanted to be confident in my sewing and other skills before I wanted to tackle the project. And here we are, almost 10 years later, I felt comfortable with my skills to finally complete the cosplay and wear it for Holiday Matsuri 2018!

First off, I want to shout out Kinpatsu Cosplay. She made an AMAZING step by step tutorial on how to create the cosplay, along with 3D print files of the staff. If you ever plan on making this cosplay I highly recommend buying it! The turquoise fabric is a Neoprene Scuba and the gold and pink fabrics are both pleather from Yaya Han’s fabric line at JoAnns. A good chunk of this cosplay I had to use a lot of techniques and skills I’ve never done before, so basically a lot of trial and error haha. The staff was 3D printed by a local Utah cosplayer Ren Fisher Creations, primed and then painted with different paints. The hat, arm braces, shoulder piece, and shoes are made from 5mm EVA foam cut out the design I wanted and then covered in the turquoise fabric. The pink stripes were done using 1 inch of 1mm craft foam and then the pink fabric covered the foam. I then used contact cement to make them stay onto everything. I used the same tech for the front and back arrows, as well as the waist part, but with the gold fabric. The gems were resin casted and then added with a circle of worbla that was painted. I have a few things missing from this cosplay due to limited time, but I plan to remake the majority of this cosplay before my next con.

Blackflame16

Photo : Vaughn Photography Studio

I’m really starting to lose my confidence in my cosplay, and I feel like everyone’s doing so much better than me and I just can’t keep up, and I don’t know how to restore my self esteem.

I feel you on this! Cosplay as a whole has visibly jumped up a few notches in terms of skill level and quality from when I started (2004) and it can feel like you are getting left behind.

These are a couple things I keep in mind to not get overwhelmed:

1) The number one metric to judge your abilities is your personal growth. From one costume to the next, did you improve and learn? If you are always getting a better you are doing a great job. If you aren’t improving, ask yourself why and work on it.

2) The community is large and varied. Odds are someone is going to be better than you, and someone else is going to be worse than you.

There are absolutely professionals who cosplay. Professional cosplayers, propmakers, costume designers, fashion designers and people who have backgrounds or experience that put them on that professional level. There are many substantial reasons you might not be at that level of quality including budget, support, experience and time. 

You should look to these people as inspiration and motivation: you can certainly work toward getting there but don’t think your own achievements are worthless because you aren’t there, yet. Everyone will have their own journey. If you think you should be at their level, look at why you might not be and see if you can improve on those areas.

(On the flip side there are cosplayers who are learning everything for the first time. Lift them up and encourage them.)

if you need to, take a break from following people who make you feel down about your costumes. It’s okay to do that! But changing how you see and react to these costumes is going to be more beneficial in the long term. 

All the best!
Duckie | Admin | Support the Blog (Ko-Fi) | Etsy

I’m really starting to lose my confidence in my cosplay, and I feel like everyone’s doing so much better than me and I just can’t keep up, and I don’t know how to restore my self esteem.

I feel you on this! Cosplay as a whole has visibly jumped up a few notches in terms of skill level and quality from when I started (2004) and it can feel like you are getting left behind.

These are a couple things I keep in mind to not get overwhelmed:

1) The number one metric to judge your abilities is your personal growth. From one costume to the next, did you improve and learn? If you are always getting a better you are doing a great job. If you aren’t improving, ask yourself why and work on it.

2) The community is large and varied. Odds are someone is going to be better than you, and someone else is going to be worse than you.

There are absolutely professionals who cosplay. Professional cosplayers, propmakers, costume designers, fashion designers and people who have backgrounds or experience that put them on that professional level. There are many substantial reasons you might not be at that level of quality including budget, support, experience and time. 

You should look to these people as inspiration and motivation: you can certainly work toward getting there but don’t think your own achievements are worthless because you aren’t there, yet. Everyone will have their own journey. If you think you should be at their level, look at why you might not be and see if you can improve on those areas.

(On the flip side there are cosplayers who are learning everything for the first time. Lift them up and encourage them.)

if you need to, take a break from following people who make you feel down about your costumes. It’s okay to do that! But changing how you see and react to these costumes is going to be more beneficial in the long term. 

All the best!
Duckie | Admin | Support the Blog (Ko-Fi) | Etsy