Every summer, movie enthusiasts and comic-book fans flock to the San Diego Comic-con from all over the globe. It is the largest entertainment convention in the world, followed by other important ones in other countries.
Whether the event is being held in San Diego or in London, you will see the vicinity bustling with cosplayers. In the midst of all the multi-genre panels promoting the next big superhero movie, it isn’t uncommon to see a fully costumed Bruce Wayne joining in on the festivities or Steve Rogers walking around with his shield on one arm.
It isn’t just the event venue but the entire neighborhood that comes to life during the few days of the convention. Color splashes through the streets as we witness marvels of costume-designing and wave at our heroes that have just walked out of the comic-book pages.

Guide to Cosplay

All You Need to Know About Cosplay

The Origin

Cosplay comes from the same place most of the popular forms of self-expression originate from – Japan. Japan rewrote itself as hub of self-expression and progress after the War. So much so that its influences spread life wildfire around the world and ingrained themselves into some of the most essential parts of our lives.
The term cosplay is a play on words, coined from the two distinct words, costume and play. It is a loose translation of the Japanese word kosupure, which is also a combination of these two words in Japanese. Although the activity of cosplay came out of Japan in the 1990s, costuming has long been a part of American culture. Children have been dressing up as ghosts and spirits on October 31st as early as the 16th century.
Cosplay, in its modern form, was introduced to the US when anime started becoming popular in the country. Anime conventions became recognized events, and with them came the early cosplayers. The two became so deeply ingrained with each other that it is hard to imagine a modern convention of any scale without a bunch of cosplayers moving about.

About Cosplay

The activity may have started off as comic-book fans dressing up but as the industry has evolved, so has cosplaying. In recent years, it has turned into a hobby that spans multiple genres and content types. Cosplayers dress up as popular characters from a wide variety of comic-books, videogames, television shows, movies and books.

Cosplay is a unique word as it can be used in multiple contexts, both as a noun and as a verb. Consider these sentences where we use the term as both. We’ll leave it up to you to guess which is which.

“This is my Ezio Auditore cosplay”“I cosplay as Ezio Auditore from the videogame, Assassin’s Creed”

Are You Ready to Be a Cosplayer?

Be a Cosplayer

For the avid cosplayer, summer is Christmas. There is far more to be excited about in the summers than there is at Halloween even, and Halloween is pretty exciting! Amidst all the costumes and the fictional characters coming to life, each one of us gets the chance to express our talent and individuality.
For many of us, Halloween is the only time of year to get excited about. Even if we want to dress up more often, there are just so many things holding us back. The job, a whole lot of other responsibilities and not to mention – the uncertainty that comes with trying anything new.
A lot of us want to dress up more often than just once a year but are deterred by various misconceptions about cosplaying. We look at all these people dressed up and embracing the attention that their costumes attract. We wish to be in their shoes, but then we advise ourselves otherwise. Often it is a sense of uncertainty that we don’t have what it takes.

We assume that cosplaying is a demanding hobby that takes up a lot of money. Although this is true in some instances, it isn’t always true. The only real requirement for getting into cosplaying is passion. If you have the passion for the hobby, you will find ways to make it work.

Why Is Cosplay So Great?

Cosplay So Great

As with any hobby, the reasons for getting into it will vary from person to person and are often deeply personal. However, we would think that if you want to get into cosplaying, it is because you have a passion for it. Some people do it because they want to try their hand at sewing, some because they like building things, while others because they just like to dress up as often as they can.

Cosplaying is an inclusive hobby that welcomes everyone, irrespective of gender or age. If you are someone who thinks dressing up once a year as your favorite character isn’t enough, cosplaying is for you. Besides, it is an excellent way to push yourself and test your capabilities. Cosplays look astounding and that is because they are the results of months of hard work and careful planning.

Your reason for taking up the hobby may sometimes overlap with someone else’s, but at its core, your reason will remain your own. Whatever your reason for taking up the hobby, know that you will be joining a community that shares your passion of crafting realities that leave others awestruck

Tips and Tricks

Tip 1: Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help

One of the first things you need to do as a new cosplayer is take advice. Talk to other cosplayers on online forums and make friends at conventions. There are so many incredible cosplays online, and most cosplayers are a welcoming bunch. Whether it’s online or in-person, if you see a cosplay that you like, approach the cosplayer, compliment them and start a conversation. Don’t be shy of asking questions. You will find that you are part of an incredibly helpful community – some will even teach you if you ask nicely.

Tips and Tricks

Tip 2: Don’t Chase Money or Fame

Money or Fame

It is true that cosplaying has become quite a lucrative hobby. There are websites that let you turn your hobby into a business as people appreciate and fund your endeavors. With all the glimmer that surrounds cosplaying, it is easy to lose sight of why you started in the first place.
When you lose your passion for cosplaying and get carried away with chasing fame or monetary returns, you lose your spark and people notice. Some of the best cosplayers have been brought down due to this mistake. Cosplay characters you are passionate about and people will appreciate your efforts.

Tip 3: Pick Your Character Carefully
As a new cosplayer, one of the most important things is for you to assess and understand your limitations. Even more seasoned cosplayers take this into account when designing each of their cosplays. You can’t cosplay as every character, or look good in every costume.
Once you have chosen a character that you love, plan your costume. Some costumes are easier to make than others, and some will look better on your physique and skin tone. Look for inspiration in fanart to see if that will suit you better than an original design.
Tip 4: Don’t Overshoot
This goes hand in hand with our previous recommendation of selecting your costume wisely. It is true that some of the most attractive cosplays are bulky costumes comprising of heavy parts. They are enviable and praiseworthy but take a closer look and you might find that the person inside is about to pass out.
The same goes for difficult costumes. You can work your way up to more complicated cosplays in time. You will also have numerous opportunities at cosplaying, so reserve the bulkier or difficult costumes for a more pleasant time of the year.

Tip 5: Get the Right Attitude
One of the major differences between a Halloween costume and a cosplay is attitude. This is also the difference between a new cosplayer and a seasoned one. New cosplayers tend to treat their cosplay as a Halloween costume. And this is why their cosplays lack the spark that makes other cosplayers shine.
A good cosplayer takes into account every little detail of their costume, planning it out over months. Even the best costume doesn’t look good without proper finishing. Try it out several times before the main event – ironing out any kinks and adding on accessories that set it apart from others.

Right Attitude

Final Tip: Have Fun
Even if things don’t go as planned in the beginning, they will eventually fall in place. We do understand that due to the scope of the hobby and the importance that it has in pop-culture, the prospect may seem daunting.
We are here to tell you that anyone can cosplay. We hope that our handy tips have given you a bit more confidence than you had before. At the end of the day, cosplaying is a hobby. It is meant to benefit you and nobody else. Don’t pressurize yourself to be perfect in first attempt, and just have fun.