For years now, people have been celebrating their favorite franchises. From video games and comic books to other forms of media, it’s safe to say their fandoms are pretty dedicated. Of course, the most popular way to show appreciation is cosplay, i.e., dressing up like your favorite fictional character. And the best way to experience this hobby is to check out your local cosplay convention.
At a convention, you can see all sorts of characters from pop culture. Some will look amateurish, featuring ordinary garments and accessories, while others will look like the real deal, taking months and even years to complete. Either way, if you’re looking to get into cosplay, you’ve come to the right place. In the following few paragraphs, we’ll introduce you to this hobby and provide you with tips to start yourself.
What Is Cosplay?
Cosplay is a blend of two words — costume and play. But don’t worry! We’re not going to get all linguistic on you. The basic idea is to dress up and act like a particular character. It can have its roots in pop culture or draw inspiration from tradition and folklore.
Also, you can’t quite call dressing up for Halloween cosplay. Going trick or treating doesn’t mean you have to act like Count Dracula, yelling “Blood!” with a fake Eastern European accent. Cosplay takes a little more effort than that.
Wearing costumes and portraying a character is reserved for safe spaces. Whether at fan conventions or at home, you must fully commit to your character. As such, this can be a great form of escapism from the real world, as well as a creative outlet.
When Did Cosplay Start?
Cosplay history goes back to the first part of the 20th century. More precisely, it has its roots in the first science fiction convention in 1939 in New York. However, the popularity of cosplay wasn’t that big in the West. It was actually way more prominent in Japan, where college students would dress up as their favorite anime characters. The term also comes from there, that is, from an article in a popular anime magazine called My Anime.
The rise of this hobby was immense in the ‘90s and ‘00s. The reason is simple — high-speed internet came along and allowed people to share images of their ideas and costumes more easily. Social media took things to new heights. Both amateur and professional cosplayers would share their outfits on Instagram and Facebook. Some of them are now pretty much celebrities, earning tons of money from posing as fictional characters.
Since we’ve mentioned safe spaces for cosplayers, it’s only fair to discuss conventions. As we’ve said, the first one was the World Science Fiction Convention in 1939. Since then, fans of numerous franchises and series have been gathering at events celebrating their favorite genres and titles. One of the most popular is the San Diego Comic-Con, where thousands of fans catch up to show their love for fan costuming.
The cosplay community is a pretty tight group of people. Heck, they prepare their outfits all year before coming together to share them! You won’t only see fans at these conventions, though. There are celebrities too! From actors and directors to writers and artists, they all show up and sign autographs and do Q&As. You can also purchase a ton of merchandise to add to your personal collection of pretty much any popular title.
Who Can Cosplay?
The best part about this hobby is that anyone who enjoys role-playing can be a cosplayer. The only thing they need to do is to start dressing up. Moreover, you don’t need to share your hobby with anyone, and you can do it for yourself only. And if you feel comfortable about what you came up with, sharing it anonymously online is also an option. All you need is love for a particular genre or character and a tiny bit of imagination.
The best way to go about your new hobby is to try it out as a Halloween costume. Halloween is the time of year when everyone is a cosplayer, at least for one night. Therefore, no one will think you’re a weirdo if you look like The Incredible Hulk or Spider-Man. In fact, if you do it well enough, you might be the coolest person in your neighborhood. So, how to plan your next Halloween costume and become an amateur cosplayer? Well, let’s find out.
What Goes Into a Cosplayer’s Costume?
As we’ve mentioned, all you need to cosplay is love and imagination. The love part is reserved for your character or favorite anime. Everyone has one, and they’re all equally exciting if you put enough love into recreating a part of it. Your focus can be on a classic Disney cartoon, a Marvel/DC superhero, or a video game character — it doesn’t matter. All that does is that you do it as well as you can at that moment.
On the other hand, there’s the imagination part. Everyone has a certain amount of it and can, in turn, be good at cosplay. Sure enough, some are better than others, but that’s in all aspects of life. But that doesn’t matter if you’re just getting started. Over time, you can become better at creating costumes and portraying different characters. Still, what about money? Is this hobby only for the rich, or can the rest of us join in?
How Much Does It Cost to Complete a Cosplay Costume?
Money is a relative concept when it comes to cosplay. Some people can pull off their characters for just a couple of dollars. On the other hand, others fully rely on big bucks to make their look complete. Nevertheless, you can do it both ways. It’s all about what’s convenient for you and your budget.
If you’re on a tight budget, you can look up numerous tutorials on how to start creating costumes on YouTube. You won’t believe the number of talented people in the community. Still, if money is not an issue, just purchase a complete costume online and laidtex.com store what we can recommend for you. You can find them all over the internet, from Amazon to eBay!