Just about to join the wonderful world of cosplay? Then you’re in luck because we have all the tips and tricks you need to master this art.
From an outsider perspective, there may seem no big difference between a costume from a store for Halloween and cosplay. Yet, in reality, cosplaying involves so much more than just costuming. It is the art of portraying your favorite characters using handmade or modified items to make yourself look exactly like the character.
And, make no mistake, for professional cosplayers, cosplaying becomes a lifestyle and even a profession which makes them take this art very seriously. It takes time and effort to fabricate an ensemble wherein they can portray their favorite characters.
So, if you’re ready to dive right in, here are all the things every newbie cosplayer should know:
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Craft foam is your best friend
Like it or not, cosplaying will require you to use or develop your crafty skills because you’ll have to a lot of things together to fabricate cosplay pieces from scratch. From sewing to crafting, you’ll have to learn how to create something out of different pieces that apparently have nothing in common. And, one of the most common things you will be using as a cosplayer for crafting your own cosplay will be craft foam.
Trust us on this one, craft foam is a major lifesaver when it comes to the art of cosplaying. It can be used to create a number of things from accessories to the costume itself. Does your character have armor, a mask, a shield, or a weapon? The good news is that you can use craft foam to create all these elements.
Craft foam is the perfect material for designing extras because of its texture. It is thick and squishy like foam and thanks to that, it can be easily layered and cut into any design you need. Moreover, since it is very lightweight, it can help you create the details of your cosplay without having to carry around a heavy weapon or prop.
Visit thrift stores
Many people say that cosplaying can be really expensive. And, let’s be honest, any hobby can be depending on how much you choose to invest in it. However, the good news is that cosplaying can be done on a budget too. How? You visit every thrift shop in your surroundings to find the pieces you need to assemble your cosplay.
Thrift shops are great places where you can find cosplay items for very low costs. Whether you are looking for a dress, shirt, pants, shoes, belts, or any other accessories that go with your cosplay, chances are that you will find them in a thrift shop at a very low price.
Now, for sure that you may not always find exactly what you look for. However, we’ve already mentioned that cosplaying is all about using your crafty skills to repurpose an old item into an element essential for your cosplay.
So, visit the thrift shops in your surroundings and look for those items that resemble the character the closest and customize them to complete your look.
Invest in high-quality wigs
When it comes to cosplaying, wigs are your best friends. It is very unlikely that you will play a character whose hair looks the same with your hair. So, chances are that you will need to wear a wig if you want to get that cosplay right.
Now, we get that you may feel tempted to purchase the cheapest wig you can find because wigs made of natural hair are often pricey. However, trust us on this one, cheap wigs will only cost you more in the long run because they tangle or shed so badly that you will have to get another one.
And, if you are cosplaying your favorite character, chances are that this isn’t the last time you will be wearing the costume. So, why buy another wig every next time you wear that cosplay?
Pay attention to details
Just like it is with any type of outfit, when it comes to cosplaying, it is the details that either make or break your costume. In fact, adding details to your cosplay is the best way to mater it and the more details you have, the better. From makeup to accessories and props, nailing each of those details will make your cosplay look like it has been done by a pro.
Now, the power of makeup is often overlooked by many newbie cosplayers. Sure, makeup is essential to give you a more dramatic look but it can also add tons of details to your cosplay. Let’s say, for example, that your character has freckles. Using makeup can help you achieve this detail and get your look closer to what the character looks like.
Accessories are crucial as well because they can jog people’s memories into helping them remember the character you are cosplaying. For example, your character may not have a complex and distinct look but may have a particular accessory like a necklace that is highly representative of them. Even if you can’t find the exact accessories that your character is wearing, you can use your creativity and improvise. For example, if you are cosplaying a gothic character, if you can’t find the necklace or pendant they wear, you can use a black and white ribbon as an accessory for your neck.
So, make sure that you pay attention to those details that will complete your cosplay. In fact, if you want to make sure that you nail your cosplay, ask yourself what details of the cosplay will jog people’s memories.
Cosplaying isn’t just about dressing up. It is a form of art and you should treat it this way by unleashing your creative side if you want to nail it. Sure, it can seem really intimidating at the beginning. However, using these tips and tricks and your passion will help you step in the shoes of the characters you portray.