The last article I wrote was about coming out as a cosplayer, so I figured this one should be about the creative process of finding and making a costume. The process can be very tedious, and having a short guide may be of use to all of you future cosplayers out there. While it may look and feel daunting at first, remember that the point of cosplay is to have fun and to enjoy yourself. Without further ado, let’s get started.
The best way to start a costume is similar to the best way to start a newspaper opinion piece, you brainstorm ideas. It helps to write your ideas down. For example, when picking my cosplay costume for this year, I didn’t want something overly complicated since my last project ended up being more than I could chew. I looked at different sources of media to try and narrow down my search.
From there, I had a select few costumes I was interested in creating, such as Jango Fett from the Star Wars series, Scarecrow from the Batman Universe or Mumen Rider from One Punch Man. I decided on Mumen Rider, since I figured he would be fun and simple to do compared to the other characters.
I would recommend not going too big on your first cosplay project. It is wonderful to feel the success of finishing pieces of a difficult cosplay, but if you are new to the process, then I would not recommend jumping straight into something extremely complicated. It is always difficult to learn something new, and cosplay is no exception.
Plus, cosplaying can be time consuming and costly, so spending hours on a difficult costume, and not finishing it can be a real downer. I know, since I currently have an unfinished Black Manta in my closet. Be as imaginative as your heart desires, but try not to go into a big project until you have more experience.
After all is said and done with finding your character, it’s now time to make the costume. Before jumping straight into it, you should spend time researching and deciding how you want to make your costume. Cosplays vary in complexity, and it is up to you to decide how your costume will look.
Plus, if you’re a stickler for 100 percent screen accuracy, then your costume will probably be more time consuming. I don’t really care for accuracy, so I decided to get new bike armor, a bike helmet, goggles, touch screen gloves (so I can use my phone in costume), pants, shoes, spray paint and clear coating.
If you want to do something more complex than what I am describing, remember one thing: the Internet is your friend. Every technique I have learned, from how to assemble and use Dremel tools, how to paint evenly with spray paint and acrylic paint was all learned through countless hours on Google and YouTube. I even follow various cosplayers online and save tricks that they use, which was instrumental in learning how to cut, shape and paint using EVA foam. Currently, I am teaching myself how to sew for my Mumen Rider costume, and YouTube has been extremely helpful in this endeavor.
Lastly, I want you to remember to have fun. There might be nights where you are frustrated on a cosplay costume, things are not working out and you feel like giving up. It is totally natural to get aggravated. Try to not lose sight that, at the end of the day, cosplaying is just playing dress up all year round. You are supposed to be having fun.
If things are not working out, step back and take the time you need before hopping back on the saddle. With these things in mind, I hope I have been helpful in giving advice to any up-and-coming cosplayers.
To recap: start simple, research and have fun. Keep in mind that, I cannot wait to see what you guys create. Have fun and kick some ass you guys.