As a cosplayer, I get asked a lot how to get started in the world of cosplay by my non-cosplaying friends. Taking that leap is difficult. It takes all of your self-confidence and gumption to get out there in your first cosplay. My journey to being a cosplayer is just like my journey to be a self-loving confident woman…lots and lots of support and encouragement from friends.
My fellow blogger, Toni aka the Herald of Geek, is actually my “nerd prime”. Not only with cosplay, but really introduced me into the nerdy world. Flashback to two years ago. I was newly single. Becoming single was a huge shock (long story), and I had not been on my own for 22 years. My group of friends were friends from the marriage, so I found myself without any friends of my own. I was attending cons alone when my daughter couldn’t come with me, and I had no idea how to get out in the world again. I saw a Meetup.com group of fangirls that got together to play Magic. I took a chance and met Toni. She introduced me to people and invited me to events and now we are great friends. I will talk more about nerdy meet-ups and hang outs in another post, but she sent a note out asking about who was interested in doing a cosplay group of Marvel poodle skirts. I called Cap and a cosplayer was born!
My advice to you if you want to get into cosplay is to find a cosplaying buddy for one. Two, keep it simple. Three, pick something you love. Four, enjoy the experience.
Finding that cosplay buddy- Just send out a group text and ask if anyone is interested in doing a cosplay with you. Get up the courage and send that email! Have something in mind, but let your friends know that you are open to suggestions as well. Having someone to cosplay with helps takes the edge off as far as nerves and you can help build each other’s confidence. There are a lot of superheroes and sidekicks out there to get you started. There are also tons of larger groups that you can try. Avengers, Justice League, Star Wars Rebels, just to name a couple. Pick what inspires you.
I had been toying with the idea of trying cosplay, and then as luck would have it, I was invited to join a cosplay group. The cosplay was also not complicated, poodle skirts. Pick something simple. Don’t go for the screen accurate Captain America from Age of Ultron complete with magnetic harness for the shield on your first go! Look at costumes and see if it is something you can get store bought. A good example is Scarlet Witch from Age of Ultron. Red leather jacket, black dress, black stockings and boots and you’re pretty much there. My Scarlet Witch cosplay was 100% store bought. Don’t put a lot of pressure on yourself. This is supposed to be fun!
If you are like me and don’t know how to sew at all, there are tons of websites to get your cosplay gear. Start with Etsy. You will be able to find artisans that can make what you need there. No matter how obscure the character, there is someone on Etsy that makes cosplay pieces for that character. Bank on it. Ebay is another great source. Then hit up Amazon. There are also some great sites that specialize in cosplay gear and even make custom costumes. Cosplaysky.com is a great one. For jackets, black-leatherjacket.com is fantastic. I sent in my measurements and got a Scarlet Witch jacket that is screen accurate and didn’t cost all that much.
If you want to try your hand at some DIY, then youtube.com searches are the best. Two of my favorites are GoldenLassoGirl and CuriousJoi. They both post DIY tutorials as well as make-up tutorials.
Lastly, ask your fellow cosplayers for help. The community is super supportive and helpful. Just reach out. More is merrier in the cosplay world.
Links to sites mentioned are located in the Find It Here Guide on this blog.
I hope that you try your hand at cosplay. I know it is taking a chance, but it will be fun. I guarantee it. Please share your pictures with us so we can see what you created!
Love, Kim and Scout