Aug 2, 2015

Tips for Newbie Cosplayers

It's been a while and I've been in a hiatus. ON A VERY LOOONG HIATUS. *Cries in a corner*
I've been very busy with school and I just didn't thought of putting my free time in my blog anymore.
Anyway, moving along.

Ever since social media's interest in cosplay, hundreds of people are now looking into and attending cosplay conventions. It was a small thing back in the early 2000's. Back then, tutorials, tips, cosplay shops, forums, and groups were scarce. People didn't have cheat sheets like this back then, they solely relied on experience. So please, let's respect and put our hands together to the first ones in the community. *Claps*
I just started cosplay last April 2011. And despite the fact that I had already read most of the first 10 articles for tips how to cosplay with different word searches such as "How To Cosplay?", "Tips For Cosplay", Cosplay For Dummies", and "How To Cosplay A Specific Character", it wasn't enough for me and I still had a lot of room of errors. But hey, making mistakes is a part of learning. Even if more than 2 years passed, I still consider myself "young" in cosplay. But despite that, I learned a lot. And now I'm going to share you my tips for all those guys and girls who are thinking of joining our growing community.

     1.  Have A Separate Space For Your Cosplay Related Items

             Costumes, wigs, wig caps, and whatnot. You can place it in a cabinet or in a humongous sako bag solely for your cosplay items. It's bound to multiply. No joke. Heck, have a room dedicated for your cosplay items! That's probably the best idea if you're going to plan on having armored or mecha cosplays. I know a friend who showed me a room full of his cosplay props. It was heaven even if it was cluttered all over the room.

     2.  Make Friends

             Most of us probably started as loners in the community. But with the help of social media, we are now able to befriend cosplayers and con-goers not just in our country, but from all around the world! This community is probably the place where you get to meet with a lot of people with the same interests as you. Not that it's hard to look for them in a school or whatever, but the chances are higher than average.
            A word of caution though, be careful. It's a dangerous world out there and the cosplay community is no exception. Don't completely trust anyone.

     3.  Make-up Is Your Best Friend(Forever)

             "Really? Make-up? the characters in most games and animes don't wear make-up. So why should I wear make-up when I cosplay"
             You have a point there. But is it really worth seeing your soggy, oily face you see in your pictures? Definitely not. You can just use a foundation or translucent powder and a little bit of nude lipstick to fix minor flaws and make you look better and natural in photos. You have to think it like this way: Since cosplay is your art, you have to look your best at portraying your character. It also adds more creativity into your work.
             You can also use make-up to enhance your features and add something that you might not have. There are a lot of different techniques on how to make yourself different and there's an ocean of tutorials in the web. The character you might be portraying is someone who has a chiseled face and have dark lines in their forehead, but your face is the opposite of that. You can cheat that with make-up! If your character is in a survival environment, they probably have dirt all over their face and body, you can use eyeshadow or bronzer in order to cheat that too!

     4.  Make A Check List Of Items For Each Of Your Costumes 

              Unless you have super memory and won't forget a single part in your costume, then you're safe. If not, you should probably make a list. This will help you and save yourself some "OMG I FORGOT *insert small important item here* IN MY HOME" moments. That happened about...3 times to me. One of those moments happened during a convention and I forgot my black gloves. Fortunately for me, it was held in Mega Mall and I went to the department store to buy one. Cosplay Crisis Averted. Whew!
               And yes, I shared that because I want you to take it seriously. We're all vulnerable to the possibility of forgetting a belt or a sash for a cosplay. You might consider it as a little detail and shrug it off, but for some it's like forgetting to bring a #2 pencil for a diagnostic test. It's still an important detail.
     BONUS TIP: Place In One Plastic Bag And/Or Place A Costume Set In The Same Place

                It's like Tip #4, it'll help you not to forget small items in your costume. No need for me to expound on this one.

     5. Cosplay First Aid Kit

               This will save your life and lessen the inconvenience of broken props or ripped parts from your costume. The ghost of wardrobe mishaps will always be waiting for the moment to strike and it lingers in the halls of  a convention, in the secure place of studio photoshoots, and in the wilderness of outdoor photoshoots. Better safe than sorry, eh?

     6.  Keep Track Of Your Cosplay Spendings

               Keeping track of what you spend, what you get, and knowing how much you save in each month and year is smart. This includes your sales and rents as well. Now, I assume that you separate your money for different needs and wants. It should make you avoid overspending.
               I guess there were times when you think that your money has disappeared in thin air because you didn't know HOW and WHY you spent it. Or maybe you got a huge amount of money from your relatives or salary and then didn't know how it disappeared from your coin bank in the end. This is a good way to avoid those moments, And it only takes a pen, paper, and a little bit of math skills. It's always good to be organized in money matters I tell you.

     7.  Don't Make Cosplay Your Number One Priority In Life

               "Come on Nicole, no one will really do that.....right?"
               Well, let's just say that I know someone who got obsessed with cosplay to the point that the person wasn't doing well with school and violated some school regulations.
                School, family, friends, work, and religion(if you have one) are some of the few things you should take more seriously. Unless cosplay IS your work and you get paid for it, that's a different story.

     8.  Be Vigilant. Be Smart. Be Aware of Scammers

               I'm deciding to put emphasis on this.
               This is probably one of the most important reasons why you should be updated with the latest news in the cosplay community. You might be surprised, but a lot of people are now getting scammed through online transactions. This community filled with otakus, weaboos, gamers, and fans is no exception. So before you send your precious, hard earned moolah to a seller, take a look at their credentials, reputation, and testimonials from different buyers to know how known are they in the community. Because if a lot of people order or buy from them, then they are probably trust worthy people and have good quality merchandise.
               It's also good to know the normal price range of particular items and brands. Let's say a long Fantasy Sheep wig in a particular shop costs about php900. Great deal right? Maybe too good to be true.
               However, if you're someone who already experienced being scammed, then that sucks. Maybe you have already complained, tried looking for other victims, or maybe tried getting the help from police authorities. But the damage has already been done. I personally almost got scammed, but I didn't have enough money by that time and that saved my life. The last resort we can always be doing is to make it known. Post it complete with screenshots containing damning evidence in Facebook, and Twitter, you name it. We don't want more people getting scammed by some low life, right?

     9. Enjoy The Experience

               And now we have reached the final tip for this article and this is a no brainer. We're all looking for a good time here! You'll probably meet a lot of different people from different places and it will definitely change your perspective in life. Through cosplay, I was able to conquer my battle of low confidence and shyness. It made me into a better person and I'm always thankful for that since it opened more opportunities for me.

This post was a draft for 3 years or so...back then when I was still active.
You might ask, why did I suddenly have the urge to finish this entry?
Weeeeeell, let's just say that I've been watching too much videos from a specific Youtube channel called The Game Theorists. By some unknown reason, it just inspired me to write in my blog again. And oh, if you're a gamer who doesn't know that, please check it out. You won't regret it!

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