Cosplay is a big part of many people’s lives, allowing them a chance to step into someone else’s shoes and escape from everyday life. With the rise of conventions sweeping the world, Cosplay is becoming something more and more people are getting into. As a result of this, communities of cosplayers are sprouting up. Some who meet up at different Cons to band together as a ‘Star Wars’ garrison or meeting at a movie release to be ‘The Avengers’. Something that is incredible about Cosplay is the level of detail that goes into the costumes, some spending hours and hours on working out the perfect colours, textiles and even going so far as to include advanced electronics!
We have asked a series of questions to each cosplayer in the hope that we can provide you all with some ideas on how to get started or some tips on how to develop your own craft further!
On this edition of Let’s Talk Cosplay we talk with Toni, 28, Birmingham, UK!
- How long have you been Cosplaying?
For the last 6-7 years.
- What inspired you to get started?
Honestly, I can’t quite remember where it started. A mix between having always enjoyed fancy dress, seeing cosplay become a blooming hobby online and going to my first convention where a guest I wanted to meet was attending, so I decided to cosplay one of his characters for my first.
- What would you say has been your biggest challenge to date?
Making a baseball bat with nails sticking out of it, only entirely out of papier maché.
- Which is your favorite Cosplay you have done so far?
Honestly, I struggle to pick just one. Quicksilver (X-Men), Newt Scamander (Fantastic Beasts) and Steve Harrington (Stranger Things) seem to be the ones I migrate more towards when asked this question. (Though if this really is a one-answer-only type question, I’ll take Quicksilver on the basis that he was the first to get me into group meets!)
- What has been your favorite Cosplay interaction you’ve had at a convention?
Me and some friends did a mixed Harry Potter group at a convention recently and were then asked by a larger, well-known Harry Potter group to join them for a photo shoot at a Honeydukes set that the con had set up. We got some really excellent photos and all had completely different characters. The stall owner even allowed us behind the set to take some kind of mean “beyond the grave” style Fred and George photos (which I’ve been made to apologise for ever since. Sorry, everyone!)
- What, if any, difficulties have you encountered?
Anything to do with sewing. No matter how much I’ve tried to practice, it’s never going to be my forte. Simply trying to sew rings of different coloured material around the hem and sleeves of a jumper gave me a headache, as I didn’t take into account the fact that the material I was adding had no elasticity, so that when I tried it on afterwards, it made the areas I’d adjusted much tighter than it should have been.
- If you are happy to share, what future Cosplay do you have planned?
I have a VERY long list of cosplans, but my top ones to try and complete this year are Brainiac-5 (Supergirl), Ferris (Ferris Bueller’s Day Off), Daniel LaRusso (The Karate Kid), Pippin Took (Lord of the Rings), Reno (Final Fantasy VII) and Joe Kido (Digimon).
- What advice would you give to someone looking to get started?
Firstly, cosplay whoever you want to cosplay. It’s all about having fun. Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t cosplay someone because you don’t have the right look for whatever reason. It’s also okay to buy cosplays if you’re not so creatively skilled (just make sure you check the reviews first) so don’t let anyone shame you about buying cosplays either. If you’re making your cosplay and there’s something you just can’t get right or even figure out how to do in the first place, the internet is a very big place. Google tutorials, post in cosplay groups on Facebook or in cosplay apps like Cosplay Amino. There’ll be someone out there who can answer your questions.
- What items/tools/techniques would you say are imperative in a new Cosplayers tool kit?
It really depends on how you plan to tackle cosplay. If you’re a buyer, then a hefty bank account would be nice – that or the skills to budget well. If you intend to sew, then needles and a variety of coloured threads are your base tools. A sewing machine isn’t necessary, but certainly helpful (at least if you know how to work one, unlike me). If you’re prop making, then Unibond glue, a bucket and reserves of old newspapers. It’s a bit of a slow method due to all of the drying time involved, but I’d swear by papier maché as my favourite prop making method until the end.
My main social media sites for cosplay are: