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!
Today we talk with Natalie a UK bases cosplayer who also goes by Smalcosplayer.
- How long have you been Cosplaying?
3 years. I started my first cosplay around April 2015 and took it to my first comic con in June.
- What inspired you to get started?
It’s actually really silly, and people do laugh. I’d just started following cosplayers on Facebook as my interest in anime had grown further than Naruto and Bleach and I’d started to see people cosplaying on the anime groups I’d joined. One day, because of my interest in cosplayers, an add popped up for Hull Comic Con. My partner and I got a little excited and decided to go. Not knowing anything about comic con other than what I had seen on TV, I instantly assumed that I needed to cosplay if I went, as those who don’t cosplay will be the odd ones out. I caught the cosplay bug instantly.
- What would you say has been your biggest challenge to date?
Hand sewing my entire Kurama (Naruto) cosplay.
- Which is your favourite Cosplay you have done so far?
I’ve just recently done my first original character cosplay and I love her so much and the way I feel when I wear her, but Kurama is still my biggest achievement, so it’s joint with those right now.
- What has been your favourite Cosplay interaction you’ve had at a convention (if applicable)
As mentioned above, I’ve just taken my original character cosplay to con. She is a butterfly fairy, but has some components that are mermaid inspired. A little girl and her dad pulled me over and asked for a photo. The little girl was dressed as a mermaid and after the photo we had a little chat about how beautiful she looked and I asked if she’d seen the real mermaids upstairs. They didn’t know they were at the con, so I gave directions. The little girl thanked me about 5 times through the whole conversation and then in the end came in for a massive hug. I was thrilled, I’ve never had that kind of interaction in cosplay before and it melted my heart.
- What, if any, difficulties have you encountered?
I find it difficult hitting deadlines as I have a 4 year old son, work and a tendency to spend money on
other things and procrastinate to no end. I’m not sure if those are the kinds of difficulties you mean, but I also struggle with armour builds and am terrified of the day I have to buy and learn to use a sewing machine.
- If you are happy to share, what future Cosplay do you have planned?
I’m currently planning another original character, since I had so much fun with the last. It’ll be a big project with a long deadline (likely March). So in the meantime, I’m looking to finish working on Rita Repulsa (new movie version). I’m also planning to remake Tidus (FFX) for Kupocon and Fem Ballroom Vincent for the cosplay ball at the same con. And when my partner starts on his Al Elric (Fullmetal Alchemist), I’m going to start on his brother Ed.
- What advice would you give to someone looking to get started?
Don’t cosplay characters for any reasons other than you like that character or what they’re wearing. Don’t worry about your size or that you have to buy the costume. If you want to make your own, start with ordinary clothes that you can adapt, your skills will grow from there until you are ready to buy fabric and try one from scratch. And of course, have fun with it, if it gets stressful, change your deadline. It’s ok to attend a con out of cosplay and have fun with friends.
- What items/ tools/ techniques would you say are imperative in a new Cosplayers tool kit?
Standard sewing kit, 3m double sided tape (it sticks everything), hot glue gun, lots of cardboard, note books/cosplanner app (make lists, draw plans), PVA glue (so many uses, papermache, mix with paint to paint props easier, etc)
Big thanks to the gorgeous Natalie, for the brilliant feature and insight in to her cosplay process!
You can keep up with her and her future cosplays here: