With each day going by, I am asked more & more on cosplay advice.
"Lala, can you give me some cosplay advice? I am going to cosplay so-&-so.." (Etc. etc.,)
"I was wondering if you have any tips for me when it comes to cosplaying..?"
I have spent years thinking about how to even respond to this sort of question, there is so much advice I want to give, but I don't want to give it to just one person.
Thus... I am going to lay it all out right here on this journal.
If you are the type to say: "TL;DR" Then go ahead & leave now, or just read tip #4. XD To those who actually want to see what my advice is, continue on this long jolly yellow brick road. (Whether you cosplay Wizard of Oz or not. LOL.)
Tip #1: Starting/having a "cosplay group."(What I consider the most important tip, especially when cosplaying with friends.)
•When you start a group with "new" friends: (This is not true for all groups. However, I know it happens for a lot of people.)
First, I am going to explain situations, then give my best advice for it. Bare with me, it's long.
Usually starts off rainbows & happy joy joy. No one sees each others problems while hanging out. No drama. Just the sprouting ambitions to become an awesome cosplay group & the want to receive attention & praise from an audience. The size of the group, while in the abyss of adrenaline rushes from receiving some attention, will begin to grow. Some of the group members will start to show a bit more of their true personality, especially if they are enjoying or not enjoying the attention. As the group becomes bigger in the number of members, little sparks fly here and there. Sudden sparks. Half of the group may not even know it. It could be a spark of two people liking each other or it could be the spark of the beginning of a rivalry. Either way, it comes up fast and without warning. As the group is larger, more drama is bound to happen. No one really knew each other in the beginning, but now everyone sees where everyone else stands. Some people could be dating each other, and others may be wanting to drop out of the group by this point. The ones who are headstrong on cosplaying to enjoy their time with their cosplay friends and the ones who are hell-bent to get attention will remain. This is obviously not a good combination. Such dramatically different sights on cosplay are bound to bash heads against one another until the group splits as a whole. Drama and all the other ugly stuff following.
Sorry for such "negative" views on it, but this is the reality of a lot of groups.
○Now, my advice on this:
If you are going to start a group, you should get to know each other before you start planning out matching cosplays and spending money. If you end up not being friends anymore, I'm sure you'd regret spending that money on an outfit to match them. So, hang out with each other. No cosplaying. Just socialize and get to know your new friends. Don't treat them as a damn business partner. Unless you see cosplaying as a business, then fine. But I am totally against that, and I am pretty sure you will lose your friends after a while if you see it that way. But hey, that's just my opinion.
•When you start a group with friends you've known a long while: Everyone already knows each others basic views on cosplay, ambitions can begin to form at the pace that everyone enjoys for the most part. Drama here and there, but mending friendships usually happen, because, after all: you were friends before being cosplay buddies. Seeing the "group" as not a business partnership between cosplayers, but as your biggest pile of best friends you'll probably ever have: THAT is the best thing ever. That is how you SHOULD be seeing them. If you begin to lose sight of why you are cosplaying with your friends, you are kind of bound to lose them. And it is a long, sad road to adjust to once you lose them. But you will recover. Same thing in the reverse situation: if your friend loses sight as to why they even hang around you, and your friendship falls apart, you may feel pretty hurt. Just know you will recover, and don't give up on doing things you love.
If you and your friends are starting to get under the weather about cosplaying with each other, STOP cosplaying together for a little bit. Take a break. JUST HANG OUT. Don't post videos, photos, anything. Just hang out with them. Replenish the emptying friendship jar. You'll come to find out that your friendship is worth much more than receiving attention from the world on your cosplays together. After your break, you will have a stronger bond in friendship, and will be able to just flat out enjoy cosplaying together again. It will make you realize how much you appreciate your friends that you have, and it will show through to those who follow your posts. Happiness between friends is not something that can be created artificially through business-like cosplaying. It comes out when you are enjoying time spent with your friends. After all, your friends are the people you can lean on. When you can't lean on them, it's not much of a friendship, and it shows.
Tip #2: Conventions. (Things to possibly bring, socializing, hydration.)
•Bring: (This is just a list of things I tend to bring, your list will probably vary.)
Money, I.D., water, little sewing kit, super glue, clean clothes if you want to change, comfortable shoes if you can't stand those tall cosplay-heels any longer, soap, your cosplay makeup,especially if you are going to a con in the hot summer. Sweating off makeup is not fun. LOL, hairspray for a wig if it goes haywire or rains on you, cellphone, snacks, Deoderant/soap/smelly-good-stuff-to-keep-from-stinking, your badge receipt if your con requires it, your happy face.
○ STAY HYDRATED! Can't tell you how many people get dehydrated at a convention. Spending a lot of your time on the con floor being re-hydrated by friends isn't something you'd enjoy. The adrenaline & all of the exciting things going on that us lovely con-lovers enjoy seem to easily make us not realize how dehydrated we really are. Once you stop running around for a moment, it will hit you like a ton of bricks. At several cons there are water stations. GET A CUP AND DRINK SOME. If not, bring a water bottle with you. Whatever suits your fancy, just... stay hydrated! It would suck to pass out in the midst of your enjoyable time chatting with new friends or watching a cosplay skit you like, yeah? SO DRINK-DAT-WATER! (New slogan to shout at cons? LOL.)
•If you bring a prop weapon, get it deemed as "safe" from the weapon check area of the con you are at. A lot of first timers end up getting in trouble for not getting theirs checked. It's all apart of safety, the staff just wants to assure everyone is safe with the objects brought in and out of there. Try not to get upset if you end up getting yelled at. (Yes, I have been yelled the first time I brought a "weapon." LOL.) Also, avoid sitting next to doors. Got harassed pretty harsh for being "in the way." Never take the yelling to heart. People have their good days and bad. Cons can be stressful for staff there. I have quite a few friends that staff at cons. From their stories, I understand their frustrations, & I wouldn't be able to handle so much things at a con like they do. (I LOVE YOU GUYS. xD) +Claps for all your hard work!+
○ There ARE people who try to create drama at cons.(This is going to be long.)We all know someone like this, or have heard of someone like this. They just have to have it, it is their con-feed & gives them their little adrenaline rush, as they are natural at gossiping & spreading rumors, or they really badly want to see you upset. It's typical con-drama. Ignore it at all costs & do not feed the drama llamas or else you will not enjoy the convention you have looked forward to all year. I can't tell you how many silly rumors that have been said about me at conventions. Before people knew who I was, I never really had to deal with it. Now that people can kind of pick me out of a crowd because they watch me on DA or Youtube or whatever, it is easier to go around & say, "Hey, have you heard that one person does this or that or said this or that?" Pretty easy to make a wonderful full-of-bullshit-gossip conversation with a new friend, especially if they have an idea of who you are talking about. (Am I right, rumor-spreaders?) No matter how much lies are said about you, don't let it bother you. If someone approaches you & asks if you have heard this or that being said about you, kindly & calmly correct that with that person. Make it clear and be mature about it. Don't even make a disgusted face. Don't spout out random insults about whoever said the lies about you. It is not worth it, & it lowers you to their level. & more likely than not, your reaction will be spread back around & reach the person that started the rumors. (you'd just be feeding back to them if you react badly.) Just maturely handle the situation, don't let it bother you one bit, & be on your way to enjoying the rest of the con. I personally have had to deal with it before. But let it be known, I am not a drama loving person. I can not physically handle drama. I shake, pass out, panic attacks, etc. I become very ill physically. People have noticed me shaking & being slightly unresponsive at cons. Part of it is because I have a fear of being judged, & I don't want to deal with drama that could come flying at any direction. If you hate me enough to make me become this way at a con, shame on you. If I allow you to make me become this way at a con, shame on me. This is why I give this advice for the last time: Do NOT let it bother you. It DOES ruin con experiences. And the point my own personal experiences being ranted right here is that I want to prevent other con-goers from dealing with this, and having their con ruined. The point of a con is to enjoy yourself and make new friends. Not spread bullshit.
Tip #3: Cosplay outfits and makeup:
Serious & honest here, I don't do specific makeup brands. For some reason everyone thinks I have all these fancy brands and fancy ways of doing my makeup. I don't. In fact, I have horrible makeup-methods, & I don't recommend them because for people who get pimples easily, (A.K.A. myself. LOL.) it sucks. I seriously just pull up a screenshot of whoever I'm cosplaying at the time, and try to match my makeup to how I think it would be in real life for that character. I don't have any professional makeup tips, & I've never taken classes for makeup. I seriously just learned over time on how I can do makeup for the shape of my face. Practice, try different styles. That is all I ever did. It's time consuming, but you will eventually find a style that suits your face!
As for cosplay outfits: I do a bit of everything. I have bought cosplays, and I have completely hand-sewn cosplays from scratch. It all depends on how much time I have. Once again, I have not taken any lessons, I am definitely not a pro at sewing, therefore, my tips from me would be useless and would make your outfits turn out "shitty." Try looking up tutorials online on how to sew certain things you want. Practice your hand at sewing. It takes time, but learning on your own is much better in the long run. Believe me. Not to mention, there are so many tutorials on DA and Youtube for some cosplays, I wonder why people even bother asking me for tips, when they have it right there in their hands to look at! xD
This place will probably give way better tips than I could ever give: cosplayadvice.tumblr.com/
Tip #4: Freaking enjoy cosplay.
If you're not enjoying it & having fun, you're doing it wrong.
Remember: This is just from my experiences, & witnessing many friends with their good & bad experiences. It is not mandatory that you follow my advice. Because it is what it is: "advice." The whole point of this journal is just to help some people out who question their cosplay-motives now and then, and need something to read to reassure what they cosplay for.
On another note, I was asked to display this deviant in need:
fav.me/d4uumnb If you didn't read my long ass journal, at least try reading theirs. It's more important. ^^