Hello, My name is Ryo-Chan Alin, or Ryaven if you want to be less formal, and I personally want to introduce you to some tips I've compiled for EASY COSPLAY.
What is cosplay you ask? Quite simply, it is the act of finding, buying, or making a costume to resemble a character or person from various anime related genres.
What is Anime you ask? Why now, my curious friend, you need to know what that is before you can begin.
--Anime (An-eh-may is the pronunciation) is the term given to a genre of cartooning originating from Japan. In actuality, Anime is the Japanese term applied to any animation style, but for our intents and purposes, Anime is the kind from Japan.
Okay, to start now, are you into anime? Well, whether you're new to the game, on a budget, or pressed for time before your next convention (CON), these tips should be helpful. Now, I can in no way say I'm an expert, being that I've only started cosplaying since 2001. but, from what I have learned I should at least be able to help those who need it.
+++Tip 1+++ Set Up a Cosplay Budget
*If money is no object (and for few people it is), ignore this step. Otherwise, continue
~Setting up a cosplay budget may seem a bit dorky, but it:
-->Helps manage your overall CON money
-->Helps you be more creative with your options
-->helps you to realistically choose your final costume
**I tend not to want to go over $50 total for the whole ensemble if I can help it (and I haven't gone over yet)
+++Tip 2+++ The Big One- Decisions!
~First, Pick a game, manga, anime, or J-rock/J-pop group that interests you.
-->Pick characters that specifically interest you
~Narrow down the list a bit
-->After deciding on however many charcters you think you could be, try the tips:
///1) Look for physical resemblence to a character you like
------>Facial structure, body build, and hair are all things to consider
------>Hair is something to especially think about. If you don't really mind cutting and dying your hair for this or wearing a wig that's okay. If you don't care about how your hair looks, that's okay too.
///2) Does the character resemble your personality?
------>This tip is interchangable with tip 1. Some people might like a character more because of his/her personality and can somehow compensate their appearance to match.
------>Sometimes it's easier to get your creative juices flowing if you can emulate a character's personality.
------>It may even feel a bit more comfortable being someone who acts like you!
///3) Look at the character and costume. Does it look like a realistic task to undertake?
------>Is the costume complicated or simple?
=====No matter the complexity of a costume, there is usually some way to create it.
------>Do you have time?
=====Save your hopes of a complex costume for when you have more time to work on it. Unless that is, you work really fast or are a cosplaying genius.
------>The WWF (or Weight and Warmth Factor)
=====How heavy will the costume be?
^^^^^^^Just think of how long you will be in costume and if you can carry the weight of your costume for that long.
=====How warm is it?
^^^^^^^This depends on the materials it's made form and how much of it is covering you.
^^^^^^^Take into consideration, not only the possible temperatures at the CON, but also the weather outside if you travel. I wouldn't want to wear a big furry suit in summer or a "Felecia" costume in mid winter.
+++Tip 3+++ Making, Finding, or Buying It Baby!
*Once you have narrowed down your options to about 1 or 2 (hopefully 1) characters, you can start with this tip.
~Look around you!
--> If you have any sort of an imagination, then you can visualize how to upt your costume together.
----->Check closets, attics, drawers, trinket boxes, the garage, or basically anywhere at home for things that could comprise a costume.
*hint: this usually means it's free, therefore keeping your cosplay budget more open
~Thrift stores and "vintage" stores rock!
----->Thrift stores Rock!
=====this is because you can find the weirdest stuff in there (really, it's true)
=====surprisingly, really ugly old belts and other clothing can magically be transformed into a cool cosplay item
=====thrift stores are generally less expensive than other places
----->Vintage stores are pretty cool too.
=====Beware!!! These stores might have what you are looking for, but can charge a higher price if the word Vintage is slapped on it.
~Craft/fabric stores and surpluss warehouses
----->If you can't find what you want at any of the other places, then try making what you want!
=====sewing isn't required, but it's a good skill to learn
=====sometimes making something is less costly than buying it
=====not only that, but it can be rewarding to know you made something yourself.
----->Whether a general costume store or online cosplay stores, there is always the option to purchace already made costumes.
=====this option is usually for people with more mone or people with less time that are willing to pay for authenticity.
=====generally these costumes are the most authentic of all.
+++Tip 4+++ Get it Stated!
~Usually,the more time you give yourself to work on a costume, the better the quality of it
----->get started as early as you can to give yourself more time
~If you like your costume, you can wear it several years in a row and to different CONS. Heck, you can wear it to school if you want! (a.k.a. my Ake costume that I will post pics of soon)
Well, I hope this helped you and that all goes great in your cosplay adventures! I might even put up some cosplay examples that you can do yourself! Until then, good luck, and maybe I'll see you at a CON!
^Ryo-Chan Alin^ =:)
P.S. I'm going to Tekkoshocon 2005 in Pittsburgh and Otakon 2005 in Baltimore- Dressed as Puchiko from Digi Charat! In case you wanna say hi....