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10 tips to a successful cosplay

1. Decided what type of cosplayer you want to be

Successful cosplay can take many forms. Consider your motivation to get started cosplaying. Are you socially charged and want to attend events where you can showcase your ability to display a character's personality? Are you more aesthetically focused and desire to showcase your ability to translate the characters in different ways? Do you desire to improve your skill in creating costumes? Or Do you just want to use cosplay pictures to build your platform?

2. Start simple then layer in details

Every character has costume elements that are unique to them. This can be a color, prop, or articles of clothing. Start by recreating these distinguishing elements to build the rest of your characterization. The supporting garments can be layered in based on the setting or desired use of the cosplay. For example a successful marvin the martian cosplay would include white gloves, a helmet, athletic sneakers, and tutu like garment.

3. Start with characters that you are familiar with

Starting with characters you are familiar with eases getting into cosplay for many reasons. First, you will have more enthusiasm to finish the look. Second, You will be able to easily identify the distinguishing character elements. Third, It is more likely that you will wear the costume more than once which will save money.

4. Save money with DIY

Your first cosplay will not be perfect! This hobby takes tons of time and effort to perfect. Opting for sewing or constructing your costume will save you money and ease your transition as a new cosplayer. Keep in mind that less can certainly be more. Stores such as Dollar tree can serve as a substitute for more expensive stores such as Jo Ann’s.

5. Don’t forget props - foam

Be sure to use props that characters are associated with in order to make the characterization is pronounced. Any successful cosplay needs to include key props for a character if applicable. For example a Wile E. Coyote cosplay attempt is merely a coyote without one of his trademark artillery items.

6. Don’t mix character versions in one look

It is better to creatively pivot your cosplay look than it is to mix known variations to the characterization. Mixing is a mistake because it may blur the context in which you are trying to place the character. Pivoting your cosplay can add depth to the context in which you will be role playing your chosen character.

7. Remember the hair

The proper hair can be secured through the use of wigs, hair coloring, styling, or a hat. Hair is not always necessary but it is helpful when trying to nail early cosplay looks. In some cases the hair is key to the look. For example, think about Marge Simpons blue hair. Whether the blue hair is standing tall as originally rendered or pivoted it is key to a Marge Simpson cosplay.

8. Relax and trust the process

Never lose sight of the fact that you started doing this for fun. Problems and setbacks will occur but take time to breathe, and remind yourself that you are building skills. Mark your losses and plan a solution for the next time you make an attempt. The process of learning is constant which guarantees that the skills you need to create a “perfect” cosplay is not gained overnight.

9. Don’t forget the power of internet

As I mentioned before learning how to create cosplay is a process. You may have a favorite website or social media page but don't forget to search other internet resources for cosplay inspiration and tips. You may find a better resource, origins of cosplay for context, or a cosplay community that you may join.

10. Colors matter

One strong element to a simple cosplay is the colors that were used. Relying on matching colors as a focus to create a cosplay is a great method for a real life cosplay look. This is easy to do because you don't have to focus on details and props. The key to this method is to block the colors as close to how they are perceived in the original rendering.

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