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Unread 08-31-2012, 02:04 PM   #1
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Help With My Mindset Regarding Cosplay

So I've been having issues as of right now and thanks to a good friend of mine I figured I'd finally ask you all for help.

I've always had issues with myself. I don't think I'm a good cosplayer because of the fact that for the longest time, I wasn't able to cosplay thanks to finances and this year I finally did my first cosplay. For some reason, I don't feel like I'm a true cosplayer. I know you gotta start somewhere, but when so many people around me, even my friend, have been cosplaying for years and I'm this little noob I guess intimidation sets in. It's intimidating enough trying to make a really good cosplay when you don't know what in the world to do, and I know you guys don't bite, but I'm just scared and now I'm finally asking for help. How do I break out of this shell? I want to continue cosplaying and I do need some help on lots of things, but I don't wanna burden people with my problems. What can help, if anything? Maybe some help from experienced cosplayers? I don't really know, just something.
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Unread 08-31-2012, 02:11 PM   #2
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-chews on your arm- Who says we won't bite? >.>

The only way for you to break out of your shell is to keep at it. Experience comes with time and the only one who can hold you back is yourself. Cosplay isna't how how many costumes you have or how long you've been doing it, it's about the love of the hobby. Even a person who only has one cosplay is still a "true cosplayer". Without the person it's just a costume with out the costume it's just a person it's only after you put the two together that you get a cosplayer.
Don't be little yourself because you've just gotten into the hobby. Embrace the creative side and do what makes you happy even if it means only sporting one costume for long time before starting a new one. No one can tell you how or what to cosplay that is all up to you! Have a little faith in yourself friend and you'll be just fine.


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Unread 08-31-2012, 03:04 PM   #3
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There's no such thing as true cosplayer lol. If you partake in the hobby of wearing costumes and portraying characters, then you are a cosplayer. You might be a newbie, but so what. Don't think to yourself you're not good enough for a hobby. It's a leisure activity that is supposed to make you happy, not to be critical about yourself. There is always a start to everything, so just because you are new, that does not make you any less of a fan/hobbyist. I'm jealous you have friends who have been cosplaying for a long time. Don't be shy and ask them for guidance/help. They're your friends who share the same hobby after all.

Don't be intimidated have fun and embrace cosplaying and what it offers to you as a hobby.
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Unread 08-31-2012, 03:17 PM   #4
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Agreed with the above posts.

Cosplay is first and foremost a hobby. You are a cosplay no matter how many costumes you have or how much experience you have under your belt. If you love doing it, that makes you a cosplayer. One thing that can help, since you said you have a friend that has been doing this for a while, see if you can't enlist their help on things you get stumped on. I've been doing this for eleven years, and when I get stuck on something, my go-to person is my mom. She taught me so much about sewing and making clothing that when I have issues, I ask for her opinion. It's great just to ask, whether it's your friend or just a general question on the forums and all. Don't be afraid to ask, that's for sure. Just have fun with it and know that you will get better over time.
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Unread 08-31-2012, 03:25 PM   #5
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I know that feeling. I've been doing this for about 2 years now but I still feel intimidated and put down by the skill-level of some of the people on here. However, like others have been saying on here, cosplaying is a hobby. If you have one or twenty costumes, it is still the same, you are a cosplayer. I also agree with Mehdia about asking your friend for help. I have a friend whose a fashion design major and I ask her for help on a couple of things that I don't understand.
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Unread 08-31-2012, 03:46 PM   #6
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Agreed with the above.... if you have a friend who is more experienced in cosplay than you, use that to your advantage! Don't hesitate to ask questions, I'm sure they would be willing to help. And don't worry about feeling intimidated by other cosplayers. I still feel intimidated by some cosplayers *coughcough other CJS people* just because of the amount of skill they possess is very apparent in their costume, and I've been in this hobby for 3 yrs (and only done 2 cosplays lol).
So bottom line is, take your time, don't worry about getting a ton of cosplays done, and remember not to take this hobby so seriously that it begins to majorly stress you out

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Unread 08-31-2012, 05:54 PM   #7
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I agree with pretty much everyone here. I've been cosplaying about seven years now but I still remember how intimidating it was when I first started (I actually first wanted to cosplay back in 2003, but it took me a couple years to build up the courage). What really helped me get past the beginner-jitters was picking a character I really loved and cosplaying only that character for three years. During those three years I was constantly improving/adding on to the costume as I learned new things. I didn't start making other costumes until I felt happy about the first one. I really feel all the attention and time put into that first costume helped my confidence with future cosplays. I didn't have friends that were into cosplaying like you do, so you definitely have an advantage there! Ask them for advice, I'm sure they'd be happy to help! There are also some nice tutorials on this site.
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Unread 09-01-2012, 12:52 AM   #8
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Pretty much agree with what other posters have already said...cosplay is a hobby first and foremost and hobbies are supposed to be something you do for fun because you enjoy that hobby. If you have fun with it, it doesn't matter how many costumes you have or how long you've been at it because as long as you are having fun, you ARE a cosplayer. We all start out as newbies and we all may feel intimidated at first, but the only way to get past that is to keep at it and build more experience. Don't be afraid to ask your friends for help either, I'm sure they'd be more than willing to help you out!
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Unread 09-01-2012, 04:59 AM   #9
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I know what you're talking about, and sure, that's normal. A first costume is actually pretty scary (as silly as it sounds to look at the words plainly.) Because a lot of people make them a big affair, it makes folks that don't really have a handle on it look like they REALLY don't. By the way you phrase it, I assume that when you say "true cosplayer", you mean someone who's got a bit of experience under their belt at making costumes, but, how can you achieve that without making a first costume?

But what you said was right; everyone's got to start somewhere! So, what I recommend, if you haven't got your mind set on someone to cosplay yet, find someone who's costume you think would be really easy from an anime you like. Some people say they don't respect cosplayers who dress as characters they're not in love with, but I really don't agree with that at all, especially when you're getting around to your first cosplay. It doesn't matter who you are; unless you're rich, you're probably not in love with your first character.

(I was never in love with Kankuro! XD)

But back to your costume, yeah, it's a little scary to wear a first costume out to a convention or something, but I think it's something you just have to bite your lip and get over with, and you'll find that once you do, it's not so bad. I think the cosplay community not just here, but everywhere online, makes cons look harsh and all about what you've got, but they're not. People aren't as heavy-handed with insults as people make it seem, and it's all about YOU having fun wearing your costume anyway.

As far as who you should do if you're mind's not made up, find someone who resembles you. Cosplay is NOT about body type or height. When I say "someone who resembles you", I mean maybe a character that has a hairstyle that your own hairstyle would be easily converted to. (Even better, if you can't see your character's hair at all under a hat.) It'll make your life a lot easier when you feel like you've got a really good handle on what it is that you're making.

My main recommendation to you is to start working on your costume ASAP. Being on my tenth or so costume and having had about three or so of them rushed, I know that it REALLY sucks when you've got to throw a costume together at the last minute when you've been excited about it all year, and then it's just...eh. So, be sure that you have time to complete your costume! My method? Basically, start working on it whenever you get even a few materials to put something together. It will make your life a lot easier!

And to wrap it up, there isn't a such thing as a true cosplayer. A cosplayer is a cosplayer. It's just a hobby, and if you like to do it, then you have to go for it yourself, because no one else can do it for you!
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Unread 09-04-2012, 10:57 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by SweeneyTodd View Post
Agreed with the above.... if you have a friend who is more experienced in cosplay than you, use that to your advantage! Don't hesitate to ask questions, I'm sure they would be willing to help. And don't worry about feeling intimidated by other cosplayers. I still feel intimidated by some cosplayers *coughcough other CJS people* just because of the amount of skill they possess is very apparent in their costume, and I've been in this hobby for 3 yrs (and only done 2 cosplays lol).
So bottom line is, take your time, don't worry about getting a ton of cosplays done, and remember not to take this hobby so seriously that it begins to majorly stress you out
The bolded part! So much. Your friend would probably love to share his/her wealth of knowledge and experience with a newbie. I sure am. To the point where I often have to ask my friends to tell me to shut up if they don't want to do it my way or thought of another way to do something I'm babbling on about. I tend to give advice even when it's not asked for, because I'm just excited about friends wanting to get into my hobby. I have to stop and remind them they can do it however they want because it's their costume, not mine. They don't have to listen to me.

I have awesome, amazing cosplay conversations with my best friend. It's something we have in common and can talk about for hours. I've even got my bf doing it now, and he gets so excited about talking about how to make things or improve things. Ask your friend questions and you'll probably be surprised.
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Unread 09-14-2012, 03:48 PM   #11
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I just wanna say thank you all so much for all the kind words. It's really helping me out with what to do and I thank you all so much, again.
Upcoming Cosplays for 2014:
Jaune Arc (RWBY)
Levi Heichou (Regular Corp Outfit) Attack on Titan)
Levi Heichou (Cleaning Outfit) (Attack on Titan)

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Unread 09-20-2012, 01:35 PM   #12
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Hello, sorry, not really an experienced cosplayer, but i felt like giving my two cents. I'm really new to cosplay and just did my first two cosplays/went to my first con not even a year ago. So I really understand how you're feeling. But like most people on here said, it's a hobby so just have fun with it. Sure you won't be great right away, but most people i"ve met are really nice. I mean, we all have the same hobby and so we all obviously have at least on thing in common.

I agree with everyone who's said ask your experienced friends for help. They're your friends and since they'd be helping you with something you both love, I think they'd be more then happy to help.

Once again, sorry, I know I'm not really experienced...but I can understand how you feel. So I wish you the best of luck and hope you keep working hard!!!
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Unread 09-20-2012, 01:45 PM   #13
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Calling someone a 'true cosplayer' is like calling someone a 'true college student', or a 'true lover of books'. The length of which you've been interested or involved in the activity doesn't reflect your skill or worth as someone involved in the activity.

I think you are looking very deeply into this because you see cosplay as this big group effort and if you're not part of a clique within the hobby then you're inexperienced and everyone thinks your a boob punch.

How do you be a cosplayer? You cosplay. One persons spandex suit doesn't make them any more of a cosplayer then you in your spandex suit.

There isn't a secret to being a cosplayer, there isn't a secret handshake you have to learn, it's just a fun hobby and there isn't anything more to it. I promise. Relax and have a good time, that's it.

If you're feeling intimidated because someone else has a nicer looking cosplay, that's perfectly natural. If you showed up to prom wearing the same dress as someone else only yours had uneven edges and beads falling off and theirs was made of spun silk and diamonds of course you'd feel kinda shitty. But you'd still dance, hang out with your friends, and have a great time. Maybe next time you'd save some money aside for the next dance, look into more resources on how to fix that uneven hem and buy better fabric. Maybe you save up some money between dances and go to your favorite dress shop and get that one super beautiful ballgown you've seen in the window. Your first dress might not be your favorite, but you plan for next time and still have fun.
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Unread 09-20-2012, 02:09 PM   #14
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I've been cosplaying for 4-5 years and feel the same way.

Important part?

Don't do it in order to cosplay - do it because you love the character, the costumes, the part of dressing up, putting on your makeup or just for a chance to be part of the story you love
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Unread 09-23-2012, 02:46 AM   #15
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I feel the need to comment here...

I'm only a reasonbly new cosplayer myself (first con just over a month ago), and I'm just feeling like I'm not that great at it, having gone as making a comment in a public venue that proberly wasn't any help to how I'm feeling.

Coming from an area where cosplay isn't that common - the nearest major community of cosplayers (other than the few friends I have that cosplay and don't really take it as seriosly as me). Even trying to mention the idea to (other) friends just gets me laughed at 99.99% of the time.

I'm also finding it hard to think that my cosplays are any good (for example, I'm thinking my L cosplay I'm working on at the moment isn't going to turn out any good at all, despite it being as basic as L). I'm trying to build some form of community I can express my cosplay/other anime etc stuff with over Facebook, because of the hatrid I get clogging up my newsfeed.

To the OP, and anyone else in this situation: Your not alone in this situation, but one thing I have personally found in the very short time I've been a cosplayer is that the community is one that is very welcoming and will tolerate newcomers the same as veterans (which is not something I can say about many other things lol).

I'm sorry if I've gone a bit OT here but I felt I'd share my feelings as well as they are (possibly only slightly but) related to the thread...

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