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Unread 11-20-2014, 05:50 PM   #1
Lucky-530
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In Need Of Some Advice

Okay, so I've been thinking about getting into cosplay for a while now, like a little over a year and a half. I've been interested in it for years and I have ideas about certain characters I'd like to try to portray, aswell as props or weapons from games that I'd like to try to create just to have my own personal version of whatever it is. But unfortunately I have yet to take that first step towards creating anything, character or prop. I haven't been to any cons to see any creations in person, I've just been viewing other people's works online and drooling over the awesomeness and creativity of the stuff I see.

I think alot and most of the time I end up talking myself out of things. The biggest thing I think about is if I'd be able to even pull the character off with me being a bigger guy (I'm 6'4" and about 315 lbs. a semi built former football player ). I tend to limit myself to the bigger characters from games, anime, and comics. The other big thing that usually gets me discouraged is thinking about crafting things (armor, swords, guns, etc.) and if they will turn out looking like the finished products I had planned on.

I guess what I'm asking is if anyone else had gone through the same thought process, and if so how did you get past it?
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Unread 11-20-2014, 06:11 PM   #2
Ilafatyu
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Sort of, but opposite. When I first started cosplaying, it was after a long time of seeing friends learning how to craft and doing a great job at it. I was on the other end of the size spectrum-- Probably 4'11" when I started, still in high school. I limited myself to children because of my size.

It took a while until I realized that I could cosplay whatever I wanted, regardless of size. I'm still five feet tall and stick thin, but if I want to do something, I'll make it work.
And even if you make something that doesn't turn out right in the end, at least you have the experience of making it. Frustrating, yeah, but you only learn from trying.
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Unread 11-20-2014, 06:24 PM   #3
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I've been making costumes most of my life, but the idea of wearing them in front of a camera has scared me for as long as I can remember. Last year I took the plunge and made a costume to wear at a con where people could take my picture (or ignore me or make fun of me: my fears).

The whole costume survived the trip down to the con (maybe because I had an elaborate repair kit with me), so I decided to suit up and head downstairs, even though it was the day before and most people were still getting there. I got on everything and decided to give the apron a quick press to knock out some minor wrinkling.
I MELTED THE APRON a little, right in the center.
After time started moving again and I could breathe and gravity stopped being weird, I had enough brainpower to explain to my husband what just happened.
You see, accuracy is everything to me. I judge how good a cosplay is by how accurately it recreates the reference picture or design. I spent three weeks putting a layer of paper mache clay on the helmet (one per day). I matched the helmet color by taking scraps from the tunic to the art store and painting on myself until I found a DRY match to the fabric. I used the Vulpin Prop guy's suggestion and photoshopped one of the 35 reference pictures of the helmet onto a picture of my head so I could get all the details proportional.

My husband told me it wasn't that noticeable. He said it looked like shadow or like a water stain. My grand experiment was in tatters, and I love and trust this man to be honest with me, so I grabbed my gloves and helmet and went down anyway.

And I was a huge hit. People recognized me all over the place. Two incredibly AWESOME people from the same game saw me in the food court and invited me to the game photoshoot the next day. The photoshoot people were incredibly welcoming and made me feel like a star.
--------------------
You can't win if you don't try. And it doesn't have to be as good as you want; in fact, your first pieces won't be as good, guaranteed. But if this is really who you are, it is a CRIME to be anything else. We need more big guys in cosplay, and there are PLENTY of big characters who are awesome for you to bring to life (many of them wear body armor, *purr*).

And if that's not enough, I encourage you to run through the scenario. Play out in your mind the very worst possible thing someone could say or do while you're in costume. Then really contemplate how much damage those words will do to your flesh or your future or your finances or your love-life. Sometimes, the fear make a thing MUCH bigger than the reality.

So go for it, if this is you. You have a lot of practice and trial and error ahead of you, if you want to make your dreams a reality. Chances are, it's going to be almost as good as you hope, and better than you fear.

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Last edited by lemuries : 11-20-2014 at 06:26 PM. Reason: spelling mistake
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Unread 11-20-2014, 06:33 PM   #4
lemuries
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Oh yeah, and remember that terrible place on my apron? The one that made me consider skipping the con and never doing this again?
No one noticed it. *I* can't even find it in any of the pictures I've found of me in the costume, and I know where to look.
If stuff isn't perfect, it's okay to let that go. Although accuracy is my holy grail, the caption in my sewing room says "Done is good, done is beautiful." Strive for perfect, but learn to love what you have, and you'll be a happier man for it, here and in other parts of your life.
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Unread 11-20-2014, 09:50 PM   #5
Lucky-530
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@Ilafatyu:
That's pretty much the same way my friend tells me to look at things like that. Even if it doesn't turn out to be as great as I'd hoped it would be, I still took the time to do it and can only improve on things as I go along. Trial and error. The same goes for his attitude towards wanting to portray a certain character, he'll find ways to make everything work for him.

@lemuries
I too share similar fears of being mocked or made fun of, but as I've gotten older I've come to learn that I have a talent for "shutting down" (and thats putting it nicely) would be bullies or just plain jerks. Even though some of the things they say may still bother me to a degree, they're still the ones that end up walking away with their tails tucked between their legs.

And I am also big on details when it comes to things. Usually anytime I sketch something out for someone else (most of the time a tattoo or something like that) they could see it and be thrilled with how it looksbut there could be something bugging me about it. A line not being straight enough, shading being off, or just the simple thought in my head that I could do better. I guess that's a gift and a curse when you think about it.
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Unread 11-20-2014, 10:41 PM   #6
StrawberrySiren
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You're your own worst critic and whatnot. I guarantee that with any of these crazy impressive costumes, the person who made it is going to think, "Holy crap this looks awful." You just have to accept that especially when starting out, it's likely that your finished product won't be perfect. And that's fine. Take pride in the fact that you made it that far. It's a hard mentality to break but even if you don't like the outcome, other people will admire your work.

Nothings going to get done if you don't talk yourself into doing it. If doing something like a crazy Soul Calibur cosplay is too daunting, you can always work your way up from something really simple and basic. When I need to make something I've never made before, I research the crap out of it. Like say I'm going to make this Pacific Rim suit. I'm going to research different materials, read up on them, look at costumes made with them, look at tutorials that use them, and figure out the best combination for my budget and needs. After that, I'll go ahead and gather up my chosen materials and tools needed to work with them (heat gun, newspaper and glue for paper mache, etc), take a deep breath and get to it. All the research I do helps calm my nerves and gives me somewhat of an idea of what to do. I spend an incredible amount of free time just lurking the forums and watching tutorials just to learn!
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Unread 11-21-2014, 02:45 PM   #7
MooglePrincess
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Oh heck yes!!!
THere have been SEVERAL occassions where I (and I'm pretty sure ALOT of people) have been discouraged to cosplay. Remember, we are not the characters and we tend to be more perfectionistic in our minds than we need to be. We often think we need to look EXACTLY like the character to "pull it off" and forget that Cosplay is not about looking exactly like the character, it's about representing something you love: game, character, art design of something, etc. It's about being in the spirit of what you love.

Cosplay could be as simple as holding an item and wearing a mask of someone. Now, if you are like most people who cosplay, then you want to invoke the full appearance and not just carry props -- that's ok too. And if you are the type to want to "go all out", then I can assure you that almost EVERYONE has some form of discouragement (race, gender, height, weight, body type, disability, crafting skill and even just fear of going out in something unorthodox). This is life and these things carry from life. Just remember, cosplay is actually one of those times where life shouldn't apply and only fun should. If you look like the character or not, as long as you are having fun, that's key. If you put ur all into learning the skills of craft/sewing and you put ur effort into the cosplay, that speaks much louder than any of the above discouragers. And ultimately, it's what's in your head that makes you think other people will look down upon you. I've taken SO many pictures of people who either just decided to cosplay a character NO ONE EVER DOES but didn't have great skills at craft/sewing and people who have done SUPERB jobs and may not have met the character's original profile. I admire cosplay.

---------------------------------

About me? LOL Well i have taken sewign classes and love crafting so it may be natural to me BUT there are advanced thigns that I know nothing about and it was only until I actually TRIED to do these thins where I overcame those mental limitations. My first FULLY crafted cosplay came out SO good, people were taking pictures of me left and right for ....way too long u,u Even though there were a few errors that caused parts of it to come apart =S (Now in-progress of perfecting the outfit).

Physically, I am Black/Native American with a pretty interesting split of those genes. And, I was a pretty big girl once upon a time with fluctuation weight...all around. One day, my shirt fits and the next day it doens't but a pair of pants I was preparing to burn suddenly felt the desire to fit perfectly. Women right? There are characters that I didn't even want to try after losing weight because I thought my boobs werne't big enuff (or were awkwardly misshapen), my figure wasn't thin enuff (still losing wieght here) or my body was good to go but my arms would ruin it.

Race: Got over. As this is about representing the character and once I got over it, I started to notice that there's more to "looking liek the character". Body-type, face structure, head shape, personification thru personality/getting into character. I've noticed that you can definitely pull off a character being a different race, only difference is a few minor differences like skin color or other small features.

Weight: Can be an issue if you are a slight perfectionist (like me) but there are so many ways to get over this and have fun while u are on the route to a healthier body. Altering designs works because it's your own spin on a character and people really appreciate this because it's art and like to see different versions of beloved characters. Ultimately, it's up to you but if you are looking to lose weight, use the cosplay as your inspiration. Your utter love for that character can really put u into gear. I want to cosplay so many people, I'm working on losing the extra 20 pounds i need for life and simply for cosplay XD LOL

Height/Proportions: Should never be an issue as many character's sizes/proportions are a bit unorthodox for many real people. This is about representing the character (ala wearing ur favorite teams colors) and most people will think you look awesome anyway. Plus, there are always ways of altering cosplays to match these unorthodox propotions haha

Skill: FInd some tutotirals and get experience. THis is just the only real route for cosplay other than commissioning for an outfit, which can be much more expensive than doing it urself. You can easily head over to the tutorials section. They have a TON of nice links for beginners. Once you start, you should be fine as most people look for ways to heighten their skill. I see this as a hobby like any other skill I want to evolve.

Have fun!!! That's the most important part.
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Past Cosplays in Retouching Mode - Posting Soon:::
Black Mage: Crimsom Robe Vanity Set - FF14: ARR 80%
ANBU Original Design - Naruto 70%
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Projected Future Cosplays for 2015:::
* Ashe: Model A Build - Megaman ZX Advent 1%
* Keyblade Armor - Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep 0%
-Warrior of Light - Dissidia, FF14:AAR Dragoon or Other *Any Suggestions on Characters with armor/masks"

Last edited by MooglePrincess : 11-21-2014 at 02:48 PM.
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Unread 11-21-2014, 02:52 PM   #8
MooglePrincess
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ALso, you should so cosplay Michaelangelo. I think you and my brother share some interesting "setbacks". He likes to cosplay beasts and armored characters/character's without true human characteristics like BLack Mages because, he thinks he is ugly...

But he also is very passionate about beasts and non-human characters so I guess it works out well for him. XD I am his ENCOURAGER but he doesn't listen to me. however, he is now recently trying to cosplay outside of that "box". Because he doesn't care anymore and is actually working on aspects of himself. He just wants to have fun.
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MEGAMAN::: MEGAMERGE!!! "Rock On!" Cosplay Transformation

Past Cosplays in Retouching Mode - Posting Soon:::
Black Mage: Crimsom Robe Vanity Set - FF14: ARR 80%
ANBU Original Design - Naruto 70%
Dark Link - The Legend of Zelda 10%
~~~~~~
Projected Future Cosplays for 2015:::
* Ashe: Model A Build - Megaman ZX Advent 1%
* Keyblade Armor - Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep 0%
-Warrior of Light - Dissidia, FF14:AAR Dragoon or Other *Any Suggestions on Characters with armor/masks"
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Unread 11-21-2014, 09:51 PM   #9
StilesJman
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I think I was in a similar situation before I started cosplaying. Looking at what needs to be done to finish a costume from start to finish can easily be overwhelming. If you can you should look into commissioning someone to make your first cosplay. Not just to be that first step to get you into it but usually they will give you updates (or be willing to) on the build process. As well as getting an up close look in person at the finished work of an experienced artisan would probably be the next best thing versus taking a workshop/class or online tutorial.
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