How I Choose Cosplay Characters

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I’ll be honest. One of the hardest things about cosplay is choosing a character. I’ve had some characters on my list for years and I haven’t done as much as write a shopping list for some. My first cosplay was supposed to be teenage Bulma from my favorite series Dragon Ball. It was my intention to make her costume from the cover of volume 10 of the original Dragon Ball manga. But…the only thing I still have for that costume is the pants…5 years later. (I’m pretty sure that they don’t fit anymore.) I plan on cosplaying forever so I’m sure that I will eventually finish it! (Why I love Cosplay)

My thrift store finds for my junior high Hanji cosplay! I only spent $3.00!

One cosplay I am currently working on is Hanji from Attack on Titan; specifically, her incarnation from the junior high series. (The anime is awesome but the manga is better! Trust me!) She is my favorite Attack on Titan character because she’s awesome and I relate to her in several ways. (Although I’m currently not fighting titans.) I can’t wait to finish this one!

I don’t really have a formula to choose characters. I see a character and then I add them to my list. However, I DO have criteria for investing time in and going through with a cosplay. Here are five things that help me choose a cosplay character.

  1. Convention/Event Rules– Sure, you’ve had your heart set on your Cammy cosplay for months now but if you’re going to a con where the buttocks have to be covered, you’re out of luck. Anime Fest is one con that does not allow exposed butt cheeks . Men can’t be shirtless either. While this may seem unfair, cons must adhere to the rules of their venues and the law. Laws against “indecent exposure” vary from state to state. I have not had issues with dress code with any of my costumes. I just make sure that I am aware of the dress code so that I am not disappointed.

    Me as Kuranosuke from “Princess Jellyfish”
  1. Craftsmanship/Skill Level– I have never tried building armor so I have never chosen a character who has armor. Sure, I’ve done lots of crazy things to complete a cosplay because I like to challenge myself. But if I don’t feel that I am capable of executing a cosplay properly, I won’t do it. I don’t want to waste time on something that I am not ready for. I would rather take time learning how to do something properly. I am currently improving my sewing machine skills. I think that I am an okay-ish seamstress.
pixabay.com/stevepb

(my poor fingers)

  1. Likability– I don’t necessarily chose characters that I have a connection to. I may find a character cool or funny. For example, I have loved Human Luna’s design ever since I saw the Sailor Moon S movie as a child so I knew that I would cosplay her one day. I decided to cosplay as Kuranosuke from Princess Jellyfish because I love his outfits and I think he is Being a longtime fan or expert is not a criteria for choosing a character. Cosplay is about having fun and connecting with others.

    Human Luna cosplay from the Sailor Moon S movie
  2. Cost– If a character makes it past the list stage, I start hunting for items online and in stores. This includes wigs, fabric, shoes, accessories, weapons, and even thread. I write down the prices of these items so that I can estimate the total cost of the cosplay. (I also search for items in my closet and around the house). I always make sure that I find ALL of the items at a reasonable price BEFORE I start the cosplay and make purchases.
www.pixabay.com/stocksnap/28435
  1. Time– Is the con in 5 weeks? Or is it in 5 months? Time is a huge factor in deciding on a cosplay. But if you have 5 weeks, you can easily pull off a new cosplay. Establishing a line up early is a good practice so that I know how to manage my time and reach my goal. But I’m not a super human. I’ve worked on cosplay at 3 am….the day of the con. It happens. But I finish before I pull out the parking lot!
    ("Twas the night before the con...")
    www.pixabay.ciom/alan9187/13images

    (Twas the night before the con…”)

As stated before, I am not  a guru. The list above is based on my experiences over the past 3 years. Following this criteria has helped me finish my cosplays on time without breaking the bank! But do what works best for you and as always, have fun!

How do you choose cosplays? Leave a comment below!

 

 

 

An Update: What I’ve Been Doing For the Past Month!

www.pixabay.com/La_Petite_Femme

This post contains links to my products on Teespring. This post also contains affiliate links which means I earn compensation from purchases made through product links to RageOn!

Hello everyone! I haven’t posted anything in a month but I have a good excuse! HelloChica89 has been a busy bee for about 30 days straight. I’ve been busy doing marketing research, working on my business plan, and a bunch of other things. First, I’ve been working nonstop on my upcoming ebook The Comprehensive Guide to Geek Conventions. This has been an idea of mine for a while now and I finally took the initiative to get started! I am currently about 40% done! I am also working on a cosplay ebook that is still in its infancy. It’s called To Be the Very Best: Tips to Enhance Your Cosplay Experience. But I may change that title. I’m not sure yet.

As someone who enjoys cosplay, I also enjoy fashion. After being in the education world for 5 years, it’s been a blessing to be back to my first love.  As a high school student, I wanted to be a fashion designer and open my own boutique one day. I wrote about my desires and dreams in my senior paper and I just knew that it would happen in a few years. More than anything, I wanted to attend The Art Institute of Dallas. I was taking design and art classes in school and watching every fashion show on tv. I devoured issues of  Teen Vogue and Seventeen to get inspiration and to keep up with the latest trends. My amazing school counselor got a welcome packet from the school filled with tons of information AND DVDs of the latest fashion shows featuring the students’ designs. I just knew that I needed to be there. But, I could not afford to go. I was not a resident of Texas and there was no way for me to get a scholarship. I would have to pay out of pocket. So I did the next best thing; I became a business major.(This did not last long because I found out that I had to take calculus. True story. I am horrible at math.) 

www.pixabay.com/geralt

(I changed majors like…)

So, I’ve decided to test out the design waters using Teespring and RageOn!. For the past month I’ve been learning how to use the sites, playing around with designs and just learn how to market my products. I was surprised that I was able to execute my ideas so easily! I’m a fan of pop culture so it’s only natural that my designs would reflect that fact. Here are a few of the designs that I’ve come up with so far! You can see more on the shop page!

“One Wish” tank in coral from Teespring
“Anime Music” from Teespring
“Moonlight gamer” from Teespring
“One Wish” tee from Teespring in black because I live for black shirts. 🙂

Here are a couple of the RageOn! designs. I drew inspiration from anything I could. Including my old cheat codes from Animal Crossing on the Gamecube. 😀

Gamer Code Women’s Tee
Moon Goddess Women’s Tee
Recording Queen Women’s Tee

Lastly, I’ve been brainstorming and planning BRAND NEW BLOG POSTS! Some of my planned posts include my geeky tattoos, my cosplay ideas,the importance of crafting, and even my favorite card game: Solitaire. I am so excited to get these posts out to your soon!

Writing, designing, planning. I’ve been a busy bee. Creating is fun but learning about the business side of blogging is also interesting. I have other things on the way that I can’t talk about just yet but I am so ready to present them on my blog! Working on My Geek Parade and working as a reading specialist is tough but I can’t help but say that I love it. This blog is my baby and I can’t wait to see how far it goes. To my readers, thanks for listening. <3

 

 

 

How I Painted Connie’s Sword

This post contains affiliate links which means I earn compensation from purchases made through product links to Amazon.com.

One of my favorite characters to cosplay is definitely Connie Maheswaran from Steven Universe. She’s smart, funny, and a KNIGHT!  Like many SU fans, I fell in love with her character after the episode “Sworn to the Sword” in which she is trained by Pearl. Not only is the animation beautiful but the inclusion of the song “Do It For Her” is nothing short of genius.  In this episode, Connie declares herself Steven’s knight. She states that although she is human, she can protect him. This episode also has a few anime Easter eggs.

FreeImages.com/Gary Scott

(Steven Universe be like: )

In this post, I will describe how I painted a toy sword to match the one that Connie uses during training. I am NOT an expert. This is only my third sword and it isn’t perfect.  I am simply describing what I did.

  1. First, I gathered my materials. Masking tape (thin and wide), paint, brushes of varying sizes, a paper plate, and a toy sword. I chose the X-Shot Foam Sword.  (This sword can be purchased at Walmart in-store or the Toys “R” Us website.)
  2. Second, I grabbed the masking tape and started wrapping the yellow plastic portion of the sword. (If I had left it uncovered, the paint would chip easily. I figured this out from experience. :p) I made sure to place the tape as neat a possible and to smooth it out as much as I could. I ended up using two layers of tape.
    Photo of my freshly taped sword

    (All finished!)

  3. Third, I mixed the paint. I needed gray, so I mixed black and white. I kept mixing until it looked just right.  I made sure that I had enough paint so that I wouldn’t have to mix it again. I didn’t want to have a bunch of different shades on the handle.
    I had to add a LOT of white.
  4. Next, I started painting! I just held the black part of the handle and went to town. I used brushes of different sizes so that I could paint every nook and cranny without messing up too much. I ended up using three coats of paint. I allowed it to dry for a few minutes.
    Semi painted sword
  5. Next, I needed to paint the black portion of the handle. To do this, I flipped the sword upside down and held the blade at the base. This way I could have control and not touch the sorta-dry portion of sword. I should’ve waited for it to dry completely but I’m a rebel.
    FreeImages.com/Audrey Johnson

    (Rebel.)

  6. Then, I really let it dry. Like overnight. I propped it up and left it to dry. 
  7. Lastly, I transformed into Connie!
    Connie the Knight <3
    Like I said before, I’m not an expert. In fact, I’ve only been cosplaying for 3 years.  But I think that for someone who isn’t the best painter in the world, I did a pretty good job! I want to keep working at my skills so I can make more complex weapons and props! Like Connie, I’ll continue to strive for excellence! <3

Why I Love Cosplay

This post contains affiliate links which means I earn compensation from purchases made through product links to Amazon.com.

Cosplay. According to an article from Yahoo Movies,  the term was coined in 1984 by Nobuyuki Takahashi. For me, cosplay is not just putting on a costume.  Just like stamp collecting and playing football, it’s a serious hobby.  I consider myself an artist and cosplay is art. My love of cosplay began with finding the now defunct cosplaylab.com. The site contained a massive archive of cosplays from various fandoms. Users could upload photos of their cosplays and interact with other members. Dreaming about and looking at cosplays online was just fine. Being a painfully shy kid,  I couldn’t even leave comments on any photos. But I could easily admire their creativity behind the safety of my computer screen. In this article, I will be listing the 5 reasons why I love cosplay!

FreeImages.com/Shamseer sureash Kumar

(Much safe. Very okay.)

  1. Late Nights. I do my best thinking at night so it’s natural that I enjoy working late into the night. At night, there are no expectation or interruptions. Most normal humans are in bed. I get lost in my thoughts while playing good music and using my hands. The busyness of daytime is plagued with phone calls and other adulting obligations. But the night is quiet and serene and it brings me the peace that I need to work. Staying up until 2 am to work on my art is the perfect way to end the night. So I often end up waking up from my floor at 6 am. (How I Painted Connie’s Sword)
  2. (Finished Jellyfish dress for Kuranosuke back in 2014)

    Creating. Sometimes I purchase pieces to alter. Sometimes I make things from scratch. Either way, I am creating something. When I decide to cosplay a character, I try my best to make the costume as accurate as possible. For example, when I cosplayed as Kuranosuke from Princess Jellyfish, I purchased a white dress, hemmed it, and strung beads to the ends which took FOREVER! But, I enjoyed every second of it; even when the beads would slide off and I wanted to rip my eyeballs out. When purchasing a dress for my Human Luna cosplay was out of the question, I decided to make it myself. And I almost lost my everloving mind. I didn’t own a sewing machine at the time so I made the entire thing using a handheld sewing machine. Yep.

10 seconds after “Rini” and I ran into each other.

3. Cons. Attending cons gives me a break from the monotony of everyday life.( 10 Tips To Survive Your First Con) When I walk into those double doors, I am transported to another world for 3 days. Raves, gaming, music, panels, artist alley, dealers, concerts: It’s all there. Not only do I enjoy myself but I get to hang out with complete strangers. But like I’ve said many times, these are “my people”.  You don’t know each other’s names but you know that you belong together. The day that I debuted my Human Luna, I was greeted by a squealing Rini cosplayer and we instantly took a picture! I am a naturally shy person but when I am at cons, I become invincible!

4. Confidence. I’ve always been a shy person.  It’s in my nature. Making small talk or even asking for help at store takes a lot of prep work on my end. I can’t even order a meal without rehearsing it in my head! But when I am in cosplay, my confidence goes through the roof. I have no problem posing for pics and asking others for theirs. I once ran into a girl who loves the singer Hyde of L’arc~en~Ciel and Vamps just as much as I do. We found out that we had the same favorite L’arc song: The 4th Avenue Cafe ( the doomed ending song to Rurouni Kenshin).  We talked for almost 30 minutes. This is the same girl who has trouble talking on the phone. :p

FreeImages.com/Bruno Wood

(Me when the phone rings)

5. Playing pretend. Cue MGMT Pretending to be a character for a few hours is one of the greatest stress relievers. I can just be me and have fun. I don’t care if I’m being judged because I know I look cool. ( I mean my confidence just explodes ya’ll.)

Creating. Late nights. Cons. Confidence.Playing Pretend. These are all of the reasons that I love cosplay and I always will.  Cosplay is an art form that allows me to escape from the real world for just a few moments. But not only do I get to have fun but I get to interact with people who enjoy this art form just as much as I do. I get a chance to tell others how great they are and to let them know that they are amazing at what they do. Never in my life did I imagine that someone as undomesticated as me would find joy in sewing!