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

Welcome to The Geek Parade: An Introduction

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

I personally want to welcome you to The Geek Parade; a place where I’ll be celebrating my love for all things geeky: cosplay, cartoons, music, films, anime, and etc. I started this blog because I love talking about various forms of entertainment. I rarely see things at face value and I’ve always had a habit of analyzing things. I love to take things apart and see how and why they work. But most of all, I love sharing my thoughts with other people who are just as intrigued as I am.

A shot of me as Mikasa.

The first anime series I ever laid eyes on was Yama Nezumi Rokki Chakku (Rocky Chuck, the Mountain Rat). The series told the story of a woodchuck named Rocky and his animal friends who went on adventures while avoiding predators; namely a weasel, a fox, and a farmer. However, the series was known as The Fables of Green Forest on the English language channel while I was living in Germany circa 1992. Being that I was only 3 years old at the time, I had no idea that I was watching an anime series from 1973. But what I did know is that I was viewing an enjoyable piece of animation. When Sammy the Blue Jay screamed “TROUBLE! TROUBLE!” in the opening sequence, I knew that I was in for an adventure.

FreeImages.com/Lynn Haas

(I reached out to Rocky Chuck at his home for an interview but he wasn’t having it. He threatened to call the police.)

Fast forward to the mid-90s and by this time I had viewed shows like Speed Racer, and G-Force (Gatchaman). However, it was not until I discovered Sailor Moon that I found out that it was from Japan and called anime. The characters, storylines and music demanded my attention and I needed more of it. It was through Toonami that I discovered Dragon Ball ZIt was through the small video rental shop by my house that I was able to watch Ranma ½ . Showtime, Sy-Fy, and HBO introduced me to classics such as Akira, Armitage III, Project A-Ko and Dirty Pair.  I could go on.  But not only did I enjoy watching anime, I loved to talk about it. I would talk to anyone who would listen (or not tell me to shut up).

FreeImages.com/Niel Boegh

(Me: “But Conan and Jimmy look exactly like! How is it that no one has figured out his identity? It’s the Superman effect!” Other human: Not killing me)

This is my 3rd or 4th blog; I lose count. I get an idea, try to start a blog and then I leave it to die in the blog wasteland after a few months. But my old blogs had one thing in common: they focused on things that I wasn’t really passionate about. So I had trouble creating content and lost steam. But the 4th (or 5th) time is a charm. I absolutely cannot contain my excitement as I begin this journey.  Stayed tuned, hold on, and get ready to be a part of The Geek Parade! You’re in for a treat! 🙂