While point 3 is something I can't do anything about, I'm going to try to help by giving some pointers and a proposed plan to starting your first Cosplay. *Cues applause* XD
STEP 1: Pick an Event to attend
First start by selecting an Anime/manga/Games/Comics or any related events/conventions to attend. The selected event itself is not crucial, just find an event that welcomes Cosplayers and fits into your budget and schedule.
The main reason why this is the first thing I recommend you to do is because when you set an event to attend, you set a goal and a due date. Thus giving yourself a clearer idea of where to begin and then plan how you should do it to accomplish the costume within the stipulated time.
Giving yourself a deadline simply stops you from procrastinating, the bane of all modern ambitions!
STEP 2: pick a character
Next is to select a character to cosplay. When it comes to cosplay, the skies is the limits and you can be anyone you want to be. But at this stage, it's all about asking yourself the right questions and weighing all your limitations. As a beginner, it's important to have the right expectation.
Would you like to cosplay your favourite character? Or would you do something easier? Is it a Mecha cosplay? An Armour cosplay? Need wig?
Like how I mentioned in the Vlog, my personal suggestion is to cosplay a character you like but find an alternative costume of him/her that you can manage. Or maybe you can cosplay another character from the same series. It is highly recommended to do a cosplay from a series you like because Cosplay is a visual representation of your support and love for the series. Which has a deeper meaning when you attend an event because you are announcing your interest to the world and like minded fans will know who to talk to =)
STEP 3: Find teammates
Companionship is fun and having someone to cheer you on and motivate you usually makes the difficulties more bearable. When I created my Just Be Friends Cosplay PV, the whole production process was so exhausting I would probably have given up if not for the fact that I didn’t want to disappoint my teammates.
Go online and look for any Anime /cosplay groups around your area. Check out the forums of the convention/event that you are attending and see if anyone’s intending to cosplay the same series as you. Maybe you can form a team!
One thing though, always be cautious of anyone you meet for the first time from the internet. While there is hardly any danger report of Cosplay/anime fans getting abused/raped/robbed, it doesn’t hurt to be careful. Similarly, don’t get dishearten if you didn’t managed to find a partner/teammate. Some times things just doesn’t happen as we like but just remember to enjoy yourself and enjoy the event. Be happy with yourself first and I believe a jovial character will attract companionship at the events!
STEP 4: Create the cosplay!
And here comes the hardest part of the journey; making the costume. Always start by planning and researching. Try to find as much reference pictures and information about constructing the costume as you can. If this is the first time you made clothes, let me tell you… it will be hard. So don’t be discouraged if it didn’t turned out as easy as my tutorial videos made them look. Just remember to start early and test and trial with newspaper before cutting your fabric! I’m an advocate of using newspapers to do up a working costume trial before actually making the costume with cloth. Just stick them together with masking tapes
If making costumes is not what you enjoy, then you can look into purchasing or commissioning one! Just be careful when you buy anything online, check out as much reviews as you can before entering your credit card information. Below are some of the product reviews
http://www.assistcosplay.com/). They are a Japanese wig company that also sells costumes and cosplay accessories. They are responsible for my red Shana wig here and in the blog banner above xD
If you’re more in favour of commissioning/tailoring your costume, ask around on your local Anime/Cosplay forum and see if anyone has a tailor/seamstress to recommend. Or inquire at your local fabric/craft stores, they might have someone in mind ^_^/
********************************************************************************************To end this entry, let me share with you what I think about cosplaying a character that doesn’t suit your race.
Firstly, if everyone based their judgment on a cosplayer’s race then 80% of the international cosplayers would be bashed for simply not being Japanese. Which in case you haven't realise, fills up AT LEAST 70% of our favourite 2D world (The race I mean).
Secondly, cosplay is a hobby about paying respect to the series and the characters you learn so much from and had so much companionship with. While I understand how a badly portrayed and inappropriate cosplay can spoil the image of a character and break a fan’s heart, I still find it hard to agree with the act of bashing someone else for not fulfilling one’s lofty expectation. I won’t be a hypocrite and say every cosplay on earth is lovable but I make it a point to ask myself whether if it is correct for me to judge and hate. So if you do the cosplay with a lot dedication, effort and love then raise your head high!
Thirdly, those people don’t pay your bills. Unless you’re trying to be the next Cosplay King/Queen you really don’t need their praises.
Finally, do your best and keep getting better, nobody starts off awesome. If anything, just make sure your next cosplay is better than your last.