Cosplay is a popular performance art, and a lifestyle for some, which is characterized by dressing up like a character in anime, comic books, manga, video games, and other media.
It began as a hobby in the 1990s, and it has become more popular and significant aspect of popular culture in Japan, Southeast Asia, and Western countries. The best cosplay costume makers are the cosplayers themselves, who are really into this art.
The word “cosplay” comes from two Japanese words which mean “costume” and “play” in English. Nobuyuki Takahashi, a journalist from Studio Hard, coined the term when he attended the World Science Fiction Convention (WorldCon) in Los Angeles in 1984.
Takahashi used the common Japanese method of abbreviation, hence, coming up with “kosu” which means “costume” and “pure” which means “play.”
Best cosplay costume makers
Because of the popularity of cosplay all over the world, cosplay costume making has become a mode of earning money. It is a kind of job that is not really a job because it is fun to do and make as a hobby.
One of the best cosplayers and costume makers today who has an ideal work-play lifestyle is Crystal Graziano. She is 22 years old, but she can make costumes on her own without any formal training. She usually cosplays with bright ornate wigs, her toned figure, and futuristic costumes.
Graziano began as an amateur until she landed her first cosplay costume making job at Red 5 Studios. She auditioned, and after five years of creating social connections among cosplayers, Red 5 Studios hired her because of her looks.
Graziano reaps the benefits of getting paid in doing what she loves; these benefits include professional photography sessions and sponsorships in all her cosplay events.
Enako is a Japanese professional cosplayer born in Nagoya. Her hobbies led her to her success in the cosplay world. Aside from being a professional cosplayer, she is also a singer and voice actress. On a Japanese television show, Enako revealed that she earns a gigantic income of 10 million yen (that’s US$97,763). Obviously, amateur cosplayers want to be like her.
Known as Riddle in the cosplay world, Riki LeCotey is a Canadian-born cosplay and costume designer who is based in the United States. Many cosplayers around the world know her for having participated in different fan conventions in different locations including Ireland, Dubai, the United Kingdome, Chile, and more.
As a professional cosplayer, she has worked as a specialty costumer in popular movies such as Captain America: Civil War, and X-Men: First Class. She also established the Cosplay for a Cause, a charity group through which she raised huge amount of money for the 2011 tsunami victims through the Japanese Red Cross.
Cosplay costume makers commission site
For budding cosplay costume makers, there are some commission sites where they can sell their own made costumes or buy ready-to-wear costumes. They can be found on social network sites such as Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, and on specialized websites.
Some cosplayers can request cosplay costumes. On one cosplay costume commission site, the cost of one costume depends on the complexity of the design. Cosplayers send their body measurements and a full body photo to verify their measurement data and body proportions.
Some cosplayers create their own cosplay costumes, and when they get tired of it, they sell it through connections and online. That is why it is advisable to create cosplay costumes with high quality materials and durable construction, so they will last for long period of time.
Secrets of professional cosplay costume makers
Professional cosplay costume makers share some of their secrets in creating high quality and beautifully sewn cosplay costumes.
A cosplay costume done in rush is obvious. Its parts easily fall apart and it doesn’t last for long. If you are planning to attend a fan convention, start creating your cosplay costume as early as possible, and use as much time as you have. With so much time, you will be able to work on every detail and find cheap but durable materials to be used for your cosplay costume work.
Print good reference pictures
Not just one but two or more reference pictures should be printed; these will serve as your reference guide to the cosplay costume you are going to make.
There are more cosplay costume makers who are willing to share their knowledge and passion. In this information age, you know where to find them—the Web.