Nothing livens up a con like some really good cosplay and I always love seeing cosplayers when I'm walking around the floor looking at my next financially irresponsible impulse buy. I've always admired them for doing something I have no patience to do because I can barely motivate myself to leave the house (which is why online shopping is such a godsend). But it's a long road from an idea to having a finished product you can actually wear and it's that process that really gets me all wide eyed. With that in mind, here are five reasons why I admire the hell out of cosplayers and why you should too (if you don't already).
5. Extreme Multi-Management
For those with an active public presence, it's not just about showing up with a groovy costume at convention and calling it a day. There's a lot of back end work that goes into it. A lot of cosplayers are their own social media coordinator, content manager, scheduling manager, product and inventory manager, and a host of other things that go into being public with your work. Throw in everyday life into the mix and I'm amazed that they get any costume stuff done at all.
4. Creative Problem Solving
Think back to any time you had to make something on your own. Maybe it's a school project or a shiny new gaming computer. I'm willing to bet money that that didn't go smoothly at the first go around. Now turn that process up to 11 and that's probably what cosplayers go through when they're putting together their moving pieces of art. Just the thought of figuring out what materials work for what piece hurts my brain and it doesn't stop at assembly. Walking around the con floor, stuff might and is probably going to happen. Issues might pop up and snap repairs may have to be done so these creative folks have to stay on their feet (literally and metaphorically).
3. Blocking Out The Haters
It takes a lot of guts to do what you're passionate about and putting it all out there. The internet isn't all happy fun times and there's a lot of shade that gets thrown around. Being able to give zero f*cks is a pretty valuable skill set. Set backs and naysayers can be hard to deal with and yet they keep on creating. That's pretty damn cool.
2. Genuine Approachability
They're super nice! As long as you treat them with respect, they give it back to you in return. I've had the pleasure of speaking to a few and even got to interview some for Moviepilot and they seemed genuinely down. For the more popular cosplayers, it's sometimes easy to forget that they're just regular geeks who are more than willing to talk to you.
1. DIY Baddassery
If you've ever been bored enough to look at the credits for a show or movie, there's usually a section where they list off the props department and costume department or something of that like. A list of actual professionals who do what they do for a living. For cosplayers, they're all of the departments and that's pretty mind blowing. Yaya Han spoke with Playboy recently and she summed it up better than I ever could.
When people look at a very well-made costume or a really beautiful picture they think that it was professionally done that there’s a whole team of people that worked on it but some of the things that cosplayers create are movie quality and people don’t understand it’s all done by amateurs. We were not trained for this, we didn’t go to school for this. There’s so many different skills you have to accumulate when you cosplay. It is incredibly fulfilling. It goes beyond sewing. It’s about modeling, photography, doing your own make-up and styling—so many different skills!
At some point, each cosplayer decided "yes I will figure out how do this thing" and they did. They learned how to sew, how to use certain materials, what works with what, and all of that stuff. There's something to be said about that kind of dedication.
So here's to you, cosplayers of the world, irrespective of what level you're at you're all amazing. Keep on keeping on.
Also, here are some links to the cosplayers showcased here. Hop on over to their pages and show them some love!