Cosplay is a great way for people to show their love for a particular piece of fiction, be it anime, a film, a comic or a game. When done well, it can also give someone the chance to become a viral sensation or even be contacted by sponsors and potential contractors. This guide has been written to help potential cosplayers raise their game to the next level.
Have A Great Smile
If you want to go viral, you’ll need a winning smile, unless you picked a cosplay that obscures your lower jaw, like a ninja, or your entire head, like a superhero. We recommend just at-home whitening for most, or in some cases, some sort of plastic brace to straighten the teeth. If you are not entirely comfortable flashing your grin because of a missing teeth or some other type of trauma, you may want to look into getting a dental implant if you’re hoping to be able to use the costume long-term.
Work with Authentic Materials
Do some (intense) research when you find a character you like and believe you could cosplay as. If you are going for a character from a fantasy setting, consider commissioning a blacksmith that deals in traditional work like armor (yes, they still exist). Seeing someone walking around in a full suit of steel armor leaves a much stronger impression than someone in a suit composed of glossy molded plastic or duct-taped cardboard. If you have some sewing skills, also consider investing in making your own, but with high quality fabric and materials.
If your costume involves a good amount of bare skin, your “authentic materials” would be a good fitness and exercise regimen. If the character is known for displaying body ink, injuries, or scars, consider looking into some fitting cosmetics or latex work.
Seek Advice from the Experts
Cosplay has been around long enough that many have cultivated a professional level assessment of how to realize a fantasy character and an understanding of the crafting skills needed to reach that point, or at least know someone they can rely upon to cover that work for them. As many of these individuals also have social media accounts, one of the ways to achieve and maintain viral popularity, a little bit of research and some respectfully worded questions can yield mountains of advice.
Avoid Body Paint
While popular media is full of humanoid characters with inhuman skin colors, cosplaying as such a character has its own challenges. Rebecca Romijn, known for playing a certain blue-skinned mutant character in film, complained about the problems of being painted blue, like leaving blue markings everywhere.
Once you’ve perfected your cosplay, it is time to show it off! There’s a wide variety of cons and meetups that you can attend. Don’t forget to bring a repair kit!