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Award-Winning Cosplay: A Step-by-Step Guide to Elevating Your Skills

From finding your cosplay identity to competing at events and building a community, this article has everything you need to know to become a cosplay pro.

By Mike SzczesnyPublished about a year ago 3 min read
Award-Winning Cosplay: A Step-by-Step Guide to Elevating Your Skills
Photo by Phil Shaw on Unsplash

Maybe you are new to cosplay. Perhaps you’ve been doing it for a while. Whether new or experienced, there are still ways to level up your cosplay game. Better wigs, more friends and a larger community, and other characters to cosplay can help you level up your cosplay game.

The Evolution of Cosplay: A Brief History

It seems like a staple, but cosplay hasn’t always been as popular. The first wave of popularity hit in the 1990s, but you can trace the beginnings of cosplay back to masquerade balls of the 15th century. The term “cosplay” was first coined in Japan in 1984 but wouldn’t catch on until the 90s. With how many conventions there are, you’d think they would have been around forever, but no. The first cosplay convention was held in Japan in 2003 when five cosplays were invited from Germany, France, and Italy.

Finding Your Cosplay Identity

The rise of cosplay has been phenomenal, with the number of people participating in cosplay events and conventions increasing yearly. This is a great thing, as it means that more and more people feel comfortable getting into this unique and creative hobby.

Getting started with cosplay is relatively simple but requires some dedication and creativity. The first step is choosing a character you love, whether from a video game, comic book, movie, or anime. Once you have your character, the next step is to create a costume that is as authentic as possible. This means paying attention to every detail, from the color and texture of the fabric to the accessories and props that the character uses.

But it's not just about the costume - to truly become the character, you must work on your mannerisms, voice, and acting. This can be a challenging but rewarding process, as it allows you to fully immerse yourself in the role and bring your character to life.

Of course, becoming a skilled cosplayer takes time and practice. You may not win any awards or trophies immediately, but with effort and help from fellow cosplayers, you can improve your skills and become a true pro. Don't be afraid to seek advice and feedback from more experienced cosplayers, as this can be invaluable in helping you grow and develop your craft.

Competing and Having Fun at Cosplay Events

Speaking of trophies and awards, entering some cosplay competitions and events is a great way to level up your cosplay game. Generally, at these competitions, you will need to make your costume. You will also need to be ready for the performance aspect of the competition. One thing to note is that if your character wears normal street clothes, it’s probably not a character that will do well in a competition. Judges are looking for the most creative and impressive costumes out there.

The Benefits of Cosplay Beyond Winning

Of course, competitions aren’t for everyone. Some people just want to dress up as Antman and hang out with their friends, you know? The cosplay community is great for networking and building new friends. One of the most effective ways to advance your cosplay game is to network and get to know as many cosplayers as possible.

This can be done in a bunch of ways. Even if you don’t want to compete, attending competitions is a great way to meet new people. It might also give you the bug to enter a competition yourself.

Conventions and events are also great to attend. Here, you’ll meet a host of like-minded people who love the same activity you do. You’ll also gain inspiration from seeing different costumes, from the simplest to the most complex.

One of the best aspects of cosplay is that it is its icebreaker. Even if you are shy, people will likely come up to you to discuss your costume. More reason to put extra effort into it.

But even if you think your first costume isn’t the best, don’t worry. By networking, making new friends, and seeing what else is out there in the cosplay world, your cosplay game can only go up and up.

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About the Creator

Mike Szczesny

I am the owner and vice president of EDCO Awards & Specialties, a dedicated supplier of employee recognition products, branded merchandise, and athletic awards. We help companies in expressing gratitude and appreciation to their employees.

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    Mike SzczesnyWritten by Mike Szczesny

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