Uh oh, the old man is at it again! What’s he going to rant about this time from his comfy chair on the porch? **chuckle** Well, this time around I’m pointing out a few issues I have with current Cosplay and Cosplayers. Please note, I’m not bashing on novices who are just starting to get serious with this hobby. Everyone has to start somewhere. Some of us had to learn the really hard way from scratch and even a special few have been lucky to be gifted with great costuming skills starting off. What I will be discussing are a few things that have been observed and experienced over the past few years by a number of us Cosplayers.
Our main issue is with a whole new level of laziness out there in the Cosplay community. Talking with friends, who are long time Cosplayers and well known in the community for their skills,are noticing this disturbing trend. The one glaring problem I’m having, is dealing with, are questions posted on forums where people can purchase particular costume items for a character they want to portray. Good examples of this case are items like footwear, gloves, and jackets. I’m not talking about getting items to simply build-up or modify. I’m talking about, “Where can I get so-and-so’s gloves?” It has been brought up a few times that people are asking these questions because they might be scared or even embarrassed to ask for help. But, from the looks of things, it doesn’t seem so. Only a select few individuals actually fall into this category from our point of view. Too many questions posed are just not about construction and assembly, on actual acquisitions.
In these situations, these are items that don’t exist and have to be handmade. A number of people out there aren’t doing proper research and asking questions that leave many of us experienced costumers scratching our heads? Some posts I’ve read are even so vague that sometimes you have no idea characters they want to construct. We’ll run across new threads posted saying, “I want to do this character, but I don’t know where to start,” or, “I really want to do this and I don’t know what to do.” Most of the responses from people are usually inquiries as to what areas are they most concerned with. It takes a lot of poking and prodding just to get newcomers to be more specific and open. Unfortunately, the vibe some of us get, is that some people want others to do the leg work for them instead.
Speaking of doing the leg work for others, I had a message sent to me asking if I had an extra pair of gloves, for one costume, that I could sell. Here’s the actual quote, “I’m wondering if u have a set, or if you make them because if I could buy a set that look as good as yours it would save me the bother of having to find all kinds of materials and learn how to actually make them because I wouldn’t know where to start!” Folks, if you’re not sure where to start ask! It never hurts to ask because you could end up getting a wealth of information that can be extremely helpful in the long term. Plus, it can get you on the right track to costume constructing. In this situation, I responded that I didn’t have an extra set to sell and I told the person how I constructed the gloves in question. It was a very simple process at the time I originally did them. I do have my suspicions in this situation, since I had been sent pictures of a portion of this person’s costume under construction, which tells me they were more than capable. Unless someone else did that portion of work for them and they’re blowing smoke up some of our asses. Of course, I’m reworking the gloves and the process will be a bit more complex, but I’d rather give advice and help. Please understand, this isn’t about asking people for commissions on costume parts, but people asking outright where they can get the stuff without doing a lot of the legwork. In lot of cases, they’re referred to commissioners out there just to resolve their issues.
Finally, I’m seeing a lot of costumes at Cons (Conventions) that need some major upkeep on them. I’m not sure if people wearing these realize that, after time, wear and tear will take its toll on any clothing item. It’s understandable if someone doesn’t know how to make repairs, but if you’re going to constantly wear a costume, at multiple Cons, it would be best to get with someone who knows how to keep your favorite costume serviceable for a long time. If anyone is starting off in the Cosplay hobby, they need to realize it takes a lot of hard work, time, and dedication to pull off awesome costumes. In some cases, like mine, it could take some time while for others it could come naturally. It’s understandable if people out there have someone do a costume commission or a relative make one for them to wear at Cons for the fun of it. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that. Unfortunately, a lot of newcomers to the hobby seem to lack initiation when getting started and the tact when asking the proper questions when concerning costume construction. In a lot of cases they expect a lot of items out there to be readily available when in fact they need to be made from scratch or modified from existing items.