As cosplayers, we look at a new character, costume or trend and decide to challenge ourselves to make it. We see a challenge - something to keep us busy and improve our skills. Things that used to be hard aren’t anymore because we developed those skills so we can move on to learning something else. Our paces are different, our learning curves are different and so is our taste in cosplay.
Recently, I started a new cosplay from Steins;gate, one of my favorite anime. Kurisu has a really simple design, so the costume is 80% thrifted and altered so I only needed to make her coat. Well, I didn’t feel like using the pattern I got like I originally intended - it was just too many parts to adjust for something so simple. Instead, I laid out my raincoat and created my own pattern from it to work for the character. I used a generic sleeve pattern and drafted the pattern to a perfect fit using my dress form. Using mostly guess work I was able to create something from nothing with next to no guidance. It was another huge step forward for me as a cosplayer and as a seamstress. I’m still miles behind most of my friends, but I’m going at my own pace and learning so much.
Creativity blooms from your own drive to get something done. That’s why we have artists in the world. We use our own ideas to create something in our vision and bring it to life. My vision may not be the same as your vision for a character - but we’re all creating something we want to and hopefully enjoying it all along the way! I’ve seen so many wonderful cosplays done in so many ways it’s amazing what we’re capable of. I’ve seen people build mechas out of paper, create giant suits of armor and turn themselves into a Zora. Twice.
Our photoshoots have evolved so much over the past year. We’ve developed new ideas about what we think is ‘good’ and we’ve pursued those new ideas through our photography. There’s a lot that we want to do, and in a year our shoots will look different again because we’ll have evolved again. Our creative streaks come from feeding off each other in conversation, or seeing something someone else has done and adapting it in our own way. We cosplay what we love and we create shoots that represent our passion for those characters. If you find yourself in a place with nowhere to go - choose the direction you haven’t taken yet.
Several of our recent shoots have been OCs. They’ve been birthed from random ideas because of wigs, old costume pieces and stuff we see online. Our team has been able to knit our ideas together to create something new and continue stimulating our creative senses. I think it’s amazing that we can see something plain and create something incredible from it. We have our own paces, our own talents and specialities and we use those to push our limits further and create something we love and can be proud of.
Cosplayers are nothing short of amazing, and giving ourselves the room to create is how we grow as people and as artists. Allow yourself to step away from what you know, and branch out into new aspects of cosplay. When we trap ourselves in one way and one place, we become stagnant and our growth is stunted. Try doing a photoshoot outside of a convention. Choose a challenging cosplay for yourself, that may not be your strong suit. Try styling a more complicated wig. Break way from the things that keep your creativity in a box and let yourself bloom. If we can do it, you can too!