thank you! I haven’t heard news of a meetup but I will be joined by my friends Anti Ai Chan and Poison Skye as Vanellope and Jubileena on Saturday~
my panels schedule for Fanime 2013! I’m so honored to be running this many panels at such a big con ^^
Fanime cosplay preview! Sticky Wipplesnit from Wreck It Ralph :D
((OMG, that’s great!))
so many notes! thanks for the positive reactions everyone!
Fanime cosplay preview! Sticky Wipplesnit from Wreck It Ralph :D
Flowchart: How to properly critique cosplay
After now seeing the rise and death of a ‘Cosplay Critique’ blog on tumblr who decided to troll the internet for a photograph and go OCD on it for no other reason other than they could
and got hella flamed for it, I decided to make this simple flowchart.
Critique of any art type should always be asked for, and not shoved in someones face.
If you feel your opinion would be important to them, ask the person first if they’d like to hear it. At least then they are prepared for your words. Some people do poorly with critiques, so picking them out for no other reason other than you can is a poor choice. And here in the cosplay community you’re risking a lot more hate than from one person.
Critique can be an amazing thing to help people develop their skills- but it can also be extremely harmful if it’s coming from left field.
- If critiquing, ask what they’re looking for. That narrows your scope on what to judge on.
- Ask them if they have any questions for you! You may have insight for them that you didn’t even know you could give!
- Always ask to touch a costume before going to flip seams or touch props! (This goes to all people interacting with cosplayers. Period.)
Also, there is a legit Cosplay Critique tumblr blog for cosplayers looking specifically for feedback or tutorials.
What happened this week in terms of cosplay that I saw?
- More about the CONsent Movement
- Cosplay Photographers and getting paid
- Jessica Nigri’s lack of permission for selling a photo
But what was more abundant that I saw this week on my personal feed than all of the three above?
- “Getting really sick and tired of this cosplay drama. Cosplay is about having fun.”
I’m sorry if this is a little shocking to everyone, but cosplay isn’t just about having fun. I know, mind blowing, yes? But let us think of a few things about cosplay.
Cosplay is a growing world wide hobby that connects people via conventions and the internet with their hobby. These are people who can be into cosplay for reasons such as: craftsmanship, overcoming personal social boundaries, making friends, showing appreciation for a character, wanting to be socially accepted, omgIjusthavetowearthat, ect. No one person’s story is the same when it comes to why they love cosplay. These people who buy or create their own costumes will also feature themselves in performance or craftsmanship competitions, and out of this be naturally competitive in cosplay. They go to these conventions amongst other con goers and mix with a multitude of fandoms which they may, or may not like. They interact and are photographed by professional photographers, beginner photographers, other cosplayers, staff members, panelists, security, guests, other convention goers, and regular people outside of the convention. They interact with people of the same fandoms at photoshoots or mix and match with other fandom followers in a relaxed place in the convention or possibly backstage at an event like the Masquerade. They trade information with people and connect via the internet, and cosplayers who utilize a fan page connect with hundreds, if not tens of thousands of fans online. We share each others work online while also posting our own. We make friends with other cosplayers, and sometimes the relationship grows deeper or just falls apart.
Cosplaying above all else is a hobby that is run majority on being social with others. The heart of you doing it might be simply to dress up as your favorite character, but in the end you will become this character in order to socialize with others (or attempt to.)
So why is it that cosplay cannot be just about fun? Because people don’t socially interact the same way and do not agree with each other. You have millions of cosplayers who are from different towns, different countries, speak different languages, believe in different religions or philosophies, believe in different political ideals, were all raised differently, have different kin and different family, ect ect. Though you may not think you bring these in with you when you cosplay, these are the fundamental ideals that build you as a person. So when you put several thousand people together in the same location with only ‘cosplay’ as their only similarity, there is going to be friction.
Cosplay is not a perfect hobby. If you expect to interact socially with other people in this hobby you have to come to realize that there is going to be problems and there are going to be disagreements. And that people are going to want to vocalize that there are problems in the community and either be even toned about it or radical off the wall.
When you throw down a cosplay disagreement as ‘cosplay drama’, you spit in the face of the debate that might be rather important to the growth of our community.
- CONsent isn’t just a bunch of girls in sexy outfits complaining that they hate being called ‘fuckable’ at con. It’s a microcosm of a fight against rape culture and other types of harrassment in our own community.
- The fight over paid/free photographers is more than people being cheap. It’s also revealing a lot of issues when it comes to photographers at conventions now having to face the fear of being hit with needing to make licensing issues at conventions in order to have their own light equipment or professional gear with them.
- The issue with Nigri selling a picture isn’t some photographer complaining he’s not getting paid, it’s an actual case of copyright infringement and was trying to spread the word to get her to take down the piece when he wasn’t being taken seriously.
Calling any of these issues ‘cosplay drama’ is attempting to put up a wall between you and the ‘issue’ because you do not want to deal with it. You want to keep this ideal that cosplay is a ‘perfect hobby about fun.’ But the nice thing about cosplay not being perfect is the fact that it keeps it fluid, evolving, and growing more and more every day; it has no founded rules or moderators that need to keep it perfect.
At the same time you cannot cherry pick a topic based on its format. I’ve seen the same people this week share the Wonderwoman cosplayer photo on their facebook page and a day later complain about how CONsent is nothing but drama.
There will always be the radicals that over-blow everything, that’s part of having different people in a hobby. And it is alright to be at the sidelines and just not give a crap about what is going on: that is a logical choice as well. But by summing up any issue growing in the community as a ‘cosplay drama’ simply limits yourself in helping an ever growing community involved because of an innate fear of the hobby changing.
Unless it is someone specifically picking out other people to make a mockery of them, not all social discussions in our community are drama. Its something that people want to talk about to fix (or unfix) so let them discuss. Time to get rid of ‘cosplay drama.’
you really should all be following Vicious-sama as my blog has become a Vicious appreciation blog as of late.
I disagree that cosplay “isn’t just about having fun” - I think in the end it is, it’s just that “fun” has different definitions to different people. (Lulu’s idea of fun? running four panels at a convention. to most other people, that just sounds like work, but I love it.)
but, there is a very important point to take away from this. I’ve seen people say that the CONsent movement is just people “crying about it” when in fact they’re trying to raise awareness about an issue - because there are still people who think harassment doesn’t happen.
just like real life politics, these issues may be things we’re tired of hearing about and arguing about and scrolling past on our news feeds - but they are important and have very real implications on our society and our community. it is worth paying attention to these issues and forming an informed opinion about them. ignoring issues only makes them worse.
Welcome to the 2013 Cosplay Annual.
excited to see how this project turns out!
I’ve always hated doing shoe and boot covers until my friend introduced me to this method. Turns out it’s not very well known how to do it! So I decided to take some photos while I did my most recent ones and make a tutorial for others to use. This tutorial can be used for socks, shoe covers, spats, custom boots, and anything else you can think of!
I’m only covering how to make the pattern, not how to sew it because I feel like that part is pretty straight forward.
Here we go~
Skill level required: beginner
- a body
- a friend!(not required, but VERY helpful!)
Here are your supplies! I used blue tape because it’s what I had lying around, but I would suggest packers tape. It’s a lot easier.
Ok, step 1! Put on your shoe and start wrapping your leg with the saran wrap. It sticks to itself, so this step is pretty easy. I am making suuuper high boots, so I have the wrap pretty high up. Only go as high as what you’re making to cut down on time& supplies. Also, be sure to get all around your shoe(and underneath if you’re making a custom sole).
It is very important that you are keeping your leg straight from here on out. If you bend it, the tape and everything will move around and your pattern won’t fit as well as you’d like. So keep your leg straight!
Step 2, tape bracers. I suggest putting long strips down the center front, center back, and perpendicular in key spots(top, mid thigh, above/below knee, mid calf, ankle, foot arch, toes) these strips will act as support for the rest of the tape and prevent you from taping too tight.
Step 3, the fun has begun! Tape, tape, tape!! Looks good, right??
WRONG! Here’s where it’s important to have a friend helping. It’s hard to reach everywhere unless you are very flexible.
Step 4,Be sure you have everything covered in tape before moving on to the next step.
Step 5, mark your seams. I suggest doing a front and back seam, if not more. Did some dashes up the front of my leg for where I wanted the seam, and then used a flexible quilting ruler to make it a straight line. Since I was doing this on my own, I couldn’t draw the back seam. I’ll show you how to do that in a few steps!
Step 6, cut it off. BE CAREFUL, PLEASE. Especially around your knees and ankles.
Step 7, you are now free from your sweaty leg prison!
Take your cast off your leg, but leave your shoe in.
Step 8, Now that it’s off, tape up any spots you may have missed, including the bottom of the shoe if you’re making the bottoms as well. Mark around the bottom edge of the shoe to get the correct shape, and cut it out.
Step 9, this is for if you didn’t draw& cut your back seam. Lay out your cast and fold it as closely in half as you can. I have the legs of a 6th grader, so mine folds very nicely without many bulges. If yours doesn’t, fear not! Just get it as close as you can to in half and we’ll flatten it out in a bit.
Step 10, cut it in half! Looking good so far! This is also where you can add extra seams and style lines if your character calls for it.
Step 11, we’re now going to transfer your pattern to butcher paper! If your pattern isn’t laying flat, here’s what you do…
*snip* that’s it! When you’re tracing your pattern, you just sketch between the opening to make it a smooth line.
Step 12, Finish tracing it out, and your pattern is done! Yaaaay we made it! Haha Mark the outside/inside in a way that you can tell them apart(I used O and I). Don’t mix them up!
From here, you need to add seam allowance before cutting it out otherwise it’ll be too tight!
That’s it! After that, the sewing part is pretty straight forward. I would suggest knit fabrics and maybe a short zipper at the ankle, but if you want to use a woven that’s fine; just add a bit more ease and include a zipper up the back from top to bottom.
Let me know if you have any questions, and hopefully you won’t hate doing shoe covers as much now! haha
Of course Kim would take what I taught her and make it EVEN BETTER lmao XD
SERIOUSLY, THOUGH. Like, this makes SO much sense and is 10x easier than the “wrap the fabric around your leg, good luck getting it straight & fitting properly. lol” method that EVERYONE uses! xDD
Duuuuude. I am doing this.
this is exactly how I usually do my boot covers. I find it works better for non-stretchy fabrics ^^ (for stretch fabrics it’s just easier for me to drape it.)
my summer convention plans! very excited to return to these two cons after attending them for the first time last year.
let me know if I’ll be seeing you there <3 !
As you may have noticed, this week’s talk in the cosplay world is Likes and Popularity. If you haven’t read Takopop’s Article yet, I’ll give you some time to read it down. Good? Alright. This is a wall-o-text so lets go.
With many things that go in with articles, I had very mixed reviews about this one. It may be because I live and breath the internet like I do and also am a web programmer who is trying to specialize in social media so, understanding how Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter, and other major social sites work is part of my job. (Fun story: Cosplay is my biggest practice for understanding Edgerank, woo hoo.) There are some points that were blatant and common in the community, but many that were either unknown or overlooked. The piece together was majority negative, so I wanted to bring in a fresh set of eyes.
First off, I think the reason why our use of social media in cosplay and the ‘like’ or ‘popularity’ run is so frowned upon is due to the fact that at the end of the day we’re all nerds. Not many of us were ‘top dogs’ in high school and probably downtrodden. So when we see a popularity contest going on it boils the blood because I’m fucking 24 and I’m pretty sure I graduated from college like 3 years ago and was done with this. Popularity is *air quotes* not our thing. It is the fact that we are a community of people who want to help and support each other that we do not want figures that are ‘famous’, ‘top’, ect ect.
But the problem with pointing this out as wrong is that its misguided. Popularity, at its core, is simply another way to compete. And it doesn’t matter what genre you’re from, if you’re a human being you’re naturally competitive. I’m sorry, I love you, but you’re competitive, and that’s totally fine because that is what we do. There are times I look at people who have two or 10X the likes/followers I have and go ‘wtf makes them so special.’ Then I do something like, go back to work on my cosplay so I can be awesome at the next con and let that feeling pass over and disappear, because I don’t know that person and what right do I have to pass judgement over them over Likes.
Now before I get into the positive and negative thing about Facebook, there is a little bit of information I think is important for cosplayers to understand as a whole.
Facebook in 2012 had a 40/60% account ratio between Male and Female, and 65% of Facebook users are 35 or older. Why do these stats matter? Because it means you’re attempting to pull in a lower percentile of an attractive audience than is available, especially when most cosplay interest is between 18-34. The cosplay community has a very odd divide in the user base. If you’re advertising to mostly cosplayers (tutorials, questions, guides, ect) you’re looking at maybe less than 1% of Facebook to be interested in your page. So how do you gain more likes? By looking into the non cosplay community which would be the nerd community: mostly male between 16-35, still about 14% of facebook. So beyond that you’re advertising to regular Jo Shmoes who happened to stop by and take visual interest in your photographs to give you a like. They probably don’t know who the character is, but you’re visually appealing enough to watch. So remember: Probably more than half your likes is most likely made up of non-convention attending people who found your page and found you visually appealing.
Let us also remember that the reason why most cosplayers stay on Facebook versus other social media sites is for the fact that it has a larger audience, it isn’t a programmed piece of crap (it’s a piece of crap for other reasons though, don’t get me wrong), you have a Facebook account and its easier to manage, and the page structure is easier to deal with. Please also note the fact that the reason why we have so many pages vs accounts is the August 2012 cosplay profile wipe that drove everyone to create pages instead. Forced into this circle, people were looking towards their likes more and more and then other pages, which of course created the natural spur of competition.
There are many things that facebook pages and social media does to cosplay that is amazing
- Regular profile and cosplay profile stays separate and it keeps random friend requests down
- Manage what people know about you, which I find really nice when I have a creepy stalker or two
- Easier to find people. Type in their cosplay name in facebook and bam, you found them!
- Larger community outreach. There are lots of cosplayers who run charitable events, giveaways, and such. Being on the page edgerank highway makes it much easier than their limited friends
- Easy place to create your cosplay portfolio. If you’re interested in craftsmanship or performance competitions some places (like WCS) need references for your work and a portfolio, this makes it
- Every job in the world has a connection to social media, and congratulations you now have given yourself a edge above the market because you’re practicing with it all the time
But of course, there are many things Facebook pages and social media does to cosplay that is terrible
- Competition between cosplayers over ‘likes’
- Convention chairs and staff are starting to judge the quality of their cosplay guests by their popularity and how much attention they can bring to their con
- The hobby becomes a business and then spirals out of control in some ways
- Cosplayers attack ‘cosplay famous’ people for having more likes and more attention and label ‘cosplay famous’ like a slander title
- Vise versa, some ‘cosplay famous’ people do attack and abuse their popularity to get what they want
The interesting thing is we blame social media alone for the reason why we’re so competitive in cosplay. But most people do not realize that there is also a lot of in house poison that also adds to this.
I’m going to guestimate that 90% of all cosplay competitions online are judged by popularity only. Why? Because their system forces you first to like their page in order for you to vote. Otaku House is notorious for their likes voting systems. The Geekie Awards had judges for the competition, but that was only after you passed the public vote bar. Arda Wigs’s cover competitions have always been from a vote of public opinion. There are many others who fit this, but I’m spacing them right now. These companies abuse our competitiveness in order to grow their overall view. The cosplayers become a stepping stone of free advertisement. They are one of the worst supporters of cosplay popularity issues.
But overall, the worst problem isn’t the cosplay famous people, or the online competitions, or even Facebook.
The largest issue with how ‘Likes’ are ruining the Cosplay Community is that we are told that popularity is one of the most important things in cosplay, and we believe it. We can argue until the sun goes down about how destructive it is, but it’s only destructive because we think we are participating in something that is terrible, yet its our only way of getting anywhere in the cosplay community. We let ourselves be affected in this negative way by a digital number, which grows worse when you compare it to someone else’s, and then tell them they are pretentious for having a bigger number.
The first step in solving a problem is identifying it properly. We can blame social media up and down for our natural urge to be competitive, but we only have ourselves to blame to look at someone else with envy and then blame them or other sources for it.
I have 600 likes on Facebook and almost 400 followers on Tumblr. I post pictures of myself because I want people to pay attention to my work (and so do you, random cosplay reader). At the same time I like posting tutorials and my WIPS so that people can get ideas and help to make their own work. There are hundreds of watchers who don’t say anything to me. But those people who message me? Leave me a note? Say hello to me at a con? They make me feel proud of my work. They make me feel unique and special. Those are the followers you want.
Everything else is colored bubbles. (Also, if you know where this quote is from, you get an e-cookie)
I’m trying to come up with something more creative to say in response other than “THIS THIS THIS OMFG THIS” every time Vicious makes a blog post but my creativity keeps failing me and that’s why she keeps writing these amazing blog posts instead of me. 8D