Q:What is Cosplay?
A: Cosplay is a term that's short for Costume Play. It's usually used to address individuals or a group of individuals dress as characters from, but not limited to, Anime or Manga. Then (and this is sometimes found to be optional to some people) they express themselves as that character would.
The best example I can think of to get everyone on the same page is to combinde the aspects of Trekkies and LARPers[Live Action Role Players]. Take Trekkies love to dress as a member of the crew and LARPers acting and find a middle ground. That's around about where Cosplay falls.
Q: So a Cosplayer is someone who dresses and acts like a specific character?
Generally, yes. But to me it's a little more complicated then that. Cosplayer is just the generalized term. Sort of like the word "Apple". You get the basic picture but is it a red apple or a green apple?
Q: Then what are the different types?
A: I've since refined my definitions because I've found that, the more I've got into things, there is greater depth to the Cosplay world. But again, these are just my definitions and other people will and are welcome to have their own thoughts on the subject.
In my book there are two terms for the players: Cosplayer and Crossplayer.
Cosplayer: Dressing and acting like a character of the same gender as the wearer.
Crossplayer: Dressing and acting like a character of the opossite gender of the wearer.
Then the subsets that describe the costume: Homemade, Handmade, Commissioned, and Closet.
Homemade Costume: Where the player makes/puts together there own costume with the help of a machine
Handmade Costume: Where the costume is completely or the majority is made/put together by hand
Commissioned Cotume: Where in the player contracts the work to a costume maker
Closet Costumes: Uses items found in ones closet (aka things bought from a store)
Q: How do you classify yourself/costumes?
I think of myself as a Crossplayer. It's very rare that I dress as a female character and just as rare that even show any interest in cosplaying a female character.
Majority of my costumes fall under Homemade and Closet. Recently I've also opened myself to buying Commissioned costumes because of time restrants and, to some extent, expense.
Q: How/What/Where did you...? / Can I have...?
Ah, yeah... these sort of questions depend on the specific question you have. But here are my general policies:
Q: Where did you get so-and-so's cosplay? I'd like to get one just like it!
- I've made/modified majority of my costumes, so there isn't someone I can refer you to.
- While I have done costumes for my friends/family I do not intend to make it a buisness as I don't have the means to do such a thing.
- I 'm happy to tell you anything I can about the cosplays I've done.
- When I can, I will tell you where I got things from. (just be worned most of the time that answer is going to be an eBay seller -- but I will specify which seller where I can.)
Q: How did you make that?/What did you use to make that?
- Most of the time I can't tell you the exact materials I used to make something. But I can say I usually use Poly/Cotton blend fabric, every great once and a while I use something else.
- I can't really give super helpful tips on what to use and what not to use. And in the long run I'm not so good with full explinations on how I got from a pile of chaos to the finished project. But if enough similar questions start to pop up I'll likely try my hand at a tutorial but patients would be nessisary as it would take some time.
Q: Can I have the pattern for this costume?
At the moment I don't really have any patterns. Most of the ones I was using were destroyed and the ones that weren't aren't really working for me at the moment so I'm in the process of acquiring new ones.
Q: Can I have your costume?
No you may not, it's mine. That is just a silly question.
(Though my mom would love to see me get rid of some of the ones I don't use anymore. XD )
Q: Where did you get X-Character's wig?
A: All of my base wigs have been bought off eBay. I've bought from quite a few sellers and am really lax on keeping track of which one came from where but there are a couple sellers I look for wigs from first but sometimes I'll order from someone at "random" because the price is right. Sometimes that works well for me, sometimes it doesn't. Some of the newer cosplays I've done I can give a specific seller (cause the info is still in my eBay history) but no guarantee I'll have an exact answer.
Q: Who/Where did you get X-Character's wig styled?
A: I've styled all the wigs I have. Initally I tried to stick to characters that wouldn't need much styling cause it really freaked me out but I've found I find it quite enjoyable to style wigs. Initally I would style by trial and error but I've combined that method with checking out tutorials on deviantArt. In the end I'll use what I know and what I learn to make things work with what I have.
Q: What type of sewing machine do you use?
A: Currently I use a Singer Model 3116 machine. Asuma had bought one but for one reason or another then decided it would get more use if I had it so he gave it to me. He never even used it once. >.>;
I started using the new machine for my 2011 cosplay debuts. Originally I used a reconditioned Brothers LS-1217 machine. I used that one from late 2002 to late 2010.
Q: What kind of camera do you use? How about you photographers?
A: I use a Fujifilm FinePix A500. I'm pretty happy with it's quality but it's does take some time to proccess after shooting and will eat through a set of batteries after an hour or so of continuous use.
Feb 2013 Update - Since the camera I have is at least 4 years old now I'm hoping to be able to afford a new camera at some point this year. Not sure what kind I'll be getting as I still need to research the ones currently available (and in my budget).
Serra has a old camera and I have no idea what kind it is,
Crimson has a CoolPix camera of some kind but it's only been used for general crowd shooting a couple of times.
Noel-Inuyasha used a Kodak EasyShare C633 Zoom for the shoot I did with her.
Any other questions? Ask away! I set up an open Blog entry (click here) where I'll be happy to answer as best I can!