Continued from yesterday’s research section. Now that you have ALL the images of your costume that you can glean from the world, your next steps are to start gathering and creating. I find it helpful to put all those photos in one place in a way that you can go back to the sources, so start a Pinterest board for your character and pin all the details you’ll need to complete your costume (That’s right! Pinterest isn’t just for bored housewives anymore!).
What’s that? You don’t know how to make ALL THE THINGS? Time to return to the computer, and get ready for a few more hours of research, this time on techniques:
3) Do I have the skills I need to accomplish my goals?
So you want to make a suit of armor. Or you want to make an epic ball-gown. Or you want to be a Furry in a full fur-suit. Whatever. Do you know how to make these things? Where do you go to find out how to paint your body like Darth Maul? How do you use Worbla to build armor? How do you make resin masks, or latex prosthetics?
Lucky for you, there are amazing folks out there that have blazed a trail for you. If you don’t have the money/time to go to school to learn basic techniques such as how to sew, to the more complicated bits, like making prosthetics and armor, there is probably a source online to find out how to do these things. Some of my favorite/most helpful links are listed here:
– Classes on sewing from professionals: Craftsy.com
– Bodypainting tips and techniques from Lex on Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCiXoZHFowJUlDVMuRFAwVAw
– Need to make a 4th doctor scarf? Knittinghelp.com or Ravelry.com (join Rav and have thousands of patterns at your fingertips for many fiber projects!)
– Make Silicone Molds for small items: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f0_O4Yy7DFA#t=264
– Resin casting techniques: http://www.youtube.com/user/vegeta8259?feature=watch
– How to make armor (She even sells a book of tips and techniques!): http://www.youtube.com/channel/UC79qFuymkVas5dCScbLF9fw
– Need Fairy wings to complete your costume? No problems! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OUNPKBGi_7o
This is just the beginning. There are a million videos online to help you with techniques. Many of these videos are FREE. FREEEEEEEE! All it takes is time to sit and research. Ask a question in your favorite search engine and see what comes up. You might even find someone who has made the same costume you are attempting.
“But the video confuses me. I don’t get it. I’M NOT TALENTED LIKE _____________”
Cosplayers are just normal people. Seriously awesome, yet normal, people. Who were once like you. Many of them have youtube channels (I linked a couple up above), many of them have facebook pages (try searching “Cosplay” and see what comes up) or webpages. Pour over their pages/pictures/tutorials. EMAIL or message these folks if something in their video/tutorial confuses you. Now, many of these talented folks are crazy busy with a ton of fans/full lives, so don’t lose hope if Ya-ya Han doesn’t offer to make you her Padawan learner 5 minutes after you comment on her picture. Most importantly, when interacting with anyone in this hobby, use the 3 B’s. Be courteous, be kind, and be patient. Someone may surprise you, but no one will give you the time of day if you are a rude jerk-face.
There are also some inclusive/exclusive groups that will bring you into the fold and teach you some of this stuff. The 501st group, the Furry community, see what you need to do to join these groups and it might open some doors that weren’t possible otherwise. (As well as people with tools like vacuum-formers and other complicated/expensive stuff!)
When you start learning all these neat skillz, you may be visualizing your wallet start to empty from the costs of equipment and materials. Follow Douglas Adams’ advice: DON’T PANIC. Its a part of the planning stage. If you are working a minimum wage job, maybe your first couple of costumes shouldn’t include full suits of armor. Start small. Work your way up to the big stuff. More on that in the next post!