-Caitlinn the Cosplay Kitty

These are just a few of my thoughts on the basics of starting out. Keep a positive attitude and keep on cosplaying!

My last bit here is the mention I made of budget. Look up the supplies you think you’ll need and figure out how much everything is going to be. Is that worth it for you? Are there cheaper options you could be happy with? This is an important step and helps you figure out how to budget everything around the money you have. If you’re a little fledgling cosplayer and working on your parents’ budget, this spreadsheet of cost can help explain everything a little easier!

As Pinkie would say, she wants to see you smile, smile, smile!

Actually, that’s great advice for any cosplayer, and something I have to remind myself of all the time! You do you, as I tend to say, and carry on your merry way however you wish! Do whatever makes you happy and remember that it’s for you, not other people, that you went out there and decided to look amazing.

My next little bit is don’t compare yourself to cosplayers who have been doing it for years and years. It’s really not fair to you. You know what? Don’t compare yourself to anyone else, ever. There’s no reason to, as we’re all different with our own vision on how we want things to appear. If you want to look up other cosplayers to get an idea of what you need to do, then please feel free. Just don’t beat yourself up if it doesn’t look exactly like the ‘perfect’ one you found.

From there, see about joining a forum or Facebook group. If you can find one specific to your fandom (and you probably can if I found one for the CATS fandom), that’s awesome. That will be your lifeline until you get on your little cosplay feet. These people will be able to answer questions about almost anything, or at least offer advice. Having the support group is awesome. This is especially helpful if you’re stuck with absolutely no clue on how to proceed on your costume.

My first non-original cosplay. Look how wittle I was!

Now, my advice as a beginning cosplayer, whether you are young or old, is to just start with something fun. Find something that means a lot to you, pick a costume you love, and go for it. Does it seem too tough? Then choose something else, if you want. Do you want to try the challenging option on your first go? Go for it!

I will admit when you first get a steady income, the will can be a bit weak against the cost of supplies! Stay strong, my friends.

As an adult, cosplay isn’t much better. While you may have the ability to decide to forgo eating to buy all those costume supplies, it’s probably not the best idea in the world. I always say put your responsibilities first. I’ve made a few pricy costumes as an adult, but all of my bills were paid and I wasn’t worried about feeding myself. Still, the temptation is strong, especially if you were that young cosplayer I mentioned above, because suddenly no one can tell you what you can’t buy! Muahahaha!

One of my first cosplays at the mercy of my parental budget.

I’ve been there, and anyone who was a young cosplayer probably has as well. My family wasn’t the most well off, so I learned to make do with what I could get them to buy. I did spend the money (when I had it) on more expensive materials also, but I hoarded them and used them sparingly. My parents were very supportive, but the facts were they couldn’t throw too much money at my hobby! Some teens are a bit luckier, with more access to the "pro" stuff because their parents can spend it, or maybe they went out and got a job to support it. Great for them! I had an income when I was sixteen, but it was from taking costume commissions, so for the first three years I spent making costumes I was at the mercy of my parents.

Getting started in cosplay can be both scary and exciting. I remember being that young person, barely in my teens, first showing an interest in costumes. At that time, the most difficult parts were the price of materials and not having money. If you also started as a young one, you will remember the hassle of trying to convince your parents that, yes, the more expensive option is so much better than the cheaper "alternative," and you probably got stuck with the alternative that more than likely failed miserably.