How to Get Started with Cosplay - Creating your First Ever Costume | Emiline F | Skillshare

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How to Get Started with Cosplay - Creating your First Ever Costume

teacher avatar Emiline F, Cosplayer / Artist

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.



    • 2.

      What IS Cosplay?


    • 3.

      Picking a Character


    • 4.

      Research & Planning


    • 5.

      Creating your Cosplay


    • 6.

      After Completing your Cosplay


    • 7.

      Recap & Class Project


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About This Class

Welcome to an Introduction to Cosplay! In this class, you'll learn all about cosplay - what it is, how to get started, and more! Here's a quick overview of what we'll talk about:

- What cosplay is

- Who can cosplay

- How to pick a character

- How to gather and keep track of reference photos

- How to create your first ever cosplay

- What to do when you finish a cosplay

And more! A PDF worksheet is also included with this class, to help you plan out your very first cosplay. I hope you'll join us as we venture into the world of cosplay!

Meet Your Teacher

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Emiline F

Cosplayer / Artist


Hey there! My name’s Emiline, and I’m a cosplayer and artist who’s been creating Skillshare classes for several years now. I enjoy crafting new costumes and props, as well as always expanding my skills in drawing. I have different classes that focus on both cosplay and drawing, and I hope you’ll check them out! If you want to find more of my cosplay content online, my cosplay name across the web is Winterstar Cosplay.


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Level: Beginner

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1. Introduction: Hey guys, I'm enlightened than my online course. My name is Winter star cosplay. In this Skillshare class, I'm going to be teaching you all about cosplay, what it is, how to get started and more. First off, what even is cosplay? Cosplay is the act of dressing up as a fictional character, whether it be from a movie, TV show, book, or even your imagination. It's an amazing form of R and you awesome hobby. And for some people it's even their full-time job. You don't need to be a certain a certain body type is certain race, any of those things anyone can cause flight. And in this Skillshare class, I'm going to show you how to do it. We'll start out by going over the basics of what cosplay is, then moving on from there on to how to actually create your first cosplay from the planning stage to actually making the cost play into what to do when you're done with it for the class project that you'll be deciding on your very first cosplay, picking the character and the costume, as well as getting started on deciding what parts of might make buy or anything else. If this sounds at all intimidating, Don't worry. I've done my best to make it as easy as possible for you, right down to making a PDF worksheet which you can download and then fill out for the class project. I hope that you will join me for the rest of this class as we venture into the world of cosplay. 2. What IS Cosplay?: All right, welcome back. I'm glad that you've decided to continue with this class. I talked a little bit about it in the intron portion, but let's go ahead and go bit more into depth about what cosplay actually is. Cosplay a portmanteau of the two words, costume and play. Costume play essentially is the act of dressing up as a fictional character, whether it be from a movie book, TV show, comic, or even from your own imagination, you can make the costly yourself commission or buy it from somebody else, or even make it out of things from your closet. Some people might spend hundreds of dollars on a cost in, while others go out and just use a bunch of free things that they already have on hand for me. For a single costly, I spent almost $300 on it. Well, for other costumes, I've done less than 20. It all depends on what costlier making as well as the character that you're trying to bring to life. And I firmly believe that you can calculate on any budget, so please don't let money via concern when you're deciding whether or not to cosplay. Cosplay, I think has some misconceptions that I want to clear up real quick just to make sure that we're all on the same page. First off, I think a lot of people think costly is just anime and more specifically just adults, the animate type things. While it is most definitely not some people do that. I don't, I really don't, and I'm definitely still a cost layer. On the other hand, other people seem to think that it's, a child is saying that it's basically just dress up for Halloween and it's definitely not this either. Some people will spend hundreds of thousands of dollars and hundreds of thousands of hours crafting their very own costume, which they might go on to enter into a costly contents and when thousands of dollars in prize money, just to give you a better idea of cosplay and what that might entail. Here's a couple of different cost plays that I have made. Some, I've made myself some, I've drifted, some I've used things out of my closet, and some are just a combination of all of the above. The sky is the limit when it comes to cosplay. And I firmly believe that you can do anything that you set your mind to. Something else. I feel like people wonder about cosplay is where you can actually, where the costumes that you create. Well for that, there's a lot of options. I'll go over that more in depth in another video in this class. But I just wanted to cover real quick just so you know what to expect. You can weird cause place for photo shoots. You can wear them for Halloween or custom events, small-scale local events, even comic cons, which are gatherings of geeks, nerds, celebrities and Cos players who all come together to celebrate their general nerdiness. Comic cones are probably the most commonplace you will see cause players wearing their costumes. And it is a great place for a beginner cost player to start wearing their costume for the first time. Especially if you might be a bit more shy about wearing it in front of people. Okay, so I hope that this video provided bit more insight into what costly actually is. And in the next video we'll finally start getting into how to actually start creating your very first cosplay. 3. Picking a Character: One of the first steps and caused playing after you've actually decided that you want to cosplay is picking your character. Like I mentioned earlier, the sky is the limit and you can pretty much cosplay whomever you want, but not being said, here are a few guidelines that might help you have an easier time picking your character and one that suits your skill level, budget, timeline, and all of those different things. First, make sure to pick a character and the costume that you love. If you don't really like the character or you don't adore their costume, then chances are you won't have as much motivation to finish the cosplay. Losing motivation for any costly project is something I think that happens to most caused layers. But if you pick a project that you are absolutely in love with and a character or showed you absolutely adore. I found that you're much more likely to be able to finish the calls play. I know that for me if I'm way more invested in a character and their backstory and the costume that worrying that I'm much more likely to be able to finish, you're constantly then if it's one that say, I'm not as interested in or I kind of like it, but just not really. So something to make sure to remember when picking the character you want to cosplay is that it's a character and a costumer to show that you really love. Second, when you are choosing what character you want to cosplay, you want to make sure and pick something that's within reach. You don't want to pick something that's so totally out of your range and your skill level that you just have absolutely no way of completing it to level that you're satisfied with. For instance, if you've never sold in your life and maybe don't own a sewing machine then an eighteenth-century Ballgown made from scratch might not be the best first project to pick. Of course, you always do want to stretch yourself and be willing to try new things, but at the same time you don't want to pick something that's so overwhelmingly difficult for you that you're just never able to finish it. Something that I found to be true, at least for myself and costly is that a lot of the time finished is better than perfect. I'm pretty sure I'm quoting somebody on that for most of my costly projects. Well, for all of them actually, none of them would I consider to be perfect. Most of them I'm marginally satisfied with, and some of them I do really like, but definitely none of them are perfect and I've been playing for years now. I would also say that with every costly project I've done, I've gotten a little bit better. Maybe one has helped me get better at painting or sewing or wig styling. All of them combined together to help me progress it in my skills as a cause player. And even if I don't consider them to be perfect, I still end up with the results that I'm happy with. So please don't worry too much about making it absolutely perfect because chances are, they won't be. You have to give yourself permission to make mistakes and then learn from those mistakes and then move on. And no, this is not a class about motivational speeches or anything. That's just what I've found to be true in my own experience for costly, though, my costumes not being perfect and having to accept that and move on is definitely something that I've struggled with. Okay, finally, I think that is important to remember your own constraints when you are picking what character to Castlight, not just your skill level, but also your budget, your timeline, if you're planning on traveling with the cost layered on all of these are things that you should maybe at least consider when you're picking your characters so that you don't pick something that's impossible to travel on an airplane with or might cost way too much money and be out of your budget for now. Okay, so I think that pretty much covers picking your character. But before we move on, I would highly encourage you to print out the PDF worksheet they came with this class and to begin filling it out for now, all you need to do is fill in the top part where you decide on the character that you want to cosplay. Super easy and don't worry about the other sections for now. I'll guide you through filling out those portions as we continue on with the class. 4. Research & Planning: After you have picks a character you want to cosplay, it's time to start gathering references. You can't really make the cost play if you don't know what it's supposed to look like, unless you're doing an original design cosplay that you're making about the ego, which is a very valid form of cosplay. If I've done before, first off, I have found that it is a great idea to have a place to keep all of the reference images and pictures that you find for your caused life, whether in a Pinterest board or a Google image folder. Those are two that I found to be very helpful and I use those for a lot of my colleagues place for actually gathering reference picture is try and get as many as possible. You can never have too many reference pictures. Try and get shots from the front, the back, full body from the sides above, beneath that, any detail shots that you might want, as many pictures as you can possibly find, save them to your costly photo collection. Chances are you won't regret having too many references, but you might regret not having enough. If you're doing a causeway that might be from a movie, for instance, you might have to find clips online or the actual movie and go through frame by frame to get the perfect reference images and screenshots from the show. I've done this before and it is a bit time consuming, but it can be worth it if you find that perfect angle of the back. Something else to remember is that a lot of characters will have multiple outfits or costumes, and you should probably decide kind of early on which one you want to make so that you can find the reference images for that costume rather than every single costs into the character has ever worn. After you've finished gathering all of your reference images, again more than you think you'll need. Let's go ahead and move on to breaking down the cosplay and figuring out what it's actually made out of for any given cosplay. Some parts you may want to make from scratch, others you may want to buy or commission, meaning that you pay somebody else to make it for you while still others you might want to use things you already have or buy things and then alter them to better fit the cost play. So this is where the other sections of the worksheet that I included with this class start to come into play. If you've already gathered reference picture through your cosplay, you've probably already started thinking about it and how you might make certain parts or where might be the best place to purchase different items. That is great. If not, that's okay. You can think about it now. So next for this class project, I want you to go ahead and go through your costly, whether from top to bottom, bottom to top most obvious to at least obvious however you want to do it. And just go through and figure out what parts of the cosplay you want to make, what parts you might want to buy it or commission and what parts you might want to buy and then alter your decisions for these might change as you go along creating the cost play. But it's just a good idea to have a good base to work with and some idea of what you're actually doing for any person at any character that you might be doing, There's no right or wrong answer. You don't have to make some parts or you don't have to make something else. Or you could just buy the entire cosplay if you wanted, at least for me, since I really like making things, I do like to make at least some part of the costly, even if I do thrift most of the rest of it for going against an impact AU original design that I did. I drifted most of the cost play from the story of the suit, the tie, all of those parts. But I styled the wake myself and I made the mask and batch myself as well since I really wanted something to tie it into the main universe. And also I just like making things, but again, it's totally up to you and you can decide what parts you might want to make or buy or commission or alter. And if you find you keep track of everything better in your head without needing to write it down on paper. That's totally fine too. I just needed the class project for this class and I thought this would be a good way to help you get started with cosplay and have something on paper so you can better keep track of it all and share your progress with others. So once you have gone and picked your character and gathered a bunch of references and written down all the different components and which ones you might want to make versus buy or commission or altered. Let's go ahead and move on to the next video where we will actually begin creating the cosplay. 5. Creating your Cosplay: The actual creation of a costly itself can vary so much depending on the cause played. Because player, the character that you pick, your skill level, you budget your timeline, all of the different things that might combine together, resulting in the fact that nobody's to cost plays are exactly the same. So there's not one formula that you can follow to create your cosplay. But that being said, here are some general tips that I tried to follow when creating my own caused place. And I hope that they can be helpful to you as well when you are making yours. First, make sure that you have plenty of time to complete it, especially if it's your first cosplay. At least in my experience, things will almost always take longer than I think they will. And it's better to have too much time than too little time. If you run out of time to complete your cosplay before a Comic-Con say, you might end up in something called con crunched, which is when you are rushing and stressing to finish your costume days or even hours before you're supposed to go out and enjoy a Comic-Con. It's not the most fun they experience. And rushing before a deadline almost always creates more stress and you might have results that you're not as proud of as you would if you took your time on in and have enough time to work slowly and more carefully. Second, that don't stress too much about getting it perfect. I've been caused playing for years and my cost plates are definitely still not perfect. Perfectionism is something that can, that a lot of time getting in the way of creativity, even if they can't help it out. Sometimes it can also be a bit discouraging for a beginner if you're expecting your costly to be perfect on the first try, because most of the time it won't be. And that's okay because nobody's perfect when it comes to costly. I mean, if we compare my first cost way that I did several years ago to one of my more recent costs plays, which is a remake of the same character, just redesigned it a different way. You can definitely see a huge positive difference and has just a few years of working on it. So don't get discouraged. If you work out in it and you try your best, then you can end up with a result you're proud of. And as you cause, play more and you continue progressing in your skills, you can end up with cost place that you like even more. You just have to be willing to make that first step and be willing to let yourself make mistakes and move on even if it's not perfect. Though, if you do want to minimize the amount of mistakes you make and the troubles that you might have. A great thing to do is to look up tutorials. There is an amazing abundance of constantly tutorials out there and thought all of them are even cause place-specific. Here on Skillshare, for instance, you might find more costly related classes and I know I've made a couple, but you might also find things like sewing or painting or hair styling. All of these things can be applied to cosplay and help you with your costs in the year trying to make. In addition, you can also use things like YouTube or the Internet or books or talking to other Cos, players to figure out what might be the best technique to use for your costume, or maybe a good material to use, or how to use certain material. There are a ton of tutorials out there and the Internet is a great place to look to find answers. And remember most of the time there isn't one right solution for a problem that you might be having with your cosplay or a question you might have bought the best material or technique to use. A lot of the time. It's just creative interpretation and you might have to experiment to find what works best for you. Something else to remember when you're creating your cosplay is to maybe try and take lots of progress pictures. I know that for me. I love looking back on progress pictures. I've taken up my cosplay to see where I was and then compare it to where I am now, you can also share your cosplay pictures with other people to show them and maybe the process of how you made it. Especially if people might ask how you did it or even for a tutorial. If you are interested in making a tutorial about how you made your cosplay. You can also film some footage as well. If it is your first costly, you might not be as interested in that and just want to focus on finishing the call site. And that's totally great too. I took almost no progress pictures when I made my first cosplay or even my first couple of cost plays really. I'd just like to take more now because I love to make tutorials for them and share how I made my cost plays with others. Something else to do is to remember to keep looking back at your reference pictures to make sure that you're on track with the cost way that you want to create. Whether it's a screen accurate cost light, or maybe does something from your imagination. Just looking at your reference pictures from time to time can help you stay on track with your costume. Though again, you don't have to make your cosplay screen accurate and you don't have to stick with maybe your original plan, you can change. Ended up saying that as you go and as you learn, that is totally great. I do that with 99% of my house flies. Okay, so hopefully looking forward into the future a bit, Let's say eventually you do finish your cosplay. Congratulations, great job. I'm proud of you. I'm so glad that you've decided to do this. And even if you don't finish it, you still tried it. So great job for that as well. But let's say that you eventually do finish the cosplay and then you're done and it's completed. And then what what do you do with the cost way after you finished it? Well, I did mention it a bit earlier, but let's go ahead and the next video and go way more into depth about what you can do with a finished caused play. 6. After Completing your Cosplay: Okay, so let's say that you just finished your cosplay and you're super excited about it, but you're just not really sure what to do with it. Well, there are a lot of options. First, you can wear your costly for a photo shoot, at least for me, taking pictures and my cosplay and getting on all the makeup and the full costume for the first time. One of the best parts of cosplay for me. And I finally get to see the results of all my hard work. Whether you book a professional photographer, ask a friend or family member, help you, or even do your own photo shoot with a self timer or remote trigger. You can still get some really nice photos and it's great to have a nice result that you can look back on and show others. You could also fill in videos in your cosplay. I've made some briefings like YouTube and Tiktok, and I think that it's a great way to get into character and just have fun in your costume. And while I wouldn't highly encourage you to take some pictures of your costly, even if it's just a few quick selfies, you definitely don't have to if you're not really comfortable in front of the camera or you just don't really want to show your work to anybody. This is something that I would, you know, kinda recommend so that you can show people and look back on what you've made and it's just pretty neat. But even if you don't want to take pictures of it, there's still a lot of different things that you can do with your cosplay. First, you can wear it for Halloween. Things this might seem that were childish, but I've learned my caused place for a lot of different Halloween related events in the past, as well as small-scale local events that might be more fan unrelated instead of Halloween. And of course, like I mentioned earlier, there are still comic cons. Comic conventions are one of the most popular places to wear. A cosplay. To Comic-Con is essentially a big gathering of nerds, geeks, celebrities, artists, vendors, and cost players, who all come together for a few days to celebrate their general nerdiness. You can take pictures of the cost players who can attend panels. You can shop in art salary or vendor hall and you can get pictures or autographs with your favorite celebrities. There's a ton of different things you can do at Comic Cons. And if you're maybe a bit more shy about caused playing, a comic con can be a great place to start. Since most of the time there are a lot of other people who are in costume as well. If you look around in your area and online kids is, are you can find a Comic-Con pretty close by. Though for me, since I live kind of far from many big cities, the nearest big one for me is like four hours away, which might sound kinda far. Some people not far at all with other people, but it, since there'll be fun, comic cons, are a great experience and they're one of my favorite places on Earth. But whatever you decide to do with your costly, whether you take a bunch of pictures or none at all, or where it to a ton of different things or hardly wear it at all. I want you to have fun with it. You worked hard on this cosplay and it's a character and show that you love and you should have fun with it. Wherever new costly is such an awesome feeling. And I really hope that you get to experience it and that you enjoy the experience in this class, we still have one final video where I'm just going to briefly go over everything that we've learned as well as briefly recap the class project as well. So I hope to see you in that final video. 7. Recap & Class Project: So to recap, what we've already talked about, costly is an amazing R and it's lot easier to get started than you might think. In addition, anyone can costly no matter your background or your skill level or your budget or any of those other things. Sometimes I costly might be hundreds of dollars and hundreds of hours of work. Other times it might be a couple of things thrown together from your halted and from this class, I hope that you've learned a lot about cosplay and how you can get started as well as feeling motivated to get started on your very own cosplay to help you with this idea that again, create the class project and a printable PDF reach out to help you get started planning your very first cosplay. Whether you filled in all of those parts or maybe just a couple of them, I would still highly encourage you to take a picture of it and posted to the class project section so that we can all get inspired by what your plating on creating, as well as give you feedback and more ideas if you're looking for it. Thank you so much for joining me in this class. I really hope that you enjoyed it and learned a lot about cosplay. If you want to see more of my own costly work, you can find me online at winter or is winter star cosplay on most social medias? Again, thanks so much for coming and I'll see you guys next time.