Lee Howard and The Cosplay Sisters at Toronto Comic Con 2019.
Lee Howard and The Cosplay Sisters at Toronto Comic Con 2019.

Cosplaying is taking the world by storm but is it a lucrative career choice?

At the 2019 Toronto Comic Con, Digital Fox caught up with professional cosplayers Angelic Luka Cosplay, Candice Windfall, Candy Cosplay, The Cosplay Sisters, Lee Howard, and Northern Belle Rogue for their thoughts on pursuing cosplaying as a stand-alone profession. Here’s what they had to say.

Angelic Luka Cosplay

“Definitely have another career. I work four different jobs. I do cosplay stuff, as well as commissions for people. I also do princess parties for children, and I work at an alteration store.”

Candice Windfall

“I have two careers. But it is a very viable business that you can do. I’ve only been doing it for a year now professionally, and it’s going quite well for me. I could quit my job right now if I wanted to but I don’t [want to]. I’m a security supervisor for a sports team, and it’s kind of difficult, only because cosplay and making the costumes is very time-consuming. Usually, when I get home from work, it’s about 12 and I’ll costume and make stuff for a couple of hours and then go to sleep, and do it all over again the next day!”

Candy Cosplay

“Right now, for me, it’s my kind of career option – my husband helps support it. But you probably do need a side job, because some of the products can get expensive. But if you can [do without a second job], and you’re working it, work it!”

Stefanie Codsi of The Cosplay Sisters

“It’s very hard to actually make it a career. It’s difficult, but if that’s what you want to do, you can work hard at it. But you might need a side job while you grow your following.”

Marisa Codsi of The Cosplay Sisters

“Especially if it’s specifically cosplay. If you’re making stuff and selling it – if you’re making props – that could be something else. But if it’s specifically just you in costume, then it’s pretty difficult.”

Lee Howard

“It can be [lucrative] but it’s really hard because it’s so popular now. So many people are doing it and that makes it a little bit harder to make it a career choice. It is possible, though, so at least try, but have a backup plan. Every really successful cosplayer started somewhere – they started out as a nobody – so it’s always worth a try!”

Northern Belle Rogue

“I would say that cosplay is a viable career in the same way acting is – there are actors who make money and there are actors who have other jobs. If you’re willing to go all in, you might be able to, but it’s pretty akin to the acting industry.”

That sounds pretty definitive to us. If you want to be a cosplayer professionally, work hard at it, but definitely don’t quit your day job for it just yet!

A writer at heart with a fondness for well-told stories, Louis Skye is always looking for a way to escape the planet, whether through comic books, films, television, books or video games. She always has an eye out for the subversive and champions diversity in media.