Candice Windfall and Northern Belle Rogue at Toronto Comic Con 2019.
Candice Windfall and Northern Belle Rogue at Toronto Comic Con 2019.

Cosplayers have become as much of a draw at conventions as celebrities themselves. So how does one enter this world?

Some of North America’s top professional cosplayers gathered at the 2019 Toronto Comic Con to celebrate all things geek. Digital Fox asked Angelic Luka Cosplay, Candice Windfall, Candy Cosplay, the Cosplay Sisters, Lee Howard, and Northern Belle Rogue, for some of their top tips for becoming a great cosplayer.

Here is some of the advice they would like to share with anyone entering the cosplaying world.

Angelic Luka Cosplay

“Contact cosplayers. Contact me, as well [@AngelicLukaCosplay]! If you have any questions, we are all happy to help.”

Candice Windfall

“If you’re just getting started, get some basic equipment like a neat gun, a sewing machine. Be proud of what you make, don’t listen to what anyone else says about you. Do your own thing, enjoy it, have fun!”

Candy Cosplay

“I know a lot of people say you’ve got to make your costumes. You don’t. If you can’t afford to make it but you want to buy a costume, go ahead and buy it. I myself, 95% of them I make, the odd ones I buy. If I’m running out of time, can’t afford to make it but I can afford to buy the costume, I’ll buy it. So, don’t be ashamed that you’re wearing a bought costume.

“The main thing is, have fun. Don’t worry about what anybody says to you, as long as you’re having fun, you like the way you look, you like your costumes, all the haters can go away.”

The Cosplay Sisters

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Stefanie Codsi

“Be patient with yourself. Use YouTube and ready-made clothing at places like Value Village and try and alter it. You can use glue guns – you don’t have to do sewing. Start off simple. Be patient with yourself and know that your first few costumes won’t be as good as someone that’s been doing it for 10 years. And be okay with that and you’ll grow and learn.”

Marisa Codsi

“YouTube and Google are your friends! Google everything. When I start something, I Google it 18 different ways before I even start.”

Katrina Codsi

“Go to the convention in [your first costume] and then you’ll realise how many people don’t care! People love that you loved something, and you put effort in. People will want pictures and they’ll want to celebrate that you put effort into making a costume, regardless of how good it looks. So, just come in what you’ve made and you’ll feel good about it afterwards.”

Lee Howard

“I would say just cosplay whatever you want. Sometimes people will say you have to look a certain way to dress as a certain character. I think there are no rules – if you love a character, no matter what you look like, just dress as that, because it’s going to make you feel great! Don’t worry about what other people might think of you in the suit because if it makes you feel good, that’s the most important thing.”

Northern Belle Rogue

“Biggest piece of advice you need for cosplay, do it because you want to do it, because you’re having fun doing it, and the second that stops, don’t do it anymore. Don’t cosplay for any other reason than your own enjoyment of the character and the hobby.”

Some great tips here from professional cosplayers – do it because you love it, don’t stress about how good or bad your costume looks, and enjoy yourself! Happy cosplaying, everyone.

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.