First and foremost: I am not a professional cosplayer. I am not a model. I don’t make any money off of making costumes or posing in them. Cosplay, for me, is not an occupation. It is a hobby and a passion. I don’t intend to make a name for myself in the cosplay industry; I’m quite happy with my day job. In fact, most of the people I’ve met who do cosplay don’t do it for a living. In other words, don’t be intimidated. You don’t have to be a professional to cosplay.
The number one reason I cosplay is that I love making my own costumes. I love being creative. In my day-job, I don’t often get a chance to create things with my own two hands. Don’t get me wrong, I love my job, but if I don’t get my artistic juices flowing once in awhile, I get antsy. Cosplay allows me to get creative in an existence that demands structure.
I used to indulge in my fair share of painting and sketching but, when I stumbled upon the artistic medium that is cosplay, a new world opened up for me. Through cosplay, I’ve been introduced to a plethora of different artistic mediums I would have never tried otherwise. I’ve learned how to sew, work leather, and mold foam into armor. There are so many aspects to creating a single costume that you could work with a different medium every day and never get bored. I’ve learned a lot of different things through cosplay and I’m excited by the fact that I still have so much more to learn.
The second reason for cosplaying: I’m a nerd and I always will be. I love video games, comics, cartoons, and movies; just about anything that will spark my imagination. Every day life can be a bit stale, so, submerging myself in fantastical worlds can be cathartic and calming when my life is otherwise chaotic and stressful. When I fall in love with a character, I often want to emulate them. I can see some part of myself in these characters and can find solidarity and inspiration through them. They inspire me to achieve more and be a better person. My love of all things nerdy finds an outlet in cosplay and, honestly, I think it makes me a better person.
The final reason is that I really enjoy meeting and talking to new people. I’m not normally a social butterfly, but, in costume, I’m a whole different person. When you go to a convention with thousands of attendees, it can be pretty intimidating to start up a conversation with a complete stranger. But, you’ll find that your cosplay is a conversation starter. People will come up and talk to you because they have a common interest (whether that be cosplay or the fandom you’re representing). I’m not going to lie, I also really enjoy the attention. After spending so many hours and plenty of money buying supplies, it always feels wonderful for your hard work and dedication to be noticed.
Cosplay is my hobby. Through it, I can be creative and let my artistic side bloom. Through it, I can learn and try new things. Through it, I can express my love of all things nerdy. Through it, I can meet new people and make new friends. Cosplay makes my life more exciting and colorful. I honestly believe that everyone should try it once.