Become a cosplayer
We chat With cosplayer Sophie Bolger to get some tips
What was it that first got you into cosplay? I’d known about cosplay since I was a teenager, but back then didn’t have the confidence to get involved with it. Then back in 2013 I decided last minute to go up for the day to London MCM and the moment I saw everyone going round in these amazing costumes I new I wanted to be a part of it all.
What was your first costume?
My first costume was Poison from Final Fight. It was all put together the day before, as I had decided last minute that I was going to cosplay.
What’s the most complex cosplay you’ve put together?
My most complex would definitely have to be my own spin on Fran from Final Fantasy XII. I had never made armour before and it was a real challenge trying to figure out how to even begin putting it together. Especially the helmet, as it had to support two heavy rabbit ears.
What would you say you need to look out for with a beginner cosplay idea?
A good way to start is to just do your research and acknowledge the skills that you have and the ones that you need to gain if you’re planning to make your own. Watch Youtube tutorials, read up on cosplay blogs and most importantly plan it all out before you begin. If you don’t feel confident enough, or don’t have the time or money to make one yourself there is nothing wrong with buying a costume online. Cosplay is for everyone and is first and foremost for fun.
Are there things that some cosplayers tend to ignore or forget that can really make a costume pop?
The little details. It’s the one thing that can make a good cosplay a great cosplay. It could be makeup, a wig or just some small details on a costume, but all those small details really do help to bring a cosplay together.
How important do you think it is to have a connection to the character you’re portraying?
I personally feel it’s important to have a connection to the character, but that’s because it’s why I cosplay. I cosplay characters that I love and want to bring to life for myself, but that’s not to say it’s wrong for someone to cosplay a character because they look like that character or because they’ve been asked to. Some people like to act out as the character, some just like to dress up, some because they just enjoy making things and others just because they love that character. I have a fellow cosplayer, Jack Strong, who I always go to events with. He also gives me a hand making my cosplays, and I make his wigs. He cosplays as Cloud Strife because he both looks like him and feels a connection with the character.
Are there any good sites or social media groups you would recommend people check out?
On Facebook there’s the MCM Expo group, which is filled with almost everyone that goes to the comic con events with a big cosplay community on there. Though I would say if anyone was interested in seeing what it’s all about the best way would be just to go for a day to London MCM. It’s by far the best way to see first-hand what cosplay is all about. I’ve met so many amazing people at comic cons and it’s what really helped me to get involved with it all.
Never underestimate the power of a good wig to help a costume really go up a level. The armour detailing on this FFXII Fran is also very impressive.