Whether you want to get into cosplay or you just started, there are several things that you should know about the hobby before you really dive into it:
1. This is a hobby, don’t try to make it a career. If you do manage to make money at this, or at least break even, consider yourself extremely lucky. Yes, there are people that make money at this, but most of them got in on the ground floor and it took them years to get where they are now.
2. Cosplay is expensive. It takes time, money, or both and that is before you ever hit a convention or charity event. When you start getting deeper, the costs also include blood, sweat, and yes, tears. Expect to suffer hot glue burns and needles in your fingers. It is the cost we pay for our art.
3. When working on a cosplay, you will sometimes experience fits of rage or depression interspersed with elation all based upon your costume progress and/or whatever deadline you set for yourself.
4. It should not be a popularity contest. Don’t worry if your picture isn’t taken a million times. It is about what you enjoy. You will get more satisfaction from one person truly recognizing your character and the time you put into it than a hundred anonymous photos.
5. Like any gathering of people, there is drama. Do yourself a favor and avoid it. Don’t cause it, don’t spread it. In fact, just move away from it and those causing it. There is enough drama in life without bringing it into your hobby as well.
6. Look out for creepers. Creepers are everywhere, but they tend to come out in force when cosplay is involved. If you see a creeper, point it out to someone in authority. If a creeper is creeping, then interfere in some way. You can bump them while they take a photo, block the shot or let them know that you are on to them.
7. Don’t touch! Unless you have permission, don’t touch. Don’t touch the cosplay, don’t touch the person. This rule applies to everyone, cosplayers and non-cosplayers alike.
8. Don’t judge a fandom by a single cosplayer. The world is full of jerks. Whether they are in a costume or not, a jerk is a jerk and there is nothing that can be done about it. That person is not a representative of their fandom, despite what they may say. There are plenty of people that are a better representation of the fandom.
9. Don’t judge a cosplayer by their fandom. They may not like what you like, but you still have several things in common. You’re both human (I think), you both breathe air, you both walk upright, and you both like to cosplay. If that isn’t enough commonality, then just walk away…. You are probably a #8 or a drama source.
10. Have fun! If you are not having fun, then ask yourself, “Why you are doing this?” Maybe you need to find a new hobby.