Cosplay

Guilt Trip

Guilt trip almost made me stop what I love to do. Why? Because everyone has their own opinion of things, some of them positive, some of them negative.

What made you change my mind? I am 37 years old. I have bipolar depression. I am a daughter, wife and mother. I have my good and bad days. I like to be conservative and sometimes extremely sexy. I’ve done a great job raising two kids and teaching them right from wrong. I’ve lived life.

Is it bad that sometimes I feel comfortable in my own skin? No

Is it bad that I like to be open about my sexiness? No

Is it bad I want to be an example to others that every day hate their bodies? No

Next time, you have a negative comment towards someone because they dress provocative, think about how many times, that person look at her/himself and points out all their flaws.

I am one of them. But we are in this together. We are going to win the battle!

Cosplay

Algorithms and Paying Ads

Social media is life. Wait, what? The other day, I was thinking about how social media has made our lives so much easier and efficient. At the same time is safe to say that it has also became a big cause of personal frustration and competition among peers and strangers.

Let’s start by saying that I’m not a Social Media guru, just a person who does all her business on social media and studies the algorithms that are affecting all of us.

Have you ever said, even to yourself, any of these premises?

– I don’t know if people will see it.

– I don’t have that many following/subscribers.

– Jane Doe got 1000 followers in less than a week.

– My post are not being seen.

– I’m giving up on Social Media. I’m closing my…

I guess, at some point, we all have.

First, you have to ask yourself what your goals are: more followers, more sales, recognition, or just for fun. A lot of the time, people get overwhelmed by social media and trends that they forget what their primary goal is and get lost in the ocean of internet users. I mentioned primary because like, in my experience, a thing that started as a fun hobby, ended up being my “full time job”. Once you answer this important first question, we can proceed to our next point.

Next, make sure you know what social media platform suits you the best for your needs. Remember there are more platforms than Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, etc. Also there’s always the option of your own domain and website.

After you’ve done all the previous steps, start posting as soon and as often as possible. Some people have a specific aesthetic for their social media: some posts in group of three, some has place holders, some do it by color. Whatever you decide, keep in mind that what you are going to post has to match your goals for your social media.

Remember with every post, you get the opportunity of reaching out to more people by using hashtags. Use your search engine to browse the most used hashtags. This will help you increase your likes and following, in addition to appear in searches.

If at the end, you still want to go further, you can explore the option of paying ads. This allows you to increase your reach by paying a specific amount. Your now “sponsored” post or ad will be visible to everyone with the same interests or your preferred audience.

Whatever method of self-promotion you decide to use, don’t get discouraged. It is always better to grow slow but steady.

Artist, Conventions, Cosplay, Costumer, Prop Builder, Uncategorized

Puerto Rico Comic Con

Last May, Murderdoll Ivy, one of Geeky Gimmicks admins, traveled back to her native Puerto Rico to visit her family and to attend for the first time the biggest convention in the island. Not knowing what to expect, she was more than pleased to see that Puerto Rico has a huge community of cosplayers. As part of a Geeky Gimmicks mission, she wrote this review:

First of all, this has been a dream come true! I wanted to attend the PRCC since I became a full time artist and cosplayer. It’s so funny because I’m so used to speak in English at cons that the words that came out of my mouth were all in English. It’s all cool, cause the majority of the population in PR are fully bilingual.

The Convention was held in the Capital of San Juan, at the Puerto Rico Convention Center. It is a big convention center with plenty of floor space, vendors, artists, and also tattoo artists. In previous years, this con has invited guests like Jessica Nigri, but this year, they went for a crowd favorite, Mr. John Barrowman. People had a sample of their favorite brands and activities as there was enough room for promotion also, a small inside kids area and a stunt area.

Thousands of attendees dressed up in their awesome cosplays to show some love to their favorite characters. The variety of fandoms were very noticeable, being anime and video games two of the most recurrent cosplays themes. It was amazing to see this because, Puerto Ricans come in all sizes and colors, so cosplaying a character that’s slightly “different” is no problem. We’ll definitely discuss this in an upcoming blog I’m working on.

(View of the con floor)

For now, take a look at a few of the great cosplays we spotted at the Puerto Rico Comic Con:

• Pikachu

•Pickle Rick

•Him from Powerpuff Girl

• Female Kratos from God of War

• Soldier Mandalorian

• Overwatch

• Umbreon

• Predator

• Winter Soldier

• Spy Vs. Spy

• Coco

• Pyramid Head from Silent Hill

• The Witcher

Although this Convention has been around for almost two decades, it’s still a growing community in the Island. We can’t wait to be back and see all the awesome things PRCC has to offer to the community.

We hope you guys enjoyed the pictures as much as we enjoyed taken them. This post is also a featured review in the Geeky Gimmicks website and Facebook page. So if you know the cosplayer, please don’t hesitate in tagging them and let them know they’ve been featured in Geeky Gimmicks!

Murderdoll Ivy is a cosplay, model and artist from Orlando and part of the amazing Geeky Gimmicks team. For more posts and to see her cosplays, make sure fo visit her Facebook and Instagram pages!

http://www.murderdollivy.com

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Conventions, Cosplay, Costumer, Photography, Prop Builder, Uncategorized

Cosplay and Friends

After a 4-months-hiatus from conventions, my friends decided to help me break my well-deserve vacations by having a small cosplay group for Spooky Empire.

First of all, if you have never been to Spooky Empire and you called yourself a Horror Films Fanatic, you are totally missing out on this fun convention.

We decided to go for a Silent Hill group. By the way, Silent Hill is one of my favorite horror movies and the video game haunted me during my teenage years. It is based on an event that occurred many years ago in Centralia, PA when a fire started in a coal mine under the town and it’s still burning. The abandoned town is full of hazardous fumes and sinkholes. The main road is closed to vehicle traffic but, if you are brave enough, feel free to walk to the town.

More info: https://www.ranker.com/list/real-life-silent-hill/jacob-shelton

I debuted my Bubble Head Nurse at DragonCon last year, and it was an amazing claustrophobic fun.

(My friend LeeAndraTravels and me at DragonCon)

I custom made the mask out of Plaster Bandages to fit my facial features and be able to see and breathe. The first try lasted for like 5 mins and it was for a super quick photoshoot and during the con I used it on and off.

Now, back to Spooky.

One day, my friend ask for hints on how to make his Pyramid Head and I said “I have a nurse and I’ve been wanting a Pyramid Head!!” After months of planning, here we are, an awesome creepy group. We had so much fun, taking pics, scaring people, just hanging around.

The next day, I agree to meet with my beautiful friend LeeAndraTravels, to take professional pictures of our Scooby Doo characters, Velma and Daphne.

We had so much fun walking around and unmasking Jason Vorhees. Nerdcore Photo followed us around and we took amazing pictures.

I have forgotten how much fun it was to go to conventions and have fun with friends: no pressure, no gossiping, just plain amazing fun. This was an amazing start for my Con-Tour this year and I’m glad to be able to enjoy my time with friends like these. As for my Silent Hill group, this is just an example of how amazing the cosplay community can be, if we all work together.

If at some point you feel overworked, tired and scared, I recommend to take a big break like me, rethink why are you cosplaying and find your happy self again. Trust me, you will see a whole different cosplay world!

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health, Uncategorized

Not Alone…

Lately, I’ve been a little away from my personal social media and focusing more on me. All the negativity, hatred, news, politics have driven me to an edge. Two of my friends hospitalized because of suicidal attempts.

Yesterday, someone I knew, got her angels wings back. As I scrolled through my FB feed, I found out she took her own life. A display of loving messages flooded her page as everyone remembered the times they spent together. Friend’s messages with the suicide line number started showing up. Ads about depression also flooded my feeds. And then it struck me. A big wave of fear and questioning filled my head. What made her push the button?

As I type this, tears are running down my cheeks. This loss affected me immensely, even though I didn’t know her that well. But why? Of course! I saw myself in her! I saw her posting so many times about her feelings, her desperation. I’ve done the same thing. I’ve been pushing people away and hiding my true feelings.

Let me explain something: a person who suffers REAL depression WON’T come to you asking for help!!! Don’t expect that from us and please don’t send us the suicide line number cause we won’t call either. That’s part of our condition. All we can probably tell you are hints. And the smallest thing can just push us away and make us close up again.

I personally HATE every time I try to express my feelings and hear the other side telling me “oh, yeah, I’ve been through that”, “I know how you feel”, “I feel a little depressed too”, or the one I hear the most “You have no reason to be depressed cause you have a great life.”

Don’t you think I know I have a great life???!!!!

Depression, anxiety, phobias as any other mental illness ARE NOT RATIONAL! Anyways, I hope this helps you understand us better:

According to the American Psychiatrist Association:

Depression symptoms can vary from mild to severe and can include:

◦ Feeling sad or having a depressed mood

◦ Loss of interest or pleasure in activities once enjoyed

◦ Changes in appetite — weight loss or gain unrelated to dieting

◦ Trouble sleeping or sleeping too much

◦ Loss of energy or increased fatigue

◦ Increase in purposeless physical activity (e.g., hand-wringing or pacing) or slowed movements and speech (actions observable by others)

◦ Feeling worthless or guilty

◦ Difficulty thinking, concentrating or making decisions

◦ Thoughts of death or suicide

Symptoms must last at least two weeks for a diagnosis of depression.

Also, medical conditions (e.g., thyroid problems, a brain tumor or vitamin deficiency) can mimic symptoms of depression so it is important to rule out general medical causes.

I was diagnosed in 2008 with depression and anxiety. It never fully goes away. I’ve been taking meds on and off for that. I recognize I have an amazing life and an amazing family. I’m a stay-at-home home, have a loving partner, healthy kids, no worries, no money problems. My thyroid is good, I take my vitamins, I changed my diet, I work on what I like which is painting and cosplaying. And I’m sure that is why it’s so difficult for others, even my family, to understand I have real clinical depression. But that doesn’t mean that if you don’t believe in it, is not there.

Most of the people who suffer from clinical depression are happy people on the outside. We do our best to make others happy, even though we are dying on the inside. Take Robin Williams for example. A successful, Oscar winner, great actor and great human being. Who would’ve thought he would end his life the way he did? But it happens. People rather close their eyes and say depression is not real, you are just sad. You need to go out more. You need a hug. You need to call me when you feel sad.

Nowadays, mental health has been an issue which has cost so many lives at so many levels: suicide, mass shootings, self-mutilation, etc. Unfortunately, it’s reached to our youth also. More and more teenagers and kids commit suicide every year. It’s a silent enemy that most of the population don’t want to accept it exists. But it is important to understand what’s involved.

  • We don’t want to socialize because we don’t want or know how to explain how we feel. We feel lonely in a crowd. We are terrified someone will ask. We don’t have anything positive to say.
  • We constantly plot in our heads. Yes, suicidal thoughts are very real. They are scary but at the same time it’s comforting to feel you have an escape to the unreasonable pain you are feeling.
  • We don’t want hugs every time. Personally, sometimes the less human contact I have, the better.
  • Depression sometimes brings its friends to the party: anxiety, phobias, compulsion, physical sickness.
  • We feel useless and worthless. The mirror hates us. Everything we do feels wrong. We don’t do anything right. We ruin other people’s lives. We are a pain to others.
  • We feel we don’t deserve help, or to be loved. We don’t seek for help cause we feel hopeless and helpless. We don’t see an end to our pain. We don’t forsee a good future.
  • Pills don’t always take the feelings away. The other day I said, “my pills are like a playpen around my feelings. Sometimes they stay inside; sometimes they learned to crawl out of it.”
  • Some people choose self-mutilation because it takes the emotional pain away. In a physical level, the body releases endorphins which help to cope with the pain, the same way drugs help.
  • Our emotions are unstable. Sometimes we feel apathetic, sometimes we feel too affected. We also develop a robotic reaction to feelings. We start masking our answers. We just talk generic conversations.

There are way more statements and factors at stake. Is not easy for me or for anyone to admit we are broken or to ask for help. The times I’ve been to a doctor and medicated, it cost me a meltdown prior to it. This last time, my partner made the appointment with the doctor for me, because I refused to admit I needed professional help. It took me years to admit it was real. It took me not being able to handle it myself to accept help.

Now that you know this, look around you. Look at the signs, changes in patterns, people, feelings. You’d be surprised how can you change someone’s life for good! And please know you are all loved!

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Art, Artist, Cosplay, Costumer, modeling, Photography, Uncategorized

Posing in Your Cosplay

I want to start with a confession: I hate having my pictures taken!!! Since I was a child, every time I saw one of my pics, I looked horrible. My smile was weird, I was holding an ugly pose, my hair was out of control, I didn’t know what to do with my hands, just to mention a few things. As I grew older, I started taking more and more pics with friends but then I realized I was never pleased with any of them. Thankfully, internet wasn’t as popular then as it is now, until My Space started. (Yes, I’m that old). Unfortunately I still have some of those dreaded pictures, that constantly make me question my sanity at the moment.

  • The Fake Smile

Was I happy? Was I mad? Was I suffering? Did I lose a tooth?

  • The I-don’t-know-what-to-do-with-my-hands

Same pose. Almost same expression. Just a slight change in the position of the hands. And not even a significant or artistic one.

  • The Hunchback

Being a size 3 and having a belly and tired shoulders didn’t match the amazing Hawaiian background.

  • The Sexy Attempt

When everything else fails, try a few sexy poses, unless it looks like you are extremely tired or drunk. The head tilt is a must (not!).

Enough with the silliness. Having a photographer partner and being surrounded by very talented models and cosplayers, helps you learn and understand better which poses and angles work better for you. Here are a few tips that will help you improve your cosplay poses for a more professional photo:

  1. Practice the vowels

Lots of people use the same facial expression for all the pictures and characters. In front of the mirror, try changing your lips position by practicing Aaaa—Eeee—Iiii—Oooo—Uuuu. See which ones work for surprise, happy, sexy, sad or angry. A small change like that would help you create a different feeling.

2. Avoid standing looking straight forward as much as you can.

If your character inevitably has a pose looking straight forward, I guess it’s unavoidable. But it’ll look more aesthetically pleasant and the pose will flow better, if the person is not posing directly in front of the camera. Also, if you are a curvy-licious woman like me, standing in an angle, makes your lines look more feminine and defined.

3. Chin Out! Arch that Back!

We never realized how many people can magically make a double chin appear, until you take a look at those pictures online from the last con or shoot. When we take pictures, we automatically tend to hide our face, tilt our heads back a little and let the chin have a moment of fame. Instead, move your head a little forward and up, like a bird trying to see outside its nest, and it’ll even help you look more like Han and less like Jabba.

4. Know your character.

I found it’s easier to portray a character if you actually know it and identify with it. I find myself constantly thinking what my next pose should be. I bought a long mirror and before a photoshoot or convention, I practice in front of the mirror. I learn my limitations and possibilities. For example, a few of the cosplays I’ve done more frequently is Jessica Rabbit, Morrigan and Sombra. So I’ve tried to think of new ways to pose with them. Remember, it’s different when you are posing with friends and having fun, but if you want a professional look on you pictures, you have to become the character.

5. Careful with your makeup and costume

Before a shoot, retouch your makeup. Not all photographers are going to spend extra time, fixing raccoon eyes and faded lipsticks or smeared body paint. Make sure you have good communication with your photographer and he can also let you know if there’s something that should be retouched. Also try to be careful with any holes on your clothes and rotate the angle of your props to hide imperfections.

(Difference between needing a retouch and a complete well-done makeup)

6. Use the Right Angle

One thing I learned in a bad way is that low angles make you look huge!!!! Unless the subject in the picture wants to look scary and menacing, avoid using low angles. It’s not flattering. (Low angle vs. medium high angle. Notice my belly and double chin?)

7. Make sure to use the right lighting.

Oh, beautiful celestial body that keeps us warm and toasty, sorry but I will avoid you for pictures! There’s a term among photographers called “the golden hour”. It’s a time before sunset that the lighting is perfect for pictures. Same thing in early hours of the morning. It looks beautiful and it requires almost no effort in editing. When you edit a picture, in a way you are trying to imitate that kind of lighting. Taking a picture in the middle of the day will just bring ALL of the little imperfections from the costumes and yourself to light. Also, direct sunlight casts different annoying shadows, very hard to edit. To avoid this, look for shade and use indirect sunlight or wait til the Golden Hour. 8. Photographers!! Give your model some time to pose and have a cue.

The more prepared we are for a photo, the less pictures the photographer will have to take. Sometimes we blink, make a weird face, are switching between poses, and that’s when the pictures is taken. Sometimes photoshoots are scheduled one after the other and there’s not time to lose or plan. Get to know each other and have a cordial communication.

9. Props are an extra touch, not the whole picture.

Be careful to not hide your face with the prop or any important part of your costume. Always make sure you practice your different poses with your props. Any weapon can have a different look depending on the direction where you point it at and the feeling you want to evoke. Make sure to let your photographer know beforehand the kind and size of props you are bringing, so he can be ready to make it part of the picture. It’s sad when some props are too big and don’t fit in the picture.

10. Remember to credit all the photographers and models in social media. After all, we all work together and we should support each other!

(Pictures in this blog were taken by Nerdcore Photo, MC Illusion Photography, and Mayhem Magazine)

www.murderdollivy.com

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Art, Artist, Cosplay, Costumer, modeling, Prop Builder, Special FX, Uncategorized

You Follow, I Follow, We Follow

Hey everyone!

Today I’m going to discuss an important topic for everyone: how to start and maintain a professional presence in social media.

Let’s be real for a moment, modern society revolves around social media. According to pewinternet.com,

Today around seven-in-ten Americans use social media to connect with one another, engage with news content, share information and entertain themselves.

Facebook is the most-widely used of the major social media platforms, and its user base is most broadly representative of the population as a whole. Smaller shares of Americans use sites such as Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and LinkedIn.

So, what’s my point writing this you ask?

As a former teacher and bilingual citizen, I cringe every time I see the lack of professionalism as to how some people address in social media. From the vocabulary, lack of knowledge in the topic, lack of relevant content, to slang and typos. Let’s be honest for one moment: Everyone commits a grammar crime, or share tmi (too much information) every once in a while. The question is, when is too much.

Different social platforms offer different opportunities to make friends, gain followers, express ideas or just share photos. Let’s take Facebook for example. On Facebook you can have a personal profile, a group, a page, etc. But you wouldn’t talk to your followers the same way you talk to your mom, right? Here are some tips on how to look professional and have fun on social media.

  • Do some research on which social media platform fits your interests better.

Think about what you want to offer. Is it food? Clothing? Cosplay? Photography? Props? Blogs? Videos? Art? Podcasts? Before starting any page, make sure you look up people with similar interests and which platforms they are using. Each platform has a different algorithm that might affect the views and they way your posts shows to people.

According to Forbes.com, it’s important that people understand social media algorithms:

Social media algorithms are what all social media platforms run on these days. They have led to a lot of changes to social media, and not always desired ones. If you are going to take advantage of social media for business purposes, it’s vital that you understand what algorithms mean for you.

(https://www.forbes.com/sites/ajagrawal/2016/04/20/what-do-social-media-algorithms-mean-for-you/)

  • Now that you opened that page

Did you venture to open a new page? Good for you! This is the beginning of an awesome adventure. Here are a few things to keep in mind.

First, have a good logo or profile image that clearly describes what you are offering. If you are a photographer but have a mirror selfie with your dog, the chances that someone will look at your page and treat you seriously are dim. In my opinion, selfies do not count as professional profile images. Also, make sure you are not using an image with all the clutter from your bedroom behind you.

This is an embarrassing example but you’ll get the idea…

Second, write a good description. This is one of the most difficult parts of any website. As much as you’d like to let the world know how many pets do you have, or what your favorite color is, a page description is not the right place to do it. Be short and concise, and if possible, use short words instead of sentences: artist, cosplayer, business owner, entrepreneur, vlogger, YouTuber, etc. Also make sure to include the links where people can contact you and your websites. That will make your profile and persona more approachable.

  • What should I post?

That’s totally up to you and your interests BUT there are a few words that you should keep in mind: frequency, consistency and scheduling.

Several studies compiles on Coschedule.com, claim that frequently posting on social media, especially every day during the same times, will help you get noticed. And if you are not available or are too busy, there are different options and apps that will help you schedule those posts.

Now, make sure to proof-read your post or have someone do it for you. This will help you use the right vocabulary, hashtags and tags. You don’t want to promote #hell instead of #heel. Also, if you are trying to get sponsors or promotion, it is important to stay away from any pictures you will later regret. I bet you look beautiful modeling that salad while wearing your tiny thong but then don’t complain when that picture ends up in some of the threads of people looking for “lewds”. This does not apply if you actually sell the thong or to models.

  • My followers want to know more about me, can I post a picture of my family?

Again, what you do with your page it’s totally up to you. Personally, I have the strict policy of not mixing my private life with my business. A handful of friends know my full name or my address or anything about my private life. Why, you must ask? You are selling your product, your image, not a invitation to your life. It’s a very dangerous weapon and it could result in a disaster. Why do you think singers and actresses avoid the media so much? So avoid posting how many times you find a new love, or fight with your mom, a picture of your nametag or uniform, and especially pictures of minors. Don’t be surprised if that “admirer” from Whereinzajistan shows up at your door with flowers after your break up or gives you a phone call at 3am.

  • Should I avoid talking to strangers then?

Of course not!!! Why would you even have a public page if not to show the world your talent and who you are. The best way sometimes is not showing a picture and writing a bunch of quotes. Sometimes the best way to let them know about you is how you interact with them.

– Thanks_________! I appreciate your kind words.

– This made my day!

– So happy to hear this.

You can also be funny and fun without getting too personal or be nice and gentle when declining offers.

To conclude, if you stick to professionalism, consistency, frequency, and kindness, you will slowly but successfully build a solid empire.

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Artist, Cosplay, Costumer, Prop Builder, Uncategorized

Working on Your First Cosplay

Lots of people send me messages asking about how to start a cosplay. Some of them express their fear on venturing into a new world of experimentation and creativity.

In a panel I did at a convention, one of the participants from the audience asked: “Which character do you think I should cosplay?” The answer was pretty simple: “Cosplay whatever you feel like.”

There are a few things that are important to keep in mind when it comes to creating a costume/cosplay. I think I should start by saying:

None of us were born knowing what to do.

I can’t emphasize this enough. We are in a constant state of learning and what you see now, took some time, effort, sweat and tears, even blood and burns sometimes. Once you realize that as flawed human beings, we made a lot of mistakes to be where we are, it’ll help you take some pressure off your shoulders.

Make a plan!

Before starting any costumes, I usually sketch what I want in my “cosplay book”, which is a book I keep with all my designs, material specifications and instructions. This helps me get organized, not go over budget (if that’s even possible) and keep it for future references in case I have to remake the costume or work on a commission.

Making a plan will also help you find the right materials. Remember that not every material works for every costume. So if you see your material doesn’t work, for example, for an armor, look for other sources that will help you rock that look.

Find your forte!

Make a list of your strengths, skills and abilities. Are you good at sewing? Are you good at wood-making? Are you good at painting? If you don’t feel completely comfortable with some skill, don’t worry, the internet (and friends) have great resources for step-by-step tutorials. Which brings us to our next point.

Look for references.

Make sure you have more than one reference for your creation. Some tutorials are safer than others, some are easier. When I took a class with an FX Makeup artist, he emphasized over and over the importance of being safe when working on your project. For example, don’t introduce straws through your nose, wear safety glasses, gloves and a mask (if necessary), work in a ventilated area, etc.

Also keep in mind the more references you have for your project, the more details you’ll be able to achieve. Every picture is different and some of them sometimes miss some of the details from the character. Make sure you have at least pictures from the front, back and each side.

Use the right tools.

After 6 years cosplaying (3 full time), I learned recently why I was struggling so much with my props and armor and even my sewing. Little things like the thread quality, and the right tools will make a difference in the quality of your cosplays. For example, I was noticing that my thread was breaking constantly and getting tangled and I learned three things: metal bobbins are better, especially when I’m using thicker materials, the quality of the thread is really important and it gets old, and also to adjust the tension with the different fabrics. Before this, I spent 3 years sewing the same way and sometimes even nights crying.

I also learned about the different types of sealer for the eva foam, and that sometimes an Exact-0 is not enough for a straight cut. Make sure you understand that it’s not a lack of skills what makes your work more difficult but the lack of proper tools.

Set goals.

Now that you’ve designed your cosplay, know the materials and started working on it, make sure you have a realistic vision of when and where you are going to wear it. You won’t be able to bring a gigantic sword into an airplane and also you wouldn’t like to use that revealing mini skirt to a “family-friendly” convention. Each convention has their rules for cosplay. Take a look at them before attending or planning your cosplays.

Ask for help.

Never be afraid of asking for help. Most of the members in the cosplay community are more than willing to help you and happy to see you succeed.

Remember, making a cosplay takes time and sometimes a lot of tries, even for the more experienced cosplayers. If you get organized and look for the best reasonable information, you will achieve anything you want!

Cosplay, Costumer, Prop Builder, Uncategorized

Cosplay Alert: Morrigan Aesland

Hey everyone!

Our featured cosplay today is probably one of my favorites and which I’ve have 3 different versions of, Morrigan Aesland from the games Darkstalkers and Capcom Vs. Marvel.

Why did I choose this character?

I used to play the game years ago and I always liked the Morrigan character appeal. She has a very beautiful visual aesthetic and she’s also very sexy but still can kick ass.

How long did it take me to finish it?

The first version of Morrigan (original version) took me about a month to build the wings and make the head wings. The second version (small wings and black night dress) took me just 3 hrs to make the wings. The Yukata version took me about 5 hrs total.

What materials did I use?

Original Version

  • I used a black bathing suit to which I added white feathers and cut a heart on the chest area.
  • I used a green wig and cut the bangs.
  • The wings on the head were made of worbla, acrylic paint and a headband.
  • The big wings have a wooden base, poly filler, and purple and black fabric.

Yukata Version

  • The bats on the Yukata version were handstamped by me.

  • All the hair flowers and belt were made by me with plastic flowers from Hobby Lobby
  • The belt was made by me with light pink and dark pink fabric.
  • I used a plain satin purple kimono as a base. I also got Japanese wooden sandals.

Where can you see Morrigan?

Morrigan was debuted in 2016 at DragonCon, but she also made a few appearances at Space Coast Comic Con, Inked and Geeked, DragonCon 2017 and The Cosplay Con. It’s been in my cosplay closet for now until I can fix it due to weight loss.

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Cosplay, modeling, Uncategorized

When Boudoir becomes Lewd – Pt. 2

(Disclaimer: Before commenting, make sure to read til the end. This is not a criticism but a discussion. Everyone has different experiences and opinions. Please be mindful and respectful of others)

A few weeks ago, I started writing about how the cosplay world has been changing and including more boudoir and lewd on their repertoire. I also left a few questions that I thought would be interesting to see how people answered them. Not long after that post, I started receiving feedback and even seeing more posts about the topic on all my news feed from both male and female cosplayers.

A lot of people got very argumentative about the topic; some of them in a respectful manner, some of them in a defensive manner and some of them in an offensive manner. It made me hesitate to make another blog about it.

Before continuing, let me make this clear: whatever you do with your body is your own choice and nobody has the right to belittle or offend you. I have lots of friends who do great armor cosplays and lots of friends that do a lot of boudoir and lewds and I think they are all wonderful in their own way.

Anyways, back to our discussion. One post that really surprised me was from a very talented cosplayer. She emphasized on how people criticize sexy cosplayers and mentioned that not them, but bullies and elitists are the ones ruining cosplay. I somehow agree with the statement because I have suffered from that “elitism” firsthand.

But let’s take a look at the facts before jumping to conclusions:

– A big percent of the cosplayers are females.

– Lots of characters in comics, movies, games, etc, are already over-sexualized even before becoming a cosplay.

– Although several studies have proven that sex doesn’t necessarily sells, most people still believe that sex sells more and easier than craftsmanship.

But sexing up an ad and putting it in a non sexy programme might just work? You can get a strong Von Restorff effect: of the ad “standing out like a sore thumb”. But, paradoxically that effect is consistently reduced every time the ad is shown. So here the paradox: the more you see a sexy ad, the less the effect.

(https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/sideways-view/201312/does-sex-sell)

The participants were also more likely to have a negative attitude towards the brands that used sex in their ads than those that didn’t.

(https://qz.com/1013695/a-new-study-shows-sex-doesnt-actually-sell/)

– You will rarely see a well-known, popular plus-sized cosplayer as guest in a convention or in the front cover of a magazine, with some exceptions. And this is also true when you relate it to the number of followers. If you are not sure about this, Google is a great resource to find this information. This is sometimes forcing cosplayers to jump into the trend bandwagon, even though they are not sometimes comfortable with it.

– The latest trend, which is to do a lingerie/bathing suit version of the latests cosplays, has been growing and becoming more common.

– When sometimes small groups and/or cosplayers control the events on a particular area, it doesn’t give the opportunity to new and emerging cosplayers to be featured at events, and forcing them to get attention and followers any other way.

– Male cosplayers get less exposure and features than their female counterparts, although lots of them work very hard creating more complex cosplays. Of all the males cosplayers I know, 9 out of 10, have worked on some kind of armor. On the other hand, 4 out of 10 females cosplayers I know, have worked on armor, although most of them can sew.

– Social media algorithms show similar posts more. So when you have a big number of likes on the same type of cosplays, it’s more likely that you’ll get more similar suggestions, creating a confusing loop on what’s trending.

The facts I stated above are based on weeks of observation, reading, experimenting, and research. In no way, I mean to offend, under-appreciate or belittle anyone.

In my opinion, saying that only sexy cosplayers have ruined cosplaying would be an understatement. Elitism and prioritizing are what is drawing most cosplayers, mostly females, to this competition of how to get more exposure and sometimes going the sexy way is the only way of getting people’s attention. And for cosplayers that want some words of encouragement after a big/difficult build/project is discouraging.

Think of it this way. If a student who does average to poor classwork and always get in trouble has his first good grade, he’d like to hear good things to keep up the good work even if it doesn’t earn him a big trophy and just a gold star. If no one notices it, do you think that student would want to keep trying? I see us all as that student.

A funny thing happened to me once. I wanted to help one of my followers promote his GoFundMe. His family lost everything during the last hurricane. No one read the post and I decided to use one of my pictures to get people’s attention and it worked. You can’t blame me for that. I tried to help but I found out that’s not what people wanted to see or social media didn’t want to show.

As conclusion, I want to say that it’s easy to fall into a trend. Just make sure that if you are going to do this, you are doing it because it’s your choice, not because everyone is doing it. Remember, sometimes this type of exposure also brings the predatory population with it and you need to be ready for all that comes with it. Not saying that’s ok at all, but just saying that harsh critics, inappropriate comments come with that kind exposure. Unfortunately, it is clear that the cosplay community is divided and won’t come to an agreement anytime soon. Cosplay IS for everyone, but for everyone who wants to do it for the right purpose, mind and heart. It doesn’t mean you can’t adapt your cosplays to your own liking, but make sure you are having fun and at the same time, helping this community and giving something positive in return. If you are doing this for your own benefit and popularity, and to walk over people, please don’t. The world is pretty messed up as it is and a lot of people work really hard on their skills to bring joy and help others. Make sure you give credit and support them too!

Everyone needs a Gold Star 💫!

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