This week's Messenger column is all about Cosplay.
A couple of weeks’ ago I attended one of Creative Moreton’s 8 x 8 Talks and discovered Cosplay. I have to admit I was a little underwhelmed initially but by the end of the talk I was fascinated. What appealed to me was the idea that Participants can display their talents as an Artist or Craftsperson in a practical way. The speaker that night was Jessica Briscoe. We had a chat about Cosplay and how interested people might get involved.
Exactly what is Cosplay? Cosplay is a multidisciplinary art form from Japan, where people recreate the costumes of their favourite anime, manga, movie or game characters, and then act in character in a public setting. Cosplay is short for ‘costume-play’.
Does it appeal to a certain age group? Cosplay appeals mostly to the 13-25 age group, because it’s a great way to express yourself. I’ve met parents and grandparents who cosplay.
Where does your inspiration come for your costumes and/or characters? I notice that most people tend to cosplay characters with similar personalities to them. When I’m reading a manga, and I see a character that makes me think, ‘I can see where they’re coming from,’. I also cosplay in a group, so some of my characters are picked because they fit in with what others are cosplaying.
What steps are involved in designing and making your costumes? Firstly I get reference images for my costume from manga, then modify a pattern and pick fabrics, then begin to sew and craft the accessories. The last thing I do is trim and style the wig, and the costume’s done!
Have you always been interested in designing and or sewing? Ever since I was little, I’ve been sewing and designing costumes. There’s just something freeing about wearing your own work, and being able to say “Look at what I made! Look how much better I’m getting!”
Have you needed to learn new skills? I’ve had to improve my sewing skills, and pick up some new ones along the way. I’m now competent in metalwork, leatherwork and wood carving.
How does somebody become involved in cosplay? There’s no real formal cosplaying groups in Brisbane, but there are occasionally informal meet-ups organized through Facebook and such. People interested in cosplay can email me at thecosplaybrigade.gmail.com, and look at our Facebook sites
http://facebook.dj/iheartcosplaybrisbane/ and http://artist.to/thecosplaybrigade/