Greetings, everyone! I’m Shayla, and I’m here with a brand-spankin’-new monthly article for all you Sharkies who want some insight and guidance through the world of cosplay. I’ll be here every month to dish out all sorts of cosplay related goodies including:

  • So You Want To Cosplay?: Tips and tricks to getting yourself grounded in making your own costumes.
  • Cosplay Creations: Guides tailored to specific costumes and props.
  • Cosplay Commentary: Editorials on hot-button topics.
  • Cosplay Spotlight: Showcases and interviews with cosplayers of all calibers.

Now where do we begin? For those who may have stumbled here out of sheer curiosity, I guess I should start from the ground up.

What is cosplay? 



Cosplay or costume play is a type of performance art in which participants wear costumes and accessories intended to represent a specific character or idea from a work of fiction (most often seen from video games and anime). 



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A group of Naruto cosplayers

Cosplay outfits can be found in all ranges of complexity. From something as complex as The Queen of Blades version of Sarah Kerrigan (StarCraft) or Alyx Vance (Half-Life 2) and all things in between.

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Sarah Kerrigan

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Alyx Vance (left)

Cosplay is common to see around conventions where folks come from all over the world to show off their hard work. Most conventions have Cosplay Contests and  people can enter to win from a handful of categories including Best Costume and Best Skit.

What’s the purpose?



  • The first, and the simplest, reason for cosplay is to express your love of a character. Most of the cosplays I’ve done personally were first fueled by my adoration for the character.
  • The second is for the enjoyment the attention that cosplaying brings.  I’m not saying cosplay is a giant cry for attention, of course not, I’m pointing out the fact that there’s a fun and honestly heart warming feeling to having people stop you and ask you about your costume or finding others who are dressed as the same character / from the same series.
  • The third is the creative process for those who make their own costumes, and the sense of personal achievement (also known as the “HELL YEAH” factor) knowing you’ve completed it. Be it a simple or complex costume, there’s a feeling that I can’t even really describe once you’ve completed all parts and you get to stand in front of the mirror to take a look at your final product.

What can I cosplay?

Anything your little heart desires! I’ve seen it all! Characters from books, movies, tv shows, games and comics are all staples to the cosplay niche. Creative minds even manage to make original costumes based on characters who aren’t even humans- such as GlaDOS (Portal) or the characters from My Little Pony. Anything is game, trust me!

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Humanoid GlaDOS

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Humanoid My Little Pony characters

There you have it!

You’ve now taken your first baby step into the wacky world of cosplay. Be sure to check back monthly as I attempt to be your cosplay sensei. I’ve done my fair share of cosplay, but I’m still no all-knowing expert, by far. Even so, I’ll take your hand (maybe caress it a little) and guide you through all the trials and errors in all my tutorials and give you a piece of my mind on all sorts of cosplay topics.

Happy cosplaying! Next month: Your Sewing Essentials and How To Measure Yourself. 

For any questions about this column or requests on tips/topics you’d like to see, you can contact me at shaylarae.h@gmail.com or via my professional Facebook page or my Twitter