When I saw that C2E2 had a panel called “I Have No Sewing Machine, but I Must Cosplay!” I knew I had to go. As someone who can’t sew but wants to get into cosplaying, this sounded like the perfect answer. Little did I know that one of the people on the panel is a regular at the Friends of CCI Forum! Small world right? Lindsay was nice enough to sit down and do a little interview with us about the panel and cosplaying in general. First, here’s a description of the panel from the C2E2 website:
Be it helping Internet new sites get hits or upsetting the Internet at large, Cosplay has grown in popularity over the years and you probably want in on the action by now. But not everyone can sew, so what do you newbie, WHAT DO YOU DO? Join our panelists as they throw out several vague suggestions at you at the hopes that sound good! Marvel as they point out who not to throw your money at on the Internet! Shrug as they suggest what soon-to-be irrelevant social media platform to use to show off your “work.” Laugh because you feel bad for them and their frail egos need the attention. Warning – may contain humor and a less than serious look at some aspects of the hobby.
Lindsey, aka Bettie Bloodshed, has been cosplaying for six years. She spends her time traveling between Washington DC and San Diego. When she’s not in costume, she’s working to save the taxpayers money. You can follow her on Tumblr or “Like” her on Facebook!
Lindsay: I really got into cosplay in earnest about five years ago. While I had always done ‘cosplay type’ things for halloween, when I moved to Washington DC and had cons to go to (there are very few in Arkansas, where I went to college), I fell into a group of friends who cosplayed. I’ve been doing it ever since.
WNA: What made you and your team come up with this panel idea? I personally think it’s a great one!
Lindsay: It was my friend Chris’s idea, really. But as someone who strongly believes that everyone starts from somewhere, and that there is no shame in buying/commissioning costumes, I thought it was something that definitely needed to be addressed. I know of so many sites out there that scam people.
WNA: Can you tell me a little more about the other panelists?
Lindsay: Chris is a friend of mine that I met at C2E2 last year. Since then we’ve hung out at a lot of cons together. His wife helps make his costumes, and he does a lot of commissioning himself. Great guy. Meryle is active in the Chicago cosplay community, and runs her own costume-commission business.
WNA: I think cosplay can be a little intimidating for people. Do you have any advice for someone who wants to get into it?
Lindsay: Honestly? Just start with one costume that you feel passionately about. Simple is probably better, at the start–especially if you are going to attempt to make it yourself. I can speak from personal experience that if you think you can just jump into the deep end, you might drown. I tried making a resin Iron Man armor…and I had to give up after a year. However, don’t be afraid to ask for help, or pay for commission. It’s all about knowing your comfort level–both from a costuming standpoint, and a price-point standpoint.
WNA: I’m attempting to get into cosplay myself, what are some tips you can offer for during a Con or event?
Lindsay: Again, try to pick a costume/character you really love. Also be aware of how taxing it might be on your body–especially for females. One of my costumes…once I’m in it, there is *no* removing it until the end of the day. I don’t use the restroom, and I *might* have a couple glasses of water and a balance bar during the day. It’s incredibly difficult on my body, and I’m usually exhausted by the end of the day. That being said, there are other costumes that are super easy to wear, as well. It all depends. Just consider that, when you go into it.
WNA: If someone is looking for a photographer, where should they start?
Lindsay: Cosplay.com usually has people offering their photography skills. Just look at the “convention” section, for your particular convention. Facebook is also pretty helpful….or just ask fellow cosplayers/friends. Also, don’t be afraid to go up to someone during a con who takes a picture of you, and ask if they can take a few more, if you think they might be a good job. The worst they can say is no.
WNA: What are some of your secrets when it comes to easy fixes or finding simple items to complete a look?
Lindsay: I’m really big on wigs. I can’t tell you how many cosplays I’ve seen that are *lovely* but are ruined by a bad wig, or a wig that allows the wearers natural hair to show. A wig cap is almost always essential. Make up, as well. There are so many tutorials online on how to do makeup well, and I almost *always* do a test run prior to con so I’m not scrambling to figure out a particular makeup look the day of.
WNA: What are your “go to” websites or resources for cosplay needs?
Lindsay: Honestly, the only site that I use consistently is http://www.fifimahonys.com/ for my wigs. They do amazing work. Otherwise I’m usually all over the place getting supplies.
WNA: Lately there’s been a lot of talk about the treatment of cosplayers at conventions and events. Have you personally ever dealt with harassment at a con? Any advice on how to handle it?
Lindsay: I’ve actually had some minor experiences with this. I usually try to either ignore the person, or politely tell them I’m not interested. I am lucky, and have never had any serious problems with it. I am glad that it is coming to light, though. As to how to deal with it–honestly? Try and be as firm, friendly, and honest as possible, at first. Some people just don’t have the best social skills, and might not actually know they are making you uncomfortable. If the first ‘no’ doesn’t work, though, or they are being openly and blatantly offensive–I suggest removing yourself from the situation as best as possible, and find someone official (security, con official, etc) and report them.
WNA: Who are some of your favorite cosplayers?
Lindsay: Am I allowed to say my best friend? LOL. I don’t really ‘look up’ to any one cosplayer–I am mainly the biggest fan of my direct friends.
WNA: Do you have any plans to hold a panel like this at other conventions?
Lindsay: I’m hoping to hold a panel like this at NYCC. I have other panels planned for other conventions, though, but mostly on fan subjects, and not cosplay itself.
I want to thank Lindsay again for taking the time to answer these questions. If you’re attending C2E2 be sure to check out “I Have No Sewing Machine, but I Must Cosplay” on Saturday at 2:45 pm – 3:45 pm in Room W473.