What Motivates People to Want to Become a Costume Club Leader?

The world’s largest #CostumeClub is currently holding its annual elections for leadership positions, both club-wide and for local chapters. While the requirements for who can run for the various leadership positions are clearly spelled out in the club’s written charter, the requirements don’t represent the reasons why members of a costume club may choose to run for a leadership position.

From what we have observed in several different costume clubs, the reasons why people choose to run often fall into one of the following categories:
  • Some candidates choose to run because they feel that they have been slighted by their opponent or by other members of the club’s leadership. In this scenario, the individual often has a personal vendetta and may be seeking to gain a leadership position in order to exact some kind of revenge. Is this the kind of person who should be elected? We’ve seen this happen and it often leads to more problems down the road for everyone.
  • Some candidates choose to run to stroke their own egos. These individuals want to be in the spotlight and have others tell them how great they are. They’re running because they want to be something, not because they want to get something positive accomplished. They want a title and they want people to be impressed by that title. The worst examples of this are individuals whose egos are so large that they truly believe that they know better than everyone else and want to impose their will on others. Is electing such a narcissistic person a good idea? We’ve seen it done and the results weren’t good.
  • Some candidates choose to run because other costume club members have talked them into running. But, here’s the catch: often, the members who convince someone to run may be seeking to pull strings from behind the scenes. Those that talk others into running for a leadership position may not want to be in the spotlight themselves, or they may know that they couldn’t win if they ran on their own. By finding someone else to run not only gives them an opportunity to influence or control decisions from behind the scenes, it protects them from taking the blame if other club members later decide that they don’t like who they elected. In fact, it’s entirely possible (and we have observed this actually happen) that those who got the person to run will deliberately start to complain if that person doesn’t do what they want him/her to do in order to sabotage their ability to run again. In other words, the winning candidate becomes their patsy. Alway be wary of who is trying to get someone else to run for a leadership position.
  • Some candidates choose to run because they genuinely want to make a positive difference. When someone like this is found, it can lead to some truly positive changes for everyone; but as John Lydgate’s saying goes: “You can please some of the people all of the time, you can please all of the people some of the time, but you can’t please all of the people all of the time.”[1] Over time, anyone in the club that is seeking to cause drama may eventually damage this winning candidate’s reputation and the longer that someone holds a leadership position, the greater the likelihood that this situation can occur. Our advice to anyone wanting to run for office in a costume club is not to hold the office for too long a time: know when it’s time to let someone else lead.
Care must taken in deciding who should be in costume club leadership positions. Electing or appointing the wrong person could have detrimental effects on members’ interest to participate in club events. We’ve seen it happen. People join costume clubs to have fun, not to satisfy someone’s need for revenge, to boost someone’s ego or to be manipulated by secretive backseat drivers that want to remain anonymous.
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Cosplayer Explains First-Hand Account of Recent “Cosplay Is Not Consent” Incident

#CosplayIsNotConsent: #cosplayer #AlchemicFox (check out her #YouTube channel) has published a first-hand account of how she was #groped & #punched while attending an anime con in a #Naruto #costume by a female cosplayer:

 

If you are ever inappropriately touched or attacked at a convention, report the incident immediately to the nearest convention staff, security guard or police officer.

Cosplay is never consent.

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For further reading, we have posted on this topic before:

 

DIY: Making a Bionic Arm from EVA Foam

While we have previously shared David Guyton’s video tutorial on how to make a bionic arm from metal, he has just released a brand new tutorial on making one out of EVA foam!

While EVA foam is far less durable a material than metal, it has several distinct advantages over metal:

  • Some conventions have banned the wearing of metal armor. If you’re planning to attend such a convention in an armored costume, it will have to be made out of some other material, such as plastic or EVA foam.
  • EVA foam is much lighter than metal making it easier to wear.
  • While metal is a rather rigid material, EVA foam is far more flexible, which also makes EVA foam easier to wear.
  • Since EVA foam is a soft material as compared with metal, it’s much easier to work with than metal.
  • The tools & materials are less costly & easier to obtain for working with EVA foam as opposed to metal.
  • The skills required to work with EVA foam are easier to learn than the skills needed for working with metal.
  • Unlike metal edges that need to be sanded so that they won’t accidentally cut into skin, you needn’t worry about EVA foam edges being a potential safety hazard.
  • Unlike metal that can rust, EVA foam can’t rust.
  • You’re far less likely to disturb neighbors working with EVA foam because you don’t have to hammer it as you would need to do with metal.

The biggest disadvantages with EVA foam as compared with metal are as follows:

  • EVA foam is not as durable as metal (as previously mentioned), meaning it has a much higher chance of being damaged while being worn or stored.
  • Greater care must be used for storing EVA foam armor than with metal to ensure that it keeps its intended shape.
  • EVA foam armor is going to be much thicker than a metal equivalent, so additional allowances have to be made.
  • Replicating a metallic shine with painted EVA foam will probably never be as shiny as actual metal.

If you haven’t worked with EVA foam before, we recommend reading Working with EVA Foam for Beginners.

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DIY Cosplay Boots & Footwear

Many #costumes & #cosplays (especially superhero & super-villain characters) require #boots. If you are wearing shoes or something else that doesn’t look like the the correct boots, it could severely detract from the appearance of your #cosplay or #costume, or make it appear incomplete. Obviously, you don’t want that to happen, but there are several common issues associated with boots:

  • Boots are typically expensive, i.e., they typically cost more than a pair of shoes. Boots can cost several hundred dollars for a single pair.
  • Boot manufacturers typically don’t make boots that resemble those that specific science fiction, fantasy, superhero or super-villain characters wear. This is especially true if the boots are brightly colored or have patterns or designs on them.
  • Boots (and shoes) aren’t easy to make from scratch. Specialized tools, equipment and skills are generally required.

The least expensive and least complicated method that #costumers & #cosplayers have found for having the right boots for a specific character is to transform an existing pair of footwear into the right kind of boots. This is typically done by covering the existing pair of footwear and extending the covers up the legs to the height needed for the boots. The result will look like you’re wearing a pair of boots!

The advantage with making your own boot covers is that you can essentially transform any footwear into what you need for a given costume. If you don’t have shoes (or boots) that are similar enough to the foot portion of the boots that you need, you can probably find used shoes (or boots) that you can cover that won’t cost anywhere near as much as a new pair would.

First, here’s a video tutorial by Destiny Italia showing one technique of wrapping your leg and footwear with fabric as you transform the fabric into boot covers:

Cosplayer OneEmily’s Cosplay also has an interesting tutorial that shows how to make removable boot covers so that you can continue to wear the shoes separately and not as part of a costume of cosplay:

If you need to make a pair of superhero/super-villain boots, cosplayer Scott Bayles has one of the best tutorials on how to transform a pair of shoes into superhero/super-villain boots:

We wish you the best of luck with your cosplay boots!

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Several Glove Making Tutorials

Last September we posted a tutorial showing one simple way to make #gloves. We wanted to share several more tutorials that various #cosplayers have shared on #YouTube to help you decide what might be the best way for you to make gloves.

These tutorials are similar, but vary in whether the gloves are fingerless or not, glove length along the arm, materials used and methods used. In each tutorial, stretch fabric (usually 4-way stretch fabrics) are used.

First, we have this simple fingerless glove design using stretch fabric as posted by Adonis Cosplay in 2016:

Miso Cosplay shared this quick and easy tutorial in 2015 to make gloves that involves separate tracing paper, as well as pointing out that it’s a good idea to trim on the inside after sewing on the tips of the fingers and in the groves between fingers so that the gloves fit well:

You can also makes gloves from sleeves of an existing shirt or top. Bob Bee shows such a method using an old sweatshirt top. The advantage with this is that you essentially have pre-cuffs that you won’t have to remake, which can be a time-saver:

This is a more elaborate glove making tutorial that creates elbow-length gloves. It was made by Sanzu Fabrications in 2017 and includes a segment on dying the fabric after the gloves have been sewn:

Our last glove tutorial was made by Daniel Siebert. He uses 2 different colors of fabrics so that he has gloves that are blue on one side and white on the other side. The method he used included using tear-away paper for tracing the pattern:

We hope that you found these tutorials useful. If you know of a different way to make gloves, we’d love to hear how you made them.

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What is Fursuiting?

Of the various forms of #costuming & #cosplay, one of the forms that has a very vibrant & creative community are the #furries. Furries (or #fursuiters) are people who dress up as anthropomorphic animal characters, usually ones that they have created themselves and that may be a combination of 2 or more types of animals put together. The characters may appear like very realistic animals, but they are often very colorful and cartoonish in appearance, which makes sense because many fursuiters take inspiration from anthropomorphic animal characters from cartoons and animes.

Furries typically congregate at furry-themed conventions, though some may attend more generalized comic or anime conventions. They also have their groups and clubs where they like to get together. Their main method of communication is the Internet, with sites like Fur Affinity and many others.

Unfortunately, some cosplayers & costumers who aren’t furries don’t have positive opinions of furries; but in our opinion, these views are not justified because furries are technically no different from any other cosplayers & costumers: they design, create and wear costumes for both having fun and for charity work.

The biggest differences between furries and other costumes & cosplayers is that furries tend to emphasize the design of their own characters (as well as what furries call a “fursona”, which is the furry equivalent to a persona), while most costumers and cosplayers typically wear a costume that represents an existing character from a specific sci-fi, fantasy, superhero/super-villain, etc., franchise (or is a custom costume based on existing characters). Also, the vast majority of costumes worn by non-furry costumers & cosplayers aren’t based on a furry character. Exceptions include (but are not limited to) Chewbacca (from Star Wars), wampas (also from Star Wars), Rocket Raccoon (from Guardians of the Galaxy), etc. All of these mentioned characters are anthropomorphic characters.

If costumers & cosplayers (who don’t consider themselves to be furries) can wear furry-based costumes, so can furries. Thus, furries are just as much a part of the overall costuming & cosplay community as any other costumers & cosplayers and should always be treated as such.

If you want to know more about furries, we highly recommend viewing this student-made documentary about furries that was created for a film class in 2016. Check out the reasons that many people become furries and you’ll hear reasons that are essentially identical to why people become non-furry cosplayers & costumers.

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Fursuiter Acquitted of Abusing Boy at “Furry Parties”; 1 Plead Guilty; Others Awaiting Trial

On Friday, a PA #fursuiter who was arrested last year after being accused of abusing a 9 year-old boy has been acquitted of all charges. Prosecutors had alleged that the boy had been abused at furry parties that occurred 2009. The fursuiter who was acquitted (Kenneth Fenske, a.k.a., LupineFox), had been accused of abusing the boy while dressed in a red fox costume. However, Mr. Fenske had not obtained the fox costume until 2015, 6 years after the alleged abuse had occurred.

There were reportedly other inconsistencies with the boy’s (now 16 years old) testimony. Mr. Fenske maintained his innocence from time that he had been arrested.

This isn’t the end of the story though: one of the other people (a furry) arrested last year (David Parker, a.k.a., RebelWolf) plead guilty in federal court to one count of child sex trafficking last summer while several others are awaiting trial.

Fursuiter Sonious (RooView on YouTube) discusses the situation in a recently posted video:

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