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Cosplay Skills For The Real World

Cosplay offers an outlet of creativity and enjoyment for both the cosplayers themselves and those who appreciate them. But have you ever thought of what real-life skills you can develop through cosplaying?

It’s true! Believe it or not, cosplay can be a great display of educational growth, self-improvement, and might even be an asset to real life situations. If you’re a part of the cosplay community, here’s a few examples of traits and skills you’ve learned along the way that you may even consider putting on your next resume.

Networking

How many times have you gone to a convention and left having made a new friend? Or had someone comment on a part of your cosplay and, having had that part commissioned, passed along the contact information of the person who had made that part for you?

All of these little discussions that share your fandom or business opportunities can develop your skills in communication and networking. In participating in discussion with other people, you begin to grow relationships of varying degrees with these other parties and can relay back to them if you need them or want them to develop further.

Most have heard the saying “A friend of a friend of mine”, and that “friend of a friend” could turn out to be a useful person to have access to. This is part of the key to successful networking.

Catwoman
I really have no actual photos relevant to this article, so enjoy a picture of my most recent cosplay.

Project Planning/Time Management/Budgeting

While these individual skills are, in their own way, unique, I feel they tend to go hand in hand and that’s why I’ve placed them together. Consider the thought process you go through when building a new cosplay project or planning for a trip to a convention, whether it’s local or requires some traveling. It’s highly unlikely you’ll wing it and fly by the seat of your pants. There’s a lot of planning and pre-planning that goes on before you make that first cut into your materials or before you get your entry pass.

Here’s a condensed list of the items I assess when wanting to attend an event with a new cosplay project:

  • Time off work
  • Length of time between now and the event
  • Cosplay project selection
  • Materials required
  • Budget for materials, pass, spending money, food, travel expenses
  • Planning attendance with friends
  • Prioritizing areas of cosplay build
  • Maintaining active social media coverage
  • Ensuring arrangements are in place in case event may sell out
  • Monitoring event notices and scheduling
  • Planning schedules
  • Preparing for departure to event

This is a VERY brief summary of some of the planning I observe for nearly every event I attend with a new cosplay project. As you can see, it doesn’t happen overnight and requires budgeting nearly right through to the day of the event.

Willingness to Learn

With almost every cosplay project I’ve encountered, there’s been opportunities to engage in learning something new. Whether it’s a new technique, a different fabric, an alternate adhesive, or testing out the latest and greatest cosplay material. Trying to learn a new skill or to work with a new product is always an excellent demonstration of your willingness to learn. Even if the end result isn’t quite what you expected, it still offers a learning experience and you usually have a better understanding of what to do differently the next time. This demonstrates growth and improvement driven solely by your own will.

Just because you cosplay doesn’t mean that you can only find success in the theatre or by becoming “cos-famous”. Every time you cosplay, you open yourself up to learning and developing excellent skills that can be useful in a variety of ways when you’re not dressing up. You can even present these to your next job interview, if explained in the right context.

Keep growing, take all opportunities to learn a new skill, and continue making the most of your cosplaying and con-going experience.

J. Tanooki is a Contributor for AYBOnline.com. She has been a lover of cosplay for over ten years and regularly works on new and exciting cosplay projects. She actively posts about her cosplay plans, progress, and random shenanigans on her Facebook page, Twitter, and Instagram. Her opinion is her own.

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