Sunday, May 26, 2013

Cosplay Crush: Hannah Black

This will be my very first year cosplaying at Comic Con!  It took me 5 years to get up enough guts to do it.  I LOVE dressing up for Halloween and during my Every Day Cosplay series, so why NOT show the world my looks?!  Since I am a beginner I asked a PRO how she does it!  Here is Hannah!  I first saw her at Wonder Con this year and fell in LOVE with her 10th Doctor costume.  It is amazing!  I was lucky enough to come across her on Twitter and she agreed to give us a few tips and tricks!

I took this picture of Hannah
at Wonder Con this year.
Hi! I’m Hannah, and I’ve been cosplaying for about eight years—I’ve only been making my own costumes for about three of those years. I’m a go-getter and generally happy about life!

I’ve been into costumes ever since I was a kid. My mom has been working in the costuming industry for forty plus years, so I was always spoiled with amazing handmade Halloween costumes growing up. I think I discovered cosplay around 2002 by exploring costumes on the internet. Being able to treat costumes as a creative art form and wearing them year round was just so awesome to me! My first con ever was San Diego Comic-con 2006, and I’ve been hooked ever since.

Flash forward to now, I now am able to sew all my own costumes and I have my own career in costuming! Cosplay is a great hobby that is an extension of what I do professionally and allows me to meet so many people with amazing talents.

I give my mom huge credit for how immersed I am in this world. I was a teen when I started out, and she’s taught me virtually everything I know about costuming.

*I definitely make my costumes. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with buying a costume, but costume construction is half the fun for me. My only costume that is off-the-rack is my Claire Redfield—I only painted the design on the vest, and it didn’t make sense to sew the rest. As I said before, there’s nothing wrong with buying or commissioning a costume, but don’t do it because you think you lack “skill.” Some of the most creative costumes come from people who supposedly don’t know how to make costumes!

*A few tips for people starting out (some of these might seem a little elitist, but it’s the professional in me talking, haha)

Don’t compare: There is probably going to be other people cosplaying the same thing as you. If you go into a con constantly comparing who you think is better or worse than you, it’s not going to be very fun. Everyone makes costumes differently and we should celebrate creativity! Go in there with confidence, and you’ll have a blast!

Dress Shields: Might seem like a no brainer, but putting disposable dress shields in your costume will not only save it from staining,  but also keep it smelling great!

Undergarments: Many cosplayers I know don’t take the extra time/money/effort to have the appropriate undergarments for their costumes. I know it’s hard to spend a lot on what people are never going to see, but it will really give you the silhouette that you want.

Costume satin and crushed panne: I know they’re shiny and vivid, but they have a tendency to look very cheap, especially under a camera flash. Most cosplayers, myself included, work under a tight budget. However, I feel like it’s worth the extra few dollars a yard to get fabric that will look good for my garment. I put all of this hard work into it, after all! If you want to use satin, I would suggest a bridal or dull satin—much heavier weight and has the perfect shine. But hey, end of the day it’s really up to you.

Do what makes you happy: Don’t worry about what other people think. It doesn’t matter if no one knows who you’re dressed as (although that’s extremely unlikely at conventions). It doesn’t matter if you think you’re the wrong race, size, gender, etc. Cosplay is for you, and not for anyone else.

*I can’t speak for every cosplayer, but I am always open to people taking pictures. It’s completely normal at Comic-con or any other con for strangers to come up to someone in costume and ask for a photo. It’s even okay to have someone come in and take a picture with me. Most people pose with me by respectfully putting their arm on my shoulder or waist. Every once in a while, I’ll get an idiot who oversteps his bounds with the touching, but that’s a WHOLE different interview…

*I make everything, but usually eBay or Etsy are good places to start. I know if you’re into steampunk, sites like Gentlemen’s Emporium and Clockwork Couture are really awesome. Thrift stores are also great for cosplaying a variety of things—I know it’s a gold mine for Doctor Who cosplayers!

*Most of my posing is pretty basic unless there’s something specific to the character. I only really plan when I’m in a big group—the planning mostly consists of who will be standing in the back, who will be kneeling in front, which side to stand on depending on props and costume details, etc.

Hannah on Facebook:  Hanhar's Wardrobe
Hannah on Twitter:  @hlblack

Isn't Hannah AMAZING?!  I cannot wait to see what she comes up with for SDCC!  For even more inspiration check out our Every Day Cosplay!  It is great for NOOBs {myself included} to get your toes wet into cosplay.  I had a GREAT time doing so at Phoenix Comic Con!

*For even more San Diego Comic Con tips and tricks, check out our San Diego Comic Con Guide!

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