There is a new thing in Cosplay. It’s called Patreon and it’s basically a fundraising sight for Cosplayers. The hobby is not cheap. If a person discovers they have a flair for the hobby and that people like their pictures and approve of their costume creations only makes them work harder the next time to do a better costume than the one before. Every costume comes from some anime or comic book or TV show or movie so the general population KNOWS these characters in their original form. It’s hard for a cosplayer to copy that or do enough of a variation (like a female Superman vs the usual guy) that the look is ‘accepted’. Most do a good job and try very hard because they will be on display. Creativity goes a long way.
Then there is the next level. They are cosplayers who are so good at what they are good at that they can command fees at conventions and sell prints and posters to their fans as many of us who love the hobby love it because of the particular cosplayer in a particular costume. When you see it you will know and at that moment you too will want a print of that shot.
That was the old way of doing business but not the best can find patrons who throughout history have supported artists who create the art that they love. I is common in the art world and I am glad that it gives some of the more dedicated ones to get some sponsorship to continue their growth as an artist.
And make no mistake, cosplaying is an art form. It’s the combination of a costume, with a model, with an attitude that make the illusion come to life. The still picture is now living right in front of you. I personally love the process of design and production. I love seeing how something get’s from floor to stage. That is why I celebrate the very best I see out there on this blog. I honor their skills and their craft.
YES, some get sponsored just because they look insanely hot in the skimpy costumes that they wear. They have their fans and they have a place. Jessica Nigri is beautiful but not for me. Ya Ya Han is a business visionary but as a model I find her boring. Here tech skills are second to none as is her imagination and choice of materials but someone just a bit hotter needs to model her stuff. Something is take away from the illusion each time I see either of these great cosplayers. Art always comes down to personal taste I guess. I see many cosplay pictures in my day and choose only my favorites for my own posts.
Now Patreon has given these girls and boys a chance to get funding for the hobby. At their level there is a lot of cost that goes into making a great costume. Fabric, manufacturing material to build accessories, hair, make-up, travel to conventions and the cost of the conventions themselves. And 90% of the good ones don’t make any money at all and that is a shame. They devote a ton of their precious free time to do their art. Patreon lets them continue their evolution as a designer. People can pledge more or less to support an artist. In return they get prints and personal poloroids and messages. Most all of it is non-nude. I like that. Nudity is so boring next to a beautifully made piece of cosplay. Now is where my excitement comes from. The discovery. The imagination. It’s how I am hardwired at my core. I can toss a few dollars to the effort every month to support the art so I can keep enjoying my hobby, which is collecting pictures of all the great cosplay I see and feature collection of some of the best work I see. I know a lot of you think it’s just T&A but it’s controlled T&A. Less is always more but cleavage is always appreciated. It shows me that you understand that I am a MAN also and I am also hotwired to OGLE.
You don’t know how insanely difficult that it us to approach a cosplayer in a great costume at a convention. I went to my tiny little Red Deer one even though I am deathly fearful of crowds after have been isolated all those years. (It was a secret government project but perhaps I have said too much already.) so I was anxious enough on the day.
I took ONE picture with my camera because I was to scared to ask anyone in costume if I could take their picture.
I saw one Batgirl who looked at me as if to say come on over, loser and tell me why I look great as your dream girl. I will take to you for a few minutes if only to break up the monotony of my life. But I couldn’t thing of a way to make that work without my head exploding. But she did look great. Classic form the Batman animated series. Even with the Red Hair. Sigh. I love the art form but am afraid to talk to anyone in it.
For that reason my Facebook friends who cosplay are so great. I can leave comments. Tell them why their latest work is great. Don’t creep. Just be genuine and be a bit of a fanboy when the chance comes up. My favorites have ‘liked’ my comments and even answered them more times than not. They take time to connect in a small way which is perfect for me. I would like to pay that back in some small way.
I might choose to sponsor someone who I admire. Someone who does great work because she has class and high standards for whatever and wants all that she puts out to be her best stuff. She’s not afraid of perfection but knows it’s impossible and that is where her modelling and attitude come to life which inch her to her goal. Just look at this work and the kind of impact these photos make on you even if you don’t know the characters. Trust me they exist and she is always spot on point. No detail overlooked. And something when she choosing something insanely complicated, she manages to control all those element and harmonize them in the final result. She also doesn’t make money for doing that. They does it for the LOVE of anime and the characters in it. Bringing them to life is her gift and she never disappoints. I you know I just search for ways to be disappointed in things but Mangoe has yet to let me down as an artist. (damn that’s good writing)