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06 Dec 2009 - 01:0923444
Before I get jumped on for playing devils advocate. Its not my intention go against the grain and to create an arguement, but I also know i'm not alone in my opinion.

I'm not saying every website is a vanity exercise. But for a start the portfolio excuse is a bit a weak, there are many available established formats already to profile cosplayers work (Coscom,CosIslad,Cure,Deviantart etc). Surely this renders the need for another place to put your photos unessecary?

If a games developer or organisation is going to look for someone to model/cosplay from their product etc chances are thats the first place where they will look, rather than search google for personal websites. I'm speaking from personal experience and of those of my friends.

Now personal websites that also offer tutorials, advice, sources are a great idea and I see no issue there at all, in fact I was poking around some RE:5 cosplayers blog just the other day. But in my experience most I have visited tend to be little more than a photo gallery with a blog attached which is a shame.

If really want to get noticed and feel every base must be covered then more power to you. But I feel the machinery is already there.



Last edited by Leadmill (06 Dec 2009 - 01:24)
06 Dec 2009 - 11:5623451
That's like telling a clothing retailer they shouldn't have a website because ebay is already availble to them, so opening their own store is just silly.

It's not silly, having your own website means you can dictate exactly how everything is laid out and use it to show off what you want in an arrangement you think shows you off best. Cosplay Island is good, but it is designed as a social networking site, and the way the profiles work reflect that. You can't change the arrangement of the costumes, add information on commissions or use banner images that give a feel for the things you do.

Having your costume portfolio on another site just looks unproffessional. I keep a cosplay island account because you are right that people are more likely to find you that way. But I wouldn't put it on my business cards that I give to people at events. Having a really long URL on a business card just looks sloppy, and if the site you have all your details on goes down then you're screwed. If they close down completely then all of the cards you gave out are then worthless. At least if my own site goes down I can shout at my hosting company and get it fixed or even just move hosts.

-Tab


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06 Dec 2009 - 12:5723452
I think the thread is off topic now but the way I see it is having a website for selling items related to cosplay or the hobby in general including commissions is different, thats understandable as youre providing a service that you need full control over.

Making a website about your own cosplay and nothing else seems a little redundant if youre already using numerous website hosts that are specifically there to connect with the community, where else are you going to get the best feedback?

Apart from understanding the need to have full control over how your cosplay profile and photos are presented, I rarely find cosplayers personal websites updated as much as their profiles say on here for example, some are just too difficult to navigate or half the items on the page end up not loading because of the amount of fancy buttons. I want to see photos instead of reading someones cosplay CV.

As for the idea of cosplay guests, I think it's this term thats used that automatically generates the drama and makes people think the cosplayer is going to be a prima donna. I don't mind if their giving something back to the community in a form of a panel or tutorial's, I'd rather see that a lot more than to turn up and watch a cosplayer's specific performance.


06 Dec 2009 - 17:3423462
I don't see the need to own your own website for something like that. And I personally think that having your own website depends entirely on what you do with it.

Silver, I know for a fact that you don't just use your's to show off your own cosplays. In fact, most of the ones I've seen aren't JUST for that purpose, they just have it built in as a main part of it.

I also know just how hard the Koei team work so I was certainly never suggesting that it was just a lucky break! I personally have no idea how most of this comes about LOL

On a bit of a side note, I love panels! I love both watching and taking part in them! I did my first full panel with Leadmill at Fuyucon just gone and we've got another being sorted at the moment and I think they're some of the best ways of sharing information and for getting newer people involved. I'm hoping to see these used more and more as time goes on as they seem to be gaining in popularity!


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06 Dec 2009 - 21:4323483
i'm not buying the "no need" line. anyone who puts time and effort into making costumes is probably going to want to have personal space to showcase it eventually. just like most of the people who make daleks end up having personal space, or people who make other things. it's nowhere near a vanity excercise, it's a simple need for an artist to express their work in their own fashion.

infact, at university, we were told specifically to create our own websites to display our artwork regardless of it's intent, purely because you never know where your work will take you, and being able to show your OWN site to a prospective employer is far better than saying to them "yeah, check me out on DA/CC/CI/etc."

end of the day, mass user sites are HIGHLY unprofessional in the eyes of potential employers. maybe that's why we don't see so many UK cosplayers being employed to guest at overseas conventions?


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06 Dec 2009 - 22:3623490
It's a matter of personal opinion really isn't it? It's different if you plan on branching into something like professionalism, because in that case you're displaying it for a business purpose and it was already mentioned that websites for business purposes are very different than those used purely as online galleries.


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07 Dec 2009 - 00:1623492
Before I knew the existence of this site, I used to have a website. The site is no longer there, one day I'll put it back up .

I did get approached by a TV programme though it, so from personal experience, websites do get looked at


07 Dec 2009 - 03:4823497
Quote sjbonnar:
It's a matter of personal opinion really isn't it? It's different if you plan on branching into something like professionalism, because in that case you're displaying it for a business purpose and it was already mentioned that websites for business purposes are very different than those used purely as online galleries.


i have no interest in cosplay as a "buisness", but i'm working on setting my own webspace up.

it's just visibility. sure, if you don't want to attract potential oppourtunities, it's not worth it. but i wouldn't say no if someone asked me to go and talk at a con. for free. possibly even get paid for it. a personal website raises the chance of that occuring, which is the topic of this thread.


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07 Dec 2009 - 07:2923504
Emily, Thank you. That dose mean alot. I've been considering seriously about giving a panel. Maybe on stunt work/acting or on the differences between sci-fi and anime events. I might be able to do a panel about working professionally for a theatre in costume. I did work as part of the 'The English National Ballet' which might intrige peeps. I'll have a look at that.

Re, websites. I've only considered setting one up as a way to offer tips or showcase my costumes when I was doing commission work. As I'm now leaning towards more becoming a freelance artist my website layout will change. I think a website is a great idea if you do have something to offer. Like tuturials or a business. I don't think is nessercary works as well if its just to showcase cosplay.

I've seen a far few cosplay only websites that were set up just to showcase cosplays. At first I thought they looked great but soon lost interest when I found there wasn't much to them.

I think if you are seriously looking at setting up a site that dedicated to your cosplay then it must have a little more to keep the viewer wanting to come back to it IMO.


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07 Dec 2009 - 12:1623524
Quote xaerael:
Quote sjbonnar:
It's a matter of personal opinion really isn't it? It's different if you plan on branching into something like professionalism, because in that case you're displaying it for a business purpose and it was already mentioned that websites for business purposes are very different than those used purely as online galleries.


i have no interest in cosplay as a "buisness", but i'm working on setting my own webspace up.

it's just visibility. sure, if you don't want to attract potential oppourtunities, it's not worth it. but i wouldn't say no if someone asked me to go and talk at a con. for free. possibly even get paid for it. a personal website raises the chance of that occuring, which is the topic of this thread.


Of course not. But then, I know a few people who have been asked to give panels at conventions who have not needed their own website to do this.

I've gotta agree with Sephirayne which is what I said earlier, I think if you're going to have such a website, you'll need to have something to have people coming back to it rather than it just being a gallery of sorts which is why I mentioned Silver's as she put a lot of work into other stuff as well if I remember correctly!


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07 Dec 2009 - 12:5123527
I'm gonna de-rail the topic slightly. While at Uni I was actively encouraged to set up a professional "web presence" which included certain information about yourself, projects and a resume because in some fast moving industries (I'm thinking film/tv here but it does apply to others aswell) that involve short meetings with potential employers or customers it is better to seem 'professional' and have something you can stick on a buisness card that shows who you are on that level is what these websites seem to be made for.

As I don't think I would ever put my CI/dA on a buisness card, as these networking sites are for me to see my friends work. Rather than selling myself.


07 Dec 2009 - 18:5123540
It does seem some people are starting to grab the wrong end of the stick...


08 Dec 2009 - 00:2823552
I think a lot of good points have been made, both for and against.

However, I think some people in this thread almost seem to be apologising for making a website primarily to show off their costumes?

Surely the point of cosplay IS showing off? If you've worked hard on a costume and taken nice pictures, I don't see why you should be embarrassed to want to make a website in your own design, where you can display the photos and info the way you want to?

Websites like Cosplay.com are good to a certain extent, but there isn't a lot of scope to put extra info or a tutorial to show how you made the costume. Some also have a limit of how many photos you can put up, and you can't put up media info, like if you were featured in a magazine or website etc.

It's also true that some companies don't know about sites like Cosplay Island. I got contacted several times because of the Grand Cosplay Ball site.

However, I agree with Emma and Sean that sites which have tutorials/articles etc. are going to become more popular. Part of the reason Giorgia's website is popular is because she puts up a lot of convention reports, there is a library of cosplays from around the world, and a forum which a lot of Italian cosplayers use.


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Last edited by Orihime (08 Dec 2009 - 00:41)
08 Dec 2009 - 00:3523553
Quote sjbonnar:
Of course not. But then, I know a few people who have been asked to give panels at conventions who have not needed their own website to do this.


Um yes, but there's a massive difference between giving a panel at a convention and being invited as an all-expenses paid guest. A lot of people get asked to do panels because they know the people who run the convention, or people have seen their costume and like it.

But Emma initially brought up the subject about UK cosplayers being invited as a guest to other countries. Outside the UK most British cosplayers are not particularly well known, so the easiest way for them to find out about you would be to look at your website.


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08 Dec 2009 - 12:4623558
I know, but we did move on to a bit of a discussion about talking at panels as well.


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08 Dec 2009 - 12:5323559
Quote Orihime:

It's also true that some companies don't know about sites like Cosplay Island. I got contacted several times because of the Grand Cosplay Ball site.

However, I agree with Emma and Sean that sites which have tutorials/articles etc. are going to become more popular. Part of the reason Giorgia's website is popular is because she puts up a lot of convention reports, there is a library of cosplays from around the world, and a forum which a lot of Italian cosplayers use.


Now see, Giorgia's site is a perfect example of websites which I love! I think that websites should be giving something back as well and I love the idea of that!

And the Grand Cosplay Ball site is actually really good. It's for an event and provides a lot of information as well as a good forum.

Can I say as a side note that I'm actually very pleased with this thread. This is clearly something which lots of people disagree on but the conversation has been pretty much all civil and it makes me proud to moderate this community ^_^


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08 Dec 2009 - 17:4923581
There has seemed to be a major backlash against any sort of popularity lately, an amusing anecdote I read the other day was "it's not a community until one group calls another one elitist" XD

Fame is subjective, maybe it's not the right word to use for notoriety within a community but eh, semantics. Some people are major "real" celebrities just because they exist, at least all well-known cosplayers are known for actually having created something.. Sure outside of our communities they may be unknown but.. we're not outside of our community so who cares? You wouldn't not-invite a professor to a lecture in their chosen field because joe average on the street doesn't know their name or their face isn't on enough trashy weekly magazines.

Cosplaying *is* an art form to me, a subjective, derivative one certainly, and I'm not about to put it on a pedestal - art can be for fun and a hobby too. That's the way I prefer it to be, there just seems to be a real "it's for FUN so NO ENJOYING IT OR TALKING ABOUT IT" vibe lately.. Bah, says I. I enjoy it, I enjoy others enjoying it.


Anyways, vaguely approaching the current topic.

I would like to see more panels from good cosplayers, I'm pretty sure most cons overseas would too - but volunteering is different to inviting, the latter being a much bigger burden on a probably already overworked convention committee, and probably budget too.. It's true that if the cosplayer in question hasn't got a sizable presence online they're probably not going to be found by a foreign con, short of producing something jaw-droppingly amazing that half the world picks up on XD and even then it's going to need showcasing somewhere.

There's also nothing wrong with a website that just shows off costumes. I don't see any reason for every website to be one you have to come back to - the content is purely the work you put into the costumes. Though progress shots, journals, how-tos, all that stuff would make a site much more special and likely to gain the good kind of attention..


On the original topic.. It can happen, I've been invited to the US before to talk about AMVs purely because of some I've put up and I was easy to find online, but even that was a result of chance and talking to lots of people in the process. Our cosplay community is really tight-knit here so not many people feel the need to have a website because generally the people we care about seeing our work already will do XD No matter how some will always say it's about getting attention, to a lot of people it really isn't.. My costumes generally involve hiding my face, and are always of something I have a love for, even if no one else ever recognises it! I have a website but they don't go on it - I just like making tributes.

I'd like to see some nice showcasing to give some costumes the attention they deserve, but I'm happy that we don't all feel we have to.


..

I'm pretty sure I had a point somewhere.

Hey look, a penguin! *runsforit*


08 Dec 2009 - 22:2223603
that was nicely said nert


14 Dec 2009 - 23:2223807
yes, good points nert

In answer to the first question I believe the best of UK cosplay is as good as anyone else’s cosplay. Really, in a few years the UK has come a hell of a long way from those first efforts. I get to watch you guys quite a lot – no, I’m not peeping in the changing room… really, some people’s mind! - and the best is fantastic.

Everyone does cosplay for the same reason- they love something enough to put time, effort and bit of money into emulating it. The only thing the USA\ Japan beat us on is that they tend to cosplay the newer characters before we’ve even seen them, beyond that it’s a level playing field.

Is there a difference between an amateur cosplayer and a pro\ celebrity cosplay? The pro\ celebrity cosplayers tend to create half a dozen costumes a year and abide by the code of making everything (humanly possible) themselves- buying off the shelf is a real anathema to them. They will spend a huge amount of time getting the poses\ walking\ fighting perfect. When you watch them they ARE the charcater. If they share one common trait it’s that they are all accomplished seamstresses. Having said that plenty of amateur cosplayers do no less. So, where lies the difference? There is none. No, really, taken in isolation you guys are all the same.

We gave certain cosplayers a label (celebrity), they didn’t bestow it on themselves. And having giving them a social status this has opened a door to travel as a guest at other Cons. So who would be dumb enough to turn that opportunity down? I personally believe that most see themselves as "big sister": ask one how to make something and rather than go "OMG it's a trade secret", they'll share the knowledge freely.

Having met a few celebs, I've never met one who wasn’t either a student (studying to become something) or trying to hold down a job as well. And they all love cosplay and anime and manga- no different from you or me. Quite often I'd see them breaking off to go and look at someone else’s cosplay because they enjoy looking at someone else’s hard work. I’d like to say they were bitches, but actually they were all very, very nice. And yes, they are all very pretty, but that isn't their fault, the characters are pretty to begin with and when you seek to copy something closely it helps if you are already in the dress size ballpark. Let's face it, cosplaying as a competition is 100% visual and the closer you are to the original form the better. Now if you want to talk about why the original characters are thin, have big boobies or wear skimpy outfits to begin with...

The pro\ celebrity websites are typically used to fund the making of cosplay, because as we know it’s a mighty expensive hobby to indulge oneself in. I don’t think you’ll find many, if any, who actually make a living from it. At best it covers the material costs.

You can all be “celebrity” cosplayers, nothing is stopping you, just win a few national competitions with your hard work and get noticed or published ^_-

Otaku are the elitists, cosplayers are the heart.


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Last edited by CPU (14 Dec 2009 - 23:33)
16 Dec 2009 - 21:5223884
Nice posts Nert and CPU.

I have to admitt the more I think about it the more I'm happy just to see fellow cosplayers have a great time showing costumes that they love.

I do find the 'celebraty' cosplay term a bit off putting. I have seen first hand the result of some of the fans of 'celebraty' cosplayers and quite frankly I did find it quite off putting.

Yes, following on from my original post I would love to see some UK cosplayers in other conutries do panels/showcases whatnot. But I don't think its an absolute. Not as 'celebraties' more as fellow cosplayers sharing they're love for the hobby.

Thanks everyone for posting some really great posts and keeping the thread intriging. You all have some great insights there.

I <3 you all.


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