Thursday, July 21, 2011

Cosplay Events in Ireland

As I said since way back in 2006 more anime and comic conventions have been popping up. Back in 2006 there was only Tomodaichi an anime and manga convention in Co. Derry, ok that is more UK but still can travel there by car or what not. :p Unfortunately Tomodaichi is gone now and then in Dublin there was only Eirtakon, now we are spoiled for choice!

I will go through conventions where you would find and meet cosplayers through out the year.


This is held in January and runs from the 20th to the 22nd of January. It is on in Galway University. It is a new convention which only started last year. It has many exciting cosplay at it and ran a proper Japanese maid and butler cafe. It should be great next year.




Q-con is not only an anime convention but also is a gamer and sci-fi convention held in Queens University Belfast. Q-con runs the biggest cosplay events in Northern Ireland and attracts lots of cosplayers especially video game cosplayers. It runs in June 24th to the 26th.



This is a brand new convention which only started running this year. It is a broad convention which rages from anime, manga, comics, gaming, sci-fi, music and films. It is ran by some of the people who run a geek website called the arcade. It is great for cosplay as you see all types of cosplay from anime, movies and comics. They have great events like the cosplay masquerade and skits, the same with Q-con and have a night time cosplay event being the Masquerade Ball.



This is held in Limerick University and is a gaming and anime convention. They started running last year and were successful with a good few cosplayers attending. They had a cosplay competition and skits. They also were the first Irish convention to have a professional cosplay model guest being Francesca Dani which was an honour.



This is a specialised anime and manga convention like Akumacon. It only started running last year and was a success. There were lots of fantastic cosplayers at it, so this year will be very interesting! They have many events like the cosplay masquerade, skits, maid and butler cafe, cosplay speed dating and cosplay musical chairs. It runs in August 5th to the 7th, so if you are reading this blog and want to get into the Irish cosplay scene it is the next big cosplay event coming up! It is on in the D4 Hotel, Dublin. They plan on having more and bigger cosplay events this year like the Nomcon cosplay prom and more.




The oldest and longest running anime and manga convention in Ireland. It attracts a diversity of people and again lots of excellent cosplays! Eirtakon runs in the Helix, Dublin City University in November 11th to the 13th. Like many conventions it runs cosplay skits, cosplay competition, cosplay disco, maid and butler cafe and this year there will be lots of new exciting cosplay events. Also this year Eirtakon has the honour of having for the first time to Eirtakon, not to Irish cons :p a professional costume designer, make up artist and cosplayer, model YaYa Han as a guest. I am super excited over this! Yaya plans on helping out running cosplay events, judging and doing lots of panels on modelling and costume making. She also would be a great help to Cosplay Ireland.


That is for now with the Irish cosplay convention scene and hopefully you have been informed. If I missed out on any conventions that has cosplay please let me know. Also with Cosplay Ireland we plan on running major cosplay events, promoting cosplay in Ireland and who knows we might see more conventions. :)

Cosplay Portfolio Websites

As I explained cosplay is very broad and it is down your interpretation what it is. Some people just enjoy the occasional cosplay at events and some like to take it alot further. Over the last few years cosplay has so much evolved and expanded. It has even expanded alot more then cosplaying at a convention with cosplayers modelling in cosplay now. There was the fashion modelling then in the 1980s and 1990s alternative goth modelling became quite popular and over the last few years we now see cosplay modelling.

Like modelmayhem, folio32, liptick lenses and modelling websites where a model can showcase her/his work they are many cosplay websites where a cosplayer can showcase and show off their cosplays to a global audience. Now many of these websites are not very industry based and are hobby/amateur based but it is a start if you want to show off your work to the world and hopefully one day will get noticed.

Here are a few websites which I think are good for cosplays.

This is the main international cosplay community website. You can set up an account and upload your photos in the main gallery. Unlike many portfolio sites it is not a social networking site but the forums are quite friendly and very useful for costume construction, make up and on contact lenses. People will always help you out and offer advice.

Cosplayer's Cure

This is basically the Japanese but it is getting more international. This is a social networking site and has some industry and small cosplay businesses like cosplaygen. As Cosplayer's Cure gets bigger perhaps it will have more industry links and contacts. From an amateur point of view it is an excellent website where cosplayers look stunning so if you are researching how a person looks like the character in 3D you will find excellent examples. From a modelling point of view, Cosplayer's Cure is a great site as it advertises upcoming events in Japan and they are lots of cosplay models on it. The photos are artistic and you Will find that many cosplayers think out of the box. It is also a good site for people who are just fans of cosplay and they can sign up to the non cosplay account.

What is also great about this site, people can follow your cosplays, add you to favourites, get a fan club going so when you upload a photo they will be notified. You can also add cosplayers to your favourite too.

I find this site very friendly and have made friends and contacts.

Cosplay Island

This is a UK based cosplay portfolio website. I joined this as it is local. This is a good site, as it is somewhat linked to the industry and mainly reveals upcoming cosplay events in the UK. The forum is very helpful too. It tends to be abit dead for comments but I met one or two people who are nice and they seem to be always updates on events.


This is a new social networking site set up for cosplayers internationally to meet photographers. It was set up by a well known cosplay photographer Shiroin. It is very quiet as it is only new but hopefully it will pick up.

American Cosplay Paradise

I just joined this site and it is suppose to be the best for getting links to the industry. ACP work with anime industry people and promote events at American anime conventions and do photoshoots. There are also cosplay photographers on the site too, so it is somewhat a social networking site for making friends and for getting contacts. Cosplayers on the site are really good and many of them take part in proper photoshoots so you will be able to get advice on modelling and research what makes a good photo.

That's really it for mainly cosplay portfolio sites but they are many others that you can join but they don't just specialise in cosplay they are;

DeviantArt - Fantastic for cosplay portfolio as you can join cosplay groups submit your photos, get noticed and get fans, also network with fan artists.

ModelMayhem - A great site for models very international and has many cosplayers and cosplay photographers on it. Has many industry people on it who are linked to cosplay.

Irish websites

Folio32 - a modelling social networking website which has alternative models on it not just fashion so cosplay would be welcomed.

Lipstick and Lenses - Another Irish modelling social networking site, seems to be not that active but it is new so hopefully it will take off.

At the moment there is no dedicated Irish cosplay website but with cosplay, anime and comics getting more popular equals more events, I am currently working on setting up an Irish social networking website named Cosplay Ireland where cosplayers can showcase their work, meet photographers, make up artists, cosplay commissions, designers, become models and will hopefully have links to the industry and events. Please check out the FB awareness page for updates. :)

Saturday, July 16, 2011

How do I get into cosplay

Ok well this is Ireland, unlike Japan or Tokyo you can't just walk into a costume shop and ask for a Final Fantasy cosplay of your choice. I recall ages ago on a forum, a girl who was new to cosplay asked where in Dublin can you get cosplay outfits, the answer to this question is simply, no you can't, unless you went to Ann Summers which sell doctor, nurse uniforms. Just beause there is no way in Ireland you can buy a cosplay outfit doesn't mean you can't cosplay.

They are many ways a person can cosplay very successfully without having to go into a shop and buy a costume. You can always order pre-made cosplay online from ebay or cosplay magic and on many sites. If you decide to buy your cosplay online you would really want to be very careful as many sites either charge alot of money for a really good cosplay or charge reasonable or cheap amounts and the quality isn't really good. If you look around you might get somewhere in between. Many people who start out in cosplay, make their outfits with the help of friends or of the expereinced. You don't need to go way out and make the most flambyant, extravagant cosplay to impress people. You could go for an easy cosplay other words "closet cosplay" where you wear basic clothes or an outfit which was not that hard to put together and still really impress people at a convention.

Here are examples of very impressive "simple cosplays" which could be done very well.

L from Death Note, a very popular cosplay in the Irish con scene. All you need for him is a top and trousuars, do your make up good and you got an L.

Misa Amane from Death Note. A very impressive cosplay if you get the hair right and wear goth clothes, not a hard one at all. :)

Asuka Langley from Neon Genesis Evangelion, if you have her hair and eyes you could look really impressive. The uniform is not too expensive to buy but if you rather make it yourself you could easily buy a dress pattern resembling the dress and sew together or get the help from expereinced people. If you really want to get into making your own cosplay this is a good cosplay to start on.

Also there is Asuka's yellow dress. You could easily go into any boutique and buy a yellow dress that looks like Asukas and buy red shoes in Dunnes, Pennys what not.

It also the same with Reika from RahXephon.

Also Lara Croft from Tomb Raider seems like an easy cosplay to put together.

Finally our last example is from Bleach. I am not a fan of Bleach so I am unsure who this character is but I know she is one of the main characters. This cosplay can be done easily. Just buy a shirt in Pennys or Dunnes, get the school skirt easily enough in Arnots espcially near school season.

Best places I would recemmend to buy fabric for cosplays would be Wollen Mills at the Hypenny Bridge or Hickeys. Wollen Mills tends to be cheaper and they do student discounts. I also find Pennys is good for alternating cosplays and boutiques. My Rin Tohsaka cosplay from Fate Stay Night, I bought the top on sale in one of the clothes shops in the Ilac shopping centre in Dublin. Look around shops that sell skirts that may resemble your character, I bought my Rin skirt in a clothes shop in Henry St on sale too. So just look around, you would be suprised. ^^

The big key to a very successful cosplay is to resemble the character as in height, looks and build. I am quite tall so I couldn't pull of Chise from Saikano.

Also I couldn't do Yoko from Gurann langann as I don't have her build.

Thanks to make up we can achieve ways to make our eyes look like the character and make them really big. I will put up good make up tutorials later on. So yeah the key to a good cosplay is have the look of that character, you want people to think you are the real deal. Also wanted to mention not everyone takes cosplay very seriously, alot of people just do it for fun so in that case don't worry too much or stress over it, you want to enjoy it in the end.

What I find really helpful when I want to perfect a cosplay is research the character as in mannerism and look at other cosplay pictures of that character. Even save their pictures onto your computer so you can look at every detail on how to perfect your own cosplay. I have been cosplaying alot as Rei Ayanami from Neon Genesis Evangelion. Back in 2007 when I first cosplayed as Rei I just bought a blue wig in a wig shop in town. I thought it was good at the time but noticed I didn't come out the best in photos. I came across another very good Rei cosplayer from who had her make up perfect and had a very realistic baby blue doll wig. I noticed she was quite popular so I saved her photos on my computer so I can look at how I can better my own Rei cosplay. I really saw the diference in our wigs.

Finally I will talk about wigs and quality. I will not deny cosplay can be very a expensive hobby, it can be like being really into a sport or being really into photography. Then you got your good quality make up coming into it. Over time as a cosplayer you will expereince with many different make up types, wigs and outfits and you will know which best suits you.

I find these following sites are great for copslay wigs because the hair doesn't look as fake and looks great in photos; Shop
Cosplaywig - Highly recemmend it
Fun Place by the Giety Theatre tends to sell high quality wigs.
Also shop around Ebay.

I hope all that helps.