Man Posing as Cosplay Photographer Assistant Gets Called Out

Earlier this month, Martin Wong exposed a man who was pretending to be his photography assistant… But, honestly, instead of giving you the run-down in text, I figured it’d be better to just share this video by FanService Renji. He not only breaks it down for you, but illustrates exactly how I felt about the situation.

While I’m glad the situation was handled so well, let’s hope it is a good lesson for any others out there that attempt to do the same thing. Not a good idea!

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Wand Tutorial

This is a VERY easy tutorial to make wands and would even be something fun to hand out as party favors! 😀 It was created by Noriko-Sugawara and you need minimal supplies!

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Wand Tutorial by Noriko-Sugawara

Hope this helps! 😀

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Making Time to Create

I get asked a lot how I have time to get anything done with all the stuff I’m doing… I currently work a full-time job with 40+ hours a week, help out with marketing for a store run by friends of mine, and then run my own store. In between all of that, I work on costumes for myself. I’m getting better with planning and budgeting time, and I’ll be doing a review of a product to show you how you can do the same in a later post. For now, though, I figured I could share some of the things I do.

To start off, I’ve been sewing for over fifteen years now, so I quickly learned ways to build things at a decent speed when I need to. That doesn’t mean I like to rush, but I can if I’m nearing a deadline (like Denver Comic Con in June).

  1. Get everything cut out all at once, or separate it into major sections so you don’t have to spend too much time and energy on something so tedious. I just did a bunnysuit recently, so I cut out all the fabric one night, then the lining the next, and the interfacing on the third night.
  2. Pin everything you can so you can just toss under a machine when you have time. As I cut out the bunnysuit, I would pin pieces together, so I could just start sewing as soon as I was done with all the time-consuming stuff. I would also skip ahead and see where I could pin other pieces not involved on what I was sewing, so I could just do it all at once.
  3. Do all your ironing at once, if you can. I did this with the interfacing and as many seams as I could, just so I wouldn’t have to get the iron ready and let it cool a lot. Plus, then I had more space without the ironing board out. 😀
  4. Save the most time-consuming aspects for the last part if you can and plan to do that when you have the most time. For me, that’s installing the zippers, handstitching, etc.
  5. A trick I like to do is sewing a hem in one spot before heading to work, and pinning another to do when I get home. If I have time, I repeat, so I can do the same thing the next day before work.

Those are all my major cheats I can think of. Do you have any that you want to share??

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Magic Angel Eyes Contacts Review

So, about a month or so ago, I was asked to review some contact lenses for Magic Angel Eyes, a contacts store that I was also blogging for on their site. I was more than happy to oblige, as the plan was to do a different pair of lenses each month and hopefully help with their marketing.

It was an adventure to say the least. I’ll explain more after the review of the Black Wolf Contacts we picked out.

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My husband wearing the Black Wolf Contacts, with camera flash

When we selected the Black Wolf Contact lenses, I was surprised at how quickly they shipped. They normally sell in the store for $30, but as I was doing a review, I got them for free. They were packaged well, kept in protective solution and we made sure to rinse them in actual contacts solution and let them sit for about a day before my husband put them in.

Once he put the contacts in, he realized they were slightly thicker than previous ones we had reviewed. His eyes took slightly longer (about an hour) to adjust, but once they did, he didn’t have too many issues… And I gotta say, they looked really cool.

My husband liked them, but stated they did create an “overcast” over his vision, so everything appeared darker. With the amount of black to the lenses, that didn’t really seem surprising. He did state they did mess with his peripheral vision, and again, we’re pretty sure it’s because of how dark everything was. He wore the lenses for a few hours, which is what was recommended for longest wear-time, and took them out. His eyes didn’t have any issues or reactions to them, which is always good!

So, the Black Wolf Contacts definitely are a good product; the look great, they wear decent, and they have a long contact life if they’re well taken care of.

But the company, Magic Angel Eyes? I absolutely DO NOT recommend. I wrote for them for about 3 months. I was asked to start doing the monthly contacts reviews, and I was more than happy to oblige. I had planned to help other cosplayers receive sponsorship via the company for contact lens reviews. They set and agreed to the rate of $30 an article, at 2 articles a week. After the first month of writing for them, it was a constant battle of getting paid the right amounts on time. They got 2 weeks behind at one point, and continuously argued with me, claiming they needed to research the problem, when I outright showed them the amount of articles, compared what they had paid (both sets of records; theirs and mine), and got dragged along for weeks.

Finally, they put all marketing on a “temporary hiatus” and said I’d be paid the owed $120. I had to issue an ultimatum when deadlines would come and go of billing them on PayPal.

I researched the company even more in-depth than when I had started writing for them. I had seen the occasional bad review, and ignored them. I then learned they had stolen video, without credits, from other cosplayers and used it for advertising purposes. On top of that, the random people I was supposed to be speaking with were all one person literally giving me the run-around on paying. I was supposed to be paid March 9th and finally requested the money on March 10th and finally received back payment owed on March 11th.

So, while their product isn’t terrible, their business practices are absolutely shady. You DO NOT steal other people’s work. You DO NOT give people the run-around on money owed to them. You DO NOT give sad excuses to employees and customers about “business transitioning issues” when it’s just ONE employee making the mistakes.

As part of this cosplay community, I will tell you all, AVOID THIS BUSINESS. There are better ones out there to order from who don’t jerk people around because they feel that’s okay to do.

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Raven from Teen Titans Make-up Tutorial

This video tutorial was created by JordeeKai and is relatively easy to follow. The overall look she created is amazing!

Hope this helps! 😀

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Kamui Cosplay’s Book of Cosplay Armor Making Review

I’ve honestly had Kamui Cosplay’s Book of Cosplay Armor Making for some time now and never took a look at it as I’ve never really made anything needing extensive armor. However, after going through my files and recently finding it again, I decided to get off my butt and actually take a look at it.

The book itself covers the absolute basics to thermoplastics and using them for cosplay armor. The title is slightly deceiving in that aspect, but it’s actually a decent read. There’s some obvious editing issues, but with the various translations done, it’s understandable mistakes.

The introduction is quick and very up front and honest about everything involved in armor-crafting, including cost and time. It doesn’t exaggerate, but gets straight to the point.

The breakdown on thermoplastics is also an easy read, with the primary focus being on Worbla. Kamui Cosplay does compare Worbla to Wonderflex and explains the pros and cons of each and how to best use each for what you’d need by explaining durability, flexibility, and other comparisons. She also lists different places to buy various thermoplastics from and gives a decent idea of cost and how much is needed for projects.

There’s also a listing of tools needed for working with thermoplastics. Each item is broken down to its basic uses and she also goes over the dangers of working with the various tools, which is kinda important! 😀

Kamui Cosplay then goes over the various ways to pattern your armor and lists her ways of doing it, even giving very clear instructions on her process. She links to previous tutorials throughout the book that she’s done on YouTube to allow you to actually see how she builds what she’s writing about. Happily, she doesn’t overdo it with the linking either!

From there, she gets into actually working with Worbla and using foam to create the “sandwiching” seen in most patterning of armor. She explains the process and how to best use the materials to avoid waste. She also explains how to remove bubbling from Worbla, which is caused by too much heat, which is exceptionally helpful with expected blunders.

Kamui Cosplay also goes over the importance of labeling your pieces and keeping everything in order as it can save headaches later on. She also goes into making matching pieces together and avoiding long breaks, which I can attest to as a cosplayer in general being a good idea for projects.

The book then goes into detail working and shows a lot of decent images and explanations, including discussion of keeping Worbla scraps for the smaller pieces later on. Pages 22 to 33 are all images of examples of her work with explanations on how things were made and it does feel a little excessive with personal images, but not enough to make me not want to continue the book.

Kamui Cosplay then gets into armor attachment and her method of doing it involving Wonderflex, D rings, and Worbla. It’s sound and easy to do with good images and explanations, along with how she figured out why her method was a good one. On top of all of that, she also makes it clear on the importance of testing the attachments before attending a convention.

Finally, she covers transportation of armor. She explains on how sometimes it’s best to plan your build on how you also plan to transport it, which makes complete sense with all the pieces, size, and everything else that honestly goes into armor making.

Overall, the book is an easy read and just covers the basics on armor-making with thermoplastics. As long as you go in expecting nothing else, as those are in other books Kamui Cosplay has published, then you’re set. I think it’s a good starting point for beginners, just so the basics can be taught and allow you to decide what all you’d want to do on your own project from there. If you want to read this book or others by Kamui Cosplay, you can check them out here.

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Interview with Isis Blue Fire

It’s time for another interview, this time with Isis Blue Fire! She’s a veteran cosplayer from Russia, who not only likes the details, but how a character is protrayed!

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Isis Blue Fire out of costume, photo by Gio Mitsuko

What’s your cosplay alias and why did you choose it?
My nickname is Isis Blue Fire.

How many years have you been cosplaying and what got you started?
Since 2009, so almost 9 years. My first anime festival was ALEXA-2009 and I was female Sasuke Uchiha from Naruto. I like this anime. The costume was made by me (but I was not skilled enough and my grandmother helped me). No wig, but I have long black hair. I was nervous, but everything was great!

What has been some of your favorite things to work with when constructing costumes and why?
I like sewing. It is relaxing to me. And it is look like magic; you have some satin, beads, laces and few hours… BAM! You made a beautiful dress for a princess.

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Isis Blue Fire as Kyoko Mogami from Skip Beat!, photo by Kate Summer

What are you excited to be working with in the future and why?
I want to try work with EVA foam. Some of my future costumes have craft part (corset-armor, weapons, etc. ) and I want do it by myself.

What are some of the traits you like to see in other costumes and who do you think does well in them?
Using a good pattern. It is very important for sewing and crafting. The costume should be comfortable to wear, fits the figure well, and look neat. I like Lady Narven and Jojoska; they are a cosplay team from Ukraine.

What is your view of the “cosplay scene”?
It does not matter. I act in many places, but light, music and safety are important for performance.

What are some of the things you want to see change in the scene?
Acting and atmosphere. A perfect costume is just a costume if you are not acting.

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Isis Blue Fire as Rin from Fate/Stay Night, photo by Nita13

What is some advice you could give people starting to get into cosplay?
Don’t give up! It is your hobby, have fun, take joy and pleasure. Try to be better than you were yesterday.

What are some of your favorite conventions you’ve attended and why?
I like the little multi-fandom festival in Komsomolsk-on-Amur. It is the cutest convention that I’ve attended: organizers, members, public… they are amazing. When I was invited to a festival in Japan, it was the same feelings.

Give a random fact about one of your costumes that you’re proud of!
Four kilograms of pearl beads were used for my mermaid costume. I’m really proud of this cosplay. It was a labour intensive process when I made it. Heavy and hard to wear for a convention. The photoshoot in the real sea was a little bit dangerous but the awesome result is worth it.

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Isis Blue Fire as Suiren from Adekan, photo by Daria Marienko

Thanks for the interview, Isis Blue Fire! You can check out her Deviantart page here, her Facebook page here, her Twitter here, and her Instagram page here!

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