So, you’re attending a con and you think everyone’s taken the character you want to portray. You also don’t want to go for other existing characters as you worry about the cost of costumes. Do you have these hesitations? If yes, then here’s a guide to creating your character personality by making a completely original character.
Your original character needs a representation. Your creativity and imagination need to come alive. If you are one of those who would take the challenge of going to a convention dressed as a character nobody recognizes yet, but can still have all the fun, then better start writing your starting and creating your costume.
What Does OC Really Mean?
OC stands for Original Character. These are the characters you can actually make instead of using what an existing character wears. Does that sound exciting? Wait ’til you read more! When portraying an original character, you will be cosplaying your own creation. That means you can make use of the available materials you have without spending so much cash to buy. This also means you will cut down the time to source for materials because you will be conceptualizing your own character not only according to what you have in mind but also to what materials are available on hand.
There are lots of reasons why a cosplayer would want to make their own character. It can be an inspiration from a comic character, favourite characters, the anime villain, a canon character, a tabletop RPG character or some other characters you can think of. As you know, you can give life to an OC character depending on what you have in mind and how far your creativity can go.
Reasons To Make Your Own Original Character
Did you know that making your own character is becoming a trend among cosplayers? Although it can be a great challenge to make compared to using readily available costumes from popular characters, wearing your OC cosplay can bring out a different sense of pride and accomplishment. Read on and check out the different reasons why making original characters has gained popularity.
If you are making an OC cosplay character, you can enjoy endless possibilities and ideas. You will have control over how your OC personality will be. The best part of this is you aren’t compelled to follow a standard look because what you are portraying is based on an original story. Of course, you will also have the final say on how different angles from the story would go.
Easier To Portray
Would you agree that wearing an original cosplay character is easier to portray than those already familiar in the cosplay space? I bet you would! OC cosplay characters have gained positive feedback and comments over the years as the trend is steadily shifting compared to how it was years ago. Back then, it was probably best to cosplay characters that are widely known so the crowd can easily identify who you are. However, the mindset from long ago has changed and more communities have accepted original stories and OC characters. This will help you explain your character by portraying the very story you write as shown in the character’s personality.
You Can Write Your Own Story
As with any story, you can portray a character depending on what happened. You have the freedom to change a character’s past and add details to its future. You can even erase a present detail and describe only what you want to write. Basically, you have the creative freedom on what you want to happen as you will have the power over words in a backstory. The point is, as long as you keep people wondering who you are cosplaying, you will also have the chance to make them realize and understand all about your original character. By doing so, you get the chance to share your original concept by talking and sharing it with the crowd.
Naming Your Original Character
What’s in a name? It’s definitely everything! Basically, you will have some idea what a character is upon hearing its name. That is why it is vital that you get your OC cosplay a great, catchy name. Take note that because this is an original, people do not know who you are. Cosplaying your originally made character is actually introducing it to the public. Thus, you have to have a catchy name that will last long enough to remember even after a con is through.
Don’t Choose The First Name That Comes Into Your Mind
Naming a character should be well thought out. After all, your character will be known by its name. That is why it is not advisable to choose the first name that pops into your mind. You will be making a lot of revisions as you are writing the story so it is best to name a character after you have identified the theme and concept of how everything will end. This will help you keep the name meaning in place, but of course, do not take it too far.
Remember The Fandom
Most anime settings are based in Japan and most cosplay fans are into manga characters. So it would be wise to keep these tips in mind in naming your character. You can research some Japanese names and their meanings. After determining which one suits your character and the story best, feel free to get that naming done!
How To Cosplay Your Original Character's Personality
What should you do to successfully show the community the success of your story? Are you simply going to wear modern clothes and start portraying your own creation? Or will you go the extra mile and show the personality of your original character in depth? Here are some tips to keep you on track.
Know Your Character Deeply
Starting from scratch will help you draw out that amazing character you’ve been dreaming to make. You can take inspiration from the example of any popular character. But here’s a piece of advice: Make sure that your own character does not resemble an already existing character. Otherwise, the original character you said you created will just be another second-rate imitation and that’s not a good thing!
This is when knowing how your story ends will come in. Remember that no character just comes out of nowhere. Thus, you will need to conceptualize a storyline and decide what happens to your own character as you are in control of the plots and twists. This will be a determining factor in how effective your original cosplay will be when portrayed. After you’ve finished conceptualizing your character, you can start thinking about what dress it will wear, what weapon it will have, what shoes to wear, and any accessories that you want to add.
Be As Creative As You Can Be
Did you know that you have all the opportunities to be as creative as you can be? This is one big benefit in making an original cosplay character. You will get the chance to design your own clothes, pick the colors you want, sport your own hair ideas and even craft a weapon and some accessories to complete the original character. Another great news is that you do not have to carry any limitation compared to portraying a canon character which has to live up to people’s standards and expectations.
Avoid Standing Out For The Sake Of Standing Out
We know you want to catch the crowd but remember not to push it too far. This will spoil your character’s personality. Instead, carefully plan your character portrayal. This will help you really stand out from the crowd rather than just some random character trying too hard to get noticed.
Gather Your Ideas And Get The Materials You Need
Are you lost as to where to get your materials? Fret not. Although it is easier to make costumes for famous characters, you can always start the process of designing an entire outfit for your character. To make it easier, you can collect all possible references that you can. Again, let me remind you that cosplaying an original character means you are portraying what you created so it is important to recognize the thin line between reference and imitation. Once you’ve identified the details for your entire outfit and gathered the materials you need, it’s now time to start crafting!
Making Your OC Outfit
What should you do to make your OC character come to life? You got that right! The entire outfit of the character made it into a reality. Imagine reading the backstory of a character and actually seeing it in front of you. That sounds so much fun, right? Here are some tips for making your character’s outfit.
Which Dress Should I Use?
If you’re good at sewing, you can buy some fabric and sew your original cosplay costume. First, get your design ready. Next, take your measurements and draft your design onto a pattern paper or directly onto the textile using a fabric marker. Color variations also play an important role in showing the personality of your character. For example, light colors would make people assume the character is timid. We can also think she’s shy. Meanwhile, characters that are aggressive and strong usually wear striking colors.
Do I Have To Buy New Shoes?
This greatly depends on you. Maybe you’re hesitant about the cost of a new pair of shoes. Don’t fret; we got that covered, too! Aside from visiting a local thrift shop, you can make use of the old ones you have at home. As we’ve mentioned, cosplay is all about how creative and vivid your imagination is. It is not about wearing something expensive or intricate but creating something that you can portray well especially when it’s an original piece from a character you’ve made.
If you need some warrior boots, you can take out an old pair of flat kicks and use them as the base. Then, you can use some fabric to cover your calves up to your knees. You can glue it to the base and attach some covers. Another inexpensive way to fashion your footwear is by wearing stockings or tights and getting it painted resembling real boots. The paint may crack a bit when stretched so you have to be careful with the shoe details.
How To Make Weapons
Is your original character a warrior? If yes, then you’ll need to make weapons to complete the look. You can ask your friends to share their ideas or you can read a forum post about creating a cosplay weapon. Creating armor cosplay may be a bit difficult for those who are just starting out cosplaying. Nevertheless, nothing is too hard as long as you are willing to learn.
You can make use of foam in creating armor pieces or you can also make use of fabric. This will highly depend on your character’s theme and craft design. If you’ve already made up your mind on how your cosplaying should go, then making weapons would not be so difficult at all.
FAQ On How To Create Original Characters For Cosplay
How do you make an OC?
As mentioned, an Original Character (OC) refers to a character that you have created on your own without reference to movies, books, or any manga series. This is made when you generated a certain character in your mind and make it come to life by giving it certain characteristics out of your imagination.
Your original character may be a conceptualization of an idea that you have been simmering on your mind for some time, a character in a story that you are currently writing, or perhaps a character that you have imagined that should be added to a favorite series that you have been following.
If you want to establish a well-developed character you want to tell people about at a convention, you might as well start tweaking the concept in your mind so that you can properly represent it during events. Its name is important as most people will ask who you represent, and what can it do. Remember that well-known characters have certain abilities known to their fandom and OCs can also have these unique abilities attached to their persona.
Can you create your own character for cosplay?
Yes, of course. You can also ask a friend to help you out with this new craft project. The fun part is, you can even name your character according to your preference. That’s one of the perks of creating OC’s. Don’t forget to create a name that is not only unique but also easy to remember.
Give your character a name and a story. This can help you mark out how you can make its costume and how you will portray its character. You can also answer questions that may be thrown away during the conventions regarding the new character. Giving your character certain skills, abilities, oddities or powers can be okay as long as you can weave it well into its story.
New characters in conventions can get the fandoms’ attention if you can be creative with their outfit and can tell a tale about them as well. Since you are starting from scratch, know your character inside out. Get familiarized with this new idea that you have and list down the foundation of their history. In that way, your character can slowly evolve in your mind, and making its unique costume won’t be tricky.
Also, since this is an original, try to project the name on the costume so that it will be easily remembered. You can name your OC after yourself. However, that won’t be so original anymore. Don’t use multiple names or those that are too long to say. This can create a negative impact instead of getting people to remember who you are originally portraying.
How do you make the best OC?
The best OC cosplay depends on the time you put into conceptualizing it. It may not be easy at first but if you are more than willing to accept the challenge, then you will be able to create an amazing character.
Your original character needs a representation. Your creativity and imagination need to come alive through you. If you are one of those who would take the challenge of going to a convention dressed as a character nobody recognizes yet but can still have all the fun, then better start building your costume.
Sounds convincing? Remember, that your favourite characters were also once a concept. Their outfits were also once just an imaginary design. However, their creators have put a lot of effort into making them. Thus, we all enjoy cosplaying different characters. Who knows? Your OC cosplay may be the next big thing waiting for the right cosplayer to portray it.
Can I Make Any Outfit?
Your OCs outfit should be able to connect to his or her characteristic. People do recognize well-loved characters through the outfit and seeing a new, unfamiliar representation can make them associate the outfit to the characters’ personality. Just try to make your character a costume that will be acceptable at conventions, since there can be some rules to follow; costumes that go overboard can get negative reactions from the organization. Don’t try to stand out too much by showing a lot to score big on the fans. To avoid being ogled at in a particular body part, try to show enough modesty in your costume. Make the outfit uniquely natural. This can be easy since you were able to creatively create a character exceptional enough to be represented. Have all the fun in conventions without feeling awkwardly exposed.
Are OCs More Flexible?
Yes, and this is just one nice thing about OCs. You have the flexibility and freedom to create whatever costume you want. Your ingenuity will show in your costume. The process of designing an outfit can be patterned out of your own ability.
You can make detailed costumes and props that reflect the unique characteristics. You can sketch the outfit well ahead of the process of the actual physical version. These visual preferences can help you choose the most ideal outfit for your character as you have the freedom to undo or redo the outfit to your satisfaction. Any type of props can also be added during the process. There are instances where OCs being introduced at conventions get a following after they were successfully represented and portrayed.
Remember that there are no hard and fast rules in cosplaying. Original characters are being welcomed in almost all conventions as these characters are unique and reflect the creativity of their maker. Just make sure you conform to the costume and props policy of the convention you are attending. Representing a remarkable new character can be a breath of fresh air for the cosplay fandom.
Are Character Backstories Mandatory?
Is your character a baby? If not, then there should be a past to tell. This will broaden your storyline and make transitions even easier to understand. When characters have a tragic past, the tendency is people get more hooked. They see this as something interesting and people will be more inclined to know what happens to the cast as the story progresses. You can choose the intensity of the tragedy that your original characters go through. As long as it can have a realistic touch, then people will see it as something relatable.
Backstories give characters a clearer introduction. This will also work best for you especially when you are introducing an original character. However, although it is important, you don’t need to overly focus on it as a lot of fans also looked into transitions and story progressions.
Can I Be The Main Character Or The Villain?
Yes, you can be anything you want! This is another perk that comes with originally writing your thing. You can either be the protagonist or the villain, whichever works best for you. You can even possess good and bad traits at the same time. Emotions are also depending on how you pen your OC story. Your OC can be in-love, in a rage, or just the shy type who actually has evil powers waiting to be awakened.
On the other hand, your OC will most likely be the protagonist of the story so you better keep an eye on that hero complex. However, don’t make the hero effortlessly get through everything because that will not make sense at all. You also have to make it difficult for the hero to surpass an obstacle as this will spark more interest.
Meanwhile, if you really want to be the main villain that the readers and fans will be more focused on, don’t make it appear like the antagonist just went off a killing rage and won victoriously over everyone. You see, creating a balance among characters will help you succeed in this making your original project.
Have you made up your mind yet? I’m pretty sure you have by now. Creating an original character is always fun especially if you have a vision and some imagination. You will be able to do what you want and be on point as you describe it. However, you have to be open to criticism especially on how to further improve your characters. You also have to be open to new ideas especially when people point out details that may seem overboard or unrealistic. The main point here is to accept the criticisms and learn how you can improve. But make sure you are still sticking to what you want to be cosplaying and not just for the sake of pleasing other people and getting their approval.