Got a brand new shoot to show you today! My first set of Zelda!
I'm definitely going to be going back and changing a few things about this costume but overall I like it. I might even bring it to a convention soon ;)
Want to see the full shoot? It's up for members now!
I know it's late this month! I'm sorry! Time got away from me but I finally have my February POTM out!
Full photoshoot is also available for members (which is of course included with POTM). Get yours here! There's only a few left!
New week, new ASD!
I'm trying something new out! Both myself and my best friend, Vanessa, have very strong feelings about pro wrestling so we're gonna be sitting down for a video each week to discuss what's good and what's not so good about wrestling this week. Well, technically this is about last week but you get the idea.
We touch on things like the Balor Club, the US title tournament, and the floundering women's division.
Check it out, give it a like and leave a comment about what you think! Maybe even subscribe?
It's just the first try so constructive crit is welcomed! Definitely gonna have notes next time!
This morning I got to experience quite possibly one of the most rewarding things I've ever had in my cosplay career. As you guys may or may not know, I am a giant wrestling nerd and am actually going to wrestling school in the spring!
Over the entirety of November I worked almost everyday on something very special for my favorite wrestler out there (and all around amazing dude) Kenny Omega! I was honored with the task of creating a gun for his entrance at Wrestle Kingdom 12, the #AlphavsOmega match.
Props have never been my strong suit but this was a great chance to make something amazing!
So I kind of wanted to post a little blog on what I did and how I did it!
I got to work almost immediately, I knew it was going to take some time to make and the first step was designing it! I looked all over for plasma rifles to base mine off of, came up with a few preliminary sketches which settled on the block design. There was actually another design I liked more but this one was going to show better on stage, so we went with that one.
Once I had decided I came across the Vigilance Wing from Destiny 2, realized it was a similar shape and layout that I wanted but with the wing. I loved it and ended up using it as my main inspiration!
Then I got down to making it! The entire gun is made of foam and weighs about 8 pounds (crazy I know). I followed Kamui's "Advanced Cosplay Prop Making: Creating Guns & Rifles" to build the majority of the gun. This was a totally new process but I honestly enjoyed it more than building some of my own costumes. I'm actually quite excited to make something for myself with these methods! If you're interested (or even curious) in prop building I highly suggest this book! It's only $5!
So after cutting out my blueprints, transferring them to the foam and gluing everything together I basically just had a solid block of foam. Which lead to the crucial step of lighting the thing. I have never worked with LEDs, soldering or programming. I've dabbled in it but never actually went through with it.
So what's a better time to learn than now? It took some time and patience, I was extremely nervous about messing it up because of the limited time frame but it's amazing what you can do if if you just trust yourself! After soldering the LED strands together, gluing them into the gun and then attaching the whole thing to a microcontroller, I got to learn coding. It was fairly simple once I got the hang of it though. I think I'd like to do something with patterned lights on a project sometime. These were fun to play with.
From there, I could assemble the rest of the gun and start with the details. Covering the handle and the back with worbla... which was probably unnecessary. It took the course of the entire second season of Stranger Things to hand paint all the lined details, which I've now realized would have looked better etched in with a soldering iron... oh well you live and you learn.
After all that I primed, painted and started adding the little blue and black details which are metallic blue foil. I had actually settled on less black but ended up adding more so it'd match the gear a little better. The first form you can see in my photos below ;)
So there you have it, the Omega custom vigilance wing! Omega Wing? I kind of like that actually... I can definitely see myself doing more entrance gear for wrestlers since it kind of combines my two favorite things. If you're a wrestler that wants some cool looks feel free to contact me for quotes! All in all I'm so proud of myself for making this gun, I know that with that experience I'll be able to continue building even more crazy things. It was a great challenge and really put my self doubt to rest.
It's finally here! 2018 is upon us and that means a brand new poster of the month is here!
This month I finished up my Asuka 3.0 costume (based on the Shunya Yamashita design) and my goal was to have it shot before the end of 2017, mission accomplished!
You can now grab one of these exclusive signed Asuka prints via my POTM club!
Available now and every order will be receiving a cute little polaroid from the shoot! Hurry! as of right now there's only 5 left!
Not to mention, for the first time! POTM is now available to anyone outside of the US! FINALLY!
If you're not into this particular Asuka print or the POTM club, then I also have another shot available in my regular store! Obviously this poster doesn't come with a polaroid or signed though so just keep that in mind!
Want to see the full gallery of this shoot and more? Well they're all up for members right now!
Head over to the members section and check them out!
Hey! Hope you enjoyed my last workout post last week!
This will be my 6th consecutive week of killing it at the gym! My body does ache (I'm currently suffering from a weird kink in my neck) so I think I might need to add some yoga back into the mix but otherwise I'm doing great! I've shed a bunch of fat off my core, my legs are noticeably more toned, and my arms are definitely stronger.
So people have been asking about what I'm doing outside the gym to supplement all the working out and as much as I'd love to tell you I'm a raw vegan keto powerhouse I am not. I still eat junk like burgers and ice cream with my friends and I don't really restrict my dinners too much because they're my main calorie source and I don't actually eat a lot to begin with. So I'm not going to talk about those too much.
What I WILL talk about is my breakfast and lunches! This is where I've made the real progress!
First off, I've switched my breakfasts from carb heavy oatmeals to green protein smoothies. This has made a world of difference for me so here's a look at what a typical smoothie looks like for me:
It's pretty simple! This particular (and pretty much everyday) smoothie is made of 2 leaves of kale, cucumber, almond milk, a small handful of pineapple, a tablespoon of chia seeds and a scoop of protein powder (I believe this is a whey type but you can sub in rice protein if you're vegan). That's it! This keeps me going through my workout and sometimes longer. Protein helps to sustain and keeps hunger away pretty well. I never ever work out on an empty stomach so this is what I find works for me. I think I'll eventually fiddle with my recipe to get a bit more variations going but this is cheap and easy and I like it.
For lunch? I'm generally also pretty low cal as well. Once I get home from the gym I'll have a giant bowl of vegetable/lentil/bean soup or a premade meal prep meal like so:
Obviously, this is the tray of an entire weeks worth of lunches! So just imagine a little bit from each plus some white bean sauce and that keeps me going through the rest of my day til dinner. Then after that I'm done for the night, I try to stop eating at least 4 hours before I go to sleep.
Like I said earlier, this is just what's been working for me! I'm not about depriving myself so I'll still eat junk with my friends, have a dessert if it is given to me, or sneak a few chocolates when I can't help myself but remember, I'm also working out hard 5 days a week!
Now since it's a Thursday, I have some cardio to get to!
New Poster of the Month is now available and as a little thank you to all current members of the club I'll be sending you an exclusive xmas card!
Get all the warm fuzzies with my new POTM here!
Not to mention the full gallery of this shoot is now up in the members section! So if you just wanna see the rest check them out here!
I wanted to make a little post about my workout regime (since a lot of people were asking) and this is probably the best place for it right now. Any follow up posts will go to the members area!
So first of all, I'm not a trained athlete (yet.) but I have been exercising for years and lifting for about 3 of them. Over the summer I took a break from lifting and started doing more yoga and cardio. My cardio previously was shit and a 3 minute run would exhaust me, not healthy for a 20-something woman. Recently, I decided that I wanted to try out wrestling (yes like wwe), just to see if it's something that I like doing rather than watching. So obviously I figured my cardio needed fixing and that's when I made a commitment to myself to get in my best shape by the time classes start in May! 5 days a week, lifting/weights 3 days a week and cardio 2 days a week. So here's what a normal week might look like for me:
*NOTE: this is not an invite for suggestions. This is what has been working for me for the time.
Barbell Squat 3x5
Romanian Deadlift 3 x 12
Dumbbell Lunges 3 x 12
Leg Press 3 x 8-12
Barbell Hip Thrust 3 x 8-12
This day is hard. It's really hard. So start light, I've only just got my squat back up to where it used to be. My squat is the heaviest so I start off with it, the rest are just accessories as you can imagine by the numbers and not nearly as heavy as squat weight. By the end of this I feel sweaty but not wiped out. I contribute most of my legs and butt to this day so it's important and I like to start my week off with it.
Core Scrunch 3x20
Hanging Leg Raise 3x8
Toe Touches w/ medicine ball 3x12
Super important to what I'm trying to do, I've started doing 3 different cardio exercises. Elliptical machine, biking, and treadmill. I'm sure I could do HiiT and it'd be just as effective at weight loss but I'm going for endurance here. This is an ever changing day for me because I'm constantly trying to increase the numbers. Currently I'm sitting at 12/12/12 (12 min elliptical, 12 min bike, 12 min run/walk uphill), my next increase will be 15 each. After all that it's time for core. I've been seeing a huge difference with my core now that I'm doing this day twice a week.
Barbell Bench Press 3x5
Incline Dumbbell Press 3x12
Skull Crushers 3x12
Elevated Cable Rows 3 x 8-12
Cable Fly 3x12
This is my arms/chest day, I'll be the first to tell you my legs are by far stronger than my little baby arms but I put a lot of focus into my lower half obviously but this day has been helping me balance it out. Again, starting off with my most exhausting lift, the bench press. This is my least favorite, I hate it but I do it followed by the accessories which I enjoy infinitely more.
Same as Tuesday!
Barbell Deadlift 3x5
Leg Extensions 3x 8-12
Lying Hamstring Leg Curls 3 x 8-12
Weighted Calf Raise 3x12 or Donkey Kickbacks 3x12 if I'm feeling spicy
Back Extensions 3x12
Back at it with the leg day, I like finishing my week off strong and literally nothing makes me feel stronger than deadlifts, even if I'm still on weak baby weights haha!
There you have it, this is my week of working out. I've been consistently hitting my goal for about 4 weeks now, it would be 5 but I couldn't get to the gym one day.
Things I might change? Diet. That's it. Work out as much as you want unless your diet is reasonably good you won't see anything come from it. I probably eat too many frosties for my own good but I make an effort to get protein every meal and I could definitely get more but that's a whole different blog entry. Like I said, this is just what works for me and I feel 100x more energetic, happy and motivated than before I started. So that's it for today! Leave a like if you enjoyed it, let me know if you'd like to see more of these in the future.
Hi! I’m Tali and if you don’t already know me, I’m a Canadian cosplayer with about 10 years of experience and maybe 5 of those actually taking it seriously.
Sure I might not be the most popular or highest grossing cosplayer out there but I’m confident in at least one of my approaches.
Over years I’ve had the privilege of having one of the best content marketing mad scientists at my side, constantly drilling strategy and processes into my head til I could soak in no more! I’ve learnt so much but one of the most important lessons I ever learnt from him was the importance of building content on your own platform. By this I mean having a homebase that you have complete 100% control over at all times. I understand this is likely not possible right now so we’ll get as close as we possibly can. Owning your domain and what’s within it.
The problem with Patreon
Just recently Patreon announced it would be cracking down on “adult material” mostly directed at private cam shows, sexual services and pornographic material. I’m still unsure of how this will affect the NSFW cosplay community (if at all) but it should come as no surprise that Patreon would begin to restrict the type of content produced on their platform as they grow in size. It’s one thing to be angry about Patreon gaining so much popularity from these producers then essentially turn their back on those same people but guess what, it wasn’t their platform in the first place and Patreon has every right to restrict it.
So why do countless content producers choose to use Patreon as their home base of operations? The thing they count on for monthly income? If it disappeared tomorrow every single Patreon and their “steady incomes” would vanish along with it-- this is not sustainable. As we’ve seen with the recent Youtube “Adpoclypse”, a platform will change and it might/very likely will not change the way you want it. This is a trend.
All this and not to mention that I understand the fees are ridiculous-- anyone that can confirm this would be greatly appreciated.
In my opinion, the only thing that sets Patreon at any advantage is that it is really a one stop shop for content marketing. Email blasts are cake, updates are easy, patreon pages look aesthetically pleasing, and it’s easy to use. Unfortunately if it’s easy it’s usually not the right thing to do and not to mention all the essential skills you aren’t learning (cosplay isn’t forever sorry but use it to learn some new skills).
Okay I get it-- how do I build it though?
So we’re in agreement? If you’ve reached this far you realize that Patreon crowdfunding is not the same as selling a product/subscription (even if that product is lewd photos of yourself). So how do we fix it? How do we build a monthly product that can be easily sustained, bring in just as much money (maybe more due to less overhead fees) AND it’s totally controlled by you? Well that’s my main point today, let me show you exactly how I approached this problem and maybe you can use it or maybe you can find an even better way. I’m certainly not the first to use this idea but I don’t see a lot of people in cosplay doing it.
Build a membership site
Personally I use Squarespace as my website host, I love it-- it’s easy to use, effective and the most important feature-- built in locked pages and built in store. My main goal? If you come to my site, you shouldn’t have to leave it for anything I do.
First things first, I have a public blog and a membership section with a locked blog. Each month the password changes and all current members receive the new password in an email, along with a coupon code and some minor updates. It’s honestly that simple. All my content is locked behind a paywall that I created using Squarespace’s private blog feature. My members simply log in with the monthly password and they can scroll through all my updates which include galleries, videos, write ups and progress that never ever disappears unless I delete it. I see it as already more value than disappearing monthly content via Patreon.
Where does the money come in?
Okay well, first of all, hold your horses. We’ve got ourselves a private blog but really no product yet right? This is where my version of Patreon comes in. This is the only part of my membership site that exists on another platform. Personally I use Gumroad.com, it’s great. Gumroad is a creators payment processing and email platform that allows you to charge for a single product or a subscription/membership service. The way my personal site works I use the subscription option because none of my content is actually located on Gumroad, it’s just a payment process for me.
Gumroad collects payments each month and is directly linked to your bank account. No paypal, no stripe, no nonsense involved. It’s pays bi-weekly and even better has great built in analytics to see where your traffic is coming from and what outlets are sending the highest converting traffic.
I can’t say enough good things about this platform and I’m absolutely not being paid by them, I’m paying them a $10/month usage fee and 3.5% + $0.30 (USD) fee on every sale. There is a free option but the sale fee is 8.5% + $0.30 (USD), still better than Patreon I believe.
So each month, usually on the 1st, I change my blog password and send the new passphrase to all my current customers (a filter option within Gumroad) and the cycle continues! All my content exists on my site, my money isn’t going through any other channel than a totally separate monthly charging system where what I’m doing to make it isn’t even a question (if I were doing lewds at all). Oh I almost forgot the best part! NO PLEDGES. This isn’t a honor based system, this is a product. If someone buys the subscription they have paid for the product (in this case a membership to my private blog). There is no cancelling before the card can be charged, which is essentially stealing from the artist. Yes people will cancel their memberships but it will not be refunded for the time they have purchased. I’ve had plenty of people think that cancelling right after purchase will get their money back, it doesn’t.
It’s all pretty simple honestly and while I can’t take credit for finding Gumroad, it only took a little bit of creative problem solving to change the entire way I approach paywall content.
The only downsides to Gumroad? You have to send email blasts yourself, you have to learn workflows, and you have to learn to set up a social posting schedule (which is an entirely different article that I'd like to get too eventually) to get people to see it but honestly, these are really important skills that you shouldn't be missing out on-- literally career building skills. It's a little more work but well worth in IMHO.
Speaking of which, if you’d like to read more of my content marketing strats (will be making a weekly effort to write more of this type of stuff there) or just interested in my work, you can check out everything I’ve done in my membership section at www.talixoxo.com/membersarea ;)
Curious about something in particular? Let me know and I’ll answer it the best I can. Thanks for reading! Now go out there and own your content!
I made a quick tutorial on how I went about embossing the velvet on a recent 2B commission! I thought it added a lot to the overall project and was actually a lot easier than I thought it would be. Just another reason to give new things a try ;)
I want to bring you more useful content so let me know what you'd like to see next or if you have any questions about anything I've made!
Cool news today!
I can finally show off this awesome episode of DIY Costume Squad that I was featured in! I'm super excited about this and the costume I made in the shortest amount of time EVER. Usually I take a long time to finish a costume so this was a real challenge but I loved every moment of it!
Insiders knowledge: my contacts were hurting my eye the entire time while making this lmao
I had such a great time making this costume but I think if I were to wear it again I'd go back and redo the jacket and belt for realsies but I really enjoyed it and learnt a lot about what I'm capable of ;) Enjoy! Leave a comment and maybe I can do another one!
Wanna get a piece of Cindy for yourself? I have a brand new poster to celebrate the release of this episode! Get it below!
I am selling my 2B costume!
Since I've done enough shoots with it for my own liking I think I'm ready to sell the costume!
2B is made from stretch velvet. The bust can stretch along with the bodysuit, the only part that does not allow for stretch is the waist of the skirt.
Bust: 35" flex
Hips: 37" flex
I made the costume to fit my proportions and as accurately as I could while staying on a budget. I took my time with this costume, created a custom pattern and wanted to make the most beautiful dress that I could. I love this costume so I'm hoping it goes to a loving home. One glove has a small glue stain on the thumb. Includes: Bodysuit, skirt, blindfold, gloves.
Asking: $200 +shipping
With wig: + $10
With Sword: + $50 (real sword)
Please email me at email@example.com to buy
R.Mika -Street Fighter V
I absolutely loved making this costume. She's my favorite girl and I wanted to approach it like it was a real wrestling outfit. I'll be sad to let this go but I just don't see myself wearing it anytime in the future. The entire outfit was made with stretch metallic spandex and still has quite a bit of stretch to fit larger measurements.
Bust- 35" flex
Waist- 25" flex
Hip- 37" flex
Includes: Bodysuit, leggings, white knee pads + covers, mask
Asking: $160+ shipping
Wig: + $20
Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to buy!
This weekend at the LA Convention Center I will be at Anime Expo as a Cosplay Guest at the Cosplay Photographers booth! If you're in the area or coming to the con make sure to stop by at booth #3932 to catch me and more sexy cosplay ladies (and man)!
I will be at the booth from 1-4PM Sat, Sun, Mon, and Tues I'll be there from 12-2PM with brand new posters and exclusives! We'll even have some polaroids/take polaroids with us! I can't wait to see your faces again this year <3 This is my favorite convention of the year and I can't wait!
Costume Schedule (tentative/subject to small changes):
Today is a big day! After one month of beta testing this with strictly members only I think I'm ready to roll out my brand new Poster Club to you guys!
Read on below!
Sign up before the 5th to get in on this exclusive Cindy poster plus a bonus poster in your first shipment!
So I've been working away on my next costume, Ann Takamaki from Persona 5 lately and while I was working I took some photos of how I made my mask and figured why not put them up and make a little tutorial for how I made mine! I'm sure there are better ways of doing this but here's how I did mine:
Blue Painters Tape
Lumiere by Jaquard Fabric Paints (Crimson)
Neo-Opaque by Jaquard Fabric Paint (Black)
Lumiere by Jaquard Fabric Paints (Pearlescent White)
Step 1: Making the pattern
Patterns are necessary in cosplay if you want your end product to turn out good. Every piece needs a good foundation.
I took my wig head and covered the area with blue painters tape. You could add an extra step of saran wrapping the head before the tape for easier removal but it wasn't necessary in this case. The tape peels easily off Styrofoam. Next I drew the outline of my mask onto the tape; only one side because I'm simply mirroring the image and then used my exacto knife to cut out the excess.
This leaves me with half of my full pattern. I carefully peeled my tape pattern off the wig head and cut at the nose and forehead to account for curves and relieve the tension at those points so it could lay flat against a sheet of craft foam.
At this point I traced my pattern, flipped it and traced it again to get my full mask perfectly symmetrical then cut it out with my exacto knife.
Step 2: Shaping the Mask
It was at this point I started to question my pattern but I just had to trust in the process. First I glued the cheek pieces to the nose, creating some curves to the mask, then glued the forehead darts together which create the shape of the head. It should look a little floppy and weirdly round at this point. This is where it starts to take shape. Craft foam is malleable and somewhat stretches when heated and cools in that shape. So I took my heat gun and blasted it for a few seconds, then started to stretch and form it around my wig head to let it cool. Mostly focusing on the shape of the head first, don't worry about the nose too much but create a slight bend in the bridge as a placeholder.
Step 3: Attaching the Ears
Next I attached ears to the top of the head. Judging from the artwork, Panther's ears can be placed in line with the point of the eye (if that makes sense. A small rounder bottom triangle worked best for me. Glue the ears on so they slightly point out but still mostly forward facing. Feel free to cut the " ear holes" out from under the ears at this point. I waited until later but it doesn't matter too much. At this point I heated the ears up and formed them to points and gave them a bit of an upward flick, the same way a cats would. Looking good!
Step 4: Molding it to Shape
It's starting to look good at this point, I'm pretty happy with the overall shape but I think it can still do with some more shape. So bring out the heat gun again, heat up the foam around the face again and start shaping the foam around the curves of the forehead, nose and cheeks. Take your time here ( Persona jokes), spend time molding the heated foam to the bridge of the wig head's nose and cheeks. This is really what made a huge difference in my mask from looking rigid to looking clean and professional.
Step 5: Gesso and Paint
Once you've shaped the mask to the way you like it, pin it to your head and get your gesso ready. Give the mask a generous coat of gesso, let it dry and do 2 more coats. This fills in any holes, hardens your mask and primes the surface for paint. If some of your seams is showing or there's an imperfection anywhere just sand it out real quick at this point.
Next is the best part! Painting it! I use Lumiere by Jacquard fabric paints (link to buy above) because they're really flexible and leave a metallic finish. Crimson is basically the perfect color for the mask, I used Neo-Opaque by Jaquard in black for the nose details and pearlescent white for the eyes. I gave my mask 2 coats of crimson before applying the eye and nose details just to be sure. Then it's finished and you have yourself a Panther mask!
For extra credit you could seal it all with a gloss coat on top for extra shine.
All finished! Better photos coming soon!