RT: Even though cosplay is just a hobby, the feedback you get from online communities will seem very real, and very personal. You have to learn to filter out the constructive comments from the plain nasty ones, and improve yourself from there. Everyone has their own reasons for engaging in this hobby, but I find that it’s best to cosplay for your own enjoyment, and not for approval from others, and not for the attention. These could be pleasant bonuses, but not the source of your motivation. Remember that for every five people who like your work, there’ll probably be another five who don’t, and while you should acknowledge that everyone has a right to their opinions, you shouldn’t let that affect you.
Also, pick up some crafting skills. Learn basic stitching, and how to work a machine. Read tutorials online and watch videos. Even if you start out buying costumes or having them commissioned, try to do the little details and accessories and props yourself, and eventually, when you’re skilled enough, work on simple costumes from scratch. These skills will save you a lot of money in the long run, and you might even come to enjoy the costume-making process.
Pictured: Oerba Dia Vanille from Final Fantasy.Photo credit: swift-wing