5 Essential Sites for Cosplayers!
For one to make the most out of his or her cosplaying 'career', there are a multitude of things that should be done - interacting with fellow cosplayers, forming connections, doing photo shoots, sharing pictures, checking out what other cosplayers are doing, sharing tips, discussing the latest trends...
WHEW - this is TOUGH work!
Luckily, many cosplayers have been able to get by doing all these tasks and more, with the help of a few handy-dandy website resources. Let's take a look at some of the most commonly used ones!
What is it? One of the largest art sharing community sites around. 'dA' lets you upload your pictures onto a personal site that can be viewed by the hundreds of thousands of members on the service. They can then 'fav' and comment on your pics, and share them on other similar social media sites.
Why should I use it? Aside from having a huge potential audience that can view your stuff, deviantart is also a fairly neat and comprehensive way to sort all your pictures. It tends to be the primary go-to "cover all" site most cosplayers use as a result. Not to mention, if you happen to be good at other kinds of art, you can put them here too!
What is it? A comprehensive cosplay photo sharing site. Starting off being primarily focused on Japanese users, Cure has since grown and spread into International fandoms. Users can sort their pictures by character & series, leave comments, and even manage a 'fanclub' where you can mark exclusive pictures that can only be viewed by your fans! Popular and recent pictures are also given a special highlight on the main page.
Why should I use it? Although the site has become more accessible to English-speaking users, this is still the best way to reach a Japanese-speaking audience and making some new friends. This is also a great resource to find photos of other cosplayers doing often lesser-known characters, whether for reference, or merely to gaze in amazement at!
World Cosplay (worldcosplay.net)
What is it? Another cosplay photo sharing site similar to Cure. World Cosplay is however, as the name implies, primarily focused on a world-wide audience and user base. What sets it apart from Cure are a few of its features; there is full integration with Twitter and Facebook for your convenience, and also a novelty 'ranking' system that shows users where they stand in terms of the number of likes they have.
Why should I use it? This is an amazing way to check out what cosplayers from all over the world are doing - and you'd be surprised to see where some cosplayers hail from! The Facebook integration is also extremely useful, automatically posting a notification on your status whenever you upload a new picture, should you choose the option to do so.
What is it? A China-based auction site where people can sell and bid on various goods and products. Essentially, a Chinese version of eBay.
Why should I use it? While good for getting particular kinds of products, Taobao is amazing for cosplay resources. Fabrics, accessories, and even entire costumes, can be obtained for very reasonable prices, once you learn the interface and get past the (for some) language barrier. Although the quality of items can vary wildly from seller to seller, just remember to shop safe, and shop smart!
What is it? It's Facebook. We think that's enough said.
Why should I use it? Although it might seem elementary, Facebook has a lot more resources and features useful to cosplayers than one might think. Not only is it a decent place to share your pictures (although they get scaled down drastically - the more specialised photo sites are still superior), but one can find like-minded discussion groups to join, follow popular cosplayers, keep up with the latest events, and even start one's own fan page if desired!