From dress-up parties to Cosplay
Let me start by introducing myself. My name is Lindy, I’m 26 years ‘old’ and I live in Zwolle, the Netherlands. In the online-, and cosplay world I’m also known as Kalseru, from Kalseru Cosplay. I’m not a ‘huge well known’ cosplayer, just an individual who owns a Facebook page, an online portfolio/blog and an Instagram account which I use for my cosplay adventures. So… I exist, just like you! And I have an interest in cosplaying, just like you, since you are currently reading this. I won’t say that I always have loved it, sometimes it can be a pain in the butt, but looking back it was all worth it! In this article I will write down a bit about my cosplay-hobby, so I hope you’re ready and excited!
My cosplay story
The whole cosplay adventure started when I was around 22. I already knew for some years there was something called cosplay. But I never really had the time and money for it. Also, my dad wasn’t quite fond of it. He was saying things like ‘you will embarrass yourself’ and ‘it’s a waste of money’. Don’t get him wrong, my dad was a sweet man who was just a bit overprotective towards his little princess! And he said this to me when I was 16 (sadly he passed away when I turned 19).
My very first cosplay was Ysera the Dreamer from the game World of Warcraft. I made this specific cosplay for the release of the expansion called Mist of Pandaria. There was a midnight-release party in Rotterdam for this game. And I was very excited to get started, but there was one problem. I had 0% experience… After some months filled with frustrations, injuries from cutting, stabbing and burning myself (and a lot of cussing), I finished the cosplay right in time for the release!
I went there, got picked for the costume contest and at the end of the event I went home with a Alienware X51 which I won in the contest! When we got outside after the event there was a rather uncharming guy, who was obviously jealous I just won an awesome gaming pc, who asked questions like ‘how long till your baby arrives’ and saying Ysera was supposed to be skinny. I realised then that my self-esteem got quite a bruise because of his words and after the event I pretty much threw my costume in the corner and wouldn’t do a second attempt to cosplaying…
A year later…
A year later (imagine what a jerk can do with his words) I figured it was time to try something again. Because obviously I did like walking around in a costume and act like the character. I made around one costume a year, sometimes two. And a few years later, just like that, I’ve been on stage for Blizzard at Gamescom (participating in their cosplay contest) been in an official cosplay magazine in Canada and had an interview with a magazine in Australia.
I admit, skills, time and money where NEVER on my side. So, I can’t reach the quality of our eastern-neightbours (Germany) in cosplay. But I do enjoy walking around on stage just for what it is. To walk on stage, hear and see the reactions your costume creates, do a huge battle-shout or just to spread your wings in front of a crowded hall! I really adore the comments I get on my work, specially at conventions like Gamescom. I haven’t had even one negative comment. Just amazed people asking me how I’ve made specific parts, wanting to make a photo with me or hang around for a fun chat about …random things! People at conventions really appreciate the time and effort you put in your costume. This in comparison to a random jerk on the street just disapproving and (obviously) being jealous of what you’re doing.
So what does cosplay mean to me?
Whenever I wear a cosplay, I don’t go by the name of Lindy anymore. Then my name is Kalseru. People even call me by that name, while I never even met them before. People I do know don’t even recognise me and pass me without even questioning themselves who they just saw. I find the last thing very amusing. I always try to scare my friends if they don’t recognise me! The cosplay community is so huge, so international. You meet new friends on every convention floor you step on to! People, who just like myself and like you, like crafting, wearing, posing/photographing and even acting!
Cosplay is also a sport!
Cosplay is also a sport for me. I’m challenge myself everytime I start a new project. I tempt myself try something new. Like working with LEDS. In the future I’d love to work with mechanic parts and prosthetics! I never followed sewing or crafting lessons. If I really can’t figure it out, I use YouTube. Or I ask my boyfriend. I’m telling you, honestly. I lack insight on the most obvious things. But my boyfriend does not, and he helps me out with the most basic stuff! It sounds so silly. But I have no clue how to cut a 3D pyramid-, or diamond-shaped form. But he just does it within a blink of the eye. I still have a lot to learn and I am eager to learn things when the time is there (like proper sewing for example, haha).
So, you want to cosplay too?
Well, I got the answer for that right here. Stop worrying! Stop over-thinking! And go give it a try! When I made my first cosplay, I had 0% knowledge to start with. Not knowing how it would go at all. No knowledge about if I would actually like it, or how other people would react (if they would like it). And if my costume would survive one day of wearing it. Well, I’ll be honest with you.
Of course, there will be people who will look at you and think: ‘what the heck is she thinking’ or things like ‘[name] cosplayed this character better’. But who cares actually!? YOU are having fun doing something you like. You will be proud on what you achieved. This while the negative thinking person haven’t done something as cool as you are doing right now. You are the one cosplaying and having fun at conventions while (s)he isn’t. His/her loss, not yours! For every person who thinks/speaks negatively about your cosplay, there will be 10 people interested/appreciating your cosplay!
Your mindset does really matter.
I’ve learned to stop worrying so much. I really am the champion of worrying, still, till this day. So, do you want to learn how to stop doing it? Then, read the book ’the life changing magic of not giving a f*ck.
But most important of all… Be proud of yourself. Be proud of who you are, what you make and what you are wearing. Of course, you will learn to improve things during your process. And eventually you will look back at your work thinking: ‘Did I really make that, dear Lord… [insert facepalm].’ But life exists out of improving, reflecting, daring and doing. Why wouldn’t cosplay be a part of that if YOU’d like to?!
P.s.: Would you like to see more of my work or stay updated? You can find me on Facebook and Instagram or you can take a look at my website! And if you got some questions, feel free to ask, I won’t bite, I will cheer!