Back to the Future with Lea Thompson: An Interview 

Back to the Future with Lea Thompson: An Interview 

MegaCon Orlando pulled off an unprecedented treat when they announced that the entire main cast of Back to the Future would be reuniting at the convention. Along with a Q&A session, convention attendees had the opportunity to meet the Hollywood elite through photo ops and autograph sessions. I myself took the bait and lined up with everyone else (Marty McFly garb and all) to meet the infamous Michael J. Fox.

RELATED: Marty McFly Cosplay Review – Fun.com

 I had tried to set up a few Back to the Future interviews with the cast (including Fox, Christopher Lloyd, and Lea Thompson) since I was attending MegaCon as Press, but to no avail.

That is, until the 11th hour when I finally had the chance to interview Lea Thompson herself.

Lea Thompson and her sister were absolutely incredible and accommodating. I was admittedly nervous, not wanting to ask questions that she had heard over and over again, but with only ten minutes to spare…well, I did my best.

I also attended Ms. Thompson’s Q&A with Back to the Future co-star, James Tolkan, on Saturday afternoon and asked her a simple, yet daunting, question. This was before I knew I would have the opportunity to speak with her for a one-on-one interview. So you’ll see that at the end! Here is my full Back to the Future interview transcript with the lovely Lea Thompson, a.k.a Loraine McFly.

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Back to the Future Interview with Lea Thompson

Back to the Future interview with Lea Thompson

You can watch the live interview on my YouTube channel here!

Full Back to the Future Interview Transcript Below:

 

Lea Thompson (a.k.a Lorraine Baines): What’s your name?

Cosplay & Coffee / Lea Thompson: Tiffani!

Lea Thompson: Tiffani! Hi, Tiffani!

Cosplay & Coffee (a.k.a Tiffani): Nice to meet you!

C&C: Alright, hi guys! I’m here with Ms. Lea Thompson who plays Lorraine on Back to the Future.

LT: Lorrain McFly, Baines, Tannon…

C&C: All of ‘em!

LT: All of them.

C&C: So. We’re at MegaCon 2019. How’s your weekend been?

LT: Good, it’s been great. The fans here are great. It’s a lot of team spirit and I’ve had a great time.

C&C: Yeah? Do you come to a lot of conventions?

LT: Uh, you know, I do like three or four a year.

C&C: Oh, wow.

LT: Yeah, yeah. So I… I get around.

C&C: And how often do you guys all get together? Like this weekend we have Michael J. Fox, we have Thomas Wilson right here…

LT: Yes!

C&C: Everybody!

LT: James…

C&C: Christopher Lloyd…

LT: Yes. Uh, not that often. I’d say like three or four times a year.

C&C: That you all get together?!

LT: Yeah!

C&C: Oh, wow!

LT: Well, just for the last, like, maybe two…two years, yeah.

C&C: Okay.

LT: Yeah so not all… You know it’s hard to get time where we’re all…

C&C: Right, right, all together…

LT: Not working.

C&C: Yeah!

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C&C: So, I had a couple questions about…which, hopefully, you haven’t heard too often before because I know you get asked the same questions… What was the first day on set of Back to the Future like?

LT: Wow… I don’t remember!

C&C: No? Were you intimidated?

LT: I’m so sorry, it was only like thirty-five years ago. Sure, it was intimidating. I mean, it was super exciting, it was a great script, and you know, it was super exciting to be part of a Spielberg movie. I’m no dummy.

C&C: Of course!

C&C: And do you remember the last day on set? Like if it was emotional knowing you weren’t all going to be together again working on everything?

LT: Yeah… but then we did the sequel so we spent another year working together. But we didn’t think there was going to be a sequel.

 

C&C: In terms of conventions and everyone being here, have you seen any Lorraine cosplays?

LT: Yeeeeees! A beautiful one. Beautiful dress — exactly like mine — she had a wig and everything. I’ve seen a few, but that was the best one I’ve seen.

C&C: Really?

LT: Yeah.

C&C: I have been wanting to do the dress, the prom dress one, for years but I’m not great with sewing so it hasn’t happened yet.

LT: Yeah, the actual real dress is very uncomfortable.

C&C: Oh really? I was wondering if it would be because it looked like it was corseted and I hate corsets, they’re horrible.

LT: Yeah… super tight, super tight.

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C&C: So, what are you working on right now? What can we see you in next?

LT: I am actually directing an episode of Star Girl which is a new show for DC streaming. So it’s really exciting, it’s my first kinda superhero show that I’m directing. But yeah, people are giving me directing jobs and not acting jobs.

C&C: Is that a good thing?

LT: Uh, you know what, I like to work so… it works. It’s good to direct.

C&C: So on Back to the Future, we see a bunch of behind-the-scenes things and it looks like a ton of fun making films, like, it seems like the best job in the world. So is it more work than play, or like, an even balance of both?

LT: No, it’s a lot more work than play. You know, we take it very seriously. There’s a lot of money on the line and yeah… It’s actually quite a long day. So like twelve-thirteen hours and when we were doing all the age makeup it ended up seventeen hours a day so…

C&C: Seven days a week?

LT: No, only five days a week…

C&C: Still long!

LT: But they used to be able to do six days a week, but no, the unions came in and said no. It’s very long hours.

C&C: Well, I’ll let you get back to your convention.

LT: You look fantastic! Thank you, Tiffani.

C&C: Thank you! No problem.

LT: Thank you, guys! Come to the comic-cons! Support your local cosplayers! Woo-hoo!

C&C: Thanks, guys and I’ll see ya next time.

 

 

And a bonus question I got to ask her on Friday at her MegaCon Q&A panel with James Stewart Tolkan:

C&C: I feel like this happens a lot with movies, especially recently, and they get made into sequels. What would your thoughts be if they were to remake Back to the Future?

[Crowd: OOOOOOOOOH!]

LT: We get asked this question a lot and Bob Zemeckis still owns the rights, they didn’t make a sequel deal or anything, so we got all the rights. and they said repeatedly ‘over their dead body.’

But! They just announced today that they’re making a musical. So I’m preparing,

(Thompson singing) Oh my God, he’s a dream, oh my God, he’s a dream! Oh my God, he’s a dreeeeeeam!

SEE MORE INTERVIEWS!

8 Steps To Starting Your Cosplay YouTube Channel

8 Steps To Starting Your Cosplay YouTube Channel

Most, if not all of us, have considered starting a cosplay YouTube channel. This video platform has been a source of DIY material since 2005 and the videos are only becoming more and more intricate. 

I’m not going to lie; I had literally no idea people made a living off of YouTube until I nonchalantly uploaded my first video around 2017. I was still under the impression that YouTube was a video version of Photobucket (which I also realize is as ancient as the Yellow Pages and the telegraph). 

So for someone like me (who had been living under a rock for the better part of a decade), seeing the possibilities that YouTube presents enthralled me. There’s money to be made on YouTube, but more importantly, it gives creators a chance to develop a community more tight-knit than anything you could hope to accumulate on Instagram. There’s just something about broadcasting that intimate, live version of yourself that’s vulnerable and unfiltered that YouTube audiences are grateful for.

Okay, I’m done rambling. I put together this article coming from the perspective of a wide-eye newcomer who had a hard time learning the ins and outs of YouTube. But after intense and continuous research, these are the first 8 steps you should take when starting your cosplay YouTube channel. 

Step 1: Create a Google Account

Whoa, ground-breaking, I know. But in case you were wondering if you could create a YouTube channel with your Yahoo email, the answer is no. 

When you click ‘Create Account’ you can set it up for yourself or to manage your business. I’m not sure the difference between the two as the latter is a new option I haven’t seen before. Either way, your Google platform will be your central hub for managing emails, uploads, and settings concerning your cosplay YouTube channel.

Step 2: Research, Research, Research

It should go without saying that this is the most important step. Don’t overindulge in this step (like I did) though or else you’ll come out with more than you can chew. Everyone has their own opinion on how to run YouTube channels, and you’ll only know what’s best for you through trial and error. 

That being said, if you don’t already have a handful of your favorite channels, start exploring. It doesn’t just have to be cosplay YouTube channels, either. Having some inspiration can help you come up with your own channels’ aesthetic and overall purpose.

Mykie’s Glam and Gore channel is actually what made me want to start my YouYube. She has a Playlist of info on starting a YouTube channel that was paramount in my overall research. Here are some factors you’ll learn in her videos:

  • Filming setup
  • Lighting
  • Pacing
  • Camera Equipment

Step 3: Write Down Ideas for Your Cosplay YouTube Channel

So, after you’ve researched what other cosplay YouTube channels are out there (part of Step 2), you’ll need to decide where your own ideas come into play. What do you have to offer that nobody else does? Do you want to do tutorials? Convention storytimes? Short and concise cosplay advice? Or do you want to provide some sort of entertainment like MELF’s quirky cosplay videos?

Write down a list of ideas and figure out how you can mold these into a channel. Also, if you already have a cosplay audience established on other social media, I would stick with the same name (easier to find). 

Keep in mind that you don’t have to stick to one niche (despite popular opinion). YouTube offers Playlists, which means you can cast out a net of ideas and see which ones stick. I started off doing cosplayer interviews, but if you check my Playlists, you’ll see I also do cosplay tutorials and product reviews. And over time, it’s become obvious that reviews do the best for me.

Here are just a few categories and ideas for your cosplay YouTube channel to get you started:

Entertainment: cosplay blogs, parodies, challenge videos, opinion/unpopular opinions on your favorite fandom, storytime videos

Informational: short DIY videos, cosplay advice, SFX and makeup tutorials, full cosplay tutorials, product reviews

Niche: Focus your content on your favorite fandom with just sprinkles of cosplay. Some fantastic cosplay YouTubers who do this are Tessa Netting, Traci Hines, and Chris Villain

RELATED: Subscribe to Cosplay & Coffee’s YouTube!

 

*Disclaimer: If you look at my channel and decide I don’t know what I’m talking about purely based on numbers, you can get outta here with that bs. This info is based on years of research and my own trial and error. Just be cool, damn!

Step 4: Gather Supplies

I’m going to do a whole other blog on cosplay YouTube supplies, but for now, let’s keep it simple. Your phone is the best and most practical starting point. In fact, sometimes I prefer to film with my phone instead of breaking out my expensive camera and backdrop set-up. 

Here are the only things you absolutely need for your first cosplay YouTube video:

  • A video camera
  • An editing system (if you have an iPhone, congratulations! You have one for free on your phone and computer)
  • Good lighting (either in front of a window for natural light or one of these $5 things that you can clip to your phone)

Step 5: Practice Filming and Editing

The one thing that I don’t think many people address when it comes to filming for YouTube is just how incredibly awkward it is. Even if you script out your videos (which I recommend), it’s unnatural to film and talk to yourself in front of a camera.

You may think of yourself as a natural performer, but even then, you may find it’s hard to come across as your true self in this type of setting. My best advice is just to go for it. Film yourself over and over again until you feel somewhat comfortable. Uploading your first video might be extremely daunting, but there’s really no preparing for it. Just do it.

The toughest and most tedious part of having a YouTube channel is learning how to edit. Your iPhone’s free iMovie editing system is a great place to start, but eventually, you’ll probably be like me and want to move up to systems like Final Cut or Adobe Premiere Pro. Then again, there are times when editing a quick vlog on iMovie is preferable to me than trying to work in Adobe Premiere. 

Step 6: Familiarize Yourself with the YouTube Settings

When you go to upload your first video, you’ll notice that it asks you to include more than just the title and the thumbnail. You’ll want to add tags and write in the description for SEO optimization.

Take a look at the descriptions in my videos to see how I set mine up. It includes links to related videos as well as contact information and links to my other social media platforms. Trust me when I say that including this information is important.

Step 7: Create a Cohesive Look

I’m personally still figuring this out because I’m God-awful with design and branding, but I feel better knowing that my channel looks at least a little bit more professional. Your cohesive look is speaking specifically to your thumbnail photos.

These front images should be enticing above all else. People will judge your videos by their cover, so you want to create thumbnails that will intrigue viewers to click on them. And don’t underestimate the use of bold lettering. 

This step isn’t super important but if you’re big on aesthetic, then coming up with a couple of staple fonts and a color scheme will make your overall channel look that much more impressive. 

Step 8: Set Realistic Expectations

Are you going to start earning millions off of YouTube right away? No. Are you even going to hit 1K subscribers right off the bat? Not unless you have an established and engaged audience already. 

The hardest thing that I had to learn is that staying consistent on YouTube is hard work. You have to treat it as a job if you want to be successful. Which is really hard as a cosplayer because building cosplays is already a tough gig on its own. Most people recommend posting 1-2 videos a week to grow a following, but I have yet to find a cosplayer with that kind of time of their hands. 

If you want to provide cosplay tutorials, aim for one video per month. And even that will take a lot of will power. You can create filler “episodes” by filming shorter videos like the ones I mentioned above that require less editing. 

YouTube is a ruthless beast and I think it’s especially tricky for cosplayers. We already dedicate so much of our time to the actual crafting process that it can be hard to stay consistent like the more successful YT channels. Just remember not to compare yourself. Everyone’s journey is different and one person’s success won’t define how you find yours. 

RELATED: Everything Cosplayers Should Know About Patreon

A FULL List Of Cosplay Discount Codes

A FULL List Of Cosplay Discount Codes

 

cosplay discount code

Disclaimer: Actions taken from clicking on links may yield commission for the site. All content and photos are copyright Cosplay and Coffee unless otherwise noted. Sponsored content is clearly disclosed within the post.

Oh hey, guys!  If you watched my parody of How To Get 50% Off Your Next Cosplay….

I’m sorry.

As tempting as those offers are, they aren’t real, okay?!

So instead, I thought it might be useful to give you a comprehensive list of cosplay discount codes that I personally am able to offer.

It can be frustrating trying to remember which cosplayer you saw on Instagram had which coupon code. And then it can be time-consuming because you’ll have to dig your way through their photos to find the caption with the actual discount code.

This is easier, right?

If you’re a cosplayer and would also like to contribute your discount codes to the cause, send me an e-mail or a DM on Instagram so that everyone has one, nice place to refer to for updated coupon codes! 

(Keep in mind, that I won’t be earning anything off of other cosplayers discount or affiliate links. I just like to be helpful.)

So without further ado, here are some discount codes from some of the best cosplay-related companies on the inter-web.

RELATED: How To Buy A RPC Studio Suit

Cosplay Discount Codes From Cosplay and Coffee

I’ll be updating this list the more collaborations I get, so make sure to bookmark this blog so you can keep coming back for more coupons! 

 

Cosplay Sky: Use Code COSPLAYCOFFEE for 10% Your Cosplay!

 

RELATED: Top 5 Custom Spider-Man Suit Features To Order | Zentai Zone Review

Other Cosplay-Related Companies I Recommend

Most of these companies will list discounts or sales on the front page of their website, so those direct links are provided here for you:

RELATED: Cosplay Product Reviews

 

What other cosplay shops or supplies do you recommend? Leave them in the comments below!
Everything Cosplayers Should Know About Patreon

Everything Cosplayers Should Know About Patreon

If you are looking into making your own cosplay Patreon page, or even if you already have one, then you have probably discovered that running your own Patreon is exhausting work. There’s a lot to take in, and even if you have brilliant ideas for your Patreon rewards, you may still be struggling to actually get patrons.

I’ve only had my own Patreon since January 2019 (about 7-8 months at the time of writing this blog). I don’t know about you, but I’ve felt frustrated with this platform. I keep asking myself, “should I have waited until I had a bigger audience?” (under 5K at this point) or “what should I be offering in order to get more patrons?”

The thing is, these are difficult questions to answer if you don’t do your research. And while I’m still building my own platform, I thought I’d throw together this blog for anyone who wants fast, easy, and direct information on starting or amping up your cosplay Patreon.

So, if you’re struggling with your own Patreon, don’t worry– we all are. But with some research and patience (what’s that?), I’m confident that all of our cosplay Patreon pages can be successful. You just have to really, really want it. 

RELATED: MORE PATREON INFO

Should All Cosplayers Get A Patreon?

First things first: what the heck is Patreon?

Patreon is a membership platform that allows creators (see: cosplayers) to offer a subscription service to their followers. Notice the word “service.” This means you are providing a service to people. Or even a product, which is the case with many cosplayers. People like to refer to Patreon as a tip jar, but I feel this term is off the mark. Servers and bartenders live off of their tips, and Patreon should only be one avenue in which you make money as a cosplayer.  Some cosplayers are successful in making Patreon the bulk of their income, but from my research, this is only a small percentage. 

So, should all cosplayers get a Patreon? Why not? There’s no harm in setting one up, especially if you need an extra way to earn money for your cosplay tools. However, you shouldn’t expect to be successful if you’re not willing to put in the work. And if you can’t, that’s totally fine. You can still make extra money for your cosplay supplies by sticking with platforms like Ko-Fi where there isn’t really a product or service expected in response to a donation. 

Why You Should Start A Patreon

If you’re in the cosplay community and you’re looking for cosplay-related income, you should at least have a profile set up. Not only can you support other cosplayers this way, but you can use the app to get ideas from successful cosplay Patreon pages. You can “follow” people on Patreon just like Instagram without having to put in your credit card information. I get email alerts for Kinpatsu Cosplay’s Patreon page at least once a week, despite the fact that I have yet to sign up for her Patreon rewards (which is my next step).

If you want to become a content creator of any kind, Patreon is going to be an undeniable asset to your endeavors. Without having instant access to Patreon as you have with your other social media platforms, you’re going to be clueless about how this whole process works. 

Filling Out Your Cosplay Patreon Profile

Now that I’ve convinced you to log in to Patreon and start following other cosplayers (right?), it’s time to fill out your own cosplay Patreon profile. You don’t have to do this right away, but the more you familiarize yourself with this platform, the more motivated you will be to start marketing your page. 

I recommend setting up your cosplay Patreon on a desktop. In fact, I don’t know if you can do it on the Patreon app (but you need to have the app anyway). To the left-hand side, you will see the little pencil icon, which is where you can edit your page. Here is just a brief breakdown of what you will need to consider along with some pointers:

Name: Keep it the same as all of your social media accounts so people can find you.

What are you creating: You will need to consider your rewards for this if you want to be specific. For instance, mine says “Cosplay and Coffee is creating cosplays, video tutorials, and eBooks.” However, “cosplay” is a simple enough term for now. 

Profile Photo: Professional pictures are going to be more eye-catching than selfies. The recommend size is a 256px by 256px image.

Cover Photo: Many people use this larger section to show off cosplays in a collage that they’ve already created. Make sure that the photo is cohesive on all devices, from a desktop to the Patreon app.The recommend size is 1600px wide and 400px tall.

Page URL: This should be the same as your Name.

Visibility: This is up to you. You can limit whether people can see how many patrons you have, though I wouldn’t suggest that. In addition, if you’re trying to hit certain monetary milestones, then it might be worth it to show anyone who visits your cosplay Patreon profile exactly how much you are earning each month in order to encourage them to subscribe.

About: Include pictures (and preferably an introduction video), a brief outline of your cosplay history, and why you’re on Patreon. Most importantly, tell your audience how signing up for your Patreon benefits them.

Patreon For Cosplay

We all know that creating cosplays is enough work on its own. However, you should treat your cosplay Patreon page as a second job, because essentially, that’s what it is. If you’re only putting in a few short hours into the content you’re creating for your fans, then only expect a few, short dollars coming from your cosplay Patreon page. 

Tiers: Your tiers are going to be the rewards you offer your fans each month. You need to make sure that not only are these rewards valuable in some way, but they need to be subtly different than what other cosplayers offer. The more niche you are, the more you will stand out.

If you’re just starting out, I wouldn’t recommend physical tiers (such as prints) until you have a consistent group of patrons. It doesn’t really make financial sense to spend money mailing items if you only have two $5 patrons. In the meantime, you can offer desktop or phone wallpaper downloads of your cosplay pictures. 

When it comes to naming your tiers, most cosplayers also give their Patreon tiers a fandom-related name. Mine, on the other hand, is coffee-inspired with my Tall, Grande, Venti, and Trente tiers. 

Pro Tip: Set up your Patreon to Charge Up Front. Just do it, trust me. 

Goals: Patreon suggests that the more goals you have, the more likely you will be to gather more patrons. Your goals can be something such as your first ten patrons, hitting $100 in Patreon revue, or funding your first full cosplay. You can choose to display these numbers or keep them private, but your goals should always be filled out for your fans to see. 

Rewards Versus Pay-Per-Creation: So believe it or not, you don’t even have to offer monthly rewards. You can set up a pay-per-creation, which means that your patrons will only be charged when you finish a cosplay/video/eBook or whatever it is you need funding for. Keep in mind, that the pay-per-creation seems to be more successful for cosplayers who already have a large, established audience. 

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Patreon Payout

Patreon will charge your fans on the first of every month. You can access these funds by going to the Income section on the left-hand side of your cosplay Patreon account (desktop version). You can choose to have your patreon income deposited to your Paypal account or direct deposited into your bank account. 

Patreon Transfer Fees:

  • US and International Paypal: 1% of the amount transferred with a minimum of $0.25, capped at $20.00 USD
  • US Direct Deposit: $0.25 USD per payout
  • International Payoneer: $1.00 USD per payout. See more here.

Cosplay Patreon Research

While I’d love to give you literally everything you need to know about starting a cosplay Patreon page, there is simply too much information for one blog post. Be honest, did you even fully read this whole blog? Probably not! And that’s okay– I plan on writing more about Patreon the more I learn about it myself.

Here are some additional Patreon resources that I recommend for cosplayers to optimize their Patreon content:

 

Have more cosplay Patreon tips to contribute to this post? Leave them in the comments below!

10 Ways To Make Money As A Cosplayer

10 Ways To Make Money As A Cosplayer

How To Make Money As A Cosplayer

It’s a question that most cosplayers ask themselves: how can I make money as a cosplayer? Cosplay is an expensive hobby so it’s only natural that people want to find a way to monetize their craft. For some people, earning extra cash is just a way to break even, while others are looking for a way to build their cosplay base as a potential career move. And if you know me— I’m all about finding a way to turn your creative passions into a full-time gig.

There are actually a bunch of different ways that you can make money as a cosplayer. Most cosplayers are quick to point you in the more obvious directions, like setting up a Patreon or cosplay commissions. However, I wanted to look outside the box to see just how many avenues there really are for cosplayers to earn a buck or two.

So here are my 10 ways to make money as a cosplayer.

10. Ko-Fi or Patreon

Ko-Fi and Patreon are both crowdfunding platforms that give creatives a place to collect one-time or continuous donations to fund their passions. However, these platforms are vastly different, so it’s important to note each of their unique advantages.

Ko-Fi

Ko-Fi is a donation platform that usually doesn’t result in a reward of any kind. Cosplayers use this to set up one-time goals and ask their social media fans to contribute through their special Ko-Fi platform. For example, if you need an extra $50 to buy a cosplay suit, then Ko-Fi might be a better option for a no-strings-attached contribution from your fans.

Ko-Fi doesn’t take a fee, but since the money is distributed through Paypal, their typical fees still apply. Paypal charges a 2.9% fee from the total amount and a $0.30 fee per transaction.

Patreon

Patreon is a platform that requires creators to offer “prizes” to their patrons. With Patreon, you are essentially offering some kind of product or service that your patrons are buying. This can be tutorials, prints, eBooks, or behind-the-scenes material.

9. Cosplay Commissions

Commissions seem to be the go-to method for prop makers and seamstresses to procure some form of cosplay-related income. This can be done through websites such as Etsy, or you can set up your own commissions guidelines on your own website. Termina Cosplay has a fantastic example of how to do this.

Here is a breakdown of Etsy fees.

8. Youtube or Twitch

YouTube and Twitch are both video-related platforms that can have high returns. However, they are also both extremely difficult to break into. On YouTube, you have to have 1,000 subscribers just to start monetizing your videos and even then, the payoff isn’t much without a high subscriber count. Videos that are over 10 minutes usually produce the best return on investment (ROI) because multiple ads can be placed in one video.

I personally don’t know too much about Twitch, though I plan on reviewing this platform soon so that I can give a more in-depth analysis. In the meantime, you can learn more about Twitch here.

7. eBooks or Patterns

Cosplay eBooks are usually text-based tutorials with pictures and possibly patterns. It’s (arguably) much simpler than creating a YouTube tutorial, though it requires knowledge on eBook formatting. You will also have to set up an eCommerce section on your website or you can sell your eBooks on Amazon. Amazon sellers have to pay $40 a month and they take $0.30 for every sale (here’s more information about Amazon selling). You can also use eBooks as a Patreon reward so that you are only losing the 2.9% fee that Patreon takes.

Patterns can also be sold without the eBook tutorial. These, along with eBooks, always come in PDF form. Cosplayers usually use platforms like Etsy in order to list their patterns if they don’t already have a website.

6. Sell Your Own Merch

Merch (merchandise for those not hip with today’s lingo) can come in a variety of forms. Typical merch for cosplayers are usually mugs, stickers, or even their own artwork. I honestly think that custom t-shirts could be profitable if you have a unique enough design. I have actually been struggling to come up with a new logo for Cosplay and Coffee (TM) so that I can sell my own merch soon, but I can’t make up my mind on a design.

Think carefully about the design you want and team up with a professional online retailer to talk about how distribution and shipping factors into your costs before making a decision to sell your own cosplay merchandise.

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5. Convention Appearances

Cosplayers are still having a hard time convincing conventions that their presence is worthy of pay. Some conventions will offer travel and hotel expenses as a way to “pay” their cosplay guests, but I think that cosplayers should be getting paid for their efforts. Celebrities are paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to appear at conventions, and I’m willing to bet they receive a cut of their autograph and photo op sessions.

Cosplayers, on the other hand, are expected to run panels and after-parties, but their only compensation comes from the merch they bring to their table. And even then, cosplayers are only lucky to break even. I think more cosplayers should be adamant about being paid to go to conventions or else this is never going to change. You shouldn’t have to be Jessica Nigri or Yaya Han in order to get paid as a cosplay guest.

4. Make Money Cosplaying with Prints

Prints are probably the most popular way to make money as a cosplayer. Most people offer these as rewards (usually $10 or more) on their Patreon or they sell them on Etsy. If you offer prints as a reward on your Patreon, make sure that your debt-to-income ratio makes sense. Sending out physical rewards such as prints can get costly, so you may want to set a limit to how many you send out. Ginny Di has a full breakdown which can help you determine if you are loosing money on Patreon rewards.

3. Make Money Selling Old Cosplays

Poshmark and Etsy are both quick and efficient platforms to sell your old cosplays, wigs, or props. A lot of cosplayers will utilize Facebook groups to sell old cosplays, but this method isn’t as secure. If you do choose to use Facebook to sell your old cosplays, make sure to receive half of the payment upfront. I would even go as far as to advise you to ask for the full payment upfront. Your buyer may end up not liking the cosplay or changing their mind and then just decide not to pay you the rest. And really, there’s nothing you can do about it.

2. Website Ads and Affiliate Links

Setting up a website and affiliate links requires basic HTML knowledge and it’s pretty time-consuming. The first year I had Google Ads on my website, I made maybe $10, so it’s not a huge source of income. But it can be if you’re dedicated and supply website content on a weekly basis. If your website has enough traffic, you can even sell ad space for relevant products or services.

You can also set up affiliate links in order to make money as a cosplayer. Amazon now has an influencer program so you don’t even have to have a website in order to participate. Learn more about Amazon’s influencer program here.

1. Influencer Platforms

Influencer platforms like Famebit and Activate connect influencers with brands that recognize the importance of this type of advertising. This strategy isn’t a popular way to earn money as a cosplayer, but let me tell you— the opportunity is there. I think that as more cosplay influencers sign up for this type of sponsorship, the more companies will become accustomed to utilizing our unique audience.

Some of these influencer platforms require you to have a certain following on your platforms. For example, Fambit only accepts YouTube and Tumblr influencers with an audience of 5,000 or more. However, you can sign up with Activate with next to no prerequisites.

New Year, New Cosplays

New Year, New Cosplays

cosplanner

In the two and a half years since I first stepped foot into the cosplay world, I have added 1,345 or so characters to my cosplans list. While trying to learn tricks of the trade (armor building, makeup, SFX makeup, resin, wig styling, breathing, eating, sleeping) I have made only a few simple cosplays that I am quite proud of.

So, this year is the year I decided to really buckle down and concentrate on specific cosplays. These cosplays will not only test me (mostly emotionally), but they should also teach me new techniques that I hope to share with you all on my YouTube channel.

To try to eliminate stress and expand time, I decided to implement the one cosplay per quarter method. This means that I will be making only 4 major cosplays this year, broken up in each quarter. And three months should be a sufficient amount of time to build, paint, and photograph a cosplay…right?

It works as follows:

Quarter 1 (January-March): Cosplay Project 1

Quarter 2 (April-June): Cosplay Project 2

Quarter 3 (July-September): Cosplay Project 3

Quarter 4 (October-December): Cosplay Project 4

Cosplanner

At the end of 2018, I created a spreadsheet to keep myself organized. Yes, I know there is the Cosplanner app, but I already spend way too much time on my phone. Plus, I work better having a tangible outline that I can refer to. If you want your own 2019 Cosplan workbook, you can get a free downloadable/printable version by entering in your email address right mere:

cosplans
Example of Cosplay and Coffee’s Printable Cosplanner Workbook

And if you are interested in seeing my personal Cosplans and CosGoals for 2019, I’ve listed them below! On the smaller scale, I want to upgrade some of my favorite cosplays from 2018 (such as adding armor pieces to my Mera cosplay). While on a bigger scale, I want to become a full-time writer and creator. Not such a big difference, right?

Overall, I suggest making sure you are setting realistic goals. Having a cosplanner workbook has really helped me see where my time management is slacking and what is and isn’t obtainable with the time I have on my hands. If you look at the bigger picture, it will be easier to narrow down what you want to do this year and how you can get there. To be cheesy and give you an inspirational quote:

All we can do is our best, and sometimes the best we can do is start over.

-Agent Carter

So here’s to a fresh start! There is so much to learn from this crazy crafting hobby. Whether you cosplay goal list for 2019 is big or small, don’t limit yourself to mastering just one skill. You can do it all.

2019 Cosplans

New Cosplays

  • Quarter 1 Cosplay: Iron Woman
  • Quarter 2 Armor Build
  • Quarter 3 Armor Build
  • Quarter 3 Armor Build
  • Secret New Suit
  • Amy Rose
  • Jessie- Team Rocket
  • Nala

Cosplay Upgrades

  • Mera
  • Iron Spider
  • Supergirl
  • Lola Bunny
  • Aladdin
  • Punk Jasmine

Things I want to Learn

  • Better Videography tactics
  • SFX Makeup
  • Armor Building
  • Resin

Other Goals

  • Write 2 Cosplay eBooks

 

Tell me your Cosplans in the comments!