Empowering Cosplayers to Transform
Studio Cosplay, a Washington DC area-based non-profit, is combining the world of cosplay and makerspaces. Cosplay is the art of making costumes combined with wearing and performing in costume. A makerspace is a community or shared workspace.
In 2015, Studio Cosplay will offer a new workshop by cosplayers for cosplayers. Members can collaborate with people they can relate to in a space they may not have at home using tools and equipment they might not have access to. Studio Cosplay will offer hands-on classes for cosplayers across all skill levels, ranging from sewing to photoshoots to working with thermoplastics. Photographers and cosplayers will have a spot at the studio where they can use a green screen and capture their finished creations. The group also plans to provide emergency repair support at fandom conventions nationwide where members can glue up, stitch up, finish up, and rest up before diving back into the crowd.
Our workshop will have multiple stations that are catered specifically to making and displaying costumes, fabricating armor, and creating props. These stations will include sewing, painting, fabricating, wig styling, classes, 3D printing. We will also have a green screen for photographing your finished projects. We are still looking for the perfect space, which will ideally have DC metro access and be within driving distance of Baltimore.
Studio Cosplay’s mission is to promote community through the art of costuming by providing workspace, opportunity, and education. The organization’s founders, Liz Gmaz, Stefanie Hackenberg, Sabrina “Katilist” Maizland and Daria Medved, are themselves cosplayers who saw a need in the cosplay community for a place where cosplayers can go to work on their projects, meet other cosplayers, learn how to make costumes and props, and expand their artistic expression. Founder Stefanie Hackenberg states, “There are so many creative people in the cosplay community but many don’t have the means or skill to transform into their favorite characters the way they envision. The art of cosplay should only be limited by imagination; not by logistics or lack of knowledge.”
The DC metro area is a great location to host this workshop, because there are so many people with interest in making costumes here. LARPers, professional costumers, theatre groups, artists, photographers, members of groups such as SCA and many others have enthusiastically expressed a desire for a one-stop-shop for creating, collaborating, and learning, unique to costume making. Many cosplayers wear costumes to fan conventions and some of the biggest fan conventions in the country are held here, including Katsucon, Otakon and AwesomeCon.
The studio will kick off a crowd-sourcing campaign in early 2015 to fund the workshop’s start-up expenses, offering multiple “cosmakerspace” membership tiers to meet the needs of interested cosplayers and to fund subsequent years. For more information find Studio Cosplay at: www.studiocosplay.org