January 2, 2012
It’s always good to use a variety of reference pictures, screenshots and official art, some fan art for ideas, other cosplays to see how people pulled it off, and sometimes even pics of makeup or contacts you might like for the character! Usually you should have at least one good picture of the front of the costume, and one good picture of the back of the costume.
If a character has inconsistencies with their outfit (colors change, pieces appear and disappear) choose one version to use for your costume and try to find consistent references for that version. photobucket.com‘s image search and google.com‘s image search are great for all kinds of pictures, especially screenshots. Try variations of the names of the characters or show (for example try the japanese name) to find more pictures. Still having trouble? Try taking screenshots from youtube.com or another site that has clips of the show.
cosplay.com, curecos.com, worldcosplay.net, deviantart.com, cosplaylab.com and acparadise.com are all great for finding cosplay photos. It also helps to sketch out the character so you have a good idea of the pieces involved, even if you aren’t a great artist it can help to get your ideas out on paper.
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