"How much money can I make cosplaying?"
Within the last few years, this question has been asked by a large group of people. Many seek to get into the hobby as a job; something they can be employed at. Many feel it is an avenue to not only internet fame but fortune as well. So how much money does the average cosplayer make? What can you expect in terms of increasing your financial status? I have complied a list for those who are seeking an answer to their question.
If you want to know how much an average cosplayer makes, you have to ask them what their day job is. Yes, I said day job.
FACT: COSPLAY COSTS MONEY. If you are making your own costumes and props or if you are hiring someone to commission it for you, it's going to cost money. You have to pay for it. Wigs costs money. Makeup and body paint costs money. Shoes, boots, the list goes on.
FACT: TRAVELING AND ATTENDING CONVENTIONS COSTS MONEY. Food, gas, hotel, round trip plane ticket, luggage, round trip train ticket, you get the idea. If you want to attend conventions in your area or across the country, get ready to save up. It's not cheap.
FACT: YOU CAN MAKE MONEY COMMISSIONING COSTUMES AND PROPS. I know many talented individuals who have a side business and make incredible pieces of art for paying costumers. Many of them do have day jobs. Others are so successful that it has become their primary job. These gifted men and women are costume and prop makers.
FACT: YOU CAN SELL PRINTS AND CALENDARS AND MAKE MONEY but don't expect to quit your job. It's side money at best.
FACT: YOU DON'T GET HEALTH INSURANCE OR A 401K BY COSPLAYING.
FACT: SOME SHOWS WILL COMPENSATE YOU FOR BEING A GUEST BUT OTHERS WON'T. I know a number of people who have attended a comic-con as a cosplay guest or judge but they paid out of pocket to be there. Not every show is going to pick up all of your expenses (hotel, plane ticket and food) however some of them will. It really depends on the convention organizers.
FACT: MAJORITY OF COSPLAYERS HAVE DAY JOBS.
FACT: SOME COSPLAYERS HAVE BEEN ABLE TO TURN THEMSELVES INTO A BRAND. This means that they not only sell prints, but items such as warbla and all ready made props and accessories you can purchase. They thought outside the box therefore their sales are higher compared to someone who only sells prints. They are more of a Cosplay warehouse. Can you quit your job and rely on online sales? Only if you turn yourself and your online store into a brand. Many women bill themselves as "full time cosplayer" however it is difficult to say if they are paying the rent/mortgage or if their significant other/spouse is. If they have a partner who brings in a forty hour per week paycheck, that explains why they can cosplay "full time" but realistically you cannot dress up and expect money to pour in.
Everything I have listed here is based on experience, observation and Intel.
Hopefully this gives everyone a realistic perspective on how much money you can make cosplaying.
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