A few months back, a cosplayer (who shall remain nameless) went viral. It was for a post in which she was very upset that she did not have the funds to travel to or attend an upcoming convention. Normally understandable, as we all run into times when money is a bit tight.
She was angry not at her situation, however, but at her followers. Apparently they were responsible for providing her with tickets to the convention, flights, a hotel, and cash to get the costume she wanted. Chastising her followers, she blamed them for her missing an opportunity.
Let’s be clear: YOUR FOLLOWERS DON’T OWE YOU ANYTHING. Cosplay is a hobby, and for very few, a profession. There are opportunities for sponsorships and commissions. Sites such as Etsy, Patreon, and Ko-Fi are built to sell your creations or find those willing to send you some money to create your cosplay art. For some, this is a little money on the side, for others, full-time commission building can be quite profitable. Unless you’re an artist by profession, it should not be your sole source of income.
If you don’t have the money to attend all the cons you’d like, hold off and prioritize a couple smaller ones. Work on assembling a simpler cosplay. Save up for one big event to really show off. But don’t assume your followers will give you everything purely because they like your cosplay. Do this for the love of the art and fandoms, not for likes and cash. That’s why you started cosplaying in the first place, right?
Don’t be one of the worst parts of our fandom, as well as a generational stereotype.