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How to regain motivation for cosplay (Ft. Jedimanda)

I LOVE cosplay. I love creating amazing things, putting on a new costume for the first time, taking my cosplay out for a photoshoot. But while I really do love it, sometimes I just don’t want to do it. Maybe I lose interest or motivation in a project, and it sits on the shelf gathering dust for weeks or months.

Losing motivation for cosplay is something that I think every cosplayer has struggled with at one time or another. It happens differently for everyone, and the way someone can get over it and start cosplaying again is also different for everyone. 

To help with this, and hopefully have advice that will work for everyone, I created this blog post, including lots of tips and tricks to help you regain motivation for cosplay. If you prefer it in video format, I also have a video about how to regain motivation for cosplay!

Featuring Jedimanda

In addition, I have also brought in a special guest for today — the well-known cosplayer Jedimanda! She has a ton of experience cosplaying, and, like everyone else who has ever cosplayed, she has sometimes lost motivation for it. It’s awesome to have her here today, to have her insights. Here’s a bit of an introduction from her!

Jedimanda: “HELLO! I’m Amanda, I go by Jedimanda online and I am a cosplayer. I am a content creator, YouTuber, and seamstress that makes cosplay content for my large fandom soul. Cosplay is my hobby and sometimes side hustle, it’s not my full-time job. I work for the Speed Art Museum as their Marketing and Communications Coordinator in the daytime. Then when I come home, I turn into a night owl that will sew until 4 am.”

 So, with that, let’s get into cosplay motivation!

WHY did you lose motivation for cosplay?

If you want to regain motivation for a cosplay project, I think it’s important to know why you lost motivation in the first place. Are you at a tough spot in the costume creation? Do you no longer like the show or the character? Are you just tired of cosplaying as a whole? There’s a lot of things that can cause you to lose interest or motivation for a cosplay, and it varies from person to person, and from cosplay to cosplay.

Jedimanda: “Life gets in the way. My job can drain me daily and I will come home and just want to play animal crossing night. I rarely lose motivation in a costume because maybe the show is over or the film has already premiered. I make the cosplays I want to cosplay no matter the “trend”.”

Once you identify why you stopped wanting to work on the cosplay, the next step is to decide if you actually want to FINISH the cosplay.

If you have no interest in the show or character anymore, if there’s nowhere you’re planning on wearing it, you don’t have to finish the cosplay! I definitely have cosplays that I’ve started and never finished. It’s okay to leave a project if you no longer want to work on it.

But for the sake this blog post, let’s assume that you want to finish the cosplay, and simply want to rekindle your motivation for it. Here’s some ideas that may help!

Go back to the source

Going back to the source is a great way to get back motivation for your cosplay. If you’re cosplaying from a TV show, rewatch the show! Look at fan art, look at other people’s cosplays. It’s a strategy that’s helpful for a lot of cosplayers, and it can help you rediscover that first spark of interest and excitement you had for the character!

Jedimanda: “When this pandemic hit, I thought I would have all the time in the world to create on my own time without the deadline of a convention or photo shoot. Turns out, it did the opposite for me. I found that I kept rethinking why I am making this costume, when am I going to wear it, and if it’s even worth it. It was a battle in my mind consistently, but I found ways around it. Watching more media like films, tv series, and youtube videos would give me instant inspiration and kickstart my motivation wheel.”

Spending time with the original source material can be such a great way to help you regain interest in a cosplay.

One of the cosplays Jedimanda completed during the pandemic (photo credit to Alexandra Lee Studios)

Take a break

But sometimes, what you need is to take a break. Give yourself some distance from the cosplay, so you can recharge your creative batteries.

Sometimes this means switching from working on one part of the cosplay to working on another part. Or maybe it means working on a completely different cosplay, or even a smaller prop or project. Sometimes it means taking a break from cosplay altogether, and pursuing something else for a while.

Do whatever works for you, and whatever helps you regain motivation for the cosplay. Sometimes, absence makes the heart grow fonder (that’s a quote that people use, right?). It’s a technique that’s helpful for a lot of cosplayers.

Jedimanda: “I will either put the costume aside and start something else (usually a simpler project) or just close it up for a while. Sometimes, I’ll even bring in help from my cosplay friends to complete it. Cosplay will always be there for me but I know that life comes first. If I need to fully step away from cosplay I tend to fall onto my other hobbies which include bread-making, oil painting, or bullet journaling.”

Having other hobbies or interests you can go back to instead of cosplay can be awesome for when you need to take a break. I personally like to draw, or sometimes play video games. Find something that makes you happy!

If this means the cosplay takes longer to finish, that’s okay! My General Amaya cosplay took me almost six months to complete!

general amaya
General Amaya – the cosplay that took me 6 months to finish

Have a good support system

Another great way to regain motivation for cosplay is to have people to hype you up! Whether it’s irl friends or people on the internet, talking to people who are just as excited about cosplay or the character as you are can be a great way to get hyped up again. 

Talk about the character, talk about the show or video game, talk about your ideas or struggles in creating the cosplay. Whether you just need someone to listen, or offer advice, talking to others can really help you get back in the flow.

Jedimanda: “I have a fantastic Discord community. I can hop on there, talk about my issues, and my Discord peeps will chat with me and give me the support I need. I will reach out to other cosplay friends too. I’m blessed to have such a great cosplay support system through other people.”

scarlet witch
Making this cosplay shortly after the show finished gave me lots of excited people to talk to about it!

Cosplay is for YOU

There are a ton of different ways to regain motivation for cosplay, and I hope that this blog post has helped you find something that works for you! 

Remember, though, for most of us, cosplay is just a hobby, and if doing it isn’t making you happy, it’s okay to take a break, or even stop entirely. Cosplay should be for YOU. 

A big thank you to Jedimanda for being willing to be a part of this! Make sure to check out her socials for some more awesome cosplay work.

I wish you good luck and lots of motivation in all of your cosplay ventures!

(Cover photo credit: Left image, Winterstar Cosplay. Right image, Alexandra Lee Studios)

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