Cosplay is now a permanent activity in the community, convention in worldwide. My philosophy on the subject was at first “to each their own.” No point in getting angry over how others choose the spend their money. Cosplay prints weren’t for me because who would want my photo in their house. I don’t even have a physical photo of me in my house.
Also, practically speaking, I was not well-known to make the best out of selling prints. Even now I roll my eyes and laugh when friends joke that I’m “cosplay famous” because I still think I am far from it. Understanding the fact that you don’t have to be cosfamous to sell prints was a mental line I had to cross before I made my decision.
After being an artist alley neighbour of a cosplayer who was selling prints, I was reminded that some people buy cosplay prints simply because they like the character or are amazed at the art of the photograph. They sold prints to people who had no idea who they were. On the flip side, there are people out there who are strong supporters of cosplayers work and they want to support them however they can.
For years I have been selling trinkets in artists alleys trying to get some income to help subsidize the high cost of my hobby. I’m going to keep cosplaying regardless of the side income I get from sales. At this point, after getting enough request or inquiries about prints I figured it was time to give it a try. Why not cancel out the costs of the hobby by using something you are already producing? No leftover merchandise and no wasted hours sounds like a sweet deal.
All revenue from my prints will get directly reinvested back into cosplay projects. At best it will be a drop in the bucket compared to my actual expenses. Check out my year end blogs if you want an idea of how much I spend on costumes and conventions.
Many cosplayers who offer prints are not making a profit. Once you deduct all your costs (costume, paid shoot, travel, printing cost, table costs, etc) they are most likely still in the red. Which is why the second half of this blog will explore whether prints are for you and tips on getting started.