CosDown 3: Creating Your Cosplay Handle

12:00 pm HelenLJohnson 0 Comments

I'm sure you have seen around the internet the handles of fellow cosplayers; whether that be '[blank] cosplay', [blank's] closet or any other amalgamation of cosplays and fandoms! But why do cosplayers have them? And how do you create one of your own?

First of all, you do not need a cosplay handle if you do not want one. Especially if your cosplay exploits are kept strictly to conventions with no interest in sharing. Also if you want to use your real name, then that too is completely fine; many people do.

So why have a cosplay handle?

1. They have become part of the community and one of the first questions someone may have while at a convention is 'how can I find you online? or 'how can I tag you in pictures'? So you are not sharing out personal accounts, a cosplay handle with a related social media account helps to get your pictures back to you and helps for arranging photoshoots and meet ups.

2. Privacy. Using a cosplay handle means you never need to provide your full name. Even in competitions, you can ask for your cosplay handle to be announced rather than your name. If you are sharing photos, in particular if you have a professional job, it keeps everything separated. Sure people can piece together accounts, but it makes it just that little bit harder.

3. It helps you to stand out and create a brand if you are pursuing cosplay as a way to bring in an income. I'm not even talking about full-time cosplay here; even if you plan on creating cosplay YouTube videos, having a cosplay handle aids your visibility on the web for your costumes.

4. They are quite fun! They can also hint at the kind of cosplays you do or what fandoms you associate with.

So how do you make one?

There are no hard and fast rules to creating a cosplay handle. I came up with 'Lady Scion' from using Tomb Raider as my inspiration (as that is my main cosplay fandom) so Scion comes from Tomb Raider 1. The Lady part comes from being inspired by 'Lady Noctis' who was one of the first cosplayers I followed on social media and from Lara being a Lady herself. So double the Tomb Raider! My aim was to hint, but not be obviously linked to Tomb Raider because I knew I'd be doing other cosplays and didn't want to pigeonhole myself. So no 'Crofts'! This is a good thing to keep in mind when creating your handle, you may be obssessed with 'Undertale' for example, but will you still be doing this as your main cosplay in two, three years? Here are a couple of points to keep in mind if you are stuck while creating your cosplay handle:

1. Keep it fairly neutral, it is better to hint at an association rather than directly link.  

2. Take inspiration from what you like in everyday life, mash words together, see what works! 

3. Write many names down, you'll know when one just stands out from the rest.

4. Spend some time looking at other cosplayer names, how they are formed and how it works on social media platforms. 

5. Make sure it is pronounceable and easy to spell. I've only just found out the multiple ways of saying 'Scion'. Don't make my mistake! But at least reading you can say it however you like!

6. Don't panic if you feel like nothing fits. It will come in time!

7. Once you have found a name you like, Google to make sure that it hasn't already been taken or links to something unsavory that you wouldn't like to appear when people may be searching for your cosplay. 

8. Likewise, avoid trademarks and copyrighted names. Just in case!  

9. Finally, make sure you like it. Seems simple to say but this is something that attaches to you and your work. So make it something that is special to you.

Finally, MangoSirene also has a fantastic video about cosplay handles that is well worth a watch :)
And you are done! Hopefully this has helped and I look forward to seeing all you fabulous cosplayers with your fabulous handles on social media :)! You can find me on Twitter @Lady_Scion if you have any questions.