Cosplay Craftsmanship Contest

Craftsmanship Info & Rules

In the Craftsmanship Contest, cosplayers are judged on the construction and accuracy of their costume in a private, scheduled interview with a panel of experienced judges. Please review the all of the rules below before registering for this competition.

  1. Only handcrafted costumes are allowed to be entered into the Craftsmanship contest. Commissioned, store-bought or thrifted costumes cannot compete. Most of the costume should be handcrafted from scratch or heavily altered.
  2. Please bring reference for your character to your judging appointment. Participants will be judged on accuracy in addition to craftsmanship.
  3. Official designs or “fan art” designs of licensed characters are welcome to compete. Original characters will not be permitted. Art book variations or fan art reinterpretations (ex: gijinka) will be allowed with accompanying reference materials.
  4. Participants may not enter a costume that has been judged in any previous Tekko cosplay contests.
  5. If a costume will be modeled by someone else, the crafter of the costume will be the person who must submit the application, speak to the judges, and will be eligible for a craftsmanship award.
  6. All craftsmanship awards will be presented during the Masquerade event. Attending the Masquerade is HIGHLY encouraged. If the entrant cannot participate for any reason, please notify a judge or staff member during the scheduled judging session.
  7. Please arrive at least 5 minutes prior to the scheduled appointment. If the participant does not show up on to the time assigned, they will forfeit their right to compete.

Entrants may also participate in the Walk-On portion of the Masquerade, but it is not required.

Divisions - Craftsmanship Contest

Junior:  Participants 15 years of age or younger.

This category is meant to encourage young participants to develop their crafting skills. As such, Junior entries must have made most of their own costume. Costumes made by adults for juniors cannot compete at the Junior level and must compete at the skill level of their creator.

Novice:    No more than 1 major* award received

Novices are new to costume making and competing.

Journeyman:  No more than 2 major* awards received

Journeymen have some experience under their belts and have often competed before.

Master:   3 or more major* awards received

Masters are experienced costumers.


*Major award examples are: “Best Of…”,”Best In…”, ”First Place”, “Second Place” and so on.

**Judges awards do not count towards the participant’s skill level.

Craftsmanship Contest skill levels only take into account awards won on the merit of craftsmanship.

Participants may compete in a skill level higher than they are actually in, but may not compete lower level. We encourage entrants to challenge themselves! However, once the participant wins an award at a certain level, they can only compete at that level or higher from then on.

In a group, the skill level of that group is determined by the highest classed skill member of that group. For example, a group of Novices with one Journeyman must all compete as Journeymen.

Craftsmanship Judges

Noire’s Cosplay

Noire has been creating costumes and competing since 2006. During her cosplay journey she has won numerous craftsmanship awards including Best In Show at Tekko 2010 and finished in the top 20 at the North American Final Fantasy XIV FanFest in 2016. Noire’s attention to detail has allowed her to be a craftsmanship judge at multiple conventions on the East Coast. She is a huge Yuri on Ice fan and wants to make as many costumes from the show as she can. In her free time, she is an accomplished equestrian and is always with horses when she is not in her sewing room.

Facebook –

Photo by Sarah Moon Cosplays

DizzyLizzy Costuming

From Maryland, DizzyLizzy is no stranger to the world of Costuming. For over 20 years, she has been creating costumes for herself and others. During those years, Lizzy has been awarded several Best in Shows for her workmanship and performance skills. When she is not creating costumes, you can find her still behind her sewing machine creating bridal gowns for K&B Bridals. Lizzy believes in Cos-Positivity and stays active in the community by hosting workshops, judging, running Cosplay Departments such as Katsucon, Zenkaikon and AnimeNEXT, and being the curator of The Magic of Cosplay Exhibit. She is very excited to be attending Tekko this year and looks forward to meeting everyone! (Flynn Lives!)



Bio photo by  Elemental Photography

Back of Beyond Cosplay

Back of Beyond Cosplay has been sewing costumes since 2011. In that time she has competed across the Midwest and won multiple awards and Best in Show at Youmacon 2017.

Back of Beyond is a big fan of Final Fantasy XIV, and is slowing working her way through making as many pieces from the game irl. When not rhinestoning, ruffling, or raiding- she loves reading and working with whatever creative medium she can.


Bio photo by Starry Ary Photography

Masquerade Contest

Masquerade Info & Rules

The Masquerade is open to Tekko attendees. Staff and guests are not permitted to compete.

You may not enter both Craftsmanship and Performance. Rehearsal conflicts with Craftsmanship judging. You cannot enter in both the Walk-Ons and Performance. You also cannot be in two different performance entries. Stage ninjas/helpers count as performers/entrants.

Rules & Requirements

In the Performance Contest, cosplayers will take to the Main Stage and perform in front of a live audience. Performers are not judged on craftsmanship, only overall presentation. You may compete with bought or commissioned costumes. However, being a cosplay masquerade, cosplay is required. No cosplay  = no going onstage.

  1. Skits have a time limit of 4 minutes. The time it takes for you to get on and off the stage does not count toward your time limit. Your audio track must be within the time limit.
  2. Tekko is an all-ages event and the material in the Masquerade must reflect such. No explicit sexual references, explicit language, gestures or nudity. Make sure your naughty bits are properly covered at all times. All audio must be edited for content.
  3. Pre-recorded music and/or dialogue is HIGHLY ENCOURAGED and PREFERRED. We cannot guarantee more than 1 microphone. You will be asked to submit your audio file via email before the convention.
  4. Masquerade rehearsal is mandatory unless cleared with the coordinator before the convention. The exact time of rehearsal is to be determined.
  5. Stage combat and other more physical things may need approval at rehearsal to ensure the safety of attendees and equipment.
  6. Whatever comes on the stage with you must leave the stage with you. Confetti, silly string, and other “messy” props are prohibited. Your performance must also be limited to the stage area.
  7. You will be required to submit a script of your skit for approval via email before the convention.


Divisions - Masquerade Contest

Novice: No more than 1 major award received Novices are new to performing and competing.

Advanced: 2 or more major awards received. Advanced competitors have some experience under their belts and have often competed or performed on stage before.

Categories may be changed/combined depending on cosplayer turnout.

Major awards are awards that are considered “Best Of” , “Best In”,”First Place”, “Second Place” and so on. Honorable mentions, gag awards and Judges awards do not count towards your skill level.

You may compete in a skill level higher than you are actually in, but you may not compete lower than your skill level. We encourage you to challenge yourself!  BE AWARE- Once you win at a certain level you can only compete at that level or higher from then on out.

In a group, the skill level of that group is determined by the highest classed skill member of that group. For example, a group of novices with one journeyman must all compete as journeymen.


The Walk-Ons are a non-judged exhibition of cosplayers during the Masquerade. You walk on the stage, pose a few times and that’s it! Perfect for just showing off or getting a taste of what it’s like to be in a Masquerade.

This portion is open to costumes from all genres as well as original designs. You do not have to have made your costume to participate.

You may not be a Walk-On and in a Performance entry.

Walk-Ons do not attend rehearsal.

Registration for walk-ons will be done at con.  Please go to the Cosplay Repair Center to sign up!  There are limited spots available and they will be distributed on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Masquerade Performance Judges

GC-Chan Cosplay

GC-Chan Cosplay is a model, costume designer, cosplayer, and actress. GC-Chan has been an active cosplayer since 2013 and since she’s started she’s conquered new sewing techniques, as well as working with new materials such as EVA foam and Worbla. She’s always willing to answer questions and help new cosplayers level up their cosplay expertise! GC-Chan has been stage acting for 7 years and has performed in many plays such as “Midsummer Nights Dream”, “Henry IV”, “Richard III”, “Much Adu About Nothing”, and “1984”. Not only can she act, but she can also play 7 different instruments!


Bio photo by Cassimonee Photography and Cosplay


Ohio-based Ødfel is an artist, published model and costume creator and has been featured in both digital and retail publications. She tends to dabble in an array of mediums when it comes to crafting from armor, casting, or 3D printing to sewing and embroidery. A convention-goer since 2014, she instantly felt at home. She loves seeing the creativity and soul people bring to their cosplays and is excited to be judging the Masquerade at Tekko this year.


Bio photo by Will Bezio  

Golden Auriel Cosplay

Lacey Barker, aka Golden Auriel, is an award winning cosplayer and costume maker with over 10 years of sewing and costuming experience. A Pittsburgh local, they have most notably worked as a costume designer for Pittsburgh CAPA, and assistant to the costume shop director at Carnegie Mellon. As a cosplayer, Lacey primarily focuses on the art of “crossplay,” and embraces androgyny and gender nonconformity in their costumes and hopes to encourage a new age of gender expression in the cosplay community. They find a lot of enjoyment creating original designs, as well as cosplaying flashy pretty boys, and villainous characters that are typically hated by their respective fandoms. Golden Auriel Cosplay has working on costumes for “The Fairy Queen” and “Little Nemo in Slumberland” and has worked on shows for CMU such as “Into the Woods” and “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying” and is a classicly trained Soprano and has been performing since they were in elementary school.

They are tremendously excited to be invited to their hometown convention, and look forward to sharing their love for cosplay with everyone!  


Bio Photo by Vagabond Photography

Photo Meet-ups

Photo meet-ups (also called photoshoots) are fan-run gatherings for cosplayers and fans of different series and categories to gather at Tekko in order to take photos together.


This year, we’re introducing Photospots!  These marked locations are reserved for cosplayers exclusively throughout the weekend. They are open to everyone to use to take pictures except at times they’re reserved for a group shoot as seen on the schedule. These areas are great for setting up light stands or pulling cosplayers aside for a few different poses without worrying about convention traffic.

To plan a photo meet-up, first, check out the fan-sourced schedule, or do a search on Facebook to make sure no one else has already planned a gathering for your series.  Then, choose a free photospot as well as a time that works for you. You don’t have to stay at the photospot for the duration of your shoot, but in order to be placed on the Tekko schedule you must choose an officially listed one. Please bear in mind that any shoots taking place off of the DLLCC property are not covered under liability insurance–shoot at your own risk!

Next, create a public event page on Facebook, or a thread on your prefered forum, and add your event to the fan spreadsheet. Then invite fellow fans to join you! It’s up to you to promote your event, simply planning one doesn’t guarantee attendance. You can discuss pose ideas, such as specific characters, groups, pairings, or re-enactments. It’s also a good idea to choose a leader with a loud voice to call out pose directions, as well as a countdown to hold that pose.

Finally, fill out the official Tekko photoshoot request form. This will put your event on the schedule in Fan Guru, and you’ll also be informed of any potential conflicts with official events while the convention schedule is in progress.  

If you have to make any changes to times or locations, please email Please note that changing something on the fan-sourced spreadsheet does not mean that it will be updated on the official schedule! You must email us in order for us to make the changes.

Enjoying Photo Meet-ups at Con

These meet-ups are open to every attendee to take photos, whether you’re using your cell phone or your full frame DSLR! Don’t be afraid to join in when you see a group using a Photospot!

Group photo meets are the only times at a convention where it is not considered necessary for each photographer to ask for permission before taking a picture as long as you are standing in the area directly in front of the posing group so that they can see you. Don’t take shots from behind or far to the side, and let them know if you wish to film video.

At busier meet-ups, be aware of other photographers–once you’ve gotten your shot, step back to let someone else dart in. Be mindful when pulling anyone to the side to ask for an individual portrait while the shoot is going on–they might miss out on a group or character shot!

While posing ideas are often appreciated, please remember that cosplayers are not their characters, and have the right to refuse any pose or photo request. Please be sure to ask, especially if your suggested pose involves touching someone else, and respect the answer.

If you are participating in a meet, schedule a photographer or hand your camera to a friend so you can be sure to get photos of yourself.  While there are so many photographers of all skill levels at Tekko, it isn’t always easy to find their photos after the con. Don’t be afraid to ask for a business card from any who join your gathering!

Fan Photographers

This year, we’re introducing a special badge designation: Fan Photographers!

Fan Photographers is our name for the attendees who take private photoshoot bookings for cosplayers to get the very best individual shots of their costumes.  While they are not staff or specifically endorsed by Tekko, they are an important part of our community.

Fan Photographer booking information–studio name, website, price range, and preferred means of contact– will be added to a list shared on the Tekko website so attendees can find the right photographer for them. In addition, they’re granted exclusive access to the Photographer’s Lounge to meet clients and charge equipment.  

There is no additional charge or special criteria for this designation, but you must have a public online photo gallery (Facebook, Instagram, Flickr, or a personal webpage are all acceptable examples) and apply in advance of Tekko 2019.

Apply here! 

For Photographers

We do not review galleries for skill level, only to confirm that services being advertised exist and that contact information is accurate. Anyone who books individual photoshoots may apply.

Fan photographers must follow all attendee rules which may be reviewed here. This designation does not grant backstage or guest access, authority to move attendees, or permission to set up a semi-permanent location, booth, or signage OR to use electrical outlets other than the ones provided in the Photographer’s Lounge.

Solicitation for paid shoots must be done online only. All payments must be arranged up front, before any photos are taken, and using an online service such as Paypal or Venmo rather than cash is HIGHLY encouraged.  

The Photographer Lounge hours are TBD. Tekko staff is not liable for any equipment or personal items that are left unattended in the Photographer’s Lounge.

Violations or complaints may lead to this designation being revoked and your application denied for next year.

For Cosplayers

This badge designation is not an official endorsement of the photographer’s services. Please be sure to research and make sure that the photographer is a good fit for you.  

You should agree on pricing, the time payment is due, and the amount of photos that are expected in written communication before the convention. We highly recommend using a service like Paypal or Venmo that has consumer protection policies for payment.

Photographers are not permitted to solicit for paid shoots at con. If someone takes your photo and then requests money, please contact a member of staff promptly.

It is always acceptable to bring a companion to a private shoot. If a photographer requests that you come alone, or to a location other than the one you have agreed upon, you have the right to refuse.

Areas off of the DLLCC property are not covered by liability insurance or media agreements. Please be aware that you shoot there at your own risk.

If you have any issues with a photographer, please contact for harassment related issues, or for issues regarding photo delivery post con.

Who’s booking?

Cosplay Repair Station

You are now entering Hangar Bay 16 aka Cosplay Repair! We are a highly skilled group of Cosplayers and enthusiasts here to help you fix your minor costume and prop mishaps.

This FREE service is available for all with badges to the convention!

You will recognize our staff by their aprons and CRC badges. We will also have a Cosplay Medic wandering the convention to help with on the spot needs.

We have dressing rooms and stations for Wigs, Glues and adhesives, Sewing, general repair and paint. Our staff is knowledgeable in all areas. We are a safe space where you can change outfits, fix items (yes, even your pants for you non-cosplayers!) and prepare for judging. Here are our 8 simple rules.

  1. Repair only—no construction! The only exception is on Thursday night during preview–we will help you finish your cosplay! (5-8:45pm)
  2. Active repairs only—people not actively repairing costumes will politely be asked to leave.
  3. The wig station is for brushing out and preparing wigs only–our staff most likely will not cut your wig for you.
  4. Only staff can change sewing machine settings, change needles or thread, etc. Only Con Mom can touch and use the serger! (just ask)
  5. Attendees may use hot glue unsupervised—all other glues require staff supervision!
  6. Supplies may not leave the Cosplay Repair Center (other than bobby and safety pins or fashion tape).
  7. Do not leave items in the Cosplay Repair Center, they will be taken to Con Ops as lost and found.
  8. Be respectful and courteous to all around you, we do not wish to banish you from Cosplay Repair. 🙂

Magic of Cosplay

The “Magic of Cosplay Exhibit” returns to Tekko!

For 2019, we have secured even more beautiful costumes, props, and wigs for your viewing pleasure.  The exhibit will give you a chance to get up close and personal with the creations, but please, No Touching. Don’t worry, we do have some great items that you can touch and a project you can participate in.  We have videos, costume construction books, and a Cos-Positivity question for all to answer. We hope the exhibit will inspire you to get creative! Our Exhibit staff will be present to answer any and all questions you may have.  We look forward to seeing you at the convention!

You can see photos from last year’s Tekko exhibit here:

Would you like to be showcased in this exhibit?


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