Ever since computer games and eSports have conquered the world, cosplaying has become an increasingly well-known hobby. Cosplayers have also flooded offline esports tournaments and online streams. Breathtaking costumes, images that look completely similar with the originals, and perfect replicas of the characters’ gestures.
Take this BDO Cosplay Cinematic as an example:
Black Desert Online is an excellent raw material for cosplay makers, as it offers the cosplayers amazing locations, spectacular in-game appearances, and plenty of options to create the perfect live copy. By the way, the game loves to promote creators on its own platforms - making it even more appealing to cosplayers!
There is a ton of work behind these creations, since the clothes are not simple modifications of existing garments, but they are handmade, with a huge emphasis on the smallest detail. Making a costume literally lies in the details, and it’s not even enough to reach the final result, since you have to adapt the character’s movement, facial expressions etc.
But enough from me, let’s learn more about BDO cosplay from a professional cosplayer!
Norelly: Can you give us an introduction of yourself and what you do?
Lisanna: My cosplayer name is Lisanna, I’m 23 years old and I’m currently living in Brussels. I was born in the south of Belgium, so my native language is French. I started to cosplay in 2013, after discovering this art and passion in a Belgian convention named «Made In Asia» which is still a pretty famous one!
I thought it was so cool to create joy in the eyes of strangers through impersonating their favorite characters! Plus, cosplay is a really nice way to combine my passion for any form of art such as painting, drawing, sculpting, photography, and acting.
My mom, Bibi, was quick to help me out too since we share the same passion for art, and soon after, my boyfriend Setheal did the same, since he’s a big fan of 3D printing and electronics. Together, we have created the «DrawMeaCosplay team» and I think every one of our creations is real teamwork!
I’m the one you see, the one who chooses, creates, and wears the costume, but we are, in fact, 3 passionate people and sometimes, depending on the cosplay, it’s not even enough *laughs*!
Norelly: What is the process you follow in order to create a costume? How long did you need to create the Ranger cosplay, and what kind of difficulties did you face along the way?
Lisanna: When we decide to create a costume, there are many steps involved. First, I give my character choice to my mom and she decides if it can be possible to make or not (most of the time she said yes, even if it’s not ! *laughs*).
For the Ranger, the choice was really special to me. I really wanted to make a BDO cosplay for a long time, since me and Setheal, almost met on this game (that’s a long but cute story!), so it was kinda symbolic for both of us.
Fun fact – when I started to play the game, I was a Valkyrie, but one day I got lost in the pearl shop, and saw all of these amazing costumes – I literally felt in love with the Ranger’s looks (which would be obvious if you knew that I’ve spent so many years as a Hunter in World of Warcraft, elvish-looking girls are my type of tea!) and since that day I started to play the Ranger class – and I’m enjoying it so much!
So, cosplaying Ranger, and her amazing Ignis armor was the perfect match for me! Plus, I was in a period of time, in my cosplayer life, where I really wanted to work on a challenging costume. And… what a challenge it was! Challenge is not even a word capable to describe how complicated it was!
In total, this costume took us almost a year and a half to be done* (working only during weekends and free days, since I had to follow my studies at university – so it’s more a bunch of months if we condense all of these days together). I’m both proud and grateful that it took us so long, since it taught me SO much about cosplay and the art of making all these different pieces.
After choosing the outfit, we had to find the right materials, and the right techniques to materialize it without spending a fortune! It’s been a long time now but I remember that finding the right white fabric for the Ranger’s shirt was really hard, and I ended up painting each flower of the pattern with bare hands – for 4 full days, just to make it look as perfect it did on my reference pic. Actually, most of the difficulties we faced were due to my willingness for super accuracy (My bad!).
The list of difficulties was long, to be clear, like a big puzzle we’ve tried to solve without knowing if the final result will be wearable (spoiler: it was!). The hard part for me was finding a way to create the details on the armor, but then Worbla (a thermoplastic we’re using in cosplay crafting) saved me (and tweezers too, for tiny details).
The tiara was also a big deal for me at first (since Worbla melts when heated, so every time you heat the piece everything melts, so you have to work really quickly on, again, super tiny details), but the worst was definitely making the pattern of the elbow armor, surprisingly (I still have nightmares about it!) that Setheal ended up making for me, so I have not stuck anymore with it. For my mom, it was the green ‘vest’ with its exact 11 pleats, which was a headache to make it fit perfectly on me.
I can continue on and on, but you get the idea! It was a super hard cosplay to make, which sometimes I wanted to quit and tell the rest of the team « okay, let’s give up », but thank god I/we never did and now you can see it IRL! (Yeah!).
Norelly: Do you play Black Desert Online nowadays? Why did you decide to make this costume out of all the choices in the game?
Lisanna: I’m just starting my graduation year, so not too much these days, but I still really enjoy the game when I have time to play it. It just means so much to me and I have so many nice memories with Setheal on it!
Well, the reason I chose the Ranger was explained earlier, but I didn’t really discuss about choosing the Ignis outfit! I don’t want to sound original and say that “the amount of details convinced me”, but I was indeed looking for something very challenging to create. Fun fact: while working on the costume, I discovered more and more details that I didn’t notice at first sight. It was an adventure of its own, travelling around all the screenshots that I took in-game and from the Pearl Shop.
The other main reason was the amount of different techniques we needed to achiev the end result, such as hand painting patterns on the fabric, making solid armor with thermoplastics, designing and printing 3D parts (such as the bow base and the coins on the breast armor), sculpting angels with foam clay (which I used for the first time), and researching about making the attachments as invisible as possible (like the velcro strips that keep my legs’ armor on.).
Every aspect of the costume was interesting and a source of new knowledge. I think we can say the same about a lot of costumes of BDO’s characters – so cosplayers if you’re looking for a challenge you know where to look at -, but at the moment all of my attention was on the Ignis outfit.
Norelly: How was the photoshoot experience? Did you wear the Ignis cosplay in any event?
Lisanna: The first time I wore my cosplay was at Japan Expo in Paris, in July 2018, and I remember being super disappointed because my legs’ armor couldn’t stay attached to my legs, and my angel sculptures were drying in my hotel room, so they were unusable for the cosplay.
So I presented a « half-done » cosplay to the world, but the amount of love and support I got was already so much that it gave me enough energy to finish it! People started to share my cosplay – and I was like « no! It’s not done yet! » (*haha*), and compliment my/our work, until Kakao Games itself saw it, contacted me, and then everything went crazy (and I still cannot realize how lucky I was about that).
I had the chance to work with them at EGX (Birmingham – UK), on Black Desert booth, which was an incredible experience that let me meet other incredible BDO cosplayers such as Kazy Cosplay and Tarian Cosplay (which are now part of my BDO cosplay family among many others talented cosplayers).
And after that, destiny decided to punch my face again, and I was offered the opportunity to work with Pearl Abyss themselves (Crazy, huh ?) and I traveled to Los Angeles (yeah, my heart stopped beating too when I knew) for their « Into the Abyss » event. I helped promote the mobile version of the game next to Kazy Cosplay and I’m super proud of that.
More recently, I’ve worked with P.A. again and went to Cologne (Germany) for their « Hard Rock Coffee » event, and again, it was spectacular.
I’ve also shown this – finished – costume to a few cons in Belgium (like FACTS, Elftopia, etc.), and again the support and the love I’ve received was incredible. So, if you’re reading this and supported me (and still do today), thank you so much!
Now, about the technical aspect of wearing and being a Ranger all I can say is: it’s a lot of pain (mostly on the feet, but also on the shoulder due to the armor). You cannot really sit (due to the leg armors) and the bow can end up really heavy at the end of the day, but the happiness, the satisfaction, and the sense of power it gives you is really worth all the pain. Really!
Norelly: What other costumes are you currently working on? Are you planning to make another BDO-themed cosplay in the future? If yes, what can we expect?
Lisanna: I love to keep the surprise while we are working on a costume, but I can tell you that the Ignis armor is not the only Ranger’s outfit you will see me wearing. There is a bunch of others I’ve felt in love with, and currently, a golden sexy, and sparkly outfit really got my attention (what is your guess ? ?).
I cannot tell you when it’s gonna be done, since, again, it’s very challenging, but I can just tell you that please, be there when it’s gonna be out because it will be epic. I’m sure.
Norelly: We are already curious about your new creation, so we can’t wait to see it! Thanks for everything Lisanna, and keep creating amazing art!
If you want to keep looking between BDO-themed costumes, we’ve put together a bunch of cosplayers who have also already made costumes from the game.
Follow RZ Cos
Follow Just OK Cosplay
Follow Tarian Cosplay
Follow Scarpy Cosplay
Follow Broken Edge Cosplay
Follow Darth Lucks
Follow Blamishs Cosplay
InstaGram: Blamishs Cosplay
Follow Sheres Cosplay
Grew up in the world of games, studied journalism & programming, so I'm here to unite my passions! Currently a big fan of Black Desert Online and League of Legends. Probably still training horses at BDO.