Do I just head to conventions in a costume?
I don't know anyone to go with, should I just show up by myself?
Do i need to create a costume from scratch or can I buy one online?
Is it an accepting community and will i quickly meet people who will help me understand it more?
How do you get into any hobby? Just do it. Cosplay is just putting on a costume of a character. Some people have higher standards with craftsmanship and will like to make their on shit, while others will prioritize the more model/actor aspect and buy their shit.
And yes, you can show up by yourself. Why wouldn't you be?
Honestly everyone is super judgemental, I'm trash and I'm like the most critical person I know ( usually about myself desu.) but I found it quite easy to make friends? In terms of mAking friends don't just walk up to the big league 50k follower people, talk to a few people ( groups for the series you're cosplaying as is great, I made my first friends at a marvel shoot and as I became more known of in my comm I didn't need to go to said meets more to network.)
If this your first time DONT HALF ASS YOUR COSPLAY. i was lucky the first time i tried to make a cheap costume that it was only in my neighborhood during halloween.
>Do I just head to conventions in a costume?
>I don't know anyone to go with, should I just show up by myself?
Sure, why not?
>Do i need to create a costume from scratch or can I buy one online?
Buying a costume is frowned upon, generally. However, buy elements or parts generally isn't.
For example: Buying a Power Ranger costumes is a no. But buying a leather coat to play Tony Stark isn't. Usually.
>Is it an accepting community and will i quickly meet people who will help me understand it more?
No and No. But, good helpful people are out there. People who don't help aren't worth your time, obviously.
What this guy said, don't half ass. Pick some thing simple to start. your first costume won't be Ironman.
Read, read, read. They are communities out there: The RPF, the 501st, the 405th. Youtube is your friend.