Location: New Jersey
What is your favourite food?
Favourite food. Hm. I would have to say its a tie between sushi and Chicken Caesar Salad wraps. I love both far too much. Oh. And bagels. Bagels are amazing.
I met you very briefly at Katsucon when you wore your La Muerte costume (which was stunning), how long did you take to make it and which was the hardest thing about it?
Thank you so much! La Muerte was roughly four-five months of work. I tend to do a lot of research on characters and origin, so that usually is where my first 3-4 weeks of work usually go. And because this was such a cultural based film, I wanted to make sure I understood everything about The Day of the Dead before I proceeded.
The hardest part of her? Honestly, there was no easy part. Everything on the costume was completely drafted from scratch and I had a lot of long nights of zooming in on screenshots to figure out designs, painstakingly putting the designs onto the dress pieces or figuring out how to make her crazy hat (which I’m in the process of remaking). The film was still in theatres, so I went to see it at least 5-6 times, each time with a notebook to write down things I noticed about her costume that I might had missed the first time. But I wouldn’t change anything about the process. It was probably the most fun I have had working on a costume in a long time.
You have done a lot of fun and colourful costumes, which has been your favourite to wear?
Its so hard to pick just one. Um…Let me give my top 10 choices: La Muerte from the Book of Life, Maddie from Ever After High, my festival gear from Final Fantasy 14: A Realm Reborn, Elizabeth from Bioshock Infinite, Luna from Sailor Moon, Twilight Sparkle Coronation dress from My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, The Hellequin from Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood, Loki from Agent of Asgard, Yusei Racing Gear from YuGiOh 5Ds and Bayonetta from Bayonetta.
I really love all of my costumes. It really is a hard choice between all of them. And I always have fond memories wearing them. But there are some of my favourites.
You have also been cosplaying for quite a few years, how has the scene changed in your opinion over the years?
Its actually funny because my boyfriend Oshi and I actually give a panel about this topic at conventions called Back In My Day: Cons and Cosplay Over The Last 10 years. I’ve had a pretty solid opinion of the Cosplay community since I started: we are all the same and we are one big family. However, of late, I do feel like the community is starting to lose sight of what this whole idea of what cosplaying is about. Social Media has definitely be a big change to the cosplay world. Lots of people have Facebook pages, Instagram, and even business cards. Its all about likes and who can get the best photos to get the most attention. It is almost crazy to think that when I started, there was no Facebook and you couldn’t buy a wig in crazy colors, let alone a whole costume. But because of that, people who may not be able to sew can join in on all of the fun. And fun should always be the reason to cosplay. Never anything else.
If money and time were no object, what would be your absolute dream cosplay?
This is something that I always like to say: Never have a dream costume because you can always make it. Even if it seems impossible, you can do it. I never like to put the limitation on myself of “maybe I’ll do it”. Or “It has been a dream of mine for ages.” Elsa was a dream costume and I did it. Loki was a dream costume and I made that. I feel like if you push yourself, any dream costume can become your reality.
What has been the most tricky technique you have had to master so far?
Wig styling most definitely. Some of these characters have such crazy hair (YuGiOh comes to mind) that figuring out how to style them can be the most frustrating thing. The other thing would be armour making. My first real armoured costume was Shanoa from Castlevania, and I just was floored with how much I learned with working with Worbla since at the time it was still very new to the USA. But like anything, the more you do something, the better you will get.
What advice would you give to new cosplayers?
Coming into this community now can sometimes be overwhelming with all the pages, likes, the drive to be popular or even ‘cosfamous’. Always remember that this is a hobby and a fun one at that. You will meet some amazing friends and make some amazing costumes. Cosplayers are the universal artist. We fabricate, paint, build armour, craft molds, style wigs, and learn complicated make-up techniques to represent that characters we love. Always be yourself and make things that really mean something to you. You will find that making something from the heart will make a world of difference. Be your own ambassador of cosplay and be proud of your costumes. And most important of all: always remember to have fun. At the end of the day, we are all nerds in costumes running around to show our love of something. And don’t stress out if your first costume is not that great. Just keep working hard and you will get there. All of my love to you!