Cosplayer of the Week: Neoqueenhoneybee

I met Neoqueenhoneybee at Katsucon 2015 and her costumes took my breath away. Since then I’ve been watching her make costume after costume and just nailing every single one! Her costumes are stunning and the craftsmanship is amazing! She’s truly someone I aspire to be as good as and maybe one day I shall get there. In the meantime I got to interview her about her costumes and where she stores them!
Age:  In my thirties!

Location: Greater Philadelphia Area, USA

What is your favourite food? Ramen and green tea tempura ice cream.

Photography by NKP Photography
Photography by NKP Photography

You have some beautiful and incredibly detailed work. The one piece that really stands out is the dragon on your Tao Jun dress. How long did that take to put together and how do you go about planning/making a piece of applique that wraps around the dress?

Thank you! I really try to make quality work. My Tao Jun cosplay was completely last minute after hearing that the Mangaka was going to Otakon and some of my cos-buddies were planning a Shaman King group. I had to make everything in two and a half weeks, even the wig! (I am not at all great with wigs and they usually take me a while) In order to create the appliqué I had to first make a working dress pattern. I quickly mocked up the dress and, when I thought I got it to where it needed to be, I traced the dress pattern on sheets of paper taped together (to make two very large sheets of paper). I then freehanded the dragon design onto the paper and made a pattern from that. Once I got everything lined up properly I cut the fabrics out, backed them with double sided interfacing, ironed them onto the dress, and appliquéd them on.

Of all the things you’ve had to make, which has been the most troublesome and why?

In general, wigs. I’m just terrible working with tiny, thin chaotic strands that have minds of their own. I truly truly respect wig workers and how amazingly their wigs turn out!! I know that watching others work and with practice I will improve, but as of now, I’m not where I wish I could be.

photo by Shardae Photo
photo by Shardae Photo

You also have some beautiful photos, where has been your favourite place to shoot a costume? Do you have any good stories from location shoots?

Wow, there have been some pretty amazing shoots with phenomenal photograhers. I don’t have any funny or cleaver anecdotes regarding shoots I’ve been on, but I am always impressed with the people I meet on location. I attend a lot of group cosplay shoots where cosplayers and photographers pool resources together to rent out some pretty great locations. Through those I’ve had some really great times.

Other than those I had a dream shoot of mine at the Eastern State Penitentiary AND got to wear a cosplay from one of my favorite video games (ICO). SpookyElectric  made that happen and not only did some perfect photos come of it, I also met three other amazing cosplayers who I still cosplay with.
But, the one shoot that really sticks with me is the 2012 cosplay road trip Ceratopian and I took with two photographer friends, Robert Minh Le and Jeff Wong, in California. Ceratopian and I decided on locations prior to the trip and brought appropriate cosplay. We started in LA and the first day we shot my Lina Inverse at the canals in Venice CA. Afterwards we invited friends to eat Korean BBQ so I could get pictures of Lina eating! Day two we traveled to Vasquez Rocks, where the Gorn Star Trek episode was shot. I wore my Spocklita (Spock Lolita) and Ceratopian wore her Traveler (PS3 game Journey) cosplay. Day three we drove to Yosemite National Park where I wore Lina again. Day four was especially exciting as Cera and I wore our Wild Arms 5 cosplay in Bodie CA’s very own ghost town. Day five Cera and I met up with AMAZING costumer Seifer-Sama  in San Fran’s beautiful Japanese Tea Garden for Twelve Kingdoms cosplay. Day six took us all the way back down to Laguna Beach’s beautiful tower for Last Unicorn cosplay. It was there Robert and Jeff had to continue with life, but Cera and I had two more stops! Day seven we traveled to Mission San Juan Capistrano for Magna Carta 2 cosplay.  We met up with more amazing costumers Denise Kuan and SpookyElectric , who is also a phenomenal photographer. And day six we went to Legoland, as ourselves.

Also, regarding the cosplay/photographer events; I run a group dedicated to renting out great locations for photography sessions. So far we have shot at the Mercer Museum (twice) and the Chinese Scholar Garden. For 2016 we are working on renting Fonthill Castle and Shofuso Japanese House and Gardens. Anyone can join, but there is a fee for each event (cause we have to pay the venues/insurance).

Neoqueenhoneybee as Sailor Jupiter in this retro sailor scout group. Photo by SpookyElectric. Links to the other sailor scouts can be found here.
Neoqueenhoneybee as Sailor Jupiter in this retro sailor scout group. Photo by SpookyElectric. Links to the other sailor scouts can be found here.

What advice would you give to new cosplayers?

On construction, don’t rush your cosplay, pick fabrics that help you (i.e. friendly to work with), always make mock ups (as many as you need) and don’t be afraid to fail. On meeting new people, go to convention gatherings, find your local out of con events and join/contribute to cosplay FB groups. On finding photographers, do research on cosplay.com and FB to see which photographers are available and don’t be shy about contacting them. In general, don’t forget about your love of the characters you portray and your excitement in simply wearing a costume you’ve made or bought. And, just for your own sanity, don’t get involved in cosplay drama; drama free is the way to be (there is a difference between drama and legitimate issues).

Finally, where do you store all your costumes! You have loads!

Ug….I have a basement that is more like a warehouse!!!  I am constantly moving things around/rearranging to fit more stuff. I already have four wire racks, two armoires and two super sized totes that are full of costumes. I also have a cube bookshelf and hanging rack filled with shoes and two other hanging cloth holders plush two totes of wigs. After my Monster Hunter armor set is done…I’m going to be in trouble again.

Photo taken by Para Para Productions
Photo taken by Para Para Productions
Photo by Grenex Media
Photo by Grenex Media
Photography by Kristina Abrams, Photo Editing by KitsuneSqueak
Photography by Kristina Abrams, Photo Editing by KitsuneSqueak
Space Unicorn costume with Ceratopian. Photo by SpookyElectric
Space Unicorn costume with Ceratopian. Photo by SpookyElectric

 

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About Anna

The resident comic nerd and mistress of Spandex (or so the others say). I have been cosplaying since 2010 while trying to squeeze in numerous adventures where I can. I have a published works such as a fantasy novel and a superhero comic.

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